Yesterday NBC Washington published a news article about a woman, Kate George, who has an Instagram account she terms “griefstagram”. Where she posts openly and honestly about her grief. The article included an interview with my ultimate suicide widow crush Michelle Miller and was very well written. If you are not going to take the time to read it here, basically it tells the world about how some of us are bucking the butterfly and sunset posts about grief and getting real about what grief really is.
And cue the haters!
NBC Washington deserves a ton of credit for publishing this. The comments that the article received, nearly instantly, should not surprise me. And I know they don’t surprise or even hurt my seasoned widow blogging community. However, I’m relatively new to this game,and I’m not in the best of moods these days, so I’m going to rant about these comments. And you’re going to listen. Or you can keep scrolling for cute puppies and carry on with your perfect little life.
I made the commitment to start my own blog when I ran into a colleague one day and when she asked me the classic “how are you?” And I gave her a less than positive reply – I forgot for that split second that most people actually don’t want you to answer that in an honest way, duh!! – she responded with “but your life is great!”
Right…I post a bunch of positive shit on my Facebook account and suddenly the fact that I’m a grieving suicide widow, bordering on postpartum depression, all that goes up in smoke. Hold on while I add your naïve ass to my restricted list (side note: best Facebook feature ever) and unfollow you.
Happy me photo credit: svk photography
Ms. George was quite smart when she decided to grieve openly, she was sensitive to the puppy seekers and created a separate Instagram account for her grief. Yet still, there are a so many negative comments to the story NBC Washington posted. Thankfully the openly grieving widow/widower community was quick to defend both Miller and George – a term that developed when we were defending one of Miller’s meme’s #widowmafia
A few quotes – without names to protect the gloriously innocent non-grieving haters – from the article.
“Another new low for social media”
First of all, if social media is so “low” then why are you still gracing it with your presence? You can actually control what you see and don’t see on social media, so if our grief is interrupting your perfect day then by all means hide our posts so you can carry on with your puppies.
We in the widow/widower community have more than sufficient time in the “lows”…this sharing of grief in a public manner helps us climb out of our low spots by making us feel supported. I’m really happy for you that don’t know what that’s like. Carry on.
“…she sits there obsessively checking to see how many likes her grief received…”
Yep, that’s us. We post about our grief and then we hope that it gets “liked”. UGH!! Do you think we asked to be grieving? Does this look fun to you? Would you like to hold one of my kids some night while they cry for their Dad?
Want to know what we post for? Because those who are grieving alone tell us REPEATEDLY that reading our posts helps them. That because we share our reality their’s is more bearable. And as Miller talks about in the article – which I’m sure you didn’t read, you just posted your judgement based on the tag line and picture – this new online forum has changed grieving so much, creating opportunities for us to network and not feel so alone. I spent the first 2.5 years post loss unconnected with the online grieving community. I can tell you how lonely that was.
“egotistical” … “attention seeking lames”
Wow. You know what I would actually rather be those things than a suicide widow. Tell you what. If you can find a way to remove my widow badge I will gladly take these labels you bestow upon the grieving from the safety of your keyboard. Would you walk up to any of the amazing widow bloggers I am blessed to know – Polo, Lynn, Miller, Phillips – and say that to their face? No. Cyber-bullying is rampant in our society and that it makes its way into our community of grievers is ultra-shitty. But I’m not concerned – because #widowmafia and we are the strongest people I know.
“Give me a Effing break”
I would like to lend you my #widowballs for a second so you have the cojones to swear online – give me a fucking break. And while you’re at it, I can send you a list of widows/widowers who would really like a break. They are solo parenting, doing it all on their own. They are learning new skills that they never wanted to learn, like how to change the tire on a lawn mower. They are comforting kids that miss their dead parent and then picking themselves up to finish the dishes and clean the kitchen. You want to give them a fucking break? I’m certain they will accept your offer.
Sunshine, happiness and rainbows
I am amazed daily by the raw honesty of the grief community I have thankfully been embraced by. I spent far too long denying that they could help me. Sadly, I am also amazed on a daily basis by those outside of the land of grief who are so quick to post their judgement when we share our brave writing.
But I know that this group of widows/widowers will not be stopped. So go ahead, post your negative comments. We will sick the #widowmafia on you and we will carry on so that others who need us can find us.
