Being a female athlete comes with its challenges and triumphs. Being a female athlete is full of struggles, but at the same time empowering. For any gender, being an athlete asks you to push yourself to your athletic boundaries and beyond. Whether it is running those extra reps, lifting more weights or getting your mind right, an athlete must be finely tuned and ready to compete. Hours are spent getting stronger physically and mentally.
The newest Nike’s ad, “Crazy Woman,” puts how I feel as a female athlete into a 1 minute, 30 second video. It puts into a video what I cannot always put into words, and what I am trying to put into words right now. It is empowering, exhilarating and honestly makes me a little emotional. This video makes me proud to be a female athlete and to embrace all that comes with it.
With being a female athlete, there is extra pressure to not let your emotions get the best of you, but I think you should let your emotions take over because that is when you are your best and truest form of yourself as an athlete. Showing your emotions is showing your passion and that is nothing to be ashamed about.
The feeling I get when I am in a track meet and my heat of the 400 meter is called, I step onto the track, set my blocks, breath before the starting gun goes off and everything for a second is quiet, that is the feeling I got when watching “Crazy Woman.” This ad is an explosion of emotions that left me with the biggest smile on my face. It brought me back to the times when I was just a young athlete telling myself that stronger is better and it is girly to be strong.
The role of an athlete is a very emotional thing, whether you are celebrating a victory or recuperating from a loss. The emotional part of being an athlete is not as recognized as much and if anything, showing emotion as a female athlete has been said to be a sign of weakness. We are told to be our true selves and leave it all of the playing field, but in reality it is a refined athlete that everyone wants to see.
I have often been told growing up when it comes to sports, it’s mind over matter. That I can do anything that I set my mind to. With being an athlete, especially at a Division I school, eyes are on you and you are under this pressure to have it together at all times, or at least seem like you do. You need to present yourself with poise and professionalism, even if your heart is beating a million miles an hour and feels like it might fall out of your chest any second.
You do this for yourself so that nerves don’t take over and so that you might possibly seem intimidating to your opponents. All of these emotions of excitement, nervousness and anticipation are bottled inside, then turn into a crazy adrenaline that comes out when you are competing. For me when I think of my adrenaline exploding I think of the moments when I am striding out of the starting blocks and doing the longest sprint of my life, the 400-meter dash.
We stand up for ourselves, we put our all into everything that we do and sometimes, yes that’s crazy, but that is what makes us a female and that is something that each and everyone of us should be proud of.
Brianna Vasquez is an arts & entertainment editor. Follow her on Twitter: @BriannaVasquez_.