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. 

You’re Not Sorry

It’s time for another episode of “what really grinds my gears.” 


Today: why people need to stop dismissing sexual assault as “just…”

I hear it all of the time. It’s just a cat call. Just a kiss on the cheek (in the case of a reporter at Osheaga last week). It was just a friendly comment. Last year, I tweeted about an old man that catcalled me and numerous men on my Twitter feed told me it was a compliment. I should be flattered. Let me tell you, there is nothing flattering about being catcalled. It’s degrading to both parties. But they’re probably “nice guys” that just aren’t appreciated *cue eye roll emoji*. 

This week, Taylor Swift is making headlines as she is in court, battling a lawsuit filed by David Mueller, a Denver DJ who lost his job after an incident where he allegedly groped her. Swift has countersued for $1, demanding an apology.  While the trial is ongoing, a lot of comments I see online are “it was just a butt grab.” So called feminists who preach about defending women when forced to confront someone who assaulted them are notably silent (Demi Lovato, I’m looking in your direction. Maybe you’re matching on Capitol Hill…?). Feminists stop being feminists when Taylor Swift is involved it seems. No support for her. After all, it was just a butt grab. No big deal. Right?


A similar statement echoed through social media when a fan attending a live event commented that a child had slapped the posterior of WWE Raw Women’s Champion Alexa Bliss. 


The kid was praised, fans wanted to give the kid a high five. She wears such short shorts, she had it coming! Besides, he’s just a kid and it’s JUST a butt grab. No big deal! Calm down feminists, it’s not sexual assault. It’s just a playful slap on the butt! 


Except it’s not just a butt grab. It’s not “no big deal.” It’s not “calm down.” It IS sexual assault. Taylor Swift is an entertainer, but she’s also a human being. She deserves basic respect. She doesn’t deserve to be sued because she didn’t stand for being molested by a DJ. All of the “she’ll write a song about it,” etc. jokes do not take away from the fact that this man allegedly sexually assaulted Taylor Swift. I commend this smart, strong woman for standing her ground, because the millions of little girls that look up to her are watching & she’s showing them that you do not have to dismiss sexual assault as “just a butt grab.”


I’ve been in situations where a guy took liberties. Last year a customer grabbed my ass while throwing something in my garbage can. I was furious, but when I called a friend back home & told him the story, he pointed out it was “just a butt grab.” I wear tight pants to work, right? I kind of accepted it, but I sometimes wonder how many women dismiss sexual assault or harassment as “just…” I’ve even been told by female relatives that as we age, the catcalls stop and we should be flattered that men still find us attractive. But is it flattering when it makes us feel gross? To me, flattering is something that makes us feel good, not super gross. I can’t imagine Taylor felt good, and considering she complained & Mueller was fired. I can’t imagine Alexa Bliss feels good when grown ass men teach little boys to slap her ass and catcall her. It’s not flattering, nor a compliment. We need to stop referring to this behaviour as such and refer to it as what it is; harassment. To those who do these things; it’s a funny story and a high five, but to the women involved, it’s a loss of trust, a loss of personal safety. As guys like Mueller become legends around the bar, women like Taylor become labelled as cold and standoffish, because they’re not comfortable in those situations anymore. Great trade off, right?

If it makes you feel uncomfortable, unhappy, or unsafe, it’s not flattering and it’s okay to stand up for yourself and say that this is not acceptable behaviour. It’s not okay to tell a woman that it’s just a slap on the butt, or just a friendly catcall, be flattered. The more we diminish this very real harassment, the more we embolden others to think it’s okay. I commend Taylor for standing up for herself, not settling, and making this man accountable for his actions. Maybe this will encourage other women to speak up about harassment in the workplace, at a club, or even among friends when a joke went too far. After all, the only way this sort of behaviour will be stopped is when we as a society stop tolerating it, and kudos to Taylor for not just shaking it off, but standing her ground instead. 

Turn it Up

Today, I’m gonna write a piece I call “the Ballad of Bayley.”

Last year, I told you about my teenage daughter’s love for Sasha Banks, today, it’s my younger two daughters and WWE Women’s Champion Bayley. 

The character of Bayley is arguably the most relatable character on TV. She’s a fan that got to live her dream. My 10 and 7 year old adore Bayley and everything she stands for. They once waited in the snow for six hours, in their hugger shirts and Bayley tassels just to catch a glimpse of their TV best friend (and hugs. Their goal in life is to get a hug from Bayley). My Twitter feed is dominated by photos of them in full Bayley cosplay. Bayley’s character was dismissed as being “Just Bayley.” She wasn’t special; just ordinary. But this mantra of “Just Bayley” was so important to her fan base of little girls. My own daughter is painfully shy. She struggles to make friends and when picked on for her small size and quiet demeanour (she’d rather read and do math than play sports), she decided she was “just her,” and that was enough. After all, Bayley was just Bayley and she became a champion. Being yourself is cool! While adults complained about Bayley’s character and direction, kids got the message; Bayley is herself and that’s enough, and if you just be yourself, you are enough. 


