Hearts Don’t Break Around Here

A few months ago, I was invited to meet with the editor of a newspaper to discuss a freelance position, one that could turn into a full time position. I rushed from work to the meeting, only to find that he forgot. The next day, we had a great chat, but I got the feeling that he didn’t really take me seriously…probably because he had no idea that my post secondary institution was a real school and flipped through my writing samples nonchalantly with no real interest. 

I left the meeting feeling flat. Not unhappy, but not feeling super jazzed about it. I didn’t really think about it at all actually. I kept on doing my thing. Writing cool stuff, getting to know cool people, selling phones and generally being awesome. I figured maybe it wasn’t my place, or my time. He’s a great writer and human, I just wasn’t the writer he was looking for and he was up front enough not to waste either of our time. So, I was rather surprised when this editor contacted me the other day and asked me if I wanted to do some work for him. It wasn’t a puff celebrity piece either. It was real news, with real meaning. This person I thought had no interest in my body of work took me much more seriously than I thought & I feel honoured that he thought I could write this piece. I intend to knock it out of the park. 


I think sometimes we forget that not everyone receives information the same way as we do. I’m an overly enthusiastic person; I sometimes misread calm and tranquil people as cold or detached. I’m sure they misread me as a vapid valley girl. The most important thing is to not get offended when people don’t respond the way you’d like. I could have taken his questions about my education as a personal slight; but it was obvious genuine interest. By not letting it get to me, I didn’t burn a bridge and now it’s become opportunity. 

I used to be so afraid that things wouldn’t work right when I wanted them to that I would make a mess of the things I truly wanted. Now I’ve learned to just go with it. Things didn’t work out? Oh well, pick yourself up and try from a different angle. Bad run? Don’t stress; just take a different route tomorrow. Did the editor not ask you to work on something right away? Don’t stress; just keep on building the portfolio. It’ll all work out when it’s supposed to. It may not be on my timeline, but it will be when it’s right. 


By not forcing life to adhere to my timeline, I’m accomplishing more than I ever thought possible. My writing career is growing, my day job is amazing & my team of women are so very bad ass. I can deadlift more than my body weight and I have a bunch of great friends and an active social life…


…okay maybe not the last one. But you work full time and raise a family, while freelancing and working out six days a week and tell me how social you are. But I’m getting it done. I’m living my happiest life and it’s all because I’m allowing life to happen when it’s supposed to,  not because I’m afraid it’ll all go away. 

I can’t promise I’ll know what project I’ll be working on next, but I can tell you it’ll be awesome and it’ll arrive at just the right time. 

How Far I’ll Go

Sometimes, I think the universe kind of likes me. 

Last week, I was met with some disappointment at work. I was feeling depressed, despondent, and ready to peace out of this place (okay not really. Moving is expensive and I’m too lazy for that shit). 

But I felt like I sucked at my job. I felt under appreciated and seriously contemplated getting hammered in my bathtub and crying like a little bitch. 


But before I went to the liquor store to buy the booze required to get drunk in the bathtub, I got a lovely Facebook message from a lovely young woman named Rachel Woznow. I wrote an article about her last year. She’s a beautiful and talented woman and you should probably buy her song Firestorm on iTunes (I listen to it when I go running). But she told me she’s been following my career and my life through my blog and she was inspired by my journey to finally become the reporter I was meant to be. I cried. In the moment where I felt least valued professionally, a random message popped up telling me that someone thought that I talent and deserved to go far. 

courtesy: rachelwoznow.com

Next came an email from a publisher in rural Alberta suggesting that I apply for a temporary contract position with their newspaper! Had I known how to drive, I would have jumped all over that. But alas, I’ve had to wait until the new year to learn to drive because driver’s ed costs money & requires time and I pretty much live at my store. Hachem did offer to teach me, but he’s busier than I am (& also a pain in the ass and would likely piss me off more than anything else), and I don’t like asking people for help with stuff because I’m a boss ass bitch who does it for herself. But I figure six months is enough to learn to drive before my road test. It won’t be THAT hard, right?

Regardless, once again, the universe reminded me that I am where I’m meant to be. I’m meant to be here, writing articles and creating interesting stories. I’m meant to be here, with my good friends and my girls. If I keep working hard & building my portfolio (and possibly bribe the editor of the Journal with delicious baked goods), I’ll finally get to where I want to be. No matter how hard things get, the universe will remind you that you’re in the right place and on the right track (& maybe kick your ass to learn to drive a car). 

