“You wouldn’t worry so much about what others think of you
if you realized how seldom they do.”—Eleanor Roosevelt
July’s issue includes information about active pursuits taking place in our area, such as farming, gardening, visiting beach towns, and even more adventurous endeavors like trapeze, surfing and CrossFit. Yet, some reading this may say, “Trapeze? Surfing? Just getting my half-naked body on a beach each summer is adventure enough!”
I wonder why? When I was a kid I would have been the FIRST one on that trapeze or surfboard, and my bathing suit was simply a means to having summer fun.
So, what stops us now? Forget trapeze and bikinis—what keeps us chatting with other adults by a pool in the sweltering heat when all we really want to do is yell “cannonball” and jump in?
What causes “inaction”? Sometimes the answer is honest enough, on first glance—money, time, lack of interest. Okay, that’s fair, but is it the truth?
I was asked to join a kickball league last year by my friend Liz. I said, “No, sorry, too busy.” Then I watched on Facebook as photos and posts were posted, not about the scores or who failed to make a catch but images of women bonding and having fun. When I was asked again this year, I explained I still didn’t have time, but if it were okay that I may miss a few games, then I was in. I had identified and overcome what had really stopped me last year: Fear of what I would look like on that field! I hadn’t kicked a kickball since 1979. Forget about kicked, how about catching one of those huge balls 35 years later. What if I looked stupid? What if I caused all the outs? Here I am an adult raising two children and running a business and a household yet I was scared what my friends and strangers would think if I caused outs in KICKBALL???? I am hoping this is just my issue, but I know in my heart it isn’t. You don’t have to look further than the Athleta swimsuit area to know that. Hearing women ask, “Does this make my butt look too big or boobs look too small?”—it’s evident most women care what people think. While this executive function of caring not to look like an ass in public can sometimes serve us well in our decision-making process, for the most part it is keeping us from a truly aware and experienced-filled adult life.
Eleanor Roosevelt was a controversial first lady for her outspokenness, particularly her stance on racial issues. She advocated for expanded roles for women in the workplace, and the civil rights of African Americans and Asian Americans. Roosevelt didn’t care what people thought about her, because she was acutely aware that people were seldom thinking about her.
I will take it even one step further: If you are playing kickball, paddle boarding or, like me, are wearing a bathing suit even though it exposes more dimples than a Shirley Temple movie, then what people see is confidence—and that is hotter and more alluring and energetically drawing than tight abs and kickball skills. Besides, trust me (and Eleanor) when I say this, “You would not care what people thought about you if you realized how seldom they are thinking about you.”
So, ask yourself this July, “What’s holding me back from experiencing new athletic and healthy adventures?” If you feel the honest answer is “What people might think,” then, rather than standing around the pool at a party in the oppressive summer heat gabbing, instead take a running start, leap into that glorious water, and yell at the top of your lungs, “CANNONBALL!”
~ Kelly, Publisher