This post is sponsored by Athleta
Dear Sean and Ella,
I am so proud of your strength and perseverance. You’re so much farther along in the process of realizing your potential than I was at your age. I know this is coming out of left field, so allow me to explain.
I was totally unathletic growing up. While my peers were picking teams, I wanted nothing to do with sports for girls. I hated gym class and did whatever I could to get out of it, often with my parents’ permission.
You see, they considered themselves to be intellectuals with no use for sports, fitness, or anything athletic-related. In fact, I was brought up to look down on sports. I thought that people were either born as athletes, artists, or intellectuals, but that we couldn’t be all of those things at once. So I avoided it all, assuming I just wasn’t strong enough.
It wasn’t until I was an adult that I began to realize that I’m actually quite strong. I started taking boxing classes at my gym and totally fell in love with it. I started thinking more and more about the importance of sports for girls and women.
Little did I know that in my early 30s, I would become co-owner of a karate and kickboxing school with your father, a 5th-degree black belt himself! Let that be a lesson to you to be open-minded, because the very things you can’t stand now might very well bring you joy in the future. If you really think about it, fitness played a big part in giving me the life I have today, a life that I wouldn’t trade for the world.
Sean, I know that earning your junior black belt was a grueling five-hour ordeal. People don’t often think of karate at all when they think of sports for girls, let alone imagining a girl making it to the level of achievement that you have.
I would never have made it through the hundreds of burpees, push-ups, and sit-ups when I was your age. Frankly, I would have quit.
You didn’t underestimate yourself like that, though. You were courageous enough to go through 10 rounds of consecutive sparring with opponents who were much bigger, stronger, and more advanced than you without batting an eye. I know you were nervous, but did it anyway, and that’s exactly what it means to be brave.
Ella, you are a fierce, little queen! You are stronger than you even know. Never doubt what you are capable of.
I see a determination in you that will overshadow any fear in your heart. Remember, it’s not about how big you are, but how hard you try. I can’t wait to see what you’ll accomplish in the future.
I want you girls to know what I didn’t when I was your age, and that is that fitness will help you far beyond the walls of the gym. Sure athletics will keep you strong and healthy, but they’ll also teach you to push yourself farther than you ever thought possible. You’ll challenge yourself to break through barriers and achieve new goals, all because you know what it means keep at it.
Don’t ever let anyone limit your greatness by telling you only certain sports are for girls or certain things in life are often limits to you because you are a girl. In reality, the fact that might have to try harder because you are a girl will only make you stronger.
Mommy – Your Biggest Fan
Athleta’s new “Stay in the Game” campaign is spreading a message of empowerment to young girls, which inspired me to write this letter to my daughters. What do you want the young women in your life to know about the importance of staying in the game? What would you say to your younger self about importance of powering through and realizing your true potential?
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About Carmen Sognonvi
Carmen Sognonvi is a luxury family travel content creator at Top Flight Family, named a top 10 family travel Instagram account by Time Out New York and Brit + Co. Her insights on travel have been featured in The Washington Post, INSIDER, Huffington Post, Wanderlust Travel Magazine, TravelPulse, HOTELS Magazine, and more. Carmen firmly believes that you can (and should) travel with your kids from a young age. She offers families practical solutions for travel, as well as tips on how to travel in luxury for less. She lives in New York City with her multiracial and multicultural family of four. Follow her on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.
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