I Will What I Want

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Under Armour through their partnership with POPSUGAR Select. While I was compensated to write a post about Under Armour, all opinions are my own.

If you guys follow me via the newsletter or on Facebook, you already know that I’m in love with the Misty Copeland “I Will What I Want” Under Armour video. If you haven’t seen it, it’s definitely worth a watch. The video features an adult Misty, gracefully dancing en pointe while a young voice reads the many reasons why she was rejected for a ballet program.

“You have the wrong body for ballet, and at 13, you’re too old to be considered.”

Misty spends the second half of the video fiercely blazing across the stage, demonstrating her reputation as one of the world’s most successful ballet soloists. She seems to be twirling the words of her critics into the ground.

I LOVE that this video not only showcases the athleticism in the dancing world, but also the fact that you can’t let the negative opinions of others control your destiny. It’s empowering without being cheesy, and gives me the chills every single time. Needless to say, I was honored when Under Armour presented me with this opportunity to share my own “I Will What I Want” story. 

UA Logo

When I first married into the military lifestyle, I didn’t have an idea of what to expect. Even though I’m type A, I was happy to give up a lack of control to be with the love of my life. I was excited to travel around the world with him, build a life and family, and support him in his career. I quickly learned that our lifestyle would make my own career experience pretty unique.

As a military wife, it can be challenging to earn and keep a job; this was particularly apparent with my Finance degree. My employment opportunities out of college required the ability to stay in the same location to build my clientele, and I quickly learned that wouldn’t be possible with our constant moves and his deployment schedule. 

Instead of letting this discourage and defeat me, I used this opportunity to recruit my creativity. My passions enabled me to create a job for myself as an instructor, trainer, blogger, and writer. Now, I’m able to take my work with me wherever we go, while keeping my roles as mom and wife as #1. It wasn’t easy and there were certainly some heartbreaks and learning curves along the way. Now, I can look back and be glad that I willed the type of life and job(s) that I’d be able to enjoy and take with us, and I’m thankful for that each day. 

Now that we have a young daughter, I hope to be able to show that we have the ability control our destiny.

Use the negative opinions of others as your motivation to succeed.

Obstacles only stand in the way if we let them.

Here’s a video to share my story <3 (This is also my first video with my new San Diego videographer, Cameron Franco. He did an amazing job and I hope you enjoy it!)

I would love to hear your own experience with overcoming a challenge. What’s something that you “willed” into your life, even though the odds were against you or an obstacle stood in your way? As always, I can’t wait to read your responses.

xoxo

Gina

Check out Gisele’s latest social commentary video for Under Armour here:

 

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Comments

  1. Wow you are such an inspiration! I’ve struggled with an eating disorder for the past 3 years and finally gained back all of my weight and had the strength to run my first half marathon this past weekend. I’m so proud of how far I’ve come!

  2. Thank you so much for this. I saw this after a particularly rough overnight in the ER where I was talked down to and felt stupid the majority of the time. As medical students, we get told a lot (directly or indirectly) how we are not good or not smart enough. Thank you for this reminder to ignore those negative comments and to keep chasing my dreams.

  3. As a fellow military wife I typically like your military posts, however I have to admit that this kind of rubbed me the wrong way. While I like that you set a great example by creating this career path for yourself, and being so successful, I don’t like the message that you are sending by how you completely gave up on what you had wanted to do (assuming you wanted to work in finance?). I have built a career in my field and seen many friends do the same, and while it isn’t always easy finding new jobs, I’ve found that it is always possible. Basically I guess that I don’t like that you almost seem to say that military wives have to give up on traditional careers and find a non-traditional one so that they can focus their attention on supporting their husbands career. I guess that’s what is putting me off from this video. I want other military spouses to continue to pursue the careers they aspire to, and not to think they have to give up on those dreams and try to find something they can take with them.

    • Fitnessista says:

      Thank you to you and your husband for your service. I don’t suggest that at all; I just like to see other military wives thriving and enjoying success, whether it was according to plan or not. Many of my military friends have been able to keep their careers even though it was challenging. I wasn’t able to find a finance job in Valdosta, so I got creative and things worked out even better than i had planned.

