An Open Letter To Cheerleading (and to parents who are struggling with letting their kid try a new hobby)

I remember my first ever cheer tryouts. I was a shy and awkward 6th grader who worshiped her one and only Hollister shirt because having it meant, in my mind, that I would fit in.

(I wish I could dig up more pics from middle school cheer, 
but I can't so I'll share the pics from my cheer career that I COULD find)
Cheer camp at the Wisconsin Dells with University of Northern Iowa, summer of 2013.

To those of you who know me and my loud mouth now you would be shocked to know that I was kind of shy at this point in my life. It didn’t help that just one year prior I had fallen off the monkey bars at recess and knocked my teeth parallel to the roof of my mouth. There was blood everywhere, including on my favorite pair of jeans. I cried out of concern that I’d have to throw the pants away, never mind the teeth. Naturally, it took some time for those teeth to find their way back from the roof of my mouth into the front of my mouth where they should be, in a smile. On top of that, it was only 6th grade and I was already taller than most guys in school, I also didn’t know how to do my hair yet, I had just learned how to attempt to pluck my eyebrows. Oh, let’s not forget I was right around the corner from getting teenage acne.

I was awkward. I’m not sure what possessed me to try cheerleading. I’m putting my bets on the fact that I had been doing gymnastics for years already, so this was the logical next step.

Anyway, I made the cheerleading squad! The awkward 11 year old girl who was trying to find her voice in the world made the squad! Hellllooo popularity! Or so I thought.

Turns out, cheerleading didn’t end up being this huge quest for popularity that I thought it would be. Sure, in middle school, that is exactly what it was. But as I not only grew older, but also grew in my passion for cheerleading, I grew into someone completely different, with a different mindset.

Cheerleading, you helped me blossom into the fearless, confident, and strong woman that I am today. Not only that, but through it, I learned at a younger age than most, how important it was to be nice to everyone. Does it sound cliche to say that out of all sports, cheerleading, was the one to shape me into the woman I am today? Maybe. But I know damn well that I wouldn’t be where I am today (like physically would not be living where I am), have the relationships i do, hell I probably wouldn’t have the career path I have, if I didn’t make the squat.

And it started in that musty middle school gymnasium, in small town Illinois, on a hot May day back in 2004.

I made the squad Y’ALL!

Now let me time out for a second:

To all the parents out there reading this,

or any hopeful parents-to-be let me tell you my one piece of advice. Its advice coming not from a fellow parent, but from a daughter who is thankful that her parents did this one thing for her.

Let your kids choose their passion and let them love it hard.

It doesn’t matter what sport, hobby, or extra curricular they fall in love with, let them love it. A child learning to be passionate about something all on their own is a really special thing. Because when they get older, and when it comes time to start making decisions about their life, all on their own, it’s their passions that will drive them to those decisions more than anything else.

My parents were both jocks, like they were each amazingly good at their sports. So it made sense that they enrolled both me and my brother in various sports growing up. I played softball for 10 years, up until my sophomore year of college and I was good. I tried volleyball, that was a bust. I consider basketball but couldn’t make a lay up to save my life, so sayonara to basketball.

Had my parents “forced” me to stay in softball when I wanted to quit because of a coach that ruined it all for me, then I would not have finished my high school career, and then my college career with cheerleading. Hell, I would have gone to a different school entirely had I been in the mindset to stay on the track to “play ball at the collegiate level”. My parents were jocks but they let me try, and then excel at cheerleading. And when it was the sport that I fell in love with, they supported me without blinking an eye. They would even drive 3 hours to watch me cheer in high school at a far away football game, in the freezing freaking cold rain. My dad became “Super Fan Dan” as my high school squad got good at competitive cheer, and made it to the state competition finals year after year.

They saw my passion, they saw me fall in love with it, and the supported me SO HARD.

And because of that single passion, I have molded into the person I am today.

You see cheerleading, you were more than just a “oh let’s see if I’ll like this sport”, you changed the trajectory of… ME.

Had I not made the squad, I wouldn’t have fallen in love with cheerleading, and then I wouldn’t have done it in high school.

Had I not done it high school I would have put my attention and efforts into softball.

Had my efforts been in softball, I would have tried to play at the collegiate level.

Had I tried to play at the collegiate level I’m 99% sure I would not have ended up at the University of Northern Iowa.

Had I not ended up at UNI, I wouldn’t have met my best friends.

Had I not met my best friends I wouldn’t have met my husband.

