Who is a No Limit Soldier? I know Master P created a whole thing, but for my purpose No Limit Soldiers are women who defy limits, changing the rules and making history. I mean, what even are limits? Who gets to implement them? I’ve started asking myself what limits I’m ascribing to when I feel myself at the edge. Sometimes they are limits in my mind, rules I created for the sake of self protection. Sometimes the limits are societal, passed down through laws, de facto and de jure. All of them can be subjected to examination and challenged, especially if they threaten to deny humanity, purpose, and integrity.
Elizabeth Jennings refused to leave a NY trolley car 100 years before Rosa Parks. After ultimately being pushed off of the train, she sued, and won. The judge ruled that African Americans couldn’t be excluded from riding the trolley. She was also a teacher who was credited with starting the first Kindergarten for African American children before her death in 1901. She clearly demonstrated that she had no problem destroying and creating systems in support of access and opportunity.
What is in your way? Olga Ladyzhenskaya was a mathematical genius who was prevented from pursuing her Ph.D because her father had been arrested and executed, accused of being an enemy of the state in her native Russia. She persisted, teaching math in high schools and orphanages, until she was ultimately admitted to Moscow State University. Her contributions impact various scientific fields, including weather forecasting, cardiovascular science and oceanography. In addition to her innovations, she was known to often speak out against the Soviet regime and the oppression in her home country.
Where do you stop short in your pursuits? Dr. Tererai Trent declared that she wanted to earn her doctorate degree and it took her 8 years, many months of waiting between submitted coursework and exams to only learn she'd failed, to even earn her high school diploma. This Zimbabwean born woman who’d been married off at 14 and had birthed 4 children before she was 18, now has the doctorate of her dreams and is an author, humanitarian, and staunch women’s empowerment and education advocate. Not failure, nor time, nor lack of a role model, nor hard circumstances stopped her.
These impactful women made and are yet making history because they had a strong vision and sense of self, refused to be limited by the illusions of boundaries set before them, and embodied perseverance. They were committed to their beliefs, their purpose, their desires, and continued to choose from that commitment rather than circumstances. What are you committed to that keeps you moving forward? Something that you'd be willing to be arrested over? Something you will be unflinchingly outspoken about? Something you're willing to fail at repeatedly and over an extended period of time? You find that thing, and I'd say that you are on your way to making history! Make ‘em say UUUGGGGHHHH! (As Master P would say 😉).