I HAVE CLIMBED HIGHEST MOUNTAINS

U2 announced this week their 30th Anniversary Joshua Tree Tour. And I thought…cool, I hope I can get tickets. Then I thought…”FUCK ME, 30 YEARS?”
In March of 1987 I was 14. And had JUST made Freshman Cheerleader. My Dad often took me with him to Bill’s Record Shop in Carrollton, Texas to get new albums. But for this particular release we got the tape. Fancy. I’d heard of U2 for sure. On our slightly illegal, diced into the neighbors cable, MTV cable channel. I would stay up late and watch music videos. Back when they just played music videos.
So he popped the tape in when we got home and that’s the first I heard Joshua Tree in it’s entirety. Now…when it came to albums we always had the lyrics to look at. You know- that giant folded poster contraption thing that the record company put inside the sleeve of the album covers. We’d unfold them, lay them out on the floor and read the lyrics. Pre internet days this was the exact invention that convinced me that Paul McCartney was actually saying “Band On The Run” instead of “Stand on the Rug”. Yes…my parents had to prove to me that he was not saying “stand on the rug”. I would not believe them to this day had I not had access to the lyrics.
But a cassette tape was an entirely different story. No lyrics usually. Just a little cardboard fold thing with credits in it. So we had to actually sit, listen, and agree on what the lyrics said. And man. He LOVED that tape. I did too. I stole it a few times the following year when I got a car and would play it full blast in my Chevy Cavalier Z24. Then when he’d ask if I’d seen it Id say no. Run to my car when he wasn’t looking. And sneak it back into the tape holder in the house. Pretty sure he knew. Pretty sure he was happy I’d mixed in some music he “approved” of with my N.W.A. and 2 Live Crew stuff.
So the announcement that its been THIRTY years since that album was released has had me reminiscing about the songs, the time, my old house, my friends, my Dad. And what it was like to grow up then. With a parent who loved music and taught me to as well.
If you forced me to pick a favorite song from that album Im not sure I could. Im just not. With or Without You is beautiful. Haunting. And I think I took from it more than it intended. Bullet The Blue Sky was so political and I had just begun to understand what that meant. I thought it was a beautifully sad song. Still do. I think my Dad’s favorite was Running To Stand Still. In fact as soon as I saw this 30 year anniversary thing, thats the first song I googled to listen to. I know it was written about some heroin addicts and some pretty bad shit. But I took from it that sometimes in life, when you feel stagnant or lost or like your swimming against the current and you can’t get ahead that “running to stand still” describes that pretty well. Its pretty cool we all have our own interpretations of songs.
But I suppose if Im FORCED to pick it would be the most popular song on the album. Seems like such an obvious pick but its not. “I Still Haven’t Found What Im Looking For” undoubtedly has Christian roots. Bono has always been vocal about his relationship with God and the search for that. And I can relate. And in general terms it means to me that life truly is all about the journey. Never the destination. NEVER. I wrote about climbing Pikes Peak last year and that maybe I was searching for something on a mountain. When in the end it was more about what I LEFT on the mountain.
I think if we FIND everything, then what’s the point? The fun is in the search. In the journey, in the travel, in the meeting of all of the different wonderful people that come in and out of your life. The things you lose and the things you gain and the things you’ll never forget. Funny….when I first heard it at the age of 14 I had no idea how much the lyric “I have climbed highest mountains” would mean to me someday.
They are scheduled to play in Dallas in May. No Denver date set yet. But Im gonna do what I gotta do to make it happen. All part of the journey….
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Wonder Woman Took Some Time Off Too

Personality of Wonder Woman:

Princess Diana commands respect both as Wonder Woman and Diana Prince; her epithetical title—The Amazon Princess— illustrates the dichotomy of her character. She is a powerful, strong-willed character who would never back down from a fight or a challenge. Yet, she is a diplomat who strongly “favors the pen“, and a lover of peace who would never seek to fight or escalate a conflict. She’s simultaneously both the most fierce and most nurturing member of the Justice League; and her political connections as a United Nations Honorary Ambassador and the ambassador of a warrior nation makes her an invaluable addition to the team. With her powerful abilities, centuries of training and experience at handling threats that range from petty crime to threats that are of a magical or supernatural nature, Diana is capable of competing with nearly any hero or villain.