I call her my suicide widow sister. Actually, most often I call her BITCH. And other choice words that I'll leave to your imagination. I love her more than words can accurately describe. But I also f#*king hate that I know her.
I talk about her a lot, and often refer to her in my posts and here on this blog. So I thought it would be helpful, for those unfamiliar with our awesomeness, to share the story of how we met. And explain our complex relationship.
Redneck and I met in an online fitness group, My1FitLife. It's not exclusive to widows, but there's a lot of widow badge holders there. Mostly because the badass founder is the one and only Michelle Steinke-Baumguard of One Fit Widow. I started on my online journey meeting other badass widows in October of 2016. I was 2.5 years into widowhood, post partum and a complete mess. At that time Redneck wasn't even a widow yet.
I completed my first 12 week challenge group and had amazing success. Mostly because I met Mari, an amazing woman who also was a remarried widow with 4 children and daily I thought - if she can be thriving so can I. Mari kept me going in that first challenge. Once I got rolling there were two other women who's consistency impressed the hell out of me, Joey and Deborah. They were also early morning workout queens and their posts would get me out of bed on the tough days.
When Mari moved on to the big Quest group I decided to stay in the Challenge program with Joey and Deborah. I really felt we needed each other and felt this overwhelming need to be involved in the next challenge. It was January.
When you join these online groups you post a little introduction. I read Kristen's and was drawn to her story because she was another suicide widow. But at the same time I told myself to steer clear - she was a Newbie. Less than a year in. Much less. She scared the shit out of me. I was sure she would be a disaster and I wasn't sure I could handle that when I was still struggling to put myself back together.
And really...WTF was she doing in this group already? I spent the first year drinking on my kitchen floor...too busy falling apart and wallowing in grief to put any thought into self care.
She was a Newbie and I had already lived through the hell of the first two years....I was making good progress in my healing. Best to steer clear. There was a lot of other people to support her.
Ya...little did I know she was not about to let me walk away so easy. And she wasn't a disaster at all. Instead of crawling into the rabbit hole of grief, she was proactive in seeking out the right kind of support. Ok fine. I'll say it. She was WAAAAAY smarter in her first year than I was in mine.
Don't let her in...just don't
She was persistent. I decided it would be harmless to allow an AP (accountability partner) relationship to form. I could do that and still keep a safe distance. And that worked for a while. But we open up a lot on the My1FitLife page. It's a safe place to express your emotions around grief. The people there understand. And they don't go running in the other direction when times get rough.
Problem...I was approaching my 3 year deathaversary and I needed some emotional vomiting sessions. As I started to open up on the page Redneck, as I had started to call Kristen, and I started to chat privately as well. Infrequently at first. Then more often.
Now I was getting worried. Only months after my husband's suicide the woman who I thought I could always rely on walked out of my life. And then a year later, another woman I trusted, gone. BOTH of my closest friends lost in the grieving process. I was just beginning to heal from that pain and I was no where near ready to let someone get close enough to hurt me again so soon.
And there was this crazy Redneck making her own path into my heart. I would toss up road blocks and she would bust them down. I would try and hide and ignore her messages...by this point we were chatting several times a day...and she would totally call me out on my bullshit excuses. It was like she could read my fucking mind.
I was defeated. She won. She was in.
Face to Face
Now that I let her in we started talking more. A lot more. I don't recall when it happened...but I also don't recall the last time I went to sleep without sending her a good night message. Or the last time we didn't check in with each other in the morning. Make sure the day was on track. We are each other's sounding boards, we drink on the kitchen floor together when things are really rough. And we celebrate life's successes, big and small. Together we tackle the daily routine widow shit storm and make sure to frequently report the size of our #widowballs.
Then...she wanted to meet. Not gonna lie. That really scared me. All my life had taught me lately was that I couldn't even keep a walking buddy let alone a real friend. I was truly concerned that meeting in person may end our online friendship and that scared the shit out of me.
It also told me I wasn't done working on my own self-therapy issues. But that's another blog post.
So we made a plan. A Spartan Race. June 2017. We were both like giddy teenagers before a prom date. It was surreal. I'll never forget that first hug. I knew then she wasn't going anywhere. You don't hug someone that tight and then walk away. It was the real deal that hug. And so was she.
The shirts. She had our race shirts made. Mine with a 24 - the day of the month her LH passed. Hers with a 15 - the day my LH passed. Because we have each other's backs. That's what she said. And I could feel her grab hold of a piece of my heart...that I never intended to share with a woman-friend-type again. Fuck. She really was getting in.
