23 August 2016

I am Extraordinary

Yes... you read the title correctly. I am extraordinary; however before you chalk this up to another egotistical keyboard warrior blogger gone mad - give me a few minutes of your time, please.

I love the word extraordinary. I find it funny actually, because (as those of you who read my babbling already know) I love to dig into words.

I am not a special snowflake with super powers. I am no stronger than any other person walking this earth. I am no different than you. We all have strengths and weaknesses. We all have gifts - talents - passions - skills. We are uniquely made and yet remarkably similar.

Let me give you one simple example. I work out. Most of you know this. What you may not realize is that over the last two years I've lost over 60 lbs. I can't tell you an exact number because once the scale crept over 220 lbs - I stopped weighing myself. I was ready to give up. I'd destroyed my ankle, had reconstructive surgery and lost mobility in my right foot/ankle. I wasn't sure where to go from there.

So. I tapped back into those good ole Army resilience skills and sat down to do some goal setting. I knew I wanted to ruck march with Ruck to Remember the following year. So I started with something simple. I walked. I kept walking until I was back into a routine. Then I headed back to the gym. Once I wasn't so ashamed of my body. I kept walking. The weather had changed and the Y had an indoor track. Until I was cleared to do more - I would keep walking.

Slowly my ankle regained strength. I was able to add some different mobility exercises into my routine, and eventually got back under weights. I love being under the bar. There is no hiding from gravity and iron. Either you can pick it up or you can't. If you can't you just keep working until you can. Yes. It is really that simple.

After months and months in the gym I was still frustrated with my progress. I couldn't seem to find a balance between maintaining strength and fighting the body fat I'd collected over a year of injury/recover. So what did I do? I waived a magic wand and BOOM my ass was perfect. No. I asked for HELP. I looked to someone who could give me that something extra to help me reach my goals. For ME - that was Cize. I HATE running. I HATE HIIT. I HATE HATE HATE CARDIO. Anyway, but without cardio, that body fat isn't going anywhere.

With Cize I found how to eat to feed my body as well as how to move enough each day to drop 20# in 4 weeks. All I did was move. Nothing special. Nothing crazy. Nothing magical. I asked for help. I listened. I moved. Yep.

I didn't have some magic pill, or super celebrity trainer. I had regular people helping me see that I was ENOUGH. I had Lindsey reminding me to get my workout in and eat (yes I never ate enough). I had Allison reminding me that strength is beautiful and that I was making progress. I had Amy pushing me to be kind to myself and recognize the small victories AS VICTORIES. 

So so so often I hear people say "I don't know how you do it all". Well here is a confession. Neither do I, and sometimes it doesn't ALL get done. Why? Because I am extraordinary.


That's right. I am just like you. Yes you - reading this - right now. We are so very very much alike. I have failed. I have cried. I've hidden from the world. I have felt shame. I have made terrible mistakes. I have fought the demons in my head over and over and over again. I am so very very ordinary.

Here is why that is important. Don't let that voice in your head tell you that you can't do something. Don't let those whispers in your heart hold you back from living your life. It is ok to be ordinary - because it releases us from having to be perfect.

YOU CAN DO THIS. Whatever "this" is for you. Get up. Go out there and take the steps to make it happen. Try, Fail, Try Again. Ask for help. Talk about your failure. Share your experience and learn from mistakes.

At the end of the day even the most amazing stories are about ORDINARY people who took the EXTRA step of BELIEVING they could do/give/make/BE MORE.

Take care of yourselves. Love this life we are given.

XO XO & Stuff,


02 August 2016

Your Sacrifice Means Nothing

I wrote something a while back about words. How using them flippantly or taking ownership of a word or phrase diminishes its full value.
Today I want to talk to you about a word… a word that has many people in the social media universe flying from one extreme to another and back again.
The word, Simple – Universal - Usually understood….

What does Webster say the definition is;  
: the act of giving up something that you want to keep especially in order to get or do something else or to help someone
: an act of killing a person or animal in a religious ceremony as an offering to please a god
: a person or animal that is killed in a sacrifice
For sake of simplicity let’s focus on the first definition listed. “giving up something that you want to keep”.
Hey, on call nurse? Do you want to keep sleeping? Sure you do, but you sacrifice your rest to help others through the night. It doesn’t necessarily have to be trauma, but if you are called upon you answer.
Hey, preacher? Do you want to give more time to your family? Sure you do, but when called by a member of your congregation you answer and sacrifice your time to help someone else.
Hey, business owner? You’d like to put the $500 profit in your pocket this quarter, but when the neighborhood kid needs a job you sacrifice that money to make room on your employee roster.
Hey, mom/dad? How much have you sacrificed for the welfare of your children? Have you given up material items? Worked longer hours? Spent hours, days, weeks… even months or year away from home?
But but but.,… according to the spinning turbulent world of pay for play media and social condemnation your sacrifices are no longer valid. Thanks to strategic manipulation and emotional word play anything less than giving your life is no longer a sacrifice.
Yeah… you’re right. Superman couldn’t make that leap. But we just got pushed there….
Stop the madness. Seriously.
Here is the transcript from the interview in question:

STEPHANOPOULOS: How would you answer that father? What sacrifice have you made for your country?
TRUMP: I think I have made a lot of sacrifices. I've work very, very hard. I've created thousands and thousands of jobs, tens of thousands of jobs, built great structures. I've done -- I've had tremendous success.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Those are sacrifices?
TRUMP: Oh, sure. I think they're sacrifices.

And yet if you ONLY read Facebook or Twitter or whatever social media hub you go to for "news" you'd see this statement as if it said "do you think you've sacrificed the SAME as the Khan's?" wait wait wait... yep. You see I missed the interview. I missed Mr. Khan's speech. When I was reading post after post I was P________SSED!!!! So, I went back I watched them both. I read them both.
Mr. and Mrs. Khan. Your sacrifice is of the highest accord. We as Americans are humbled (or we should be) your son chose to serve this nation, and gave his life in our defense.  Mr. Trump has not made the same sacrifice as your family. The vast majority of Americans have never even considered doing so. We, as a nation are forever in your family’s debt. That is without question.
Mr. Trump. I believe that you want to rebuild this country into the production entity it once was, I view your platform as one of economic focus and structural reinforcement. I HOPE that if honored with this position you would humble yourself to uphold the dignity of the office. You were baited, Sir into making a statement which implied a belief that your sacrifice is equal to that of the Khan’s. I do not believe you see it that way, but someone who holds the title President of the United States must be prudent in thoughts and words – even if he must sacrifice a part of his ego in doing so. It wouldn’t have been “politically correct” to say “my sacrifices are nothing in comparison to those of Gold Star Families”… no, it would not have been politically correct – it would have just been the right thing to do.
To the media who seems solely focused on click-bait: This act of selflessness does not nullify the smaller sacrifices made by Americans every single day. They are not of equal weight – the loss of a Soldier or First Responder in comparison to the small things we as Americans do for each other. We give openly. We work tirelessly. It is you, the media, who is drawing parallels where even the candidates do not venture to cross lines.  Honoring a physician for sacrificing time and money to provide services to those in need, is not intended as a slap in the face to Service Members who have lost limbs fighting for their country. Saying a truck driver sacrifices time with his family is not an intentional dig against Gold Star Mothers and Families.

Remember that little word… Intent?
Seemed important enough to the FBI.

Stop playing word games with the emotions of the American people. Most of us are smarter than that. Some of us will go through the effort of verifying the context. Few will follow through with research.
Bring back objectivity. Bring back integrity.  

XO XO & Stuff,