I’m not so much motivated by anyone’s body or physique anymore; I’m much more motivated by those women who WORK HARD FOR THAT PHYSIQUE DAY IN & DAY OUT! 

These days, social media is absolutely flooded with snaps of girls with blonde hair and abs with the newest protein/fat burner products (and a ridiculously clean kitchen?! Who the fuck has time to have a spotless house?!!!) posing in a crop top and booty shorts, pretending like they’re in a serious photo shoot with a Samsung quality camera… Roping in the instagram ‘likes’ as an ambassador of a company or products that (occasionally) they DON’T EVEN USE THEMSELVES! Anyway, some of these girls have worked hard for their bodies, some are naturally thin, and some have (sadly) been ruled by eating disorders (I should NEVER have looked up those hashtags when my sister was diagnosed with an ED!). However, it’s The women who work hard, day in and out, that I personally look up to. Those people who clearly hustle every day and work so hard to look how they do. I absolutely admire the shit out of that hard work that goes in and that’s what motivates and inspires me. Not some Kardashian shit.

People’s transformations and life changes also really inspire me and motivate me-because they might not have rock hard abs or capped shoulders; However,the before and after picture comparisons speak for themselves- You can see the work that’s been put in daily and consistently. I have massive respect for anyone who commits to this sort of a life change. I, myself, have made the commitment to turn my life around and nearly 50 kilograms later I can see my end goal in clear damn sight!

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On Instagram , i personally choose to only follow people who inspire me, so that if I ever feel down about myself or where I’m at in my transformation/journey, I can always go and have a sneaky look at the instagram accounts of the ladies who inspire me and I am instantly motivated. It makes me believe that truly anything is possible-physique wise- if you work hard. Yes, genetics play a big part in someone’s physique…however I believe that if you work with what you’ve got, your best shape will appear.

My fave Insta gals who are puttin’ in that werkkkkkk:

Amenah ❤️👭 @onestrongnurse

 

image Dem LEGS though 😍 I’m constantly messaging her asking ‘HOW DO YOU GET YOUR THIGHS SOOOOW THICK?!’ Bitches love quads like a boss 💁🏽 thanks for the stair run drills 😉😉 and thanks for inspiring me daily and boosting me up when I don’t feel so great.

KO  ❤️👭 @kortney_olson

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Femininely BADASS as fuqqqqqq. This woman sets it STRAIGHT. CEO of GRRRL clothing for whom I am proudly an athlete for, Kortney is out there breaking the barriers for all women! SHE HAS THE WORLD’s DAMN DEADLIEST THIGHS FOR GOD SAKES 😍 A true gem who I look up to… She’s not only a great big sister, but someone who has THAT much compassion and who is genuinely one of the nicest and supportive people I’ve ever spoken to. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Bonnie ❤️👭 @bonnie_g_australia

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From the second I met this firecracker back in 2013, her contagious energy was something I never forgot. Reunited last year, I was lucky enough to attend Bonnie’s boxing classes on Monday’s in Blacktown (that’s like 2 hours on the train, mind you!), putting in the hard work. She’s a fucking beast and I love how she never ever has any excuses and continues to work hard no matter what. I believe this attitude is a true gift and her spirit and hard work is definitely what I look up to most. Work ethic at its finest 😉

Shari  ❤️👭 @sharionley

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I said I admired hard work right? If there was one person I look up to, it’s Shari- no joke. I can’t even remember how I found her Instagram.. I think I was sitting with my friend at Nutrition station one day (when I was really fat and JUST starting to turn my life around) and Vini, my friend, starts telling me how she wants me to cone play gridiron with her for UTS and I was soooo skeptical then some how we got on the subject of LFL and she showed me Shari’s Instagram account and scrolling through it, it didn’t take long for me to see the hard work she puts into her physique, and a lot of positive talk in the captions. I think I quickly followed her and never turned back! Her attitude towards training is magic and I am inspired by the work ethic. If you want something, chase it. I think right now, I’m looking up to her more than I have before, because I’m injured and depressed about not being able to train and I look back to the time she tore her ACL and rehabbed it and I don’t feel so upset… If someone I look up to so greatly can overcome something so devastating, then I can overcome this damn back-joint sprain 🙌🏼 Another thing I feel inspired by is her ‘no fucks’ attitude which has helped me (slowly) to overcome constant anxiety over what other people think of me. I am yet to meet her aaaaand I’m nearly 90% sure we’ll meet next year when she most likely knocks me out on the field… Ha! I’m also obsessed with reading her blog when I feel down so…. Feast your eyes: AlphaLux

Everyone who is reading this post HAS to head to GRRRL.com and visit GRRRL clothing’s Instagram, and browse the rad threads and accessories ❤️❤️ And if you choose to buy, use my code ‘Krista’ for 10% off (who doesn’t love discounts?!!) eeeeeeven on sale items 😍✌🏽️ Then make sure you tag me in your  Instagramposts so I can see you alllll happy and shit 😁😚

Also can I just say… I’ve encountered a lot of people from Instagram in real life, having been a flight attendant. I was meeting people I used to look up to (ie; those blonde girls posing in booty shorts and crop tops in their clean kitchen with alllllll the likes) and these people with 200K follows on Instagram didn’t even look me in the eye or acknowledge me. I’ve also asked an ‘ambassador’ of a supplement company for advice on some of their products before… And this particular person told me they haven’t even used the product… They just do it for the ‘Insta fame’ (but THAT’S for another time 🙄😏) …

Being injured and laid up and off training is causing ALL kids of feels. Ahhhhh not being able to train and release emotions in a healthy way is causing some VERY old patterns to come forth. The first pattern being quite a taboo subject, something I NEVER thought was an actual issue or was a ‘problem’… BINGE EATING. image

It’s much more common than you actually think.. And I never actually thought I had a ‘problem’ because I never followed a binge up with a trip to the toilet bowl for a sneaky spew or laxative induced poo. However, the amount of people I’ve reached out to to seek guidance from revealed that they too have experienced much the same… If not worse.

A lot of my binges, I’ve noticed, have begun because I am tired…my body feels like I am craving energy.. And I can obtain it all by simple sugars for the quick hit. However, as soon as I dig into that ice cream tub, I black the fuck out and as soon as I know it, I’m putting the spoon into the sink and I’ve mindlessly just eaten an entire litre of ice cream. Well mother fucker…HOW DID THAT EVEN HAPPEN?! Literally, my brain shuts off and I’m mindlessly stuffing my face with ice cream and trying to obtain comfort from food…. Which I used to do in high school and woah daddy, did I blow out in every way!

I think it may be time to go a little deeper into maybe WHY I am doing this (bingeing)?? (Aka here is a list of some of my life problems…)

  • I’m injured and upset about not being able to train and lift properly. I’m sick of being in constant niggly pain with this join sprain in my lower back.
  • I HATE my job at LJ. I’m no longer passionate about what I do and I feel uncomfortable trying to sell a ‘size 8’ lifestyle to people when I’m not, myself, a size 8.
  • Ironic, but, feeling like I’m not losing all the weight I want to lose, so I feel like ‘what’s the fucking point in keeping on?!’ (That makes me so embarrassed to say, because it’s so contradictory…but that’s how my brain’s working at the mo!) I think ‘why do I even bother being healthy when I’m not getting to where I wanna be?!
  • I don’t have my car at the moment and I am actually really upset by the inconvenience. It’s my own fault, but food seems to comfort me- this has to STOP!
  • feeling restricted by ‘dieting’…. I’m not even ON a diet… I aim to eat clean and for a while I’ve been dabbling in the IIFYM (if it fits your macros) method…. BUT…. I find myself a bit disorganised and having chocolate in the house because sometimes I can ‘fit it in’ = a disaster cos I WILL eat the whole thing. I have no stop button. If it tastes good, bitch, I am eating it all! (Thanks comfort eating pattern!) I do much prefer a rigid system what’s written out black and white for me. Ahhhhh that makes my inner anxious-self happy. Hahaha talk about OCD.

Can I just say the only GOOD thing right now is the fact that I’m really, really poor (let’s say I have $1 to my name…for real!) and I can’t afford to buy junk food haha! I would never go as far to start bingeing on things that don’t ‘comfort’ me… Forget bingeing on the rice packets and tuna i have in my cupboards at home!!

You see, I think a lot of people associate ‘binge eating’ with bulimia.. And that’s why we never really talk about it. But I’m here to break the barrier and talk about these kinds of subjects!

I purchased ‘brain over binge’ online last week and I am SUPER excited to start reading it and reading into more of the mental side of things!

Omg so depressing that THIS is my first blog post but not ashamed as this is my thechnological thoughts. Everyone should have a diary! Welcome to my world mother fuckers ❤️❤️ And enjoy the ride!

(warning: little cursing in this blog. I’ve done well on social media, but my blog is gonna rain down f-bombs on occasion, but only for emphasis.)

OK-

I had to write some thoughts on this super fast.  As some of you know, I’m selling a majority of my clothes.  Where I’m going, is too humid to wear a lot of stuff I’ve accumulated over the years. Furthermore, I’m not going to travel internationally with all my clothes (again).

So- I’ve had a “closet sale” posted on gumtree for a week or so now.  I’ve had a few people message me about whether or not I’d sell some of my clothes to a boy.  One person in particular I’ve never met, but have been friends with over Facebook for a while.  I was completely taken by surprise with this guy!  I had NO idea!  But was honoured that he trusted me enough to tell me, as well as want some of my stuff.  He was totally cool with his shit.

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Then, another guy, total complete stranger, messaged me about a week ago via email.  Finally arranged for him to come by this afternoon to take a look at some dresses and “skinny jeans”.  After spending 3 years in the “muscle fetish” world, nothing really surprises me anymore.  I’m one of the most open-minded people I know, and am a bit odd myself.  I find “normal” boring AF, and think there should be more “freaks” in office.

Anyway-

After some going back and forth via text message with this boy, I had a feeling he was going to show up in women’s clothing, and wasn’t the least bit anxious.  However, when he pulled up and parked across the street, and sat out front for 10 mins, I started wondering.  I thought when guys crossdressed, they either were all in, or all out.  Either wearing a wig, makeup, heels, and the rest of the kit- or not at all.  After some coaxing, this fella got out of the car wearing flip-flops, a skirt and tight shirt that didn’t match, and a black windbreaker.  No wig.  No makeup.

