Do it one time they gonna think its luck, gonna hit them with a repeat. Do it two times they still gonna doubt, hey,how I got a three peat, Got it for the streets till they knee deep. Got to stay woke cant sleep-Fabolous B.O.M.B.
In April 2022 I returned to WABDL and broke my World Record by over 30# and set another World Record, this time as an American. I became an American Citizen in February 2022 so this was my first competition 2 months later as a proud American!
In July 2021 I was told I was too small to be competitive in Bench Press and had no business doing such. In November I set my first World Record in bench Press for Canada and in April 2022 I set my 2 & 3 World Record in Bench press for the USA
If you know me at all you’ll know that if you want to motivate me at all, tell me I can’t do something. That’s all it will take. I’ll not only succeed, but I’ll destroy it.
I was so excited to do this. I saw this as a way to pave the way for not only bodybuilders but for all women who are told they “can’t” do something. Your mind is a powerful tool and YOU can do hard things!
One month ago I had a CT Myelogram which would result in an instant spinal headache. If you don’t know what that is, consider yourself lucky, I wouldn’t wish that on anyone.
To fix it you have to have whats called an emergency blood patch. Which is where an anesthesiologist puts a needle into your spine and a nurse takes fresh blood out of your arm and puts it into the spinal column to patch the hole and allow the cerebral fluid to fill back up, thus allowing your brain to not sit on your skull anymore!
Usually one blood patch does the trick, my situation took 3 BLOOD PATCHES!! (I know I like to make records but this is one I think I would have fine not breaking) so over the course of 3 weeks I had 4 spinals. Being alone in another country, kids all grown and no help from family was the WORST. Thank god I had some friends here who when I thought I was literally dying stepped up and helped.
The pain of a spinal headache is 1000x worst than a migraine and worst part is you cant take blood thinners so no naproxen, I’m allergic to Advil and I refuse to take opioids so it was hell.
On top of which I had my spinal stimulator batter replaced 3 weeks ago today and that had its own complications. It’s truly been terrible. From the surgeon putting latex covering over the wound, yes, I’m allergic to other complications. I’m just over it all.
Again, all this with zero pain killers. My CPTSD is was too important to have under control. Did you know you can be put into a chemical CPTSD flare up from one dose of opioids? Not worth it.
Our mind is a lot stringer than our bodies are. If we can focus on what our bodies are capable of, we are limitless. Even when we have moments of weakness, or doubt, we need to focus on our mind, and not only succeed with what we are doing, but do it with grace!
I am so thankful I can now fit into my regular clothes and grateful the doctors at he Mayo Clinic who have seriously been a godsend to me.
Funny, as a competitive athlete, we push our bodies to extreme levels to establish change. We always strive to be better, bigger, stronger. Even if its just to be better than we were the show or competition, before.
In my personal life, I constantly strive to change. To be a better person, mother, friend, human.
I’m an over achiever. Anyone who knows me, knows this. My biggest motivation is someone telling me I “can’t” do something. Even if I hate it, so long as its not against my core values, you best believe, I’ll do it. So much so, that the people around me, who you’d think would be my biggest fans and support have hated me.
I’ve done a lot of work with a trauma therapist, Yes, I’m putting in writing. Nothing wrong with getting help. It’s okay to not feel okay, and its okay to get help to navigate areas where you don’t understand. We all have strengths and weaknesses. If we didn’t, what a boring world we would live in. I am not perfect. But I have and bring value. I’d do anything for anyone. But, this was the problem. I learned that it is not okay to be the punching bag for everyone, just because they don’t see the value I bring. For years, I put up with so much $h!t that I lost who I was. All my accomplishments went unnoticed and actually went against everything positive I was trying to portray. To the people that I thought should matter to me. I’ve learned that who you expect to understand and support you unconditionally isn’t always the people you grow up with. This has been the hardest lesson, I have ever learned. And to be completely transparent, still learning, not because I think things will change, but because it hurts so bad to let it go and cut the negative off, completely.
I have met and inspired tones of people who I adore and who I am so grateful for. They have truly been my biggest cheerleaders and it has not gone unnoticed. I appreciate every single one of the messages, private conversations at shows, cheers, thank yous, photo ops, magazine interviews, awards given, opportunities to speak at events, sponsorships with amazing companies who continue to be the very back bone of my fitness career. Even the people yelling across comedy clubs that I presume I entered, unnoticed, thank you. As overwhelming as it can be for me. I hear you, I see you and I thank you for supporting me and being my “family” throughout all of my journey and trials. It truly makes my life so full.