When Bayley made her way out at Wrestlemania 33, my two small girls squealed with joy, as their hero was finally living her dream. They sat in their Bayley gear and side ponytails, imitating her entrance. They cheered her on loudly from home, and big sister even joined in (after her beloved Sasha Banks got eliminated) & all three jumped up and down and cheered when Bayley retained her championship. They cried with her, their best friend won. My oldest, who wants to be a wrestler herself, said that she couldn’t wait for her moment like that, while the little two were so happy that their best friend Bayley won and when they got to school, they could talk about it with their girlfriends. 


Which brings me to why I adore this character so much. It isn’t just because she’s a good role model for my girls, or she’s relatable. It’s because I feel like she’s an overlooked but key reason why so many female fans are watching WWE. Yes, you have the Bella Twins, who introduced wrestling to the mainstream, and Sasha Banks and Charlotte, who made history, but Bayley is just as important, because she’s just Bayley. 


Just two years ago, my girls & I were among just a handful of women who watched WWE. This past October, we were among dozens of little girls with their side ponytails and tassels, screaming the lyrics to Bayley’s entrance song. While yes, there were other women who helped usher in a new era, the character of Bayley opened up a new world to little girls that had been previously excluded from. I remember when little MHC wanted to play wrestlers with her brother and his friends, with a Miss Elizabeth action figure in one hand and an Andre the Giant in the other and the boys laughing, saying girls can’t play. Teen MHC was mocked mercilessly for my HBK posters on my wall, while the boys said I only watched pay per views with them because I wanted them to like me. My own girls were picked on at live events by grown men because they chose Nikki Bella & AJ Lee shirts over male superstars. But the character of Bayley allowed little girls to feel included in a world they were originally banned from. The world of NXT, originally for die hard fans, became the world of Bayley. Each week Bayley brought her brightly coloured world to the ring, another little girl realized they belonged too.  Bayley allowed little girls to feel like they belonged, and she did it by being just Bayley. 


Representation matters. You can preach equality all you want, but unless you can see it, it’s not there. There are a great many women who helped pave the way for female fans to find role models, but for little girls, it took a best friend to give them a hug and tell them that they belonged anywhere they wanted to be and they deserved it by just being themselves. I sometimes think that we as adults get so caught up in our perception of promo quality or what we think that we miss the lesson; that it’s okay to just be you. Because of that, I think we don’t realize just how important or powerful a character like Bayley truly is. No gimmick, no catchphrase. She’s just like us and that’s just enough. 

Save the Hero

I’ve always been a big believer in picking oneself up after a tough time, brushing oneself off and moving forward. 

It’s why I keep applying at newspapers. It’s why I ask for feedback about articles. It’s why I thank people for criticism and try to grow. Even if life knocks me on my ass, I can come out of it stronger. 

Sometimes that includes when I literally fall on my ass. 

For those of you that are new to the party, I love me some crossfit. I’ve been training and preparing for the 2017 Crossfit Open. It’ll start this week and I’ll get to push myself and really focus on getting stronger. I’ll also get to know my fellow gym members. It’s gonna be great. 


But sometimes I get cocky. I think I’m more bad ass than I am and then bad things happen. This past week, we were practicing our chest to bar pull ups. I was feeling so bad ass, finally having mastered my beat swings. I was improving and I decided that I must be ready and instead of going up, I fell down,  flat on my ass. Instead of achieving my first pull up, I sustained a bruised and slightly fractured tailbone (but I DID scale that WOD AND FINISH IT. Yup, finished the workout with a mangled back. Be proud). Fortunately, my gym peeps are super cool, so my ego wasn’t fractured as well as my tailbone. Everyone was really quick to ask me how I was, even checking in the next day. I missed the brutal birthday WOD & was so disappointed, but I can’t lift when I can’t stand. Or sit. Or function. Doctor said sit out for six weeks,  & no standing for long periods of time, but I heard “with lots of yoga, you’ll be training again on Tuesday!” I’ve worked too hard to get Open ready, I am not missing it because of a (literal) pain in the ass.


Life doesn’t stop because you have an ouchie. I can’t take time off from work. I have to get everything ready for my transfer to my new mall, conviently located much closer to my house. I can’t stop training because I’m a little sore. I can’t not take the kids to the WWE Live event I bought them tickets for on my one day off this month because I’m sore. That’s not how life works. You gotta keep doing your thing, even if you feel like a pile of shit. 

