Repeat after me everyone, “I am an Iron Cougar so I have ‘street-cred’.”  (Pause for the repeat.)   


One pillar of Iron Cougar Fitness is harnessing the power of 50+ women to inspire physical activity engagement.  Why?  Because you uniquely have the street-cred (short for street credibility) to influence values and behavior.         


Wow!  Who knew we had this unique power to influence and inspire?  And, street-cred!  We have street-cred!  Yippee!  Go us!


Wait, what is street-cred?


Hold that question for a second, we will come back to it. 


If you played or (hopefully) still play basketball, you likely know what a pivot step is.  Upon coming to a stop after dribbling, you may pivot on one foot in a 360’ circle to clear space between you and your defender to pass to a teammate or take a shot.  In other situations, after you receive the ball from a pass or rebound, and have not yet moved with it, you may use a pivot step to, for example, fake out a defender before driving to the basket.      


This means that while on pivot you need to take in a seemingly endless amount of dynamic stimuli then make the best decision possible about your next move – should I pass, shoot, dribble away, drive to the basket, or hold onto the ball and wait for a teammate to come to help?  It also means that the game is at a standstill until you make your decision and act (5-second count notwithstanding), all eyes are on you until you do so, and your decision can have great impact upon the outcome of the game.  


Street-cred?  Pivot step?  Endless dynamic stimuli?  Standstill?  Iron Cougar?  Where is this leading?


Think about certain dynamics of your life.  As an Iron Cougar (a 50+ woman), statistics show you likely are the pivot point for multiple generations of your family.  Sometimes called the ‘Sandwich Generation’, at the same time you are raising your kids (or grandkids, or ‘supervising’ your grown kids) you are also caring for your ageing parents, or have taken on significant responsibility to ensure the caregiving of extended-family members.  On any given day, you structure their daily life, all the while managing your own.  School, homework, play dates, sports practice, assisted-living programs, meals, organizing different layers of finances, then finishing the report that is overdue to your job – Yikes! Talk about a ‘seemingly endless amount of dynamic stimuli’!, for which YOU are the driver – literally and figuratively. 


As the pivot, you make the plan then make the plan happen, but until doing either life can come to a standstill, with all eyes upon you awaiting the restart.  By virtue of family system evolution and the position within we often come to stake, Iron Cougars are the drivers – but not before also mapping out the route, putting gas in the car and paying for its insurance.   


The ‘Iron-Cougar-as-Pivot’s’ range of responsibility is difficult to capture suffice it to say every day can bring more proverbial plates that need to be kept spinning by the ones who are the primary spinners.  Three words – Human Glue Gun, for that is what many Iron Cougars must feel like while keeping things upright!  


Back to street-cred.  It’s one thing to know all the pivot options and how to use the glue gun, it’s another to sense the RIGHT option and not spray glue all over the place.  Iron Cougars, this is you.  Repeatedly you do just the right thing by all those who for whom the right thing matters.  And so follows the street-cred recognition.  The gift of reverence so bestowed in recognition that you KNOW AND DO…day after day.               


Net/net, street-cred is an ultimate compliment recognizing your place at the head of the table.      It can’t be bought, studied for, or found on the internet; rather it’s the result of lots of pivoting and glue gunning.  So it is from this position, Iron Cougars, that you wield unique, unprecedented and powerful influence upon multi-generations, including that which determines values and behaviors toward physical activity.     


That doesn’t mean that your teenage or twenty-something kids or grandkids won’t look at you like you are speaking alien when you ask something of them or question their behavior, nor does it mean that they will gushingly thank you for your inspiration.  It also won’t prevent your friends from gossiping about you when you try to organize a walking group and refuse to take no for an answer.      


But fear not, Iron Cougars, for ‘tis but a flesh wound.  If we have learned anything it’s to stay the course and stay the course we do!  So we just dust ourselves off and stare back at them as they stare at us knowing we have the street-cred trump card and they don’t!  See, what you say and do can be THE thing that inspires then ensures physical activity engagement among the masses.  If I build it maybe they will come, but if an Iron Cougar builds it they WILL come – they know you mean business, and anyway are going to make sure they are in the car on time.  


The takeaway – don’t let up working on your ‘first step’ off the pivot and keep your glue gun plugged in.