Happily Ever After
So that's about it. In 95% of our battles I win. From our epic Fitbit challenges where she text screams at me to SYNC BITCH, to getting to bed on time (yes we battle about that) and crossing more stuff off our lists that we make each other create to keep our widow brains in check. Yep, the Canook typically takes the crown. But I am the wiser widow.
Shiiiiit she's going to make me regret that claim to 95% victory. But if I'm truthful the battle I'm most pleased that I lost was the battle to keep her out of my heart.
Honestly, I learn just as much from her as she does from my years of widow experience. We have a pact to not let ourselves fall apart on the same day. That way when one of us is in need the other is there to support. It doesn't always work...who controls widow fits anyways?!?...but we do our best. And we both know that if there ever a need for an emotional vomitting session, the other is there catcher's mitt ready.
Two things I repeat often: 1) I love this woman, but I hate that I know her. We found each other and are united by the suicide widow badge. Which leads me to 2) I would never wish my reality on anyone, but if you do find yourself carrying this badge I sincerely hope you can find yourself a Redneck to love.
In case you didn’t hear, there’s been a hurricane called Irma wandering around the Caribbean and southern USA. If you didn’t know, My Round Two husband is Cuban, and has family and friends in both Cuba and Florida, so this has been a bit of a stressful time in my household. It has also provided me with several opportunities to reflect on my grief journey and in the last 24 hours the words have been busting at the seems, just looking for a place to get out.
I look for both large and small metaphors in my life that mimic my grief journey. I find it an incredibly powerful and healing way to “frame” my grief and often it gives me clarity and greater understanding of my own journey. My hope is that by sharing it with you, it may help you understand yours, be it that of a suicide widow or otherwise.
Hurricanes are a great metaphor for grief – the eye, the eye wall, the outer bands and the aftermath. They each represent part of the grief journey. The recent visit we had from that bitch called Irma, gave me the opportunity to reflect on that and it also taught me more about my Cuban and Cubans in general.
Hurricanes and Grief
The outer bands: increasing wind, rainfall
This is the beginning stages of grief. You are so busy with funeral preparations and incoming family and paperwork that you are able to function throughout the day. Things still get done, somehow, and there is a good amount of support from those around you. You think you know what you are preparing for and you have purpose in your actions. There’s a list and you need to accomplish it, amidst the sadness.
The news clips I saw of people buying supplies, boarding houses, buying gas, etc. Everyone is getting things prepared and ready for the storm to hit. Even as the outer bands hit, people get their last minute preparations done. But they still have power, water and generally life is normal. Added bonus: there are even guides to provide you with a checklist of what to prepare!
The eye wall: severe winds, massive rainfall
Just like a hurricane it is near impossible to predict when and where the eye wall will hit. Remember how many times Irma changed her course? And category? It’s a 5, no wait, a 3, oh back up to a 5 again! In the grief journey these are “grief waves” – you don’t know when they will hit, you don’t know what will trigger them. They knock you right on your ass – for myself on to my kitchen floor – they can literally paralyze you. Sometimes it’s a category 5 – takes you out of life for days on end. Sometimes it’s a 1 – a few tears through a forced smile and on with your day.
When they start varies, maybe the week after the funeral when the visits stop. Maybe after you make it through that dreaded 1st year (not, in fact, the hardest). The frequency and duration of their visits also varies. More on how that fits my hurricane metaphor later.
The eye: holy shit the sun is shining
During the chaos of Irma I had the most amazing conversation with the Cuban. He told me the story of a hurricane that passed over the town he was living in when he was younger. It was a direct hit, the center of a hurricane passed right over. When he got to that part of the story his whole face lit up as he told me about the sun coming out and everyone pouring into the streets to marvel at the amazing site that is the center of the storm. I was completely enthralled by the look on his face.
