excuses and apologies

by MrsFatass on December 8, 2014

Photo Dec 08, 11 25 43 AM

I finally got my blog fixed. I finally got my blog fixed! And holy cow let me tell you it’s like getting to scratch that itch in the center of your back that is hard to reach. Not being able to search or read comments or have links work honestly made me not want to come and write at all. Of course Ryan found the problem and now she’s all shiny and new again. And with that, a brand new enthusiasm for coming here to tell you more stories.

I spent some time thumbing through archives now that it’s all working again. A big part of this blog has been about me figuring out my mental health. Depression and anxiety, well, they are no joke. And they are things that have been a part of my life as far back as I can remember. I didn’t really have a vocabulary for it in high school or college. I couldn’t really explain my intensity or my occasional paranoia or my insomnia or my moods. All I really knew is that there were times when I was acting in such a way that in my head I knew was completely irrational, but I just couldn’t make it stop. I called it stress, but I knew it had to be more than that, because it would send me reeling like a scaredy cat hanging from the ceiling by his claws and just not shut off.

And for whatever reason, whether it’s the calendar or the temperature or the (lack of) daylight, it always seems that this time of year would be the yucky part of the cycle. I found my Dr. Awesome in October. I “relapsed” and picked myself up off of the floah a year later in November. I have written all kinds of garden metaphors and melancholy reflections and I’ll start fresh next year stuff because usually throughout this time of year, I’m sort of faking my way through the B side of things.

But this year is different.

It’s been four years since I sat in a psychiatrist’s office for the first time, answering questions and being assessed, eventually walking out with an honest to god diagnosis for my wacky emotions and behaviors. I brought The Diagnosis home like a new puppy, playing with it and training it and also I had something to blame for chewed up socks or poop on the rug! (Metaphorically speaking of course). In some ways it was awesome to hear a doctor give me a diagnosis that put words to what I was feeling for so many years because I had a reason for it. There were chemicals in my brain making it next to impossible for me to handle certain stresses, fears, or suspense because it didn’t shut off like somebody else’s might. How amazing to know that really I wasn’t crazy, I just had an honest to god anxiety disorder!

But in other ways, the reason didn’t really matter. Whether or not I had a name for it, I still had to function. I still had to be able to answer the phone. I still had to be able to go to work or teach my classes or advocate for my children. A diagnosis isn’t a free pass. It’s not an excuse for bad behavior. It doesn’t mean I can act out all over my family or friends and not have to be accountable for it. It doesn’t mean I can just take my hands off the wheel and stop handling my obligations and hide away until the storm passes.

Last week I started feeling that familiar slow build. Some of it was stress – one thing that therapy helped me figure out was that even though anxiety is stressful, not all stress is anxiety – so some of what I was dealing with was just plain old stuff that any adult has to cope with. But there was a little feeling that took hold that made the butterflies beat my chest up all week. It started with this stupid thing that happened last weekend – kids tearing around the neighborhood in a car, stealing outdoor Christmas lights – and it snowballed into days of me freaking out that a car was going to hit my son when he crossed the street to go to his buddy’s house. Total fixation for days. And I just couldn’t flip the switch back to OFF. Little things became big things. A bump on my husband’s head was a brain tumor, my daughter’s tummy ache became the flu. And it all boiled over on Saturday when my already pumping adrenaline got turned up to eleven while trying to get my daughter to the float she was supposed to ride on at the Christmas parade. We were running late and not totally sure where to go and we had to run from one end of the parade route to the other, dodging throngs of people holding umbrellas (seriously, you could put an eye out!!) but we made it and she waved like a beauty queen and it was awesome. However, my adrenaline didn’t shut off like it should of once we got her there and all was well. I could hear my heart in my ears and my emotions were spilling over and my pulse was racing so hard I could see it in my temples. I was terrified but had no idea what I was terrified of and for just a very teeny split second I wondered if I was having a heart attack.

And then I kind of lost it all over one of my best friends. Like, in the part of the day I should have been relieved it all worked out, and laughing about all the craziness, I was heavy breathing and choking back tears and just trying to escape.

Yep. My little diagnosis puppy totally pooped in his crate.

But, after a little while, I caught my breath. And after a little while more, I was able to talk it out. Both to my reflection in the mirror (reminding me that all this was just a biological reaction to a perceived danger, and now it was over) and to Trophy Husband (saying pretty much the same thing out loud like a mantra). And very soon after, I was able to text that friend and apologize. I’m sorry. That was me, not you. Every anxiety button I have got pushed this morning. I’ve been fighting this off for days. I’m sorry it came out on you.