Had I not met my husband, I wouldn’t have my 3 animals. I wouldn’t have moved to North Carolina. I wouldn’t have begun volunteering with Triad Golden Retriever Rescue. I wouldn’t have become an Orangetheory Coach.

I wouldn’t be HERE.

On top of that, I wouldn’t have developed the skills and traits that I have now, that have helped me go for things I wouldn’t have otherwise.

My outgoing nature?

I can thank cheerleading for that. It’s pretty damn hard to be an enthustiatic cheerleader and also be a total introvert. Is it possible? Yep. But that’s not how the cards played for me, and I’m glad. Because with this extroverted and outgoing nature, I have tried SO MANY THINGS that I don’t see introverts around me trying.

Cheering in front of crowds of thousands in college? What a freaking experience.

Walking in two fashion shows? Some would say hello NERVES. I said hello EXPERIENCE.

Being a fitness coach? Try doing that without an outgoing personality feeding into your energy.

My strange comfort in public speaking?

Yep, let’s thank cheerleading for that. I mean cheerleading is public speaking after all, we just change the pitch of our voices

But for real, it’s weird, I actually really like public speaking.

My most looked forward to school events and assignments? Presentations. PowerPoints, etc.

Without my innate ability for public speaking, combined with my extroverted nature, I wouldn’t have been selected in college to be on a team of 3 to go present a topic at the National Convention for Society of Public Health Education- and get second place in the nation!

My ability to be friends with virtually anyone, and my desire to include everyone?

You guessed it. Cheerleading.

Now, let me pause and say that all cheerleading squads I was apart of were not your stereotypical “bitch” squads, like you might have guessed. Because of that, I think my friendly nature that I already had, had a chance to thrive even more.

My excitement about LIFE?


Learning how to be excited about a turnover, a 3-point swish, a touchdown, an interception, or whatever, and being excited about those time. after. time. instills a deep excitement for everything! I’m proud to say I’m generally a very optimistic and excited person now-a-days.

Once a cheerleader. Always a cheerleader.

Not to mention the friends I made or the connections made because of cheerleading

It’s been like a rollercoaster that keeps picking up speed. It started with cheerleading. Then it was meeting the friends I did, deciding to go to a college because I had heard about it from someone I used to cheer with. Then it was getting to college and deciding to cheer, which introduced me to new people, my husband, etc. The roller coaster kept picking up even after I was done cheering as it led me to becoming a fur-mom, into a new state, into a new career path, and so much more!

Just like any other sport, hobby, etc. Cheerleading put me on this roller coaster of excitement, and even though I’ve been out of cheer for 5 years now, my roller coaster is not. slowing. down.

Some kids might fall in love with football or soccer like you envision them to. And those sports might turn into passions that catapult them into greatness such as playing on scholarship in college, or hell for the amazingly talented and lucky few, going pro. But for other kids, theater, piano, tae-kwan-do, fine arts, or even cheerleading might be what they become so passionate about that it’s impossible to ignore.

So don’t ignore it. Help them in any way you can. But ultimately, let them make their decisions about where they want to go with that passion and what they want to do. Not only are they learning to make decisions on their own, they’re molding themselves into pretty fantastic human beings.

Who would have thought that cheerleading had the capacity to change the trajectory of my life so much?

But it did. It all started in a musty middle school gymnasium, in small town Illinois, on a hot May day back in 2004.

And because of that, from my 26 year old self to my 11 year old self, I thank you cheerleading. And I thank everyone who I came in contact with throughout my time as a cheerleader, and every experience I got out of it.

Thanks for reading!

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Or one passionate person to another, follow me on Instagram!
Love, Carly

Rescue Dogs Know They’ve Been Saved

Just last week we were down in Fort Lauderdale, FL for a vacation. We stayed at an Airbnb at a pretty darn nice apartment complex. Every morning before hitting the music festival we were there for, we would go to the pool. It was here we met Rex, and Rex’s parents.

Rex was a rescue dog.

And every day around lunch time they would come down to the pool and he would lay in the chair, or on the ground, whatever felt right that day. Just like he and his owner do every other day of the week. And he would just watch the commotion around him and take in the sounds of the dripping water.

Rex, they assume, used to be a bait dog. Although they can’t be sure. His ears were chipped and clipped, a trait seen on bait dogs. He also had scars on his body.

Yet, he was always smiling. He would lick everyone’s face with the most aggressive and loving kisses as if he was licking spoonfuls of peanut butter off your face. He was so freaking happy, and so freaking grateful.

