No mirrors in sight…

One of the many reasons I love coaching outdoors is because there are no mirrors or bathroom scales available.  There are breezes and birds, sunshine, people – yes – but no mirrors in sight.  For one hour a day, the athlete is free from the reminder that their body is less than absolutely beautiful.

Did you know that 80% of females would say they hate looking in the mirror?  Even so, the average woman pauses to look in a mirror over twenty times a day!  Teenage girls double that number, averaging about forty. times. a. day.  Isn’t this crazy?

The habit of checking in on our physical appearance, an activity that most of us say we hate, seems to suggest the deepest level of  self-consciousness, rather than straight-up vanity.

What is it, exactly, that we’re looking for in all those mirrors?  Are we suffering such a collective identity crisis that we must check and re-check our reflection forty times a day to remember who we are?  Why are we so dissatisfied?

There are lots of ways to skin this cat on spiritual and cultural levels, and while I have considerable opinions on the topic (yeah, big surprise), I will not share them all at this moment.  But, there is one particular type of person that is so beautiful to me, and that it the struggling athlete.

Being an athlete has exactly zero to do with what you look like, and exactly everything to do with how you commit to think and act going forward.

Becoming an athlete means you take on the mantle of do-er rather than watch-er.  At the end of the day, the struggling athlete has little choice but to appreciate, respect and quietly admire what her body can really do.

Might I respectfully suggest that it’s unlikely many of us stand in front of a mirror and marvel in admiration at our bodies?  That’s because mirrors are man-made pieces of glass that can give no life or comfort.  Mirrors reflect only the outer man, not the heart.

If you’ve read even one book of the Bible, you’ll understand that God’s deeply interested in all matters of the heart.  It’s impossible for a mirror to reflect effort or attitude, perseverance, courage, sacrifice and joy.  However, his living creatures – those created in God’s image – absolutely can.  And it’s beautiful.

How might we think with more care going forward?  Can we practice this inner beauty in a way that needs the world’s critical mirror less often?

Peace, and much grace, as you consider all these things in light of who you’ve been created to be, for whom (not the mirror!), and for what!


(And throw out your scale!  That will give you GREAT joy!)

9 responses to No mirrors in sight…

  1. Anonymous says:

    Hey Kim,
    It’s Judi Hiller. Sharon would be so proud of you…and David. I keep up with you all at a distance.
    I’m glad to hear that you said I can throw away the mirror…..I have thus far just closed my eyes. May you continue your blessed “breath” shared with others. It blesses me…..J

  2. Cree Haag says:

    Hi Kim,
    I always enjoy and appreciate your views. You express so eloquently.
    We really enjoyed being with you, David and the children in New Smyrna this summer. Your family always encourages me..
    Keep up your beautiful writing, I always look forward to it.
    Love you,

  3. Anonymous says:

    Hi Kim,
    I love this…I’ve disliked the mirror for years now and have thrown away the scale! LOL! Love you and hope to see you soon! You’re writings always come at the right time too! thanks so much!
    p.s. Martin loves the picture of the struggling athlete! He says please let him know if you need help with the kids in Dave’s absence…he can taxi to and from activities…remember Toni is gone!

  4. Given Breath says:

    Judi – you are an example of inner AND outer beauty, as was Sharon. Thanks for the note:)

  5. Given Breath says:

    Cree – one of the most beautiful women I know. So thankful for you and all your wisdom and great care for our family. xoxox

  6. Given Breath says:

    Mary – you radiate. You do not need a mirror, EVER! I think I will call Martin and he can carry the kids to soccer practice on his shoulders:) Thanks for the note.

  7. Cree Haag says:

    This is so encouraging. I had to click on the email a couple of times and then several photos came up. I will send you both emails, this one and the “original” I had to pull them up from. Cree

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  1. […] That’s because from day to day we can’t always perceive changes to our surroundings—even when it comes to things we check out on average over twenty times a day, like our faces in the mirro…… fortunately, I have that shutterbug stockpile I told you about to draw […]