One of the boys...
It may come as no surprise to some, but I have always been some what of a tomboy. And I bare the scars to prove it. However, as much as I still embrace my inner daredevil within. Maintaining my femininity is just as important.
I've always been active and had a lot of energy, whether it was climbing banyan trees or cliff jumping into the ocean at Waimea beach. I've always tried to not let fear hold me back from experiencing life. Perhaps it is my complete disregard for my own safety in attempting to "live life to the fullest" that allows me to relate more with the male species.
However, just because I can play the role of "one of the boys" on and off the mats, doesn't mean that I am not able to sustain a sense of femininity. To me, being feminine does not mean I have to be helpless or fragile. Being feminine has to do with being strong and empowered.
Being accepting and comfortable with my inner and exterior beauty regardless of the standards that are set by society. Giving and earning respect when deserving. And most of all having respect for my self. Paving my own path in life. And not abiding by the "traditional" rules of what a woman's role in life should be. Having the gift to create and nurture life. What ever the causes maybe, I think that women have a tendency to not recognize their own strengths.
Although most of my time is spent training, sweating and wearing a gi. I love to get "dolled up". There is a sense of confidence that goes along with embracing my femininity. I am fortunate to have many beautiful, smart and courageous women in my life that inspire me. I've been known to do those typical girl things, like have a girls night out or shared a night gossiping and laughing with my girlfriends.
For the most part, I've just always been less concerned with how I look doing something and more into being free to just experience life. Even if it sometimes means getting dirty or banged up, I believe having a healthy balance with anything in life is key. I suppose in the end, the battle wounds of my life experiences have given me more character. Or at least offered me reminders of what really matters: having a life worth living.