And we were all able to dust ourselves off and put the day back on the rails.

I like having a diagnosis because it’s kind of like a roadmap. I can find my way back from the crazy. And I also like that I’ve become the kind of person who can say I’m sorry. Dramatic moments can be just that. Moments. They don’t have to turn into actual drama.
Anyway, my diagnosis dog is 4 years old now and I think I’ve got him just about housebroken. And I’m feeling really good about that.

{ 1 comment }

my people

by MrsFatass on November 23, 2014

I’ve been yammering here for about 5 years, give or take. This blog, which started out as a weight loss diary, has evolved. It’s incorporated my entire life’s journey, good, bad, and hemorrhoidal. It’s taken me places I never dreamed possible. I’ve been quoted, mentioned, reprinted, interviewed or featured in publications all over the country, and even in one very special magazine down under. I has allowed me to travel from one coast to the other to conferences and events and meetups. I’ve made friends and settled into a tribe of bloggers and writers who have become My People. When I typed my first words all those years ago, I had no idea these experiences and friendships were in store. None.

It’s a pretty awesome thing to have people.

Over the course of the five years this little old blog has gotten some bumps and bruises. What was once all shiny and new and full of bells and whistles is now full of creaks and groans and error messages that even the best site designers and hosting companies can’t seem to diagnose or treat. And the voice that was once commended for being raw and honest and occasionally hilarious has gotten quieter and quieter, because the hard part of having lots of people reading your stories means the other people involved in those stories might not like the way you tell them. And really? Getting old is kind of a bitch.

And there has been more than one time in the last year that I’ve considered just letting it go. Maybe MrsFatass has run its course. Maybe she has found her fabulous, and so the journey ends.

I have learned a lot of lessons writing here, lessons that have become my personal rules of storytelling. Things like, 1. Don’t be a jerk. I mean, we can all use our little slice of the internet any way we choose, but really, being a jerk isn’t cool and so even when you want to discuss something inflammatory or controversial, there are ways to do it that aren’t jerky on purpose. Remove names, stay on topic, and stick to the issues without adding a lot of personal insults. Stuff like that. And 2. Once you finish your piece, polish it up, and hit PUBLISH, that’s it. You’re done. It no longer belongs to you. You don’t get to control how people are going to inhale or digest it. They get to have all of their own interpretations. Whether it is received the way you intended, it’s out there and you have to just let it go.

The perspective I write from is my own. I’m not a journalist. I don’t owe anyone objectivity. I am a blogger who writes one side of any story. My side. That’s kind of the point. And by following my self-imposed rules from above, I’ve been able to rub more people right than wrong. And really, I’ve done here what all of us have done at one time or another; I’ve experienced something, and then run right to the people who I know are going to support me and told them/you all about it.

That’s not to say we are all always in agreement. But it does mean that I love you and you love me and there is no question that we will always and forever have each others backs.

I told a story here a couple of weeks ago. Those of you who worked your way around the error messages to find it eventually did what you always do for me. You had my back. Even to the people who didn’t love my use of the “mother card” understood or accepted why I played it here, because this is my story and my experience and I was reacting to what happened to my child. I love that discussions happened. Dialogue and debate is such an awesome thing and best of all it happened among people with mutual respect. There was no name calling. There was no “outing” of personal information. No threats, veiled or otherwise. And in (what I thought was) the end, your support for me was what it always is, beautiful and solid and overwhelming and true. And I appreciate you.

Telling stories here is like sitting around a big, crackling fireplace in sweatpants sipping Godiva liqueur with your best girlfriends. Because you laugh and you love and you disagree and you tease and you don’t all come together because you always see everything the same way. You come together because your bond is bigger and more meaningful than one individual opinion on one individual issue. Collectively, your bond is unbreakable.

So this morning I decided to go ahead and write what was in my heart, because that’s what I’ve always done here. And that’s what I will always do. My story, my journey, with my people.

halfway bitches

{ 2 comments }

call me crazy

by MrsFatass on November 11, 2014

Dear Not a Parent:

I knew I shouldn’t have sent my son to your house last weekend. As soon as I read the email you sent, I knew I should have kept him home. But my son and your boyfriend’s son CR have been friends since Kindergarten. And it was CRs birthday. Those boys have spent almost every birthday together since they turned 6, and I really didn’t want to disappoint them.

