“Gladiator” is the nickname my daughter recently acquired from her middle school cross country coach. It’s certainly a strong nickname, but I couldn’t help conjuring up images of beastly Russell Crowe in full armor in the movie Gladiator, quite the contrast to my pale-complected, smiling, freckled-face daughter, also a Gladiator now.

The traits that likely exhibit themselves in my running daughter: the will to compete, to push oneself, to give her best all the time. To be tough, full of grit, and persevere despite the whiny voice in her head, the one that wants to cave. She has the will of a gladiator, yet it coexists with kindness, compassion, and being humble. She is a gentle gladiator; she exhibits no ill-will or harm or violence, but has an energy and drive that is noticeable. Powerful. Capable.

What if we could all be gentle gladiators or something similar that resonates with us as the best version of ourselves? The person who perseveres and knows when to rest. Who is strong, but not domineering. Who isn’t afraid to step into the arena and show her strength, not just for herself, but to inspire others to do the same, in their own way, at their own appropriate venue.

Who is your best self?

What is your arena?

Who is cheering you on?

(Image Credit)

Originally published at www.everydayessays.com.

Originally published at medium.com