I guess it’s all about outlook. My day job had to potential to be a disaster, but I went in to this new development with a positive attitude and a determination to learn. I’ve gained a lot of positive feedback from my peers, but more importantly, an ally in the workplace and a great new friend (seriously she’s so awesome). I may not always feel like people are reading my work or care, but obviously someone is and they kind of dig it. And the only person holding me back from success is me & my lack of driving skills…and car. But if you go into life or a situation feeling like shit and claiming it’s all doom and gloom, you’ll never get anything out of it. Even when things are super shitty, there’s an opportunity to make it not shitty. You’ve just gotta allow yourself that time to feel your anger, sadness, etc. And then listen to the world around you. It’ll let you know if you’re on the right track. 


As for me, I’ll keep going down my path, which doesn’t have much of a path. It’s more of a jungle that I have to navigate through. But it’s my path & mine alone and I’m excited to see where it’ll take me. 

Today I Saw The Whole World

I swear, I didn’t die. 

I know I kind of fell off of the blogosphere for a bit, but I was really busy listening to Pierce the Veil. 

More importantly, I was hyper focused on work. Between my store commitments and the articles that I receive money for, my focus was on the jobs that pay me. At my day job, I was taking several recruiting and training classes, so I can hire better people and train them to become successful. I was also working on several articles, including this piece, which was a top news story for Edmonton Prime Times. I’m also working on a mental health article that means a lot to me. 

Oh, and I was learning to twerk. 

I literally cannot tell this human anything

Nope, didn’t make that shit up. 


I’ve been researching an article for one of the magazines I’m working with, an article about alternative forms of fitness. The form was dance. So, I took some classes! First of all, as someone who hasn’t been as fitness focused as she used to be, and has only been attending regular workouts (aside from running) for the last six weeks, I was nervous enough, but I’m also a power lifter. I train for strength. How hard could dance be?

Spoiler alert; really fucking hard. 

As the tiny human (who is incredible) led me through the movements, I learned that A) this is a really effective workout & B) that I am too white and too awkward to ever twerk, or move in any way that could ever be viewed as sexy. My abs really hurt and my thighs were on fire. I certainly burned a lot of calories and also discovered a whole new level of shame by attempting to twerk. My ass jiggles, but never in time with music or in a way that is sexy. Everyone else rolls their hips and looks sexy af. Me? I awkwardly rock back and forth while praying for a meteor to kill me. Now let us never speak of this ridiculousness ever again (except to read about it in the January issue of YEG Fitness). 

I wanted to try as many styles as possible, so next, I moved on to pole dancing. My best friend was a dancer for years and often talked about the strength and intensity required to pole dance. I laughed at her, because I’m mean. But it honestly does require a lot of hard ass work. My legs were battered and bruised after that class, but I left feeling so empowered. Here was a group of women cheering each other on and working hard and also embracing their own sexuality. It’s super cool and every Wednesday, I’ll be attending pole class, as I’ve decided that I’ll be the pole dancing, crossfitting, article writing Queen of Telecommunications. A year ago, I was afraid to pitch an idea to one magazine. Now, I’m confident in my talents and abilities. None of those abilities involve twerking. 


I am not a good pole dancer. But I wasn’t a good crossfitter when I started. But I trained and got better. But I learned the environment helps too. The women I train with are super bad ass. This helped me realize that I hated the gym I have gone to for a year, but kept going to because I felt like it was me, I just was a bad athlete and didn’t fit in. But I realized that I pay to go there and if I’m not happy, I need to find a gym that makes me happy. And I found one. Smaller classes, engaged coaches, and programs designed to see progress. I freaking love it and my new fellow athletes. It’s been a great switch and I would definitely recommend my new gym to anyone looking to get stronger. 

