My challenge today is finding an activity for a 13 year old girl who is not interested in sports. At this age sports are competitive and the anxiety of letting a team down is too much pressure for her gentle spirit. She is not a dancer or a gymnast she did both for many years. She does not live in a neighborhood where kids are riding bikes and playing at parks. She does not live near Kalamazoo where there are a few programs for teens. The fitness centers in the area have an 18 and older age requirement. The stereotypes are so strong at this age. The after school program is for “bigger girls” The running program is for “girls who don’t have friends”. I told the young girl she could be the change. She could be the not so big girl that shows up and supports the “bigger girls.” She could be the one that doesn’t need to make friends but does anyway. Her reply to me was that she is not popular enough to make a difference, it would only make her less popular. She said she already sits by the kids with special needs in every class because no one else will. At that moment I realized, I was offering solutions much like the pediatrician that tells kids to “be more active”. It just doesn’t work that way. I can not make her my own personal crusader against all of the injustices of middle school girls. My gut instinct is to get the ball rolling, create a fun fitness class for teen girls, find an instructor, a venue, work with the school to promote it. All of which I am willing to do, except for my own personal insecurities. Will any one else sign up? Will her parents be able to pay? Is her family too busy? Am I biting off more than I can chew? Is one not so athletic, nor graceful, less than popular, 13 year old girl worth all the time and effort this will take? You tell me
Someone is paying attention to the effort you are making to be healthy. They notice the obstacles that you face, and observe your determination. You are an Inspiration!
Get Your Sweat On