I have never been political on this blog, for fear of being impolite. But this week, I’ve been constantly reminded of just how lucky we’ve all been the past eight years, and I find myself saying “Rebecca (I call myself by my full name), YES YOU CAN.”
It’s a fitness blog, yes. But my end goal is to empower those reading along while staying true to my voice, my opinions and my character.
I am proud to be joining upwards of 200,000 people, on January 21, to descend upon D.C. with a singular voice and one key demand of our new President: EQUALITY. The Women’s March on Washington has a focus on the rights of women, but the broader message is one of human rights. If you live in the area, I encourage you to join us. If you do not, look for the Women’s March in your city here.
I will not stand on this soap box and pretend the discrimination I’ve felt, as a woman, is greater than what you’ve been through. Who can say, and does it matter? I march because sitting quietly will get me nowhere and I have two important messages that I want everybody to consider:
- Pride and Self-Worth – I could never say it as eloquently as the most inspiring and gracious First Lady in history, so in the words of Michelle Obama, “I want our young people to know that they matter, that they belong. So don’t be afraid—you hear me, young people? Don’t be afraid. Be focused. Be determined. Be hopeful. Be empowered.”
- Talk it Out – Don’t be afraid to start conversations with friends, family, those you agree with and even more importantly, those you disagree with. Do not use the arguments around equality as a platform to be hateful or angry toward others. Find out where their opinions come from. Share with them stories of who you are, and introduce them to things that matter to you. Perhaps the only thing more terrifying than inequality is realizing that hate stems from a lack of education and a fear of the unknown. One cannot make a friend if they do not open up, but prejudice is a tricky vine that grows without boundaries and must constantly be cut back.
These two asks are no small thing. They both involve a leap of faith, and likely a great amount of introspection that may uncover some nasty truths. But please, I beg that you try to love yourself and to love your neighbor. Remember that their struggle is as real as yours, whatever it may be.
Lastly, I just wanted to give a little bit of public love back to the people who have shaped me. I feel blessed to have a family who sees beyond skin color, sexual orientation, or religion. Thank you all for teaching love in place of hate…
Mom, You’re the definition of kindness. From your lengthy conversations with total strangers to the way you have always welcomed friends and family into our home, you have been a constant reminder that there’s no limit to love. I love you to the end of the numbers.
Dad, I am so proud of your journey. You’ve taught me to feel important without feeling entitled. You’ve shown me that leadership is about loyalty, and that you cannot get ahead by climbing on the backs of others. Your generosity is without bounds, and I hope you know I do not take for granted the life that you’ve allowed me. I love you.
Ashley, There just aren’t words. I’ve learned, and continue to learn, so much from you. You’re beautiful and forgiving, you’re selfless and strong. I hope to be every bit as amazing of a mom as you are, and I’ll be coming to you for advice at every step along the way. You’re my best friend and a true confidant. I love you.
Peace and love, y’all!