Okay, women, whatcha got? How in touch with your inner bad-assness are you? I grew up in Texas, and although I never owned a horse, I learned to ride with the best of them. I was a "tomboy" growing up, 'cause there was a freedom in that mindset that being "girly" didn't afford. You could DO more. You could think and feel more freely. I even used to hide my hair inside a baseball cap sometimes when I was out riding my bike, delighting that I might fool someone into thinking I was a boy. But as I got older, just passing as a boy was not enough. I wanted that freedom as a girl.
I believe that "cowgirl" is more than a vocation, it's a wild, rugged spirit that's hard, if not impossible, to contain. There's more to it than riding a horse, or herding cattle; although those can be very pleasurable pursuits. Being a cowgirl in spirit takes you out of yourself, out of "traditional" societal roles and expectations, and gives you back some of the freedom that your soul craves.
Speaking of strong women on horses: I fell in love with the character Xena as soon as I began to watch the show back in the nineties. (And, of course, I now own all six seasons of the show, plus the "Hercules" trilogy that started it all.) She is strong, passionate, free-thinking, independent, fiercely loyal, compassionate, champion of the greater good, and of course, looks amazing in leather. This was a new hero that many of us grasped immediately, and thousands of women still feel a passionate identification with this character, with new fans forming every day. Y'all TBD old-timers already know how I feel about Xena.
Which brings us to my newest pursuit, which is not only a (mostly) healthy athletic outlet, but it challenges me, and brings me out of myself even more. My 18-year-old daughters and I joined our local roller derby team back in September. It's something we've always wanted to try, and when we met these wonderful gals at a local street festival last summer, I knew it was time. It's April, and we're still at it, working hard. Although I'm slow to gain skills, speed and power, it's happening, and my attitude and confidence in other areas of my life have improved as well. Plus, these ladies are very supportive and a lot of fun! Yeah, sometimes I think I might be a little old for this; but then I experience lots of little victories, and realize what I can really do, and that age number mostly goes out the window.
So, ladies, whatcha got? Think about it if you need to, 'cause I'm sure you've got a lot more goin' on than you realize.