So when Alyssa Wodabek - a local, up-and-coming, Toronto photographer - contacted me about doing a shoot for her Fitspirational Women Series, I was skeptical. I am not a model. And I am definitely not a fitness model. So my initial reaction was to say "Thank you. But No".
Her concept struck a cord with me though. She wanted to show how fitness has inspired and empowered. And despite my reservations, that is a concept I have spent the last year living and trying to convey.
Running has become my outlet. When times got tough - and they did - I ran. When I needed something to look forward to, it was a race. When I needed something to drive my recovery, it was training. When I needed to prove to myself that I was stronger and badder than anything my body could throw at me - I ran.When I lost faith in myself and in my body - I reclaimed my power on a run.
Running has become an essential part of me. It is where I found self-acceptance, confidence, power, and health. It is where I feel most beautiful.
So off I went to meet Alyssa for Part One of our photoshoot. There was a studio, lighting, make-up, and dresses. We went glam. And then stripped down to bare my scars (well at least one of them). Here is a sneak peak at what we came up with.
It was out on a run that I learned real beauty is a woman who believes in herself and who knows she is capable of anything she puts her mind to. Beauty comes from strength, determination, a joyful heart and grateful spirit. Real beauty really does shine from within. And that is a story that I want to tell.
Fitness has taught me that nothing is impossible. That I am capable of more than I ever knew. And despite my flaws, my scars, and my many medical misadventures - I love my body. Not for how it looks, but for what it can do. For its strength. For its stamina. And for its ability to endure. It is not perfect, but it is mine.
Love Your Favourite Darwinian Fail,
**Part Two will be coming soon! We are hoping to do an outdoor fitness-y shoot when the weather starts to cooperate**