 

I am very sick. Ive had the flu the past week and have not been this sick in many years. It sucks. I have a pretty mighty immune system thanks to Shakeology but the stress the Holidays, State Cheer Comp, running a business, weather changes, lack of sleep, hanging around 20 teenage girls with germs..I guess it all caught me. I haven’t gone more than 2 days in a row without a workout in so long I cannot remember. I HATE it. But I’ve had the past 4-5 days to lay on my ass on the couch, drink NyQuil, watch a marathon of 4 seasons of “Shameless” (seriously, I love with that vulgar show), and to think. Maybe sickness is a way to slow you and your physical body down. To force you to sit STILL. And all that means. I haven’t sat “still” in a long time. I don’t like it. I don’t exactly want to sit and think about reality most days. I like to go, go, go. I like to work. I like to move.

I joked with a few of my friends about how when women/moms get sick we still keep operating. Laundry, dishes, kids, carpool, cleaning, still all has to be done. We don’t get sick days. But when men get sick they think the world is ending. I know…stereotyping. I know there’s plenty of men who keep hustling even when they are sick.

For some reason I thought about Wonder Woman. How people sometimes refer to Moms who work and workout and take care of kids and run carpool and do PTA and go out with friends and have a social life and seem to do it all as “Wonder Woman”. So I thought about this and of course googled “Wonder Woman.” The above snippet in the opening of my blog is a summary of her. I really had no idea what her creators (a husband and wife team in 1940) intended her to be. I assumed that an Amazonian brunette who was single with no kids would have absolutely nothing in common with me. So I was going to write a blog about how we don’t want to be Wonder Woman because she doesn’t even have kids, or ever get sick and that bitch can set shit on fire and smash steel. I was intent on not identifying with her. I can be an ass sometimes.

I read a lot of history on her and her creators and storylines and the intent of her character. I recently watched the movie that came out last year “Batman Vs. Superman”. It was ok but I remember thinking that Wonder Woman actually saved the day. Turns out that reference in the movie is based on the “actual” events in her history. I read that when Maxwell Lord cast a spell on Superman making him want to kill Batman that she lassoed Lord and asked him how to stop it. He told her the only way to stop Superman from killing Batman was to kill Lord himself. So she had no choice. She snapped his neck. And prevented a catastrophe.

But thats not where that story ends. After killing someone, even an evil someone,  she was so distraught that she went into a self-imposed exile for a year. A YEAR. To think about and sit with what she’d done. Alienating herself from everyone and “recovering” from the trauma. So she saved the day. And kicked some ass. And stepped up when no one else could stop it. But she kept her heart. And her soul.

She is often described in dichotomous terms: kind yet strong. Fierce yet soft. Powerful yet gentle. Relentless yet forgiving. Wanting to belong yet wanting to retreat to be alone, compassionate and loyal, willing to kill for her friends and still feel a sense of guilt about that, naive yet well aware. And I think my favorite description of her…and why I DO relate is that she “favors the pen” and never seeks out a fight. No doubt…she’ll kick your ass if need be…but she’d rather not.

So after a few days laid out, not working out, being sick, not able to do much of anything and feeling VERY Un-Wonder Womanish….I realize sometimes even Wonder Woman needs a break. And maybe a 5 foot tall blonde with kids and literally NO superpowers whatsoever other than the ability to multi-task at at an alarming rate, has more in common with a 7 foot tall brunette Amazon badass woman than I previously thought. Maybe we all do.

You can be a Mom and have a social life. You can be a badass and still cry sometimes. You can “save the day” and still feel guilt. You can get sick. And rest when you need to. You can do a lot of things. You can do all of the things. And you can do it in a tiara and a gold belt.

Here’s to all the Wonder Women….842e0b43dc037d00042dbac455c35f38

FOR WHAT IT’S WORTH

I suppose it’s THAT time of year. When you take inventory of the previous 12 months, what you learned, how it went and what you want the next year to be. I could lament on how Brain Rot has SUCKED ASS this year. How my crazy busy schedule stressed me beyond words. How it was the 10 year anniversary of my Dad’s death. How I lost a few friends and my second Mom to cancer. How I didn’t hit all the milestones in my business that I wanted to. But I decided to take a different approach. 2016 was not the best year ever. Truthfully- it was not. But I got to walk through it. Run through it. Crawl through it at times. And for that….I am grateful. 2016 gave me a lot.