Make sure you are following my ridiculous adventures on Snapchat (ASHMHC) unless I have blocked you on Snapchat

It’s been nice to get back to me, the happiest MHC. The happiest MHC needs to be working towards goals and growing into a better woman. Taking risks, trying new things, new adventures. The happiest MHC loves fitness and wants to get stronger, setting those PR’s, like the one I just set for power clean (90lbs!). I need to be pitching ideas and seeing them come to life. That’s who I want to be. And that’s who I’ve become again and it’s so rad. I’d rather take the risk than never try. So, I keep taking the risks. Sometimes, it goes horribly wrong (like trying to twerk). Others, I discover something new about myself or a skill I’d like to try. But either way, it makes me a better woman & a better role model for my girls, as they are learning to take risks and find themselves, and not let anyone else tell them who or what they are supposed to be. 


So, go out there and try the new thing. Go on the adventure. Move across the country to become successful. But don’t be afraid to do it your way, on your terms and on your own. Even if it all goes to Hell, you’ll have learned and come out stronger, which will only make you better. 

The Greatest

Hey guys,

Remember that time I pitched a story to a newspaper & then when that didn’t work, pitched it to another one, and then another one? Pepperidge Farm remembers. 

Well, check this out!

(SERIOUSLY. CLICK THE DAMN LINK. CLICK IT. LIKE NOW)

It’s up! It’s published! I did it! Isn’t that the coolest thing?! I had an idea and it became a reality! And now I have a freelance gig where I get to share my passion for healthy living with the citizens of Edmonton as well as on social media (unless I blocked you on social media). 

I know to you, it’s just a story. A magazine article. But to me, it’s the knowledge that my story ideas are good. They are interesting. They deserve to be heard. It’s the culmination of my hard work. And I’m so happy and proud. 


I’m sure you’ve all worked hard at something and you’ve accomplished it and the feeling that comes with it. At least I hope you have had that. If not, keep on working at it, you’ll get there. Just keep on working at it, be positive & everything will come together as it should & I wish you all the best in your journey. 

As for me, I’m going to work on the next idea, the next article that I’d love to share with you. 

Your Type

I’m starting to think I’m spreading myself too thin & I’m pretty sure I don’t give a fuck.

I’ve been offered another freelance position with TWA Entertainment writing for one of their entertainment blogs. I’m reviewing a book for Great West as well as working on another piece. My story pitch was well received by another editor, but he’s not sure if it works in the paper I suggested, so he’s taking more time to think on it. But most importantly, I have a meeting next week with the editor of Metro Edmonton. I’ve met the guy before…and emailed him. And texted. And sent resume after resume. I’ve pretty much proven I can be VERY tenacious when I need to be. But I finally got a meeting for my sixth freelance position & I am so nervous that I may throw up. My best friend Erica calls him “Editor hottie” and said she “ships it” but I ignore her. This is a big opportunity for me & I REALLY don’t want to blow it. This would give me real newsroom access & it would mean so much to me. And I could still work my day job, which means I’ll get to keep doing such amazing things such as live & pay bills. Yay!

…oh, and I finally got a better work phone, so win for me. My boss asked how I got such a solid device as my work phone (which I now carry 24/7), I said because I’m awesome & everyone fucking loves me. He laughed. He gets me. 

LOOK AT MY WORK NEXUS 6P. LOOK AT IT. Although my business cards need work
That’s my fear; that I’ll spread myself so thin between management, journalism, raising my family, and fitness that I’ll burn out like I did in the winter. I keep reminding myself that I cannot allow that to happen. I’ve worked too hard for this & I need to keep my work life balance in check. So far, I’m doing alright. My friend Jannik jokes that I’m much easier to stalk now, as my schedule is so precise.I can’t complain about my work schedule; I build it because I’m the boss hahaha. Monday, Friday, Saturday are day shifts in my store, and running.  Tuesday – Thursday are night shifts in my store & crossfit (with a floating day off in there). Sundays off. Always (except for next weekend, where I’ll be reviewing Fringe Festival plays for Vue Magazine! How cool is that). I keep asking him if it counts as stalking if I know he’s there & leave him snacks and binoculars. We have an odd rapport. But my point is that I’ve built myself a balance. I worry if I keep adding to my plate like a fat kid at a buffet, if it’ll all topple down.

