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#REALwomenmove

If you’ve been anywhere near social media as part of the athletic community then perhaps you’ve seen #REALwomenmove.  Actually, seeing as you’re here on Skirt Sports, reading this blog, then the chances you’ve seen this hashtag are especially high!  Why?  It’s a Skirt Sports hashtag!  But have you ever thought, wow, I sure wish someone would explain this phenomenon to me? Or perhaps you’ve been needing help finding words to explain it to someone else.  Well, you’re in luck because that’s what I’m here to do!  I’ve been wearing Skirt Sports since 2008 and have been an Ambassador Captain for two years now.  I love this company and all it stands for and when they started using #REALwomenmove, three years ago, I immediately fell in love. The words and their deep meaning simply clicked with me.  Deep meaning?  You bet!  There’s so much depth in this phrase. As a company, Skirt Sports wants women to know they represent REAL women who have REAL bodies, REAL inspiration, REAL life stories, REAL transformations and more.  In other words, Skirt Sports is about you, your friends, your sister, your mom, your grandma, your daughter, your aunt, your granddaughter and well, any other woman you name. It’s about the nitty, gritty, sometimes dirty, often pretty STUFF that makes up who we are as REAL and LIVING women. #REALwomenmove and Skirt Sports has evolved into so much more than an athletic clothing company trying to sell clothes, so much more that it’s going to take the rest of this post to explain it!

Want to know a definition for the word, “real”?  According to Merriam-Webster dictionary, real is: “not artificial, fraudulent, or illusory”.  The word illusory caught my attention. Illusory makes me think of chasing something that is out of reach. Here’s a secret, sometimes I have dreams where I have my pre-baby, 18-year-old body back.  I’ll look down and think, “Dang!  I look good! My boobs are perky! My tummy is flat and look, no stretch marks! Welcome back spandex pants!”  Okay, not really the spandex part, even though that was in style back when I was 18, God forgive us.  But the point is I could look good in them again if I wanted to!

In my dream, that is, with my illusory body.

And then I wake up and I have my REAL body back.  The body that has aged into my mid-40’s, given birth to two babies, eaten too much junk food (because cupcakes are good and chocolate is my right as a woman!) and had too little sleep over the years.  It’s not the same body I had when I was 18.  But you know what?  This older body is pretty rockin’!  It can run marathons and ultra- marathons. It can swim and bike and do a triathlon. It can hike and walk and stretch.  It can do push-ups and burpees, alibi, a bit humorously but it makes its best effort!  It can hoola hoop and jump and skip!  It can take care of my family and friends and love and hold and hug.  It actually can do more than it did when it was 18! Sure, my boobs may no longer be perky but it’s my body!  It may not be perfect but no body is perfect!  I hope you’re all aware of that fact by now.

No. Body. Is. Perfect.

Not even Wonder Woman has a perfect body.  Yes, I know, she looked pretty good in the newest movie but I’m sure she has her trouble spots, also.  I’m sure she wonders if her biceps were a little more ripped and her core just a little bit stronger, could she throw her lasso farther? And for the record, Wonder Woman … not real.  The actresses who have played the part recently and in the past … real!  Just clarifying, in case you think I may not have a firm grasp on reality while talking about well, reality.

My point?  Our bodies are REAL.  They aren’t some illusory dream and it’s up to us to love them, appreciate them, and make the most of them! Look in the mirror and see the beauty that is reflecting at you; see your strengths, your accomplishments, your goals. The reality is, there is a pretty awesome woman behind the body.  Now, that doesn’t mean you should stay right where you are if you’re looking to get fitter or stronger or faster or whatever … go for it!  Work that body!  Do the stuff that it requires.  Eat better.  Workout more.  Sleep, rest, train and live life.  Move your real (not illusory) body!  And that brings us to the MOVE part of #REALwomenmove.

Real women move.  This isn’t saying that only women who move are real women.  Far from it!  You can almost flip it around and say, “Move, real women”.  If you’re a real woman (which we all are) then we can move our bodies!  Women with real and imperfect, yet amazingly designed bodies, move those real bodies.  No matter your body type or what is going on with your body (health issues, hormone issues, weight issues, fear issues or the zillion other things that can stop us in our tracks); you can still move your body because you love it and it was designed to move. We all have hearts and lungs and muscles and we all benefit both physically and mentally when we get out and enjoy fresh air (or perhaps stinky gym air), get our blood pumping and the sweat flowing.  Let me be clear, Skirt Sports understands that movement is individual for each of us and can change from year to year, month to month, day to day or even hour to hour.  It might be a 5k, a marathon, or a walk around the block.  Movement is doing what you can do in the moment you are in.  Some days that might be 10,000 or more steps.  Other days, that might be pulling yourself out of bed or simply breathing.  Some days we reach our goals with ease, other days we push harder and sometimes our goals must adjust to fit the moment.  It’s all okay!  It’s all moving, not only our bodies but our minds as well.

Our minds?  Yes!  I imagine each one of us can admit to moments when we let our minds interfere with what we want for ourselves.  Darn those crazy thoughts that enter in and tell us we can’t do it or we’re going to fail.  As women, we push beyond those thoughts!  We take hold of them and tell them to take a hike!  And then WE take a hike in the great outdoors!

I know it’s easy to say, “Don’t let your fear of what others think or what your own preconceived notions of who you are stop you” but it’s so true.  Please don’t let fear keep you from reaching for the stars. That star might look thousands of miles away but unless you take a step you’ll never reach it and you’ll stay stagnant in one spot.  Movement is required to break out of a comfort zone and for growth.  It can be scary but the reward is worth it!

Real women move and not only do they move but they encourage others to join them.  This is part of the reward I mentioned. There is a huge supportive group of women in the athletic community just waiting to make new friends, and to bond more deeply with old friends.  Those who are a part of #REALwomenmove support one another. That’s something I absolutely adore about the Skirt Sports community, we all love and support one another!  We’re more than a group who share a passion for movement and skirts, we’re a group who share laughter, tears, ups and downs, achievements and triumphs as well as missteps.  We are a sisterhood.  If you need support in reaching your goals, look no further!  Find #REALwomenmove and join us! There’s a Facebook group! I promise you will meet women who will inspire you and challenge you. You’ll find a safe place to be yourself, a place where there is grace in the face of weakness (because we all have weaknesses) but you’ll also find women who are more than happy to help you find strength you may not yet know you possess.  And most importantly, you’ll have the opportunity to encourage other women!  There is no better feeling than coming alongside someone else and seeing them flourish as you move together.  That’s another thing REAL women do.  We move together!  And we make friends while we’re moving.  I’ve met so many wonderful woman, both in real life and online through this group and I am more blessed for it.

By the way, sometimes we shop together.  After all, this is a company that sells very cute running skirts.