I have always been transparent about my life and injuries. My back injury is debilitating. I’ve undergone 3 Spinal surgeries since 2016. Had to literally relearn how to walk, after two of them! Alone. One as recent as September 2022. I can’t take Opioids as it severely affects my CPTSD. Pain isn’t just a visitor, its a companion. I live at a 8/10 pain on the daily. It’s so bad right now, bending over to put my pants on is almost impossible. Carrying grocery bags hurts!
A dear friend of mine, Deanna, suggested I reach out to the Mayo Clinic in Arizona to see what they could do to help me. I grew up in Canada and only thought of them as a cancer hospital. I called them a month ago and they told me they have a strict one year post op rule to see anyone. Which would push me out to September 1, 2023, this year for an appointment. I felt I had nothing to loose so I started going to every clinic in Utah that has treated me in the last 9 years and sent all my films to the Mayo Clinic.
My surgeon in Utah is considered the best in Utah for Neurosurgery. But he is delaying my care. I’m not here to bash anyone and maybe on some level I don’t understand, he thinks his advise is sound. But I am so tired of being in pain.
Anyhow, I get a phone call from the Mayo Clinic about 2 weeks after I signed all the releases and talk to the head of the International Patients Center, because remember I’m foreign! I’m Canadian (American, too) but my insurance is international from Canada. He told me the Neuosurgery team received my imaging the day before and consider my condition to be “Emergent” and are waving the one year clause and want to see me asap.
So, I start the insurance process, because military is “difficult”. And my appointment is this coming Monday. I am terrified to hear what they have to say. Its a 9 hour drive but with my back as bad as it is, may take me 3 days to get there. I am taking my K9 and going on an adventure. If i ever needed well wishes or positive energy sent, its now.
It’s interesting that our entire lives is to grow and change. Change is a good thing. But the change I’m about to learn about, Monday, terrifies me. Questions like, what is my life going to look like after? Will I be able to compete again, will I be able to find joy and happiness without losing the part of me that makes me, me?
I love a good underdog story. No matter what the team of surgeons tell me Monday. I’m not going to quit. I’m going to continue to press forward to the mark. Just watch!
So thank you to everyone for your continued support. Means the world to me ❤️
For most of my life I felt out of place. I did what I was told to do, what was expected of me. It’s almost as if I didn’t even know how to choose and think for myself without thoughts of guilt, in my mind, from unrealistic traits I was taught and watched as a child.
Do I think my parents meant to put this much pressure on me? I’d like to think, no. But I cant begin to even assume what they thought while raising a big family. All I know is, I parent and live so much different that if i choose to focus on it, it hurts me so deeply, I feel like I can’t breathe.
When I was little I wanted 2 things more than anything.
Become a Police Officer
Become an American Citizen
Both ideas weren’t something they understood. I grew up in the frozen north. Canada was freezing and bitter cold. I didn’t know any different but i hated it. Canadians are the nicest most caring people I’ve ever met. But the weather is not for the faint of heart. I couldn’t wait to get out of there.
I wanted to become a police officer so badly. Ever since the 80s. I was maybe 5 when I decided that’s what I wanted to do.
I was raised extreme Christian. Having a caffeinated drink was frowned upon. I never hated the church. Not then. It gave me a sense of worth and value, but it restricted my mindset and limitations so extreme. I was scared to do anything that may make me look bad, according to how I was raised. Going to hell, was a huge fear of mine.
Fast forward to 2011, I was personally recruited to the Federal Police, My family shared its concerns but I joined anyhow, It was too important to me. A few years after I served, I sustained a spinal cord injury which allowed me to come to the USA to get the medical care I needed. Canada didn’t offer the treatment I needed, back then. So, I moved to Utah with my three little girls, alone. Now, not a wonderful situation to have my second life goal met, but I did it. I ended up in the USA and started our immigration journey.
While being in the USA, I had a hard choice, medically. If I get the implant my Neurosurgeon suggested, the Canadian government would medically release me, because I would no longer be “Deployable”. It was to the point I couldn’t even function. I was in so much pain. So I choose the surgery. After all, my kids only had one parent, “ME”. They deserved me to be pain free and be there for them.
I was a single parent since my kids were 2,3&5. My kids dad wasn’t faithful. He owned it, but that is not acceptable, not to me and not something I was willing to tolerate. Even though for years, the church, kept pushing me to accept it and stay. I couldn’t physically be in the same space as their dad. It made me literally ill.
I always wanted my kids to have 2 parents. After all, who doesn’t value the role of a mother and a father in their lives? Well my kids dad, for whatever reason, didn’t feel the need to stay. He not only distanced himself from my kids, yes “MY” (I earned that by raising them alone). He moved continents and never called them on birthdays, Christmas, or anything. Never paid medical or even tried to be consistent with child support. 16 years I raised my kids alone. My youngest is almost 19 and wouldn’t recognize him, if that puts it into perspective.