I got to go to Los Angeles for the third time on Beachbody’s dime. I WON that trip. EARNED that trip. It was amazing & I got to share it with my friend, Joy, and I’ll never forget it. I hugged Tony Horton. I chatted with Tony Horton. I ate at The Ivy. I also earned a trip to Cabo. With my Beachbody team. I laid on the beach and did nothing for three days. I took a long walk down a beautiful beach alone. And I met Donna. And THAT alone made working my ass off to earn that trip worth it. Donna. I got asked to be the Assistant Cheer coach at our High School. There’s not enough space here to speak to how this made my heart whole. I love those girls. I got to stand on the sidelines again at football games. Priceless.
I got to go to Nashville with my best friend and spend 4 days with my team. My Beachbody team. And I got to walk the stage in front of 25,000 people. And I got to know Gary Vaynerchek that week. And damn, how that changed things. I discovered Chris Stapleton. And on a solo hike, on a mountain, alone…I gave God another look. And that’s something. I rode a bike. I got lost on a few hikes. I found my own way out.
I read six books.
I went to my 25th High School reunion. And realized time certainly flies. And people never change and yet change so very much. And made some amends. And remembered a boy. And what he taught me. And hugged some old friends. I got to escape for a minute. And hear some good music. And see some elephants. And meet some amazing people. And get another tattoo.
I got to see fucking Stevie Nicks in concert. With some special people.
I opened my son’s door to see he has goals. Written out with purpose. I got to see my grandmother. On her 90th birthday. I got to watch my cheer team perform at State. From the ground…not the stands. And THAT was priceless. I got to ride the bus to football games and listen to some teen girls talk. About life. And share things I am privileged that they shared with me. Thank you girls. Thank you, Jessica. I got to be in a workout test group that changed my body. And my mind. I CAN!
I got to have a beer with my Dad. In a cemetery. With an Asian man and some gardeners watching. I got to sing a Violent Femmes song to my friend…who shares a room with my Dad. I got to see my name in concrete…where I put it 30 years ago. And know that some things stay. Even when others don’t.
I got to do a lot of things. That I am so unbelievably grateful for. I learned I don’t have to be who I don’t want to be. I learned about commitments and promises. I learned there’s MUCH MUCH more gray area than black and white. I learned life can be cruel and sad and lonely and beautiful and joyous and miraculous. I learned that football fucking rocks! I learned I can fight. Longer and harder than I ever imagined. I learned 44 is pretty fucking awesome. I learned you can plan and plan and plan. And life will just laugh at you. I learned what I am. And what Im not. I learned that what I DO know is far, far less than what I DONT know. And that is ok. And as it should be.
I learned its really just about the little moments. They are everything. Thank you, 2016.fullsizerender-4

TOUGH GIRL IN A CEMETARY

I am one. Despite what a few people say I am tougher than I seem. Most of the women I associate with are very tough girls. Very. Some days I say it out loud to convince myself. I don’t give a shit what anyone else thinks. It doesn’t matter. But going home gave a little perspective on exactly what “tough” means. What it can mean.
I visited my Dad’s grave for the first time is YEARS. It seems every time I ever go to Texas I have a reason or excuse not to go. Kind of like I’d never been to the spot he died until two years ago. I just wasn’t ready until then. So I grabbed a few beers, hid them under my coat, drove to the cemetery and got out like I owned the place. You need a key to access the private building where he is. My friend, Nancy, is also in the room as well as a sweet boy I knew named Clayton. I got to say hi to them too. Im sure they laughed about the beer.
So there was this table thing set in front of my Dad’s internment that had dead flowers in it and covered some of his name. I didn’t like that they were dead. Or that they covered his name. So I moved it. Across the room. And replaced it with a Bud Light. Little insight to me as a girl- I ALWAYS prefer beer to flowers….especially when accompanied by tacos. What can I say? Im a cheap date.
I said cheers, swigged some of my own beer and then sat down on the floor. I rambled a little about cheerleading and the kids and hiking and how the Cowboys are doing.  I said some other stuff I’ll keep private. And I asked for advice. Seems a little silly but…then I looked closer at the little table thing in front of his marker and it said in little letters on a sticker “Huang Lee”. I was a bit puzzled until I looked ABOVE my Dad’s marker where a very fresh internment with Mr. Lee in it had been placed. Those flowers WERE NOT FOR MY DAD. They were for Mr. Lee. Shit. I should’ve known. My Dad has his own table set up in the room with pictures of him and his Harley, an arrowhead he gave a friend whom I notice brought it to him, a bunch of eagle statues and some other personal things but no flowers. Dad’s people aren’t really “flower” people. Funny. Im not either.
God damnit I lost it. Started bawling like a baby and Im not sure why. It wasn’t the dead flowers, it wasn’t the table, it wasn’t that Mr. Huang Lee was now on top of my Dad (holy shit), I don’t know what it was. I just felt so very sad. Funny. Ten years can seem like a long time. Except when you are grieving. Time makes things a little less intense but it doesn’t fix things. And there’s things I need to tell him. I need him to give me advice on. Instead of being told how “brave, tough, full of character, steady, stable, doing the right thing” I am….I just needed a hug. From him. I don’t want to be tough all the time. I don’t want to do the right thing all the time. I don’t want to have character all the time. Sometimes….once in awhile….I want to do just what I want to do and then cry.
I walked outside of the room to get some air and the seriously sweet team of lawn people approached me and my bellering self and asked if I was ok in broken Spanish. I said “yes”. Then I realized I was still holding my beer. I sort of chuckled, raised it up in the air and said “cheers” to them. Then I left. Im sure they thought I was nuts. Then….several miles down the road I realized something. Holy shit. I left the god damned beer on Mr. Lee’s table. FUCK!
I thought about turning around. Then I re-thought that. If he’s gonna be my Dad’s upstairs neighbor for eternity….Im pretty sure he needs to learn how to love beer. And I know my Dad would’ve offered him one if he could. Then I giggled, turned the radio up, and drove. Tough can mean a lot of things.
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IT’S OK TO WANT TO WIN