Rescue dogs know they’ve been saved. You can see it in their eyes, in their demeanor, in everything they do. Even the ones who are skiddish because of the internal scars from their previous lives, you can still tell how grateful they are to be where they are now and not where they used to be.

Rescue dogs are a breed all of their own. And I think everyone needs to experience it.


Me? I’ll admit, my two Goldens I got from a breeder, which I am not regretful of, nor am I ashamed. That’s a blog post all of it’s own (and coming soon!) However, I work, or I should say, volunteer, in animal rescue. Since November of 2017 I have dedicated over 200 hours of my personal time to helping dogs who are less fortunate. But boy, they turn out to be the most fortunate dogs you could come across once they find their forever home.

There’s something about seeing a rescue dog realize that their life has forever changed. It could happen the moment the kennel door opens at the shelter, or when they settle into their foster home, or when they meet their forever family. Something, somewhere along their timeline, it sparks. And they beam from the inside out.

(My rescue cat – we LOVE him, he’s a character, clearly- and my not-so-rescued dogs)


I wanted to prove my point to you even further, so I took to Instagram to ask people to share with me their stories, feelings, and thoughts on their own personal rescue dogs. Here’s what they said:

What has been the best, and more rewarding part of rescuing?

  • Watching her bloom from a terrified of everything dog, to a full, bouncy, loving dog- it’s beautiful.
  • Seeing a once scared pup blossom into a goofy, loving dog. the change in personality over time is the best
  • Knowing that I got them out of whatever hell the were living in before. Knowing that I gave them a much better life and love them better than anyone else ever could.
  • Knowing that he has a safe home- with me!

What has rescue taught you?

  • Rescuing is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re going to get.
  •  That people suck sometimes BUT there are also a lot of really awesome people out there that dedicate their lives to helping animals. See the good in the world
  • So many dogs lose their life each day because not enough people rescue (and I will add because people also suck, and put these dogs in the unfortunate situations, that is also why so many lose their lives).

What would you say to someone thinking about rescuing an animal?

  • It is literally that, you’re rescuing them. To watch my girl grow and become a loving carefree dog, that’s my favorite part. To see her settle in to bed or next to me knowing she’s now safe. She’s HOME. More animals deserve that feeling.
  • If you are ready to put in some work DO IT, its life changing (for you and the dog).
  • You will always know you saved a precious life.

And my most favorite, full of heart, full of passion and love, message that I got:

“It was the most rewarding and love-filled experience we (as a family) had together. The best part of rescuing is knowing that your dog’s life could have looked so different if not for you. You’re able to provide a home, endless love, and a sense of security and community for this beautiful animal who is totally dependent on the actions of others for her quality of life. Rescue taught me to be humble, it taught me about myself and the capacity I had to be a mom, and it reminded me of the absolute most joyful purity that dogs bring to the world. If I had the chance to adopt 100 more dogs, I would rescue 100 times out of 100. For someone considering rescue, they should think about the potential they have to change a dog’s life. You will not regret that extra family member. I miss mine daily.”


(Photo courtesy of Mikaela Hammes and her rescue pup Cooper)

And with that…

April 30 is National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day.

If you’re ready to add a 4 legged love ball to your family, then consider taking action on this day!

But do your due diligence first. Research now what it takes to raise a dog- the costs involved- monetary, physical, emotional, etc cost. Know how much time and patience it takes. Most importantly, be familiar with the fact that different types of breeds have different behavioral traits.

Then, when your due diligence is done. Take a trip to your local shelter. Be a dog’s hero today (or on April 30th 😉 ). And share this with a friend– allow them to be a dog’s hero too.

(Pictures courtesy of Jessica Stricker and her rescue pup Bella)


Follow me on Instagram @lifeofcarlyb_

Notable animal rescue Instagram profiles, follow them too!




And the picture that hit me in the gut so hard this week while scrolling Pinterest.

Bless the rescuers, curse the abandoners

In health, love, and wet doggie kisses,
❤ Carly

Balance is… Having a Mimosa in Each Hand


What a f*cking buzzword right now, am I right?

It’s something I’ve practiced, and something I’ve preached for years now.

But now? Someone will look at a cupcake while drinking an ounce of water and #hashtagbalance

It’s cool, I want you all to have balance. I want you all to experience the freedom that comes with balance.

But let’s talk about what balance actually is, and how you can achieve it.

And friend, I’m not talking about finding balance between the hours you spend in the gym and the amount of donuts you put in your mouth like the 15.4M hashtags on Instagram suggest.  I’m talking about balance in your f*cking LIFE.