Aren’t we cute? But I don’t visit enough. Or ever. I am so mean.
But I guess I know that this is how it has to be. No one ever achieved success by sitting on their ass. I need to work hard. I’ve always worked hard, but this time it’s paying off in spades. I’m passionate about writing. It’s literally all I know how to do (oh, and kick ass in wireless. I’m good at that too) & work doesn’t feel like work. It feels like me doing what I have to do in order to become the successful woman & role model for my daughters I need to be.
When Fong, the weird pyramid scheme guy (who I thought was asking me for a three way when he asked me if I was open minded, proving that I’m super messed up) asked me if I could scale back & focus on having an easier time making money, I told him no. I like working. I like working hard. I like doing things that make me happy. Why would I trade that in for an easy path? 

So, I push myself by reminding myself that I earned these opportunities & I have to earn the right to keep them. I force myself to the gym when I’m tired or don’t feel like running by reminding myself that I need that self care, and I keep my day for me, my family, my sanity. Last week, I chose to spend part of it by my favourite place in Edmonton reading. Tomorrow afternoon, I’ll be in the exact same spot reading a book I’m reviewing.

If anyone needs me, I will be here every Sunday, recharging in nature

It’s a lot of work, but the best things come to those who put in a lot of work. So, I go into each day with the understanding that I need to put in that work to continue to succeed while balancing work, life, & fitness & being the kindest possible person I’m capable of being.

As always, to follow more of my adventures, follow me on Snapchat (ASHMHC). There’s lots of selfies with this filter. Fight me.

Somebody’s Love


After eight months, I’ve said goodbye to the world of major retail big box chains. 

Peace out.

I left my manager & DM thank you notes, as well as the store manager. Much like when I left the St. Albert location, my coworkers were gifted a bucket of snacky foods and a thank you letter, although this time, there was a welcome letter for the new hire, who has been a good friend to me since I started. I feel it’s important to make sure that those who worked hard with you during your tenure know you appreciate them. I’ve been fortunate to work with a strong manager and a District Manager who is a role model for all women in wireless. She loves her team, works hard for those who work for her and doesn’t take anyone’s crap. I hope that I can lead my new team with the same level of integrity and success that she has.

I’m so freaking excited to be moving forward. In this past month, I’ve taken my new position and I’m so excited to get started. I was under the impression that I’d be shadowing the manager for my probationary ninety days, but he’s made it clear that my new store will be “my baby” after two weeks, and a crash course in wireless leadership. That’s both awesome and frightening, but then I remind myself that they’re trusting me with this because I’ve proven that I can do it. My work history demonstrates that I can be a capable leader. So, it’s about calming the nerves, taking a deep breath and stepping up to the plate.

My writing career is booming too. My first article under my new editor was a success, which makes me happy. When I started with Great West Newspapers, I was afraid to pitch a story. I didn’t think I should. What do I know about Alberta and the lifestyles of people here? I accepted my assignments as they came and when a story idea that I carefully crafted was given to another writer, I wanted to give up. I felt like a fish out of water and maybe I’m not the talented journalist I always thought I was. But when I got the email that there was a change of the guard, I decided to suck it up and be brave. I came up with two ideas and pitched them both. My new editor replied with that both were good, but one was a better fit for the summer months. So, I got to work and when I got the email saying that there were no revisions necessary and it was being printed, I was elated! One of my pieces for My Trending Stories was very well received and I’ve mentioned it before, but the editor of a major Edmonton newspaper told me my blog was witty and clever and he couldn’t wait to read my published work. All of a sudden, I felt very much like the person I have worked my entire life to become. Pitching stories is such a huge part of what I do, so my lack of confidence, much like my lack of driving, has held me back.

Nothing holds me back anymore.


When the editor of a local newspaper set out a call for freelance writers, I brainstormed with a friend (who also happens to be as passionate about radio as I am about writing) and we came up with an idea that could be really interesting. I drew up a little proposal and explained why I thought readers would like it and sent it off. I haven’t heard back yet, which I’m taking as a positive sign. Had he hated it (or required more pictures of Spiderman), he would have just said so. But when some friends asked me about my idea, I told them, and as I was saying “You’ll think it’s silly…” they replied “That sounds really interesting!” I’ve booked interviews already. I’m so excited about how this is turning out. Maybe he won’t want to run with it. If not, I’ll finish it and sell it to another magazine here in YEG. Because why not? The more publications that print my work, the better it is for my career.

