I’m 44! And in case you were wondering…
I’m about to turn 44 years old, which is weird because there are times when I feel like I’m still 16 (of course, there are also times when I feel like I’m 144). I don’t dread birthdays. I don’t see getting older as a curse. I think it’s a privilege that too many people never get. But, at the risk of sounding like an “old” person, I will say that the time has gone by REALLY quickly and has been jam packed with LIFE. Some of it good, some of it weird and some of it pretty friggin’ bad, but it’s been my life and all I can do is embrace it.
Some people like to say that age is just a number, but I strongly disagree. It’s so much more than just a number. Age is an accumulation of experiences and relationships that impact everything I do and everything I am.
So today on my 44th birthday, I’m sharing 44 facts about ME!
Some are things you might know, some you’d never guess. WHY am I doing this? To be honest, while you don’t want to live in the past, visiting it once in awhile can help you appreciate how far you’ve come. I realize this is completely self-indulgent, but hey, it’s my birthday!
Here we go:
1. My (ex) stepfather was the Satchel Bandit. He spent 2 years robbing banks between Montreal and Toronto. (He told us he was a caterer) He was caught in the act and convicted on 47 counts.
2. I was a contestant in the 1990 Golden Girl International Talent Competition where Jackie Stallone (Sly’s mom) was one of the judges and I WON! (Just kidding, I lost miserably. May have even come in last place)
3. When I was in my late teens I was followed around the Cavendish mall for an hour by two girls who thought I was British pop sensation Kylie Minogue.
4. For an entire year, I decided to change my name to Jordan and drove my mother crazy by refusing to answer to anything else.
5. I failed home economics in High school (cooking and sewing) which should really be of no surprise to anyone.
6. I have the absolute worst sense of direction and once got lost jogging in my own neighbourhood.
7. I am a HUGE UFC fan! The only way I can fall asleep is by alphabetically listing UFC fighters in my head. Some people count sheep, I count Silvas, Guidas and Fabers.
8. I got fired from Club Med for being bossy. (There’s an interesting story there..)
9. I flew to Mexico with 2 pieces of luggage. On the way there, the airline lost one of my bags. On the way back, they lost the other one.
10. I was the ONLY injured passenger in a via rail train crash in 1994. (I broke my nose) Canadian actor Saul Rubinek carried my bag off the train for me.
11. In 2000, I spent 2 months in the hospital (17 days in the I.C.U.) with kidney and respiratory failure. I was a medical mystery until 2 major surgeries confirmed that I had an unusual case of C-Diff, complicated by MRSA and pneumonia. I was given a 25% chance of surviving and was 5.5 months pregnant with our son Jackson. I couldn’t talk, eat or breathe on my own. After several weeks, I started to heal, but we lost Jackson. (His initials are tattooed on my ankle)
12. 3 years later, for reasons completely unrelated, I needed to have part of my liver removed. I now have quite a collection of Kickass Scars.
13. My scars are finally outnumbered by my tattoos. Scars:7 Tattoos:10
14. I worked at Pizza Hut for 1 day, but couldn’t handle the uniform.
15. I worked at a shoe store for a week, but couldn’t handle the feet.
16. I’ve never seen the movies: Ghostbusters, Gladiator, Braveheart or any of The Back to Future flicks.
17. Rob and I were contestants on Love Handles, the Canadian version of The Newlywed game hosted by Stu Jeffries and we won! Our prize was a train ride from Vancouver to Banff.
18. My first non-fitness related job was at the Second Cup cafe on Church street in downtown Toronto. I was their only heterosexual employee and met the most amazing people and learned a lot.
19. I became a vegetarian at 17, not for moral or ethical reasons, but because a friend of mine dared me to go a WEEK without eating meat which turned into 27 years simply because I can be UBER competitive.
20. I met actor Jerry O’Connell when I was a “special skilled” extra on his teen show “My Secret Identity”. He teased me about how I wiggled when I walked. (FYI..he played a 14 year old with superpowers).
21. I moved from Montreal to Toronto on my own when I was 19 years old and had a CRAZY roommate who lied about EVERYTHING and stole whatever I didn’t hide. Last I heard, he was collecting money for a fake charity he created.
