What’s Beautiful?

When do you feel most beautiful?

Is it when you are all dressed up for a special occasion?

Or when you have your hair or makeup a certain way?  Or wearing a certain outfit or accessory?

Or maybe you are like me and it’s when you accomplish a goal?

At that moment, I feel unstoppable.  I feel strong.  I feel beautiful.

One of the first times I really experienced this was during the summer of 1999.  I spent six weeks going through Cadet Basic Training (CBT), also known as “Beast Barracks” at the United States Military Academy at West Point.  I do not remember a lot about that summer…it’s mostly a blur of images and moments that remain in my memory.  But I remember the last day – we were on an 18 mile road march back to West Point after spending a week living in tents outside.  The ruck march was a requirement in order to successfully complete CBT and begin our first academic year at West Point.  The route was extremely tough – there were several large hills (including a ski slope) we had to climb – all while carrying our rifles and 35 pounds in our ruck sack.

Thanks to my classmate Kevin for this picture!

It was the hardest physical challenge I had experienced and there were numerous points that day where I didn’t think I would finish.  But, I did.  And I remember how amazing it felt.  I felt invincible.  I felt powerful. I felt strong.

And even though I hadn’t showered in days, was soaking wet with sweat, and had a face covered in camo, I felt beautiful.

Being and feeling beautiful – for me – has very little to do with how I look on the outside.  It’s all about how I feel inside. And feeling strong, confident, and powerful makes me feel beautiful.

Which is why I’m excited to team with Under Armour to help promote their What’s Beautiful campaign.

Under Armour Women set out to redefine the female athlete by creating What’s Beautiful, a program that encourages women to share their fitness journeys and receive motivation, free gear, and support from Under Armour along the way.

How does the campaign work? 


Head over to UA’s website to check out the inspiring women who are already participating in this challenge!!

At the end, ten women will be chosen to fly to Florida to train with elite UA trainers, receive nutrition advice, and enjoy spa treatments.

For more information on the Under Armour What’s Beautiful Campaign:

So tell me…When have you felt most beautiful? 


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FitFluential LLC compensated me for this Campaign.  All opinions are my own

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    1. Normally I do not learn post on blogs, however I wish to say that this write-up very pressured me
      to check out and do so! Your writing taste has been amazed me.
      Thank you, quite nice article.
      beauty brands recently posted..beauty brandsMy Profile

    2. Great post!!!

      It’s been a lot of fun reading everyone’s perspective on #whatsbeautiful for them.

      I think you are one beautiful bad ass mother runner!
      Tara recently posted..Here we go…My Profile

    3. I cannot imagine how tough bootcamp is. I am like you, I feel most beautiful when I accomplish a goal I never thought I could it makes me feel powerful and to me that is beautiful!
      Abby @ BackAtSquareZero recently posted..Marathon Goals: Made PermanentMy Profile

    4. You go girl! I cannot even imagine that bootcamp.

      The time I felt most beautiful was 2 years ago when I finished the Reggae half marathon (hubby and I walked it). It was not easy in that weather on that flat road but I kept going. Felt so good, I cried at the end lol

      This Whats Beautiful campaign has really inspired me!
      Angie @ Losing It and Loving It recently posted..Changing “I Can’t” to “I Did”My Profile

    5. I feel beautiful when I have accomplished something difficult too. Sweating and huffing and puffing!
      Elle recently posted..Saturday StuffMy Profile

    6. I think I felt most beautiful after the birth of my daughter Sophia. I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to follow through with my birth plan of a natural birth, but when I was finally holding her in my arms and realized that I had done it without any assistance I felt so strong and beautiful, invincible even. I was surprised by my own strength. And that made me feel beautiful.
      Sarah recently posted..My Post Partum BodyMy Profile

    7. love love love this!! Feeling beautiful is most certainly on the inside FIRST, and when you find your strength and determination, that is beauty!!
      jobo recently posted..A story of sisterhood.My Profile

    8. love love love this.
      for me it’s when Im completely and wholly at peace.
      Miz recently posted..Im the SIXTEEN percent.My Profile

    9. I love this post and I love your story and hearing what “beautiful” means to you. I completely agree that nothing beats the feeling of achieving or exceeding a goal or proving to yourself that you have what it takes. It’s an incredible feeling. I truly love this campaign from Under Armour and how it’s brought female athletes together.
      Christine @ Love, Life, Surf recently posted..An unexpected visitMy Profile

    10. What a great post, Michele! I love that Under Armour has this campaign going. I love when I set a goal, especially with long runs, and then finish it. It definitely hurts towards the end but I just think about how awesome I will feel when I’m done and that gets me through.