    • Thank you both for all you do for our country – we are all forever indebted to you for your service.

      I can’t say anything about military life because I do not live it; though my dad served in Vietnam, it wasn’t a choice as it is for those who serve now, it was a draft and he has major health consequences to this day and was shunned by many immediately family members when drafted because of the political climate at the time which also still has massive consequences to this day, so I see what this does to a family in the worst way daily. But, to add to what Alexis is saying, I think the thing is that challenges aren’t necessarily adversities. They are motivators and keep us grounded in our goals. I know the life in service must be so difficult but you were able to find the love of your live, he is able to do the job he loves (and so are you!), you have a beautiful daughter, you live in a safe place, and are able to lean on the support of your family. Despite the challenges you cite (of which I do not doubt), you have to admit that you are incredibly blessed. I sit alone in my apartment right now in a city where I don’t know anyone, 700 miles away from my friends and family, and I am challenged by loneliness, health issues, money, etc., but these aren’t adversities. I have a lot of challenges on my plate right now but thankfully have the ability to work through it because despite these issues, I am one of the lucky ones. I “gave up” some of life’s comforts to be where I am right now (in grad school 700 miles away from anyone I know and my entire family but a dream of mine to get a PhD), but that is not an adversity, it was a choice and it’s temporary. I think my issue was that you say that you “gave up” a lot to live the military life but your life is rich and full and being in the military was a choice, no matter how noble the cause. It’s similar (but now exactly, of course) to any other job (how many people do you know that have to travel away from their family day in and day out? My father was gone for months at a time driving truck just to put food on our table – admittedly, this is not as inherently dangerous nor as significant of a job, but it did put a high amount of stress on us). Look at what you have! I know the grass is always greener on the other side and what I see as amazing can be challenging to someone else but I think perspective and grace goes a long way in how we approach life and how we see ourselves and the choices we’ve made in life. We’ve all overcome a lot in our lives, it’s part of life and being a person to deal with them. While I really like you and your blog and I would never want to diminish the struggles of others, this video rubbed me wrong for a lot of reasons. Sorry this is so long. I felt like it was important to put this out there even no one reads it.

      • Fitnessista says:

        i think that this post is being overanalyzed beyond its true meaning. i said that being a military wife forced me out of my comfort zone and encouraged me to create something different for myself. it’s worked out better than i could have imagined, and not a day goes by where i’m not grateful for the many blessings i have not only as an individual, but as someone born in this free country with access to benefits others across the world do not. being a military wife is one of my greatest joys. by “giving up” certain things, i allowed myself to receive new opportunities and create something different for myself. i am thankful i get to do the things i love each day, and thankful to support my husband who gets to do something he loves while protecting others. i wanted this post the be joyful, and even though i was careful about how i constructed my words -i didn’t want to think it was “whoa is me” at all, but rather the truth that “by stepping out of my comfort zone, i created something i love and am so thankful”- they are still being misconstrued.
        i will say that it rubs me the wrong way to see military wives (and women in general) discounting the “struggles” of others, because they themselves have had it “harder.” no matter what your situation is, someone has had it harder than you at one point or another. it’s important to keep that perspective and remain grateful, but also give the kindness and patience to yourself and validate your emotions. this is only something i’ve encountered in the virtual world, and not in real life. all of the military wives i’ve met in person, from various ranks and branches, have been nothing but supportive and compassionate of one another, no matter what their unique situation may be. one of my friends gave birth to her fourth baby, by herself, in the shower, while her husband was deployed (and flying overhead at night to protect the men and women fighting on the ground). she still wrapped her arms around a wife in our squadron, single, who had family nearby, because she was having a hard time during the deployment. she didn’t say, “honey i have it harder than you. my husband is gone too and i have four kids including a newborn so suck it up.” she was compassionate, and went out of her way to help out the other wife. that’s how it is in this family, and it saddens me to see other military women stepping on each other.
        thank you to your father for his service, and for your insightful comment.
        xox

        • Jacqueline says:

          Hi Gina,

          I hear what you’re saying. The fact that one’s problems seem trivial when compared with challenges faced by others doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t support and respect one another. Everyone faces challenges in one form or another.