As he started walking up the driveway, I opened the front door, standing in my black tights and neon green sports bra.  Looking ragged AF, I said “Hi Jasmine!”… without batting an eyelid.  <this is how my brain works> I wanted to use a little scare tactic and throw open the door to disrupt the energy flow and make sure this guy wasn’t packing a machine gun under that jacket! I told y’all I’m very open-minded…. so much that sometimes I think more on the paranoid side than not.

Again, anyway-

He walked in, SUPER nervous, and said “h-h-hi”.  I escorted him back to the closet, and pointed out some dresses and ‘skinny jeans’. (I put skinny jeans in “‘s because I think that’s a stupid way to describe tight jeans)  Long story short, I gave him a tight dress for free I’d picked up from forever21 for like $6, and as we were walking to the front door, I said,

“who fucking cares what you do in your spare time!”, “own your shit!”.  “I’m not supposed to have muscles, but do you think I give a fuck?!  Nice to meet you!”

After about 10 minutes, he sent a text thanking me.  I wrote back and said, “the more you own your shit, and are OK with yourself, the more society will accept you for you.  Negativity will come because you attract it.  If you have negative thoughts about yourself, and feel like you’re doing something that you shouldn’t be, then you’ll attract bags and bags of dicks.  I know it’s hard at first, but fake it till you make it.”

You know- you’ve got to surround yourself with people who approve, support and don’t give a rats ass WHAT or HOW you look, SO AS LONG AS YOU ARE HAPPY!

This whole concept of “owning your shit” is the basis of Konfidence.  As I always say “work what cha mama gave ya!”….. If you love it, then everyone else does too.

Some day, when I release this goddamn book I wrote 5 years ago, I talk about how we all know that one boy or girl when we were younger, that was NOT the standard of attractive, growing up.  However, they were confident, and thought they were ‘the shit’, and had an air about them that made them attractive.  For me, it was a guy named Byron in college at Sonoma State University.  This guy had a fucking unibrow and was a bit lanky.  He wasn’t a hunk by any means, but because he felt like he was Elvis reincarnated or something, he oozed confidence, therefor oozed attractiveness.

So whether you cross dress, wear muscles as a female, gay- whatever you are or do- own your shit!  Be proud of your unique style and be OK with it.  It starts by making a conscious decision to accept yourself.  Practice it- rewire your brain to thinking you ARE OK, and that there is nothing “wrong” with your decisions.  Then watch what starts happening to your environment…..

That is all.

Namaste Bitchesssssssssssss!

and P.S.  you know it’s the ones that HATE, are secretly the ones that DESIRE.  for example, the hick you went to high school with who wore wrangler jeans, drove a 4×4, chewed, played football, and was a queer basher, turns out to be THE gayest man on the planet 8 years after graduation.

It’s the guy that talks SO much shit about women who have muscles, that secretly gets off work from the supplement shop, and puts on women’s pantyhose, and masturbates to video clips of zit-popping (yea- it’s a fetish….).  People act out simply because it’s a reflection of their own insecurity.

Rise above, and OWN. YOUR. SHIT!

The post Crossdressing? Own Your Shit Bittttttttttch! appeared first on Kortney Olson >> Konfidence By Kortney.

Suicidal thoughts?  I refuse medication….

That’s right.  I’m not in a great space at the moment.  Not sure if I’ve ever written these words in a blog before.  I’m sure I’ve probably written them in a personal journal, but public?  Not so much.  I’ve been prescribed anti depressants a number of times in my life.  One time in particular I can clearly recall, was when I was in rehab at the age of 21.  The doctor wanted to put me on prozac.  After a couple of days, I was compelled to hurl that shit out the window and take matters into my own hands.  I found my own form of anti-depressants and it was called the gym.

Now, for anyone reading this blog who currently is on medication, I’m not suggesting for a second that you follow my lead.  Everyone needs to take their own journey.  But personally, I’ve done some deep investigating, especially through the years 2011-2013 when I felt like the world was coming to an end, and discovered that a majority of us are over-medicated.  You know how the conspiracy trail leads you from one video to another on youtube, and the next thing you know a year has passed by and all the sudden you don’t want to leave your house while the rest of the world is living in an ignorant sea of bliss?  It’s like I fucked up and took the blue pill when I really meant to take the red.  LOL

On top of youtube videos, I love watching a good documentary.  You can learn a lot from documentaries.  One in particular was about anti depressants and how back in the 1940’s, psychiatry was the laughing stock of the medical world.  In the DSMR back in the 40’s, there were just over 100 known “mental illnesses” recorded.  Now in the new shiny 2000 era, being a psychiatrist is a highly acclaimed, and well-respected job.  Not to mention there are over 800 different known “mental illnesses” on record.  WELL HOLY SHIT!  that’s strange!

Anyway, yes…… right now, my life is not oozing with its normal spiritual amazingness.  I’ve tried praying, my 12 step meetings, talking to other addicts and alcoholics, talking to friends, my partner…. nothing seems to be snapping me back out of this fog.  Yesterday, I got to such a low, I started crying, got into bed, and started having thoughts of not wanting to wake up.  Truly feeling like there is no point, and life would be better if I just fell asleep and didn’t wake up.

Dealing with the financial stress and management of ‘life on life’s terms’ was starting to seem pointless.  Maybe I’d seen too many news clips flash before my eyes while doing cardio, earlier that day, in regards to Donald Trump rating high in the polls…

Now, don’t worry… I don’t have the balls to take my own life.  I’m not at such a low that I would really consider doing anything.  But I am saying the voices in my head, are starting to wear me down.  I know if I went to a doctor, and I shared what I just shared with you, the first resolution  would be “you need medication”.

Seeing how the gym, diet, and whatever else I normally do aren’t working, naturally the next step would be medication, right?

Wrong….

You know what always works when I’m in a funk?  Being of service to someone else.  

Now, normally in the past I have enough energy to be of service to other people.  But ever since Dec 1, when I got 110% involved with GRRRL Clothing, I’ve started to lose a little bit myself ever so slowly.  At first it was incredible to see the vision come alive.  It still is amazing.  But when you’ve given all of yourself 7 days a week, and nearly 3 months straight, and not paid yourself a cent, you start to lose the spiritual excitement, just a tad.

Balls!  Who knew that launching and running an international clothing line would be so extreme lol.  The costs involved are ____________________________ ———> HOLD UP!  I’ve ranted enough….

The point of this blog, is to share what works  for me.  

When I’m down and out, burnt, tired, and caught up in self pity, and self centered-ness, the one thing that always works, is being of service to someone else.  Usually small little acts add up quickly, and make me feel good, but when you’re in the office all day long, and not having much human interaction, or when I’m not teaching, when I’m not in real life (because we all know that online is NOT real life!), I slowly descend.

The whole point of life, in my experience, is to give and receive love.  It’s our number 1 deepest human need.  But one cannot give love, if you’re not first feeling loved.  And I don’t mean feeling love from someone else- I mean feeling love from yourself (within, whatever-).  I’m not loving myself if I’m not switching off.

On that note, I’m off!  Rest assured your fearless leader KO will bounce back and mount that goddamn horse like that badass grrrl called Michelle Pain.  Do not fear, and DO NOT stop taking your medication if you’re on it.  You may be one of the real-deal batt-shit crazy ones (my kind of people… and by the way- you do know that you lot are the gifted ones, right?)

However, DO get your ass somewhere so you can find something, heavy- then, pick it up and put it down.  Do it again.  Then repeat repeat repeat!

 

Namaste Bitchessssssss!

The post Suicidal Thoughts appeared first on Kortney Olson >> Konfidence By Kortney.

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I may be biased, but in my opinion, girls who lift weights are like an absolute gem in this world. And I’m sure most men would agree. Girls with muscle send out vibes of self-sufficiency, confidence, good health, and strong minds because lifting weight requires dedication and persistence making it a hard, yet admirable grind. So it’s not rocket science that guys would be attracted to it. I’m honestly flattered when people take time out of their day to approach me and talk to me about what it is I do to look the way I do. But let me tell you, it gets old quick when some of the same questions and statements are repeated over and over and over again by strangers who half the time are not listening and only interested in what that booty do, for lack of a better term. Ladies, I’m sure you’ve heard a few of these questions time and time again. Here is how I answer these questions vs. what I’m really thinking:

 

IF I HAD A DIME FOR EVERYTIME A GUY ASKED OR TOLD ME…

  1. “Do You Work Out?”

My response: Haha yeah you could say that.

What I’m Really Thinking: *insert sarcasm* No Bitch, actually, I look like this by doing absolutely nothing. No big deal man, genetics hooked me up… Obviously, I work out dude. And I already know that you knew that so pick something a little more creative to break the ice next time because I’m hearing this so much that I’m starting to think that it looks like I actually don’t work out.

 

  1. “How Much Do You Bench?”

My Response: I don’t know. I never bench.

What I’m Really Thinking: I am an Olympic Weightlifter, NOT a powerlifter. I literally just spent maybe six minutes of my time that I could’ve spent rolling out this knot in my quad at the gym before training explaining to you exactly what weightlifting was and the different lifts and how its nothing like powerlifting at all and how I never bench, and after all that, you’re STILL going to ask how much I bench? Like why? Why?

 

  1. “You Could Lift Me Over Your Head”

My Response: hah Probably.

What I’m Really Thinking: I could power snatch your ass for a triple fool.

 

  1. “You Could Squat Me”

My Response: For sure.

What I’m Really Thinking: I could squat four of you. For reps… and multiple sets.

 

  1. “Are a Lot of Guys Intimidated By You?”

My Response: I mean, I don’t know, maybe?

What I’m Really Thinking: I seriously don’t understand this question, like I never know how to respond. What do you mean? Intimidated to talk to me? Intimidated to look at me? Intimidated to ask me out? Are you asking this because I’m single? Are you asking this because I intimidate you? Are you asking this because you want to ask me out? How would I know if a guy was intimidated by me? If he was intimidated by me, that would mean he would never talk to me, and I would never know him, therefore I would never know he was intimidated by me. You see how that works? It doesn’t, and neither does this question, so don’t ask this question. Stupid question.

 

  1. “You Could Probably Kick My Ass”

 My Response: Nah I’m a lover, not a fighter.

What I’m Really Thinking: How original. But seriously, why do guys say this? Like, it’s a little creepy. Do you want your ass kicked? Is this like a fetish thing for you? Or are you just trying to be funny? Because frankly, I think that’d be humiliating for you and such a turn off for me if I could actually kick your ass. But yes, I could definitely kick your ass. For sure. No doubt.