OBSESSION: an idea or thought that continually preoccupies or intrudes on a person’s mind.

Someone said to me a little over a year ago “You’re obsessed with working out and your business.” I didn’t really know how to take that. I took it as a negative thing at the time. I workout and exercise more than the average person for sure. Unfortunately. We are an obese country that has become accustomed to obesity and I suppose we now look at healthy people as abnormal. That’s sad to me. I think we also think of driven women a certain way.
 
My Beachbody team has decided for our next personal development book we will read “Be Obsessed Or Be Average” by Grant Cardone. Seeing that title reminded me of what that person said to me that day. OBSESSION. Its been so associated with the negative that we just assume it is. Like some crazy stalker dude obsessed with a girl or someone obsessed with cleaning too much (I obviously don’t have that one). But I think just like we’ve looked at FAILURE in the wrong way ,we might also be looking at the word “obsession” in the wrong way.
 
This exact time last year my Beachbody business was on FIRE. I was working about 3-4 hours a day (which is a lot) and I achieved a high rank and my sales were high and my paychecks were great and I earned a trip to Cabo and I was happy. HAPPY. Work hard, play hard! Then people started to slowly put in my ear that I needed to slow down. Enjoy life more. Work less. Your husband is sick, you have two jobs, two kids, a lot going on…..And to no one’s fault but my own…I listened. 
 
I quit working as hard, or as much. My workouts became a little less regimented. Meaning I went down to 4-5 days a week instead of 6 and I ate bad. And it showed. My business (though still prosperous and perfectly fine and acceptable to most people) slipped a little. My paycheck decreased a little. I felt a little sad and so I hiked less. I felt sad about that so I ate a little worse. Then someone said “YOU DO YOU” about something else and I thought about that. Why the hell had I let other people convince me I needed to slow down? What an idiot. Turns out I don’t like slow. Right now. I might one day. I reserve the right to slow down…one day.
 
There’s a quote I love that says “Im motivated by the fear of being average”. Im not sure why its not ok for me to say that. Because I am. I am afraid of being average. At anything. I do NOT want to be average. And I feel like society says its ok to be average. Its ok to get 2nd place or 3rd place or participate. Ugh. I don’t WANT to participate. I want to win. I want to make an impact. I want to excel. I am happy and fulfilled and radiating and joyful and motivated by being balls to the wall, 90 mph most of the time. GO BIG OR GO HOME. That’s me. And I cannot apologize for that. I don’t want to slow down right now. It feels awful to me. Maybe it’s why Im the coach of NO EXCUSES. I have two kids, a sick husband, two “real jobs” that require a lot. I also write. A lot. I workout every day. I have an autoimmune disorder. Blah, blah, blah, blah. Its the hand I was dealt. So I deal.
 
I fucking climbed Pikes Peak. I want to climb it again. I want to climb more mountains. I want my cheer team to win every competition. I want the Cowboys to win the Super Bowl, not just make the playoffs. I want to be first on my Beachbody Team. I want my paycheck to be bigger. I want to help more people and more people get healthy. I want to beat the fuck out of Brain Rot and cancer. Not curl up and give up. I want my daughter not to “settle” for a college I want her to KNOW she can go to Berkeley. And I don’t want to feel bad about any of that. I am who I am. I thrive on deadlines, I love competition, I am motivated by the fear of being average. And that is ok. It is more than ok. Its very VERY good. I can also recognize and respect that this way is not for everyone. I do have empathy. I really do….OK Im working on that ;)-.
 
