Stop minimizing your accomplishments (and yourself)



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How often do you minimize your accomplishments?

If you’re a woman, I’d guess the answer is pretty often.

I went through a women’s leadership training a couple of years ago and now my ears are open to how often women put themselves down or minimize themselves.

I’ve seen it crop up over and over the past few weeks in regards to running events.

In Minnesota, we just finished a couple of big running events: The Twin Cities Marathon and the Mankato Marathon. I know several people who took part in both.

As with most marathons, besides the full 26.2 mile run, there are other distances to choose from as well — 10 miles (Twin Cities Marathon) or 13.1, 6.2, or 3.1 (Mankato Marathon).

I have heard several women, when asked what distance they are doing, respond with, “Oh, I’m only doing the 10K” or “I’m only doing the 10-miler” or “I’m only doing the half.” As if doing a distance less than the full is something to minimize.

No matter the distance — 3.1 miles, 6.2 miles, 10 miles, 13.1 miles, 26.2 miles — you are out there running. Own it and be proud of it.

I posted this on Facebook a couple of days ago and it received 19 comments. I think it hit a nerve. Many women said something like “thanks for the reminder.” Many women also said they were guilty of saying something similar.

Your biggest competitor is yourself. Don’t look to others to gauge your self-worth. What you choose to do with your body, and how you move it, is your choice.

Shhhh…should we talk about this? Yes!

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Original watercolor by Meagan Segal. Available at

“Hey, tell me about your pelvic health!”

Those are probably words you have never spoken or never have heard them spoken to you. But think about what all goes on “down there” — not only physically today, but emotionally and historically.

It’s not an area a lot of women pay attention to until something goes wrong. And when something goes wrong, whom can you talk to? Many of us were raised in a culture where we didn’t speak about pelvic health. If you see a doctor, was he/she trained in women’s health matters?

I attended a pelvic health workshop Saturday morning at Sun Moon Yoga Studios with about 20 other women. After hearing their stories, it struck me how often women’s concerns are dismissed by their loved ones or health practitioners. For example, Julie Dickhudt, the workshop teacher, said she saw her doctor after experiencing a prolapse and was told nothing was wrong.

“And I believed him,” she said with regret in her voice.

It was several more years before she finally was able to resolve the issue, with the help of a doctor experienced in women’s health.

Julie’s overall message: Take charge of your health, especially your pelvic health, because it’s an area that’s so vulnerable and tied up with many emotions. You know when something is wrong — don’t let a person who doesn’t know you tell you otherwise.

Further resources (thanks to Julie for pointing these out in Saturday’s workshop):