I grew up as an avid equestrian, but I was more into the care taking of the horses than horse shows and ribbons. Everyday after school I would come home from school toss on a pair of brown coveralls, and walk along a path through the woods to the farm that backed up to our property. In order to board my horse there I would muck stalls and feed the horses every evening. I got strong from tossing hay bales, lifting 50 pound bags of grain, pushing the heavy wheelbarrow, and carrying water buckets.
One day in gym class when I was in 4th grade my teacher created a push-up wall where you could post a construction paper star of your push-up personal record. When I gave it a shot I did over 40 full push-ups.
The boys made fun of me for being able to do that many push-ups as a girl or maybe it was just because I beat their score.
My gym teacher pulled me aside, stooped down so we were eye to eye, took her hands to my shoulders and said, "Don't ever feel ashamed for being strong."
In that moment I discovered strength within my strength.