Salute

Another bucket list item checked off!

I completed a 10k run!

My time wasn’t what I hoped it would be, but I set a personal best, and that was pretty exciting. My coaches cheered at the finish line and that meant a lot to me. It’s a small thing, but I felt so supported by my gym crew. I have been so swamped that I haven’t been able to train as much as I wanted, but I did it and I’m pretty proud of that. Next year, I’ll aim for an hour. I think with training and dedication, I could do that.

I was feeling pretty good until I got my marathon pics. While everyone was happily sharing theirs, I was crying in my back room because I couldn’t believe how big I looked. I wasn’t proud of myself anymore. All I could see was that I was this big fat blob running. It sounds depressing, but it was a really healthy moment because I keep pushing down and ignoring the feelings that stem from the fact that I really don’t like myself right now. I keep saying I’m going to do things and put me first, but I never do it. Here I was, fresh off of a major accomplishment and I was heartbroken because I felt so fat.

I haven’t been happy with my training level this year. I feel like I could be doing more, but it seems like work, family, life bogs me down more than I’d like. Lack of training leads me to eat like crap. This makes me get fat again. None of this is good, because it all just makes me unhappy. So I decided I need to find another goal to work towards. My coach suggested a half marathon, but no thank you. I’m not ready for that yet. But Crossfit goals might be a good idea. It would help kick my ass to train. I’d hopefully get to know my gym community better, which is positive. Basically, I need to learn to like myself again, and I know exercise is a big part of it.

I thought about some goals I wanted to set. A few things I could work towards to help me feel better about myself, both physically and mentally. I want to get healthier, be a better role model to the girls, and get out of my comfort zone and not let work take over my life. I love my job, but I need work life balance. The gym is an important part of that for me, as I like the people at my gym, and I like how I feel after a workout. With my car, it’s easier to get to the gym, which means fewer excuses, and also, a better butt.

I thought long and hard about the goals I wanted to set. What would help me improve and also help me like myself better? Here’s what I came up with;

1. Attend classes five days a week every week for a minimum of one month.

2. Attend at least one strongman class.

3. Push myself a little harder each week so I can start completed RX WOD’s.

4. Complete one Open workout RX’ed in 2019.

5. Give up caffeine for thirty days.

6. Sign up for a Crossfit competition and actually do it.

They all sound like they’d be hard. But that’s the point. I’ll have to make it a point to leave work on time to get to the gym. Now that I have a vehicle, it’ll be easier. I’ll have to push past insecurities to attend a class that (right now), is out of my skill level. I’ll have to break my morning routine and not get my morning Starbucks & shake up how I start my day. I’ve always been able to change my life to keep doing positive things, but lately I’ve been stuck in a rut. Last time I felt this way, I packed up, moved to London and lost weight. Then I packed up, moved to Edmonton and began a freelance career. I can’t pack up again, but maybe I can shake up my life just enough that I can kickstart positive changes again.

If you don’t like yourself, no relationship, no friendship, nothing will fix you. Only you can fix you. I’ll never be good for anyone else if I’m not happy with myself. I need to teach my girls fitness is about loving your body enough to take care of it, not punishing it for liking pizza. So, I’ll work on my goals, so that the next time there are photos of me accomplishing a cool thing, I’ll actually be proud of them.

Sinners

I’ve kept this blog for seven years. Why? I dunno. I’ve always enjoyed the fact that I have a sort of map of where I’ve grown. My biggest fear in life is that I’ll stop evolving. So, I feel like blogging is my reference point, like “hey, I don’t do that stupid thing anymore! Go me!” But sometimes I like to talk about stuff to kind of remind others that they’re not alone in the world. Maybe they feel like I do sometimes. Or, I just like to hear myself talk. Maybe both.

Lately, my life has been constant stress. Work stress. Money stress. Life stress. I actually just want to go on vacation because I genuinely feel like my life would exponentially improve if I wasn’t part of it for two weeks.

