My husband posted this picture taken just past mile 12 during my marathon on Sunday. I didn't ask him to, and he didn't mention his plan to me when I handed him my phone that morning and ran off to the starting line.
I saw the post a few hours after I stopped crying from a disappointing second half of the race through headwinds, and showered, and decompressed for a minute.
I will admit, likely because I was already upset, for a minute I was like "ah man, look at my tiny little belly pooch." (I am totally aware now that that's insane and my stomach looks fine!) But the more I think about, the more I realize how incredibly important this photo is to me.
Some of you may know, I wasn't always a runner and was over 200 pounds even after my son was born. I have lost over 85 pounds since then and gone through 2 pregnancies, and my entire stomach is covered with stretch marks. My skin is stretched out and won't go back without surgery (that I will not have). And while standing still my skin looks fine, running is nonstop movement. And that body: those legs, feet, arms, and even that "pooch," carried me to a 3:24 finish at a race with 30 mph headwinds. But you know what? I did not spend one single moment of this race thinking about what my belly looked like or if people could see my stretch marks (I did think I was cold though when the temps unexpectedly dropped😂) A majority of my thinking was "I'm running a freaking marathon right now ✌🏼"
I share all of this because I think it's important to remember strength doesn't look a certain way or isn't a number on the scale. You don't have to have abs or be completely lean to be strong.
This picture is everything I want my daughter to see and be: strong and confident, unaware and uncaring how her body looks (because it DOESN'T matter) as she's fighting for her goals.
I run/race in just a sports bra because it makes me feel empowered and fast, and this picture confirms that I am. 👊🏼