March is Women’s History Month, and here at LANE EIGHT, we’re celebrating by featuring women from our community who inspire us. You might know some of them, you might not, but each of them has shown us what it means to be “Your Best You.”
With our #YourBestYou series, we’re sharing some of our favorite stories of perseverance, hope, and aspiration from the LANE EIGHT community of Everyday Athletes! For our latest feature we caught up with Bridget Kate.
Tell us about yourself.
Hi! I’m Bridget. This is the correct way to spell my name and in my opinion the only correct way. I am a college graduate from The State University of Brockport, with my Bachelors in Healthcare Administration (class of 2020 that didn’t get to graduate). My first day of pre-k was 9/11 and my last day of college did not happen because of COVID, if you can believe it.
I completed courses in nutrition and exercise science, and that’s really what fuels my passion for fitness. My main platform is Instagram with Youtube in the process, but I create positive content, workout videos, and fun reels showing how organically weird I am.
What does “Your Best You” mean to you?
Doing your best is synonymous with living out each and every moment to its fullest potential. This potential exists in every situation you encounter in your life. For example, I was given an opportunity right out of college to move to O’ahu, Hawai’i. I had never been on a plane before and moved all by myself across the world. I swam with sharks and had incredible adventures out there.
It also redefines the word failure to me. Every failure just means there is more room for growth. Instead of taking each setback as a sign of weakness, test your resiliency. I’ve since moved back from Hawai’i, but wouldn’t change the experience, the culture, and the amazing people I got the opportunity to connect with. Now I look at things that might be daunting to some people and I think “oh that’s nothing, I’ve moved across the world in 2 weeks before”.
Name a woman in your life who has helped you to become “Your Best You.”
I feel like everyone says their mom, but I love her. One very specific story that comes to mind is when I was getting bullied in high school. I remember this one science teacher that hated me (for no apparent reason too, and he loved my older brother- so I legitimately never figured out why) and when I was in his class a girl had passed a note to me saying I was “70% fat, 25% unoriginal, and 5% me.” I just remember I sat in the back and I cried the entire time.
When I got home, my mom came into my room and I gave her the note. I told her I was in this particular teacher’s class and she went to the school board. I don’t think anything happened to the teacher, but something should have. Those students targeted me specifically in this teacher’s classroom because they knew he would agree with them and join in. My mom was my biggest advocate in high school, and still is now. She helped me find my voice and really showed me how to stand up for myself.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Letter to My Younger Self:
My love, I wish I could travel back in time just to hold your hand. I would tell you that those years of pain will be your lowest, but you will learn how to build yourself as tall and as strong as mountains. Those years in middle school and high school, however painful, will teach you valuable lessons. You will learn how to take words of hurt and turn them into passion. You will be driven by everything that has ever been said about you to make yourself the best you can, for others and yourself.
People who bully are just projecting their insecurities onto you. This does not excuse their behaviour. Bullying in any sort of form is unacceptable. Either way, you’ll grow up and never see these people again. Even if your teachers did not help you enough when you were being bullied, they will become tougher on bullying.
Everything that was scrutinized will end up being what is best about you. You are not a crybaby, you are passionate about everything you do. You are not a bitch, you do not take shit you do not deserve from anyone, and you will speak from your heart. It is the drive that your friends and family love about you, what you will love most about yourself. And above all, you will learn to be open about your struggles.
Looking back at everything now, I am not sure I would change anything. All the experiences I have had shaped me into who I am today, and as long as I can pull good out of the darkness, I do not have many regrets.
I wish my peers at my school knew what they were doing to me. That is why, since graduating, I have been open about my struggle with mental health and bullying. A positive portrayal needs to be created in order to open discussion and change, which is what I hope to accomplish in my transparency.
When you see someone who’s been through a similar experience, when you hear their story, there is a huge sense of validation and comfort understanding you weren’t alone.
Not only is this a letter to my younger self, but to anyone that has ever been bullied; those years will shape you, and it is up to you whether you want that to be in a negative or positive light.
Your bright future
If you could share one message with the LANE EIGHT community, what would it be?
First of all, thank you. I love the feeling I get when you purchase from a company and get a sense of community. If you’re ever feeling insecure, sad, or bad about your body remember that it carries you and takes care of you every single day. I always tell myself that if I don’t love my body at a size 18, I’m not going to be able to love it at a size 8. Being leaner/skinnier doesn’t solve the problem. The insecurities will still be there. So love your body for what it is now, and how much it does for you every single day.
- Remember the Ladies: Celebrating Those Who Fought for Freedom at the Ballot Box
- Lighting the Fires of Freedom: African American Women in the Civil Rights Movement
- Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race
- To Believe in Women: What Lesbians Have Done for America—A History