 

  1. You Make Me Question My Manhood”

My Response: Sorry? My bad?

What I’m Really Thinking: I don’t know what you want me to say to this one fam. Whatever it takes to be more of a man, you do that. I myself am a woman, so I have no advice for you other than to stop being a little bitch.

 

  1. “I Repped (insert number of) Plates on the Leg Press the Other Day”

My Response: Oh wow, that’s dope.

What I’m Really Thinking: I don’t even know what you’re talking about. What does that even mean? Why did you walk all the way over here to tell me this? Chances are, you’re probably not doing it right, and in reality, you probably can’t squat for shit because your mobility is so poor and your legs and back are so weak from sitting down in weight machines all day. Man, I almost want to ask you to do an air squat now just to see that form.

 

  1. How Do I Get Big?”

My Response: Not sure. Maybe high reps as heavy as you can go.

What I’m Really Thinking: OMG. Again, I literally just explained to you I am not a bodybuilder. I don’t know how to “get big”. I only know how to get strong with a lot of hard ass work. When you wanna mess with that, hit a girl up. And damn, do I really look that big today? Dooope.

 

 

…ID SERIOUSLY HAVE A LOT OF MONEY

 

The other day I was talking with a coworker about snowboarding telling him how badly I wanted to go this season. He asked if I wanted to make a day trip up to Big Bear. I told him about my training schedule and expressed that I wanted to, but I couldn’t and he said “what’s the point of living if you can’t do what you want.”

 

I thought about it for a quick second, and quickly changed my response. “Its not that I can’t, its that I CHOOSE not to.” He said, “fair enough, if you change your mind just let me know.”

 

All in all, he brought up a good point, something I am certain most, if not all, athletes encounter in their athletic career: how much are you willing to sacrifice to reach your goals?

 

I choose this life I live because I’m the only who has the power to do so. I make my choices and stand by them because in the end I control my own destiny and if I make a poor decision, I have no one else to blame but myself. I’ve missed out on a lot of shit. Yes, I decline invites to go snowboarding because I don’t want to risk injury. Yes, I’ve missed out on MANY nights out with the homies because I had training the next day. Yes, I’ve missed birthdays and weddings because it conflicted with training. And as a highly social person and a people pleaser, it’s hard to say “no” and reject invites and not show up to events. To be completely honest, sometimes, I feel like I’m missing out on life because I know I’m never going to get this time back. Every now and then, when the stress piles up, things aren’t going my way, I question if this is really what I want to do. Doubt sinks in. Do I want to keep making these sacrifices and give up all my spare time to this sport? Is it really worth it?

 

And then I think about training. I think about the excitement I get when I look to the board to see what’s programmed for the day. I think about the speed and power I feel when I lift. I think about the grind, good and bad, I get to go through with my team and I remember I have a goal that makes it all worth it. I don’t put in hours of work every damn day for multiple days a week for nothing. I’m here to build something. And in the end, choosing to say no to my dream would be completely unforgivable than choosing to say no to snowboarding trip. I realize that sacrificing things I want to do now for the things I really want to do in the future is never easy, but is necessary for the things I am going to do in the future.

My advice for reaching your goal/goals in 2016:

 

  1. Write it down

I never believed this to be true. Trust me, I thought it made no difference. It took me years of multiple people telling me to do it before I finally did, but when you write things down, they really begin to happen. Most days, the world will throw something new at you to break your routine, get you off track, and make you lose sight of your goal. If you write it down and have it somewhere visible, you can always refer back to it and hold yourself accountable.

 

  1. Don’t Be Afraid to Say No

As simple as it sounds, I know sometimes its easier said than done. But really, you are in control of your life. No one knows you, your goals or your grind better than you. And you can’t expect them to understand it either. If you think for a second it will throw you off track of where you really want to be, just say no.

 

  1. Be Consistent

The more routine you make your life, the easier it will be to achieve what you want. You’ll create a pattern that will eventually become second nature and that structure will become the building blocks to your success.

 

 

May 2016 bring all of you lots of success. And lots of gains!

132kg/291lb clean at the 2015 American Open in Reno, Nevada

Growing up, I was completely self-conscious of my body.  #TeamThighs was not something I was proud of, and DEFINITELY not something I would have advertised.  Naturally, I was just taller and bigger than most girls my age. I mean, my dad is 6’5, it was inevitable.    When I heard any comment, negative or positive, about my legs, height, or my size, it would get to me.  And I mean REALLY get to me.  From a very young age, I was always the one people would come to, to find comfort or seek advice but the matter of the fact was that I was never comfortable in my own skin and I didn’t know how to express this to anyone. So I stayed strong and never let it show.  The absolute number one thing I loathed the most about my body were my legs.  They were big, they stuck out, and they just didn’t look like the legs that everyone considered beautiful.  But they were strong.  One particular moment I will remember forever was track practice in 8th grade.  One day they had all the girls learn how to throw the shot put so they could add the event into the big track meet at the end of the season.  So the coaches had us all stand in line to give it a shot.  A few girls went before me and made their measly attempts at tossing.  Coaches were unimpressed, spiritless, distracted, and all the girls were in line whining about being bored.  I was next.  I spun (with absolutely no idea what I was doing, and most likely with horrible technique as well) launched it, and the shotput flew.  I laugh now because thinking back it seriously FLEW. And I was completely mortified.  Completely embarrassed.  Embarrassed because of how strong I was.  I had never seen a head whip so fast as I had seen my coaches when he checked to see who had just thrown that shot put.  He paced quickly to read where it landed, jotted down something on his clipboard, and dismissed us.  He pulled me aside and informed me that I had broken the school record that had not been set since years prior (mind you, it was only middle school).  He told me that I should consider throwing in high school and meeting the coach.  Had I’d known then how much my life revolves around power and strength now, obviously, my answer would have been extremely different.  But back then, it was an easy and thoughtless “thanks, but no thanks” kind of deal.  Yet part of me deep down really wanted to meet with that coach because I knew I had potential to be great at something, but I was too afraid of what others would say and the way people would perceive me.  Point is, I spent my whole childhood and teenage life trying to hide my strength scared of people’s judgement.  I didn’t know how to embrace it.  What kind of girl would I be if I could throw a ball further than the guys? It just wouldn’t be normal and I did anything to reject my true talents and true self to stay in that lane of normality. 

            About two years after high school is where my perception of “normal” began to change.  I heard about Crossfit and decided to try it out with one intention in mind: to lose weight.  As time went on, without realizing it, my mentality began to change.  There was no exact moment, it just sort of happened before I even knew it was happening.  I was no longer going back to the box everyday for my initial intention, but rather to get better at being faster, stronger, and more efficient because pushing myself to be better was where my true happiness was radiating from.  I started to care less about my appearance and more about the time I was posting for every workout.  And more importantly, I had finally found a place where strength was accepted.  People admired me for what I could do with my body (uhh mostly how much I could squat) and ultimately, it allowed me to start loving my body as well.  Loving what my body could do.  And in turn, loving myself.  At last, I was comfortable in my own skin and it led to a vulnerability, finally a point in my life where I was comfortable enough with myself to open up to others. I was proud to talk about my strengths just as well as my weaknesses, with absolutely no shame.  I began to fully accept and embrace the way I was made and I found the confidence I had been lacking all those years prior, trying to hide myself. 

            Fast-forward three years to present time and it’s shocking sometimes at where I’m at now.  The strength I spent most of my life being ashamed of is now the thing I am most proud of and it is what my life revolves around.  The part of my body I was once absolutely embarrassed of has now become what I am most grateful for.  The sport of Olympic Weightlifting has given me the opportunity to come full circle because of the beauty and power it allows me to see in my body and myself.  It’s constantly pushing my body past the boundaries that my mind has previously set, teaching me the most important lesson I’ve learned thus far: Your mind is far stronger than your physical strength.  With a strong mind, what you and your body can do is limitless.  Be you, accept yourself, and love yourself.  Don’t settle for the basic because at the end of the day, who wants to be basic?

  

In case you missed the video on the homepage, here it is again:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ju2IcS0OK6M 

The sound is downright crap, so best you put some headphones in.  I know my ADD ass couldn’t sit and watch something like this if I couldn’t hear properly.

There is so much for me to say, but not enough time to say it.  I haven’t blogged in such a long time.  Split between 6 different projects (massive in size), I’ve neglected blogging and it’s starting to show.  When I don’t get things out of my head I start to go a bit cray cray.

I’ve been meaning to post this for ages, but have kept putting it off.  Then, yesterday I had a good hour long chat with a parent re: the state of his daughter.  Just as I experience in every Kamp we run for teen girls, generally 50% of these girls are dealing directly with a parent who is an alcoholic and/or an addict.  The impact this has on a young person’s life is devastating.  But, the first step in breaking this cycle is educating the girls as to what the dis-ease of alcoholism and addiction is.  Teaching them what I wish was taught to me as a young person.  Growing up, had someone told me that my mom wasn’t a bad person who needed to get good, but rather she was a sick person who needed to get well.  If someone would have forewarned me that this is a progressive, fatal dis-ease and is said to be genetic and learned behaviour, I probably would have avoided all of the mess I refer to as ‘my life’.  Despite me not wanting to be anything like her growing up, I turned out to walk directly into her shoes without even realising what I was becoming.

Prevention is so much cheaper and more effective than a cure.  And in fact there is no cure for alcoholism.  But it can be arrested, and we do recover.  A big part of my mission is to create more awareness around the effects of alcoholism/addiction, how much of an impact it has on the wellbeing of society, and the ripple effect it has outside the immediate home.

The crazy part about alcoholism/addiction is the level of denial.  As addicts/alcoholics, we can justify everything.  Our mentality is one of being a victim and we blame the outside world around us for all of our issues.  Issues that are solved with another drink or a drug.  Which of course never seem to work…. yet we keep repeating the same mistake over, and over, and over and over……

AKA insanity.

I hope this video helps at least one person understand a little bit more about alcoholism/addiction.  Alanon is an amazing 12 step program for anyone that is struggling with the after effects, or immediate effects of an alcoholic or addict playing a negative role within their life.

Applogies for this blog sucking.  But I gots to go!

May I recommend reading this blog if you have time http://konfidencebykortney.com/work/mental-health/

The post What Is An Alcoholic? appeared first on Kortney Olson >> Konfidence By Kortney.

My live interview on national television last weekend.  The arm wrestle at the end is pretty epic.  I was very calm because I was afraid I was going to shit my pants if I made any sudden movements.  You wouldn’t know it, but yes… I had food poisoning for a week straight.  But as always, I suit up, and show up.  TURNING SHIT ON IT’S GODDAMN HEAD!

