My name is Ashley, and I consider myself to be an avid Athena-supporter in basically all aspects of her life.  I have been a loyal Fitness and Feta reader from the beginning.

I am now a loyal attendee of Athena’s Thursday morning Circuit Training class as well, although I can’t say I loved it from the very beginning.  Man, that class is HARD.  It took me a little while to convince myself that the hard work was worth it!

Athena was kind enough to give me the opportunity to write a guest entry about whatever I wanted (she must really trust me) and to promote a fundraiser that I’m doing very soon!  I wanted to tie my topic into the fundraiser and also have it tie into the theme of Fitness and Feta.
I’m going to discuss a topic of health that Athena has only touched on a few times, mental health, or more specifically, how you feel about yourself.

In high school, I had a tendency to be friends with more men than women.  Through college and beyond, I was fortunate enough to meet strong, awesome women that have become my best friends.  One thing I’ve noticed, however, is that these, strong, awesome women don’t often seem to realize how awesome they truly are.  There seems to be a double standard this way between men and women – when a man acknowledges how great he is (think of Barney Stinson from How I Met Your Mother), he tends to be looked at as a funny, lovable person.  Many women, however, can’t often acknowledge their best attributes without it being looked at as “she’s too full of herself.”

Well, I have a challenge for all of you (whether you’re a man or a woman).  If you are sitting there thinking negatively about yourself in any way, go out and do something about it.  Confidence is not something you’re born with; you have to work for it.  I believe that you gain confidence by doing things that challenge you – physically, mentally, etc.  I’ll give you some extreme examples of things I’ve done that I’m proud of (but was scared to do at the time):

Getting SCUBA certified

I’m not a great swimmer and terrified of drowning!

Jumping off a bridge in Ecuador

It’s called “puenting” – sort of like bungee jumping!

Swimming with sharks

Multiple times – no cage or other type of barrier!

Working out regularly

Okay, this isn’t really extreme, but I am proud of myself every week for doing it.

Future things that I’m scared of but am doing anyways:

  • A Warrior Dash in September
  • Shaving my head to raise money for pediatric cancer (i.e. the main point of this post)

So, if you think any of these things are crazy, they sort of are, but the feeling you get after doing them is unmatched by anything else.  If you want to make yourself feel good today by doing something quick and easy, you can donate to the fundraiser that I’m shaving my head for!  Please check out my personal fundraising page below where it’s really easy to make a donation using a credit or debit card!  Thanks!

What is something you are proud of yourself for doing?  How do you carry yourself with confidence?  When’s the last time you did something that challenged you?

Don’t forget to contribute to Ashley’s admirable cause!