There are times in the grief journey when the sun comes out again, there is happiness again. And you will catch yourself marvelling at it. Thinking, “oh my goodness, is this real?” But just like the people in the streets during the eye of a hurricane, you know the grief wave is coming back. Which made me really reflect on why I was so enthralled by my husband’s facial expression when he described the eye of the storm. And it eventually made me question my whole hurricane metaphor for grief – which lead to putting Irma on a leash
The aftermath: clean up and pick yourself up (off the kitchen floor)
The storm passes, the eye is a wonder of nature and Cuban’s know that they will recover. Cuban’s have lived through dozens of hurricanes. They know they are going to make it to the other side and they know they will help each other through the recovery process. There was remarkably little fear from my family on the ground in Cuba and from my husband when Irma was causing chaos. However, he was very clear about something. It’s not the storm that’s the problem. It’s the aftermath. The days and days without electricity, high potential for looting and violence. It’s what comes after the storm that worried him.
Hello grief journey. When you look back on the journey and really reflect, the aftermath is where there are the most struggles. The support drifts away, there are friendships lost, your children will reach milestones that will break your heart to celebrate as a widow. It’s endless.
And here is where I struggled with the whole metaphor I was trying to form in my head. The hurricane passes, and life returns to normal. I can promise you that on the grief journey life is never “normal” again. There is a “new normal”, but it’s never the same. You can clean up and rebuild back to the exact original state after a storm, but you can’t do that in grief. It changes you forever. And the eye of the hurricane doesn’t come back once it passes, but in the grief journey there is more than one moment of happiness and sunshine. Shit, my metaphor just fell apart.
And then it hit me…grief isn’t just a hurricane. It’s a hurricane on a leash. And not just any leash, one of those fancy leashes that goes in and out when you push the button – longer or shorter depending on how far you decide your dog/hurricane can run from your side. Sometimes it comes back on it’s own and you cannot stop it. Other times you pull it back and keep it close. You can revisit the different parts of the hurricane – the outer bands, the eye wall and the eye – depending on how short you have that leash. And you control that distance. You can control how long you stay in each of those stages of the hurricane. You can dwell longer in the eye if you so choose. You can stay stuck in the eye wall and decide to be miserable for long periods of time.
I would like to tell you that you can let the hurricane off the leash and it won’t ever make you sad again. But that would be like telling a Cuban they will never see another storm again. You can’t change who you are or what you have lived through. It’s a part of you, and it can teach you an amazing perspective on life if you let it.
In case you like to be properly warned. This blog is part rant. But it's also part love, part vocabulary education, with a funny story added in to balance it all out.
I was out for my walk the other day and for some reason started contemplating the definition of widow balls. This amazing widow term was coined by the equally amazing Michelle Miller, see meme below. My thought process ended with, "Shit, I don't think Redneck (my suicide widow sista) and I have been using the term true to its Miller definition. I better look it up." So I did. And I found the purple meme before I found the teal meme. And then I was pissed.
Be a decent human. Don't steal shit.
I remember getting requests from Miller early in my widow days. Repeatedly. She's incredibly persistent. I'm typically very guarded in who I accept on social media and I had no idea who this "mouthymichelle" crazy widow bitch was. And why wouldn't she stop requesting me to like and follow her?!? When I finally caved I immediately regretted not doing so earlier. And so began my infatuation with her.
So I was super annoyed when I saw this knock off meme which I knew right away was Miiller's definition and had no credit given to her. Who the fuck did this person think they were?!? I felt this "mama bear" protective instinct to stand up for Miller. Maybe someone already informed my fellow suicide widow about this...I hope so. As a new blogger I was admittedly shocked. Basic human decency rules should also apply online, don't steal shit.
Respectfully request to add an alternate definition.
Back to my walk and contemplating the widow balls definition. Sure enough, Redneck and I have not been using Miller's definition appropriately. But then I thought, "hey, dictionaries have alternative definitions for words, and words with more than one meaning. Maybe widow balls can be like real dictionary words."
So today said Redneck and I set about to propose an alternative widow balls definition. To properly represent the way we had been using it lately. See meme below.
So in dictionaries they usually give an example of the word used in a sentence. For the purposes of proper representative use in this situation a short story or two are better for providing context.
Example 1: you are mowing the grass and the lawn mower breaks. You get angry that late husband is not available to assist with lawn mower repair. You take the lawn mower apart yourself and through tears of anger and sadness you fix that fucker yourself. #widowballs
Context and self control.
Example 2 comes with a #therapymoment where I was pretty damn proud of myself for displaying some self control. My filter worked for a change. Set the scene: I had just shown up at the flip and was hauling my huge ass mitre saw out to work on this deck project when a passerby started to chat...note it was getting late and I had been busting my ass all day. So I wasn't in the best of moods. This makes my display of self control even more note worthy.