The accusatory tone of your email was blatant. Even though you tried to frame it as “help me out with this, I want this weekend to go smoothly” it was very obvious that you were painting my boy as the instigator and the bad seed, kind of like when we say something bitchy but then add an LOL to try to soften the blow. It took me a bit by surprise, actually, the change in your tone, because as I scrolled through older messages between us from earlier in the year you said things like “we love Thing One” and “thanks for letting him come,” and you have posted a ton of pictures of him from his many sleepovers at your place.

But somewhere, something changed, and you sent an email detailing my boy’s crimes.

It’s been my experience in being the proud parent of a very masculine and competitive boy that…boys are gross. They smell and they fart a lot and they play hard and they tease each other mercilessly and that’s just kind of their language. So when you told me that he peed in a cup, to be honest, I laughed. And when I asked him about it, and he explained to me that he AND your boyfriends boy BOTH did it, and that they thought it was hilarious, well, I just didn’t get that bent out of shape. Because boys are GROSS. So Thing One and I had a talk about it, he assured me it wouldn’t happen again, and that was that.

And when you told me that my son was “picking at” a 7 year old boy who was also at your house, to the point that he wanted to go home, I’ll be honest, I still didn’t get that bent out of shape. My son lives with a 7 year old. And yes, they argue, because that’s what siblings do. And it’s what older kids do with younger kids. And it’s what happens when kids are in groups of 3, someone is always on the outs. Seven year olds and almost 12 year olds have very different maturity levels; any parent knows that if you’re going to throw a group of kids together with an almost 5 year age difference between some of them, well, someone is probably going to cry at some point. My son has a sister, my son has friends who are younger, and my son has friends who are older. I’ve never seen him be cruel or do anything out of the ordinary for a typical boy his age. His account of what happened sounded pretty normal to me, so we talked it out and moved on.

I understand that you wanted me to react differently. You didn’t want me to step back and look at the big picture, you didn’t want me to try to reason it out, and you certainly didn’t want me to ask both of the older boys about what happened and eventually determine that I pretty much nailed it in the paragraph above. You wanted me to defer to you. You wanted to be right.

But so what? We swapped our fake polite emails, and I convinced my husband that we should let our boy go to the birthday party.

Big mistake.

First off, our boy sent us a text that night. He said that you were acting different to him. He said you hadn’t spoken even one word to him or even looked at him the whole night. He also knew you didn’t want him there, because when he asked CR why you were acting so different, CR told him the things you said. And while you were pouting and giving A CHILD the silent treatment, your boyfriend talked things out with my boy. And he wanted to stay. He wanted to be with his friend on his birthday.

I thought the drama was over. I thought that this would just blow over. But it wasn’t until Thing One was back home the next day that the sparks really flew. That’s when we found out that all of our weird feelings that have come up all summer, all of our suspicions that the boys weren’t getting enough supervision, all of it came to a head. Because we found out that at your house my son was allowed to ride in a car driven by CR. My son sat in the passenger side of your white Mercedes with your boyfriends 11 year old son behind the wheel. I found out that you both allow CR to drive on your property and on a dirt path. I found out that CR was allowed to drive the car while other children were driving around on 4 wheelers. I found out that my son was in this car, being driven by an 11 year old, in the middle of the night, with two other children in the backseat,  and they were driving the 7year old home.

You never asked my permission. And you don’t see anything wrong with it. “they were on a dirt path. What don’t you understand?” was your response. “It was nighttime. It was dark. The boys are not licensed to drive. It isn’t legal. What don’t YOU understand?” was my response.

When I questioned my son I said “why on EARTH did you get in that car when you knew CR should not have been driving”. His response? “She told me to. She said it was okay.”

IT. WAS. NOT. OKAY.

Unfortunately, becoming a parent doesn’t require any specific kind of education or training. It can happen to any of us, even the most immature, ill-equipped, self-centered or crazy. Sometimes it straightens us out. Sometimes it makes us clean up our act. Stop taking unnecessary risks and doing stupid things.

But sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes our judgment remains clouded. Sometimes in our quest to be liked, or be the favorite, or be cool, the line between what’s appropriate and what isn’t gets blurred. We all do dumb things. We’ve all allowed a dip in the pool to count as a bath. We’ve all skipped teeth brushing from time to time or let that bowl of ice cream count as breakfast. And sometimes bad things happen even when we are trying our best; kids get sunburned. Dogs bite. We slip and drop an enormous F Bomb that later gets repeated in church. Parenthood is an imperfect science, and most of us are just trying to do the best we can.

