I was Kate’s rival before I even knew her — and now she’s one of my best friends. Female rivalry can be a good thing – or a horribly damaging thing. Kate shared some tips for combatting female competition and ultimately empowering women.
Happy Tuesday and happy Galentine’s Day! I had no idea Galentine’s Day was a “thing” until my friend Kate ask about writing a guest post for me. Then I started seeing it on Instagram and such. And it’s on Urban Dictionary so it must be real. I think it came from Parks & Rec?
Anyway, I’m handing the reins over this morning to one of my best running friends, Kate, to talk about female rivalry and friendship. Perhaps it’s a little unusual for Galentine’s Day…or maybe it’s the most appropriate topic of all.
Everyone, meet Kate! If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you’ve seen her on here and on Instagram since she helped me train for my marathon last year. She’s a very talented runner (shooting for a sub 1:30 half next weekend – you got this Kate!) and a wonderful friend. I’m so lucky we became friends!
(Maizey needs a lesson in female friendship…)
Over to you Kate!
Happy Galentine’s Day! Last week, I asked Teri if I could write a blog post about something that has been on my mind lately – female competition. We agreed that Galentine’s Day would be the perfect day for the post. Little did she know that our friendship was my inspiration.
A story of female rivalry & friendship
A brief history of our friendship –
Before we met. I started following Teri’s blog circa 2013. We both lived in the same city – Winston-Salem, NC – so I enjoyed learning about local places that she shared in her posts. I tried to recreate some of her recipes and thoroughly appreciated Maizey (who doesn’t). Also, we both shared the love of running, ran about the same pace, and were in the same age group. So, of course, 27 year-old me decided that Teri was the person that I should aim to beat in local races. I made her my rival.
We finally met. In the fall of 2016, Teri and I happened to be doing a workout at Hanes Park track at the same time. I posted a sweaty post-run selfie with one of my dogs, Stella, and Teri sent me a message to ask if I was at that track that morning. Yep, that was me. We made plans to run together later that week, and kept running together until I moved to Florida this past summer ( 🙁 ).
This brings me to the discussion of female competition.
Females compete with each other for male attention, popularity in school, promotion in the workplace, pinterest-worthy child birthday parties, local 5ks (ahem) – the list goes on. And this competition starts way too early in a female’s life. Competition can be healthy – having Teri as a self-proclaimed rival pushed me to run past my comfort zone in races (races became kinda lame when she moved to Charlotte). But more often than not, we lose out on more than we can gain. I know I did. Below are my personal reminders for combatting female competition and ultimately empowering women – maybe you will find them useful too.
Be kind to ourselves and other women.
We, as women, are notoriously hard on ourselves and often compare ourselves to other women to determine how we measure up. When we make these comparisons, we often end-up making judgements about ourselves and the woman that we are comparing ourselves to. Instead, we could think about what we like and appreciate about ourselves and the other woman – and tell her if we have the opportunity. Remember that comparison is the thief of joy. We are all at different stages of our lives, have different external pressures (and supports), and different innate talents.
How cool is it that we improve ourselves when we support others? I’m currently running with an amazing group of women (and men) who are constantly supporting each other to run faster and reach their best potential. It seems like there is a new PR every time I look at the team’s Instagram account. Whether on the track, workplace, home, or social media, we have the opportunity to support fellow women by encouraging them in their endeavors, celebrating their successes, and listening to them when they are having a bad day. Speaking of support, I absolutely LOVE that Jessica Chastain included Octavia Spencer’s salary in her negotiation.
Empower younger females.
While we can’t go back and change our own past, we can shape the future of others. Let’s create opportunities for young women, not accept gender discrimination or sexual harassment, and live our lives as positive role models for younger generations.
Not forget the men.
I know that today is Galentine’s Day and this bullet seems counterintuitive to my message but giving a shout-out to the men who support us ladies only helps our cause. When men empower women, we ALL can do so much more. I am so incredibly thankful to have a father and husband who have not transcribed to stereotypical gender norms and have empowered me in all my endeavors. Ok, enough with them, they get tomorrow.
Now, go celebrate your lady friends and ‘treat yo self’ on this Galentine’s Day!
Kate, thank you for such a wonderful post and all the wonderful tips and reminders. We are both so lucky to have such supportive men in our lives, but you’re right – they get that tomorrow. Today is our day! Miss you bunches! xo