Passerby: what are you working on now?
Me: I'm going to redo the deck.
In my head: what the fuck does it look like?
Passerby: by yourself?
In my head: what the fuck does it look like?
Passerby: where is your husband?
In my head: well the one that has me working two jobs to support my family is dead, the other one is working to also help me support my family.
Passerby: and you're ok to do all that?
Me: oh ya. No problem.
In my head: fucking right I am. I've been at this remarried widow gig for awhile. My #widowballs hang down past my ankles if I take off my granny support panties. Move along.
As you can see from the "almost after" picture #igotthisshithandled
And I bet you're as proud of me as I am of myself for exhibiting some self control!!
When you experience life altering change I am the first to advocate - you need therapy, with a qualified, experienced therapist. But I also believe therapy exists outside of the office. Some of my most healing experiences have happened when I have sought out opportunities for less than traditional therapy.
The flip metaphor
A harsh reality of widowhood is financial hardship. Not all widows have life insurance policies to help us get by. So a lot of us, particularly those in the "young widow" category, need to get creative in generating extra income. I chose house flipping. But it wasn't just the $$ I was looking for. I couldn't think of a better therapy for me.
When you flip a house you take something that is neglected and rundown, you smash a bunch of the old shit and then you rebuild and make it something beautiful again. Can you say "story of a healing suicide widow?"
I have yet to meet a suicide widow without serious anger issues. There is no better anger therapy than smashing shit - especially if it involves a sledgehammer. ROARRRR!!! Any form of grief will tear you down, strip you of a lot of what once was and force you to rebuild. When you rebuild you get to choose what you keep from the pre-loss version of you, what you shine up and make look new again and what you discard and opt for new. And in the end, there is a beautiful version of you.
I look for multiple ways in my flip projects to take something that once was, change it in some way and build it into something unique and beautiful. And each time I do it I honour my grief and healing process. I reflect and I heal a little more.
Here's a before and after of the front entrance in my most recent flip. The old wood was saved from the home while we were in demolition mode. Cleaned up, transformed, given new purpose. Given a Round Two.
It's not just me...phew!
Looking for therapy out of an office is not just something I needed. A quick search and you will find a lot of resources for creative grief therapy. I consider myself fortunate to be able to flip houses. You may opt for something that has a little less commitment of time and resources. The key, in my humble opinion, is to find something that let's you reflect on the grief, and more importantly, the healing process. Think about what that could be for you...
Painting? Taking a blank canvas and transforming it into a thing of beauty.
Woodworking? You start with a lump of wood and make it into something useful.
Knitting? Borders on meditative, I've dappled in this as well.
Singing or songwriting? Putting words together to share with the world!
Baking? Please send me a PM and I'll give you my address, I like chocolate.
Obviously not an exhaustive list. Are you doing something already for out of office therapy that helps heal your grief wounds?
I started on the first Thursday after I launched this page and plan to continue to post about #therapyiseverywhere or a particular #therapymoment. Below is a picture of a double whammy #therapymoment. I needed to get a floor installed, but I also needed sleep. My amazing-badass-suicide-widow-sister told me I had an hour to get it done or she would take my Fitbit from me. So I hauled ass and got it done. Sweat therapy and flip therapy in one amazing hour.
I would love if you join me in posting about your #therapymoment. Find your therapy and tell us about it, who knows, maybe it will help someone in need.
This month I will pass a milestone that people typically either rave about getting to or loath that it’s happening to them. The big FOUR-OHHHHH, my 40th birthday. I’ve been watching those blessed to be born in ’77 reach their dates for months and have been patiently waiting for my turn. And I’ve been reflecting, sometimes quietly, sometimes publicly, about what this milestone means for me. The conclusion? I already have my “40 badge”…because grief, and healing the wounds of grief, gifted me that badge awhile back.
If you scroll through some of the holy shit I’m gonna be 40 blogs, or the 40 is the best age on earth blogs, there are some common themes. I’m certain my badass widow tribe will agree with me and shout – we got this shit handled already, regardless of the number on our birth certificates. And yes, I know a lot of widows who are under the age of 40.
Here’s what I see as the top three 40 is awesome claims, and how healing my widow wounds already granted me my 40 badge.