I also learned that I am literally the only person who loves the Vaudevillians.

Part of self improvement means you’re gonna get knocked down a peg a time or two. You’re gonna have a shitty run. You’re gonna have a crap workout. Or, you’re going to literally fall on your ass. But you can always tell the people who are gonna succeed; they get back up. I could have just sat out the WOD, gone home, and decided that even though I’ve been doing it for two years, crossfit is too hard. But I thought about all of my fitness role models. Trish Stratus didn’t let a herniated disc in her back stop her from living an active life. She used yoga and homeopathy to get better. Nikki Bella didn’t let a broken neck stop her, she recovered, adjusted her style,  and got back in the ring. No one succeeds by staying down. So I got up, dusted myself off, and plugged along. 


You don’t just throw in the towel because you tried something once and it didn’t work. You get up and try again. If JK Rowling got rejected 12 times before a publisher accepted Harry Potter, then I can pitch a story to another newspaper, I can attempt that pull up. I can put together the project my boss tasked me with. I can continue to apply for media jobs and learn from each experience until I accomplish the goal. 

So, while I may not break any records, I’ll be going into the Crossfit Open, broken ass and all. I may feel like shit, but I’ll feel accomplished, not to mention I’ll have all of my rad Crossfit CCA peeps kicking ass with me. And I’ll continue to work on my various projects, and towards helping my new staff at my shiny new location, because life doesn’t stop, no matter how much you’re hurting. All you can do is press forward and reach your physical and professional goals. 

Helium

You know what I love? Women who build up other women. I am all about that. I effing LOVE seeing women succeed. Love. It. When my girl friends succeed, I am like “THAT IS MY GIRL!” Life is too short to be catty. I can’t be that person. I want my women to run shit. 

Speaking of women empowering women, I missed all kinds of girl power at the Grammys tonight. I usually love them, but I was watching Naomi win herself a Women’s championship at the Elimination Chamber! While I admit, I am late to the Nao Mob, I respect women who hustle & girl certainly did. Congrats Naomi, you deserved this moment. Proud of you. I was even more proud to see all of WWE’s warrior women hitting up Twitter to congratulate her. I love the Smackdown live Women’s locker room. These girls build each other up. Love it so much & more women could follow this example. 


But let me get back on track. 

I love when women build up other women. I’m sick of seeing women torn down for no reason. I’m sick of seeing people tear down Taylor Swift because it’s the in thing to do.


 When people like Frank Ocean claim that she didn’t deserve Album of the Year, it’s a sign of men once again marginalizing the talent of women. When women support this narrative, we are allowing it to continue. We need to stop being catty and build each other up, which is why I freaking love Adele. 

Adele’s brilliant effort 25 won Album of the Year, making her the second female in history to win the award twice (the first being Taylor Swift), beating out Beyoncé. But instead of just thanking her fans and collaborators & walking off, Adele took a moment to lift up Beyoncé & acknowledge her impact on music. Adele took her moment and used it to empower her fellow female artists & she did it well. More women need to build each other up like Adele, she’s a class act all the way. 

Adele showed that women can compete and not be Total bitches. You can respect each other. Adele winning doesn’t make Beyoncé’s album bad. It’s just how the Grammy voters saw it. But these two women showed class and sisterhood, which we need more of, especially in this climate where we see people tearing down successful women! Look at the attacks on Taylor. People calling Beyoncé a racist primadonna. Instead of congratulating Lady Gaga for slaying the Super Bowl, people called her fat! It’s even more important that women build each other up.


Some women, however, need a refresher in how to build up other women, like Katy Perry. 

Before I start, let me say I’m a huge fan of Katy Perry the artist. I think her voice is amazing. I think she has a great message of female empowerment. Her new single Chained to the Rhythm has a great message about stepping outside of your comfort zone and learning about your planet. But you’ve gotta back that shit up, or it’s just hollow words. 


Tonight, on two separate occasions, Katy Perry said she took a hiatus for her mental health and it worked, because she didn’t shave her head yet, which appeared to be some thinly veiled shade at Britney Spears, who’s 2007 nervous breakdown made headlines. Katy Perry made several comments about feeling victimized by the song Bad Blood, and how Taylor Swift was calling her out for this type of catty behaviour unjustly. But it’s hard to call it unjust when you used a serious mental illness for punchlines. 

Britney Spears is reported to have bipolar disorder, and that’s no joke. This requires medication, counselling, and for some, even watching their diet. This needs to be done every single day. When left untreated, Bipolar disorder can lead to some dangerous and even fatal situations. It’s not funny. It’s scary af. Katy Perry says she’s a feminist. A feminist does not take someone’s darkest hour and use it as a joke. If anything, let’s all give huge props to our girl Britney. She manages to raise a family, co-parent in a healthy way, perform a regular show in Vegas, all while continuing to treat her illness so she can be bad ass. That takes strength, resolve, tenacity, & we should commend Britney. I love Katy Perry’s songs, but for her message to have meaning, she’s gotta walk her talk. 