This isn’t actually true. This is the anxiety. Anxiety is the elephant in the room of my life. I know it’s there, everyone around me knows it’s there, but I like to pretend if I ignore it, no one else will see it.

I was diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder five years ago. I can’t take medication, as anti depressants cause very dangerous side effects. But, I manage it through fitness and therapy. Fitness is a big part of how I cope, so when I can’t work out, I’m especially anxious. I used to have my core group of friends to help keep me grounded. Out here, I have maybe three friends, mostly because of my fear of getting close to people. It’s been so long, but that dark period of loneliness from when I knew no one except for someone who wouldn’t speak to me as a way to control me like a dog always sticks out. If I’m not close to anyone, they can’t hurt me. Or, I’m overly nice to everyone in the hopes that I’m a valuable person because anxiety tells me I’m not. Anxiety likes to tell me that I’m annoying and I talk too much & no one likes me, so I need to prove I have value. Anxiety tells me I’m too weird and everyone laughs at me, not with me.

Anxiety is the reason I both attempt to socialize at the gym while also trying to keep to myself. Anxiety is there to remind me that I stick out like a sore thumb. Slow. Fat. Too old. Too awkward. It doesn’t matter that I’m putting in the work and when I’m done, I’ve been able to shut anxiety up for a few hours, anxiety wants to remind me that I can’t do the bar muscle ups and double unders. I love fitness because that’s the time when I do feel most confident. Sure I’m sweaty and tired and I kind of wanna die; but that feeling of accomplishment when I’ve run a little further, lifted heavier, or finished a little faster is so gratifying. Anxiety is what keeps me at home on days when everything feels like too much. The desire to conquer it is what drives me to sign up for a 10k run.

Also, my team is dope. I work out with good peeps.

Anxiety is why all of my relationships stop before they start. I beat myself up about my “flaws” and end things before they get too serious. I talk too much. I eat too much. I’m too loud. I wear too much makeup. I’m ugly underneath the makeup. I’m a single mom. I work too much. I put my writing first. I’m a nerd that watches wrestling and plays Pokémon Go. I am not a catch. No one tells me these things, other than that nagging voice that reminds me I’m not good enough.

The big thing about anxiety, or any other thing that affects your self esteem, is that the only person who can shut up that voice is you. Only I can stop anxiety from ruining my life. It’s why I push myself to go running on days I don’t want to. It’s why I do yoga & meditate instead of getting drunk in the bathtub on days when I feel sad. It’s why I go to therapy, because we could all use lessons in self care. Sometimes we all need an outside, unbiased voice to help us find our way. But only I can love myself enough to feel good about myself. I have to teach my girls about self love. Not to mention, you can’t be happy with someone until you’re happy with yourself.

But, maybe most importantly, the only well to build a healthier life is to be a healthy person. That’s not just going to the gym or eating greens. That’s also keeping your mind healthy. It’s okay to admit there’s an elephant in the room that keeps you from being your best self. It’s okay to ask for help getting the elephant out of your head once and for all. It’s also okay if that elephant is in the room forever, as long as you aren’t listening to it when it talks shit.

If you are reading this, and you relate to this in any way; I hope you know that you are enough. You’re probably super bad ass. You deserve to be happy and you’re not the only person with anxiety trying to tell you that you’re not good enough. It’s okay to go to therapy. It’s okay to sometimes take space and put yourself first. It’s okay to admit you need help to navigate life. But most importantly, the right partner, the right friends, the people who will never see you as too much (or not enough) will find you once you love yourself enough to let them in.

Shake it Out

Guess what guys? I’m gonna do a thing!

My gym decided we should build a team to run a 10k together. I am not a good runner, despite running for four years. I am slow and awkward. But, my attempt to join the Festivus Games was such a flop, and I’ve been looking for a new goal to work towards. This seemed as good as anything, so I’ve set a goal in Runkeeper and we are gonna do the damn thing…

…I am going to die. Please help me.

I joke, but I’m actually really excited. Before I made the big move, my daughter, some friends & I did a 5k mud run and we had a blast! Training was fun and we felt so empowered afterwards. We were strong. We kicked ass! But more importantly, it was fun to be a part of something. We went out there together and accomplished something together. We’ll have those memories forever.