You may love your boyfriend’s child fiercely. And that child may love you back. But you are not his mom. You’re not my kid’s mother. You’re not acting like any kind of mother. You’re not a biological mother, you’re not an adoptive mother, you’re not a stepmother, you’re not a legal guardian. You want to be a mother, or so the boys have told me. But you’re not one. Not yet. And the fact that you love on other people’s children isn’t enough for you to get to be the one to decide to put other people’s children in dangerous situations. Giving an 11 year old your car keys and allowing him to drive your vehicle around your property while other kids ride around in the same area on 4 wheelers is an unnecessary risk and a dangerous situation. Tossing that same 11 year old boy your car key in the middle of the night, and allowing 4 of them to pile in to run a 7 year old boy home, is asinine. And not what a mother should do. And even though my child is unharmed, I don’t forgive you for taking that chance.

So. I’m aware that you’ve called me names and that you want me to mind my own business, and that’s totally fine. Keep saying ugly things about me. Here, I’ll help. Call me crazy. Fat. Ridiculous. Overprotective. Ugly. Stupid. Whatever you need to say about me to feel okay about this, you go ahead. And while you’re at it, keep saying things about my son. Keep insinuating that he’s not a good boy. Seriously, have at it. Yes, he’s been suspended from school. Never mind that the suspension was overturned, or that the woman doling out the unfair punishments to lots of kids at that school is no longer employed there. I mean really, why let actual facts get in the way, right? Go on. Say he’s mean to little kids, or he’s got no manners. Tell somebody how dumb I am for thinking my kid is an angel when you “kno none of them boys r innocent.” Tell somebody you won’t let my son come over because you “aint putting up w no crap.” Maybe if the State Trooper I spoke with follows through and sends someone to talk to you about this, you’ll convince him that I’m the one with bad judgment and poor grammar. Who is crazy.

You can say whatever you want to say, call me whatever name you want to call me, it doesn’t matter. What matters is what my son calls me. Mom. He calls me Mom. That is the only name that means anything in this situation. And regardless of what you say to your friends or family or whomever when you are telling this story, whatever you have to say to paint yourself as the hero in this situation, I know that I am the reason my son won’t be back to your house. I am. Because I am his mother. And you will never have the opportunity to treat my child badly, to neglect him, to leave him unsupervised, or to put his life in danger again.

Sincerely,

A Mother

{ 2 comments }

Fatass Fabulous

by MrsFatass on October 27, 2014

Thing One was kind of a sick kid. He was happy and smiling and full of energy, but it was always sort of one thing after another. Rashes. Belly aches. Colds and ear infections. Right around his first birthday we determined he was lactose intolerant (he has since grown out of that). Seasonal allergies. Asthma. Breathing treatments and tubes and tonsils out and lawd amighty the amount of medicine that traveled through his little body the first 5 or 6 years of his life just makes me cringe.

He’s healthy now and not taking daily meds for anything anymore except Claritin during his worse allergy season and seems no worse for the wear I suppose. But I think a lot about all those chemicals and wonder what I could have done to heal him more naturally. I’d always been part hippie. I recycled long before it was a matter of taking it to the curb. I shunned perfumes and lotions for oils and sticks of pure cocoa butter. I dyed my hair with henna and toyed with vegetarianism. But once I had children, it wasn’t a game anymore. I really began to get serious about my hippie-ness. (What? That’s a word).

When I began looking for alternatives to grocery store cows milk for him to drink I found myself in this little organic co-op. This was 11 years ago. There was no Trader Joes or Whole Foods nearby, I was only just starting to see some organic baby food on the shelves, and could occasionally find soy milk in the regular grocery store. This little co-op was one of those tiny, funny smelling stores and I didn’t really know how it all worked and I walked in the first time, overwhelmed with first time mom craziness coursing through my veins, just sure I needed to overhaul my entire lifestyle in order to raise this baby properly. I showed up armed and ready to change The Fatass’s. Then of course I got sticker shock, and decided perhaps it best to prioritize and handle the eradication of harmful ingredients one item at a time.

