Looking for some #fitspo? | HerCanberra

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Looking for some #fitspo?

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A few weeks ago, I sat at the Canberra Capitals end of season dinner, in awe of the group of young women in front of me.

Women like Carly Wilson, who accepted her award for Player’s Player through tears, speaking of her commitment to her club, her goal of making her father proud, and the love that she has for not only basketball, but for the incredible women on her team.

Women like Marianna Tolo – who at 27 is not only a talented athlete, but an inspiring leader, who’s earned the respect and love of her teammates and the community at large.

Not long after, I had the pleasure of interviewing GWS Giants AFLW players Jessica Bibby and Ellie Brush, who both spoke of their desire to inspire girls to achiever their dreams, and the passion and commitment that they have for sport.

These are the women we should look to for our “#fitspo”.

Fitspo. What does it even really mean? It’s a word that conjures images of smoothie bowls, of lithe, tanned bodies performing advanced yoga poses in bikinis or perfectly coordinated active wear. I think somewhere along the line, we forgot what fitspo is supposed to mean: fitness inspiration.

Don’t get me wrong – I think health should be celebrated. I love smoothie bowls, I think body confidence in all its forms should be encouraged and if you want to take a selfie of yourself in a bikini, then by all means, go right ahead – more power to you.

However, I do feel that many of the images and messages that women – particularly young women – look to for their #fitspo, achieves the opposite. It seems unachievable. Skin deep. Something reserved only for models, celebrities, or fitness stars.

The question that comes to mind for me is this: who could provide more fitness inspiration than our athletes?

These women are the ones who should be inspiring us to be fit – the ones who use their healthy bodies for so much more than taking “instaworthy” photos. They’re the women strengthening their bodies to achieve their goals and fuelling them for optimal performance.

This isn’t just about exercise, nutrition, or even sport, though.

These women are supporting each other to be their best, celebrating the wins and mourning the losses together. They’re inspiring women to not just be fit and healthy, but to pursue their goals – even when other people tell you they’re impossible.

You don’t need to look too far for evidence that social media is affecting our self-esteem and perceptions around health and fitness. I don’t think that aspiring to have the same body as someone else – including an athlete – is healthy or realistic. What stands out to me about these women, however, is that their perception of themselves runs so much deeper than their physical appearance. Their life revolves around their relationships, achievements, and goals – and their physical strength and fitness is a secondary benefit.

After all, that’s exactly how it should be.

So next time you’re looking for some fitness inspiration, I have a few suggestions for your feed: @mariannatolo, @carlyjwilson, @uccapitals or the plethora of women following their dreams in sport.

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