When I was a little girl, I used to love going into my Grandma's bathroom to play with her makeup. I ooh'd and aaah'd over the rich eyeshadows and the bright pink and red lipsticks. To me, that was beautiful.
When I was in middle school, I looked forward to the annual Miss America pageant on TV. My favorite part was when the contestants came onstage in their evening gowns and perfectly coiffed hair. To me, that was beautiful.
In high school and my first year of college, I let magazine pictures of skinny runway models define "beautiful" for me. I obsessed over being thin, controlling what I ate to stay thin. In my skewed mirror, literal and figurative, they were beautiful and I was not.
Today, midway through my 30s, I see beauty in simpler but stronger terms. To me, beautiful is about finding, embracing and unleashing that "inner Badass," as I call it. To me, beautiful is sweaty sports bras, sore muscles and muddy sneakers. It is heavy dumbbells, calories torched and a new PR set. Beautiful is the shower and makeup and hair I do AFTER a bootcamp or a session of hard training. I felt my most beautiful as I crossed the finish line at the Chicago Marathon, a hot sweaty and muscles-burning mess. Beauty in my book is the joy and newly discovered confidence on a student's or client's face when they achieve a new level of strength or fitness.
Just this month, a cycling student set a new mile pace in a 5K and when she sent me a text, I could just see the smile on her face. "Beautiful," I thought. (There we are, at left, before my Power Core class.) And when a student battling MS finished her first endurance cycle ride with me last week, she radiated with beautiful happiness and declared herself the victor over her disease. Awesome. Beautiful.
THIS is the "beautiful" at the heart of Under Armour Women's What's Beautiful campaign, and I am posting about this in hopes that all of my female readers will join the Under Armour challenge to set a goal, then "crush it."
With this campaign, open to all of us, Under Armour Women is setting out to redefine the female athlete by encouraging women to share their fitness journeys. In exchange, participants get a steady stream of motivation from fellow participants, free gear (holla!) and support from Under Armour along the way. Oh, not to mention a fully kick-Badass prize!
The Under Armour What's Beautiful community is growing as I type, and the women in the challenge are seriously bringing it. But I also know my female Badass recruits can REALLY bring it! So here's my challenge to you, dear readers (and guys reading this, get your lady friends on this!). Go to the What's Beautiful campaign site. Set your own goal. Crush it. The videos alone will inspire you to aspire to more.
When you do sign up, tweet about it and tag Under Armour plus use hashtags #fitfluential and #whatsbeautiful (and #badass or #badassfitness if there is room!)
Under Armour will be giving prizes regularly based on your awesome videos and pics. The best part comes at the "finish line": The 10 women with the "most epic journeys," as Under Armour puts it, will win a trip to Clearwater, Florida to the Under Armour Women's Camp Sweat to train with the best, learn from nutritionists AND get pampered with spa treatments.
Seriously, how can you NOT want to be part of this awesome challenge?
And comment below or e-mail me at email@example.com to talk about your goal, how you plan to crush it, and your definition of "beautiful," for a future follow-up post. We can all get inspiration from each other!
Note: FitFluential LLC compensated me for this Campaign. All opinions are my own.