Piper Laurie, Carrie, and My Inner 7th Grade Girl


Piper Laurie as cray-cray, Margaret White

Much of my adult life is has been shaped by these three ladies.

In case you haven’t seen the movie Carrie (and whether you have or haven’t you MUST read the book!) it tells the story of a sheltered (literally and figuratively) , awkward, telekinetic teen named Carrie White who lives with her CA-RA-ZY, pathologically religious mother, brilliantly played by actress Piper Laurie. In one scene while Carrie is getting ready for prom, her delusional mother taunts her saying “They’re all going to laugh at you.” She also refers to her “dirty pillows”, but that’s subject matter for a different post.

Piper Laurie and my own personal history as a ridiculed kid* nibble at the back of my mind – CONSTANTLY. My Inner 7th Grade Girl fears judgment and being disliked by others – no matter who the others are. I allow Piper Laurie and My Inner 7th Grade Girl to hold me back and keep me limited by my fears.

Yesterday I had my bi-weekly call with my business coach, Allen. We’ve talked about Piper Laurie and My Inner 7th Grade Girl before, but this call was different. I willingly took the reigns for this call. I told Allen about some decisions I’ve made about the business, and goals and projects that I’ve set that will support those decisions – aka, Changes. Changes that I’ve thought about and even semi-implemented for months years. Changes that will allow me to make Performance Fitness even more rockin’ and allow me to have the business of my dreams. Changes that I haven’t fully implemented – because of fear.

Yesterday’s call took on a much different tone. Allen was blown away! “This is a whole new Michelle! What happened over the weekend?”

Honestly, I don’t really know what happened over the weekend. Maybe it was Mega Training.

Every October for six years I’ve gone to a conference led by the company that Allen works for, Net Profit Explosion (NPE), called Mega Training. This year the conference was in September, and for a variety of reasons I opted not to go.

There’s usually some sort of breakthrough that happens for me and many others at Mega Training, I just don’t always follow through on what I’ve learned because of fear and my “I can’ts”.

I guess even without being at this year’s event, the spirit of Mega Training was in the air. Maybe it was my colleagues’ (constant) Facebook posts popping up in my feed for three days. Maybe it was the images of my fellow NPE’ers overcoming their (legitimate, IMHO) fears of walking on broken glass. Whatever it was, I still experienced that breakthrough 980+ miles away right here in Havertown. But this time the energy around my breakthrough is different. This time there are no “I can’ts” upon returning from the testosterone-laden, “crush it!”, “killin’ it!” energy of Mega Training. This time there’s no return from conference fantasy land in sunny Orlando to the reality of business as usual in suburban Philadelphia. This time there’s just determination and “I wills”.

As always, my business epiphanies cross over into my personal life and visa versa. This morning I had a difficult, but very necessary conversation, with someone close to me, let’s call her “Daisy”. I’ve been delaying the conversation with Daisy for MONTHS – like 6 ½ of them! I had worried about the conversation and how it would go. I remember telling a coach with whom I did some life coaching this summer that I had avoided having the conversation because I knew how it would go. “Why are you making assumptions?”, my coach said. “Uh, history”, I said.

My worry over the conversation was preventing me from taking action, and its outcome was adding to the anxiety that was consuming my life. The truth was, I didn’t truly know how the conversation was going to go, and allowing my worry to avoid the conversation, because I feared that I would offend Daisy, wasn’t allowing either of us to move forward in our lives. Lord knows she wasn’t going to talk any action without a gentle push.

Well, that conversation this morning went exactly as expected! After all, Daisy and I have history! She became defensive, started making excuses, and playing the victim – reactions that annoy the f$#@ out of me, BTW. Teenaged-level drama for your mama, complete with “Well, I’ll just [insert dramatic action here] if you want me to.” Cheese on bread, lady!

In Daisy’s defense, I did kinda ambush her with a random “Have you given any more thought to what you’re going to do about [insert issue here]?” I’m not sure what caused the ambush. Maybe it was the memory of my life coaching sessions this summer and this failed action or maybe it was because I was listening to the book Psycho-Cybernetics this morning. The chapter was about worry and how our “I can’ts” are often not based in evidence or logic. Whatever the reason I guess I felt empowered. 🙂

So, I borrowed some techniques and concepts I’ve learned from my coaches and Psycho-Cybernetics and from my experience as a music therapist to help redirect the conversation and help Daisy take some action. I asked her what her worries were, how it would feel to take action, and what would be the results if she did take action. We ended with some action steps, and set a date to take again. The date setting was not just for Daisy, but also for me. I cannot allow myself to be in limbo for another 6 ½ months!

What’s holding Daisy (and me, and all of us) back is fear – fear of the unknown. She said she thinks about [insert situation here] every day – every morning when she gets up and every night when she goes to bed. What a miserable way to exist! Yet I get it. I’ve been there.

Her fears and lack of direction are causing her to constantly worry about said situation, but worry is a useless exercise. Action alleviates anxiety.

OK, so who cares, right? I’m sharing all this with you to inspire you to take action in your life, not just “random acts of action”, but thought out, purposeful action that leads you toward achieving your personal and fitness goals (remember, everything overlaps) and having your best life.

The other reason for the sharage? I’m going to be taking some action in the business, which means change – for the BETTER – in the way we do things. Is it scary for me? Hell YEAH, but I’m tired of feeling and being stuck. I’m tired of letting my inner seventh grade girl hold me back. I did a lot of work this summer centered around suppressing her. Now it’s time to vanquish that B*tch.


*Although ostracized throughout my childhood and teen years, unlike Carrie, I have a mom who’s religious in the healthy way, I’ve never been doused in pig’s blood, and I never used telekinesis to take out my classmates at prom.


  1. Emily F. Pollard, MD on October 2, 2014 at 10:24 am

    You rock……Boom!

    • michelle on October 2, 2014 at 12:54 pm

      Thanks, Emily!

  2. Alisa on October 6, 2014 at 7:22 am

    It is great to hear that you are facing your fears. At work, we call these “courageous conversations”. They are so hard to initiate, but if done well, can lead to growth and higher level understanding. You rock as do your “dirty pillows”.

    • michelle on October 6, 2014 at 4:49 pm

      Hahaha! Thanks, Lee! I think that’s my favorite comment EVER!