For years, women were told things like “act like a lady”, “dress like a woman”. Anything that did not fit that mold was considered strange or incorrect, even. We’re living in an era where women are empowered to break stereotypes and go after their dreams. This is the time for women to support and empower each other to grow and go beyond their own expectations.
A New Movement
Not too long ago, female athleticism revolved around cardio, weight loss and counting calories. These days we see a lot more women feeling empowered to take on the challenge of pursuing their dreams in pretty much any sport you can think of. From skaters, to ballerinas, to soccer players, to power lifters, there’s no longer a sport that’s “not for women”. Those barriers were broken.
“When I Play” by ESPN
Just in time for Women’s Month, ESPN produced a short film to promote women’s sports and female athletes.
“When I Play” is a film that directly and unapologetically celebrates who we are, what we want to be, why our visibility matters, and gives voice to women and girls who see their athleticism as a way to reclaim themselves, to find themselves and to embrace their power.
The short film is produced by women, for women. If you haven’t done so already, check out the video! You’ll find a familiar face at 1:16. That’s right. Hey, there Head Coach! Lara was invited to be part of this wonderful initiative.
Here’s a piece of the interview that ESPN conducted with Lara for this video:
WHAT WOULD YOU TELL OTHER GIRLS WHO ARE AFRAID TO TRY ATHLETICS?
I would very much encourage them to find that sport or activity that they enjoy. There are lots to try and you might not find that thing right away. You might have to try a few different things to find that thing that is really fun for you. When you do, stick with it – get a good coach to help you do it right – and get to work!
WHAT HAS BEING AN ATHLETE TAUGHT YOU ABOUT LIFE?
Strength matters – physical strength feeds mental strength and being mentally strong helps you when things get hard in real life. I’ve had to train during the middle of some tough times in life. I nearly have given it up, telling myself that it would only be for a little bit just until (fill in the blank) gets better. But then I’d just think ‘well I’ll just get through training today’ and I’d use my training time to focus on something other than whatever I was going though. It helped with stress relief and helped to ground me and I got through each of those tough times… so far anyway. Life (and sports) will throw you curveballs but no matter what happens you pick yourself up, do the best you can in the moment and keep going. Don’t put off anything, just keep going.
So don’t be afraid to “train too hard” or “get too big”. Get out there and pursue your dreams, not excuses, no apologies. Celebrate who you are as a woman and feel empowered to redefine beauty and stereotypes.