Shoulders of a Linebacker

“HOLY! You’ve got shoulders a linebacker would be jealous of!”

Today, I would take this as a compliment. A BIG compliment. I may even reply with something like, “You had better believe it! Woot! WOOT!“.

When I was a gangly, emotional 14 year old it was not even close to a compliment, it was just devastating.

I have no doubt the jaded man who once dreamt of a professional football career but found himself teaching my Phys Ed class was doing his best.

Unfortunately, I let his ‘best‘ maim my emotional health for years.

After that one comment, I desperately tried to appear smaller, more petite…less football player-esque. What 14 year old girl who is trying to navigate the waters of becoming a woman wants to be comparable to a linebacker?

I let this misinformed statement form much of my self esteem for my teenage and early adult years. When I looked in the mirror all I would see were HUGE shoulders and an unattractive, rough and tumble woman. Looking at myself in the mirror was avoided as much as possible. I sat on the edge of the tub while brushing my teeth so that all I could see was the crown of my head; there was nothing but a linebacker to look at anyways.

Discouragement, self loathing, and misinformation grew deep into my heart, and I let it. At 14 years old, I didn’t know any better.

Misinformation, partial truths, discouragement, and lies come to us daily; it’s to be expected. But we have a choice of whether or not they are allowed to grow in the garden of our hearts.

It is time to weed the garden!

Expect to have trouble, discouragement, and obstacles on your journey; it means you’re actually going somewhere. But do the unexpected with them. Choose to plant encouragement, determination, and joy; let them overgrow your heart so that when the discouragement comes there is nowhere for it to take root.

I’ve got shoulders a linebacker would be jealous of, how awesome is that?

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