The blog is back, y’all! A quick recap from the last 19 months since I last posted: I’m back in Texas working at Texas Tech in Student Conduct, I’m competing as a Strongwoman, currently qualified nationally in both federations, I adopted a second cat who I fondly refer to as The Weiner, and I’ve kept most of the 60 pounds I lost in MD off (though your body changes when you start lifting crazy heavy shit).
Now that we’ve got that out of the way, as my first semester back at Tech is coming to a close, I’ve been thinking a lot about what it means to be successful. Between my job and my Strongman work, I’d classify my time back in Texas thus far as immensely successful, but what does that mean?
Success means being shameless while staying humble.
For the fact that I have a big ass mouth and am typically willing to speak up for whoever won’t speak up for themselves, I’m not always the best about doing the same for myself. About a month ago, standing in our Director’s office, I made it quite clear what direction I want this job to take me. I then had that “ohshitohshitohshit” moment, thinking maybe I’d been too forward, and she just said, “Okay, cool.” Thankfully, I think the humility at work is a bit easier; I have no problem walking into my boss’ office and saying, “I think I did this wrong.” Knock on some wood, I haven’t messed it up too bad just yet.
I’ve competed in 3 Strongman competitions thus far, taking first once, and second twice to the same person. When you come in first the very first time you compete, it’s a hard pill to swallow to lose…twice…to the same person. Don’t get me wrong, she’s a great person, but Christ on a cracker, I cannot wait to beat her. It’s humbling as hell to get taken down a few pegs.
So how am I shameless? Well I recently started brand repping for one of my favorite companies (use code mairead44 for 15% your order at grrrl.com) and had my coach offer to let me start coaching. These things didn’t happen because I sat on my #PeachGang ass and waited for them to come to fruition. Nope, I mentioned to Carlos that I was thinking about coaching and we made it happen. I messaged the company on IG and said, “Hey, I like your clothes and your message. Can I rep for you?” No one is gonna hand you this kind shit, you’ve gotta go after it for yourself.
Success means flying solo while being fiercely dependent on others.
I kick ass at my job, and it’s not really one that requires much of a team effort, but I have to rely on my coworkers to uphold the same rules and standard as me every single day. If they decide to go rogue and now follow our rules, my solo work ain’t gonna matter. I also just started in a conduct role full-time; there’s a whole hell of a lot that I don’t know. I have to trust myself and my ability to do the job while asking 10,001 questions and reading and learning as much as I can about what we do, and how we can do it better.
Likewise, I have a coach who I depend on every single day at the gym. I’m the only one who can hop up on that deadlift platform and pull (God willin’ and the creek don’t rise) 350 pounds, but without his coaching I’d still be doing high volume bullshit that doesn’t make a great Strongman. On days where I’m having trouble with something in the gym, I have him to say, “Hey, stop” or, “That’s not heavy and you know it.” I read somewhere that a lifter without a coach is just a person with a hobby, so while I may the one lifting, it’s under Carlos’ guidance that I’ve seen such #gainz in a short amount of time.
Success means gaining people as quickly as you lose them.
After everyone Strongman competition thus far, my social media network has expanded. Whether it’s adding each other on Facebook or liking all kinds of stuff on Instagram, this community as a whole is crazy supportive of one another. That being said, the better you get, the more you see people’s true colors around you. I have people who really do not like to see me do well. People I would have considered friends and teammates (and some people I didn’t give one iota of a shit about to begin with) who can’t cheer for me because in some sick way, that hinders their progress. Like y’all, we’re talking social media blackouts, cold shoulders, the whole 9 yards, and ya know what? That’s totally okay. Comparison is the thief of joy, and I don’t wanna be the blame for anyone losing their joy. I have too many people sharing in my success to worry about anyone who don’t want to be part of it.
The same thing happens in a different way at work and when you move across the country. I came back to a city I’d lived in before and was able to pick back up with some people; others have been MIA. I’ve met new people at work, the gym, through other friends, and even on social media who have brought pure joy to my life. Moving back here has also resulted in the loss of some relationships; some were intentional, some were because distance is a bitch. That doesn’t mean a loss of love or care, it’s just not a friendship that’s meant to flourish at this point.
All of this has been to say that since August 6th, I think I’ve been immensely successful. People have come into my life and people have left. I’ve been able to depend on people while still marching to the beat of my own drumline. I’ve been served up a big ol’ piece of humble pie while shamelessly promoting myself. So what’s it mean looking forward? It means that you can either get in my corner or get outta my way; either way, I promise not to hold ill will, and I’ll be forever grateful.
Til next time,
Mairead (pronounced like @parade_withan_M)