The post Kamp Konfidence on Channel 9! appeared first on Kortney Olson >> Konfidence By Kortney.

As most of you know, I like to do things that girls traditionally aren’t normally supposed to be doing.  I like to break down the walls of gender separation and remind the public that in reality, girls can lift heavy ass stuff, change a tire, and smash a brick wall with a sledgehammer.  Boys can cry, wear pink and ask for help.  It’s that simple.

If you’re outside of Australia and reading this, which I’m sure most of you are, the word “footy” can mean several different things down under.  You have the game of rugby which has both union and league.  You have soccer, which is often referred to as ‘football’ by most European countries.  Then you have AFL (australian football league) which is a combination of something like basketball, football (the US football/NFL is called Gridiron out here) and soccer.  It’s a very popular sport, and is close to being neck and neck with Rugby League as most favourable in Australia.

Well, a couple of legends from ‘the footy show’, ‘after the bounce’, had us arm wrestling legends come and show the hosts how it’s done. As usual, yours truly had to act a ham.  I love a camera, and ANY opportunity to show boys that girls can play just as hard, if not harder! They did take the part out where I say to Spud, “How does it feel to loose to a girl with SMALLER boobs than you!”.  hahahahaha! Enjoy-

ps- I apologise for the slack updates.  I’ve been so busy working on this camp that I’ve fallen off for a bit.  I’m not far away though, I promise icon wink Konfidence & Women Arm Wrestling:One of the Boys!

The post Konfidence & Women Arm Wrestling:One of the Boys! appeared first on Kortney Olson >> Konfidence By Kortney.

Here’s what this blog is not: me pretending I’m a MMA expert. That would make me a lousy human being. Equally as lousy as the fight/ football experts that come along during a big fight/ finals season. Folks if you love MMA, NFL or NRL so much try watching a gazillion games during the regular season. Follow a team all season, you might even learn something about the sport.
 
 
ROUSEY vs HOLM
  
Let’s be clear: I have always been and will continue to be a fan of Rousey. Growing up, I can’t remember any strong females that weren’t superheros or video game characters that I had to look up to. For real, Wonder Woman, Mortal Kombat’s Kitana and Milena, these guys were my idols, if you could call them that. Rousey is like the female Rock but more legit, she’s transcended into film, is highly marketable and has become a household name. She is not afraid to stand up and tell the world who she is and her views on things. She’s done some great things not just for MMA but for women in general. I like that. The world is lacking strong, alpha female role models for our youth, I truly believe that. But we’re here to change that, read on.
  
There are people who don’t like MMA; the blood shed, the violence. I also feel that the majority of people out there are uneducated on the sport as a whole. I remember watching the original UFCs on VHS.  It was kickboxer vs jui jitsu.  There were no crossbreeds and no disciplines meshed. These days, we have these entire hybrid warrior freaks. With Rousey vs Holm, we had two world class athletes testing the skills they have spent their entire lives harnessing.  There is so much mental skill and toughness involved. Should there be a rematch? Highly likely. But this is Hollys time to rejoice and bask in her victory.
 
 
Brutal beginnings of the UFC. Image source Fox Sports
 
Me? I was stoked that Holm had a dominant, clear win. She did some serious damage landing head shots in Round 1 and completely dominated in Round 2.  It was not a close call, a lucky shot or a win that can be discounted by any means, she dominated Rousey the way that Rousey typically dominates her opponents with a clear one sided victory. If Holm had won on points or landed one lucky shot to seal the win, imagine what the online experts would be saying then!!? The media is brutal!
 
 
DON’T BE SHEEP
 
Here is what is not cool sheeple: jumping on the bandwagon to diss Ronda now that she has lost one fight; she’s human and that’s the nature of sport. Who in the history of the world was undefeated forever?! Come to think of it Laila Ali retired from boxing undefeated after 24 wins. When your favourite sports team is failing to perform do you jump ship on them? No, you stick by them through thick and thin endlessly (Chicago Bears fans, I wouldn’t blame if you jumped though). That’s loyalty. Ronda is still and always will be a legend despite the cocky way she handled herself leading up to the bout. I want all females to win and these ladies both have, Ronda has taken the sport to new levels for women and paved the way for someone like Holly to come through! I’m reading so much garbage online, trolling is not cool – if you’re someone who willy nilly leaves your negative comments just for the sake of owning a keyboard and internet connection wake up sunshine. Even Rondas arch nemesis Floyd Mayweather is being supportive, sheesh.  
 
I feel as though these online trolls could be the same commenting ‘looks like a guy’ on fit girls photos. Now it’s part of having a public forum that people will give you their input even though you may not give a single you know what about it. I have a few things to say to said troll, for now let’s refer to him/ her as ‘Weasel’…
 
 1.       No Weasel, they don’t look like guys they look like women, who exercise. Probably more than you.
 
2.       Weasel if you want people to take you seriously get a profile pic. You’re a faceless box and nobody likes to engage with faceless boxes.
 
3.       Perhaps society has failed to distinguish them as womanly because cultures have been so behind the times participating in womens exercise programs; most people don’t realise what a strong, healthy woman looks like.
 
4.       The world has evolved Weasel and chipmunks are on their way out. All your small minded comments do is prevent other women from lifting or working out and enjoying a long healthy life. Young ladies have access to the net you know, your comment might (god forbid) influence some poor soul. Has the world forgotten that children are always listening?
 
5.       In the future Weasel, don’t be a dodo, high chance that the lady who posted the image reads your comments, chuckles, envisages stomping on you wrapping your limp body in her loin cloth we’re all cave women. I AM WOMAN HEAR ME ROAR! *Insert eye roll here*
 
People can get so tied up with what’s happening online. You’ll be judged on your appearance by others who are insecure about themselves. Don’t let online fool you. There’s people with 10 likes that have plenty of friends, there’s people with 1000’s of likes that are lonely as hell. There’s couples posting lovey dovey pics that are in ugly, deceitful relationships yet private couples with no photos online in divine, genuine relationships. There’s people doing things they’re uncomfortable with in an effort to gain likes that aren’t real to get recognition from people who mean nothing to them, if they even know them at all. There’s people who spend all their money on designer clothes who are broke as hell yet wealthy people who are outside busy making this world a better place for all mankind. There’s people with broken hearts who put on a brave face for the sole purpose of showing the person who broke theirs that they’re surviving without them, but they’re barely. Online is great as long as we use it for good, not evil purposes. For motivation not jealousy, for adequacy not inadequacy. Life’s moments of value are spent looking into eyes, skies or plates of delicious food, not staring into a screen.
   
 
 
 
HERE’S WHATS NOT COOL
 
Being a punk. I was not cool with Ronda not touching gloves. Trust and respect by others is hard earned, yet can be permanently lost over the smallest thing. Now it’s no secret I am a complete asshole on the gridiron but not touching gloves is the equivalent of not shaking hands with the captains after the coin toss. You can bet your ass I hate you while we’re playing, that’s just the competitive frame of mind I get into, but the moment that final whistle goes and we are done playing I respect any female that is willing to go into battle and face an opposition ESPECIALLY in a contact sport or a non-traditional sport for women to play. That’s the greatest part when you all line up, smile, shake hands, hug and admire one another. And it’s not always the winners you’re admiring, perhaps it’s the one who got the bejesus smacked out of her, got back up and ran the ball again. Perhaps it’s the one you overheard encouraging her team mates when they were all down. Perhaps it’s the tiniest person out there courageous enough to mix it with the giants. In case you haven’t realised ladies, we’re all on the same god damn team! It’s for equality, it’s to flip the middle finger up to all the haters and naysayers who think football, MMA, rugby, cricket or soccer are mens sports, that women shouldn’t be taking part in that sort of thing. We are in fact unique snowflakes! We should be building one another up, not tearing down and criticising one another. Hey you know what, you can keep doing your thing (whatever that is) while we do ours.  It’s time we stopped passing judgement on others, that’s cool if you wanna be a DNB  I ain’t hating on you I just know I want to do something different.
  
 
GRRRL POWER
 
I’ll let you in on a secret, even lil ol me this confident, ballsy woman comfortable in her own skin has insecurities. As an athlete you’re always chasing your peak performance and your peak physique. You have goals to reach in your off season, pre-season, during season and along with your training & nutrition comes physical changes. I’ve always trained for my sport, not to appear a certain way, the way I look is a by-product of my workload.  It’s tricky not to make that comparison to when you were in your best shape. So when you book a photo shoot there is generally that sense of ‘uh-oh I should look my best’. Don’t get me wrong it’s cool to love yourself and also want to improve. So I booked a shoot for November a few months back and in the lead up had some fairly quiet, back of brain, muffled thoughts of ‘remember you have that shoot coming up’. Thinking back even though I had those thoughts I didn’t alter my normal routine and I’m proud of that. Once  I came to my fucking senses I realised the brand I was shooting for believed that women have more important things to worry about than conforming to media stereotypes of what they should or should NOT look like. For too long the fashion industry has misled women about how other women look. Then in the days leading up to the shoot as I heard more about creative direction of the shoot I had anticipation, excitement, hope for all womankind that FINALLY we would have a brand that represented us!!! We who represent the brand are not strong female cyborgs, we’re strong female HUMAN BEINGS who still occasionally have these thoughts but we’ve learnt to muffle them. We hope that through sharing our experience and profiles you can damn well muffle or silence your negative voices too.
 
 
 
Hollys first release of shirts sold out quick. Image source: Instagram Holly Holm
 
The athletes working with this brand are so inspiring and remarkable not to mention bad ass. This is where Holly Holm comes in. Yeah Holly’s with us, but you CAN sit with us! Just don’t be swearing as much as I do cause she ain’t into that. This special group of GRRRL athletes from around the globe were all quietly rooting for Holly before the rest of the world decided to take notice after she won her fight. We are beyond proud of our GRRRL Holly and not modest in sharing how amazing our sisterhood is! I don’t put my name and face to many brands so you know this brand is the essence of me and how I live my life. I am actually so grateful they found me but that’s how the universe works right?

Image source: grrrl.com Arnaud Domange

 

 
 
I want to share a truckload of things I loved about shooting the GRRRL campaign but I’ll chop it down for ya’all;
  
 •I was allowed to look like me, it was my choice to wear makeup but they would have been cool if I just wore my soul.
  