    11. Something about being all sweaty and accomplishing something makes me feel BAD ASS. But let’s call it beautiful or handsome for this post.

      Great job mama!
      Pavement Runner recently posted..Motivation For a MondayMy Profile

    12. Bernadette says:

      I feel most beautiful when my husband tells me how beautiful I am and how much he loves me. Even after my unexpected C-section last month, he finds just the right words to make me feel secure and love that 10″ battle scar.

      • Bernadette, I can totally relate; it’s awesome to have someone who makes that scar feel just as beautiful as the rest of you ;)

    13. this is only partially related…the Captain likes to sit in and be carried around in my husband’s rucksack.
      Cat @ Breakfast to Bed recently posted..VD and the Queen of Spain.My Profile

    14. Michele I love your story not many people get to experience that, I can’t image 18 miles hikes up ski slopes with 35 extra pounds! YOU ROCK…beautiful is as beautiful feels!
      RENEE recently posted..Wegmans Healthier Better Lives EventMy Profile

    15. I feel most beautiful when I’m wearing sexy jeans, AND when my 20 year old university students say to me after class, “wow, how do you have so much energy & strength? We can’t keep up with you.”
      AlexandraFunFit recently posted..Diet Cheat Days: Yes or No?My Profile

    16. The Under Armour campaign reminds me of the Dove campaign a while back that was designed to celebrate female beauty in ALL shapes, which I think is cool.

      I can’t really connect with the “feeling beautiful” part, but the “feeling powerful” part for me exists when I push through something that I need to do but don’t want to do, or go beyond what is customary and “normal.”

      In general, I find courage to be beautiful.
      Jonathan Aluzas recently posted..Mission Control, Are We Clear For Launch?My Profile

    17. When passing a large bowel movement, because I love to create.

    18. Going through bootcamp is ABSOLUTELY #whatsbeautiful and #badass!

    19. I love this campaign! The idea that beautiful is not just on the outside. I feel beautiful when I reach a goal I’ve been working towards.
      Courtney @ Journey of a Dreamer recently posted..Coffee Date: Friday Favorites!My Profile

    20. Wow, what an amazing story! I can’t even imagine that hike with all that gear. You rock.
      Kerri O recently posted..The Power of Community #WhatsBeautifulMy Profile

    21. What an awesome initiative from Under Armour! I feel most beautiful after a nice LONG run! I feel confident and ready to do anything. :)
      Lora @ Crazy Running Girl recently posted..BURN OUTMy Profile

    22. Although saddened that UA doesn’t want to give any guys spa treatment, this is a really great post. Everytime I read what you have to say, Michele, I come away thinking that you really get it. Perspective, dedication, and beauty are just the beginning. Keep on spreading your strength and awesome.
      Steve (@steverunner21) recently posted..Shadow Run, a poemMy Profile

    23. Totally agree with this–feeling strong and powerful is beautiful to me. Sweaty and in my running clothes, having accomplished a goal–that beats dressing up and looking “pretty” any day! Love what UA is doing with this campaign!
      misszippy1 recently posted..Resisting temptationMy Profile

    24. I agree – I feel most beautiful when I am channeling feelings of STRENGTH and CONFIDENCE! After my half-marathon, I have never felt more beautiful – even drenched in sweat :)
      Leah @ Chocolate and Wild Air recently posted..Florida Bridal ShowerMy Profile

    25. I agree, Michele- there is nothing quite like that accomplishment of meeting a goal… finding out our strength, determination and gaining confidence is a powerful way to find ourselves. And to feel beautiful!
      Laura @ Mommy Run Fast recently posted..Blogging Tips from Fitbloggin 2012My Profile


    1. [...] runner…and a fabulous new mommy to a second little boy! She recently wrote a post on #whatisbeautiful, in her eyes, as part of an Under Armour campaign to redefine the female athlete and encourage [...]

    2. [...] runner…and a fabulous new mommy to a second little boy! She recently wrote a post on #whatisbeautiful, in her eyes, as part of an Under Armour campaign to redefine the female athlete and encourage [...]

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