hustle, working women

A CEO, a Donkey and an Employee

What do the three above have in common?

Each can be considered a jackass at one point or another! Yep folks, you got it. A jackass!

Not to get off topic, but I start a post sometimes and circle back to finish it up. It could be hours later, days later or even weeks later. But I could not ignore this photo and blurb that I randomly got today….

Look closely folks. My quote said “look, somebody lost their ass on the side of the road.” Now this became a sign for me to finish this post.

Who would have guessed it? I am a jackass a lot of days as the CEO of one of my companies. I know perception isn’t often reality but for some employees their perception can be that I am an ass. I am pretty sure at least one employee has made that claim and I am sure others may in the future. I get it. It’s okay. As the CEO I sometimes have to make unpopular decisions. I sometimes have to offer counseling to employees and they may not like it. It comes with the territory of being the CEO. Taking charge of any and all situations. Most think the view from the top is the best but many don’t see the turbulence a CEO faces on the daily.

In any company, the CEO takes risks. There could be big rewards but there could also be big failures. I’ve experienced both. That’s why so many on the bottom don’t fancy the CEO at the top. Why? Because it’s a seat they will never have! Plain and simple.

Oddly enough, I wear multiple hats in a day, week or month. This gives me the unique vantage point of being an employee some days. Under a different set of circumstances, but an employee nonetheless. An employee, by definition, does a job, collects a fair wage, and completes work assigned or agreed upon for said pay. And guess what? I could actually be a jackass there, too. How could this be true? Hypothetically, I could be the manager nobody likes or respects. I could be the poor performing employee who complains about everything and everyone. I could even be the office gossip.

Whatever my role in those four walls, I am bound to be a jackass to somebody. Is it perception or reality? Maybe I’m a pay tier ahead of the one who thinks I am a jackass. Maybe I make them do more work when I am on vacation. Maybe the boss favors me more. The list could go on and on. I’m sure you get my point. Jackassery can appear amongst the rank and file as well as leadership in any company. Clearly I am using myself as an example to prove a point, but I tell you, I lived all these scenarios at one point in time or another during my professional career.

At the end of the day, a CEO has a job. Their job is to drive the vision of the company and take the company to the next level. The employees are the ones who push the paper, press the keys and provide service to clients. They are the hamsters who run the hamster wheels in whatever industry you work.

Everyone has a role in an organization. Everyone has a lane. At any given time, one of those people in the mix can be a jackass. Do you take it personally and dwell on it? No, because you can’t control it. You move on. You rise another day. You grind another day. You make new decisions as the CEO or you work hard as an employee.

If you zoom in on the jackass picture, who is the jackass? The real ass, as in the donkey? The person who created the donkey in the road mess at rush hour? Or the person driving the car that thought it was a good idea to get out of the truck and…

Well, a picture is worth a thousand words they say. I don’t have a thousand here in this post but I hope I gave you some perspective today. The grass isn’t always greener on the other side of the street, even if it looks that way at a quick glance. Not everyone is meant to be the CEO even if one makes it look easy.

Not sure how I got on the jackass theme but it was a random rant or thought that I jotted down and figured I’d publish it at some point in time. Find your path. Follow it. Don’t worry about others perception of you or your jackassery.

Again, I know plenty of folks who judge me for my choices but at the end of the day they are my choices and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Now seems like the perfect time to post this because I am a jackass. I will be one today, tomorrow and in the future. No doubt about it. I bet you have been a jackass at some point too.

Do you know a jackass?

Bonus tidbit: if you don’t want to be known as a jackass, adjust your attitude and train your mind to respect others in their roles because you never know what another person is going through or what they have on their plate. Jackassery is not just a debate, it’s a movement.

Now I am ready for a game of pin the tail on the donkey. How I love childhood memories that reflect into adulthood. Have a donkeylicious day folks!

dare to be different, hustle

Gifts or Shadows?

What are your gifts or shadows? I took my Enneagram test to verify what I already knew, but also to see how I could play better in the sandbox with others I collaborate with on the daily. I have taken many tests that are similar in nature. Most come out and highlight my dominant gifts or shadows, but this tool allowed me to look a little deeper. It was a good time to test myself. See what the report revealed. Have I changed? What personality types could I clash with? How can I improve?

