“It Don’t Matter…whatever makes you feel bad, leave it. Whatever makes you smile, keep it..”

Every year when I pick the writers for Strong is Beautiful they surprise me.

No, not in their willingness to share their stories, but in the way they choose to share them. Our following writer could probably have her own series on overcoming obstacles through strength. She’s been through a lot. She has proven a lot more than most people I know and I feel she still feels like she has something to prove sometimes.

But to tell you the truth she doesn’t.

Her name is Amina Saleh and I don’t know if anyone tells her this enough but I’m going to. Amina I’m proud of you.

I’m proud of you and hope you know everyone else is too.  If you don’t know Amina’s story to become the first woman to make it through the Seattle Fire Academy in 5 years you can recap it here. “If you can Beat that last bit out of them… They ain’t Fighters at all…”

You think someone that had accomplished a goal like that would talk about it. How they had worked their whole life to earn it (Click Here), then they worked tirelessly physically to achieve their goal. You think that someone who spent their free time coaching kids and helping out at Camps for young girls that want to be firefighters would maybe talk about that as well.

No not Amina. She’s Amina. She simply marches to the beat of her own drum and I’m so proud of her for that. When I received her article I didnt know what to expect. But what I got was Beautiful, its was Amina telling me and everyone else why She thought Strong was Beautiful. And to tell you the truth, of all the things I’ve know and seen her do this piece was one of my proudest moments for a Beautiful girl that simply refuse to ever fit anyones mold.

– Z

Setting up for a heavy back squat, sweat dripping down my face, a belt pinching my sides as I drive that weight up. The barbell doesn’t care.

I ate a cookie today. No, I ate three cookies today. The barbell doesn’t judge.

I am covered in chalk. I am covered in bruises. My hands are cracked and torn. I am scarred, but I am not ashamed.

The barbell doesn’t care that I grew up on Aurora, the street of broken dreams. It doesn’t care that I have made mistakes. Those challenges I have had to face to get to today, no they don’t matter.

Sometimes the barbell scares me. The large bumper plates stacked side by side intimidate me. They send those voices in my head that say “you can’t do this”, “it’ll crush you”. Sometimes they win. But sometimes, I win. 

I will never be perfect. I will never be the best. But I will stay strong because I am flawed and I am beautiful. 

I am not beautiful because the barbell has made me skinny or pretty. It has not given me better hair days. Sometimes I can’t even lift it, as it slips from my hands, I fight to control it before it falls heavy to the ground. When I can pick it up, I feel power as I surprise myself and others of what my body and mind are capable of.

I fail. I succeed. I dream big because impossible doesn’t mean anything to me. Impossible doesn’t matter.

I am part of something that gives me strength. The strength to help others. The strength to find a reason to smile when there are a thousand other reasons to be sad. The strength to cheer on my friends they put their fears aside and define the odds that push against them.

I am lucky to be a part of something big. Something life changing. I smile because it don’t matter.

Posted by: Amina

12 Responses to ““It Don’t Matter…whatever makes you feel bad, leave it. Whatever makes you smile, keep it..””

  1. I absolutely love this! Amina you may not know this but I look up to you in so many ways! You have a power that is indescribable, so strong in so many ways but so humble about it all. You’ve had to work hard for everything you’ve accomplished and you are an inspiration to all!

    So beautifully written and so true! I can’t thank you enough for being a part of this and sharing with us all! You are an inspiration and it is an honor to call you a friend 🙂

  2. Michelle Beckman Says:

    just like you Amina, unassuming, graceful, concise and powerful. I am l lucky to know you.

  3. Very inspirational. Thank you, this gives me strength and hope that I too will reach my goal and more!!

  4. well done, Probie…

  5. You really are inspiring, Amina! I’ve learned so much from you over the last couple of years. I hope my little girl grows up to be a superhero like you!

  6. Direct. Inspiring. Humorous. Beautiful. Just like you, Amina.

  7. robcrossfitter Says:


  8. Definitely marches to the beat of her own drum…that’s what I love about Amina. Such an inspiration, and I’m so lucky to get to lift alongside you. Thanks for sharing your awesome story!

  9. Beautiful, Amina. Or better yet, beautiful Amina!

    I miss the inspiration in your smile:) you are indeed strong, and an example to my son and daughters!

  10. Amina, this is awesome. Thank you for sharing it.

  11. aminastamina Says:

    Thank you so much for all of the kind words. Getting to be involved in Strong is Beautiful week meant a lot to me. I’m glad I could share with you all and I am so grateful to be a part of something so good, so positive and something that helps others love themselves. Might not be able to rule the world but I know what is happening here has a huge impact on the community and little by little I know we are making the world a better place. Love you guys!

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