•Their sizing is not S, M or L it’s a particular athlete size, see below.
  
•It is their STRONG belief that a woman has 100% of the decision making power over how she looks.
 
 •They agreed to NEVER EVER airbrush, photoshop or otherwise manipulate images of their athletes (in advertising or on the website) what other companies and media outlets see as “imperfections”. Women are perfection already. Period.
 
 Kortney Olson (you may have seen her crush watermelons with her thighs ) and David who are running the show are an absolute pleasure to be around. Arnaud Domange with his French humour and wit behind the lens made it difficult for me to keep a straight face and Sir Gino Payne waving his magic wand just creating magic as Spielberg does.  They create this incredible aura (probably unknowingly) that oozes positivity and non judgement and made me want to hang around all day.
 
 

It might take you a moment to get used to the sizing code, which athlete are you??

Go check out the site here and get yourself some cool shit. Use 10% off discount code ‘shari’ and you’ll get your cool shit cheaper, even sale items.

 
YOUR CLIQUE
 
So Albuqerque New Mexico has another claim to fame, after Breaking Bad put them on the map, now it’s Holly Holm. The UFC promo footage of Holly training in the desert, did anyone else think ‘hey that’s where Walter and Jesse drove the van to cook meth!’ I digress. Holly is a hero to so many girls now, not just girls who compete, this kind of courage can transcend into anything in your freaking life. Holly created one of the biggest upsets in sporting history. She was distinctive, different even. Her aura was intriguing. People would stare. She was intimidating outside, but caring and soft inside. Holly talked alot about her team of coaches, her family that there was so much love around her. There was actually way more love for Ronda which is unfortunately human nature. Holly talked about how many times she would sit in her car and cry after training after a bad performance then get back in the gym that night and keep working on perfecting her weaknesses.
 
 
Image Source: hollyholm.com
Which is why this is so relevant to everyone reading this. If your inner team, coaches, friends, family, people who you spend your time with are not supportive and offer you the love and support you need in life its time to pack up and move on. If you don’t, how will you ever know how great you could be, whether that’s with your career, fitness or other goals. Know what you have to offer is plenty, anyone who wants to walk away from that is on them. I also think it’s important to accept the fact you will grow apart from people you’ve had significant relationships with. You should be able to understand when someone no longer positively affects your life and let them go. Don’t hinder your damn growth! Thoughts are powerful cosmic waves in the universal sea of energy we live in. Don’t you dare be put down by anyone close to you saying things like “who do you think you are trying to accomplish that”.
 
You know that self image that is formed of ourselves growing up? The one that’s unconsciously formed from our achievements and failures, our embarrassments, our victories, the way others have related to us (especially in early childhood). Our behaviour, feelings AND our abilities are always consistent with this self image. They’re not always valid thoughts just programmed from birth and now so ingrained they’re automatic. These thoughts aren’t “the truth”, they’re handed down through generations someone put them there a long time ago. They’re nothing more than SPECIFIC NEURAL PATTERNS in your brain. Neurological research shows 95-99 % of all your behaviours are automatic. This is why we set goals, but don’t reach them. Setting them is a function of the conscious mind. Reaching them is a function of the subconscious mind. The subconcious mind is in the driving seat. Not the conscious mind. My point here is if you want to, you can reroute your entire existence.
  
Now your outer clique, these are random people of the world who share their opinions with you, the ‘Weasels’  either inadvertadely or otherwise, face to face or online networks. WHY do you care so much for their opinion? If Holly listened or cared for the opinions of those do you think she would have won? No chance in world could she have those thoughts creep into her mind, that sort of negative self talk would have her completely off her game.  Whats the message here??? Others opinions do not matter one bit. If you think of all the times in the world when you’ve let someone elses opinion stop you or affect you, all for what?? Nada. Go forth and conquer my disciples. 
 
Dear Samantha,
 
In regards to your article 10 Struggles of Women with Big Thighs I must say I disagree largely with a lot of your points, in fact felt so strongly I have responded below. To my readers, feel free to leave your comments via my facebook page or here on the blog as I am interested in the thoughts of the population.
 
 
1.        My pants NEVER fall down with big thighs.
 
Yes, they are often loose at the waist from going up a size to accommodate the thighs, but the thighs are the catchment preventing them from ever falling down. Perhaps you’re into baggy fireman pants. But yes, jean shopping absolutely sucks; denim with stretch is a must, and generally a high waisted fit is superior, as they taper at the waist instead of cropping wider at the hip.
 





 
3.         ‘Just the act of wearing shorts in general is terrifying’
 
It’s not terrifying; it’s fabulous to wear shorts with big thighs. I hope you are trying to communicate that shorts are difficult to purchase for the thick lower half/ small waist girls, but surely a few unconfident women just threw another negative log into their fire. The real problem here is fashion labels and society are constantly catering for and promoting unrealistic ideals. Magazines and advertorials generally feature models instead of looking at how most women are truly built and making clothing that accommodates them. If we refer to the renaissance in museums all over the world, there is a full spectrum of how women are built.

 
 
4.              ‘A thigh gap was never in the cards for you ‘
 
We should NOT be promoting the thigh gap as a benchmark for women. Nor am I suggesting we promote the thigh chafe as a benchmark. In reality a thigh gap can be more about the angle that your pelvis tilts than how big your thighs are. Sure, occasionally they chafe, you could always try body glide: it’s not some raunchy lubricant; it’s an anti-chafe product providing non-greasy protection against skin problems caused by rubbing.
 

 

 

 

5.              I agree: running can literally be irritating.
 
I choose to take fewer steps at a higher intensity.  Up a hill, for example. No exercise is terribly comfortable, but it still has to be done.  Expect it or prevent it and get on with it.

 

6.         ‘When a guy has smaller thighs than you (which is pretty standard) you immediately want to curl up in a ball’
 
This is laughable – reality is the complete opposite he’s the one that wants to curl up in a ball. It’s absolutely a compliment to your distinctiveness and hard work. If any man has a problem with them, pop his weasly head (no jacked dude will have an issue with your thighs; he’ll be jealous) between your legs, gently squeeze his neck until his cheeks turn blue and his eyeballs start to rupture blood vessels … sorry, I got carried away there. I digress; the point I’m trying to make is that women often care far more about their bodies than men do.  Ultimately, confidence is more attractive than thigh gaps or lack thereof. Rock whatever thighs you have with a smile and leave the conversation with smaller thigh boy who ironically now has self esteem issues of his own, knowing you’re a BAMF (sorry boys, I’m generalising greatly here.  Equality at its best, I realise).
 
 
  
7.        Even if the rest of your body is tiny and fit, exposing your bare thighs to the world is your nightmare”
 
I could not disagree with this more! Rock your bikini bottoms and your curves in them, and perhaps pop a sarong around if you’re more comfortable. Hold your head higher and your shoulders back a little more and remember that you’re a magnet to every thought you think. We as women should be proud of our bodies – that means all parts of it. Instead of listing the things we don’t like, focus on the things we do and how wonderful it is to be a woman. It is never about how much I weigh, it’s always about how I feel; I will never search for validation on a set of scales. Scales cannot remind me of how infectious my smile is, how purposeful my life is or how great my perseverance is when tested. I believe it is your responsibility as a journalist delivering lifestyle/ healthy living/ fitness related articles via the juggernaut that is the Huffington Post to be a more positive force!
 
 
 
8.              I’m an advocate for Turkish sausage legs over hot dogs legs
I’m the poster girl for the former, but BOTH versions are beautiful! Women experience an average of 13 negative thoughts about their body each day, while 97% of women admit to having at least one “I hate my body” moment each day. That is appalling. Telling you to “love your body” is about as helpful as placing an opened packet of Tim Tams in front of you after a break up.  It’s time to muzzle your inner mean girl by combating those thoughts and topping up with a positive one. It’s proven that positive thoughts are waaaay more powerful than negative, so keep an eye on that self esteem invoice  making sure you go to sleep having paid the days bill for your thoughts!
 









If combating thoughts is proving difficult, you should start to seriously research how to rewire your brain! Our self-image is something we form while we’re growing up. It’s unconsciously formed from our achievements and failures, our embarrassments, our victories and the way others have related to us-especially in early childhood. Our behaviour, feelings and our abilities are always consistent with this self-image. They’re not always valid thoughts just programmed from birth and now so ingrained they’re automatic. Newsflash: these thoughts aren’t “the truth”; they’re handed down through generations from someone who put them there a long time ago. They’re nothing more than specific neural patterns in your brain. Neurological research shows 95-99 % of all your behaviour is automatic. This is why we set goals but don’t reach them. Setting them is a function of the conscious mind, whereas reaching them is a function of the subconscious mind. The subconscious mind is in the driving seat. Not the conscious mind. The point I’m making is if you want to, you can reroute your entire existence.
 

 9.         ‘When will thighs have their moment?’
WHENEVER YOU ALLOW THEM! My thighs are currently having their moment. All my thick friends thighs have been having their moment; every damn day! This gorgeous girl below Nicole Mejia  a model and fitness personality out of Miami, known for her natural curves and motivating perspective, has been inspiring women all over the world to accept and better themselves in a natural and holistic way. Nicole and her Fit and Thick movement are currently on a nationwide tour to bring the message to the women of America.  Nicole also started the hashtag  #thickthighappreciationday which I believe is on October 21.



Image Martin Murillo

Perhaps you’ll join the movement, we need more recruits if we’re going to get this positivity message through to a lot of ladies.

 
Sincerely,
 
Shari Onley
A woman with strong, thick thighs who loves every inch of them; whether they’re toned or soft, pale or tanned, covered or uncovered whatever they look like I LOVE THEM.

PS I briefly checked your website, some of your content is cool and light hearted so don’t take this too harshly, I think you’re alright  😉

‘Don’t be delicate – be vast and luminous’

 

 



I’m finally back in Sydney after being caught up in the fascination of Chicago. What a sublime city, I love so many things about the spectacular town and it’s charming people. I’m still not sure whether it’s like the brand new shiny toy that you love to bits until one day the excitement wears off. WARNING; this blog will make a hell of lot of generalizations so don’t get your titties tangled. It’s purely my experience. I’m sure I’ve only seen a fraction of what Chicago has to offer. 


Before I relocated to the Windy City my head coach at the Bliss said you’re going to love this city so much you’ll never want to leave. I already knew I would love it, every yank I’d met was awesome, dry sarcastic humour, loud and obnoxious, larger than normal humans and liked to swear… a lot. I’m an intelligent, classy, well educated woman who was perhaps a wharfie in a past life so I knew I’d fit right in.

