Another birthday has come and gone, and I can confidently say that I have earned every one of my 43 years and wear them proudly. I'll never be this young again, and I'm taking advantage of every opportunity for adventure that comes my way.
As Fall 2012 crept into Spring 2013, I found myself spending more and more time training and conditioning for my return to play with the Calgary Rage. Taylor and the guys at King Football chased and cheered me on to a season of firsts - not the least of which were my first season running with no knee brace, and my first interception!
Football, both the sport and the women with whom I play it, has made me courageous in ways I could never imagine. The fact that I am willing to drag my sorry ass out to 6 hours of practice a week during the season surprises no one more than me, but I love what it does for me! I'm stronger, both physically and mentally. I think nothing of running at another player with the sole purpose of knocking her on her ass. My courage hasn't ended there, though.
This past weekend I took part in a fundraiser for Special Olympics. So, what's the big deal, you might ask? This was no ordinary fundraiser. Bikini Espy required its participants to show up downtown on a Saturday morning, wearing nothing but a bikini and cowboy boots. Yes, you read that right. I got up at the crack of stupid and joined 99 other women out on a city street in a bikini. In exchange for my $100 registration, and the funds generously donated to Special Olympics by my friends, I got to hang out with some of the craziest women around. There were all shapes, sizes and ages of women there. Each of us danced, clapped and yahoo'd our morning away while we waited to be styled in custom western gear by the fantastic staff at Espy Experience.
I showed up that morning in my bikini and boots, shivering and giggling with the other women in line. I expected to leave with my custom outfit and maybe a few extra little items. What I really got was a strengthened confidence in myself, and a new appreciation for how much fun life can be if you really let it. Peel off a layer or two, figuratively speaking, and find out what's really under there - you might be a lot more fun than you remember!
Special thanks to Mike Bailey for the photos, and Cara Fullerton & Camilla Di Giuseppe for the celebrity shot ;)