Humans have a deeply rooted desire to belong. It’s why peer pressure is a real problem. It’s why people stay with toxic friends or mates. We want to be part of something, be included. Everyone wants to feel like they’re part of something special and magical, which is why we get inspired by people who are creating their something to be part of. My girls & I watched the first ever women’s Royal Rumble, and it didn’t matter who won, we were inspired that these women were part of something special. They were making history together, they elevated each other. Deep down, that’s what we all want; to be part of something meaningful.

I think that’s why I like Crossfit & my gym community so much. You are part of something. Yes, you’re focused on your personal best, but you’re also part of a community of people who are elevating each other to do their very best…or enter a 10k run for funsies. But you celebrate everyone’s accomplishments. You cheer each other on. You are part of something meaningful. We all want to belong to something. The lesson is to find a place of belonging that is positive and encouraging, not one that sucks the life out of you.

I was excited at the idea of being part of something. Part of a team that’s doing a cool thing. And let’s be real, aside from encountering some asshole geese or a shin splint, is there really a negative downside to participating in a 10K run? You get a tshirt, you get to feel accomplished, and it’ll help me get those legs ready to rock a dress for my friend Brie’s wedding later in the summer! Not to mention, I bought all of that Birdiebee gear, including the cute shorts. I think I found a place where I can wear them for the first time! When you’re surrounded by positive people, you’re inspired to do positive things and set positive goals. The trick is to do your best to be positive yourself and be the change you wish to see in the world. My girls are watching me, so I need to show them what healthy, active and happy is. I think it’s working, as my oldest has embraced athletics through cheer and now Crossfit (she’s skipping the run. Waking up early isn’t her thing).

So, I’m going to train. I’m going to work hard. I may crawl to the end, or die after I cross the finish line, but I’ll finish, and I’ll be part of something positive and healthy, which I hope will inspire the girls to seek out a positive and healthy way to satisfy their desire to belong.

Tell Me You Love Me

Let me tell you the story of MH’s terrible, no good, very bad day.

It actually started off pretty awesome. I had a good visit with my boss, with lots of great feedback. My most favourite member of the management team was filling in across the hall so I got to have a good catch up with him. I got some interviews ready for my latest YEG Fitness piece. Not a bad day at all.

Then a customer called in to discuss his experience yesterday. During this call, he mentioned that he had spoken to me, but he referred to me as “the pregnant lady.” “She’s very pregnant. Huge. Ready to burst.” As I am the only woman on staff, HE WAS VERY OBVIOUSLY TALKING ABOUT ME.

FIRST OF ALL, LET US GET ONE THING STRAIGHT;

THIS IS WHAT I LOOKED LIKE PREGNANT

THIS IS WHAT I LOOKED LIKE LAST WEEK

After ranting and complaining to my coworkers, I thought about doing what I always do when my ego is bruised: eat. I eat a ton of shitty food. When I first moved out here, and when my last serious relationship ended, the pizza dudes knew me by name. Some people drink; I eat garbage food. I started flipping through Skip the Dishes, trying to decide what fattening foods I should enjoy, when I closed the app and opened Instagram. I decided to post a progress pic, falling into the social media trap that if it’s on IG, it’s real. Maybe if I could convince the outside world that I was proud of my body, that maybe I could convince myself. I got feedback that ranged from hilarious to empowering. My favourite was from my gym, who made me tear up a little.

For once, social media used its powers for good, not evil! But while all of the rad encouragement was happening, I also didn’t order any junk food. Instead, 2/3 of the crew & I watched the Mae Young Classic (& decided that Candice LeRae is cute as a button) & then went for my Friday night run. By the end of the night, I was kind of kicking myself. I mean, don’t I always tell the girls that words only have power if you allow it? Don’t I have a thicker skin? Does it really matter what a customer thinks (of my appearance)? The only person who should care about how I look is me.

