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The Hard Stuff

Between The Headlines, Running News 12/1/19

This is my space to share my take on what’s NOT being said as well as the things that ARE said but are not heard. If it’s coming out of my mouth, it’s probably been on your mind. (You’re welcome!) - Coach MK

Fit Privilege Hard Stuff toxic family holiday stress
It's Easy to Be Polite. We Are HERE for the Hard Stuff.

Note: The Tether Weekly Newsletter and The Morning Mantra Podcast are going on brief hiatus while we focus on delivering the highest-quality content possible during the upcoming period of schedule havoc. We apologize for the inconvenience, but encourage you to join the Holiday Strength Challenge and The Goal-Setting Webinar that is coming up THIS FRIDAY!

Thinking of getting a Stryd power meter for Black Friday? Use my code, coachMK, for the best price they offer!!

This week we introduced our daughter to The Sound of Music. I found my anger rising rapidly and had to leave the room at one point when Maria tells the Captain she will absolutely not respond to a whistle because she is not a dog, and he asks if she is always this much trouble.

I’m a spoilsport. I have a terrible attitude, I cannot ‘just get along’, and I refuse to say ‘the right thing’ for the sake of performing the ‘right’ opinion. I’m direct and TMI everywhere so when I’m upset and people appear to be genuinely confused by my response, my fury intensifies. Do I REALLY have to explain what’s going on right now? Did you HEAR what he said to me? Why are we talking about MY reaction???? How is MY RESPONSE the problem?

Similar painful memories from my life were flashing in my head when my daughter entered the kitchen and caught me doing a move I do to calm myself (I will be sharing it soon in the Holiday Strength Challenge). She said something like, “He didn’t know that he was bad at his job until Maria said, “NO!” Everyone just pretends he has good ideas! Is this movie about how he learns to be a good dad?”

It would have been easier to say, “yes”, but I told her the truth, framed appropriately for a 7 year old...else someday she may be screaming silently in a kitchen, wondering if anyone else sees what just happened to her and questioning her own worth and sanity.

He is grieving his wife, so when he does mean things the people who knew him before she died excuse his actions, even the bad ones,” “We know he’s not a bad PERSON because he doesn’t side with the Nazis,” “He has a lot of power, and no one around him to tell him, ‘no’; he would have fired Maria but he had to travel for work. He didn’t want to learn anything. He thought the solution was marrying the Baronness!!!!”

When describing this scene, I could be describing the dynamics of any family: one person crosses a line and hurts another person, everyone else pretends not to see it hoping it will end quickly, then refuses to validate the hurting person in order to ‘avoid taking sides’. This is how bullies are enabled. This is how bad behavior continues. We know they don’t want to learn anything so we save our energy. We save ourselves.

At least, that’s how we justify it.

This week, the chorus of “FixGirlsSports” attempts to keep its momentum in ways that, frankly, annoy me. It’s easier to say, “WE NEED TO STOP ABUSING WOMEN!” than it is to say to someone in power, “HEY that thing you just did crosses a line, it’s abusive, DO NOT EVER DO IT AGAIN,” and THAT is easier than standing behind a less powerful person making that same bold statement. Until we are calling out abuse consistently and clearly everywhere, we aren’t seeing it anywhere...meaning, there’s nothing to see here, nothing to fix. Sigh.

Some people are terrible, and live to be mean, but that’s only a small sliver of abusers. The vast majority don’t know their behavior is abusive and don’t care to learn. Most abused humans don’t realize they are being abused and will never hear it, because even in private settings that are low-risk for us, we enable bullies and excuse or rationalize bad behaviour rather than call it out.

Alberto Salazar still doesn’t think he fat-shamed anyone. He thinks he was doing his job.

This cycle is everywhere, it’s all around it, it’s baked into the culture- and we can’t fix ANYTHING until we see it and get used to calling it out. Calling it out silently and in your own mind is a great place to start. Your best next step, IMHO, is to speak to a therapist, who can give you better tools to navigate these moments in ways that TRULY break the current cycles of behavior.

If that’s a step too far, consider joining The Holiday Strength Challenge. Remember though, it’s the brainchild of a woman who just told you she was triggered watching THE SOUND OF MUSIC and learned everything she knows about navigating awkward situations from her Uncle Mike, who would pretend to fall asleep in his sweet potato pie to get out of social gatherings until the day he died.

The Challenge is for entertainment purposes only, but if the situations we present are triggering in any way, your feelings are VALID. We recommend exploring those feelings with a therapist. We sure do.

The holidays are really hard for us over here, and we’re trying to make lemonade by fundraising for trauma survivors in Denver and kids facing transportation scarcity in Milwaukee, pointing out the absurdity of silence, and providing the support and validation many of us will never get from our families.

It would be easier to talk about the running, but I’m here for the hard stuff. From the bottom of my heart, thank you for being here with me, doing the hard stuff, during the hardest season of the year.

Coach MK

Mark Your Calendars for the 2020 Goal-Setting Webinar!

Content Roundup

  • New Nuzzel HERE

  • New CL Newsletter HERE

  • New FPP Podcast HERE (or click on the pictures below)

NOW for your Nuzzel News Outtakes!

Only ten articles will fit in my weekly Nuzzel; everything else worth reading is right here! Seriously, I read everything so you won't have to, but collect the links so you may.

TO BE CLEAR: This is in ADDITION TO my weekly Nuzzel. You can read it right HERE on Sunday morning.

These stories were the hardest to cut:

Top Story:

Honestly, there WAS no top story this week, no consistent theme in the news, and for THAT I am grateful.


Pro Running

Proletariat Running

ReBuilding and Injury

Trail Running

Body Image


Nothing To Do With Running

Coach MK Fleming is the founder of Fitness Protection, LLC where she coaches all kinds of runners for $30 per month and gives marathon plans away for free. She LOVES being a hobbyjogger as well as a mom of 4 and thanks God every day for unanswered prayers #thankGodWeAreNotElite

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