See Great, Speak Great
Something happened to me a few months ago, and it made me brave. There is a girl who Crossfits at my gym, who's tall and blonde and cut and strong with no squishy parts or mommy stripes or weak areas...she's pretty and single and successful and could probably outrun, out lift and outlast me in every way. I don't know her well but I see her lifting and working hard and we've shared some high fives and we smile at each other. I follow her posts on social media and see her fun life and travels and I'm constantly in awe of her athleticism.
I was finishing up my workout by myself and she came over to me as I laid there panting, all three of my tummy rolls moving in and out in full display, thank you child number 4. As I was gasping for air, per usual, she said, "Sasha? I have to tell you something. The other night I was talking to my boyfriend and I was telling him how there's this woman who works out at my gym. She's beautiful and strong and she has four children and a husband and a successful job and I read about how she wins all these awards - and yet she always has a smile on her face and she encourages everyone around her and she always looks cute and has a lot of joy. I want to be her.
And my boyfriend said - have you ever told her? And I said of course not I'm too afraid, I don't know her. So he told me I needed to tell you and so I…I guess what I'm saying is...I want to be you. You inspire me."
I sat there, with my mommy stripes and breathlessness and messy hair and fought tears. I told her how she made not my day, but my entire week. I told her I would always treasure what she said to me. I told her that many times I looked at her and thought: “Man! I would give anything to look like that or be like that!” I told her that she can be the best HER. We hugged. I thanked her for being brave enough to tell me.
It would never, ever occur to me someone like her would ever want to be me. For real. I'm easily carrying 15 lbs of extra weight...I have mommy stripes and squishy parts and well...flaws. And most days I'm a hot mess and I miss soccer games and run late to meetings and forget my earrings and accidentally throw my luggage down the ATL airport escalator and say the wrong thing and man I'm struggling everyday to do the mom/doc/wife thing called life. I know I've said this before...but please don't hold back kind words from other women - I needed to hear her words that day SO much.
When you have a thought, speak it! Her words to me made me start do this very thing to others. When I admire something in someone, even if I don’t know her, I tell her! Speak kindness and truth to others! Even if you think she may not want or need to hear it, she does.