This weekend was so eye opening and emotional for me. I attended three different panels of very inspirational women in the world of fitness and nutrition. The messages across these three panels were very similar in that they were stories of struggle and triumph. However, this also made me realize that although we may have different stories, we are all connected to one in another in some way. I wanted to share a few of the key messages I took away from all the three panels that I attended:

1- Enjoy the Journey: When you love a sport and/or an activity, don’t let the competitiveness of it get to you so much that it takes away the fun and enjoyment from the entire process. As athletes and fitness professionals, there is this constant pressure on women to look, act, and be a certain way. Once you let go of all these expectations, and do what you do ONLY because it makes you happy that you really get to enjoy the process. One of the panelists was asked what role running plays in her life- and for her, she said currently she isn’t participating in any races and she loves the idea of deciding how many miles she wants to run every morning as opposed to following a stressful and strict schedule. That is truly amazing, because she is doing what she loves and she is the key decision maker for how she wants running to be a part of her life.

2- Don’t Ever Stop Trying: There was this consistent theme across all the three panels about “Trying,” and not fearing what others think. In fact, one of the panelists even stated that if she could tell her younger self something it would be exactly that. She would tell her younger self to come out of her shell quicker, and to not let the fear of what others may think deter her from pursuing her passion. Another one of the panelists told the audience about her conservative family and how they were not supportive of her running. They did not support her because in their eyes running did not represent a real career, and also they disapproved of the running clothes due to their own cultural reasons. However, she stuck with it and continued to pursue running and eventually carved an easier path for her sister to the do the same.

3- Why Do You Do What You Do? You need to know WHY you do what you do as a runner, swimmer, athlete, and/or in any sport. It will be very difficult for you to grow on your journey if you are not in touch with your WHY. Many times everything else you accomplish is just a result of you sticking to your passion and not giving up. So, get very close to your reason for doing what you do.

I am so inspired by the amazing work these women are doing, and most importantly the one key lesson I took away from these panels was that it is extremely essential for women to support women. You can still be competitive, but supportive at the same time. I am so grateful for the opportunity to be able to attend these panels. Thank you so much. Sending alot of positive vibes your way, keep smiling!


Manisha Sareen


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