Oh yeah, I’m fired up.

Finding life balance: how do we do it? What does it look like?

Well, it looks different for everyone.

To someone, it could be learning to allow themselves to enjoy a burger on the weekend, without running 10 miles the next day to work it off. To them, that’s a balance win, simply enjoying that burger. Because in the past, their need for self-control would have taken over, and they would have eaten half a salad and brought the other half home for lunch the next day, all while watching their friends gorge themselves in nachos and beer.

To someone else it’s letting go of toxic relationships. Because they understand the value of living their life for THEM. The value of being surrounded by uplifting people. They’ve learned that their life has been out of balance for awhile now, so they looked around them at what could be throwing that equilibrium off kilter.

Or for someone else it’s letting their mom watch their 4-month-old child for a few hours so they can go to the gym and then get a massage. It’s the balance of being a good mom by taking care of their child while also being a good mom while taking care of themselves.

Or to a yogi, balance might quite literally mean the ability to stand on one’s head.

To me? Balance is doing whatever the f*ck I please, not recklessly, but in a way where I don’t have to overthink it. If I want to have late night pizza two nights in a row after drinking beer and Malibu all day, like I did last weekend, I can. My lifestyle supports that. I drink water like a fish every day. So much that I probably piss out enough clear water to hydrate an underdeveloped country. I work out hard, and smart, 4-5 days a week. My lifestyle supports my desire to indulge when I want and where I want.

To me, it is also staying in with my husband on a Friday night and then going out with the girls on Saturday. Life, and relationships, demand balance too.

To me, it is sleeping in on my days off to catch up on that deeply needed sleep. Even if my schedule says it’s time to workout, if my body needs sleep, it gets sleep (as much as I can manipulate my schedule to allow that though. This is the hardest area for me to find balance).

To me, it’s giving myself some leniency in my daily checklist. Sometimes I just can’t get everything done. Some days I volunteer with animal rescue, but that means I don’t have time to walk my dogs. That day. Some days I clean the whole freaking house, and some days I only clean up after my dinner mess and go watch New Girl instead of vacuuming the floors. Some days I win the mental battle of looking on the bright side of things, and other days I don’t. Some weeks my days balance each other out. Good day, then bad day, back to a good day. Quite frankly, balance looks different on each given day, because each day demands something different out of me. But that, that, is the beauty of balance. It’s figuring out where there are high and low points that don’t meet the equilibrium. Sometimes, often times, it’s about looking at the bigger picture. What you learn to balance today will help you learn to balance the bigger picture, and that bigger picture is your life.

And that’s my point.

Balance is more, balance is so freaking much more.

I want you to have balance in multiple aspects of your life. Hell, I even want you to find a way to balance those aspects of your life out. To find a point where all areas of your life can coincide in harmony, without one pulling and weighing you down harder than the other. Woah, big statement, I know.

Here’s some ways to start:

  1) Look at the areas of your life that are draining you, first.

Where can you cut the cord, where can you improve? Let’s start there. Because likely, these areas that are draining you are some of the biggest aspects of your life. It’s best to balance out the largest scale you have first, then work on the smaller ones. Because if you start small, you might miss the point when they become balanced, because other, unbalanced areas, will be weighing them down disproportionally.

  2) Look at how you treat yourself.

Out of everyone you come in contact with, do you treat yourself the most poorly? Are you treating yourself like dirt, not giving yourself a break, running yourself into the ground? I’m going to answer that for you. Yes, you are. We all do it. We are all hardest on yourself. Now this isn’t a quick fix, but look for the area that you can give yourself a double high five in first. Have you been making progress in the gym? Double high five! Now stop beating yourself up over those last few pounds (because news flash, they actually don’t matter!). Is your relationship at its highest point ever? Are you and your significant other thriving together (maybe at the cost of some friendships, but hey cut that cord). Okay, cool, double high five! How about your job? Your kids? Your mental health, sleep health, skin health, etc.? Chances are you have been making big strides in at least one area of your life, but you haven’t been able to see it because you have been tearing yourself down for so long, over so many things. It’s time to start realizing when progress is happening, and freaking celebrate!

  3) Learn this definition, & remind yourself of it daily:

Balance: (noun)

an even distribution of weight enabling someone or something to remain upright and steady.

You my friend, you are the “something” that needs to be upright and steady. Not leaning on something or someone. You don’t need a crutch, you just need you, standing upright and steady like a damn brick wall, all by your damn self!

  4) Now write this down on a sticky note and post it every freaking where:

“I am the writer of my own storybook”.