I guess even the toughest humans can end up with bruised egos. When you’re putting a lot of work into something, and someone knocks the wind out of your sails, it’s gonna sting. But you’ve got to handle it in a positive and constructive way. Don’t binge eat nachos; find a way to remind yourself that people who sometimes people just say stupid shit. There’s no ill intentions, they just don’t think before they speak (Dude, I am soooooo guilty of that!). But you can control your reaction. It’s okay to feel hurt, or offended, but don’t let it ruin your progress, whether it’s your health, your job, or your self esteem.

Anyone Else

I get asked a lot why I love crossfit. Let me tell you a story. 

Thursday, I went to the gym. The workout was tough. I had to scale some of the movements & weights. I was huffing and puffing through the WOD, envious of those who can get there every day, and were executing handstand push-ups flawlessly. Halfway through, I questioned why I was even there. But as they finished, they were rooting for me and congratulating me for making it through. That kind of teamwork, along with the results I see at Crossfit is why I continue to go. We celebrate each other’ successes and support each other. It’s such an amazing thing, to see people coming together to help everyone succeed.  That success helps me in my day to day life. The next day, I went to work and had a great shift. Then I really pushed myself and managed to run 0.4KM more than my Tuesday run. When I feel good mentally, it helps me push myself physically. It’s a cycle of wellness.  

But crossfit has also helped me embrace my body. I’m never gonna be a size six again. My thighs are always gonna be big. I’m gonna have a booty from squats. That teeny waist and dress size isn’t a realistic goal for me. But part of loving yourself is loving your body. I may never be thin, but I will be strong. My fellow crossfit ladies are strong, sexy, beautiful women. They have powerful bodies that are healthy and ideal for their body type. My goal is to get to their level, but with my body. I can’t worry about a scale number, or the size on a clothing tag. Just my own health. I will teach my girls that being healthy is more important that a body type. As their mom, it’s important for me to be the role model. I can’t have low self esteem & teach them to love themselves. I have to embrace my curves, my thick thighs. It’s been a hard road, but I’m getting there. 

I’m so glad that we are now celebrating healthy body types of all sizes, and not a “one size fits all” sort of beauty. We’re celebrating healthy, active, strong women. For the longest time, Nikki Bella was my fitness inspiration. She still is. Maybe I won’t have her body, but I can develop her commitment to fitness, her enthusiasm, the way she supports all women & wants everyone to succeed. I think we all need that type of attitude. We need to love our bodies. We need to build up other women. We need to get excited about fitness & health.  I may never be a size four like Nikki, but her journey as an athlete inspires me to continue to work on my own health. 

But lately, I’ve found myself really inspired and motivated by WWE Superstar Nia Jax. Her IG feed is loaded with body positivity. She doesn’t look like the average WWE woman. She’s strong, powerful, and unlike the Bertha Faye’s & Bull Nakano’s, she’s presented as more than just a one note monster character. She’s beautiful, she’s smart, witty, and assertive. Nia Jax is not a personality free monster designed to prey on the beautiful ingenues. She’s a fleshed out character, focused on her goals, which is to be a champion. My own daughters are big fans of Nia (and while they rooted for Bayley & Sasha, were LIVID that Nia didn’t get a special Wrestlemania entrance like her opponents. They said she deserved Tinashe singing her theme, and fireworks like the others). They think she’s beautiful, strong, and funny. When I was a kid, she’d be a mute monster. But my girls get to see a powerful woman portrayed as smart, sexy, as well as dominant. 


But more importantly, she’s not like most girls. She’s strong, athletic. She is in the best shape of her body type. And representation matters. Not every woman looks like Nikki Bella, and that’s totally okay. Some women are built like Nia Jax. Some women work their asses off like I do with the knowledge that size four is never gonna happen. Instead of feeling embarrassed, women should embrace their healthy. That’s why women like Nia Jax are so important. It’s important to see that healthy and fit mean something different to everyone.  