Don’t we all Mr. Jameson

I guess I need to stop being so damn timid whenever I feel out of my element and just go out there and kick ass and be a bad ass. My body of work speaks for itself, so I need to stand behind it. I need to stop being afraid that I cannot do something and just focus on the fact that I can and I will do well if I work hard, treat people with kindness and respect and believe that I can be the best journalist and cell phone boss lady that I can be. So, it’s one day off to recharge the batteries then it’s back into the cell phone game as the lady of the house, while getting those crossfit workouts, thrice weekly runs and interviews for my next article done.

It’s a busy, beautiful life and I’m so grateful to be the one who gets to live it.

And I have this one on Team MH. She’s good people

Holy

Since I started working with Great West Media last year, I have emailed the publisher once a week, every week. I have emailed him 66 times. 

Yesterday, I took a trip to St. Albert to interview with him. 

An opening arrived. He was very honest and said I was competing with people with 15 years editorial experience, but there are some positions opening up in the fall that I would be better suited for & this would be a preliminary interview. He liked my work. He admired my tenacity. Could I make it in two hours? Uhhhh…duh. Sure it was deadline day, and I had a sentence to add into my hiking piece. But I can’t turn down a chance to meet a publisher! So, I went on the epic road trip to St. Albert & made it in 1.5 hours, a new record for me. I didn’t even get lost. Baby Jesus was in my corner. 


I think the interview went well. They asked about my adding some extra freelance work to the local paper on top of my current freelance work until I can take my road test & get a car. I’m already freelancing, why not?! It’s money in my pocket. It’s new & different subject matter (City Council writing was discussed) & I learn more and more about becoming a better reporter. It’s another step closer to the goal that I’ve worked so hard for & moved across the damn country for. One step closer. 


Even if I just sell more stories until I can buy a car next year while I build my wireless career as the cell phone boss lady, it’ll be okay. I start my new job on 07/04 & I’m excited to get into my new store. And this meeting was productive. It’s one step closer…& more money. I put in the time, the effort & hard work & I got the meeting I’ve been gunning for. He didn’t have to do that, after all, he said himself that there were other candidates with more experience. But he read my work & it was damn good. And if I freelance with the newspaper, I’ll get some time in a newsroom & a chance to learn other styles of reporting. My new editor has been very hands on with my latest work. I’m soaking up the feedback like a sponge. Anything to learn and grow & become the best damn reporter I can be. 


I don’t fear failure anymore. Mostly because I don’t really know what it is. If it didn’t work the first time, I believe in doubling down & trying again. Didn’t get the meeting? Try again. Want a better job? Take the road less travelled to get the interview. Nail it. Bad weekend for your diet? Eat better tomorrow. Was that WOD or run loaggy & crappy? Oh well, your time will improve tomorrow. This is the mantra that I have built my life around. There is no failure; only a setback in which I can then use to become the woman I’m supposed to be. Thanks for that kick in the nuts, I’ll just bounce back better. 

Life is always about proving to yourself that you can be the best you that you can be, without hurting people or stepping on them on the way. You can always improve, grow, be better. If you want it badly enough, you’ll do it. I always remind myself that if former WWE champion Seth Rollins can rehab 10 hours a day & crossfit on one leg to get back to what he does best, I can get my ass to the gym. If I can be brave enough to move away from everyone I love to be a writer, I can learn to drive, freelance, take everything thrown at me until I get to where I need to be. I can be the best cell phone boss lady I can be and make my store successful. Why? Because I want it. That’s why. 

Still pretending this is where MiTB ended. Fight me

Running With The Wild Things

Do you know how much easier it is to go to your job when you know you only have to go 11 more times?!

Seriously. Super awesome. I’m like “let’s hit this target guys so I can get out of here!” I MAY be excited to start my new job. I am so grateful for the opportunities that this gig has afforded me, but it’s time to move on and I’m REALLY excited to move on. Haha. However, this is not my old universe, so I’ll have to remember some very important managerial rules;

  1. I am not friends with my boss, so I can no longer say bitch on conference calls…unless of course, I become friends with him and find it is socially acceptable to use the word bitch in conference calls. I probably should limit my use of the word bitch in my store. Maybe. I can’t promise miracles yo.
  2. I am the manager in training, which means in a few months I will be running my ship, which means I can no longer pin my hair on my head however I feel like. I must actually make the bitch bun look nice, and look like the cell phone boss lady that I am about to become. That means waking up early to do my hair AND run. Boo lol.
  3. I will once again get to say “I AM the manager,” when someone asks for a manager.
  4. Many of my new team members are new to wireless, so I get to add “Bad ass cell phone trainer/boss lady,” to my list of skills.
  5. Seriously, stop saying the word bitch so much MHC.