In a world full of catty Katys, be like Adele. Build up your sisters. Celebrate their talents. Be that woman who builds up other women. When you empower each other, you feel better about yourself and they feel better about themselves. There is no downside. So, before you make that snide comment, think of how much better it would feel to be kind. 

Attention 

Looks like we’ve got another edition of “what really grinds my gears.”

Tonight, why the continued use of slut shaming in WWE concerns female fans like me. 

Before I get started, let me explain that this isn’t a shot on male fans who defend the angle. Male fans have a different perspective than female fans about certain things & we are going to identify a different way. I remember laughing when Chris Jericho called Stephanie McMahon THAT name as a kid because I didn’t understand what women go through every day. They don’t either. This is about informing, not attacking. 


My daughters love WWE programming, but most notably the women. They own piles of merchandise, they waited in the snow for five hours hoping to meet Sasha Banks and Bayley. My youngest has a countdown to the next live event where she hopes to meet her idol Nikki Bella. But one of their favourite personalities is Lana. Yes, Lana. Two years ago, they squeaked with delight, pledging allegiance to mother Russia if it meant she would take selfies with them. They cheered for Lana through her husband Rusev’s match. Lana was the best thing ever to them. When I asked why, it was because Lana was strong, unafraid, when she spoke, people listened & she wasn’t just another girl, she was Rusev’s equal & he treated her that way.  Lana was amazing. 


For little girls, Lana represented more than just a Russian woman that was hot. She was an eloquent speaker, Rusev listened to her, respected her, and everyone cared what she had to say. Men had Paul Heyman, women had Lana. Even during that disastrous love triangle storyline, my girls would plead with Lana to get back in her business suits and tear everyone apart.

“Mommy! Take a picture of Lana!”

Recently, WWE started a storyline where resident loudmouth Enzo Amore flashed Lana. Instead of apologizing, he flirted with her. Then, he spent weeks telling her husband Rusev that Lana wants him, fantasizes about him because he’s just soooooo manly. The story played out where Lana decided to show Enzo how it felt to feel ashamed, helpless, victimized. She offered him a chance to come to her hotel room, stripped him down, and Rusev beat him up, which of course in wrestling land meant Big Cass, Enzo’s partner needed to settle things by having a match, not like, calling the cops. 

Last night when I got home from work, the PPV event Roadblock had already started and I asked my girls what I missed. They proceeded to tell me it was awful, the New Day lost! But my nine year old also said “Enzo called Lana a bunch of bad names and I don’t like him anymore.”

When I read an excerpt of what he said, I was floored. 


How is he the good guy? Is it just because the character of Lana is Russian and Rusev is Bulgarian?! How does any man saying that to another human make him the guy to cheer?!

I understand for male fans, it’s hard to understand, but for female fans, we deal with Enzo Amore’s three times a month. I recently just wrote about how a man harassed me for WEEKS because I said no. When I decline a date, I get “well you weren’t that hot anyway,” “you led me on by saying you liked video games and wrestling,” “I bet you’re a cheap hoe.” This is the behaviour that Enzo Amore is exhibiting. He was told no and he proceeded to tell Lana for weeks that she didn’t mean no, she wants him. When she set up what many women have fantasized about, flipping the script on their harasser, she was the villain. Rusev is defending his wife from a creep, how is he the villain? He seems like a great guy, trying to protect his wife. But in WWE land, he’s a jerk and Enzo is just trying to have fun.  Okay.  


This sort of thing needs to stop. I’m all for TV and people getting it’s make believe, but it’s obvious that WWE doesn’t know how to write for women. Women don’t see Enzo as a funny guy. To us, he’s every guy at the bar that stalked us to our car (after calling us fat & a slut to get high fives from his friends) because we said no. Girls are watching and being shown this behaviour is okay. That if a woman says no, she’s the bad guy. Women fans deserve better. 

In WWE land, women are consistently marginalized when they are accomplished. Big Cass’s real life girlfriend (& former manager) Carmella was recently written as a catty girl jealous of Nikki Bella. Carmella was written to say a promo where she credited all of Nikki’s success to her boyfriend John Cena. And male fans nodded in approval. Yes, this is what happened. My seven year old screamed at our TV to stop because Nikki worked so hard to come back and girls shouldn’t say this about other girls. But this is considered status quo. 
Yes, Nikki got her revenge, by beating Carmella and proving that she is the better athlete (to the delight of my seven year old), but the damage is done. Places like Reddit belittle Nikki, talking about how she keeps her job by opening her legs. No mention of how she worked for months to come back to a full time schedule after a debilitating neck injury that could have left her paralyzed. More attention is paid to her two second hip wiggle. Nikki’s marketability as a role model is questioned. My youngest will tell you Nikki is strong and brave and athletic and she & her sister Brie could best everyone because they outsmarted them. No mention of a hip wiggle. But lots of mention of Nikki’s determination, bravery, kindness, athleticism. Maybe we need to listen to kids. 