But that’s why I love crossfit. I remember working out at the GoodLife gyms, and hearing the snickers while I was on the treadmill or when I set my machine to a lower weight, as I was a beginner. I heard the giggles in the change room, as if a fat girl had no business there. It kept me out of a gym for four years. I don’t hear that at my gym anymore. It doesn’t matter if I scaled the workout, or finished last. There’s no mockery, just encouragement and acceptance. I’m sure women like Nia hear your mockery too. They see your tweets calling her fat, calling her Nia Snacks, etc. A friend of mine has come back to wrestling fandom after 10 years off and he called her “the fat chick.” His wife (who works in fashion), commented that she looked like a strong, powerful, woman. But those comments are why women like Nia are so important. We need to teach little girls that every woman’s body is different. A dress size or a scale number can’t be your goal (My Fitness Pal said my goal weight should be 118lbs!), but being in the best shape for your individual body should be. 

If you’re a woman who is actively working on her health, celebrate that work. Celebrate your body and what it can do. Celebrate your strength, your movements, your accomplishments. Hell, even celebrate that cheat day where you ate a large pizza with extra cheese. But celebrate your body, not the number on your dress tag or on a scale. 

Hellfire

If you’re new to the party, let me bring you up to speed; I fucking love crossfit. 

My life doesn’t allow me to love it as much as I’d like, what with the late hours at work, parenting commitments, and even a nasty bout of bronchitis (don’t worry; didn’t call in to work once, still number one in the district for sales…for now). But no matter what, I’ll always find a way to squeeze in one class a week. I want to set a good example for the girls. I want to get healthier. Not to mention my gym crew is the coolest bunch of humans in YEG. I’m seeing progress. I’m building strength. All super rad. 

Which brings me to this past week. Thanks to YEG’s “let’s cram every season into 48 hours,” I have been sick af. The first day I didn’t feel like complete dog shit was today, when a last minute customer came in so I was activating instead. But hey, can’t play with my money. While most people welcome the rest, I’m legit angry because I just wanna go to the gym! 102 degree fever? Fuck it! Let’s go to the gym! However, one of our coaches is 26 weeks pregnant. You cannot go to the gym when you’re contagious with someone with a weakened immune system. She’s a warrior princess, still working hard while creating a human. The biggest part of being a teammate is thinking of others, so for the last week, I’ve sat out. 


But the more I sit out, either because I couldn’t breathe (or smell, but don’t worry asshole that thinks AXE is a single serving can hitting on me at work, I CAN SMELL YOU JUST FINE), or to make sure I’m not infecting my happy place, the more I realize that I literally HATE being a sedentary being. I can’t binge watch Netflix (but I CAN binge play BoTW), I can’t just do nothing. I feel like I wasted a day. I could have gone on an adventure with the girls, or had some patio drinks with a friend, or gone for a run. I’m not good at resting; I always want to be doing, learning, creating memories. 


I’m just not good at being a do nothing sort of human. That’s not to say binge watching Netflix is necessarily bad, I did it through Lemony Snicket’s a Series of Unfortunate Events. But it’s not for me. I want to maximize my little free time by doing actual stuff. I want to accomplish things with it…mostly spend time with my girls (because single moms can be hands on and available) and gains. 


That may not be super exciting to anyone else, but the most important thing I can do as a woman, a mom, and a writer, is to figure out who I am as a human. After discovering, it’s even more important to accept who I am, and that person would rather go for a walk or go to the gym than veg out. When I can’t take in a WOD or go for a run, I feel like I’m letting my body down. When I have a good day at work and a great workout, I feel like the most bad ass woman alive. I’m done apologizing or being made to feel like my interests aren’t exciting. Maybe they aren’t, but they are to me. There are so many people in this world who like to mock my crossfit love, or that I don’t watch TV (except for the wrasslin). People mock that I watch wrestling. They mock that I’d rather go running, or read Gone Girl before I watch the movie. But I don’t do things to please the planetary narrative that it’s cool to be lazy and people who are different are weirdos. I do them to be myself, & I’m quite content to be me. 