Once I got to Chitown I realised, not only is the city visually stunning, rich in history and character, the mid west folk are friendly. My coach said ‘well you’re a pretty girl with a nice accent, of course they’re going to like you.’ Man they froth over the accent. Some team mates wanted Aussie lessons it was so popular (you can start by pronouncing it Ozzie). I was even told together with my eyes it’s an aphrodisiac, decent line right, we’ll get to the boys in a bit.


Chitown by night
Pic courtesy of Friedman Archives 
I was born and raised in Sydney, know it well. Whilst visiting 90% of Americans told me Australia is on top of their bucket list.  I am grateful to live 5 minutes from this breathtaking harbour. Now you yanks have someone to come and visit, me!

Sydney Harbour by night, ain’t no place like home toto
Pic courtesy of Layover Guide


Here goes….

COFFEE

Lets break this one into nations. The standard in US is drip brewed or filtered coffee, like you get on a plane. They pour water over roasted ground coffee beans in a filter, water seeps through coffee and passes through the bottom of the filter. Here they add “cream” (which is more like part cream/part milk) and sugar. While I could get my latte at Starbucks it was always burnt.

I did have the pleasure of sipping Costa Rican coffee fresh off the plantation while in Central America. A blissful, tranquil experience. Those beans were magic, the location may have contributed slightly. 

A typical Australian coffee is generally a latte or flat white. Coffee espresso shot filled with heated frothed milk add sugar. I fell in love with Malt Supper Club when last visiting Perth, the venue took me to an era I’m drawn to, through it’s music and the other wordly interior. I’d been up since 5am doing radio interviews, media and promos in the harsh sun. I was beat. I walked up to the bar wondering if they would have a coffee machine. I was greeted at the bar, ‘ciao bella’ a gorgeous Italian man dressed in a crisp white shirt, bow tie and braces. He took my hand over the bar and asked what I would like. If I wasn’t playing the Legends Cup the following day (have I mentioned we won?) my answer would have been your finest scotch whisky sir. Not only did he have a coffee machine he proceeded to make me an amazing latte, within a few minutes he had another 10 orders from my team mates. 

Winner: OZ When baristas make lattes all day long they get damn good at them. Anyone serious about coffee may find it difficult to get a decent cup in US.

Tally: Oz- 1 USA- 0


GYM 

I was a passport member at Xsport Fitness, I could visit any franchise across Chicago for $35 a month. The staff at my local Pipers Alley were super friendly and welcoming. The location had a lot to offer (albeit jammed into a small space) it was open 24hrs and came complete with a pool, indoor basketball, rock climbing, spa, sauna, beauty & tanning salons, yoga and crèche.

I also frequented Lifetime Fitness which was the absolute mecca everything Xsport had and more, a freaking creche for adults – lounges and plasmas everywhere, water slides, the works. Huge well kept facilities, everything you need to get distracted from what you should be there to do… hard work.


Interior of a David Barton Gym


David Barton Gym was an absolute standout. These facilities are opulent, Dubai nightclub luxurious. No expense spared on the fit out, décor and sound system. Bathroom products so quality we may have taken some home. A completely unique gym experience. Lighting so low it was a safety issue around free weights.



When I enquired at Lifetime about an olympic lifting platform or somewhere I could drop a bar from the overhead position he said I could anywhere. Dude Stop. At all Chicago gyms I visited the plates were jagged, they land unevenly and could jump out and seriously injure myself or those near me, not to mention the racket it would create without suitable flooring. Deadlifting for example; the bar touches on a jagged edge rather than flat edge on one of the plates, you’re twisted out of position on each rep. Resetting your foot position each rep is kinda fucking annoying.

I did have a great throw down with the cool cats at Crossfit New Lennox where the plates were round, unfortunately once I moved downtown the location was too difficult to get to.



In Sydney the plates are round everywhere, newsflash they don’t roll away from you. You can find gyms that aren’t crossfit with olympic lifting stations or bumper plates relatively easily. Although Sydney has 24 hour gyms they are the typically the fast food of the fitness world. As a side note you have to bring your own towel which you don’t in Chicago.

Winner: It’s a tie, I loved the luxury of spending my days training, recovering and relaxing at one facility before going off to practice at night. But Chicago you drastically loose points for those retched plates. 

Tally: Oz – 2 USA – 1


HOSPITALITY
 
You can be drunk in Chicago and still order drinks, you can be drunk, stumble into a bar and be welcomed by the security, you can be rowdy with your friends inside the club and not be warned/ thrown out. This is all via observation of course, I’m always on my best behaviour. You can do none of these things in Sydney. How is it Chicago is so much more laxidazy and I didn’t see one fight break out?


A special mention to Underground Chicago. Every club owner should take note of what these guys are doing. Every night of the week this place PUMPS. Different themes but one thing remains, the party is always on point. They call is the sexiest place in the world. Don’t know about sexiest, they lost that title when they let me in wearing gum boots after a festival but all the cool kids wear Hunters boots. The GM Scott is particularly personable. Always immaculately dressed in a three piece suit and oh so hospitable, the security guys are my favourite. I could go on but it would begin to sound like adoration.

Underground standard night

Rooftop bars are scattered all over the city, plenty of places are buzzing by lunch time with sky scraping views of Lake Michigan. Pubs, restaurants and bars are bustling on a weeknight, there is always something happening. 

Upon my return to Sydney I paid a visit to Kings Cross on a Saturday night, clubs were empty and I could easily get a cab at 3am. Whats doing? Lock out laws have ruined you. There’s no denying it.

As a side note to this topic customer service in Chicago is tops, retail stores, restaurants, bars, train drivers you name it. I actually felt like they genuinely cared about assisting me! They won’t monotonely tick a box and greet you with their nose in the air, unlike Sydney, they are heartfelt and attentive. 

Winner: Chitown lapped Sydney on this one. RIP Kings Cross nightlife, we’ll always have the memories


Tally: Sydney –  2  Chicago – 2 


THE MALE SPECIES

Overall American men are much more confident than Australians. They have to be to keep up with the women who are loud and outspoken, some self righteous even. Men seem happy to say exactly what’s on their mind at that point in time. No game playing just direct and upfront with their feelings. There’s an attractiveness about a man who can communicate so freely without regard for ‘how keen’ he comes across. So pleasant, charming and well mannered. It was easier to get to know people, I felt like the wall was removed and people were so personable. Ironic coming from me, a woman of many walls but trust me, there’s an element of it that’s rubbed off on me and I love it.
 
Let’s compare a bar in Sydney, you can make eye contact with someone. Half an hour later after he’s skulled enough tinnies to work up the courage he might trot over. In Chicago you’ve barely fluttered eye contact and he’s either over introducing himself or he’s sent the bartender to fetch your drink. I know what you’re thinking, hot blooded males with perhaps one thing in mind, but more times than not they’d shake your hand, pleasure to meet and off they went. 

Even the whipper snappers had game.  Got chatting to a (6ft mature looking) 18yr old in a hideous Hawaiian shirt on the train. I was studying my playbook, he peaked over my shoulder and striked up a convo about football. Even he was smooth enough to ask for my number. I had to laugh and say ‘get outta here kid’ they sure can talk the talk!
 
I am pleased to say chivalry is not dead, it is far more alive in US. Men open doors, get the bill before you’ve had the chance to offer not once but consistently every time. Men will make sure a woman is well looked after. Strangers in the street, men of all ages will open a door for a woman, offer to help with bags and expect nothing in return. They are organizers, happy to lead booking restaurants, planning a day with you, making you know they appreciate and value every hour they spend with you. They listen to you, are very inquisitive and well in tune with women’s Venus tongue. Okay they’re still on Mars but are located on the side facing earth…. Aussie guys are chilling over the Jupiter facing side of Mars. 

Admittedly if I plucked an American species and popped him on a Sydney street, with his smooth talking ways and forwardness he would come across creepy. But in his natural habitat he hunts awfully well with his species. 
 
US men openly appreciate women of all different shapes and sizes. They actually want their woman to have curves especially a butt. Women are tall, short, stumpy, obese, voluptuous, hippy, curvaceous but one thing in common, they are all confident. Australia is catching on slowly but a woman with curves is still the minority.


Winner: Chicago no question, for me a confident strong woman I’m well suited to a straight shooter. Aussie guys I’m sure would be a hit with the American girls, but more often than not the girls may scare the absolute shit outta Aussie blokes with how forward they are. 

Tally: Oz – 2  USA – 3

WEATHER 

The weather is opposite, when it’s winter in Chicago it’s Summer in Sydney. Lets take a look at the difference in temperatures.


Chicago weather is bipolar, one day it’s snowing the next sunny skies. When I first arrived it was minus most days, the nasty snow was coming to an end to conclude the worst winter they’d experienced in 130 years! I will never complain about Sydney being cold again. I would literally look down on the street at outfits to get an idea of which pill the weather took overnight. It’s crazy.

Cars abandoned on famous Lake Shore Drive Chicago during a snow storm. The snowfall from the blizzard was 20.2 inches
Image & article via http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/chi-snow2lsd20110202071217-photo.html


I tried to improvise with outdoor training equipment at my coaches place when I first arrived. In between each set I’d have to run inside and thaw my fingers over the heating just enough to grip the bar for the next round in between my nose bleeding. I like going on little adventures so tried running after the sun went down. The tiny part of my face that was exposed burnt like a chemical peel. Icicles run from your nose, speech slows to a drunken slur.

However the central heating is on point, every building, home or apartment block was superbly heated. Once the weather finally started to warm up it was like the population in Chicago quadrupled, people on the streets, seated at sidewalk eateries, out socialising – they were like caged animals over the winter!

Typical winters day downtown, still magic



Sydney summer is ace, we get a solid 2 months of it sometimes more. Beginning of Autumn is balmy. You can still get outside in Winter without your motor skills ceasing to function properly.

Winner: Sydney, the snow is picturesque but it affects your day to day activities too much.

Tally: Oz – 3  USA – 3


LFL 
 
The LFL competition in US is fiercer than Australia. It should be, it’s their national game, they’ve been watching/ playing it longer than Aussies. The average American is physically bigger than the average Aussie. In a nutshell the game was faster, the hits were harder and the girls were more physical in America. I loved every minute of it, I didn’t travel there to play patty cake, I went to become a better athlete and break new ground in my career, like rupturing my ACL. Mission accomplished. 

