February 14, 2018

The Beauty of the Female Athlete. {Poem}

“She’s pretty. “

“She is pretty,” I agreed as my daughter and I watched Lindsey Vonn being interviewed before what might be her last shot at the Olympic Winter Games.

Yes, she has strikingly blue eyes and a perfect smile; but the allure of Lindsey Vonn goes way beyond her physical attributes. She radiates beauty deep down from her soul.

For Lindsey and so many other female athletes, their beauty blooms from struggle. Broken bones, blown out knees, and severed tendons leave scars of accomplishment as they fearlessly get back on that mountain, back on their bikes, or back in the water time and time again. Training makes them strong, but failures make them stronger as they fight the mental ghosts that haunt them daily. As an (amateur) athlete myself, I am inspired to write a poem about the beauty of the female athlete:

It’s noon and she still has raccoon eyes….
not the typical “day after” makeup,
but residual rings from her sunrise swim. 

Her hair, always in a messy bun, will have to do—
for she would rather run an extra 30 minutes than spend the time with a straightening iron. 
Her curves are in her biceps and calves instead of her chest,
and veins pop in her forearms at the mere mention of the gym. 
Perpetually cold and hungry, she always wants more.

Wrinkles surround her sun-kissed smile.
Instead of spending money on fake eyelashes, she gets a tune up for her bike; 
and her Cover Girl is sunscreen.
Her tan lines look ridiculous in frilly dresses; but who cares, she prefers Lycra anyway. 
She has muscles down to her toes where black nail polish covers bruised toenails,
and chaffing in places she’d rather not mention.

But oh, the sparkle in her eyes
And desire in her heart.
The passion that permeates her being!

She is strong and confident,
and damn—she is beautiful.

Thank you to Lindsey and all of the other amazing female Olympians out there for showing my daughter what pretty really looks like.

Author: Jennifer Kimble
Image: Author’s Own
Editor: Catherine Monkman
Copy Editor: Lieselle Davidson
Social Editor: Lieselle Davidson

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