When someone tells me crossfit is dumb

Don’t ever let anyone tell you that your interests aren’t important, or the things that make you happy are stupid. Just do the thing and enjoy it. I’m going to continue to crossfit and celebrate my progress & feel good about who I am as a human…but first, let me regain the ability to breathe out of my nose. 

Whatever It Takes

My life has reached a comfortable and calming rhythm and I’m super grateful about that. It’s been so chaotically busy, but it’s a good busy. I’ve been building up my writing career nicely, I’m still working on those driving lessons, and I’ve been more successful at my day job than I have been in months. That means more money for me, and a better way to provide for the famjam. I’ve also been without fast food, alcohol, or caffeine for 22 of thirty days. I’m looking better, my skin is better, and I feel more alert and focused. 

This makes me wonder if I should resume my Red Bull filled life after the month is over.

These past few weeks have been very eye opening. Much like when you rid yourself of toxic people, not having caffeine has been the same for me. First I felt really shitty. But now, my mind is clear, I’m focusing better, I’m less tired because I’m sleeping better. My workouts are better (with the exception of the damn geese).  But  iced coffee is also really delicious. So, the struggle is real. 

Maybe I need to reevaluate how much caffeine I’m consuming. Maybe limit it to that one cup of tea or one Red Bull a day. Or even treat it like I do with alcohol and have it as a rare, once every few months treat. But I wonder if anyone else struggles with a quasi unhealthy love of caffeine? I mean, I don’t eat much fast food because it’s not good for you. I avoid alcohol because it isn’t good for you. But I guzzle caffeinated drinks like water even though I know they’re bad for me. Why am I giving this kind of poison a pass? Shouldn’t I keep it out of my life like I do all other poisons, food, human or otherwise? Or am I overthinking this? 


I guess I’m wondering if I’m sabotaging my best life by adding poison to my body and saying it’s okay because it’s just coffee. It’s just an energy drink. I’ve gone without for three weeks and I’ve been emotionally, physically, and mentally better. Maybe this thing we’re taught helps us stay alert is actually holding us back. Or maybe, I just really want a damn coffee and I’m trying to suppress the cravings with justifications that I don’t care about it hahaha. 

I want to be my healthiest, happiest self. Maybe that does mean caffeine free, alcohol, and fast food free (until I remember that there’s a Popeye’s five minutes from my house). I mean, it’s been three years since I’ve had soda & that’s been okay. Maybe cutting the cord on coffee won’t be so bad. I’ll probably feel better long term. But I’m not sure if I can stick to it. Maybe I’ll keep replacing it with my delicious David’s Tea until I forget about it forever…maybe. 

But for now, it’s time to consider ending my long term relationship with caffeine. It’s not you coffee, it’s me. I want to be a healthier, happier person and I’m afraid you might be holding me back. 

Work Bitch

For those of you who are new to my world, let me catch you up to speed; I am absolutely terrified of geese. Every once in awhile, I try to pretend that the geese aren’t scary af, but in the end, I always go right back to remembering that geese are the minions of Satan, and are probably out to get me. 


Anywho, I often see these dark creatures of evil while I’m running and I normally turn around and run home. Why? Because I don’t want to die. Duh. But yesterday, I was feeling pretty buoyed by the Oilers big win and wanted to get my 5K in. So, I’m running and feeling all good about myself when up ahead I see…that’s right, the feathered horror itself; Mr. Goose. But, as fate would have it, my playlist switched to the greatest icon of my generation; Britney Spears. 


If you’ve lived under a rock, let me bring up to speed: Britney Spears is an icon. Anyone you consider an icon that isn’t Britney means that you are wrong. Deep down, everyone likes Britney Spears. You know that you secretly mouth the lyrics to Baby One More Time when you’re alone. It’s okay. But I digress. So, I’m running, and Britney’s Stronger comes on. Again, I don’t care who you are, if Britney Spears’s Stronger comes on, and you don’t feel like a bad bitch, then who are you really. Suddenly, I’m an invincible goddess, much like Britney. If she can survive 2007, I can survive a damn goose! So I jog right past that feathery fucker and keep on going. I can run 5K. Why? Because I slay. Queen Britney has empowered me. 


