A Lesson from Misty Copeland

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZY0cdXr_1MA&w=853&h=480]

Given that I danced for 15 years, I doubt it surprises anyone that I think Misty Copeland is awesome. Seriously, the lady is a beautiful dancer and I think it’s amazing that she started dancing at 13 and made a career for herself in such a short period of time, facing so many obstacles; that takes pure talent, grit and determination.

I, too, was a dancer, though not nearly as talented as she. I trained for a few hours a day for several years, as do many athletes.  However, the thought remained in the back of my mind that because I was a dancer (and that dancing isn’t really considered a sport, unfortunately), that meant I wasn’t athletically gifted, or that I couldn’t participate in a real sport. I was best at dance and never was good at much else; I formed the belief that when I tried a sport I would end up making a fool of myself.

However, when Under Armour came out with their new ad, featuring Misty, one thing I kept coming back to (and replaying a million times) was how strong her legs are. They are a huge departure from the twiggy ballerina images I grew up with in my mind, but they also reminded me of my own. I can’t claim to have legs as chiseled as hers, but I do know that my legs are strong/they have always been the easiest part of my body to tone up and I have credited dance for that strength for years.

As silly as it may sound, seeing that ad has really motivated me. It’s made me realize my true potential and enlightened me on my negative attitude towards my body’s ability. It also occurred to me that the way I find freedom in running –  I haven’t felt the way since I danced. In short, I never thought I could be a runner, but I’m realizing that I can be athletic, get stronger, exercise determination and, most importantly, I can be a runner. Better yet, I am a runner, just by the sheer fact that I run and am committed to becoming better. I can do this thing I have set out to accomplish, and I will!

One thing I want to start doing more of is sharing with you what’s been inspiring me lately, to encourage you all in your journey, wherever you are at. What’s something that’s been helping you accomplish your goals?

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