Moving to a new country has its challenges, Yes, even from Canada. Its so different. Culture, personalities, political views, government styles, people, food, nutrition, clothing, just to mention a few things.
If you have ever watched 90 day fiance, that’s exactly how I felt. Like a fish out of water. You’d think moving from a country so similiar to the USA that it would be easier, but it wasn’t.
Going into my 30s I felt a little more confident in my role in how I wanted my life to go. But now I was in a new country, with just my kids and surrounded by culture, people and laws that were so different than I was used too. I had to reprogram my brain to be not only okay with the new laws, but accepting of it. Now were not talking all laws here, I’m not a criminal. But gun laws in the USA are VERY different than gun laws in Canada. When I was serving with the federal police in Canada we weren’t allowed to take our service pistol home with us. We’d leave it in the armory at the base. So, personal carry here in the USA was a huge thing to wrap my head around.
Now, in my 40s, I am navigating taking my life back. Taking peoples judgements and ideals of how I should act away and carving out whats important to ME. I’ve been working with a trauma therapist throughout this process. Setting healthy boundaries has been out main focus. I am learning that I am an extreme people pleaser and had to set some healthy boundaries to get me back to feeling confident and happy.
This has not been easy, People who I though were my best friends didn’t support this. They didn’t like that I now had the courage to say, “No” or to voice opinions, I’d keep to myself, for years, Not to support their bad behaviour. Who am I to judge others? But I had to set boundaries so they no longer controlled how I felt or from them taking advantage of me. I have had a lot of retaliation from me choosing to put my sanity first.
My family also doesn’t respect this. Even while communicating and setting boundaries with my therapist, they’ve been extremely aggressive with my new boundaries I’ve set. Sad part is, nothing has changed, except for them being mean and vocal about anything and everything they think they know about me. My boundary was a non aggressive expression of how I’ve felt for my entire life. I was always the black sheep. Only difference now is I took my voice back, set boundaries, but now, I am the villian.
I can’t control how others feel. I’d never intentionally hurt anyones feelings, If I did, I’d be the first to apologize. I now have learned to communicate my feelings more accurately and am more direct with people I allow in my life. This is also something some people don’t like. People who have used me for years, have very aggressively tried to flip my boundary setting on me, calling me names and being mean. Showing me how little they cared about me, some, for years. Behaviours I have tolerated, by not setting healthy boundaries. I refuse to tolerate bad behaviours in my life and won’t apologize for having healthy expectations and boundaries.
Not one of my healthy boundaries I set have been meant to hurt or to make someone feel bad. Some people, family members to be specific have done somethings that have hurt me and my family so deeply that I needed to be really honest, in a private setting so allow that relationship to heal. It’s not up to me to have them reciprocate my wanting to have a healthy relationship. It’s up to me to set up a healthy boundary, period. For both me and my kids.
My family, months later, still are so angry. I’ve had to learn to just sit with it. I’ve live in the USA 9 years and the elephant has been in the room with no conversation, ever on anything. Just been going on as if nothing has happened. My trauma therapist challenged me to set up boundaries with them and address the elephant in the room. Let me tell you, they were not happy. They still aren’t. To them the boundary is my problem. Realistically, by setting the boundary, nothing has changed. We still don’t talk, but my concerns are on the table. I feel free like a weight has been lifted. But the truth is, my family hates that my boundaries point out cracks in relationships, that can be fixed, but they’d rather fight then self reflect and possibly fix the issues. Again, I can’t force anyone to change or to do anything. But, I have set the boundaries that I need to feel safe and secure and its not up to me anymore.
I will accept and change what I can to be a better person. But I will not accept cruel and mean messaged from people who don’t like the healthy boundaries I’ve set. Sometimes the truth, hurts. I’ve had to sit with hard truths about myself and worked on making those things better. It is healthy to feel hurt and to have empathy. It is not okay to inflict hurt back onto people when they point out something that you’ve done to hurt them. Sometimes we need to take a minute and reflect and see why they feel that way, and have a mature conversation to try to heal the hurt and strengthen the relationship. This takes maturity and not everyone has this. Just like empathy can be a great quality, but that doesn’t give people the right to walk all over you and accuse you of being mean when you politely stand up for yourself. Some people cant see the hurt they cause or take accountability for it. Even if your approach it kindly.
