Today I’m throwing out a curveball. Instead of talking triathlons I want to talk family and female empowerment.
I read this article that made me really thankful for my dad. When my dad reads this blog I just know he will wonder how I can simultaneously be thankful for him and ignore his text messages (because anytime before 8am is too early for texting!). Still, I am grateful because my dad was the kind of father outlined in this article. I credit him with shaping me into the strong, independent, and athletic woman I am today.
I’m pretty sure Dad didn’t read up on guides about raising confident young women before embarking on parenting three girls. He just spent time with us. We played softball and wrestled with my brother on the living room floor. We attended ballets, plays, and football games. We rode horses and bottle fed calves. We hiked for hours in the woods behind my house and built a tree fort. We read together every night. Each day he’d inquire about the details of our day and our thoughts and feelings. Sometimes he’d ask on the way to school and I was grumpy and didn’t want to share. But he always asked and he always listened.
A friend of mine sent me a picture of his brand-new niece today and it made me think about how special little girls are. Sure, boys are great. But, girls are unique in the way that we absorb and internalize other people’s attitudes towards us. Time and attention translate into value and worthiness. It is because of my dad’s consistent, undivided attention that I don’t question my significance or worth. It is because he showed me that women can be strong in intelligence and athletics that don’t hinge my confidence on my appearance. Because of Dad’s unwavering encouragement I know that I am capable of taking on anything whether it be in my career, personal life, or even triathlons (See, you knew I’d come back around).
Thanks, Dad. I’ll text you back really soon, I promise.