I am a few years older since my last test of this sort. I am in a different space personally and professionally. I collaborate with a mixed group of individuals now. Timing was good to take a deeper look at me. Below are a few fun facts.

I am an 8 not a 10. Shocker alert! Shoot, I always thought I was a 10 across the board! Just kidding, there are no 10s. I wonder if that is by design? What is an 8 you might wonder?

Number 8 represents The Challenger:

The Powerful, Dominating Type:

Self-Confident, Decisive, Willful, and Confrontational

If you spend anytime around me in the workplace, in the gym, on the field or anywhere for that matter, you are sure to see the challenger in me. Heck, I even drive a fierce red Challenger on the daily. Talk about an irony. Guess I will keep that car since it mirrors my persona!

Next up in the rankings, the results show me as The Enthusiast:

The Busy, Variety-Seeking Type:

Spontaneous, Versatile, Distractible, and Scattered

For those who know me well, they often see me as a headlines girl. The one who looks for shiny objects in those long board meetings. The squirrely friend in the pack. I often enjoy chaos and note the scattered, smothered and covered hash browns you can order at Waffle House when painting a visual to others. #distractible

The next two types came in close so I will list them both below:

The Achiever:

The Success-Oriented, Efficient Type:

Adaptive, Excelling, Driven, and Image-Conscious

I am a driver, no joke there. Not too good at the passenger role but I play it from time to time to keep peace. I strive for success in every aspect of life and I note that a positive image is a must. I would say I ranked up high in the achiever category for good reasons.

The Loyalist:

The Committed, Security-Oriented Type:

Engaging, Responsible, Anxious, and Suspicious

I am disciplined and aim to keep humor in my life. I plan for rainy days and am always suspicious of other people’s motives. This is yet another trait that doesn’t surprise me.

I have the details printed, highlighted and cross-referenced to those I work with closely. I still have one individual to fine tune my traits with, yet that person has failed to complete their Enneagram test. It’s really doesn’t shock me. Some people find it difficult to self-evaluate. Looking in the mirror can be hard. Some don’t want to face the hard truth.

When one person challenges another to look in the mirror, the other can feel intimidated regardless of the real motivation. This is where perception and reality come into play. Your perception of me or my actions may not be the reality. Step out of your comfort zone today. Take an Enneagram Test. I don’t get paid to endorse this test, I just think it’s a good tool to review where you are and how you interact with others around you.

https://www.enneagraminstitute.com

It’s difficult to acknowledge you need to improve yourself but the reality is we all grow each day. Nobody is perfect. We never will be. We can only be the best version of ourselves and it takes time and energy to continue to develop that person. It really takes a lifetime.

At my ripe old age of 47, I can say I have grown by leaps and bounds. Some years the growth was slower than others, but when I recognize the opportunity to grow, I never hesitate. I seize the opportunity and go for it. Challenge yourself today in honor of my car (the red Challenger) and my Type 8, The Challenger. Remember nothing ventured, nothing gained. Will you grow a little today?

dare to be different

Rusty

She spent her time sitting in a dark corner, abandoned.

Most wouldn’t give her a second look as they passed her by.

Like many her age, she had seen better days.  No longer shiny and smooth, she sat slumped over.  Disconnected. Forgotten.

No one could quite remember the last time anyone had taken her out into the neighborhood or beyond.

So it was a surprise when that teenage girl, muscles to burn and ready to roam, asked if she could get her fixed up.

Next thing you know, some new tires, a new saddle, and a fix-up of the gears and boom! She’s ready to roll. Good as ever.

I bought my Diamondback Sorrento bike over 20 years ago. I was in one of my fitter phases. She was a blast to ride. But when kids and other responsibilities came along, she moved further and further to the back of the garage.  Years of neglect left her a mess.  But deep down she still had a strong skeleton.  All she needed was some investment.  Some attention.  Some care.  And someone to see what she was capable of who would take action to create change. Bring out the strong beauty she had inside.