I had a conversation with who I thought was a friend a few months ago. They brought up that some people saw them as “this” or “that”. I didn’t know how to react to this. They wanted my opinion. My hesitation to respond showed them I saw some validity in what the others had thought. I was polite, (People pleaser) and they told me if they ever do anything to hurt me, to call them out. Well who would have thought, not even a month later I was in a position where they caused hurt and as per their words, I was in a position to communicate how they made me feel. Lets just say my communications went on deaf ears, I know they received my message, which was all true and I had help writing the message with my therapist. I was worried, knowing their past history of communicating that they would NOT take a boundary well at all. I was left on read for over a month.
I had mixed emotions, I thought we reached a healthy position and thought we would maturely get through this tough situation. I was wrong. 5 week later, I was hosting an event that I know they knew about. As to not cause more drama I politely sent them a message, “Seeing as how our friendship is right now, I am not comfortable with you in my home” I wasn’t aggressive or mean. But kept my boundary.
This was also not accepted well. They went right into gaslighting and mean responses. Trying to flip it on me. I refuse to be part of this so ended the discussion.
Healthy boundaries are freeing and isolating at the same time. Frees you from the burden of feeling like its our personal responsibility to make sure everyone around you is happy. But weeds out so many people who are incapable of being out of their own heads and refuse to accept the boundary or knowledge and work to make it better. The most sad part is, sometimes its a simple misunderstanding and can be fixed and reconciled and potentially make some relationships so much stronger.
Everyone has the right to set healthy boundaries for themselves, but being mean and vengeful when someone sets a boundary that upsets you, is not okay. I don’t care if its your family or not. If your own family cant support you on your quest to being the best version of yourself, then maybe that dynamic isn’t worth it. I will NOT apologize for setting healthy boundaries, even if it hurts your feelings. My feelings are just as valid.
I am realizing that there are a lot of immature selfish people everywhere. Look at your friend group, family dynamic or just people in your lives, at the gym, work, or people you see in your daily routines. How many of these people have true intentions? Who’s going to be there when you have a bad day? Who’s gonna be there when you truly need someone? Usually, its when we hit our rock bottom. “Trauma”, “Loss”, “Unexpected Events” that the truth of someones intentions become so clear.
6 months ago, today, I had a fusion surgery. I told the doctors, my then bf and all staff that I didn’t want any opioids, Opioids cause massive PTSD flareups. Sure enough, by the time I woke up from surgery I already had Opioids on board, I had the worst PTSD flare up, ever experienced by me, to date.
Who was there to help me? Think about it. Who should have been there for me? My bf? Nope. My “Best” friends? Nope. My family? Kids, yes! This was a reality shock for me. Someone who I thought loved me, turned their back. My best friends who I’d been there for, even when I was so emotionally spent, weren’t there. Even when I brought up concerns they turned a blind eye. I felt like a fool. Here I thought some of these people were my best friends. But it was made clear, they were friends when they needed something from me, but if needed something, I was asking too much.
The world had definitely changed. Social media is so normal that no one focuses on reality. People don’t communicate anymore. No one checks on anyone, no one can see past their own self. I hate what the world has turned into. I wish my kids got to enjoy life like kids in the 80s did. Not my childhood, but the adventure of writing letters, notes, dialing phones attached to walls. Sunset setting bedtimes, and dirt being the excitement for hours of fun.
I’m still navigating this crazy thing we called life. Sticking to my boundaries and seeing what happens. It is not easy. I spent so much of my life wanting to be liked and validated at all costs. Now I validate myself and love myself and have set up boundaries so that when I do meet new people and have new experiences that I’m protected from the fake and the immaturity that cant cultivate realness.
Life is heavy, people. Keep pushing to the best version of yourself and if that means your painfully alone for a while. I promise its better than being surrounded in a sea of people who don’t care about you, at all.
I grew up in Canada, but contrary to popular belief, not all Canadians love snow, or get “used” to the cold. It blows my mind that people assume that. I lived in Canada for 35 years. I got smart and moved south. Utah is even too cold, in the winter’s, sometimes. And don’t get me started on the snow.
This winter has been the coldest winter I’ve experienced, since moving here. I have been in the USA, coming on, 9 year now. Today Utah got up to 48″ of snow in the last 24 hours! It’s insane. My dog is over 75# and disappeared jumping in it, this morning! Freaked me and him out!
I’m just glad its not freezing out, on top of the snow, and the snow, is still coming down! I gave a German Shepherd/ Belgian Malinois K9. He loves the snow and would stay in it playing, all day if i let him.
Snow Snow Snow, it’s still falling. But I am ready for a beach and some sand. And a cabana boy to bring me cold drinks. HA!! Who’s with me?