the nike ad that I taped to my bedroom wall.

You were born a daughter.

You looked up to your mother.

You looked up to your father.

You looked up at everyone.

You wanted to be a princess.

You thought you were a princess.

You wanted to own a horse.

You wanted to be a horse.

You wanted your brother to be a horse.

You wanted to wear pink.

You never wanted to wear pink.

You wanted to be a Veterinarian.

You wanted to be President.

You wanted to be the President’s Veterinarian.

You were picked last for the team.

You were the best one on the team.

You refused to be on the team.

You wanted to be good in algebra.

You hid during algebra.

You wanted the boys to notice you.

You were afraid the boys would notice you.

You started to get acne.

You started to get breasts.

You started to get acne that was bigger than your breasts.

You wouldn’t wear a bra.

You couldn’t wait to wear a bra.

You couldn’t fit into a bra.

You didn’t like the way you looked.

You didn’t like the way your parents looked.

You didn’t want to grow up.

You had your first best friend.

You had your first date.

You had your second best friend.

You had your second first date.

You spent hours on the telephone.

You got kissed.

You got to kiss back.

You went to the prom.

You didn’t go to the prom.

You went to the prom with the wrong person.

You spent hours on the telephone.

You fell in love.

You fell in love.

You fell in love.

You lost your best friend.

You lost your other best friend.

You really fell in love.

You became a steady girlfriend.

You became a significant other.


Sooner or later, you start taking yourself seriously. You know when you need a break. You know when you need a rest. You know what to get worked up about and what to get rid of. And you know when it’s time to take care of yourself, for yourself. To do something that makes you stronger, faster, more complete.

Because you know it’s never too late to have a life. And never too late to change one.




This is a Nike print ad from the 90’s. I remember when I read it for the first time. How it was like a punch in the stomach. How it felt like I had written it – or how it felt written directly for me. At the time, I was only 13, maybe 14. I loved it so much that I ripped it out of whatever magazine I was reading and taped it to my wall. Where it stayed for a very long time.

Last night, I was reunited with it via Roger Ebert’s twitter feed, and this post on Keka’s blog.

I had completely forgotten about it – and coming across it again brought me to tears, the same way it did back then. It has been in my subconscious all these years, waiting to be noticed I think. Reading it again was like hugging a very old friend that I had lost and thought was gone forever.

It is hard to imagine where I was when I first read it compared to where I am now. I am so much the same, but also so very different. I never thought I would make it to the part where I became significant to myself….but here I am.

This is my version of taping it to my bedroom wall.




Join the Conversation


  1. I had that one, and several others from the same series, taped to my wall too. I’m sure they are in a box in my garage right this instant. It changed my life and how I thought about it then, and I needed this reminder today. Thank you.

  2. love it. i always had this one taped to my wall and it now sits in a book of things to remember … “a woman is often measured by the things she cannot control. she is measured by the way her body curves or doesn’t curve, by where she is flat or straight or round. she is measured by 36-24-36 and inches and ages and numbers, by all the outside things that don’t ever add up to who she is on the inside. and so if a woman is to be measured, let her be measured by the things she can control, by who she is and who she is trying to become. because as every woman knows, measurements are statistics, and STATISTICS LIE”
    but i kinda like your better … so i’ll print it off and put it in my book of things to remember. thanks.

  3. OMG! I tore this out of a magazine in the 90s, too! It was a multi-page ad, if I remember correctly. I didn’t tape it to my wall, but I kept it for years and read it over and over and over again. I don’t know what happened to it- it may very well be packed up in a box of mementos. I remember even trying to find it online once a few years ago.

    Thanks for sharing it. You are so right- is is just like hugging an old friend.

  4. I had that one on my wall, too. And the one Jen quoted. So wonderful to read them again as an adult and see that they still have so much meaning to me. Thanks for the reminder.

  5. Ohhhh that last sentence you wrote – TEARS. That ad was awesome. Just what I needed today. “Just do it” was a motto in my home growing up. It was always my step-mom’s password. Three simple POWERFUL words. They make me want to get up and run a marathon, they make me feel like nothing is impossible.

  6. I remember that ad and it just brought back the same emotions. I had it on a collage on my bedroom wall and then took it to college with me. I landed here thanks to a photog/facebook friend and I’m grateful to both of you for sharing it and bringing it back into my life.

  7. totally ripped it out. was totally NOT 13 or 14! Damn, I’m older than everyone ;)
    amazing…..I was on the verge, waiting for all of those things to happen when it came out. Now they have, and I am significant. That’s pretty cool.

  8. oh how I remember this…….I had forgotten about it!! I loved it then. Love it more now. Thanks for bringing it out of the cobwebs of my mind.It is so strange how you can read this at different stages of your life and how it can radiate different each time.

  9. Wow, Tara, I want to thank you so very much for posting this. It was exactly what I needed to read right now. I remember this ad too, and was brought to tears reading it now, years later and no longer that awkward and shy teenager. I love your blog, and reading it has really inspired me! Thank you!

  10. For some reason this is one of my favourite blog posts of yours – it seems to come from a very real place in you, and I love how you share that part of who you are.
    And such a great message too – I don’t recall seeing it first time round, but will definately be printing it out and pinning it to my wall now too. :)

  11. We are currently re-doing the girls’ room. Mike is hanging the ceiling fan as we speak. I think I will print this out..frame it..and put it up in their room. They are 11y now, in junior high…This ad speaks to me and I think it will speak to them too. Thank you Tara for sharing this. Thank you 1990’s ad from NIKE….LOVE IT!

  12. Wow. I have tears in my eyes. I remember reading this Nike ad for the first time about 20 years ago. I read it over and over, practically had it memorized. Today, I read it again for the first time since then… Everything you wrote about it, I could have said. Thank you for sharing my heart in this <3 Thank you for posting it <3

  13. I LOVE this Nike ad. Know where my copy is? Tucked in a manila folder in my basement. I came across it recently while trying to purge and simplify. Needless to say, it did not make the cut. It is sooooo good, amazingly enough, at ANY stage of life. Thanks for the recall.

  14. I have the exact same ad. I also felt it spoke directly to me. I came across a box in the attic and found the ad about 2 months ago and showed it to my 14 year old thinking she would also be moved and I would be glad I kept it after all these years. She read it, looked at me and said “I don’t get it”.

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