In some ways, I feel like my bike. Over the years, since the last fit phase, I had let other things pile on.  I pushed my health and body further down, down, down the priority list.  But over the past 2 years, I’ve had people encourage me to get back into better shape.  To invest in myself.  To pay attention and take care.  I was a mess, but not beyond repair.

I may be rusty still.  I’ve got scars, wrinkles, and signs of age.  But, I’m getting to the point where I’m excited about getting out and going for a spin as often as I can. I still have that strong beauty inside.  Surely, with some investment, I’m going places I can’t even imagine, coming out better than ever.

 

dare to be different

Booty Shorts or Ass Eaters?

 

 

And so the story begins just like this…..

The nice weather is coming which means it’s time to reach into the shorts drawer. Oh no, nothing cute and fashionable is in there! I guess I just need to sweat my butt off in those leggings again. And please remember I sweat all the time when working out.

Three unlikely paired friends sync up on a Saturday morning. One with thick thighs, one pregnant and one with an amazingly cute figure. This all equates to small, medium and large or x-large buns. Yup buns-hun. Ass cheeks, booty, butt and so on.

Enter the convo on booty shorts and the brilliant idea to get matching ones for an upcoming competition. Oh, how much fun it is to shop for booty shorts! So many choices. So many options. Flair, flair and more flair. I almost forgot to mention the three girls noted range in age spanning about 20 years.  To put things in perspective those small, medium and large/x-large booties come with thighs attached and some have more mileage on them than others.

A decision is made. Lemons it is.  Big, juicy lemons on the teeny tiny booty shorts. A pinkish color to warm your heart for the sunshine weather that is fast approaching. I will have oversized lemons she said. I will have a muffin top another said. And the other said I’m so damn excited. The shorts arrive in a few short days as does the excitement and giggles. There is even a matching lemon (boobie) shirt. I am going to refrain from sharing that photo but it completes the outfit for all three of these ladies.

They fit! Surprisingly they are amazingly comfortable in the mirror and on the booty. I do my squat test in the mirror and all seems okay. Size small wears hers the next day. Compliments flow like a normal day because, guess what? She sports booty shorts all year, as in 300 plus days a year. No big news here but the new pattern is super cute.

We giggle some more and decide we need more matching pairs. One for each workout in the competition. I know we are a bit crazy but we said let’s just do it. Just like that we order a couple more pairs. What is wrong with us. Retail therapy? This time we go for cheetah print and pineapples. The cheetah were a bit outside my comfort zone due to the simple fact I am the one with the biggest butt or real estate one would say.

The new shipment arrives. I immediately gravitate to the cheetah print. All that print but I was dying to wear them. I never would have guessed it! The next day was the grand reveal. Oops, those mirror feels of comfort didn’t account for movement. Holy cow they ride up on my Clydesdale-like thighs! They ride up and you already saw the white of my legs. Holy moly the white of my thunderous thighs, oh my.

Too late. I already committed. I ironically meet a friend when I get out of my car at the gym. “What’s up, bootylicious?” she shouts. I was already like dying inside and now that she called attention me I was surely rethinking my wardrobe choice. Then the door opens and it happens. The shock and awe of “what the heck are you wearing?” from the crowd of regulars.

Oh, so many raised eyebrows. So many neck twitches. And just a few comments and giggles. I didn’t expect anything but I’m sure if somebody wore them aside from me I would be the first to make a snide comment so I moved on. The warmup is guess what? An ass bender. Yes, indeed it was. Pretty much every stretch or scoot imaginable that had your ass in the air with a gym mate behind you. The thoughts in my head are horrifying to say the least.

Did I scare the others in the gym for life?  Did they see more than they needed to? I scoot to the back of the group to be sure. I feel a chill. An ungodly chill in my rear leg/butt/crotch. What is it? It’s the rower! The poor guy finishing his row from the class before was literally air conditioning the entrance way by my thigh – every time he pulled the rower handle the air blew up my shorts. Yup, I had to move around again to avoid the chill and embarrassment.

All of this happened in just a few short minutes of my 1 hour class. I survived. My size small friend arrived and we were able to twin it up with our cheetah girl shorts. The jitters left and I owned my body and all its jiggles. The shorts were amazing in many ways. I even had the freedom to move and conquer a movement I was working on all week.