So Im giving myself permission to get back in the game. All the way. And I make no apologies. Im still a good Mom. Im still a good friend. Im still a good person. But I have personal goals that I don’t want to lose sight of. If driven is a bad thing to be then I guess I’ll be a bad thing. But I’ll be happy. And I’ll be me. And being me is really all I want to do at this point in my life. You get one shot, one trip around the sun, one life. ONE. LIFE. I don’t want to live someone’s else’s ONE LIFE. I want to live mine. Still learning and growing at 44 is pretty cool. 
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#11

Jessica is the Head Varsity Cheer Coach at Palmer Ridge High School. Last year she asked me to be her Assistant. For about 8 months now I’ve been in that position. My “side gig”. That takes up a lot of time and pays VERY little and requires more gut strength than I ever imagined. My daughter is a Sophomore on the team. This team won The Colorado State Cheer Championship last year. This team gets on a bus this coming Friday for Denver to defend that title. As a parent, last year, I spent 2 days so close to “puke status” in nerves that I sat close to trash cans in the coliseum just to be sure. All parents whose children have played in any sport or competed at any type of contest can relate. And at the STATE level when you are in front of 1,000’s of people its multiplied times ten. And now….this time….I have 21 kids competing.

To say Im nervous is an understatement. A BIG one. But its not just nerves about winning, about defending a title. It is a million times harder to win the second time. I know that. And everyone is watching us. EVERYONE in this state associated with this sport knows who we are and has stalked us all year and is after us. As it is in any sport with the defending champs. So the past few weeks Ive naturally thought about when I cheered and we went to competitions. Regionals, Nationals. The memories.
When I first tried out for Freshman Cheerleader in 1987 it was NOT a popularity contest like some schools had. Tryouts were behind closed doors with only some select judges that were hired through a third party watching us. Individually. They did not know our names, we only had numbers pinned to us. #11. It was a true “tryout”. The school nor the students had anything to do with who was selected for the team. And that day, in March of 1987, when my name was one of 12 girls’ names called out of about 100+ that tried out….my life changed.
I only vaguely knew of some of those other 11 girls that day. But all of that would change. Two months ago, almost 30 years after that day, I attended my 25th High School Reunion with 2 of those girls. We got ready together in Lauren’s bathroom. We tried on outfits, laughed, sprayed WAY too much hairspray and talked about stuff that stays in the bathroom.  Over the past 30 years those girls and I have been through marriages, divorces, deaths of parents & siblings & a fellow cheerleader. We’ve had miscarriages and kids and illness and moved and changed jobs and gotten older. Much older. But you drop us together in a bathroom with some wine and some hairspray and no time at all had passed. That day, 30 years ago….they became family.
And so I know what is about to happen for these 21 girls. I know what is ahead for them. I know that competing on a mat together for 2 and half minutes is only one tiny fraction of what makes them family. Of what unites them. Of what ties them together forever.  Its HOURS AND HOURS AND HOURS of endless practices. Its long bus rides to away games. Its boyfriends being assholes and plots to get revenge and crying on each others’ shoulders. Its sleep overs and fights and arguments about whose fault it was when the stunt fell. Its shoulder surgery and sprained ankles and extra tumbling lessons and pulled muscles. Its football games in the snow when everyone has gone home but them. It’s paint wars and Secret Santas and hotel rooms and “tattoos” ;). It’s rolling their eyes at each other when they don’t think we see it. Its getting your drivers license, giving each other rides to practice, staying up late to help each other study for a test you HAVE to pass. Its blue hair, sharing bows and t-shirts and food. Its crying through pain and doing full-outs anyway. It’s being 17 and wanting to be treated like an adult but laying in your coaches’ lap. It’s parents divorcing and being there for each other.  It’s all of this and so very much more. That makes them a team.
They are funny, sarcastic, smart, witty, caring, kind, jerks-at-times, selfish, spoiled, moody, loving, affectionate, everything that a teenage girl is supposed to be. And I love them. All of them. And my nerves for my kid are still there. Because she’s mine. I gave birth to her. I love her and I want all good things for her. But THIS time I feel truly as if I have 21 kids. And I thank Jessica for that. For getting this perspective. I WAS a cheerleader. I AM a parent. And now I AM a coach too. How crazy lucky am I to get to experience it from all of those places. Thank you to my cheer coaches who I more than likely took for granted. Mrs. Willis and Coach Grover- THANK YOU!
Why does “I was a cheerleader” not float effortlessly out of my mouth? Because I know those four words cannot possibly sum up all it means.
Girls….you know how competitive I am. I know how competitive you are. I know how much we all want to win. I am acutely aware of the millions of hours and sweat you’ve put into this. If we walk away with another trophy I will be ecstatic for all of you. But trophy or not, YOU girls are amazing people. I am so unbelievably proud of you. Of the women you are becoming. And proud to be walking through this with you. Hug each other tight. Here’s to bathrooms 30 years from now. Now lets KICK SOME ASS PALMER’S HOUSE!
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LISTEN

I know I’ve posted about music before. About how important it is to me. I grew up with it in my house. ON ALL THE TIME. I know I’ve mentioned the serious stereo system my Dad had in the living room with cabinets FULL of hundreds of records. I have some pretty cool ones. I have some very old ones. His Sgt. Pepper’s album by the Beatles is almost 50 years old. We also had a system in the garage. We spent a lot of time in the driveway. In lawn chairs, with beer. So of course you needed outside music.

