Mind Over Muscle

She is a woman. She has muscles. Well. She does. And she loves the way they feel; the independence, the control, and  the way her clothes fit in just about anything. But she compares herself to others because she just can’t help it. She tries to learn to appreciate and admire what another woman’s mind and body has enabled them to achieve. But she is a woman. Just like you.

 Sadly, and much too often, women get criticized for their muscular, athletic form just as much as they get criticized for being too skinny or overweight. And by other women.

 We want to be strong, we want to be equals, and achieve greater things; we want to empower and inspire, not feel overpowered and controlled, yet we fear the lines that appear in just the right light; the lines that trace the outside of a muscle. We scowl at the hardness that wraps itself around the female form, and we critique the roundness of a woman’s shoulders or the thickness of her back. And by doing so, we unknowingly are the first to give up on ourselves. Don’t you think? 

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Ever heard of mind- muscle connection? Well, behind those striations, lines, and muscle fullness, is a mind that has so powerfully exhibited such control and strength over many hours, days, months and even years, were spent connecting to and overpowering a resisting muscle; a force.

 And yet you still truly have no idea what’s behind that body; those muscles.

 That skin she’s in.

 You don’t know what’s behind the fullness of the light if it shines too brightly. You don’t know if at one time it was dimmed, or if it just blew out completely. And just like the pain you feel behind your skin, she may be feeling the same. She may have muscles and you may not like them, but guess what?

 You both have a blanket of skin wrapped around that body to allow you to endure challenges and obstacles that have, unwillingly, got in your way now or at one time.

 The broad, round shoulders, the muscular back with lines that run smoothly down to meet the small of her back, legs that may not be quite like yours; may not be what you want to achieve, but that body; that body and those muscles that are covered in a sheath of beautiful skin allows her to be actively independent for at least one more day. Maybe for a lifetime.

 With her children…

Her grandchildren

Her mind, and

Her family…

She really is just like you, her muscles, her body, her skin; they have all been stretched and pulled; hurt and scathed, but never gave up on her either. Instead, it has allowed her to evolve; to feel empowered, courageous, confident, more and more, every single day. But she still struggles with her reflection. She still struggles with that shadow cast on the wall in a dim lit room. She still picks and tears herself apart, looking and searching for approval; validation. Someone to tell her she’s beautiful.

 But what does she do?

 She opens herself up for the world to pry their hungry eyes in her direction. And she waits. She waits for her mind to completely evolve; to be able to completely align itself with the strength of her body. But until then? She keeps on lifting. She keeps on running. She just keeps going.

 Because she just does.

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