Today is just another Saturday where the small, medium and large/x-large girls connect for their Saturday showdown. A triplet trial run of the lemon shorts before our competition next week. How will it go? Will the same shock and awe happen out of the gate? Will the air conditioning issue arise again? Only time will tell.

Did we burn eyes with our lemon shorts or did we make refreshing lemonade? I think we each rocked them in our own special way. A terrific trio had so much fun flaunting their buns. Thank you Feed Me, Fight Me for the amazing comfy bootilicious shorts. What a beautiful Saturday it is when you spend time with friends laughing and being silly. #loveyourself

I hope you enjoyed this short story about my ass eater booty shorts. It’s meant to show that I test my limits often and I do get nervous sometimes but I mutter along. I push through. There are worse things in life than busting out of a pair of booty shorts.

I am starting a bootylicious challenge now. Hoping to get others to step out in those short shorts and shine their thunderous thighs no matter what size or shape they are. Pictures to follow in the coming weeks of the booties.

Until next time……

Part 2 is here!

Ahh this story continues. Of course it does. The life of the traveling booty girl shorts!

From time to time we may write a post but let it simmer for a while for whatever reason. It might not really be done or we just don’t want to post it for whatever reason. This story fell into that gray area. Do we post it? Do we hold it? Does it serve a purpose?

Time passes…..

After my first few pairs of 3″ booty shorts, I went with a couple of more conservative 5″ booty shorts for the days I run. Don’t need to have any chafing issues! and they work like a charm. No riding. No chafing. SUCCESS!

Now I get a coupon. The infamous coupon to buy more. What a sucker I am! Enter the blue shorts with white stars. I just had to have them since I think I am shining star on most days. I adore these but others find it funny when my stars expand when I bend over. It’s okay….I embrace the attention and commentary. I am such a big ham, that I can easily reply with the bigger the stars on my ass the bigger the stardom I am destined for. That normally makes people want to walk away horrified to say the least.

Then there are the donut pair. These may be my favorite pair. I don’t even really like the taste of donuts but they are fun to wear for sure. And what makes them so special? You can watch my donuts rise…..when I bend over. Too funny I know. On the serious side, my feed me fight me booty shorts are extremely comfortable and versatile when squatting, jumping and basically doing anything in the box. No matter what chuckles I may get, they are fully functional for me and that is what matters. My meaty thighs need the short shorts to get through the hot summer workouts without sweating up a storm in the gym. These shorts are also perfect for under a fun summer dress too. Talk about multi-purpose booty shorts. And if your dress does happen to blow up….well all one will see is donuts!

Then it happened! Chick 2 jumps on the booty short bandwagon. A few others did as well and that was exciting to see. Ok, so she insists on the 5-inch inseam.  So they may be more bike shorts than booty but I wear some 5-inch shorts, but they are still a far cry from the below-the-knee leggings she usually sports. A huge leap from the comfort zone but she did it. She did it with class and sass!

Her side:

It happened on a Tuesday morning.  5 am class.  Those poor people!  Maybe they’ll be too bleary-eyed to notice. (Chick 1 nods, I doubt it.)

Well, I run into a friend who immediately notices that I am wearing shorts.  What was it that gave me away?  The glaring white of my spongy thighs?  My embarrassed glances and slumped “don’t notice me” shoulders?  Who knows.  But, it was class time and I was getting it done. No turning back now.

Running was great in them, and I mean great.  It’s SO HOT running (even at 5am!) and it felt great not to be hemmed in by longer leggings.  But, they did kinda roll up on the third round of the run.  Still, an overall thumbs up.  And no one suffered shock from the sight of my thighs!  A relief.

I invested in 2 pairs but there will likely be more in my future.  I stuck with basic gray and black but maybe branching out into brighter colors will come in time.

Being comfortable is such a benefit when you’re sweating and working hard.  Feeling good matters. Check me out rocking a pair at my next Saturday class.