Aside from being a wonderful spot to purchase organic meats, to find a cow-share program so I could get raw milk for my lactose intolerant boy, and always find a little something special on the shelves, the aisle I loved the most was along the back wall. Books. Books and books. Cookbooks and nutrition books and holistic healing books and essential oils books. There was a comfy chair at the end of the aisle, and on the days Thing One would fall asleep in his little baby bucket on the drive out there, I’d tiptoe him into the store, sit him next to the chair, and read for an hour. I browsed and I bought and I just loved reading about all the different, sort of non-mainstream things I wanted to do to keep my family healthy if only I had the (insert thing here: Money. Time. Confidence.)

It takes a certain kind of swagger to go against the grain, especially where babies are concerned. I remember being shy about discussing the raw milk we bought every week. Or the eggs fresh out of the chicken. I drove an hour each way for those items once a week and it kind of embarrassed me to talk about it. Like I always had to preface a conversation with “I know it probably sounds weird to you, but…” I convinced my mom to let me help on Thanksgiving by doing one of the turkeys and quietly ordered it from this store, and being that it was an organic bird it was teeny and I awkwardly defended the dang little thing. But it was delish and my family ate it up.

Now 11 years later, with a second child and dogs and life lessons and more and more information on what the stuff in our food (or hygiene items, or cleaning products, or medications, etc.) actually IS, I am more focused than ever on taking care of my family the best way I know how. And my confidence grows all the time.

Recently I gave my bathroom an overhaul, taking out the chemical laden shampoos and conditioners and lotions and deodorants and replaced them with natural, mostly homemade alternatives, and the heart of many of these products are Young Living Essential Oils. I’ve pulled out the dusty books from the little co-op (and loaded up my Kindle with new ones) and talked Samantha into taking another journey with me, and we very excitedly announce that Trio Fitness will now begin featuring Young Living Oils and Products at the studio. We have a lot of different ways we will share the information and the product line, the simplest of which is that we will be changing the soaps we use in the bathroom, and we’ll be adding a diffuser to the studio. We are going to begin making little changes, one at a time, and inviting you to learn and try and explore along with us.

Sam has also graciously allowed me to share some of the products I make at home using the oils with our members at the studio. I’ve done some different deodorants, made some products for the puppies, and also a room freshener with Vodka as a base (hiccup), but we decided in November to feature lip balms and lotion bars. If you’re local, you’ll be able to stop in and purchase them! And if you’re not local and are interested in trying some of MrsFatass’s concoctions, we’ll make that opportunity available here too. More to come on that…

In the meantime, if you are interested in learning more about Young Living or the power of essential oils, or if you are interested in making a purchase, we’d love it if you’d make it with us! Explore our website and of course contact me with all of your questions. You can shop through my website at any time, or if you’re here in town and want to save a couple bucks on shipping, I’ll do a bulk order once a month (I think the 15th is a good round number, don’t you? The 15th of the month). Some of my friends who are much smarter than I am gave me a list of some great books to guide you. I plan to talk about them down the road but if you are interested now just shoot me an email.

I’ve written here for 5 years about the ups and downs of weight loss and motherhood and business and sharting. I’m excited to breathe some new life into One Girl’s Journey from Fatass to Fabulous! Because it is indeed a journey, and we are indeed FABULOUS. And also when I post the video of my first experience making lip balm you can bet your sweet patootie it will be hilarious.

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the love of a tribe

by MrsFatass on September 6, 2014

linkup

Since my 18 hour Fitbloggin’ experience of ’14, I’ve been trying to author a follow up to the FitBlogger Tough Love session Steve and I led. I’ve really enjoyed reading your posts and your follow up posts, and I am touched by the number of people who have come and checked in on me too. I haven’t written a whole lot since coming back from my whirlwind tour, mostly because, well, I just don’t know what to say.

I did what I said I’d do. I went to the doctor. I spilled my guts. I sat in front of this attractive thin young athletic looking woman and talked about how I don’t know why I’ve gained so much weight. I talked about tracking and macros and cross training and OWNING MY OWN FITNESS STUDIO and did my best to be heard. She ordered the thyroid test. But then she told me to check out Weight Watchers, too.

So the test revealed nothing and I have no follow up plans other than to not rejoin Weight Watchers.

Last May I got a new fitness certification for a program called R.I.P.P.E.D. It’s an athletic based workout that I fell in love with because it challenged me and because I could meet those challenges and really push myself. I also loved it because there is a nutrition piece. All summer I worked with a total of 30 or so people in camps, sweating through super fun workouts and sharing menu plans and over the course of the summer over 70 pounds were lost.

By all of them.

But not me.

