I remember, back in the day, when doing anything “like a girl” was a put-down, an insult. Throwing like a girl meant you were weak. Sprinting like a girl meant you were slow or not very coordinated. And looking like a girl? Well, that was just the worst for boys. While I know all of these things are still said today, it feels like the tide is shifting somewhat. I see more women than ever running marathons, doing triathalons and completing crazy-awesome events like this. Videos like this are more in the mainstream than on the fringe. The Women’s World Cup is a major sports event—and not just a girlie one. Sure, there are still plenty of inequalities out there, but there are also some bad-ass chicks out there showing that girl power isn’t just about wearing a skirt. It’s about being your best, moving your body and being confident in the skin you’re in—whether you choose to wear a skirt or not.
Another case in point is the book—or what I like to call a manifesto for active women everywhere—Run Like a Girl: How Strong Women Make Happy Lives. With candid stories of nearly a hundred women ranging from professional athletes to normal gals you can relate to, the book eloquently and honestly shows how the challenges women face while playing sports—and the ways we meet them—translate into greater strength and the ability to overcome obstacles in our day-to-lives. Story after story, the book chronicles how sports and running can and do change women’s lives, along with real-life tips on finding balance (and defining what “balance” is for you), loving your body and having the guts to beat your boyfriend in a race without apologizing for it. (Now that’s girl power.)
The book’s author Mina Samuels may have written the line “Strong women make happy lives,” but it’s a philosophy that we live by here at FBG: We know that when we’re active and choosing healthy foods we’re happier, more confident and we can thumb our noses at the number on the scale because we know that our worth is determined by more than that number. We are strong. We love ourselves as we are. And dang it, we are having a darn good time doing it.
If you’re looking for an inspirational and informative read to motivate you to get off the couch or make that early-morning workout class, pick this book up ASAP. While the book is written for adults (it even includes a section on aging), I’d also encourage anyone with a teen girl in their life to pick up a copy. It’s the perfect book to girl-power up any woman’s active life! —Jenn