As this story unfolds, the beauty of women around us explode. Let’s take our friend Kim. She is amazing in so many ways but she is now rocking some booty shorts and she looks damn good in them. As a grandma in the over 50 crowd, she is setting the tone for so many. She inspires me to stay fit and keep pushing so I can be as asstastic (yes I made that word up) as her in my 50’s. Check out my pal Kim working on her booty in her booty shorts all while wearing a fashionable booty while her foot recovers from an injury. Everyone who is making up an excuse of why they can’t work out should just look at this picture and say I can do it, too.

As we wrap up this post, I leave you with you can do it to. Get fit, get moving, and most importantly get that ass in some booty shorts. Even if you start in the comfort of your own home. Be bootylicious or asstastic today.

At the end of this story you can see that even the most confident people challenge themselves to get out of their comfort zone. Be brave. Be fearless. Be you. Be-booty-licious!

 

balance, perspective

When You Get to the End of the Track…

 

This is a time of year where lots of things are wrapping up. The school year ends. Spring teams finish their seasons. Social media timelines fill with cascades of graduations, parties, ceremonies, awards, and more.

Endings give me all the feels. Joyful, sentimental, reflective, bittersweet. And yes, even nervous and a little overwhelmed about what comes next.

When that nervous feeling comes, I think back to our first book, “The End.” It reminds me that yes, every ending is a new beginning. This is a door that will open to new opportunities. I can be appreciative of what has happened and also embrace what is coming next with anticipation and energy and enthusiasm.

So, when I come to the end of a stage and the road ahead is unclear, instead of looking down or just stopping in my tracks, I need to see that it’s time to fly. To soar into something new and different. New challenges. New paths. New chances to succeed.

 

awareness, perspective

My Reflection

When I look into the mirror, I see me. I see my strengths, I see my weaknesses and I see the stress I carry from my short life in ways others may not see, even if I’m right in front of them.

What does my reflection show to world? The face of good of health and nourishment, a smile that can light up a room, and eyes that are as blue as the ocean. Some may even say I am cute.

Cute only gets one so far as you age. Cute doesn’t define or shape who I am on the inside. I have a chronic medical condition. I even have a pacemaker-type device in my chest. I have dealt with this medical challenge and it’s rippling effect my entire life.  My life hasn’t been easy. My implant surgery was major and I almost had brain surgery a few years ago. Despite all odds, I have worked hard and persevered in most areas of my life. I have accomplished more than doctors ever thought I could. But nobody knows that I struggle each day.

Only my close friends, family and medical team are my inner circle and know me inside. I don’t even have many close friends because most people shy away from those who are different. Not because I am scary, rather due to lack of
knowledge and willingness to face the unknown. 

I like to keep my condition private to avoid judgment from others. This has been my choice thus far in life. This choice has come with consequences. I have had to miss out on events over the years and lost close friends because I couldn’t do all the things they could do or wanted to do. Social acceptance can be hard as you grow up and missing out on some milestones in my youth days has hindered my development. I can only imagine what challenges will arise in adulthood when you are like me.

As I age, expectations are placed on me that mirror those of others my age to do this or achieve that or even perform a certain way. Basically putting me into a box. A box of what my life should be like for somebody my age. The problem is I don’t fit in that box or any box for that matter.

No box needed! I am special. I am special like a fine jewel, not special as in incapable, stupid, or even retarded. I sometimes have to think differently or take a longer path to complete something due to my medical challenges. Unfortunately, the high-paced hustle of today’s world doesn’t adapt well to people like me.

I’m simple. I don’t really like to use the internet. I barely text. I’d rather talk to another human face to face. I don’t like voicemail either. My communication skills are one of my strongest attributes yet it’s almost a lost skill in today’s technology world.

Getting a job is almost 100% online now. I am a number. If I don’t type well, I fall into the dumb category. If I don’t have a resume full of fancy graphics, I fall short on the tech-savvy qualifier. This list could go on and on about the negatives of being me and being different.

Thankfully, I have been taught not to dwell on the negative but it’s getting harder and harder. I’m emotionally spent every time I need explain the why I’m different or why things take me longer or why I can’t do something even if I look like the person next to me!

