Photo by: Tina Leu Fotos

I reduced my body to aesthetics
Forgot the work it did to keep me alive
With every beat and breath
Declared it a grand failure for not looking like theirs
Searched everywhere for a miracle
Foolish enough not to realize
I was already living in one.
-Rupi Kaur
I had a conversation this weekend with one of my athletes about aesthetics and performance — particularly with those of us who identify as female.

More of us are now chasing strength and capacity but are still not able to let go of the idea that we should also be small and not weigh much. Even female superheroes are portrayed as being very thin and small with little, if any, visible muscle mass while male superheroes are portrayed as being larger and more muscular.

The thing is that our bodies will look exactly the way way they need to in order to accomplish exactly what we ask them to do regularly. Our bodies are trainable and wise.

And instead of embracing this wisdom and adaptability, we criticize how they look and compare them to the bodies of people with completely different desires, preferences, and lifestyles.

Today, I weigh 153.4lbs. I’ve certainly weighed less and looked leaner in my life, but my performance capacity was nothing close to what it is today. I wasn’t as strong, or fast, or durable.

In order to do everything I do at the level I do it, I had to let go of this arbitrary belief that I should weigh less or be smaller.

I had to stop telling myself that my body should look a certain way.

I had to stop comparing my body to the bodies of people who don’t do all the things my body does.

I had to trust that if I did the things that made me feel the way I wanted to feel that my body would do what it needed to do and look the way it needed to look to make it all happen.

The reality is that I’ll never look like them while I’m out there being me. And neither will you.

By focusing on your capacity and how it feels to be in your body rather than how it looks on the surface, you create a much deeper, richer experience that isn’t merely superficial.

Who you are underneath the facade is what truly makes you awesome. Inside you is the miracle.