1 – turning 40 gives you confidence, a better sense of self and this general “comfortable in your skin” sentiment
This one is prominent in most of the 40 is the best age blogs. Its one of my favourites and the rationale behind it is often something along the lines of learning to love yourself and not be as critical as you were of yourself in your “younger” days.
Here’s how widowhood already gave me that confidence…
The moment I received the news of my husband’s suicide my world came crashing down, and so did I. Literally a fell into a heap. I then spent about a year sobbing into alcoholic beverages on my kitchen floor. But I kept functioning, through immense pain, and grief often is physically painful, I kept putting one foot in front of the other. Caring for my children and rebuilding my life. Anyone who experiences profound loss knows they have experienced their absolute worse day on this earth. Waking up every morning I give thanks for my life and I know, with confidence, and in my heart that I can handle anything this day tosses my way. Grief teaches you what you are really capable of. You cannot manufacture that kind of confidence, and you don’t need to wait for a magical birthday to get it either. Grief shows you your absolute ugliest side and then teaches you that to heal you need to love that ugliness. It makes you want to literally scratch your skin off and then shows you the beauty of what you still have, including that skin you so wanted to remove.
2 – at 40 you are seasoned and experienced
What the blogs say about turning 40 is that you have now magically entered a phase of life where you are wise enough to begin giving advice, instead of just taking it. And that this is some sort of privilege reserved for the 40+ crowd.
Widowhood catapults you into the land of the old wise one…
This one I didn’t expect at all to be given by grief. Actually it wasn’t grief itself that gave me this one, it was the healing. Once I got beyond being able to just function on a daily basis, and slowly began to thrive again, suddenly I was an expert on a wide range of topics. People called me bizarre things, like “inspiring” – yikes! Even as a remarried healing widow there are days when I can barely manage to scrape myself off my kitchen floor and I’m inspiring?!?
I started to get asked for advice on a variety of topics that I didn’t expect. It seems as though people thought – if she can do IT having lived through THAT then she must know a thing or two. “IT” topics included parenting, relationships, exercise, job choices and other random topics. Fortunately, or unfortunately, depending on your perspective, widowhood causes a near instant loss of filter. So my ability to spew opinionated advice on such a variety of topics is pretty damn impressive.
Overall healing through grief gives you an unparalleled perspective on the world as a whole. While I would never wish the kind of pain I have endured to get to that perspective on anyone, I do wish more people in the world could embrace what I know as truth. So when asked, I’m happy to spew away.
3 – when you turn 40 you stop worrying about what other people think
Read this a lot in the 40 is awesome blogs. Usually before this one is covered there is a long list of all the not-so-nice body changes that happen when we age, then a list of carefree clothing choices (I stopped wearing a bra!) and then the proclamation, I stopped caring what people think of me.
This attitude is a prerequisite if you are to thrive in widowhood…
Here’s what happens when you are a widow. People think widowhood is contagious. They look at you like you have 3 heads. After the initial “acceptable” grief period when everyone shows support, people drift away (check this blog by the amazing Michelle Steinke Baumgard) And when people do start to drift away you begin to feel like you have the black plague. In the healing process you will learn that it’s not about you, it’s about them. And you literally have no choice but to stop caring what people think if you want to keep leading a normal functional life.
Then…healing, and…GASP…remarriage!! Make that 4 heads with medusa snakes added in for that “oh no I can’t even look at her”. Those living the reality of widowhood are judged most when they make the terrifying decision to love again. Two amazing widow bloggers prove this with their most popular posts, the incredibly brave Erica Roman here, and the queen of widow dating Kerry Phillips, here. Widows/widowers that walk this road absolutely must let go of caring about the opinions of others. No need to be 40 to stop, if are have lived through grief, you already have that ability. You work your ass off mentally to achieve it, regardless of the age on your birth certificate.
Like I said, I got this shit handled. The stuff people rave about that your 40’s will give you…grief and licking my wounds gave me that perspective already. And the stuff people fret and worry about when they hit this milestone…I’m too damn busy enjoying the daily gift of life to be worrying about that shit. So big FOUR-OHHHHH…Bring. It. On.
I am Michelle. Above all I am a mother of four incredible little beings. I am a certified Personal Trainer and Healthy Eating Coach, an educator and a real estate investor. I am a coach who also participates fully as a fitness enthusiast, a runner, and a swimmer. I speak from the heart and have no filter left to tolerate bull shit.