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Feeling Strong, Inside & Out : When Your Weakness Becomes Your Strength

Posted: Sep 21 2017

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Hey SparkFire Girls,

It's Katherine Shai here again, with the 3rd and final of my three part story on the SparkFire Ignitor blog sharing my personal story about the body image challenges I worked through in my early years as a high school athlete starting in the sport of wrestling; the learnings I gained of how every body is designed for unique power, strength and ability; and the confidence I developed when I realized & embraced my true strengths (not really weaknesses at all!). As a female athlete who loves her sport, her body, and her self, I hope this honest insight into my journey to embrace it all. Here we go....

I have always had a strong sense of resiliency. Just because I was unhappy with my body type did not mean I was looking for a way out. I was looking for a way IN. My search for a way into the “right” wrestling body type actually led me towards the right mentality for accepting myself.  

My perceptions of weakness versus strength clearly needed to be re-tuned. In my mind, I empowered myself to seek people who could help me and answers that would click. After taking me under their wing, they revealed to me that strength is beyond a stereotypical body image. I was starting to understand my personal value reflected what I already possessed, and not what I didn’t. It wasn’t about defining an athlete visually. It was about the joy and power of expressing myself. 

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We all 'walk' with our experiences, feelings, hurt, and happiness. I don't regret my path. I had to walk with those insecurities so that now, I can encourage other girls to walk with them as well. I want to help and support others no matter their story. We should never condemn each other for having a different story, just like we should never condemn each other for looking different.  

Self-confidence and positive self-image will come when you surround yourself with things you love to do. There are so many women and girls who have never been given the opportunity of self-love because they have so many around them who tear them down. It is a beautiful thing to be an ally to others, to create a world where you can add to someone's positive spin on the world. You may never fully understand someone's personal difficulties, but your light will help other girls and women see the possibilities. 

Be The Spark and SPARK IT FORWARD,

Katherine Shai

5x National Wrestling Team Member, U.S. Olympic Alternate, Founder of LuchaFIT and Board Member at Wrestle Like a Girl

Katherine Shai US National Team Women's Wrestler of LuchaFITLuchaFIT logo female athlete empowerment

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