My insides are different. I’m wired for me and I just wish the world accepted me for who I am. I can dream that one day people will understand me and appreciate my value because I have value. Sometimes you just have to look beyond the surface to see my loyalty, my trust, my kind soul and my incredible work ethic.

Where do I fit in the world today and where will my future take me? Why does being different have to be so complicated? Why do I have to explain to ignorant people how hard my life already is without adding the stress of their ignorance to my plate?

If only people saw my insides in the mirror instead of my outside. Would they see the time bomb ticking in my head? Would they see a hamster wheel running 24/7? My insides are a mystery to me in a way but would my insides help people tolerate my differences? Should I have to broadcast my life to the world to get acceptance?

In my short time on earth I have learned a lot about people. Some are kindhearted but the vast majority fall into the ‘other’ category that normally puts their own needs and wants ahead of others.

I hope my open letter hits home with somebody on the internet. I hope that one person chooses to be kind today, tomorrow and the next day. This world needs more kindness and hope. More positive messages to overshadow the negative that can weigh a person down.

My life is changing in many ways. I can’t see far ahead because I keep hitting road blocks. I restart over and over but how many times can one restart before they give up?

I want to restart. I hope I can restart now and prepare myself to restart again because all I can see ahead is restarts. I am different in a world of predesigned boxes. Mine apparently has the reject stamp on the box and I’m desperate to reconfigure my box to adapt to my special qualities.

Mental toughness is a battle everyday to some. It gets harder and harder to adapt when roadblocks are tossed at you in abundance. 

One day you may find me floating by on the highway in my not-so-fancy RV or home on wheels. Out to adventure and see the world my way. If I can’t fit in a box I’m going to have to define my alternate path. From what I hear, the road less traveled can be a fun one, since most stay in the box that was designed for them by another. 

Thank you for reading a glimpse of my life. And it’s such a small glimpse it’s like a small hair. Maybe I will share another story or hair of my life again soon. Until then, I will seize the day and tackle all the adversity that comes my way. To please the world as it sits today, I will have one foot in my predesigned box and one foot outside while I figure out my life. I may or may not be flipping the bird to others around me who are ignorant to my differences. 

This story is honest and heartfelt. It is written as a tribute to all those who need a little hope when life gets hard and keeps you in that dark place. Get up, get going and prove others wrong.

perspective

Ready for My Closeup

For as long as I can remember, I have avoided being in photographs.

Don’t get me wrong, I love pictures.  I’d challenge you to find someone with more photos on their phone.  I take photos liberally. (Some might say too liberally).  I enjoy taking pictures of people and sharing those snapshots with them.  In our image-saturated social media driven society, images are powerful (if incomplete) representations of who we are, even glimpses of who we are becoming or who we would like to be.

Why don’t I like to see myself in photos?  Some is a longtime dissatisfaction with how I look.  Some is a resistance to being the focus of attention.  I’m just more comfortable focusing the spotlight on others.

Of course I know that photos have their uses. The nutrition program I am on (Stronger U) encourages photos each week.  I only did the before ones and I’m not done yet so I haven’t taken any more progress-type pics.  You get the idea.  I know the importance and benefit of pictures, but much of the time I still try to avoid them, unless I’m in a large group.

Once in a while, though, I’m brave enough to step out in front of a camera.  Recently, the amazing Milagros offered professional photography services at our gym during the CrossFit Open. At Chick 1’s encouragement, I decided to do it. One of my favorite shots is linked in this post.

Then John, our resident CrossFit Faded Glory positivity promoter, snapped a few of me doing an overhead squat in an earllllyyyyy morning workout this past week. (The early hour shows in my eyes, but the arms…!)

Finally, I did take the usual family pics with my crew on Easter, but asked for a solo one as well.

When I saw these shots, each came as a surprise to me. They don’t match the picture I have of myself in my head.  Instead of spongy and weak, I see someone who is getting stronger, more confident. My inner image needs an update.

img_0720

I encourage those of you who are hiding from cameras this week to step in front of one for a shot or two. Pose if you want, or let someone take an action shot of you doing something you practice, something you enjoy.  You may be surprised at how you look. It may also change how you see yourself.