There comes a time when we have to say- enough is enough.
A time when we break through to be what we want to be, not what what we think others want us to be.
This bright-as-day revelation came about on the dark backside of the Queen K Highway of the 2018 Ironman World Championships. I had struggled with the idea that I “belonged” at the most prestigious and elite long-distance triathlon course. Add onto that the fact that one of the largest sports networks was following me with cameras, through the bike course where I vomited on my hydration container and into the run where I was found relieving myself…on myself. Being part of a media story was humbling, honoring and downright embarrassing. I found myself throughout the day being embarrassed, shamed and guilty.
My whole world – friends, family and colleagues – were committed to tracking my progress on this world stage.
And here I was mucking it up.
Then about 122 miles into this soul-shattering, mind-altering, humble-ridden race – I found the light. Kinda Ace of Base style, I saw the sign. In the darkness of the Energy Lab on the big Island of Hawaii. I couldn’t see in front of my face. It started pouring. Pouring to where you couldn’t even see the drops but you could feel the flood at your ankles. For all the poor souls trudging through the dark, with families back at the finish line hoping we’d come in soon – it was some very dark moments. For me, it became a very bright moment in the dark. I was met with an opportunity to help another racer make history. I won’t be in history books, but that doesn’t matter. Finally, after 120+ miles I realized that being human means more than the embarrassment and shame I had previously felt. Emotions that were only attached through learned behavior of a media and society that attaches these feelings onto female human beings and just forces them to “accept” the emotions.
I realized, in these dark moments, that I was actually attaching my own shame and embarrassment of what I felt was a “failed race” but that the outside world didn’t actually view me to be.
I was putting so much on me, because society had taught me to do this. It took someone else in an extremely disadvantaged position. Someone with a body riddled by disease in the dark, desolate waste land of the lava fields to shine a light on my own carrying of negative baggage that society has placed on me. Negative baggage that will, ultimately, impact my daughters. That could destroy my daughter’s future.
Enough is enough.
It’s damn time for our daughters to see the strong, capable, fierce and successful beings that they can be.
For so long society has coddled and said “sure women can do anything” but hasn’t really given the women the path to do it. And when these women take and make their own path – are often riddled with guilt over self-care, shame over body image, or hatred by the viewer’s fear because they don’t understand what they are seeing.
In the words of Shalene Flannigan, “F*** yea”– enough is enough.
It’s time that we rise up and shed the cloak of guilt. A woman’s efforts channeled to procure self-care shouldn’t be coated with guilt like the glaze on a donut. A woman’s desires to want more for herself as an individual shouldn’t be wrought with shame by those around her.
What are we teaching the future female leaders of this world if we shy away and let these negative emotions rule? Shame. Guilt. Fear.
Enough is enough.
We don’t need permission to be more. To do more. To want more. To be successful. Our daughters need to know that the path before them is open. Years of women have blazed a path that allows them, now more than ever, to grab whatever the hell they dream of.
As I crossed the finish line – my oldest daughter flung herself at me. She didn’t see the long hours of self-doubt and shame - she saw the manifestation of years of training, hours of preparation and one strong heart. She wrapped her arms around me, as her heart light radiated out of her body and into mine. Some may say it was the spotlights of the finish line, no it was the spotlight of showing my girl that she could be and do whatever she wants to be- for herself and others. That self-care isn’t selfish. That desiring more isn’t disregarding what you have. That society shouldn’t attach their own negative feelings on to what they don’t understand. That internet strangers mean nothing. That family members don't support you don't get a say.
Enough is enough.
Cause you, my daughter, are more than enough as you are.
But never let that stop you from doing more.