That’s my girl!

November 29, 2016

My first full time job in radio came just after my graduation at Fanshawe College. There was a few of us in line for the gig, but I succeeded and the job was mine! It wasn’t until later I discovered that part of the reason I got that job was because I was female and there was a mandate at the time for a more equal work place.

That wasn’t the best discovery ever.

Lots of doubt followed, but I determined that I would work three times as hard to “get up to speed” and make sure I didn’t disappoint the people who took a chance on me. (You know who you are!)

My journey hasn’t been without bumps but I hit my stride; and yet have never really lost that feeling I need to “get up to speed” or let down the people who first believed in me. That insecruity has been part of what has driven my success.

Over the past couple months we have been building the new team at Q103.1 and I made a fabulous discovery as the resumes and audio crossed my desk.

We have come a long way baby!

long-way

 

We had a strong selection of men to consider, but the women! Different sounds, characters and levels of experience, but so much talent! It has been a joy and privilege to listen to so many broadcasters that won’t be hire to help create balance in the work place based on their sex along with a base level of talent. Nope.. these ladies SHINE with creativity, talent and strength. We now have enough wagons to circle and we are. Women are building each other up and pushing each other to new levels of success.

I salut the women who came before me that lit the path in the time when it was toughest. I am just one of the women that are reaping the benifits from the work you put in. I am thrilled by the women I see that will benefit from the doors I have played a role in breaking down.

Is there still a “glass ceiling?” Do we still walk out of meeting dominate by ties and wonder if we are taken as seriously as we should be? On the odd occasion are we still called dear and asked to grab the coffee? Do women still gather and are mystified by decisions made by men on what the female demo will like? Do we still get labeled overly-emotional and/or a bitch when it’s better described as passion and leadership?

You bet. (Seriously even the being called dear and asking to do a coffee run) 

But, more and more men are joining us in the bafflement over sexist behaviour or at the very least are willing to consider that past attitudes might need adjustment. It is an exciting time in radio.

Keep it up ladies, I am thrilled to have the opportunity to witness what’s to come.

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It seems like a good idea..

November 26, 2016

It’s happened.

That thing so many of us talks about… What YOU would do if you were the boss.

Holy crap. I’m the boss.

Come the spring I will be the new Program Director at Q103.1 (as long as I don’t do anything too too horrible) This means I am in the process of hiring a new team.

leaders

 

I have said it and agreed with it a quizillion times. The concept that you should hire people smarter than you and be the best manager of their smarts as you can.

Lots of smart people agree with this idea!

As former Apple CEO Steve Jobs famously said “it doesn’t make sense to hire smart people and tell them what to do; we hire smart people so they can tell us what to do.”

“Hire people who are smarter than you! In doing so, you prevent limiting the organization to the level of your own ability—and you grow the capabilities of your company.” Kauffman reportedly stated before his death. “If you hire people you consider smarter than you, you are more likely to listen to their thoughts and ideas, and this is the best way to expand on your own capabilities and build the strength of your company.”

“Try never to be the smartest person in the room. And if you are, I suggest you invite smarter people … or find a different room.” Michael Dell

“Greatness starts with the humility to hire people who are much smarter than you.”Guy Kawasaki

I will now let you in on a secret. This concept is easy to say, even somewhat easy to do in the hiring process, but day to day managing of that concept I can see being a challenge for someone who has finally stepped into a position they have wanted for years.

Cue maturity. <—- Whatttttttttttttt???

Turns out that I will be a better manager today than I would of been 15 years ago when I first wanted a program directors job, not only because of how much I have learned about radio in the last 15 years, but more so because of how much I have learned about myself and personalities like mine.  15 years ago I liked to talk about managers hiring people “smarter” than they were but I never once thought about what it would mean to hire and manage a team that is smarter than you.. what does that actually look like?

I am about to find out, because that is exactly what I am doing. It is thrilling and terrifying all at the same time.

Stick with me, it’s going to be a fun and sometimes bumpy ride.

 

 

 

Rocks in that jelly!

November 15, 2016

belly-laugh

 

 

Fat loss is such a pain in the ass. I have tackled this issue head on and hired some help for the process. At this point in involves weekly measurments with calipers – oh joy. I tend to make small jokes while this delightful process is on the go. Today while the calipers were clasped on my ample belly I made a seasonal joke that it shook like a bowl full of jelly. The quick retort fro the woman wielding the hot dog tongs with teeth was; “only if the bowl of jelly has rocks in it, there is some serious muscle in there!”

