For years I ran races, completed triathlons, and pushed myself to challenge my body. My body did beautifully. I never failed me or crumpled under all of the pressure I put it under. It has been my trusty and loyal companion and yet I was ashamed of it.
I believed that only perfect and flawless bodies were worthy of sharing and being inspired by. I believed that my tummy that is covered in scars and stretchmarks made me ineligible to be proud. Yet, it is this body that has crossed every finish line and has earned every medal for every race I have ever entered.
This idea of running topless is a physical representation about being proud of who we are as individuals. It’s sending a message to ourselves and to others that it’s time to redefine health and beauty and prove that the two are not mutually exclusive. It’s symbolic because really it can be running in shorts that you’re terrified of. Whatever it is, that shame is keeping you from living fearlessly and completely.
On Saturday, February 13, 2016 I want you to shed that burden and bare the part of you that you never thought you could. Rock that tank top. Wear those shorts. Expose that terrific tummy. Sometimes we can’t find someone to run with or feel there’s anyone who cares about our journey. The internet can be used to divide people or create a unique opportunity to bring people together. I was a single mom with a crazy schedule so I spent a lot of time running by myself and celebrating my accomplishments privately and I was ok with that. Others might need a little bit more support and encouragement.
I’ll be participating in the Kids Running For Kids 5K in The Woodlands, TX with my kids. This is the best way I can think of to start this challenge and will hopefully be the first of many for the year. I’ll even come run with you if you let me crash on your couch!! Not in Texas? You can still participate and share your experiences using the #topless5K hashtag. This fear is universal. I’ve had countless people tell me they wish they had the courage to do what I do. You do. I am just like you. I took a leap and never looked back and it’s been incredible. I want you to shed this unnecessary burden and embrace the incredible and full life you deserve.
I have created an event on Facebook to keep everyone updated on meet up location and times and motivation! PowerToPrevail Topless 5K Event Page
We all promise to:
Respect and encourage one another by recognizing that we are all working on conquering different fears. A smile. Kind word. A high five. All are welcomed and expected.
Do our personal best and hold our heads up high. There’s no podium. No chips. No time. Just a beginning and end. Also because it’s dangerous to run without looking in front of you. Eye to eye contact is everything. Can’t run? Walk. This is about you and your health.
Share our experiences with others because this world is too small to believe we are alone in our struggles. Use the #Topless5K hashtag as you prepare for the day! Mental preparation is key so seeing smiling and proud faces can only encourage more and more participation.
Be the change the world needs to see. We are a community of incredible people and we are all in this together.