By Kristin Steinmetz
(inspired by my strong and supportive friend, Chrissy)
It’s International Women’s Day!! Well, that’s nice…but what does that mean to you?
Well, here’s what it means to me. I have two daughters. My life’s goal is to make sure they have the knowledge and self-esteem to feel empowered to make their own choices and create their own path to achieve their goals. Whatever that is. I’m 34 years old. I’m still not quite sure what my life’s legacy will be (besides my two amazing daughters). I’ve been a student, a film-maker, a teacher, an interpreter, a photographer, a coach, and a stay-at-home mom. I’ve been a dancer, a gymnast, an athlete, a tomboy, and a nerd. I think keep trying to define myself according to some set of pre-defined standards, but maybe I just want to have it all. Maybe, just maybe, none of us can fit into that little box of what it means to be a woman.
So I think International Woman’s Day is about celebrating every woman without trying to categorize her. And empowering the woman next to you, even if she doesn’t align with your path. It doesn’t matter if she wears make-up, if she knows how to cook, if she decided not to have children, if she had a double mastectomy. It. Doesn’t. Matter.
So I’ll keep working on it for myself. And for my daughters and friends. And I’ll do my best not to impose my definitions upon them. I might have banned any pink at my baby shower, but my girls still somehow gravitated to frilly dresses and princesses with long hair. But maybe now strong and girly don’t have to be mutually exclusive! CrossFit taught me that. Maybe they don’t have to follow my path – playing with GI Joe’s and trying to have a tough exterior. In the box, I can push my physical limits next to some of the strongest men and women I know, and then cry about it (and if you know me, you know I have done that on several occasions). I can wear my Nanos and headband, and then change into my heels and some lipstick.
Maybe now all of us can be empowered to be whoever we want to be, not adhering to anyone’s standards. Just because they wear tutus doesn’t mean they can’t kick a little ass and run with the boys. And if they want to bake muffins instead of lifting weights, well that’s ok, too. We shouldn’t feel we have to justify our choices or paths to anyone. This is YOUR life, not anyone else’s. The only person that has to live with your decisions is you. So go be the best woman (or man) you can be…for YOU!