I have to be a responsible adult. Boo.

But the thing I am happiest about is the outpouring of love, congrats and support I received from my former co-workers, friends, and family. I received a message from my former co-worker/quasi-sibling/pretend nemesis Chaddy Chad offering to revive our friendly rivalry, as well as congratulating me, saying he knew I deserved to take the lead. My old boss reminded me that yes, he made a phone call, but I’m the one who earned the job and he was happy for me…but if I don’t kick butt, he will hunt me down. Texts from friends, colleagues, etc. wishing me well. I am so incredibly fortunate to have so many people who love me and want me to succeed. It’s funny; when you surround yourself with people who love you (and you love right back) & want to support one another, how far you can go. My people are a zillion miles away (except for about three people), but they still have my back in all things. Those are the kinds of people I want in my life. Thank you for being those kinds of awesome people.

I’m just utterly in love with my life right now. I have the wireless career plan that I had worked so hard at Target to build (and then ended) back on track. I am part of a company that has a culture and people that I love. I’m part of an organization that I respect and admire and I want to build a long term career with (if a long term journalism job doesn’t ever pan out). But while right now it’s the Dave & MHC show, once I prove myself, it’ll be my store, my team. I get to cultivate people & help them reach their goals! I’m freelancing with a National Newspaper Award winning editor who sees a lot of potential in my writing and my story ideas. And as I learn to drive and buy my own car, I can keep working towards the goal. I’ve been doing home repair, putting up curtains and hanging pictures and making my home feel like MY home. The kids are doing well. I was afraid I’d have to start over at Crossfit, but no, I still have a lot of strength in me.  I guess life is a little like running. Running is stupid, but it’s necessary to remain healthy and active. But there’s a big ass hill by my house. When I moved here, walking up that stupid hill was enough to wind me. This week I ran up that hill as part of a 5.5 KM run. Even after running almost 4.5 KM first, I made it up the hill and still managed to finish the run. And when you run uphill, your legs get stronger. I guess, as always, I’ve gotten stronger. And because I’ve gotten stronger, I have gotten almost everything I’ve ever wanted, which makes me the happiest MHC in the whole wide world.


 

A New Day Has Come

I’ve always said that no matter what happens in my life, professionally, I am killing it. I can use present tense because I am ALWAYS killing it. Call me an egotistical bitch, but I’m very good at what I do & when I set a professional goal, I get it. Why? Because I’m MHC & I work 10 times harder than I need to because I’m determined to be the strongest woman I know. 


This past week, I’ve been contacted for two interviews; one for a management position that would allow me to begin to merge my wireless career & public relations career and one AT MOTHER EFFING POSTMEDIA. MOTHER EFFING POSTMEDIA. LET THAT SINK IN BITCHES. POSTMEDIA. It’s not the position I am gunning for, but it is a start.  It’s opportunity and all I’ve ever asked for is an opportunity. I can prove myself with the rest. But everything I’ve worked for since I was eight could start to come together. And if it blows up, I have an opportunity to continue my reign as the Queen of Telecommunications. Speaking of my reign, my manager called me today to tell me that I was this week’s top performer for all of Northern Cow Province. All hail the Queen. My last blog post was praised on Twitter. Random strangers messaged me to tell me they think I’m gifted with words. Boom. My new editor has been really hands on, working with all of us to appeal to our strengths and help us grow as writers. I’m so excited to work with him, as I’ll just become a better reporter. I’m so super happy. I have almost everything I’ve ever wanted after a minor setback in the winter. But that’s all setbacks are; minor. With hard work & determination, it’ll always come together. 

I wanted this job so badly that I ditched my signature red lip in favour of a natural look. I am actually wearing more makeup to look like I am not wearing any than when I wear cateye and red lip

Regardless of if anything pans out, I know the opportunity is there. All humans are 100% capable of making their lives how they want it to be & I am gonna do just that. I have a destiny to be so much bigger than I am, and so do you. We all do. Part of that destiny is teaching three girls to (if I can borrow a line from Queen Britney Spears) work bitch. I’ve been pushing myself at the gym (my quads will tell you all about it), I’ve been pushing my cardio by following my Runkeeper plan. Strong women create strong women & I intend to raise three unstoppable forces. To do that, I have to be one myself. 