I’ve always said that music can change your mood. That’s why my running playlist is mostly hard rock, Britney Spears, and also Brie Bella’s entrance music (which is also my ring tone, because it’s the best thing ever). 

Stuff like this keeps me pumped up. Unlike Crossfit, where I have coaches and teammates to keep me motivated; I have only myself. Sometimes, I want to just give up early. I’m tired. I’m not feeling it. My hips are sore. Whatever. But I can’t do that or I’ll never progress or get triathlon ready. So, I use music that will elevate my spirits and keep me energized to finish my run, just like I choose music during my day to pick me up. Back to the story, I was doing so well. I was making great time, I had Britney Spears and Brie Mode, I was the fittest person ever. I was fearless guys, FEARLESS. I was almost positive that no goose would scare me off from my run…

Almost

Okay, so maybe I wasn’t invincible. But part of life means putting on your big people pants and putting up with stuff we don’t like. For me, it’s geese. Eventually, I’ll get to the point where they aren’t terrifying…or I’ll use my fear to run faster. Maybe. 

The Sound of Silence

I get asked the same question a lot; “when do you find time for yourself?”

When men ask, they specifically mean “how are you going to find time to sleep with me and cater to my every need while I ignore yours (or at least this has been the case of every man I’ve ever known)?” When my friends ask, it’s because I haven’t spent any time with them in weeks, mostly because I have no time. I guess I have spread myself pretty thin. I’m working on four different pieces for three different publications. I work full time. I’m raising the kidlets. I’m getting better at getting the gym in there. But I could understand why an outsider would think I never have “me time.” 

The truth is that I’m finding more and more that my “me time” is running. Yes, running. That thing that I used to hate is quickly becoming my personal time. Don’t get me wrong, I still love me my crossfit, and my post WOD yoga, but running is the best for clearing my head. 

I work a lot. I’m kind of a workaholic. I love my family & I want to be the best kind of mom. Well, it’s hard to be the best kind of mom when you’re constantly trying to squeeze 100 things into one 24 hour period. I’m answering emails on the way to work. I’m coming up with ideas that I think are great (spoiler alert; are probably weird) & story pitches while signing permission slips and hearing about how Kiara is mad at her boyfriend because reasons and Jade took the boyfriend’s side and now the teen is in the middle and “OH MY GOSH MOM. YOU HAVE NO IDEA.” That’s a lot of information to be cramming into one mind. When I go running, I get 35 minutes to decompress. I listen to my running playlist and enjoy the music, while getting a great sweat sesh in (arms too, thanks to Stratusphere FitGloves!), and no one is calling or emailing me or asking me where their phone charger is. It’s just my alone time. 

All of my bomb playlists
I can understand why this wouldn’t seem terribly soothing to some; running is sweaty, tiring, and just kind of gross. But it is the one time of day that I get to disconnect from life and recharge. It helps my self esteem, as every time I finish a bit better than the day before, I’m pretty proud of myself. I feel accomplished and proud (& then I text my best friend, who’s started her own blog that I think you should all read) & tell her and we share our common interest. I find that my professional writings come together much better after I’ve gone running. My closing shifts are better after my morning run because I’m in a positive headspace and I’m more focused. I eat better because I don’t want to undo my run with the frappucino or Thai Express. I’m stronger at the gym. There is literally no downside, as no one regrets their workout!


I know I need more of a social life (I miss my friends too hahaha), and there is more to life than family, work, and fitness. But it works for me. I’m the happiest I’ve been since I lived in London (and my life was family, work, fitness). It works for me. Maybe I need to stop letting everyone tell me what works for me & let me just do what works…& this works. Running is my alone time (as crossfit has coaches and a class hahaha). Fitness is always going to be my downtime, whether it’s to relieve stress, or just to be happy, fitness is my key. And anything that helps me feel good inside, look good outside, and keeps me healthier longer, can only be a good thing. 

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