Defence chilling in between plays


 
Winner: Chicago, that’s a no brainer.

Tally: Oz – 3  USA – 4 



ANIMALS

 
Sure we have kangaroos, snakes, spiders, crocodiles & sharks but so does USA (or gators) in particular regions. Let’s get one thing straight. If you visit the outback in Oz you are more likely to come across creatures that would kill you in the night, same as a night in the rocky mountain ranges could prove dangerous. Sydney is a city and it’s highly unlikely you will see any of the above mentioned animals unless you’re visiting Taronga Zoo. I’ve never seen a shark in my life, I grew up in the water, living in a beachy suburb, surf life saving- I’m yet to even hear a shark alarm go off.
 
Australia is ranked the 2nd highest to the US in terms of global shark attacks with 704 unprovoked attacks. Where we rank first is the number of fatalities, our sharks mean business with 202 of the attacks proving deadly. 
 

  1. Region

Total
Attacks
Fatal
Attacks
Last
Fatality
United States
(Excluding Hawaii)
1055362012
Australia7042022014
Africa339932013
Asia129482000
 
 
Winner: Oz wins we’re all thrill seekers, danger is interesting, nobody wants to live the safe life, really, do they?
 
Tally: Oz – 4   USA – 4
 
 


SPORT 

Everyone supports the Bulls, Bears, Blackhawks, Cubs or Sox there is a sense of patriotism and togetherness in this town which is magic. The people of Chicago are one giant mass, they’re not individuals, the city of Chicago is for the people.
They don’t just support their teams they are overtly passionate, loud and proud, wearing merchandise even on non game days. Tailgating at football games playing sport, everywhere, on weekends parks are jammed with adult softball and flag football competitions.

I got to several MLB games; White Sox at Comiskey Park and Cubs at Wrigley Field. It’s more a social event, fans go for the atmosphere rather than the game.



In Sydney we struggle to find a venue with a few TV’s that will show our LFL games on a Saturday night. I don’t recall walking into a pub/ bar in Chicago without a TV screen. We struggle to fill stadiums for AFL and NRL games, it’s expensive and inconvenient, people would rather watch from their couch.

The Bliss home games in Chicago drew around 2000 people, decent crowd considering our stadium was 1 hours drive from the city. What an amazing crowd, they would fire up with one word ….. let’s go ‘CHICAGO!!’ We were undefeated at home thanks to their support.

Winner: Chicago, it’s more than just a sporting game it’s a total experience, the atmosphere is electric even in between plays. 


Tally: Oz – 4  USA – 5

FOOD

I entered US with some visible abs, maybe 4, I left with one. I love my food, that’s no secret. I’d be the size of a house if I lived in Chicago the food is soooo delicious.

Severely hung


Notable mentions;

Garretts popcorn get in me!


When purchasing raw meat I had to be rather careful. Frozen chicken breast for example isn’t always 100% chicken it’s hormones and additives, some pumped full of chemicals, water and even pig skin. This isn’t just happening in US but I’ve never noticed it in Australia before. Grass fed beef in US is almost like a delicacy, I had to go to an organic store to source it.


Winner: Oz, you can’t beat Aussie beef.

Tally: Oz – 5  USA – 5


 
 
OTHER MENTIONS 
 
WI FI – Chicago has wifi almost everywhere, every store, stadium and bar. Nobody pays per data usage or download and they can’t believe when I tell them we do in Australia. Winner: US 
 
PUBLIC TRANSPORT – Between the CTA and the Metra trains, they arrive regularly and are reliable and safe. Sydney can’t say the same. Winner: Chicago
 
BEACHES – With the amount of majestic coastlines this one is easy. Winner: Sydney
 
I’m allocating an additional half a point each for the notable mentions section

 

FINAL SCORE
Oz – 5.5  USA 6
 
Says it all really, ain’t no place like home, but Chicago just pipped Sydney. I’ll be back for more one day Chitown, thank you for being so kind to the Aussie. X
 
I woke to text messages from more friends getting the news of my injury. Tears continued to flow, I felt exhausted. People I didn’t want to say goodbye to, I had unfinished business and cried at their individual responses. Such generous, genuine people I was so fortunate to call my friends. I had let my emotions run free until the early morning knowing today I needed to start the healing process. I wasn’t improving my situation moping around being sad and didn’t want to feel like I had the day before. My knee was sore this morning, more so than other days, it may have been the side I slept on. Last night both Allie and Chrisdell snored. I wondered if I snored when I was asleep? I listened to their snores with appreciation and gratitude. Just to be there in the same apartment as them I was thankful for. Every little part of them I wasn’t ready to let go of.
 About to go to war, the game day that changed our existence
I had begun to review my diet to optimize my healing. I made 3 basic changes anytime I was injured; 
 
1. Reduce grains. Digesting grains caused tiny perforations in the lining of the stomach. Essentially the more energy your body used repairing those, the less were available to heal the injury
2. Increase water intake. 
3. Increase Fish Oil. The omega-3 fats worked to produce beneficial anti-inflammatory hormones. 

 
Additionally to prepare for surgery I ate plenty of nutrient rich leafy greens like spinach. Also included fats, garlic, turmeric, green tea and pineapples since they were rich in nutrients helpful for combatting inflammation. 
 
Chrisdell sat with me before she left for work, hand on my knee she looked at my weary head, bloodshot eyes curled up in bed and said ‘I let coach know how I feel. You’ve sacrificed your body for us, you changed your whole life to come over here and play for us and spent so much money to get here. You are more of a vocal leader than anybody else who could travel to support and we need you on the sideline on Vegas. It wouldn’t be fair if we didn’t take you.’ 
Wrapped in a blanket stitched from Allies team jerseys collected over her career I played music from her iTunes, Sam Smith, Josh Kaufman. Normally these tracks wouldn’t be high on my rotation list, their not in my library at all but I wanted to savour every part of my experience with Dr Bert. My wife, my roommate, we had developed such a bond. A woman that if you ask others they would say she is scary, volatile. But underneath it all she was a big softie, just like me. She had amazed me since meeting her, such a walking, talking contradiction. In her residency as a dentist she famously fixed my chipped tooth after my Costa Rican white water rafting accident with such gentle hands I fell asleep in the chair. Yet watch her locked and loaded on the field coming up making plays like a maniac, or hear her roar viscously at whichever team mate had fucked up their assignment you’d swear it was a different human. Hybrids they called us.
Just being together was all we needed

 
Allie, Deena and I were like three musketeers, we would do everything together. With Deena and I rocking statuesque, visibly intimidating physiques Bert would constantly get called out ‘ oh do you play football too?’ She would respond by screaming something like ‘ do you want me to fucking choke you?’ She was 100% serious too. When we met new groups of guys I would set them up and encourage them to ask her if she played. She took the bait every time, would tear shreds off her victim, even after she saw me giggling in the corner. My dear Dr Bert said it exactly how she saw it, raw and blunt.

 

 
A unique beast, with blonde locks beautifully cascading behind her. By her own admission she would win a loogie competition, hocking from deep in the throat looking a million dollars while she did it. She would pick up chips she dropped on the footpath while still holding a full uneaten pack in hand and quip ‘I’m not wasteful you know, waste not want not.’ The bridesmaid who would almost break her neck falling off a cliff trying to rail slide. 

Allie literally thought she was invincible


Her and I could sit at a bar and be so totally engrossed in each other’s conversation for hours and hours. No fire, disease outbreak or gaggle of men could penetrate the force field around us. We were all each other needed right at that time, both yearning to learn about one another – how did the US beast operate VS queen beast from Oz. I was from a land far far away but aside from some minor operating differences but we were hardwired so damn similarly, she passed my Klokov Expirement.

A team player like no other
 
She was assertive borderline aggressive, comical and precious to me, she amazed me everyday. It didn’t surprise me when she came home having concocted a plan to solve my visa issues, we bear a child in a lesbian union, since gay marriage was legal in the state of Illinois. She’d already thought through a response to her parents who would declare it a ridiculous idea. Whatever it took, we’d get the job done. 
 
My team mate Heather Furr text me saying she loved me like crazy, had shivers up and down her spine when she heard the news, was so sorry and was there anytime I wanted to talk to her. She told me how much of an impact I’d had on the team in the short time I was there. Heather reminded me of myself back at the Surge, always organizing events, sponsors, networking, making sure we all had the best gear. At the LFL you look after your own. She has devoted her life to the team as I had back home. She was a unique leader one who no matter what the chaos on the sideline had the ability to calm the team and lead them onto the next series in battle. One of those irreplaceable team mates I hold in the highest regard. Happy to admit when she’s wrong, no excuses just admission, progress and ultimately success. So sad there would be no more cubs games with Furrball.

 

 
 
My phone rang, I screened calls, I wasn’t ready to speak with particular people. Unless they would pull me from where I was I’d speak with them later. I did take Staceys call, I had grown close to him. We met on my very first night out in Chicago. He’d been playing pro basketball in Israel for years so knew what I was going through being away from my blood, I’d spent holidays like Easter with him grateful for someone who took me in as his family. He reminded me about the cousin he’d introduced me to at the gym one day, played for the Bulls. 7 knee surgeries later and he’s still dunking vertical. He would get me his rehab strength program to take a look at. Stacey never sugar coated it, always gave it to me blunt, sometimes to a fault, but this time, he soothed & settled me, he knew exactly what to say. It’s no simple feat entertaining an alpha woman, whilst there’s many loads of positives she’s saucy, stubborn and can go from 0-100 in 2 secs flat! If the man says leave your bags, she won’t, she’s knows she’s just as capable of carrying them. The man has to grab the bags first or sensitively but physically remove them from her.  Knowing which moments are healthy to have her assert dominance, and which you need to interject is a damn fine art! I knew he would visit me before I left. He was a genuinely good guy, I would miss him and forever cherish the time I spent with him and his family.
 
 

I reached out to some substantial people in my life in Australia who gave me hope. Little feathers of hope which don’t weigh much on their own but joined together can keep you floating until you are ready to come up for air on your own. The kinds of friends you will have forever. The kind who know just what to say in the right moments, they know I rarely yearn for any type of help. Ever. I’m the independent woman who thinks she can do it all on her own. I hit up a few locals in Chicago, who had become close to me and broke the news. Everyone as floored as the next. But I hadn’t experienced the summer yet, the looong awaited summer the beautiful folk of Chicago had patiently been calling.