I’ve done lots of other badass things this summer. I’ve worked hard on strength. I can see new sculpt in my thighs and my shoulders that I absolutely love to look at. My flexibility is a million times better than the weekend I spent in BodyFlow training. And so is my balance. I’m so much more grounded.

Emotionally too. This time of year is usually when I write about noticing a late summer resurgence in the garden, which is glaringly noticeable to me because September is when I’m doing the opposite. I’m usually retreating into the downside of my personal anxiety/depression cycle. But not so much this year. This year I feel pretty good. I grabbed getting treated by the balls. Did the therapy and the work. And for the first fall in a few years, I don’t feel defined by a symptom.

I know I’m more than a number on a tag on the back of my clothes. I don’t need anyone to tell me this. I’ve been posting selfies of me wearing a bikini in this body long before Shape Magazine got judgy. I’ve been eating clean long before Mamavation became our food watchdog. I’ve consistently been working out in my DIScomfort zone since I started this rag in 2009. None of that is going to change.

I’m still swinging.

And thanks to the beautiful Stephanie of Athlete at Heart, I’m snapping myself out of my writing rut and rejoining the ranks of all of you that I so desperately needed to soak up during my Fitbloggin’ drive by in Savannah. Her suggestion to do a Weekly Workout Linkup was just what I needed to put myself back in touch with my tribe.

This is a picture of what the life of a studio owner looks like:

calendar

During weeks where I teach my normal schedule plus our FitCamp, I’m on the platform about 11 times a week, in addition to the work it takes to market and run the studio. These aren’t MY workouts necessarily. These are the workouts I lead for our members. As an instructor I get sweaty and burn calories and do things similarly to students, but my focus isn’t on me, it’s on them. It’s on demonstrating levels and coaching form and moving around the room making sure everyone else is working at their peak. I may burn as many or sometimes more calories than a student, but it’s more in coaching energy than pushing my own. So to list them in my workout roundup seems odd without giving them an asterisk or an explanation. Because, while they are periods of time where I do move and burn and sweat, those are the workouts I do for my job. They don’t really belong to me.

I haven’t taken a lot of time to do workouts for just ME this past week. My ME time has been spent practicing new tracks for – you guessed it – work. And so I don’t have a lot to report for my first linkup.

I spent an hour working with a weighted hoop. FXP Fitness is coming to trio, and they sent me an amazing goodie box of the materials I’ll be using when I become licensed to teach. It’s a blend of disciplines – barre, yoga and pilates, using a weighted hoop as a prop – that is low impact on my almost 41 year old, over worked and over stressed body. I love it and am planning to do more.
I also took a new class at trio. A blend of Insanity and Power Yoga. I did it twice. And it was an amazing challenge. I forget sometimes how much I love being the student.

And I’m thinking today is a good day for a bike ride. One without dogs or children. One where I come home drenched in a sweat.
So thank you to all of you who have checked in with me since June. I appreciate the love of my tribe more than you could ever know.

{ 4 comments }

five days

by MrsFatass on August 1, 2014

It was a week ago that we packed up the van and headed to Greenville to audition for Shark Tank.

By the time we got on the road, I was already exhausted. We only found out about the audition maybe four days ahead of time. And it took another day or so to make the decision to go. So while some contestants take weeks to prepare their pitch, we took about 60 hours, minus time for our jobs, families, and a few minutes of sleep. Seriously, you guys?  One contestant watched every single episode of the show, wrote down every single question one of the sharks asked an entrepreneur, and then wrote two answers of his own to each one of those questions. Did he get a deal? Yep, I believe so. But seriously, that is a mountain of work.

Me? Well, I did a mini prep. I watched a ton of episodes of the show, and I analyzed our business. I spent hours pulling numbers and running reports and then kind of playing along with the show, listening to the questions and answering them myself. I did as much as I could fit in during those few days.

I did the application for both of us too. Holy crapballs, was that a task. Not because it was hard, but just because it was comprehensive. We only had one minute to pitch, so there is no real way to give a lot of backstory of the business there. The application, though, was all about the backstory. What we did leading up to the creation of the business, our mission and goals, our successes and our roadbumps. So I poured my heart into those pages, the good, bad and ugly, and between our partner issue and the instructor issue, I tried to strike a balance between not hiding something that would eventually come up should we advance, and not sounding like a total idiot for getting into business with someone who was so clearly, uh, not a businessperson.