In case you forgot, the only person who can change the trajectory of your life is YOU, and God, but He knows where you’re going long before you do, and He wants to watch you see yourself through it.

  5) And finally, buddy up!

I believe everything in life is better with a buddy, but only if that buddy is vibing the way you are. If you’re trying to be better about finding balance with your nutritional choices, don’t do it with a buddy who will always encourage the unhealthy choice. If you’re trying to find balance with taking care of your family while taking care of yourself, a buddy who mom shames is not the buddy for you. You get the point?

Balance is freedom. It is not a free for all.

To have balance you must be able to know when you need to subtract or add things from each side. When one side is too heavy, it feels too heavy, it weighs you down.

Freedom to say yes to things that positively affect your life.

Freedom to do things that lift you up instead of bring you down.

Freedom to feel guilt free, to not overthink, to just simply be.

Balance is having a mimosa in each hand my friends.

One for you, and one for your buddy.

Or maybe two for you, if that’s how you’re vibing that day, it’s okay to be selfish

Don’t think too hard about it. Just pour the bubbly into those cups. Maybe bubbles aren’t your thing, maybe you’d rather fill your cups with water, a bloody mary, or an ice cold fountain pop. Whatever it may be, I need you fill your cup, fill it to the brim baby! But make sure its filled to the brim with the very best. Fill those cups with a smile and positive energy.

Most importantly, make sure that all of your cups are filling equally.

Because no one likes to get gypped on mimosas.


Thanks for reading friends

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The truth about the cost of your health and your healthcare

Here’s what you should know about the price of your health

It gets expensive

You probably think I’m talking about the high cost of health food. Or how ridiculous gyms are for making you want to pay more than $10 a month. Or how the cost of workout clothes can add up.

Well friend, that is not what I’m here to talk about.

Does caring for your own personal health get expensive? Hell-freaking-yes. Do you only have one body to live in? Hell-freaking-yes. There’s a common phrase we’ve all heard; “your body is a temple.” What do all of the temples in the world have in common? They are highly regarded, highly thought of and in most cases highly guarded

So you think I’m talking about how eating healthy, paying for gym memberships, etc. gets expensive? I mean, that’s what stops us from getting healthy in the first place right? The fact that it’s so expensive? 

Wrong, it’s the:

  • Blood pressure medicine because well, you’ve gained weight, your insides are screaming at you for some tender love & care, but you don’t hear. There’s medicine to cover that cry!
  • Diabetes medicine because well, you’ve gained weight, your insides are screaming at you for some tender love & care, but you don’t hear. There’s medicine to cover that cry! (Okay, I realize that in some cases diabetes is hereditary and can’t be avoided)
  • Osteoarthritis medicine because well, you’ve gained weight, your insides are screaming at you for some tender love & care, but you don’t hear. There’s medicine to cover that cry!
  • Sleep medicine because your overall health has impacted your ability to sleep
  • The costs of visiting multiple doctors, multiple times a year, or month

Let me clump society together for a second here and pretend that society as a whole has one collective head. We have this ridiculous thought in our head that being healthy is the expensive way. When in fact, our attempt at healing debilitating diseases, fighting disease, fighting to live, fighting to regain your healththat is what is expensive.

America has taught us to believe…

That because you can get a $2 meal at McDonalds, anything other than that is simply preposterous. We look at an $8 salad from the local grocery store salad bar and pass on that for the $3 slice of pizza (let alone, completely ignore the fact that we could make that same salad for a family of four for $8 ourselves). We are so blind to what we are actually doing to our bodies that we think saving those $5 for this meal is going to save us big time in the long run. 

FALSE. Your wallet might be temporarily saved, but your body is NOT.

America needs to be educated.

America needs to get its’ priorities straight.

What is the main goal of all fast food chains? To market to you and to sell to you in a way that makes you want to buy their products. Like OMG MCRIBS ARE BACK AND THEY’RE ONLY A DOLLAR! GET EM WHILE YOU CAN BECAUSE THEY’LL BE GONE BEFORE YOU KNOW IT! (oh they’ll be back. Never mind the fact that they suck). Your brain sees that the beloved McRib is back and thinks “I must stop at McDonalds, right now, even though I am not hungry”.

So we eat the bad stuff. We eat the cheap stuff. We put crap into our body as if it were a garbage disposal. Do you know that garbage disposal even needs to be cleaned and cared for regularly? Why don’t you do that to your body?

