Strong women are more than mothers, wives, sisters, workers, or athletes. They’re all of the above, and our newest SHELift series is shedding light on what it means to be Feminine & Fierce.

Somewhere out there, there’s a female athlete near tears from a coach yelling… Somewhere out there, there’s a female athlete scrolling Instagram comparing her body to unrealistic goals… Somewhere out there, there’s a female athlete hearing from her mom, “don’t lift weights! You’ll look like a man!”

But also, somewhere out there, there are female athletes empowering others… lifting heavy weights {{hyperlink to article #4}}… striking aw and inspiration to everyone they meet. Somewhere out there, there are female athletes who have become their strongest & most beautiful selves, both inside and out.

It’s hard out there for a girl who plays a sport and wants to succeed at the highest level both on and off the field or court. Between balancing school/work {{hyperlink to article #3}}, lifting, social life, practice, games, AND keeping up societal appearances… they’re lucky to even breathe sometimes. It’s hard to stay sane and prevail above the nonsense.

But we’re here to help you through it. There IS hope for female athletes to compete at their highest level while still remaining fierce and feminine. This article is that ray of light aimed to inspire women of sports and exercise, to infuse their lives with fulfillment, self-love, and passion.

FINDING THE BALANCE OF FIERCE & FEMININE

This is a work in progress. Often, femininity and athleticism seem like two separated worlds. And for a majority of women, they are… if they cannot find a way to meet in the middle. It is an ebb and flow sometimes balancing and sometimes not but finding the right compromise can be done.

Athleticism and Femininity can be compatible. All it takes is a little dedication to finding your unique sense of self. Take a look at some of these mental shifts every female athlete can utilise in finding harmony.

  • Be Competitive. B-E Competitive.

Being Competitive in practice and battling it out with your teammates is a good thing. Far too often, girls are afraid to “hurt” each other… but this leaves the potential for improvement in the dust. You’re there to make each other better. Avoiding placing adversity upon your teammates is only doing them a disservice.

  • Stop Comparing Women’s Sports to Men’s Sports

We can’t compare women’s sports to men’s sports. The analogy would be like comparing a start-up tech company to Apple. It’s too unfair of a comparison. Traditional gender roles and ideologies prevent a proper comparison for even the most similar of sports. No, football isn’t the same as rugby… neither is the English Premier league & the Women Super League. Just stop.

  • Display Your Strength AND Emotions

We’ve always heard how, for women, smaller and thinner is better. Yet for athletes, smaller is rarely better. Smaller whether in life or on the field or court means getting over looked, knocked off the ball and pushed around. But with great strength comes this idea that we must be emotionally shut down like males. DON’T! Women are known for using their emotional intelligence to motivate and support. It is the combination of strength and emotion that makes women so powerful.

  • Find What Feminitity Means to YOU

Lipsticked women with just enough muscle tone may pass as athletes in magazines… but culturally perfect models aren’t built to win Olympic gold in the 100-meter dash. Girls who compete to win will not, and physically cannot, look the same as models clouding our Instagram feeds. And while society loves to dictate what look is “ideal,” what it means to be a female athlete is different for every single female athlete.

Finally, remember that athletic development is a journey. There will be days when you feel weak and you can’t be the strong, female athlete the world expects you to be. There will be days when you play flat and uninspired… There will be days when you lose games and don’t score goals… There will be days where you don’t feel like a princess holding your head up high…

But there will be moments of elation, too. You’re lucky it’s a long journey and one that will allow you to blossom into a resilient goddess for wherever life takes you {{hyperlink to article #2}}.