Badasses and Bullies

Getting up at 5:30 am on a Saturday morning would be considered criminal in some circles. Ah, well, sometimes, when you’ve got something important to do, it’s a necessary evil. Cheering on your peeps counts as one of those good causes. Besides, I have to give respect to anyone who takes on this motto…even if it’s just for a day.

The Tough Mudder Motto

The Tough Mudder Motto

Yup! Once again, hubby and a few friends put their bodies on the line and participated in Tough Mudder. This time I had the opportunity to cheer him on live. It was awesome to see the indomitable human spirit in action. I watched people try obstacles, fail (or fall down), get themselves back together and try again until they overcame their challenges. There was a woman in her late 40’s to early 50’s that tried to run up the ramp they called “Everest” numerous times, only to slide back down. Did she get discouraged? Nope! Instead, she got her mean on and said, “I’m not moving on until I get over this fucking thing!” And she didn’t. On her 5th or 6th try, she finally managed to grab one of the helpers waiting at the top and get pulled over. I couldn’t help but think…”She’s kinda badass!”

Tough Mudder also raises funds for the Wounded Warrior Project; a very admirable cause. As a military brat, I find this to be such an important cause. I’m sure you can imagine how choked up I got when I saw what looked to be a college ROTC group of men and women running the course together, carrying a flag pole with the US flag and the Wounded Warrior flag. Even more awesome was how they picked whomever was best at each obstacle to take the flag through the obstacles. This was especially challenging when watching them run up Everest, but they never faltered and that flag never touched the ground. Tears filled my eyes.

So to kick off this Thanksgiving season, I’m thankful that we arrived to the event safely and that everyone got through the event unharmed.

Before and After (Note the weather change and mud)

Before and After (Note the weather change and mud)

Normally, I’d probably end this post right about now, but not today. I want to share something I heard on Sunday morning that really bothered me and would love you guys to weigh in.

I was watching the NFL Network’s pre-game show when I heard Marshall Faulk say something that really bothered me. Don’t get me wrong, Marshall is such a Cowboy hater that he often bothers me, but this was different. He was talking with the rest of the cast about Jonathan Martin. For those of you who don’t know who he is…he’s the guy from the Miami Dolphins who was being bullied. At that time, the teammate who had been harassing him was not yet known, so it was basic bully talk.

Marshall said something to the effect of having always associated bullying as a child thing. He never thought an adult could be bullied. Don’t get me wrong…I completely understand the misconception…especially amongst professional athletes. Michael Irvin and Warren Sapp pointed out that there’s usually a brotherhood and camaraderie amongst professional athletes who battle in the trenches with you. With those kinds of relationships it can be shocking that someone could betray that trust by bullying.

But you know what? As I’ve been sitting here thinking, I’ve realized… Marshall’s misconception is not that uncommon. Somehow we think adulthood comes with a magic pill that makes the problems of youth disappear. Not true. Think about it….

How many people willingly talk politics these days? Not me. Why? Because you never know when you’ll be subjected to bullying simply for not sharing the same point of view as the person with whom you’re speaking. A close friend of mine was once told “I hope you get AIDS and die” simply because he was a gay man and a republican. So that’s a bit extreme, but how many of you have seen memes that basically say you’re stupid or dumb simply because your political views don’t align with someone else’s political agenda?

What about Westboro Baptist Church? Isn’t what they do bullying? They don’t tack an age limit to their actions or behaviors.

These are just a couple of obvious examples… and I’m sure they’re not the only ones. We need to really sit up and pay attention to what’s going on around us as well as our words and actions. No one deserves to be treated like less than human simply for not sharing your beliefs or point of view.

Have you experienced bullying? Have you seen adult bullying? Were you the victim? Have you had to step in to defend someone else? What was the circumstance?

The only way to overcome this epidemic is to open the lines of communication, get talking, and let folks know that this kind of behavior is unacceptable.

As more of the NFL story breaks, I’ve been glad to hear guys like Ron Jaworski say that there had to be more than the general hazing that comes with rookie-hood. It was great hearing Keyshawn Johnson talking about how racial slander and slurs, regardless of what race they’re pointed at, have no place in this world. I even shocked myself by nearly giving Cris Carter (who I can’t stand) a standing ovation when he pointed out that any death threats made by an NFL player is scary and should be taken seriously….and cited the player who’s currently on trial for murder (possibly more than one).

Yes, there were one or two who said that this player should have confronted his bully head on rather than going to leadership, but overall, he’s been receiving a ton of support. I’ve got a feeling that Jaws is right and there’s a lot more to this story than we’ve found out so far.

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16 thoughts on “Badasses and Bullies

  1. L.J. Kentowski says:

    Tough Mudder is TOUGH! That’s so awesome that he did it again 🙂 Kudos to your guy!

    I just heard last night about this bullying in the NFL. Horrible is all I can say and the guy deserves everything that comes to him. With all of the things we have to worry about in this world as it is, we need to learn to stick together, take care of others, and just be nice!

    • Kitt Crescendo says:

      The more that comes out about the bullying thing, the more angry I get. There are those who say he should have taken the guy on. I heard a very intelligent rebuttal today from a truck driver who called in to one of the sports talk shows. He pointed out that we have no idea what the victim’s state of mind it. He said that after he returned from the military he suffered from PTSD & someone was messing with him. He blacked out, and when he came to, he found out he’d nearly put the other guy in the hospital. As he said, “what if he’d retaliated and killed this guy? He’d be in jail.” He did the right thing to walk away. The announcer thanked him and agreed. He also pointed out that it could have further escalated on both sides.

