Under Armour launched a disruptive and out-of-their-norm campaign with Misty Copeland as the face. The campaign tagline: I Will What I Want. It's a message of confidence, belief in oneself and willingness to show up for life.
Misty Copeland, a 5'2 African-American ballerina from Los Angeles via Kansas City inspires me. Her beauty, strength and story crossed my newsfeed for the first time just under a year ago. It was around the time Huffington Post highlighted Project Plie, which Misty Copeland initiated at American Ballet Theatre.
A friend on Facebook shared a statuesque Misty, in a standing split zero effort in a cape-like dress from a 2011 Jones Magazine shoot. I was mesmerized by her beauty and most of all touched by her journey. Misty Copeland has defied the odds from being homeless as a teenager with her mother and siblings, told she didn't have the body for ballet and "too old" to study anyway.
Misty took her first ballet class at 13 and by 18 was in the American Ballet Theatre, one of the most prestigious ballet companies in the world. I won't go into detail, you can read more about her journey in this intimate interview with Elle here and in her autobiography available here.
I want to speak on her willingness. She was and continues to be willing -- willing to try, like her first ballet class at 13; willing to show up, like moving in with her teacher to focus on her craft; willing to keep at it, even through a public case between her mother and teacher, when her mom wanted her to move back home.
Even during moments of adversity, which there were many, she kept going. She kept people around her that saw her greatness even when she didn't. And she stayed true to her passion.
Willingness: the quality or state of being prepared to do something; readiness.
Often times in life it may "seem" as the odds are against you. It may seem like the cards are stacked against your favor. These are the moments that build character. They are the moments that, when transcended, prepare you for what's to come. They prepare you for message you are to share, the hearts you are to inspire and the lives you are to move.
Now more than ever it is a must that you say yes to your calling. Life is calling you and when you show up it meets you with an ever-present grace and an indescribable joy.
You just have to be willing.
Below is the first ad out of a series for UnderArmour featuring Misty and three other female athletes including: Olympic gold medalist Lindsey Vonn, tennis player Sloane Stephens and soccer star Kelley O'Hara.
What do you think? Does it speak to you? Do you like the message? Let me know in the comments!
Tiffany Crawford is founder of CREATE a Leadership and Professional Development training organization for ambitious creatives. She blogs about conscious leadership, self-confidence, creativity, productivity, and becoming the best version of yourself on the CREATE Blog. Download her "CLARITY: 7 Steps to Less Stress and Better Results for You and Your Team" here.