You can have great storytelling without women bringing each other down. Sasha Banks & Charlotte Flair have done it for months. They just wanted to be the best. Carmella & Nikki could have done the same without the tired mean girl is jealous schtick. Rusev could have been praised by the announce team for being a stand up guy, defending his wife from inappropriate behaviour and condemning the frat boy antics. But alas, WWE went another way. However, I do hope male fans understand that while to them, it’s a funny storyline, for female fans, it’s a daily reality for us, that our success will always be marginalized to build up a man, or that when we say no to creeps, we are somehow in the wrong. Maybe, WWE will listen to the fans (and Lana herself, who has been very vocal on Twitter that she finds this distasteful) and we will see Rusev and Lana be celebrated for standing up to the bullies. But more likely, we’ll see a new shirt emblazoned with one of the catch lines designed to humiliate her. 

Goodness Gracious 

Every once in awhile, I interrupt my normal adventures to mention something that really grinds my gears (I promise we’ll return to the regular format of “today I made choices that weren’t completely awful” later). 


Today’s topic: why douchebag people need to stop being douchebags about other people’s kids. 

This past week, Ryan Reynolds received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He was joined at the ceremony by his wife Blake Lively and his two daughters, James and her sister, who’s name has not been made public. The internet was delighted to see the rambunctious two year old running around and clapping. She even dropped the mic when she decided the ceremony was over. The entire display was adorable as all get out. But of course, the sanctimommies were out in full force to criticize James’s dinosaur coat, her out of control curls, her behaviour, and her name. To those people, please do shut the fuck up. 

(Before you ask why there are no photos of James and her sister accompanying this post, it’s simple. Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively have asked that their children be sheltered from the public eye as much as possible. As a parent who does not post her own children’s photos here to protect their privacy, I feel it would be inappropriate to post photos of their children. If you want to see them, you’re welcome to Google)

These horrible commenters are the very reason that Reynolds and Lively opted to shield their daughters from the public eye. They have stated repeatedly that they want James and her sister to have a normal childhood. That James & her sister did not choose a public life; their parents did. They are under no obligation to tell the public their children’s names, show you photos or justify why they named them what they did. They don’t need to justify why their daughter wore a dinosaur coat. They’re not ugly. And anyone who can spew venom at a two year old and her three month old sister needs to get some serious help. 

I can understand why people who are dissatisfied with their lives could have an issue with Ryan Reynolds or Blake Lively. Here are two attractive and successful people who have found a great love and have a lovely family. But that’s no reason to project your bitterness onto them. I read such classy comments that the pair must have wanted boys, look at the “boy clothes” they were dressed in and James’s name. First of all; James was in a dress. Hardly “boy” clothes. Secondly, there are no boy or girl clothes, just clothes. And most importantly, Reynolds named his daughter for his beloved father, who passed away shortly before her birth. And even if Reynolds & Lively named their kid Princess Banana Nut Muffin, it is none of your damn business what Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively named their kids. 

Let’s all say it together; IT IS NONE OF YOUR DAMN BUSINESS WHAT RYAN REYNOLDS OR BLAKE LIVELY NAME OR HOW THEY DRESS THEIR KIDS. 


I love pop culture, but kids should be off limits. Paparazzi shouldn’t photograph celebrity kids. If celebrities choose to post photos of their kids on social media, and you must comment, leave the same comment that you would leave on a friend or family member’s social media page. If you can’t be nice; be quiet.  Would you tell your friend or family member that their kid has a stupid name or they were dressed poorly? Would you Shame a friend for not breastfeeding or belittle them? This happened to Kristin Cavallari and her husband Jay Cutler when she posted a family snapshot. Her choice to give her kids a vegan diet was questioned, with people accusing her of starving her kids, saying they needed a cheeseburger, etc. While I do not agree with her decision to not vaccinate her children, I respect that she is their mother and it’s her call. 

Let’s all say it together; IT IS NONE OF OUR DAMN BUSINESS WHAT KRISTIN CAVALLARI AND JAY CUTLER FEED THEIR CHILDREN. 