I was gonna run around the lake, but geese.

Life isn’t perfect, and it will never be perfect, but it’s coming together nicely & I can take comfort in the knowledge that I did all of it MY way. I’m gonna continue to do it all MY way because, not only am I teaching my daughters to do it their way, but because I can take joy in knowing everything I’ve ever accomplished I did on my own, for me. It wasn’t my coaches that lifted the weight, I did it. No one got these interviews for me, I DID.  No one sold the phones for me, no one wrote the words for me, no one did it but me. I DID IT & for the first time in my life, I’m going to embrace what I can do. Once you embrace what you can do and what you can accomplish, no one can take it from you ever again. 

MH’s guide to life is simple; 1. Be a bad ass. 2. Own the fuck out of your bad assery. Let your light shine bright & never let anyone or anything make you think you can’t. You can. Own that you can. I tell my teen daughter that you can look for the light at the end of the tunnel or you can bang two damn rocks together until you get a spark to light it yourself. 


I’ve got my spark, time to start my inferno. 

This is What You Came For

Let me tell you about my good friend Gleason. 

We have been friends for 20 years (Dear God). We’ve been friends through the best of times, the worst of times, marriages (both of us), divorce (mine), kids, depression, and that heartbreaking time that Hulk Hogan joined the nWo. I’m very fortunate to have maintained such an awesome long term friendship. We used to talk about TV & sports. Now it’s kids & fitness & life. 

Why Hogan…Why?

But when you’ve known someone as long as I’ve known him, they’re more apt to tell you when you’re not living up to your potential. Or, in my case, when I’m being a doormat. 

Awwwww!

For years, I’ve told him about my life, my kids, my plans, goals, etc. and the one question he’d ask me whenever I would talk about stuff is “Is that what Mary-Helen wants?” 

I know the hubby thinks you can afford that Van, but what do you think? What do you want?

I know he’s talking marriage, but is that what you want?

I know you say you’re fine with that schedule, but is that really what you want? Will it really work for you?

So you’re giving him what he asked for, despite him having no respect for you whatsoever. When does he care about what you want?

I would answer that I was doing what I wanted, because I was writing & crossfitting & doing my thing. But was I really getting what I wanted? I often said that I didn’t want to rock the boat at work, or make the Dad angry. Blank & I were together & happy & he worked so hard that I didn’t want to upset him. I would always say “I don’t want him to get mad & leave me,” and when I did assert myself, I would be afraid of the disappearing act. So, maybe I wasn’t. Or was I? I don’t even know anymore. 

I spend so much time making people happy that I end up sacrificing what I want. I would try to stand up for myself, but when it didn’t make things better, I’d stand down. Give in. Maybe I need to be more assertive and stop taking stupid people’s stupid shit. 


But, since winter turned into spring, I’ve been asking myself this question a lot. What does MHC want? What do I want for my life, my kids, my future? I’m in control of my life & deep down, I always have been. I just let my fear get in the way of that. And like a good friend, or Glinda, my friend wanted me to figure it out on my own. 

the first person to photoshop my friend Gleason’s head on Glinda’s body gets a cookie

Maybe I need to stop worrying about what everyone else wants and do what I want. I need to stop worrying about what the Dad wants & what my friends want & what he wants & focus 100% on what my kids & I want. And we want to continue to live our quiet life. Go to church. Go to Starbucks. Tomorrow we’ll go see Captain America. I want to go running after work every night. I want to crossfit & gains. And most importantly, I want to be the best damn writer & role model I can be. And with the awesome new changes at my magazine, I’m excited about what kind of writer I am going to become. And I’ve already taught my girls about forgiveness and compromise. Now I need to focus on teaching them how to stand up for what they want &I make their voices heard. If people don’t like that, then oh well. Your time in my story is over. I no longer stress about that. I have a world to conquer. 


Sometimes it takes reminding, but I do have a voice & I need to use it to stand up for myself at work, in life, and to myself. Because what I want matters too…and I intend to get it.