I have said that I might’ve been the only 2 year old who knew all the words to “Stairway To Heaven”. I did. And as the years went on I got to listen to The Who, Pink Floyd, Bruce Springsteen, The Stones, and a million other rock bands my Dad liked. My Mom often took over the music when he wan’t home. He drove a truck and was gone at weird times. So when he was gone it was John Denver, Michael Martin Murphy, Kris Kristofferson and a few more mellow”er” guys. To say it was eclectic is an understatement.
I remember being a pre-teen (my Dad must’ve been 28 or so) HOLY SHIT…and him saying that he’d never listen to “country music”. It was “old people’s music”. My grandad had several 8 tracks of Merle and Johnny so I knew what that meant. Then George Strait released his “Strait From The Heart” album in 1982 and “Amarillo By Morning” changed all of that. I was 10. Dad was 29. And I guess he became an “old man”. We wore that tape out. I remember we got a tape deck and a cassette and it was a big deal. He said it really was not “old man country”. Whatever….good music is good music.
I borrowed my friend’s “2 Live Crew” tape once in 1989 and my Dad found it in my car. He literally started in on how “this crap isn’t music and how can you….”. Then he stopped. And looked at me. I smiled and said “Kinda like your Dad said to you about The Beatles”? He just laughed and put the tape back in the tape player. I miss him.
There was Fleetwood Mac and Lynda Ronstadt and Crystal Gale and Lynyrd Skynrd and eventually Johnny Cash and Willie Nelson and Jimmy Buffet and Garth Brooks and Charlie Robison and so, so ,so many more. There was always music. Always music. And always a beer in the driveway. The very last time I saw my Dad he was in his driveway. And there was music on.
Life can be hard sometimes. For everyone. We all have our shit. Every single day I wake up and go to my computer to work. And the first thing I do is put in my headphones and turn up my music. And Im not sure it could be more crazy eclectic. There’s days I listen to Chris Stapleton (Dad would’ve loved him), Madonna, Stevie Nicks and Eazy E all in the same hour. There’s days I just type in “WIllie Nelson” and every single song he ever sang plays all day. There’s times I play Pearl Jam and Metallica and Boston. There’s days I need Patty Griffin and Kasey Musgraves. There’s times nothing but U2 will do. And there’s always a song. For whatever mood. For whatever need. For whatever memory thats leaking out of my brain and into my eyes. There’s songs that remind me of old boyfriends, old friends, places, times, moments. And its so damn cool.
I remember when George Strait released “Baby Blue”. Some say about the loss of his 13 year old daughter, Jenifer. We were the same age. And my Dad said he could not even imagine how horrible it might be. To lose a child. And for the first time, really, I FELT a song. I realized the words could cut, soothe, hurt, remind, bring joy and heal. It’s the longest love I’ve ever had in my life…….music. There will always be music. Always.
When Im having a rough day or sad or upset or hurt or happy or excited or feel like dancing there is always music. Its an escape. Its a memory. Its a lot of things. Feeling grateful today I inherited a love for it. An appreciation for it. Music….always….