Kids didn’t choose to be in the public eye. They are not “fair game” because their parents are famous. This argument was common online when WWE Universal Champion Kevin Owens’s wife Karina was forced to delete her Instagram account because bullies insulted her son Owen & daughter Elodie. They used the justification that since Owens is a bad guy on TV and uses his social media in character, that it was “fair” to insult his eight year old son and two year old daughter and harrass his wife. Karina is not famous. She lives a quiet life with her family in Quebec. She didn’t deserve the abuse. That would be like someone insulting you because your husband got drunk at a family gathering and pissed them off. Isn’t that stupid?

Let’s all say it together; YOU DO NOT GET TO INSULT KEVIN OWENS’S FAMILY BECAUSE HE BLOCKED YOU ON TWITTER. 


I know celebrities seem larger than life, but they’re people too. They love their families. They want the best for their kids just like you or me. Ryan Reynolds doesn’t owe you access to his kids (so you can call them ugly) because you went to see Deadpool AND the Green Lantern and you watched all six seasons of Gossip Girl so Blake Lively best share every gory deta of her birth stories. They have every right to protect them from trolls and bullies, just like you would protect your family from online abuse & mean strangers. 


So, the next time you feel the need to question a famous person’s parenting, ask yourself how you would feel if someone did it to you, because I bet someone has and it super pissed you off. I always tell people that the world would be an infinitely more wonderful place if we practiced the lost art of not being an asshole. Let’s try not being an asshole. 

We’ve Come so Far

It’s the International Day of the Girl & as the mom of three awesome girls who will someday change the world, I wanted to take a moment to give mad props to women all over the world who are kicking ass and taking names & spin kicking glass ceilings. 

As a woman who never had it easy growing up, and wanted more than to be Stepford Wife and mom, I find that the most important thing we can do for each other is build each other up. I have no time for catty bitches. I have no time for women who tear down other women (although I was told I was a bad feminist for THIS TWEET, so I apologize to Maryse Mizanin for clearly ruining her life). Women were meant to build each other up, so I wanted to take a moment to give kudos to 10 women who are breaking down barriers, starting conversations & changing history. 


1. Sophie Gregoire Trudeau. The wife of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has done so much for women, from advocating for better mental health, promoting body image, healthy living, and working to support every woman in her country, from the newest baby girl to the elderly woman watching TV from her home. Ms. Gregoire Trudeau doesn’t sit behind her man; she raises a family, she champions causes that mean something to her, she promotes Canadian designers. She is visible and vocal and wants to see Canada succeed. 


2. Clara Hughes. In addition to being one of the very few athletes to win medals at both the summer and winter Olympic Games, Ms. Hughes has championed erasing the stigma of mental illness, helping form Bell Let’s Talk Day, where the Canadian Telecom giant helps raise funds for Canadian Mental Health initiatives. Hughes speaks at universities and other events about her struggles with depression, encouraging others to seek help as well. 


3. Kesha. This year, Kesha took on the world when she sued her label and her producer Dr Luke to escape her contract. Citing physical and sexual abuse, Kesha stood up for herself, started an uncomfortable conversation about assault in the workplace, with many other musicians, including Kelly Clarkson & Taylor Swift supporting the singer. Despite a public smear campaign & control tactics, Kesha didn’t back down & fought for herself. 


4. Sasha Banks. Don’t call her Diva. Sasha dreamed of being the greatest wrestler (male or female) alive & she is doing it. From main eventing to breaking down glass ceilings as one of the first two women in history to compete in the Hell in a Cell structure, Sasha is showing that women can go just as hard as the men. Last night, WWE’s top hero Roman Reigns was in the ring & fans screamed “WE WANT SASHA” at the top of their lungs. Women are no longer the sideshow, they are the whole show. 


5. Trish Stratus. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention one of the women who put some cracks in that glass ceiling that Sasha Banks is breaking. Trish Stratus changed the perception of women in wrestling; beautiful, brave, strong, determined. After retirement, she built a fitness empire (which has helped me with my own weight loss) & transitioned into motherhood with son Max & baby Stratus 2 on the way in 2017. But she has become an icon for healthy living & positive mindset in Canada. 


6. Taylor Swift. In addition to being the most successful artist probably on Earth right now (& the only woman to win Album of the Year at the Grammy’s twice), she demonstrates the value of women building up others. Whether it’s giving Kesha $250 thousand for her legal fees, to helping with Louisiana flood relief, Taylor’s generosity and kindness is a value that cannot be taught, but perhaps more could emulate. She handled Kim Kardashian West’s attempts to humiliate her with class, another trait that more people need to possess. Taylor reminds us that the more successful a woman is, the more humanity tries to break her. But she rises above with class and dignity.


7. Michelle Obama. The First Lady of the United States has demonstrated more class and poise under the strain of abusive slurs and hate than any other woman in history. But here she is, championing causes to help her fellow Americans be active, healthy. There she is, supporting her country after another mass shooting. Crossing party lines to give George Bush sr. a hug to thank him for championing the National Museum of African American History and Culture. But more importantly, she gave all of us the mom advice that will resonate for generations to come; “When they go low, we go high.” Thank you Mrs. Obama, for being a beacon of light in a sometimes very dark time in history. 