My coach Jason Gaffey at Surge told me to keep my chin up stay positive, something I always reminded him to do. We had build the Surge on positivity, constructive foundations. He admitted he selfishly wanted me back home anyway. There was a little glimmer of light when I thought of being back with my Surge family. Being home with them for some of the pre season I would have otherwise missed. Excited to see my coach Roger Fabri and re create those movement patterns, balance, something I had not sustained in Chicago. He was the expert, I felt a big loss not having him around to push me. 

 

Overnight the NSW Blues had won the 2 of the 3 State of Origin matches. This was HUGE news in Oz to break QLDs 8 yr winning streak, a monumental achievement. I immediately thought of the bro Josh Reynolds, Rugby Leagues nicest guy who had supported every step of my journey in NSW.  He had wished our season was longer so he could support at more games. I smiled at his achievement. Social media was going off but QLDers were very quiet…. ‘Despicable elbows and facials by QLD. Thurston is a grub! Hayne is a try saver! Greg Bird what a player. ‘ Another posted ‘Paul Gallen is one of the toughest athletes on the planet, I’m so convinced I’m on a website right now buying GHRP-6.’ I laughed. I love Paul Gallen he is the epitome of what I want to be as an athlete. Tough, determined, no bullshit, authentic, a spartan like warrior, no frills, a leader by action. How would he deal with this? I was inspired. My supporter the one who had my image tattooed on her arm, how would she expect me to deal with this? Often I was motivated knowing others looked at me as their mentor. I sat up straight out of my slump and thought to myself, It’s time to do what you do best. Go forth and conquer …. be the example. 

 



Ironic where your own motivation can rise from

 

 
The official game recap was released, we had a sloppy game, full of turnovers, a real disappointment to the city of Chicago and ourselves. We were the champs and whole lot better than this BS. But if we could tie the game with that many turnovers it was only up from here. Damn shame I couldn’t contribute to it. But I was healing.

Corey picked me up and took me to MRI of Arlington Heights Imaging. The last time I’d layed in a similar machine was for CT scans to test whether my melanoma had spread. This reminded me the knee was not going to be an issue. In the grand scheme of life it could be dealt with. We went to Tri Balance Holistic Health and Nutrition where Dr Andrew Hopkins chiropractor gave me an ultrasound to reduce the swelling.  We ate lunch at Whole Foods, I was a first time customer. A gigantic health goods store. A beacon in the night, a savior of souls amongst a country of over indulgence. 




We returned to SkyPoint Medical and waited In Dr Sameer’s office for the radiographers reports to come through. Dr Sameer had looked after my GP & prescription needs in Chicago, a genuine professional who made me feel very comfortable around him. We waited and waited until the sun went down and decided the next day would show more. I missed my first practice that night. Allie and ChrisDell came home and hugged me, we genuinely missed each other and had spent less than 24 hrs apart. Some players can be absent from practice and fly under the radar. I didn’t want to be one of those players, my team always need me, I need them. 

Waiting results at SkyPoint Medical

My body clock woke me at 7am, I ate my standard breakfast (1/2 cup rolled oats & Vitamin King protein shake), read my emails and caught up on how Dad had handled his knee replacement in Sydney. was anxiously waiting all day to hear from Dr Sameer so turned my phone on loud. I had my last Vicoprofen the day before at 7am, hadn’t needed another dose since. So why was I so tired? I fell back asleep until 10am.  There was an eerie weight bearing on me, on the room, on the apartment. Was it the suspense? Perhaps, but for now I just wanted to lay, I dozed back off after lunch for a 1/2 hr nap.


Waiting, wondering, medicated.

I played phone tag with Corey for a bit until I emailed Dr Sameer his lifting session for the night since I couldn’t get out to train him at the studio. He called me back immediately and said the radiographer report just came through showing a complete tear of the ACL. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. I had felt so positive, each day had been less painful, was now moving without crutches and felt so much improvement. In my mind I was already rehabbing for the July 3 Vegas game. My buddy Adam Curley would be in town to cover the UFC double header weekend, he was coming to watch me play, there were other Aussies in town and it was my first trip to the strip! I was devastated, mid food prep cooking chicken breast, trying to remove it from the oven with tears flowing, sobbing like a baby thinking don’t burn yourself, keep control, don’t drop the tray. With every inch of my being I had thought I was going to be fine. Everything you believe you attract, I get that, I had been envisaging good thoughts and affirmations, hadn’t I? Since you attract what you think about most it is easy to see what your dominant thoughts have been on every subject of your life. How had I caused this to happen?



I was completely dejected


I started to over analyze, women are great at that….where had I gone wrong? Your thoughts reverberate throughout the entire universe! Then it dawned on me. A friend had asked me to catch up with him Monday after the game. My response was ‘lets see where I’m at, so many things could happen’. The weather forecast was great, we were probably going to drink ‘winner piss’ (aussie slang for post match team bonding) for a few days before we knuckled down onto our next opponent. It’s sacred time we spend with our team mates and I didn’t want anything to disrupt that. There was a tiny iota that thought not specifically about injury but more so the body being so sore post game you don’t want to have plans except laying in a bath.  Your thoughts create the frequency, they create like pictures on the stage which is our life! I had caused this myself. In my head it was a simple mathematical equations I found my answer. 


I had a call from my friend Lovel Palmer a pro soccer player for Chicago Fire. He was new in town too having moved from playing in Salt Lake City. He had tried to phone me a few times but I hadn’t answered, he sensed there was something wrong. He’s the kind of guy who’s voice alone can calm you, an authentic guy with a positive, glowing attitude to life. His sister a Jamaiican Olympian track star with heart wrenching tales of her own was in the Sydney Olympics, damn they had some athletic genes. He told me of his knee troubles in Jamaica, an MRI report indicated a tear in ACL and tear in meniscus, they performed surgery immediately but after going under the knife discovered the surgery was unnecessary, the ACL was intact. Two lessons here…a) always get a second and third opinion and b) if you sense your friends need you they probably do. We organized to visit the top of the Willis Tower which overlooks Chicago from a completely glass sky deck before I left. 


The thought of leaving was heartbreaking


I reached out to Coach Hac, the man who made all this happen and coach John who had supported me with everything I needed once I arrived. They were shocked, disappointed, said nothing would be the same without me. We didn’t expect things to end this way.



Allie came home to me slumped in front of the computer screen reading the radiographers MRI report, She knew by my voice something was wrong. Knowing it was bad news she hugged me while I whimpered, told me she loved me and everything would be okay. ‘We were brought together for a reason, I don’t ever want you to leave me, I don’t want to go back to my life without you’ I sobbed uncontrollably. Neither did I. Not that life in Sydney was bad by any means, just different. Perhaps Chicago would get old one day and stagnant as my life had in Sydney, would lose the excitement and joy of something sparkling and brand new. But that day was not today.




I skyped my friend UFC Fighter Hector Lombard in Florida, he 
spent part of the call hanging upside down from some stretching machine. He could see I was hurting and made me laugh to take my mind off the situation, generally by being stupid but still made me laugh. He told me he’d pinched a nerve recently in his neck during a car accident. After taking a blow to the same area at training the condition was looking to impact his fight scheduled for August. Surgery was impending until Dana White hooked him up with a specialist who treated footballers. After some treatment he felt cured and was prepping for his fight without going under the knife. He warned me to get some further opinions before securing any plans. It turned out later he had herniated discs and unfortunate had to pull out the fight in the end. 






Corey phoned again and said they were teeing me up with an Orthopedic surgeon who looked after the San Diego Chargers Dr Brian Moss. I needed that piece of mind, I deal who are specialists in my sport, the best. They don’t waste time, know their content and treat correctly the first time. Corey could hear by my crackly voice I was still processing the grief ‘remember to breathe tonight, breathe deep, let it go and start the healing process when you wake tomorrow.’ 



Allie went asked me if she should stay home from her date that night, I told her to go and wondered if it would be as successful as the last one. Chrisdell had heard the news and came over to stay the night. She hugged me and told me to reach out to god, leave it in his hands. I would do that later that night. As I explained my situation, that I felt it was too early to leave her she could see I was hurting. She said ‘I look at you like my big sister, you’re always strong and sensible, my voice of reason, to see you so hurt is tearing me apart’ I couldn’t be strong now, I’m always the strong one for everyone, I stand and I deal. I knew tomorrow or the next day I would fine but right now I was a broken woman. I didn’t quite know how to deal with this flood of tears, so I let it go. Being a logical human being VS an emotional one had me struggling with these feelings. Together with news of ChrisDell’s uncle passing earlier
 it topped off what had been a horrible day for her. I felt selfish.

ChrisDell told me Shari I have a soft spot for you, I can never say no to you



ACL tears are so common in stop start sports. The NBA had blowouts all the time I was reminded of Chicago’s Derrick Rose. Kentucky center Nerlens Noel, New York’s Iman Shumpert, Minnesota’s Ricky Rubio, Oklahoma City’s Eric Maynor, Leandro Barbosa & Rajon Rondo Boston Celtics and Lou Williams Atlanta Hawks guard all went down. Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III, South Carolina RB Marcus Lattimore, New York Giants CB Terrell Thomas suffered the injury during pre-season practice 2012.






The hurt I felt was nothing related to having surgery or rehab, my body was a well oiled machine. I would lose my fitness and strength quickly but it returned even quicker. I’d had surgery pre Australian season. A breast augmentation, then a double groin hernia which revealed an often un diagnosed very dangerous spitzoid melanoma on my calf. Further surgeries to remove lymph nodes in my groin confirmed the cancer hadn’t spread but left me completely inactive for 3 months. Not just unable to train, unable to cough, laugh or sneeze without immense pain.


I was hurting because I’d played only one game in US, well one game and a few minutes of another. I’d sacrificed so much to get there and had not reached anywhere near my potential as a middle linebacker. I hadn’t satisfied that hunger, it hadn’t even touched the sides! Pain is temporary memories are forever. Right now I don’t want these as memories, I wanted them in my reality, my existence, my everyday. I’d grown very attached to my new friends in Chicago, the city, the people had done so much for me. That’s the part that hurt the most. The unfinished business, the relationships I’d started to build would be cut short. Some I felt a connection with and knew I would be friends with forever. I guess now pen pal friends from a distance. 

It was 2.37am and I was still blogging and researching. I took a vicoprofen hoping it would settle me off and calm my being. Typing slowed becoming more inaccurate as my lids dozed. Before shutting down the computer at 4.06am I came across a Zig Ziglar quote ‘How you see your future is much more important than what has happened in the past.’ Tomorrows another day and I saw a glimmer of hope.