          However, I think what may be rubbing people the wrong way here is the fact that many associate Under Armour’s campaign, rightly or wrongly, with an individual overcoming adversity and achieving something amazing (e.g. Misty Copeland). It seems as though, based on what you’ve written, that your story is adversity = marrying military husband, overcoming adversity = leaving finance job, achieving something amazing = running your own health/fitness business.

          Your explanation above that marrying someone in the military forced you out of your comfort zone is much more relateable than the narrative I described. Unfortunately, I don’t think that comes across in your video.

          • So, you say that everyone faces challenges and that we shouldn’t trivialize each others, then go on in your next paragraph to say that, because Gina chose to live a life as a military wife, it shouldn’t count as a challenge. Doesn’t seem right to me. Just because something is a CHOICE doesn’t mean it isn’t difficult or present adversity or challenges. I am applying to medical school right now, and will likely be moving to a new city. My boyfriend, after much contemplation, decided he wants to come along, wherever I get in to school. However, that doesn’t mean he won’t face challenges and adversity in finding a new job, making new friends of his own, and leaving all of his friends in Pittsburgh, where he grew up and has had the same friends his whole life. Yes, he is choosing it, but when he’s feeling down and missing his friends, or still job hunting, I’m not going to say “This doesn’t count as a challenge because you chose it.”

            Gina has always kept this site a positive place, and what I took from this post was NOT “Man, my life has been tough, but look at me making it big anyway.” I saw this post as expressing the truth about life — it doesn’t always go as planned. It is what you make of it as it goes that determines your happiness. She found her happiness! Thank you for an inspiring post Gina!

  4. I absolutely *love* that Under Armour commercial; I’m so glad you wrote about it. Regarding what you wrote about your career and being a military spouse, I totally agree. There are some career fields that are very portable, but as a fellow mil spouse, I have experienced how hard it can be to pursue a career when there are limited positions at the new duty location or when moving around so frequently does not allow for one to build the right experience/client base/etc. I don’t feel at all that you were saying we had to give up our career aspirations to be in this position, I just think you were being honest about your experiences and the need to be realistic when faced with these challenges. I’m five and a half months into this PCS, and I’m still looking for the right position. I’m thankful that I don’t *have* to work, but I think you understand what it means to have a fulfilling career and not *just* working.

  5. Very inspiring – the ability to go with the flow and see where life takes you is scary for most, but inspiring and power to you for making it work!

  6. Ahhh yep cried AGAIN watching this video for now the 10th time I think.

  7. This is likely to never see the light of day but here goes:

    There is nothing inspiring about this to put it bluntly and all these other ass-kissing comments are just crazy. But since you and they so-called HLBers thrive on head pats, so be it. You CHOSE to not use your degree marrying a military spouse, knowing you may move around. (Oh and the military has spousal preference for jobs, which it seems you didn’t look into). You CHOSE to quit multiple jobs in the past, as you have written about, bc you didn’t get what you wanted quick enough. You CHOSE to be a stay-at-home wife, when many other women don’t have that advantage.

    This is honestly whining about first-world problems. If you were a single mom, or really broke, then this video might make sense. But it’s neither. You really just enjoy feeling sorry for yourself.

    I have several friends as military wives and NOT ONE of them moans and groans like you do. One in particular has a pilot (gasp!) husband who was deployed for several months at a time overseas in war zones and she raised their two toddlers alone.

    I now know to not support UnderArmour and will let them know they have lost a customer, and urge others to refrain from buying as well.

    • This is a pretty harsh comment and to say to that you’re not supporting Under Armour because of it is a drastic statement, especially because they do so much in supporting the troops.