So by Thursday morning I really felt like I’d done all I could do. I was up by 4 because I had to teach at 5:30, and Sam and I planned just to drive over sweaty as soon as class was over, just to get in line as soon as we could. They would guarantee a pitch to the first 500 in line, and we had no idea if there would be 100 people there or 1000 people. So as soon as we finished the last stretch in R.I.P.P.E.D., we grabbed The Things and headed to Greenville, practicing our pitch all along the way.

Photo Jul 24, 6 50 58 AM

As it turns out, it wasn’t swamped with people. They would start handing out wristbands at 9:00, and when we arrived around 7:45, even though the line went down a block and around a corner, we felt pretty sure we were sure to get one.

Photo Jul 24, 7 57 35 AM

We settled in on the sidewalk. Lots of people brought folding chairs, but we sat on a curb. And we began chatting with the people around us. In front of us, a man pitching his motorcross company. Behind us, some tech geeky NC State grads. I don’t have pics, but they were hippie fabulous in line, but later we would do a double take when the Birkenstock wearing, stubble sporting, DUDE saying guy showed back up in a suit. It was bright and sunny and hot and we were glad we hadn’t done any primping first because we were trying not to melt. Every now and again a casting person would walk through the line, one of them had a camera guy in tow, and they were randomly choosing one of us to do a quick interview with. Maybe the season starts with a clip show? I don’t know. She spoke to me for a couple of minutes, but never told the guy with the camera to start filming. I personally think that 2 fat chicks selling fitness is great television, but for just a second Sam and I were nervous about being the equivalent of the people on the American Idol audition episodes who can’t sing. I mean, we’re fabulous and confident and know we rock, but we are also human, and every now and again that self-doubt creeps in. The key, however, isn’t in pretending like those doubts don’t happen. The key is in shaking them off and moving forward anyway.

And then this happened.

Photo Jul 24, 9 25 41 AM

We only got one band, and Sam graciously let me be the one to wear it. SO EXCITING! Then the casting people came back through the line and gave us a time to come back. And we had a couple of hours to just go hang and relax.

We walked into this little café that was full of books and big comfy chairs. We got drinks and settled in to decide whether or not we were going to be nervous.

Photo Jul 24, 11 29 56 AMPhoto Jul 24, 11 29 52 AM

I decided I wasn’t going to be. Because at this point, the hard part was over. All the unknown. We’d done the research, we’d found our way, we got our wristband. At this point all we had to do was take a breath and say our lines. THAT is my comfort zone. All the other stuff? Not so much. So we found a quiet corner of the café and Sam and I practiced pitching

Photo Jul 24, 10 52 52 AM
to the practice sharks.

Photo Jul 24, 10 54 55 AM

And before we knew it, it was time to go back. All that hot, sunny weather had turned dark and rainy, but it let up just long enough for us to get back to the audition site and get under an awning. We hung out and talked in line for a while until it was time to go back in. We followed the signs

Photo Jul 24, 12 32 51 PM

to the Wading Room. Get it? Wading room? All of the signage stuck with the theme. In the Wading room was the Sand Bar, a place to grab a refreshment. And then we sat and listened to the head of casting tell us what was going to happen next.

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We would listen for our number, and then be taken behind the curtain to the pitch room. And the only piece of information any of us really wanted to know: If they wanted us to advance, they would call us in 5 days.

So, while we waited our turn, more photo ops with the cool Shark Tank signs!

Photo Jul 24, 12 46 39 PM

The kids said they wanted to come behind the curtain with us, so when our number was called we lined up together. It was a big room with 5 or so tables, and it was like waiting in line at Marshalls. As one entrepreneur finished up and exited, the next one was directed to the table.

Photo Jul 24, 1 03 00 PM

Now here’s where I admit that there was one table I didn’t want. One casting person that I didn’t get a great vibe from earlier. And of course that’s the table we were ushered to. But whatever. I handed Thing One my phone to snap pictures while we talked. The woman took our applications and turned one over to take notes on the back. She said to start whenever we were ready. So Sam and I looked at each other, took a breath, and got started.

Photo Jul 24, 1 11 25 PM

When we finished we got three follow up questions. Pretty standard ones. One about our revenue to date, one about our projected revenue through the end of the year, and one about what we plan to do with the money. Easy enough. We answered, she thanked us, and that was it.

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We took one more photo with the big sign. Those smiles are the smiles of pride. And relief. And exhaustion.

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We walked back to the car, and within minutes The Things were sound asleep.

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Well, we’ve passed the five day mark and the phone never rang. It would appear that the Shark Tank team took a pass on the awesomeness that is trio fitness.

