Help Me Ronda

People often ask me who my favourite comedian is. Ellen is at the top of my list.  She is obviously funny, positive, and beyond the delight that she brings to her audience, she also uses her platform to do good. 

People don't ask me what my favorite sport to watch is. That is a good thing, because if they did, I would need to confess that it is MMA. In particular, like millions of others, I have followed the rise, dominance and humiliating fall of Rowdy Ronda Rousey. She boasted, she taunted and she got knocked out hard. As an audience member, I chalked it all up to good entertainment and loved all the nuances of the showmanship. However, as a person, I couldn't help but 'feel' for what she must be experiencing on an emotional level.

In the same way that you are human, athletes and entertainers are also human. "Yeah, well, they chose the spotlight, so we can say whatever we want". Uhm... not sure they chose the spotlight. That said, they did choose a pursuit that required unbelievable discipline and work ethic that led them to ridiculous success and as a by-product they were put in the spotlight because we are desperate to watch and live vicariously through what most of us don't have the courage to attempt or wherewithal to achieve. So, yeah, you are allowed to say whatever you want, but... you get it, right? People. We are all people. With feelings.

In a recent interview with Ellen, Ronda Rousey confessed that after she lost to Holly Holm (crazy fast and fun fight to watch) she thought it might be better to end her life. In that fleeting moment, she believed that noone would want her without her belt. In the very next moment, she figured babies were the solution. "I need to have his babies, I need to stay alive" (referring to her ever-present and supportive, man-candy). Since the fight she has also appeared on the cover of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition which is what she was promoting on Ellen in the first place. And now she is ready to fight again. To fight and beat Holly Holm would be to "make everything right."

BTW, Sports Illustrated is empowering women now. Go buy one for your wife. Seriously. Do it. She'll love it.

I am a mostly positive person. I love to make people laugh. I love to inspire people. BUT I also have dark days. Sometimes its a quick prayer and move on, and sometimes no matter how hard I try to re-focus, my brain seems to swirl out of control. I am thankful it is rare, but to be honest, I am just crawling out of some of those days, which is partly why I was motivated to write this. Here is my morning journal doodle. Happy.


The dark days are the days where all that I know to be true about the love that I have received from my wife, family and friends is suddenly false. "She doesn't want me." "They never loved me." "I am annoying." While I am, indeed, often annoying, it's not fair to put that on THEM. It's me. If you don't love yourself, it is nearly impossible to believe that others can love you too. 

I also believe in God. I believe He loves me. I believe He loves you. But sometimes, while I do believe He loves you, I can't always believe He loves me. Shame and Doubt and Fear keep me from wholeheartedly embracing the love of God and the love of others... sometimes.  So what do we do? How do we shake this?

Have your lover's baby? Nope.

Beat up your super-ripped, daughter-of-a-pastor, pro-boxer enemy?  Nope.

Pose in a swimsuit? Nope.

I mean, you can do all of these things if you want to, but they won't make everything right. I have often thought that I am the body type that Sports Illustrated would want to feature in a swimsuit issue, but they still haven't called me and now I'm the one with swimsuit issue. In short, being a sexy centrefold is not the answer.

Say it out loud.


No. I meant, confess our shame out loud, address our doubts out loud and admit our fears out loud. Move the darkness from our hearts into the light so that our friends & family can see them. It can't grip our hearts and minds when we are holding it in our hands; in a text or on a piece of paper or floating through the air in a room surrounded by the people who are trying so hard to love us. There is more space in our being for their love and acceptance when we release those filthy lies from within us. AND when we embrace that we are loved, it is then we are free to go on about the business of loving those who need us in return. So often it is the love of others that ease us out of self-loathing and destructive tendencies, but first we need to let them in. It's chickens and eggs and chickens again. We need each other and they need us and we need ourselves.

This is what Ronda did for us in that interview. She released the shame and doubt and fear of her loss in front of the world. It was inspiring. She is clearly still on a journey, but she is on her feet and walking it. I loved when Ellen emphatically supported her, "you need to stay alive". You do. I do. We do.

Similarly, when you dip, I dip, we dip.

And believe. Believe you are good and loved and capable of loving and living. And if you can't... if you really can't imagine going on, say it out loud AND get help. Professional help. There is no shame in that. I have paid a dude money to listen to me and remind me not to hold my breath because my brain needs air. Science. It works.

I agree with Ronda, she is still undefeated. To paraphrase her (as I have already been doing), "we all experience loss, but defeat is a choice." Well said pretty, scary, ass-kicking lady... well said.  

PS - Don't buy SI for your wife, I was being sarcastic. Instead, you should show her one of these future SI Swimsuit cover photos.



2012 Vancouver Cheryl Baxter Photo (i.e., my creepy sister took this photo)

2015 Cancun Sascha Reinking (though he probably doesn't want this associated with his professional portfolio)