8. Jana Kramer. Jana Kramer is once again opening the conversation to the uncomfortable subject of domestic violence and its aftermath, which helped me be more honest about my own poor relationship choices & how I’m hoping I’ve turned it around this time with the new person I’m seeing. Her real talk about how the scars on our self esteem last long after the blows stop & we allow ourselves to be mistreated by other men until we finally stand up for ourselves and it’s okay to be a single mom. It’s okay to admit that we struggle. What matters is we get back up. Thanks Ms. Kramer for getting back up. 


9. Nikki Bella. Nikki Bella may not have broken the glass ceiling, but she chipped it a few times. The longest reigning Divas Champion fought through injuries and disrespect to help usher in a new era for women in sport. In addition, she and her sister Brie have become motivational speakers, seeking to empower women & build them up. Upon her return from a broken neck, Bella even said she didn’t care if she ever won another match, as long as she was building up the latest group of women. It’s that kind of encouraging attitude that makes me okay with my seven year old daughter believing that Nikki Bella is truly Fearless, and calling Nikki her hero. 


10. Hilary Clinton. I saved the biggest and most bad ass for last. In a little under a month, Hillary Clinton could be the President of the United freaking States! What?! That’s right; a woman, leading the free world. And she’s not leading in polls because she’s a woman; she’s leading because she’s the best possible candidate in the eyes of American voters. Her policies, her platform, that’s what’s resonating with voters. Her calm demeanour while her opponent attacks her personally, her marriage, her daughter. Despite all of this abuse, Mrs. Clinton stands tall and discusses her plan for America, because all that should matter is her ability to run the country. Mrs. Clinton has been dragged through the mud far more than any other candidate in history, but when you go through Hell, keep on going. She kept on going and when I wake up on November 9/16, I may get to show my daughters that the ultimate glass ceiling has been shattered when Hilary Clinton is named the 45th President of the United States of America. 

While you may not agree with my choices, because of politics or whatever, these are 10 women who are standing up for themselves, for other women, for their countries. These are the kinds of women we should look to; the women who are making history. The women who want to help others make history. The women who defend each other, their beliefs. I hope to be the kind of women who builds up other women, who encourages my own daughters to be anything they want. And thanks to the women above, they have a better chance to become whomever they want, because they’ve opened doors…or kicked them down. 

And finally, here are women in my own life who inspire me every single day. They build up other women, stand up for each other, support me, fight for their goals & demonstrate class in the darkest of moments. I aspire to be more like these women every day. 

She Sets the City on Fire

As a WWE fan and a woman who prides herself on being a feminist, I often give WWE a bag of Hell when they get it wrong & turn their strong, powerful female characters into stereotypical catty bitches determined to undercut each other. Today, I’m going to give them props for getting it right.


Months ago, I lamented about the plight of Becky Lynch, WWE’s last true heroine. The Lass Kicker was betrayed by friends, humiliated & often left sobbing, while her fans sobbed with her. Many nights, my nine year old, decked out in her little goggles & Becky shirt, would ask why everyone would beat up Becky. Why did everything bad happen to Becky, why always Becky?


But the character of Becky Lynch didn’t become jaded or bitter. In fact, she would cut passionate promos about how she would finally win the big one & she’d do it the right way, with honour & integrity. Becky would tell her fans that all the struggles would be worth it & she would win the big one in a way that she could be proud of.

Fans waited for months and months, but last night, they finally got their wish. Becky Lynch finally won the big one & became the first ever WWE Smackdown Women’s Champion. The woman who was once molested by Ric Flair and tossed out of the ring sobbing like garbage FINALLY got to stand tall as the victor, making history to the delight of fans everywhere. 


Becky Lynch won & she won with integrity. She didn’t cheat or stab a friend in the back. She didn’t do anything duplicitous. She won with integrity & hard work & even though my two of my three daughters were rooting for different women (they were rooting for Nikki Bella & Alexa Bliss), they all jumped & screamed with joy when Becky Lynch was declared the winner.


But the other takeaway from this night was that some of the women in the match went onto social media to publicly congratulate Lynch. Nikki Bella & Natalya (Becky’s latest onscreen nemesis) took time to congratulate Becky, compliment her work ethic & even while reminding people that they wanted to be champion, they were proud of Becky. And Becky made sure to thank them for their words, and for a moment, everyone had to stand up and notice that all of these women were building up each other. There was no catty sniping, just a bunch of women proud of their body of work & proud of their friend, even in defeat. 