That’s okay, though. Honestly, I feel really good about the whole experience. It is a pretty great thing to be a rock star in your kids eyes. He was right there with me every step of the way, watching all the episodes of the show with me, asking me questions, reading the application, and standing by our side for the actual audition. I think that it was good for him to see me in that situation, getting prepared, doing the legwork, and just jumping in to the day having absolutely no idea what was going to happen at any given moment. It was good for him to see me nervous and outside of my comfort zone, but taking a shot anyway. He’s going to middle school in a few weeks, and he’s not happy about it because of course ALL of his friends are going to a different one, so he’s scared and anxious. But he’s got to just do it anyway. He’s got to take his own swing at something, so maybe we can use Shark Tank as our example of just taking a breath and jumping in.

Photo Jul 28, 8 21 47 PM

{ 8 comments }

we’re gonna need a bigger boat

by MrsFatass on July 21, 2014

shark-tank

Shark Tank is kind of a hot topic in the Fatass family these days. Thing One is a fan. He and my dad have watched about a zillion episodes together, and then he always comes back to me to try to figure out how to get trio fitness in front of the sharks. You know how you play that game after you buy a lottery ticket? The whole what would we do with all that money if we really won game? Well, my boy and I have spent anywhere from ten thousand to a hundred thousand, and done everything from expanded into the space next door to building a trio on the moon. It has been fun to both strategize and daydream with my boy.

He’s got big dreams too. And even at eleven years old, he does a lot to work for them. He got a taste of real success this summer at basketball camp when he got his first trophy for actually WINNING instead of one for just PARTICIPATING. And now he’s like a shark smelling blood. You always hear the sound of the basketball outside. He works out at trio nearly every day. He talks about nutrition now, and while sometimes he still chooses the treat or wants the breakfast sandwich from Bojangles, more often than not he thinks about food as the way to fuel his physical goals. I don’t know if he’ll ever be in the NBA, but right now I’m watching him make a plan and follow a path to the next basketball season instead of just sitting back and expecting to play well simply because he loves the game. He’s not afraid of work or competition.

And he comes by that honestly.

Relentless. Aggressive. Obsessed. Laser focused. Competitive. All of these words have been used to describe me in one way or another throughout the trio fitness years. And more often in a bad way than a good one. I make no apology for being driven and for wanting to make trio into a profitable business. There are people who do what I do who make profitability a bad word. But it takes nothing away from the love I have for our members and for the awesome and amazing and bad ass things that happen in that studio every day for me to want to grow and expand and make a comfortable living at the same time I’m coaching people to healthier lifestyles. I mean, isn’t that when the magic happens? When you can marry your passion and a way to make a living?

When the boy and I sit back and talk about what we’d do with an investor, he always finishes with “you should try to get on that show, Mom. You can handle those guys.” And it kind of chokes me up. When your kid is 4, they think you can do anything. But Thing One is now 11, inching toward that age where he wants to be independent of me, so for him to still have this belief that his mom is unstoppable is really kind of major. So when we were driving down the road over the weekend and heard on the radio that Shark Tank is in NC this week holding an open casting, there was really only one thing to do. . .

I texted Samantha and said take the day off. We’ve gotta go jump in the tank.

We don’t have a lot of time to prepare and we may not have all the answers and holy crapballs I don’t even know if we’ll get there early enough to get one of the 500 interview slots. But what I do have is a kid who cracked a grin from ear to ear when I told him about the call, who has absolute faith in us.

So we’re going to take a shot.

{ 7 comments }

July 3, 2014

#justtrollin

Technically this was my fifth Fitbloggin,  but I’m not sure it actually counts. It was a drive-by attendance. I wasn’t in the group shot OR the 5 year attendee shot. While I was thrilled to make it for the Ignite session, I didn’t get to do a workout or participate in another session other than […]

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June 23, 2014

silent ‘S’

This post has been a long time coming. It’s been stirring around in my head and my heart since September 19, 2013 at 6:42AM when I opened the email that changed the face of my business – and the course of my life – all wrapped up with the phrase “I’m sorry for the inconvenience […]

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May 18, 2014

click

Dear Woman Who Just Hung Up On Me; I hate that our conversation ended that way. I think that everybody has a superpower, and I’m pretty sure mine is an ability to smooth over just about any situation of conflict with diplomacy, good listening, and positivity. But our conversation this morning was like my kryptonite […]

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