Guest blogger — Anna Glennon — Empowerment is Everywhere
As I took on the task of being the guest blogger this week, I had trouble choosing what topic I felt was important — so I stuck with what I knew best. As a female power sports athlete, the empowerment of women has always been close to my heart. Even in a sport where many men encourage female competition, the low number of female competitors and the daunting danger of competition still looms above us. Ever since my career as a power sports athlete began in 2012, I have found myself struggling to catch up with the strength and aggressiveness of the boys on the racetrack.
And I constantly asked myself why.
It wasn’t until this year – four years later – when I was the first female to win a World Championship in a male-dominated division, that I was able to answer my own question.
Everything starts in your head. As an athlete, you can have the greatest equipment, you can have the most training time, and work the hardest, but on game day, if your mental game is skewed – you’ve already lost. I had often times told myself “these guys are faster” and “these guys are more aggressive”. When we would go head to head, I would let them get the best of me, giving in to the idea that I couldn’t handle the pressure.
The day of the World Championships, I had a clear mind. Even as I stood on the starting line against some of the fastest, most talented men in the world, I thought nothing of who they were, or how strong and fast they were. I thought only of my own capabilities, my own race, and myself. The men were still fast, and they were still aggressive – but so was I. I did not give up an inch, I did not let them push me around, and that day I put a stake in the 36-year history of Jet Ski racing by showing the boys that girls can hang too.
Any person can achieve great things with dedication and hard work; but it takes a decision to do so. In all my years of being one of the only girls on a starting line against the guys, I learned that while they often times set the bar high – we can reach it, and even surpass it – giving them a reason to step up.
The day I won, there was some bitterness (no one likes losing), but there was still a sense of competitive respect. I shocked the men in the class, and even shocked myself – but hey, nothing is impossible. So I stood – all ninety pounds of me – and held a world championship trophy, and proved a lot of people wrong.
So it’s important, even in life (boy or girl) that you run your own race. In the event that someone comes along and sets the bar out of your reach, all you can do is work harder – and push that bar even further. Even when the cards are against you and you’re just a ninety-pound girl riding a Jet Ski, you’d be surprised what hard work and dedication can do. So pin your throttle, and hang on tight.