So while my ego is generally not pleased with the whole fatty mess.. it did get a happy little pat.

 

Onwards!

 

 

Ten Good Things That Happened (So Far) This Year

November 12, 2016

Ten Good Things That Happened This Year

Someone posted a huge list of GOOD things that have happened in the world this year.  So if you’re sick of all the negativity, here are ten things from the list that are pretty amazing . . .

1.  Scientists may have found the gene responsible for ALS.  And funding for the study came from the Ice Bucket Challenge.

2.  We figured out a new stem-cell therapy that can halt the effects of Multiple Sclerosis.

3.  In March, 800 hostages were rescued from the terror group Boko Haram in Nigeria.

4.  Solar panels in California started producing enough electricity to power six million homes, which is a new record.  And a solar-powered plane flew around the world.

5.  Back in July, volunteers in India planted 50 million trees in less than 24 hours.

6.  The number of wild tigers, manatees, and giant pandas is up.

7.  Leonardo DiCaprio finally won an OSCAR for “The Revenant”.  Obviously not everyone thinks he deserved it, but most people do.

8.  Starbucks all over the country started donating their unsold food to food banks.

9.  The hole in the ozone layer finally started healing itself.  Scientists have been waiting for it to happen since we banned certain chemicals in aerosols 30 years ago.

10.  We’re closer to helping paralyzed people walk again.  Just this week, scientists in Switzerland said they used a brain implant to help a paralyzed monkey walk again.  (Buzzfeed)

(Check out the full list here.)

World record? Sure I will take that!

June 08, 2016
Picture credit: Alive to Thrive Photography

That is what total effort look like! Happy to say I did get that lift!

May 14th was a big day. I stepped back onto the platform to compete in powerlifting. It has been years since I walked away from competing. This go round was a totally different experience, and it was fabulous.

I was confident, happy and reasonably relaxed. Andrew (Aspire Health and Performance) had done a great job of preparing me for the day and helping me keep my expectations in check as to what our goal was. The goal was to get back on the platform and remember what it was like to have my head in the game, obviously it was also to be competitive but in Vernon that was only part of the process.

I have some frustrations with the sport and I needed to make sure my head was in a good place to deal with them (a post of another day) but needless to say I was worried that those old frustrations would show up and throw me completely off.

They didn’t.

Having Andrew there to coach me through the day (I am horrible at warm ups) and a crew of people ready to cheer me on (thank you Roberta, Valeh, Kim, Lance, and Sheila) made a big difference, along with what I had done to get there.

I went 7 for 9. I missed my 3rd Squat and my 3rd Deadlift. The great thing is I walked away from both lifts knowing they are just about ready and next go round will be mine.

SHW

Squat 152.5kg / 335.5lbs  – National Record for weight class and both age group and open class

Bench – 72.5kg / 159.5lbs – National record age/weight class (which is ridiculous but I will take it)

Deadlift – 157.5 / 346.5lbs – National record age/weight

Total – 382.5 / 841.5 – National record age/weight

Unconfirmed World Record in the back squat, deadlift and total for my age group and weight class.

So if you are keeping track that is: 5 National Records and 3 World Records.

 

So I won gold in my age group/weight class at the Vernon classic, but I was the only one in it.  The good news is that on the world stage my numbers hold. Oddly enough in powerlifting they give individual awards for bench and dead but not squat.. if they had I would of had the squat gold as well.

The big winner is always the overall winner, that is the person who lifts the most vs their body weight. They use a formula called wilks. In my weight class it is rarely won because there is usually a beast in a lighter weight class that tips the scales dramatically! I have only won it once, and I came close this time as well, sitting in 2nd or 3rd. If I had gotten my 3rd Squat or Dead it would of been mine.

I am at a good place to start both physically and mentally. Overall I am happy with these numbers, not thrilled, but happy. Next up is The Grind in August and following that Worlds in Pennsylvania!

 

*To be completely transparent my bench has been MUCH better in the past and should be closer to 200lbs to be competitive on the world stage.  The federation I lift in is called 100% RAW and while competitive, the most competivtite federation (and oldest) is IPF or CPU. My weights are close to records in IPF and I’m looking forward to blowing those up as well down the road.

