Confidence, Courage, Community: What CHAARG has Taught Me

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Since joining CHAARG + getting more involved as a Blogi, I’ve had many conversations with friends about what CHAARG is + why it’s so special to me. It can be hard for those who aren’t involved to understand this community — especially when I explain the difference between #VirtCHAARG + the university-affiliated chapters. It’s easy to reference the FitPlans, the additional motivation, + support to stay healthy when describing CHAARG. ++ while my health + fitness have improved, the less-visible things I’ve learned are much more important to me!

1] CONFIDENCE

Like many others will say, self-confidence was never something that came easy to me + to be perfectly honest, it still comes + goes at times. But being confident isn’t something you wake up with one day + *bam*, you’re set. To me, confidence is about knowing that even on days when I’m not quite so pleased with myself or I’m feeling *out of if* that in the end — I am happy being me!

Before I joined CHAARG, I wasn’t always happy being me. I had a laundry list of things I wanted to change about myself. As I got more involved with the CHAARG community, met other girls + learned their stories, I started to realize that I shouldn’t focus on what I thought was *wrong* with me. Instead, I should focus on finding + growing my strengths + passions.

CHAARG has taught me that there is no shame in finding + being proud of the things I like about myself. Sure there are still things I want to work on + change a bit, but instead of viewing them as something that is *wrong* — I see it as room to grow!

2] COURAGE

For me, trouble with self-confidence + courage often went hand-in-hand. When I was younger, I was afraid of *putting myself out there* or trying new things because I was afraid of the possibility of a negative reaction.

Before joining CHAARG, I viewed fitness as something very private + almost *taboo*. I ran at night because I didn’t want to draw attention to myself.  I had designated the free weight area of the gym as the *bro-zone* + I avoided it because the number of people who knew [or at least appeared to know] what they were doing intimidated me. I even avoided classes at my school’s fitness center [despite living with a fitness class instructor] because I assumed I would mess something up + look awkward or out-of-place.

CHAARG has taught me that it’s okay to not be *perfect*. We all start somewhere + we all reach our goals at our own pace. There’s no shame in not doing something *exactly* right — the only shame is in not allowing yourself to try. Since getting involved in CHAARG, I now run at whatever time of day I feel like it, lift freely + proudly ++ take classes at a yoga studio I love!

3] COMMUNITY

The CHAARG community [both #virtCHAARG + beyond] is incredibly unique + never before have I been surrounded by such a large + welcoming group of women. Instead of dwelling on the negatives or focusing on our *flaws*, the CHAARG community empowers me to #RadiatePositiveVibes + focus on what makes each of us beautiful.

I’ve learned being a CHAARG girl isn’t about running the quickest mile, having the most defined abs, or benching heavier than those around you. It’s about uplifting other women, no matter where you’re at in your journey. Sure, it can be human nature to compare yourself to others from time to time, but another person’s successes don’t detract from what you’ve accomplished. Their victories may be different than yours, but they are both victories + they both should be celebrated!

Too often, women + our friendships are viewed under a harsh microscope — stereotypes may define women as catty, back-stabbing, or selfish. Joining CHAARG has been a welcomed reminder that, once again, stereotypes misrepresent. They are nothing more than misinformed judgments that underestimate the positives of a group + community — like CHAARG.

We can + we do empower each other to be our best selves, we support each other to live our passions, +  the women in this community will help you change your life!

What lessons has being a part of CHAARG taught you? Share your story on Instagram and make sure to tag #inCHAARG + @CHAARG!

+ Ali [ali.inchaarg], virtCHAARG girl from Philly

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