“I’m not fast ‘for a girl’. I’m just fast.”

I like many of you, took notice of Always’ #LikeAGirl ad during the Super Bowl. And naturally, there was no way I wasn’t going to write about what #LikeAGirl means to me – um, look at the title of my blog. But the meaning behind my blog is quite different than what the title may imply, especially after what transpired in last night’s commercial.

My intention when starting this blog and naming it was never to send any sort of underlying message. It’s not about “girl power” nor is it written strictly for a female audience or to leave out the male population. I have plenty of dudes who follow and read my blog, and the articles are relevant to both guys and gals.

The reason I started this blog was two-fold. First, and most selfishly I admit, it’s a great outlet for me. I love to write, I have ever since I was a small child. I have tons going on inside my head and it’s great therapy to unload it all in this space. Second, it’s honest. It’s stories about health and fitness, about running and weight lifting, about random things I choose to discuss at my liking. Gross, offensive, bizarre, funny, relatable – sometimes, all yes. But however you’d choose to describe it, I would hope you’d say it’s nothing if not very honest and simple. And as my “tagline” states, “I’m a girl. So I run like one.” Yep, that’s really all I mean by it.

You see, in my life, I’ve never felt like being a girl held me back from anything or meant that I did something half-assed or not as good as a guy. And guess who gets much of the credit for teaching me that throughout the years? The wonderful men I have in my life.

My "bonus" dad congratulating me after finishing my first Olympic triathlon.

My “bonus” dad congratulating me after finishing my first Olympic triathlon.

From my dad and “bonus” dad (stepdad) who have encouraged me since my days as a high school athlete to every race and triathlon I’ve competed in as an adult, to my five brothers (yep, you read that right – five) who taught me at a very young age that I could swing a baseball bat and serve time in the penalty box. Then there’s my BFF Erick who doesn’t judge me for mowing through four pieces of dessert pizza when we hit the buffet – actually, he encourages it. Then gives me a high-five after. And of course, my manfriend, Chris, who supports my need to run marathons, watches my form on leg day and restocks my supply of Quest bars.

Maybe I’ve been lucky to have supportive guys in my life, those who would never downplay my abilities or achievements because I’m a girl. I’ve never had to justify anything, like my speed in the quote above. And I should also note that my intention of staring this blog was never to inspire other girls to believe they too can run, lift or do anything #LikeAGuy or that’s “okay” for guys to do. But I guess if that’s what happens, that’s awesome.

Now I remind you that doing anything #LikeAGirl doesn’t equal a negative. I’m a girl. I run like one. And I’m damn proud of it. So what does it mean to me to run or do anything athletic #LikeAGirl? It means going from a less-than-healthy, slightly pudgy, unfit 20-something to a runner. A health and fitness nut. A person who looks forward to lifting days. It means running a 3:39 marathon. It means having no fear of the weight room, squat racks or cables, or worrying about how I look when lifting. It means finishing a local 10k in the top 10 (males and females). It means playing first base because I can do the splits, a handy skill to have when stretching way out to make a close play. It means growing to love running as more than just a way to stay fit, and also looking at it as stress relief, therapy and a way to balance out a mild Cheez-It addiction.

That’s just my story. What’s yours? What does it mean to you to run or do anything #LikeAGirl? Comment or tweet me @runlikeagirl311.


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