Well-Behaved Women Rarely Make History

September 23, 2010

“I love your T-shirt,” chuckled Jenny, my twentysomething personal trainer, as she stretched my aching legs. “I never saw that before.”

I hadn’t noticed which of my many message T-shirts I had thrown on when I rolled out of bed before sunrise. Most of the folks who populate New York’s Columbus Circle Equinox gym sport workout clothes that bear designer labels, but seldom do I see any that pack a message punch. I figure my chest is valuable real estate — why not use it to communicate my convictions?

I looked down and saw that I’d grabbed one of my favorites: Well-Behaved Women Rarely Make History. Historian Laurel Thatcher Ulrich’s wry observation became one of the guiding principles of the women’s movement during the 1970s, and living it seems as natural to me now as balance ball crunches do to my lithe trainer.

So begins Chapter 7 of Gloria Feldt’s new book, no excuses: 9 ways women can change how we think about power
I am so honored to be featured in a book empowering women to take charge of their lives and ‘lead an unlimited life’. Gloria gives validation to the struggle I had in my 20’s when I broke free of the shell of the small Midwestern town I was raised in. While I am grateful to my parents for a solid, wholesome and clean upbringing, I found myself yearning for a bigger existence, something more than the options that were set before me. However, I knew I might have to break some pretty tall barriers to achieve my dreams. I commend my family for handling my departure so well and can say that we have all learned a great deal about acceptance and love. I have so much respect for each of them and their strong, unwavering faith…it was something I just couldn’t find in myself.

My struggle is not unique. Many women in the world today yearn to break free, to ‘behave badly’ and shed the skin they were raised in. While I exercised, the physical force inside me translated to emotional strength and gave me the gall to tackle my dreams. By making physical exercise a part of my daily life, I found a rhythm, an internal hum that made me feel alive, strong and forceful.

Thank you, Gloria, for putting in print the exact tools we need to unleash our inner power!


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