A BLOG I’LL NEVER PUBLISH

I post about positivity a lot. I post about getting over your shit and just dealing. That happiness is a decision you make every single day. And then I walk away from the post and cry. And pull on my yoga pants and do my workout…sometimes crying during that. And I smile and post a workout selfie and check in with my customers to make sure they are eating correctly and I drive to pick up my kids and I drive to cheer practice and I encourage the girls there and most of it….MOST of it I can do without crying. Because if you post positive shit enough its bound to work, right? RIGHT?
I don’t want to be honest. Its ugly. VERY ugly. Some mornings I get messages that say “I just want to be thin but this workout is too hard and the chocolate cupcakes were calling my name and my favorite show was on and I was tired after work so I just laid on the couch…so is there a faster way to lose weight?” Or “I literally cannot live without creamer in my coffee…its like…I just can’t function.”. And I type “you can do it”. “You’ve got this”. “Try stevia instead”. When what I want to type is “Fuck off asshole”. “My husband has brain rot, I have 2 jobs, my joints ache daily, and you need to get the fuck over yourself.”  What an amazing coach I am.
I grew up (like most of you) with this notion that 2.5 kids, a loving husband, a dog and a house in the burbs was what you were SUPPOSED to do. And that was the only way to be happy. Thats what you do people. And if you don’t you are weird or abnormal. So I got the loving husband, the 2 kids (after many miscarriages), the dog and the house in the burbs. And I see the family pictures posted on social media and people posting about how awesome their husbands and their kids are. And Id like to stab them. Do you know how horrible I look if I say “my husband is an asshole”? Because guess what? News flash? Just because you have Brain Rot doesn’t mean you cannot be a GRADE A asshole. You can be. He’s proof. I don’t get to say that though.
He is kind, provides for us, never would hurt us, loves us. He’s perfect. Sure. But he’s not. And there are days I’d like to punch him in his face and get in a car and drive FAR away. What does that make me? My kids are shit heads. They are funny, mostly healthy, get decent grades, have friends, aren’t in jail (yet) and aren’t pregnant (yet). So overall thats a win. But damn they are entitled, spoiled, lazy, and I’d like to set them on the front porch and put a sign on them that says “FREE, take please!”
Here’s some truth…I HATE cooking, I do not like going to parent teacher conferences, I don’t make my kids’ lunches, I’ve considered divorce, I’d rather go out to a concert with music and beer than a bunco group, I don’t like small children, I cuss a lot, I think a lot of people have no common sense, weak women make me puke, I’ve considered that fact that my Dad’s instant death was WAY better than what my husband is going through, I’ve wanted to send my kids away to school…for real, I could live in a tiny house by myself, I prefer mountains to people sometimes, Im not sure how I feel about marriage- we live a long fucking time to be with one person, I don’t do religion, I don’t do bake sales, I think its ok to cuss in front of my kids, I lack empathy at times, I have so many faults I cannot list them.
And I can’t tell you how sad I feel about admitting all of that. I just cannot live in “that world”. You know- FACEBOOK WORLD. Where Janie Smith has her 2 kids in matching outfits and her husband Rob works a 9-5 in a suit and she bakes for the school and volunteers in the library and plays the Disney channel station in her mini van so the kids don’t hear regular music and she goes to spin class on Tuesdays and book club on Thursdays and church on Sundays and she has a PERFECT life. I just can’t. I bow down to you that love that life…that thrive in it…that find your joy in it. Its just not me, And it took a long time to realize that. And be ok with it. And the thing is…Im finally ok with who I am at 44 but Im not sure society is. I know people judge…if you’re not “in the norm”. I guess its my issue if I actually care what people think.
So for the 100 of you that read this and think “she’s crazy” I know there’s 1 of you thinking “holy shit Im not alone”. And I write this for you. Just for you. For the gypsy, warrior, wanderer, mountain girl with dreams for herself that don’t have barriers. For you that want more names to call yourself than MOM and WIFE. You that are ok with following your HEART and not your head…wherever that may lead. YOU that are not always politically correct or follow the norms. YOU that feel different. Its ok. Its truly and beautifully and magically ok. When Brain Rot came along I shifted from a person who couldn’t stand to not know what was ahead…a total control freak…..to a girl who THRIVES on not knowing. The crazy awesome coolness of not knowing.
I love my husband. I love my kids. I would die for them. It took me a very long time to realize that is not all I am. And it is ok. To be more, to want more, to do more. It is not just ok….its necessary for me and my little soul. You have to find your true happy. And if she’s a gypsy you can only lock her up so long. Eventually she claws her way out. Peace, Light and Love! I hope for everyone to find their happy!!
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FALLING BACK ON FUNNY

