To My Coach Who Taught Me More Than I Know

To My Coach Who Taught Me More Than I Know

I was lucky enough to spend four short years with you and walk away with a lifetime worth of knowledge.
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Dear Coach,

There’s simply not enough thank you’s in the world for you. You have impacted me more than probably either of us realizes yet.

When I first joined, I was intimidated by the legacy and the prestige of the reputation you had created for the team. I really didn’t know what to expect or that I would leave with so many valuable lessons. I was lucky enough to spend four short years with you and walk away with a lifetime worth of knowledge.

First, I would like to thank you for being my rock when I needed absolutely anything. You made me feel comfortable coming to you with family, friend and academic problems and you always seemed to know the right thing to say and the solution. During the season, it’s no doubt that I spent more time with you and the team than my own family and vice versa. Thank you for dedicating so much of your time and heart into your team and favorite sport. Without you, it truly wouldn’t have been the same.

Second, I need to thank you for teaching me self-discipline. Because of you I now know that if you’re not fifteen minutes early, you’re actually late and believe it or not, this motto now pertains to more things in my life than just showing up to practice on time.

You taught me that a good attitude and confidence can go a long way and is the real key to success. Also, faking it until you make it is actually a real thing despite my disbelief. You always pushed me to my limit and never let me give up, even when it’s all I thought I had left to do. You proved to me that I am stronger than I think and that practice really does make perfect.

I learned throughout the years that winning isn’t everything, it’s just the cherry on top at the end of the day. Learning to work together as a team and having fun while doing it was all that really ever mattered. I finally realized that making a “mistake”, isn’t really a mistake if I learned something from it which has been one of the more valuable lessons I have ever learned. Hard work really does pay off and there will never be a time I regret giving it my all, only regrets of holding back.

Because of you, I realized how important and necessary focusing is for the mental when preparing for anything I am even slightly nervous for. You taught me that there are always consequences for my actions and how to be responsible at a young age.

Today, I truly believe my work ethic is a direct reflection of you and everything you taught me as a young adult. Your wisdom was extremely influential and has helped shape me into who I am today and who I want to be in the future.

Lastly, thank you for helping me grow every day in the sport that we both love so much. I would have never reached my goals without you by my side, rooting me on every step of the way. I will forever be thankful that you were such a big part of my life.

Cover Image Credit: Madisson Morris

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To The Girl Struggling With Her Body Image

It's not about the size of your jeans, but the size of your heart, soul, and spirit.

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To the girl struggling with her body image,

You are more than the number on the scale. You are more than the number on your jeans and dresses. You are way more than the number of pounds you've gained or lost in whatever amount of time.

Weight is defined as the quantity of matter contained by a body or object. Weight does not define your self-worth, ambition or potential.

So many girls strive for validation through the various numbers associated with body image and it's really so sad seeing such beautiful, incredible women become discouraged over a few numbers that don't measure anything of true significance.

Yes, it is important to live a healthy lifestyle. Yes, it is important to take care of yourself. However, taking care of yourself includes your mental health as well. Neglecting either your mental or physical health will inflict problems on the other. It's very easy to get caught up in the idea that you're too heavy or too thin, which results in you possibly mistreating your body in some way.

Your body is your special, beautiful temple. It harbors all of your thoughts, feelings, characteristics, and ideas. Without it, you wouldn't be you. If you so wish to change it in a healthy way, then, by all means, go ahead. With that being said, don't make changes to impress or please someone else. You are the only person who is in charge of your body. No one else has the right to tell you whether or not your body is good enough. If you don't satisfy their standards, then you don't need that sort of negative influence in your life. That sort of manipulation and control is extremely unhealthy in its own regard.

Do not hold back on things you love or want to do because of how you interpret your body. You are enough. You are more than enough. You are more than your exterior. You are your inner being, your spirit. A smile and confidence are the most beautiful things you can wear.

It's not about the size of your jeans. It's about the size of your mind and heart. Embrace your body, observe and adore every curve, bone and stretch mark. Wear what makes you feel happy and comfortable in your own skin. Do your hair and makeup (or don't do either) to your heart's desire. Wear the crop top you've been eyeing up in that store window. Want a bikini body? Put a bikini on your body, simple.

So, as hard as it may seem sometimes, understand that the number on the scale doesn't measure the amount or significance of your contributions to this world. Just because that dress doesn't fit you like you had hoped doesn't mean that you're any less of a person.

Love your body, and your body will love you right back.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Margliotti

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In Real Life, 'Plus Size' Means A Size 16 And Up, Not Just Women Who Are Size 8's With Big Breasts

The media needs to understand this, and give recognition to actual plus-size women.

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Recently, a British reality dating TV show called "Love Island" introduced that a plus-sized model would be in the season five lineup of contestants. This decision was made after the show was called out for not having enough diversity in its contestants. However, the internet was quick to point out that this "plus-size model" is not an accurate representation of the plus-size community.


@abidickson01 on twitter.com


Anna Vakili, plus-size model and "Love Island "Season 5 Contestant Yahoo UK News

It is so frustrating that the media picks and chooses women that are the "ideal" version of plus sized. In the fashion world, plus-size starts at size 8. EIGHT. In real life, plus-size women are women who are size 16 and up. Plunkett Research, a marketing research company, estimated in 2018 that 68% of women in America wear a size 16 to 18. This is a vast difference to what we are being told by the media. Just because a woman is curvy and has big breasts, does NOT mean that they are plus size. Marketing teams for television shows, magazines, and other forms of media need to realize that the industry's idea of plus size is not proportionate to reality.

I am all for inclusion, but I also recognize that in order for inclusion to actually happen, it needs to be accurate.

"Love Island" is not the only culprit of being unrealistic in woman's sizes, and I don't fully blame them for this choice. I think this is a perfect example of the unrealistic expectations that our society puts on women. When the media tells the world that expectations are vastly different from reality, it causes women to internalize that message and compare themselves to these unrealistic standards.

By bringing the truth to the public, it allows women to know that they should not compare themselves and feel bad about themselves. Everyone is beautiful. Picking and choosing the "ideal" woman or the "ideal" plus-size woman is completely deceitful. We as a society need to do better.

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