      That being said, I know first hand how hard it can be to find a job in the civilian world while juggling the military life. The job market is already tough and unless you have a very specific degree (teaching, nursing, etc) it can be hard enough to find a job and adding the whole military thing on top of it just makes it that much more challenging. Not impossible but challenging. I know this because I’m in the Air National Guard. I went to school for Advertising/PR. My former civilian employer flat out told me the reason I was passed up for management training was because of my deployment schedule/military obligations. I was gone too much. I know it’s illegal, but companies can get away with it by stating other reasons as to why you’re unqualified for a job. It’s hard to find a company that will invest time/money in you if they know you’re going to be leaving in a few years. Instead of staying with an employer where I knew I had no future and possibility running into this problem somewhere else, I joined the Air National Guard Full-time and my quality of life definitely improved. I get to spend more time at home with my husband and family and I get to travel the world.

      Gina simply found something that worked BETTER for her and ran with it. No where in this video did she say she was FORCED to quit her job or that she HAD to be a stay at home mom because of her husband’s job. She found something that she loved doing and made a career out of it. Who wouldn’t want to do that? I think as women, we need to be supporting one another, not tearing each other apart with harsh comments and judgment.

      • I agree that we should be supporting each other, not judging. I think the issue with the video is that it is too short and doesn’t portray an in-depth story; all we hear is that Gina had to pursue a different career because she chose to follow her husband. It’s fine to make those choices, but it doesn’t come across as a particularly difficult “struggle.” For all we know it was; however, we don’t know that just from this very short video.

        Nonethless, I really appreciate that Gina always tries to inspire others to do more than they think they can, and to pursue their passion.

  8. Great post and awesome video, Gina. A lot of people stay in the same place and in the same career they thought they wanted to do when they were 20 years old and are nowhere near as fulfilled. The military forces people out of their comfort zone. It takes courage to move and change and thrive. At the end of the day, you can look back and know you have had great experiences. One day you might be in that finance job. Or maybe not. The most important thing is that you are finding the great things in life wherever you are. Life is short. You make it count every day. And then you inspire others to make it count.

  9. I love this message Gina!
    I am 36 years old and I fought myself out of an Eating Disorder that lasted 20 years. So many doctors or people doubted. But I am recovered.

  10. “Now that we have a young daughter, I hope to be able to show that we have the ability control our destiny.” LOVE!

    Thanks for continued inspiration and motivation. I have a very strong will, which I have handed down to toddler. Ha!

    If I really want something, I don’t let don’t getting it be an option. Failing becomes a stepping stone in that way. <3

  11. Your story, and the video, are beautiful and wonderful! You’re more of an inspiration that you realize!

  12. Awesome video Gina!!! I’m LOVING this new campaign by UnderArmour. So inspiring. You rock! 🙂

  13. Your video totally made me tear up!!! Awesome stuff! You are my inspiration to return to blogging and do something I truly enjoy. I have 2 daughters and my most important job in life is to raise them to be strong women!

  14. Love this video!! very inspiring!! It showcases you and your beautiful family perfectly. 🙂

  15. This video rubbed me the wrong way, too. Marrying someone with a challenging and time-consuming career? Having a couple missteps in your own career before finding something you enjoy? Being a stay-at-home-mom? These things aren’t adversities to overcome, it’s basic adulthood. I dunno, but to me this falls into the worst of those gen-Y stereotypes: needing praise and adoration for fulfilling the minimum requirements for the most basic aspects of life (having a job, getting married, having a kid). Billions of women do this, and much much more, every single day, and they don’t feel the record a video about it stating they have “overcome adversity.” There are many inspirational stories of those that have overcome true adversity, and this isn’t it.

  16. Great video and post, Gina! You are such an inspiration to women everywhere! Your story is very relatable, even to those of us who aren’t military wives. I was on track to get my PhD in what would be eleven or more years of school (4 for bachelors, 2 for masters, 5 or more for PhD) and I gave it up to get married and live a simpler, happier life. Like you were so blessed to get to do, I’m trying to shape my own career in writing and coaching. Thanks again for being such an amazing inspiration!

  17. I think the video would make more sense if you gave more details about the career that you gave up. Did you use your finance degree as an analyst, portfolio manager or work for a brokerage firm? With a more nuanced look into the career you had, the viewer may then be able to relate to the obstacles you endured starting your new endeavors.

