• coachmk

Shady Bitch Lesson 5

A Special Series of The Morning Mantra Podcast, Because Some of Us Spend Holidays in Hell


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



The doctor asked if anyone in my family suffers from mental illness. I told him 'no, we all kinda like it.'

Hi! I’m 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*



One Hand In My Pocket, Clutching MINTS


Today's Mantra is: Take This


Coach MK is here to make spirits BRIGHT and get you EXCITED to roll around in the verbal excrement that will fill your lungs and SOULS this holiday season with some SHADY BITCH LESSONS.


You do not EVER need to Channel your Inner MK, even if my voice is planted firmly in your head and yells on your behalf from time to time. That voice is there to cheerlead and advocate for you when I’m not physically present.


Then what are these lessons for?


The goal here is to plant some seeds in your brain that can grow into trees, and when the moment is right you can pick off a nice switch and beat someone’s ego back into submission. Southern women have been doing it for centuries. Everyone else is a weak imitation- they went to Harvard instead of charm school. No joke, this is where I learned this shit. I can cut without knives when I have to. Whether or not you ever do, is up to you. What matters is that you have the ability, and the power, to defend yourself in those moments when people pretend not to see what is happening.


The golden rule for all Shady Bitches is the first rule of Improv: just go with it. You respond to WHATEVER is said to you. Respond to their words, not to your feelings. They KNOW they are hurting your feelings, that’s the whole point. That’s the source of their power. You can take that power back.


  • In Lesson 1: we respond to phrases like, “I don’t understand…” with, “I know you don’t”

  • In Lesson 2: we learned to meet TMI questions with TMI answers.

  • In Lesson 3: we learned to receive a backhanded compliment.

  • In Lesson 4, we faced Helpful Suggestions that do not help ANYONE


Today, we are going to respond to those bitches who never made the cheerleading squad. Similar to the backhanded compliment, fake cheerleading is comfort you didn’t seek, sometimes for problems you weren’t aware of.


  • ‘Now, don’t let ANYONE TELL YOU that you are a bad mother just because your kids pick their noses.”

  • “Don’t ever feel like a bad mother just because your kids don’t know how to use forks.”

  • “Don’t let ANYONE make you feel ashamed for working the way you do.”

  • “Be PROUD of how well your children have adjusted despite the long hours you’re putting in at that job.”


These comments cut deep, usually striking the heart of an insecurity to confirm that YES people are thinking this. The good news? Ok, now you no. It’s no longer a question. This person is judging you. THERE IS NOTHING YOU CAN DO TO EARN THEIR APPROVAL SO DO NOT TRY.


This is verbal tennis. Defensive moves slow the game, and tennis isn’t a team sport- unless you are related to me, no one is going to join your team in these moments. For real, ya’ll I LIVE for this shit. I’m never too busy to make a bully realize how STUPID it was to think I would keep my mouth shut and go along with anything. Seriously, are you awake? Sober? Did you forget who I was? Do you know what year it is/who the president is? SOMEONE CALL A DOCTOR!


I’m super-polite. I learned this in charm school: the host sets the tone for the party, and I have to follow their rules. When I’m invited somewhere, I have to assume they know what they are getting. If you see something, say something….or fuck off. If you heard a game of verbal tennis starting up, and realized I was not only present but also awake, that means you had a chance to stop MK from coming out of the bottle. Which is a DIRECT invitation to be my fullest, BESTEST self.


But I’m an exception- I got tired of pretending not to notice bullying and tired of pretending I was okay with it and would forgive everyone who didn’t have the courage to stand by me in those moments. Most people won’t get involved in these interactions no matter how tiny the consequences.


“Don’t let ANYONE tell you you are a bad mother because you didn’t have time to put your kids in swim lessons.”


Key here is the execution. Start to finish, it should take 2 seconds, max.

  1. Wince

  2. Look away

  3. Grab breath mint

“I sure won’t! Oh Honey take this.” then shove that breath mint in their hand, stand up and walk away. Bonus if you PAT their hand, it’s just about the most condescending gesture you can make.


You need to practice this, and you need to plan in advance. When I'm in places where I may have to interact with people I would rather avoid, I wear clothes with pockets and I fill those pockets with mints. I always have a mint handy to shut a bitch down, it's about the only way some people will ever shut their mouths and/or back up.


You handled that moment like a Shady Bitch, and your coach is VERY very proud. Maybe you can’t tell everyone to fuck off, but you don’t have to take what they're giving, either. No one has the right to ruin your holiday, and ANYONE who wants to learn can throw shade like a classy, sassy Southern Bitch.



Coach MK Fleming is the founder of Fitness Protection, LLC where she trains her runners for $30 per month and gives marathon plans away for free. Click here to download her Marathon Selection Guide!

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