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4/12/19: I am LOVED. (The OG Mantra)

Mantra 4/12/19: I am LOVED. (The OG Mantra)

The Morning Mantra is available on iTunes, Overcast, Stitcher, Youtube, Soundcloud, Spotify, Youtube and pretty much anywhere podcasts can be found. Transcripts forthcoming on the blog at

*coach MK speaks*

I stopped waiting for the light at the end of the tunnel AND LIT THAT BITCH UP MYSELF.

Hi! This is Coach MK, and THIS is The Morning Mantra

*cue intro music*

Hi, my name is MK Fleming. I'm a run coach based in Denver, Colorado. But this isn't a podcast about running, exactly. Don't tell my clients, but *whispers* we're never really talking about the running. When you know a crap-tastic event is coming it helps to have a mantra to keep you centered and focused as you move through it. You don't have to be an athlete to be hashtag #coachedandloved by coach MK. And if you are here, then you are hashtag #winningatlife.

*music ends*

Today's Mantra Is: I am LOVED.

In case you were wondering, yes the blizzard hit, NO school wasn’t cancelled just delayed by an hour which is actually worse, and no, none of my family made it home so when you hear this on Friday, I will be struggling at home with no childcare, limited sanity and even less patience.

It’s #FierceFriday, and I just recorded a super-cool podcast this afternoon that I cannot wait for you to hear. Coach Sarah and I were tasked with writing love letters to our bodies, or to one part of our bodies, and Sarah’s was SO GOOD NATCH I had to dig deep to write a good one.

Which basically means I had to bribe the sitter to stay longer so I could work (she’s stayed way too late two days in a row and there’s no way I can ask for a third day. Thank you, Miss Jessica and HAPPY BIRTHDAY!) and think about my body. The body that felt like a prison for most of my life. The body that was violated, the body that was the source of my pain.

In order to go there, to that deep place in my soul where the mantras live, I had to remember the pain that started it all. Each time I brush across that wound it stings a little less, which is how you know it’s healing. This wound is where Coach MK came from. The scar tissue that covers that wound is comprised of mantras. Remember how I said I had to become the running coach I wanted to hire? That’s true, but Coach MK started much earlier than that when I think about it.

My attacker lived on the Georgetown campus, and I had to encounter him frequently. I worked full time and my grades weren’t good enough to transfer to an equivalent school, and I wasn’t about to let this guy take my virginity, my Christianity (back then I truly thought not being a virgin meant I would burn in hell so I let go before I could be cast aside) AND my ticket out of Smith County TN. He would not get my college education. I had to find a way to stay.

I also had to find a way to manage the panic attacks that would cause me to faint all over campus.

You can look in the mirror all day and say, I’m FEARLESS but that does not help when you are scared shitless, you guys. When every system you’ve been told will protect you fails to, you have to find the strength within yourself to keep going. I’m not sure where that comes from. The one emotion I had in abundance was anger- at anything and everything, the injustice of my position was overwhelming. This wasn’t my fault, You didn’t help me, and you didn’t help me and YOU DID NOT HELP ME SO DONT YOU DARE JUDGE ME AND I. AM. NOT. LEAVING.

The first attempt at a mantra channeled that anger into something I could lean on rather than hide behind. I AM NOT LEAVING. You know that voice in your head that says, “everyone is staring at you and whispering?” in my case they actually were. And I needed something to balance it out in my brain, something louder than that.

Over time, I trained that voice in my head to scream at the voice that told me that everyone thought I was crazy and a liar and no one would ever love me, that no one would ever want this body. The mantra that really kept me going was, “I am LOVED.” even though I didn’t believe it. I looked for love and proof and acceptance and validation in all the wrong places. Luckily, i kept going to therapy too, and eventually I would start making better choices. I would even find someone to love me in ways I never thought would be possible.

Later, when I was training for my first post-baby half, the Coach MK you know would start to emerge. I was loved, now I needed to be coached. I tried to join a run club and it didn’t go so well- on my very first run a dude made a comment about I didn’t belong with the advanced group, I needed to lose some weight with the C25k folks. I wasn’t about to do that, I had met that group and didn’t belong, I might have been out of shape but THIS was the group I belonged with. Most of them were really nice people, but I felt out of place and scared. This body made sure I didn’t fit in, and this triggered a lot of feelings I didn’t recognize at the time….reminders of being bullied. Of being violated. Of not belonging. Of not being wanted.

I needed a mantra that was louder than that. I DO belong here, and I AM NOT LEAVING. I WILL BE COACHED. Some of those runners weren’t on training plans, they just did whatever they wanted and raced all the time. Especially that mean guy. I listened to the coach. I did exactly what he said to do. And when I ran my first post-baby half, I ran it in 2 hours flat. I ran faster than that guy did. I am COACHED. I am LOVED. I AM WINNING AT LIFE.

The scars on my soul were covered with mantras, then eventually those scars healed. So when Google Photos showed me this “then and now” shot, I gasped and knew which body part I wanted to address and which story I wanted to tell. I will share the link once the podcast is available.

If some part of you is broken, it’s hard to make sense of the pain. I’m here to help you, to remind you that you are loved, and to cover that pain with mantras while we keep moving through it. Sometimes, all you need is a plan to keep you moving….but mantras take you from Mary-Katherine Brooks to Coach MK. I cannot wait to see where this journey will take you, and I’m so grateful we get to take it together.

*cue outro music*

You are Coached. You are Loooved, and you ARE winning at life. And you're definitely winning at life if you subscribe to my Nuzzel Newsletter, follow me on Facebook or follow me on Instagram. feel free to do all three!

It's almost time my new venture will be rolling out very soon! Check us out, again, that's

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