22. When I was 15 or 16, one of my family members had an insane stalker who terrorized us for months and forced us to spend some time at a friend’s place when he put his fist through our kitchen window. It took awhile (no stalker laws back then) but he was finally arrested.
23. On my 18th birthday, my mother got me a cake that said,”Happy Birthday Bitch”. She was extremely embarressed to order it, but it was an inside joke between the two of us and I thought it was a hoot! She also came with me and some of my friends to Club 281 (the only male strip club in Montreal at the time). She thought it was funny that I wanted her to join me and my friends at our first time at a strip club…she had no idea it wasn’t our first time at this strip club.
24. I once got up to sing a Rihanna song at a PACKED Karaoke bar and completely forgot how to sing it. Instead of singing, I ended up repeating, “Holy shit, how does it go again??” over and over until the song ended.
25. Before I was 30, I had lost my mother, my brother, my father and my baby, Jackson. Every year on their birthdays (and mine) as well as on the anniversaries of the days I lost them, I do Random Acts of Kindness around the city so I can celebrate their lives instead of mourn their deaths.
26. Whenever I walk through the cologne department of a department store, I find the Polo Cologne (green bottle) and smell it. It was what my brother Billy wore and it reminds me of him.
27. I’m a terrible cook.
28. I used to have a crush on Pink and now I want to be her.
29. In Grade 2, I wrote a petition about my French teacher because he was mean to the girls and violent with the boys and while I didn’t want him to be fired, I did want things to change. All but one kid in my class signed it. After an intimidating conversation with the principal where I spoke my mind, the principal and the teacher called my home and apologized to me and to my parents. The teacher was much friendlier after that and I learned that I had a voice and the right to use it.
30. Before getting into recovery for my eating disorder, I once walked to the gym, alone, at midnight on a Sunday (1 hour away), worked out for 2 hours and then walked back at 3am because I felt I had eaten too much that day. My fear of gaining weight was stronger than my fear of the danger I was potentially putting myself in that night.
31. The only reason I went into recovery was because I felt that my sons deserved a mom who was at least half as amazing as mine was. Even though I had given up on myself, I could never give up on them. I gave them life. They saved mine.
32. #31 came out sounding much more dramatic than I had planned.
33. At my Sweet 16 party, while I was dancing with my friends, somebody stole ALL of my gifts. I heard he pawned them for drugs.
34. In high school, my best friend hit another friend in the face because she didn’t like the way she talked to me and got suspended for it.
35. Twenty-five years later, I’m friends with both of them.
36. When I was a teenager, I was an extra in a Uma Thurman movie and had to stand outside in the freezing cold while garbage was being thrown at me. (Not worth the crappy pay)
37. I made a promise to myself many years ago, that I would someday, somehow meet Prince and tell him about my brother who was a major fan. He constantly listened to his music when he was in the hospital and when he died, we put Prince casettes (it was 1987) in his casket with him.
38. Several years ago, I did a print ad for MILK where I played a “Plain Jane Mom” who was hiding in their kid’s school locker. It was not comfortable.
39. I took drum lessons for a month, always wanted to learn sign language and presently, wouldn’t mind learning how to box.
40. My first book was recently published. I wrote it for parents who are trying to raise healthy, happy, self-confident kids in a society that keeps telling them they’re just not good enough. I wrote it because I spent most of my life feeling like I wasn’t good enough and robbed me of relationships, dreams and goals. It took me until I was in my 30s to find recovery and I’ve made it my mission to save other kids from going through the trauma I couldn’t avoid.
41. Last October I was a guest on Geraldo Rivera’s TV show on Fox where I debated the Fit Mom debacle with fit mom, Maria Kang, herself. It was an interesting experience.
42. I don’t hate Nickelback.
43. I would much rather spend a day with Honey Boo Boo’s family than Kim Kardashian’s
44. One day, if I’m ever brave enough, I will add to this list the things that would truly shock and amaze most of my friends and family, but I’m not ready yet…and either are they.
What would your list look like?
The “Satchel Bandit” A.K.A. Eddie