  2. susielindau says:

    Bullying has no place in our world. I’ll never forget when a kid who bullied my son in grade school transferred high school. I held my breath. Then I heard from my son that the other kids wouldn’t put up with it. YAY! I’m reading Lord of the Flies which brings back those nasty playground memories. I was lucky and didn’t get bullied until high school. By then I could stand up for myself or find others to hang out with.

    • Kitt Crescendo says:

      You’re right. It has no place. Wish I could say bullies outgrow that behavior, but many never do. Glad your son escaped and you were old enough & emotionally strong enough to stand on your own.

  3. brickhousechick says:

    Congrats to your hubby on the Tough Mudder! And, yes. Very sad the lack of civility these days. Particularly with social media giving the erroneous perception that you can say whatever you want!

    Adult bullies have absolutely no excuse. It is their own children who end up bullying in school after learning from their parents. Good topic, Kitt. 🙂

    • Kitt Crescendo says:

      Thanks, Maria! The fact that people erroneously assume bullying stops with childhood is also quite eye opening. You’re right, too. Bullying behavior is often taught in the home, though I doubt many parents who exhibit the behavior even realize it or recognize it for what it is. Some of the child bullies act out the way they do because of how they are belittled and mistreated by their parents.

  4. filbio says:

    I just saw this post right after I put up on FB that threat about me doing a Tough Mudder. I think I will definitely do one this year. Warrior Dash got me into it this year and I had a blast.

    The bullying thing is out of control. No excuse for it or place in today’s society.

  5. Professor Taboo says:

    Sorry Kitt. Just getting a minute or two to ‘catch-up’ on my ba-jillion Follows. But making time for you! 🙂

    Naturally as a teacher, bullying is a critical subject that is discussed in schools & classrooms 2-3 times a year. It is sadly ironic that we make such a big deal in our schools for students, YET allow it as adults in society. It is identical behavior no matter what the age! And your point on political bullying is absolutely no different! Professional sports — and for that matter any level sports — is an interesting dichotomy: the difference between competitive sportsmanship and win-at-all-costs is blurred and confusing as I see it portrayed in the media, by athletes, and their organizations. And that is just on the field/courts; shouldn’t the highest level of professionalism be expected OFF THE FIELD too? Do these issues you mentioned in sports stem from hyper-active overstimulated programmed testosterone & neurological conditioning? Where does that line begin and end? Obviously many professional athletes as well as political activists have very difficult times controlling emotional and/or neurological urges.

    • Kitt Crescendo says:

      I know how busy you are these days, so I appreciate you taking the time to pop in. 🙂 Like you, I realize athletics tend to be a testosterone driven lifestyle. This situation is a bit more than the usual hazing, etc. The guy cursed at him, used the ‘N’ word, threatened to kill his family… And he has a history of “character issues” since college. It’s why teams chose to pass him up in the draft & why he was cut from 2 other teams.

      Sadly, the victim in all of this is being victimized further by several people who think he should have confronted this guy (who was considered the ‘leader’ of the offensive line that they both played on) and punched him even if he thought he might get his butt kicked. Does it not say something that this guy walked away from his professional career, something he’s worked his whole life toward, willing to leave that career permanently as he admitted himself into a hospital? That he was so uncomfortable to speak to fellow teammates or coaches that he felt this was his only alternative?

      Now it’s come to light that this guy with “character issues” may have been asked by a couple of coaches to “toughen up” the younger player. Seriously? You’re going to ask that of this guy & not monitor “how” he may do that or the progress? The whole thing is infuriating.

  6. Cowboys and Crossbones says:

    Congrats to hubby for completing the Tough Mudder!
    Bully sucks all the way around, no matter how you look at it. I believe that it has been around forever, just morphed from using the terms “teasing,” “mean girls,” “taunting,” to bullying. I think we hear more about it now, as people are speaking up – as well as being bullied from all angles. It infuriates me whenever I see any type of bullying taking place – from kids to adults. It makes my blood boil.

  7. Jeri Walker-Bickett (@JeriWB) says:

    I was bullied on Facebook by the parent of a former student. This student had been out of school for a year when I re-posted a rather ignorant meme and corrected its logic. Well, mommy went totally ballistic on me and her daughter unfriended me. The real irony was how I never called the mother names or stooped to her level, and she’s the one who is a devout Christian. Had I still been teaching, I would not have interacted that way, but since I’m not in the classroom anymore, I don’t have to worry about that kind of crap. Teachers are bullied in so many ways because the public holds them to such high (unrealistic) standards. Just yesterday, the news in Boise carried a story about an Idaho teacher who posted a photo of herself on Facebook. She’s been water-skiing and then posed for a pic with her hubby. He had placed his hand on her breast in the photo. Now she’s lost her job, but not hubby. Both of them are teachers and coaches. It will be interesting to see what happens. It’s very telling how people like to pick on each other for such stupid reasons.

    • Kitt Crescendo says:

      Utterly ridiculous. Why is it that people who hide behind religion as a crutch are always so big on name calling when they realize they’ve bitten off more than they can chew? How childish of her.

      And you’re right. Teachers are definitely under a very strong microscope. It always strikes me as a bit “off” that the excuse given is because they are who teach children what moral & upstanding people should look like. Correct me if I’m missing something, but shouldn’t that be the parents’ job? So why are these same stifling (and unattainable) rules of perfection not held for them, too? Who judges or polices them? I guarantee you teachers COULD, but are much more forgiving and understanding of these imperfections.

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