National Girls & Women in Sports Day

Sponsored by Athleta

Photos by Kelly Lemon Photography

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I have been a big fan (and brand loyalist) of Athleta’s for a few years now. Not only because I love their product, but because they have done amazing things to support the diversity in body representation in media. Even more, they’ve supported SheLift for nearly two years now always providing activewear for the moms, daughters and women who attend my SheLift retreats.

Growing up with a physical difference (like having one arm) made learning different sports and activities challenging. Especially because I never had a female role model who I could relate to on that physical level. My mom was an amazing support system and always encouraged me to try EVERY activity – be it; sports, theater, music or arts – she was there rooting me on 110% of the way. But I never had that one role model who LOOKED like me, who I could identify with in overcoming some of the challenges I faced - emotionally and physically. By the 2nd grade, I dropped out of soccer and never took an interest in joining any more teams. I felt like I didn’t belong, fit in and I felt as though I wasn’t understood. Unfortunately, research shows that girls drop out of sports 2x as fast as boys (The Women’s Sports Foundation), which means that girls are walking away from sports before they realize their full potential. I was the statistic. Later in life I overcame some of my fears about being different in the community of sports and got back into doing the things I love and fortunately found some bad-ass female mentors to help me out. That’s what inspired me to start SheLift and a mission  to create a mentorship community for young women with physical differences.

Today is National Girls and Women in Sports Day – an annual day to acknowledge the accomplishments of female athletes, recognize the influence of sports participation for women and girls, and honor the progress and continuing struggle for equality for women in sports. To celebrate, I’m partnering with Athleta and an Athleta Girl in my life, Cali, and spending the day skiing all over Vail mountain.

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Almost one year ago, Cali and her mom Krista joined us for the SheLift Mother + Daughter retreat in Park City, Utah. For 5 days, the young girls (age 8-10) learned how to ski, went tubing and made life-long friendships - all with other girls who shared similar physical differences.

Cali is 9 years old and similar to me, was born with a hand difference. Her difference hasn’t stopped her from much though! Cali is a big sister, she’s apart of the Mandarin track at her school and speaks fluent Mandarin. She loves singing with her friends, wearing Athleta yoga pants and wrist bands, making slime and and – lucky for me – hanging out with other SheLift girls. Cali has.been skiing since she was 7 and she doesn’t have plans to stop. In fact, Cali can be found ripping down the slopes faster than I can keep up! It’s been so special to play a role in Cali’s growth as an athlete, and I’m grateful to her mom for keeping Cali motivated and invested in a sport that fuels her. #AthletaGirl #PowerofShe

Check out the photos from our day cruising Vail mountain together, decked out in our Athleta base layers. If want to shop our matching outfits, you can get everything here: https://cur.lt/2MSfSCC

Cali Rippin’!

Cali Rippin’!

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Krista (Cali’s mom), Cali, my dad (because after all… he’s the one who taught me to ski) and me on the top of Sourdough, Vail!

Krista (Cali’s mom), Cali, my dad (because after all… he’s the one who taught me to ski) and me on the top of Sourdough, Vail!

And to learn more about SheLift and the ski retreat we hosted with Cali and her mom last year, check out the video. You’ll recognize a great face in the opening shot ;)

sarah herron