 

 

 

Help Me… Help Me…

May 03, 2016

“Help Me… Help Me…”

Words I can’t get out of my head.

On the weekend I was at a triathlon, a wonderfully organized event targeted at beginners just starting into the crazy world of tri’s.

“Help Me… Help Me..”

The pool was full of people challenging themselves for the first time or even elites doing it just for the joy of a new triathlon season starting.

“Help Me.. Help Me..”

My friend and I heard it at the same time and turned to see where the distressed call was coming from. We spotted a woman in the pool. She stood out as she was sidestroking.. not a stroke often used in a triathlon unless you were in distress.

“Help Me.. Help Me..”

Our eyes locked for a split second as we determined what needed to be done. The women kept swimming. We spotted a lifeguard that appeared to have already assessed the situation and was quickly moving to help, yet at the end of the lane after a brief rest the woman pushed off and continued.

As the swim continued that woman was assessed and lifeguards spoke with her time and time again, she was determined to continue and would push off into the lane and continued even with the show of concern.

That determination is often praised in sport. “You can do anything you put your mind to” we tell people. You’ve got this.. go for it! It doesn’t matter how fast just get it done! We support you!

I agree with all of that. To a point.

Have we lost the important concept that you need to EARN your way into these events. Triathlons, marathons, any sporting event really needs a level of training.  You need to know that you have the basic skills required to cross the finish line. People are there to help you do it, people are ready to come to your aid if something goes wrong BUT you need to go in with the training that supports you safely making the attempt.

“Help me.. Help me..”

I will hear that forever, on repeat in my mind. That woman who laughed and smiled with family and new friends she had made waiting to start her race didn’t finish her race. Even with down right heroic efforts of first responders she died at the pool that day.

“Help me.. Help me..”

I watched as a lifeguard asked if she needed to stop one final time and I watched as she pushed off the side of the pool with a cough and ignored that lifeguard and kept swimming. I watched as the distress got to be too much and amongst her fellow triathletes lifeguards let the training take over and they got her out of the water, out of the water SO SO fast and start chest compressions. I watched as spectators eyes grew wide at what they were witnessing and children were quickly escorted out of the pool. I watched as triathletes tried to regroup and figure out what to do next.

“Help me.. Help me..”

I am a woman of action. I HELP. I FIX. I GET IT DONE. I was alone at the edge of the pool knowing I could do nothing directly and the best possible people were doing all they could. So I did the only thing I knew how to, I quickly determined how to help the remaining athletes.

I stood at the end of the lane. It would be the last 50 meters for those still in the pool. The hardest 50 to stay focused as they swam directly beside the life saving efforts happening on the deck and I made sure they had something to focus on. I put that radio voice to good use and I cheered, I called out the names I knew and I bellowed those athletes through their final 50, got them out of the pool, did what I could to distract them and get them out the door and ready to grab their waiting bike for the next leg of the triathlon.

“Help me.. Help me..”

I felt so disrespectful to that woman, to her family to the people trapped on the bleachers unable to get away from what was playing out in front of them. Somewhere in my mind I determined I was honouring the athlete that choose to swim on that day.

When the last swimmer was out. I have no idea what happened, I was just suddenly outside cheering for a friend who was cycling past.

“Help Me.. Help Me..”

I truly wish I could have. I am SO angry that my friends had to deal with this both organizers, athletes and first responders. I have been seething with a rage that is very close to boiling over. I am working through why I am so angry and the answer to that is complex and simple all at the same time.

I reached out for help. I have a circle of friends in the first responder community or with trauma experience that understand better than I do what I am feeling.

Thankfully I am choosing to listen to them as I say “help me.. help me..”

If you are dealing with some after effects of what happened this past weekend, or really from anything please know that resources are available. CLICK HERE for a list of numbers to call.

** Please note I am aware that there is much much more to the story of what happened on Sunday. I am only writing about what I saw and felt and am feeling still, and only a portion of what I experienced.  I do want people to understand that even if you were not a first responder you may be feeling some tough emotions after witnessing that and help is available. No shame. Feelings are feelings and there are tools available to help you deal with them. *** 

I really need to stick to a schedule…

April 15, 2016

crickets

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