My other two daughters would have been so disappointed if I hadn’t added a pic of their “girls” in this match.

Even the women who may not have publicly congratulated Becky (but I’m sure they did privately) still showcased class & poise. They congratulated all of their opponents for a job well done, for a great match & Trinity “Naomi” Fatu gave a thoughtful statement, reminding her fanbase that long roads lead to beautiful destinations. No undercutting Becky Lynch’s abilities. No claiming that she’s ugly, fat or didn’t deserve to win. Just six women proud of themselves & what they were able to do. 


So congrats to all six of these women for showcasing a different kind of female superstar; classy in defeat, proud of each other & appreciative of opportunities given, or opportunities created. You showcased athleticism in the ring, but showed passionate fans that it’s okay to be happy for someone else, especially when you know they worked hard too. Six women built up other women, with not a single personal attack or childish catty insult. For once, a women’s match really was about who was the best, and the right woman won it the right way, teaching little girls at home that with hard work and integrity, there is nothing you cannot do. 

White Noise

I think it’s time for me to admit that I do really stupid things.

I wouldn’t necessarily say stupid,  but maybe “I have no chill” as the cool teenagers say.

Because my journalism career is picking up all kinds of steam, I decided to separate my personal social media from my professional one. I figured it might be better to separate my work from my social media, where I discuss super important things like crossfit, why I think running is stupid, and of course, the return of Seth Rollins and my childlike crush on Seth Rollins. It’s honestly really boring and why I have any followers, I will never know (speaking of which, follow me on Twitter and read about my boring life and teenybopper crush on Seth Rollins!)

Still say that this is where MiTB ended. SHUT UP SHUT UP SHUT UP.

So, I opened up this super cool professional Twitter account, which you can totally follow here if you want to read my latest articles! My next article should be up in the coming weeks, so I’m excited.

I’ve also been offered an opportunity to contribute to a new news and popular culture blog (check out my writer profile HERE). That’s kind of exciting. And one of my blog posts was extremely well received by readers, including some fitness writers! Not too bad for a story about a goose.

But the editor for some of the many newspapers I applied for jobs with read this blog and then told me he thought it was really good! Naturally, when responding to the compliment, I managed to do in a way that can only be classified as “completely awkward asshole.” That’s how I deal with compliments folks. Like an asshole. Of course, I DID make an impression, so next time there’s a posting at the Examiner, I can apply with “Hey, remember that time you complimented my work and I asked if you were being sarcastic like a douche? That was me, I swear I’m talented and have the education and portfolio to back it up. Please give me a job.” But it was such a big deal to me. Someone who’s body of work I admire and I hope will someday be my editor complimented this mishmash of thoughts. It was like a big sign that said “You are on the right track MHC.” This silly compliment made me so very proud & it took everything in me not to text everyone I know that the editor thinks I don’t suck. But most of the people in my life are sick of the play by play about my career, the stories I’m working on, the emails I’m sending, etc. I sometimes forget that this is actually only really important to me, and that the eye rolls I get are perfectly natural. I sometimes wonder if I’m the only person who gets this passionate about what they do and who they want to be.
That same night, another freelance opportunity presented itself and I applied. Then I sent a message on LinkedIn asking if there was more I could do to help with my application. That’s when I realized that while in my personal life, I have infinite patience, in my professional life, I have NONE. No chill ever. In my personal life, I am the giver of chances, I am the person who wants to offer love and forgiveness and the opportunity to prove that you can be the person you are capable of being if you would just try really hard to stop doing dumb ass shit (until I reach my limit, then you’re erased). I want my children to learn from my example; how to be healthy, mentally healthy, strong, brave, and determined. I give them chances to grow. I’m patient with them. I listen. But when it comes to my professional life, I become so impatient. Reply right now. Interview right now. Let’s get started. Let me write right now. The position I interviewed at Great West won’t even be available until the fall. So, here I am, trying super hard to be patient, because I’m starting to realize that my eager beaver ways might be putting off potential editors. While I think it would be awesome to have staff that wanted a job as much as I want one, maybe others disagree. So, I am going to try this patience thing. I’ve heard it works in some circles. I’ll wait the proper seven days and then call and follow up. Hopefully, I will get in and can proudly announce the next paper I’ll be writing for so my friends and family can all pretend to care and roll their eyes again. I’ll apply the patience that I give to those I love the most to the world I love the most and see if it pays off.

I’m just so excited. The more places I can published & the more time I can put in a newsroom, the closer I get to the thing I’ve worked my ENTIRE life for. And I get ahead of myself. And then I do and say stupid things which doesn’t help. Sometimes I swear I’m a cartoon character.


If not, I’ll find a happy balance between “aggressive bitch” and “wishy washy passive.” It’s gotta be in there somewhere.