Yeah You Are

I was in the other room when my granddaughter found a video on my computer.

I heard her exclaim “oh my gosh Mamo!  how did you do that?”  I came in the room and asked her what it was I had done.  She played the video again.   I have to admit that I loved her reaction to that recorded moment in my life.  That moment when my grandchild saw me break four concrete bricks for a martial arts test.  She played it over and over again.

I looked at how much stronger I appeared there, than how I feel now.  But I also know I wasn’t in my best shape then.   I had been sick for five months with an undiagnosed respiratory infection.  I had been on five rounds of antibiotics.  I was just starting to feel better when this test happened.  But I was determined.

I kept watching with her.

It occurred to me my grandchildren will never see me at my strongest.

I’m older now.  I’m heavier now.

As I watched with her she kept repeating the video and she kept asking “how did you do that?”

I am not even a little ashamed for finally saying “I was a badass”.   She laughed and said “yeah you are!”

“Yeah you are.

Not ‘was’, but ‘are’.

I do want my grandchildren to see me, remember me, as strong.

I know I’m not what I was.


I am stronger now, than I ever was when I took any of my martial arts tests, or lifted weights, or rode hundred mile bike rides.

I love being physically powerful.  It was important to me as I got older, to become stronger.  I am sure it goes back to a time in life when I felt powerless, controlled, and intimidated by everything.

While I worked at becoming physically fit I was also enabling myself to become mentally, emotionally and spiritually fit.

And while my physical self would be side tracked by broken bones, illnesses and twisted muscles, my mental and emotional self continued to get stronger.

And stronger.

I still want to be physically strong and powerful.

But I can’t hold back time no matter how strong I am.


Part of my strength is knowing I may have to adjust to what I can do.  Or can’t do.


I may not have any control over how anyone sees me. I can only control who I am.


I still want them to always see me as a badass.

The kind of badass that takes time to talk to them, explain things to them, protect them, defend them, be honest with them.

The kind of badass who knows there is strength in learning, in making mistakes and owning them, in trying and failing, and trying again.  Or recognizing that changing things up is sometimes what you have to do.

The kind of badass who can be gentle.  Or fierce.

The kind of badass who knows strength is multi-faceted.

And knows strength has many uses.  Breaking bricks.  Breaking barriers.  Breaking through.

And strength is not about power.

It’s about character.  And I hope my character is a benefit to their developing character.

That’s the strength I want to continue building,

And have them see me, and remember me, at my strongest.


58 thoughts on “Yeah You Are

  1. Such a positive and great post, Colleen 🙂
    I do also want to be powerful again, even this might take some time, before I will be there.
    Good way for your grandkid to see and remember your strength 🙂


  2. Great post, words of wisdom, reminders and encouragement. I too want my grandkids to see Nana as a “badass wonder woman” …. and not let them down! Right now, Nana can do everything 😃 (ok maybe not break four concrete blocks in one chop) but they don’t know that 😉


  3. Break bricks, break barriers! …yes strength is the energy that takes so many different forms. You have so many lines in this post that can become my favorite. And I am loving the amazing energy I feel after reading your post.


  4. You said it yourself, Colleen — strength is not about power. That makes you the best kind of badass.


  5. Yea U R. It’s fun to see the reaction of the young as they view what we were like and what we are like now.


  6. Good reading. My children see me cooking and cleaning and generally being mniddle aged. I am mum, wife of dad. I guess thy will always be son and duaghter, children of mine. Funny.


  7. Thank you for this beautiful post and a wonderful reminder on a Monday morning. Your granddaughter is right, you ARE a badass. I always associated you with the word ‘badass’, just from reading all your blogposts and hearing your thoughts on things. How lucky your grandchildren are to have a strong, badass grandmother! 🙂


  8. It really is cool to have a demonstrable strength a child can understand. With maturity they will better understand strength of character and conviction, but breaking a pile of bricks is impressive to adults as well as children. 🙂 I do think it’s important to adjust our sails a bit as we grow older, but at the same time it is important to me to do what I can to remain physically active and strong. There’s a lot we can do…martial arts was never in my repertoire, but I do admire the discipline!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Debra. It is taking me longer than I care to admit, to adjust. I still see me as me. I don’t see me as aging. I don’t see me as mature. ( 😉 ) I am trying to adjust but it is not so easy. But I really like how you said this. And maybe it will help me along the way. 🙂


  9. You are now the coolest badass I know.

    My daughter is incredibly impressed with ‘four bricks.’ She is just a year into her martial arts and is the strongest person I know, not physically as much because she suffers from upper respiratory conditions and severe life threatening food allergies along with asthma but mentally she is tough. I teach her everyday to embrace the mind-body connection and live life that way.
    I love not being able to do things I did when I was younger because I am better at other things, especially things that require patience and courage.


    • That makes me feel so good. And it sounds like she has the mentality to be a warrior. So much more important than the physical. I was not physically great at TKD. But I wanted it badly.

      I tried to share the video here, but it won’t let me…..


  10. I liked how this started out slowly and built up momentum! It seemed like a pep talk to us all. To show our beliefs and character, not feel dauubted by fear or others’ opinions either. Thanks, Colleen! You truly go, girl!!


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