It's a Man's World
Disclaimer: This post was written in 2017 for International Women’s Day & I still feel the same way!
Don't be fooled by the title, I don't actually believe that. I was raised in a family where "you play ball like a girl" was a compliment. I was raised to believe that I am NOT at a disadvantage because I'm a woman, and I should not be treated any differently because I am. I've written about growing up with brothers before and I am so thankful that I did. They pushed me, challenged me, (bugged me), and loved me. They taught me what it was like to be resilient and driven. They didn't teach me these things because they saw me as weak, they taught me these things to equip me with the tools to succeed in anything I do in life. Before I go giving all the credit to my brothers, it was my mom and dad who raised them that way.
My dad, probably the most loving and compassionate person on this Earth, set the example for my brothers to follow. Showed them that loving and supporting others will only move you forward in life. My mom, probably the most badass individual on this Earth, always marches to the beat of her own drum. She does what she wants, says what she wants (watch that f*cking mouth mom ...), and creates what she wants. She is the reason I was brave enough to start my own business, stand up to things I don't agree with, and be exactly who I am. I am so thankful for my tight-knit support system, we are who we are today because of each other.
My reason for writing this post is in honour of International Women's Day. I never really thought of myself as a Feminist, but by definition a feminism is "the belief that men and women should have equal rights" ... well yeah, that should be a given. But it's obviously not, because there are still movements about it today. Pursuing a career in what is seen as a "male-dominated industry" I feel like I have an interesting perspective of things. Sure, it can most definitely be a boys club sometimes (referring to S&C), but it's what you make of it. I grew up with brothers so I love being in a competitive environment with constant banter, honest opinions, and a lot of grit - I have used this "man's world" to empower myself and grow into a strong, independent woman (what's up Destiny's Child). As coaches, male or female, we are all very different and we all have very different coaching styles - that's what makes this world so diverse. There are going to be some athletes (male or female) that respond really well to my coaching style, and others that won't - that's just the way it is for everyone.
I have had my fair share of "growing pains" in the S&C world as a young female. Athletes that, for whatever reason, will never trust anything that comes out of my mouth because I'm a woman. Condescending people that feel the need to talk down to me and attempt to make me feel inferior, and then there are the people that have helped raise me up, instil trust and empower me.
Instead of focusing on all the negative pains, I want to give props to the all the people that ignored my gender and age, and saw my passion, persistence, and drive. Thank you to all the people who do believe in equal rights and opportunities for all regardless of gender, age, colour, race, etc. Thank you to those that continue to empower others, and to those that continue to work hard regardless of their exterior.
So, here's to strong women. May we know them, may we be them, may we raise them.