This past week I travelled back to Washington, D.C. to film a number of interviews for a documentary I am making about law enforcement and I was privileged enough to speak with a detective who I can only describe as one of the most badass women I know. We spoke frequently about “earning your stripes,” and how both of us believe that nothing is worth it if you don’t work for it. Entitlement is the cancer of my generation and the payoff means so much more when you know you’re the push behind your accomplishments.
I took my first CrossFit class in Virginia last year and while I remember I pretty much couldn’t do a lot of the WOD (Workout of the Day) to the full degree, it sparked that intrinsic hunger I have to discover how far I can push myself, how I can earn my stripes. I can’t do a handstand without a wall to save my life at the moment but I know that the more practice I put in, the more I push myself to get closer to the wall, the more dedication I shift to my goal, the bigger the reward will be when I finally get there. What I love about CrossFit is that no one else can do it but you. I leave with a grin on my face after every class. I say, “I never thought I could do that!”
While I’m not advocating that everyone run out and take up CrossFit, that mentality is something I encourage every woman to adopt. Stay hungry for your ambitions and feast on your successes. Fuel your mind with the thoughts “I can and I will.” Have the courage to commit to your dreams. Whether it’s in the line of work you wish to pursue, whether it’s picking up a heavier weight this time around at the gym, whether it’s challenging someone who says “you can’t,” or if it’s recovering from a painful break-up, you can and you will do it. And you will be stronger because of it.
One of society’s biggest poisons is perpetuating the state of mind that women are inferior, that our confines are the four walls of a household, that because some of us shatter those walls and refuse to leave the saving of the world to men means we should somehow be perceived as outliers. Harness the power of “I can and I will.” Earn your Goddamn stripes! The look back at how far you’ve come and how much you’ve accomplished will be a sweet one. I’ll leave you all with a quote that resonates quite deeply with me:
“I feel like young girls are told that they have to be this kind of princess and be all delicate and fragile, and it’s bullshit. I identified much more with the idea of being a warrior, of being a fighter…I think women are scared of feeling powerful and strong and brave sometimes, and I think that’s something they’ve got to embrace.” – Emma Watson.
Watch your six & stay purring.
*And I hope that my intended message may also inspire men as well.