It’s been the title of my blog for almost 4 years now. And this week it saved me. This WILL NOT be a political post. Im too happy for that. But it will be a testimonial on last week. Im thinking its no surprise for me to say I didn’t really love my choices for President. Im not happy with how it turned out. Im not. But it was a HUGE opportunity for me. I got to have some amazing conversations with my kids about the things I value and what I feel is appropriate and inappropriate and standing up for people and fighting for your rights and gay marriage and all of the things that matter to me. It was an opportunity to send some private messages to some people who posted some very uncool things- and guess what? We started a dialogue. A real conversation with no cursing or name calling. And we ended with nothing but love and respect. So there’s that. And THAT’S a lot!
There was a time in my early 30’s I got very riled up about politics and people’s opinions and let my blood pressure boil over. But my husband has brain rot now. My dear friend lost her husband this past week. WAY too young. And THAT hit home. More than I can express. And its a perspective and an age and a maturity thing. SO I CHOSE to find the funny, the happy, the good.
My Cowboys are on fucking FIRE! Lord we have suffered so long. If you don’t love football (and if you don’t Im not sure how we are friends), then Im not sure you get it. But the bliss Im feeling today hasn’t been felt since the early 90’s. I am on cloud 9. When life is shitty and bad things are happening and the world feels like its falling apart…there’s football. Its simple and clear cut and it reminds me of my Dad and it makes me jump up and down and shout at the tv. And my daughter watches it with me. And THAT is everything.
And my cheer team. Our cheer team. They WON LEAGUE! Again. Defending the trophy for a second year in a row. For those that don’t know cheer- you may not get this either. This sport has more injuries than any other including football. The hours are long and intense and you do things to your body that it just isn’t supposed to do. There’s tears, blood, broken noses. concussions, surgeries, sprained ankles, set backs and times you want to give up. But they don’t. If you are afraid for our future….DONT BE. I get to witness, on a daily basis, 22 strong-willed, smart, funny, sarcastic, kind, deep-thinking, caring, emotional, sensitive, crazy awesome girls conquer the world. They get good grades, very little sleep, volunteer, cheer for every sport while not getting much support in return, are gracious in defeat ad EXTREMELY protective of each other. We’ll be fine. And on a side note- if someone fucked with them I would kill them.
I also get to share my “story” today in a group on Facebook about Beachbody Coaching. As nerve-wracking as it still makes me all this time later- its a privilege. Sharing my story has become a bridge to people I never would’ve had contact with before. Its become a way I cleanse, my therapy, my outlet, and a by-product of that is the people I reach who send me private messages of gratitude and thanks for sharing. It is an honor. I think my story stopped being “MINE” a long time ago.
So last week I fell back on funny. This week I choose to as well. Im not making light of any situation. I don’t make light of making sure people have basic rights and are equal. I’ll fight to the death for that. No joke. But in a world with brain rot, auto immune disorder, friends losing loved ones, I choose to eliminate the ugly from my line of sight right now. Call it selfish, call it naive, call it turning a blind eye. I just call it survival.
Love, Peace & Light.
Dave Chapelle- SNL, watch it!
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FIGHT LIKE A GIRL

I start a new workout program today. I have always loved the launch of a new Beachbody workout. It motivates me. And I need muscle confusion for my body to stay fit. I am not personally on a weight loss journey but Im always looking to get stronger and tone up more. A new program called Core de Force starts today for me. Its MMA. You know- fighting. Punching, kicking, weaving, jabbing. I have not looked so forward to a new workout program in a very long time and I was trying to figure out why.
When you have someone close to you die, or suffering, or diagnosed with a degenerative disease, or you’re just going through a tough time…there are emotions that people expect from you. Sadness, depression, confusion, despair. But Im not sure that we talk enough about the anger. Because as happy as I am, as much as Ive embraced life and every moment…Im pissed the fuck off. And I think that not enough people understand or even think about that. Not all the time. Not even most of the time. It just hits me like any other emotion- without warning.
And punching a door isn’t exactly cost effective. I am 5 foot 1 inch. OK 5 foot half an inch. I weigh between 103-105 pounds depending on the day. Im not huge. I’ve spent my life getting out of people’s ways in crowds, not being able to see the stage, jumping onto high places, not being able to reach the top cabinet, wearing pants that were way too long, having people pat me on the head like a pet and crossing my fingers that a bar fight would occur when my taller friends were with me.
But you know what 6 feet and 200 pounds and big muscles and physical strength can’t do. It can’t beat up cancer or Brain Rot. It can’t get you through each day. It can’t make you less sad (Ok maybe it can in certain situations 😉 ). It can’t make you less anxious about doctors visits or progression reports or ease your mind about your kids’ futures. I stood on a ladder recently to change a bulb and couldn’t reach it. Fuck. I couldn’t fucking reach it. My husband cannot stand on a ladder. My daughter wasn’t home. My son’s shorter than me. And I’ll be damned if I will NEED someone else to change it for me. I got it done….dont ask how it wasn’t safe. But it fucking pissed me off.
So I realized why Im so excited about this program launching today. Its not about weight loss for me. Its not a fitness thing or a nutrition thing for me. Its a chance to feel like I can kick some ass. Like all 5 feet of me can do it. I can punch and kick and weave and bob and get tougher and stronger and angry and its all ok. Its all ok. You don’t have to be 6 feet tall to kick life’s ass. You just have to be willing. And never give up.
I start Core de Force today. And the one sample workout I did made me feel like a bad ass, I am a bad ass. I changed a light bulb!
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