    • Fitnessista says:

      that totally made sense. unfortunately the video was too short to give a lot of extra details, so i tried to keep it as concise as possible

  18. I loved your little video Gina and I love the ‘I will what I want’ message – that might have to go on a sticky at work! I haven’t read all the comments on here but I’m struck by two things (1) everyone has their sh!t that they’re dealing with and (2) women can be so mean to each other and I don’t get why.
    I’ve overcome lots in the last few years, my husband was diagnosed with cancer two months after we were married. He thankfully was successfully treated but it wasn’t a fun time and naturally we had to put off having children for a while. When we finally got pregnant last year I developed severe pre-eclampsia and had my son at 28 weeks. He had numerous health issues as a result but is such an awesome little dude and I’m thankful everyday we have him in our lives. Whilst I would change these things if I possibly could they have made me a stronger and better person. It also gave me a bucket load of perspective – the little things don’t matter but happiness, family and friends do. We all need to be more supportive and compassionate to each other. Life is so precious and I need to know that at the end of it I helped make people happy. I too will teach my son that we create our own destiny and there is no such thing as luck.
    This is such a long and rambling comment, for which I’m sorry, but I felt moved to comment and being a newish mum I’ve not had much sleep!!!

    • Fitnessista says:

      dawn, i’m so sorry to hear that you’ve been through so much. instead of letting it break you, you have the most beautiful attitude. life really is short, and it’s about how we made me people feel instead of what we’ve accomplished. your family is lucky to have a strong and positive woman like you in their lives. thanks for touching mine too, and i’m sending love to you. xo

  19. Congratulations on making this video! How cool is that!?! 🙂 my husband just got out of the Marine Corps after 12 years of service. It sometimes can be difficult to get a job being a military spouse because employers assume you’ll be moving around a lot. I I ran into the problem where the jobs I was applying for asked if we were willing to be relocated depending on my assignment. Of course my husband wouldn’t have been able to go so I may have missed some great job opportunities there. We were lucky in that he has been stationed in the same place for a long time so we never did have to move but there was always the possibility. We had some friends move around a lot and others not so much. Just depended on the Marines. It sounds like you were able to make some great career changes for yourself when you were facing some of these obstacles. Good for you for rolling with it and adapting your goals. It seems like you were ment to be in the fitness industry. 🙂 I enjoy reading your blog and I’m happy for you 🙂

  20. Awesome video, Gina! I love it and its message. I am shocked to read some of the hurtful comments people have left. I don’t understand why people go out of their way to be rude and mean.
    Just know that you inspire many women. I can only hope to be as strong, adaptable, and motivated as you – and have a future family that gives and gets as much love as yours obviously does.
    xoxo

  21. Amazing! Love it Gina!!!

  22. Gina, I have seen this commercial and I absolutely love the message of their campaign. Under Armour is such a huge supporter of our military and I love to support them right back. I too am a military spouse and I saw a lot of myself in your story. The bottom line is when you become a military spouse you do make sacrifices. They are different for everyone and everyone handles this in their own way. I, like you, do not look at it like I HAD to give up my traditional career, but rather was inspired to find something I really love doing and make it work with our lifestyle. Having a husband who does what they do is a reminder every day that life is short. The thing I see many people forgetting is that the military is a large place and no two stories are the same. Every servicemember will have had a different journey. It makes no sense to judge another persons level of adversity. It isn’t a competition. Being a military spouse may be a choice, but the truth is it affects every aspect of your life as a family. It may not be a traditional adversity, but it does create special challenges both as a spous and as a family. I totally understand what you meant and I have looked to you as not only inspiration on how to stay positive but also on following my dreams. Sometimes dreams may be hidden by a job in finance 🙂 I think the whole meaning of the campaign is to remind people that no matter WHAT challenges you face, you should figure out what you really want and fight for it! Great job Gina!

  23. You are correct, your new videographer did an amazing job! But I am sure you made his job easier. I love that you were able to not only find something you can do anywhere but also something that allows you to be home with your sweet daughter. Those are the best jobs and those of use that have them are very lucky indeed. Military people are the best!!!! What they do for this country cannot be put into words. Thank you ALL!!!!

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