Then there comes a point where the waistline has expanded and you’ve already had to buy new clothes (newsflash, all of those “$5 you saved” are now being spent on a new wardrobe). So we’re at this point where it, and by IT I mean the WEIGHT (of our actions), has crept up on us. We might not necessarily be at the point of needing any sort of medicine, because we haven’t been diagnosed with anything, yet. Instead, we fall into further marketing bullshit and try to do the “quick fixes” to “save our bodies”. We invest in pills, wraps, teas, diets, shakes, this & that, and the list goes on. Remember those $5 you saved when you chose to not buy the healthier option because “healthy is expensive”? Yeah, well you’ve already spent that on your new, fat pants wardrobe. Now, in a desperate effort to turn things around QUICK, you spend more money (money that you might not even have in the first place) on these quick fixes.

You’re already in the hole and we’re not even to the “needing medicine part”.

Have you ever tried those quick fixes before? I’m willing to bet that you have. Most of America has. If you haven’t, I guarantee you know at least 3 people who have. 

What’s the common trend with those quick fixes? That’s right, they don’t work! “But Sally Sue’s cousins best friend said that THIS was the product that would change it all. It’s THE FIX. It will cure above all. Hands down, case closed”


They don’t work. Congratulations, you just spend $30-$100 on each “quick fix”. You were desperate for 6 months all while buying into these things that didn’t work, and likely, you didn’t change your diet or your exercise routine. So here you are, still in your fat guy pants. A larger waistline and a smaller wallet to show. 

As if that wasn’t the icing on the cake, you go to your annual doctor’s appointment.

You tell her that you are having trouble sleeping. She does a stress test. Sleep apnea. Let’s get you set up with all the things to fix that. Please make sure to write a check for $500 and we’ll get you set up and on your way.

Or she takes your blood pressure and WOAH where did those numbers come from?! We totally missed the stage of pre-hypertension. You my friend, are in full blown hypertension. Time to medicate. Please go write a check for $400 and we’ll send you on your way.

Or you tell her that you’ve been having a lot of joint and knee problems. You don’t know where or when it started but you’ll be damned if you can’t walk from the couch to the fridge without those knees creaking. You’ve developed osteoarthritis. Let’s forget the fact that the pain is being made worse from being overweight, let’s just take your $300 and send you on your way.

Or you, you unfortunate poor soul, you have problems with all 3. And your insurance is not going to cover your sleep apnea machine, and only a portion of your blood pressure and osteoarthritis medicine. You’re looking at spending $400-1,000- just this month. Remember when you saved $5 back in the day though?!

Okay, I may have embellished those dollar amounts a bit, and I do know damn well that in each scenario the doctor would have mentioned the need to lose weight and exercise. But would you have gotten the point as well if not?

Let me throw some stats at you:

(if you’re not interested in these stats, please skip to the end for final points)

1. High blood pressure:

According to CDC.GOV:

How many Americans have high blood pressure?

About 75 million American adults (29%) have high blood pressure—that’s 1 in every 3 American adults (!!!!!!!). Anyone, including children, can develop high blood pressure.

Do you know that high blood pressure greatly increases the risk for heart disease and stroke? Did you know that those are the first and third leading causes of death in the United States.

How much does high blood pressure cost the United States?

Total costs associated with high blood pressure in 2011 (a little outdated, but sometimes these stats are only fully updated every 10 years. So let’s assume this number is actually higher) in the US were $46 billion in health care services, medications, and missed days of work.

  • Not covered by health insurance? Well then you’re looking at spending between $740 and $1,200 or more per year
  • Annual average cost for doctor’s visits? You’re looking at $454 per year
  • Oh and that prescription medication? I mean you need it. $407

according to a report by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality

  • Adults with hypertension accounted for 40.8 percent of all healthcare spending despite comprising only 18 percent of the study sample.
  • The greatest disparity in annual healthcare spending between hypertensive and non-hypertensive peers existed among 19- to 26-year-olds ($15,812 versus $2,927).

For more info on hypertension from CDC.GOV, click here for more info

2. Sleeplesness

In 2015, Americans spent an estimated $41 billion on sleep aids and remedies. With sleep issues continuing to rise, that number is expected to grow to $52 billion by 2020.

If you are one of the 164 million Americans who have sleep issues (and medication) or are falling into the black whole of sleeplessness, let me suggest you read this article by Harvard Health.

3. Diabetes:

According to CDC.Gov

The average cost for people with diagnosed diabetes is about $16,750 per year. People with diabetes spend 2.3 TIMES AS MUCH per year in medical cost compared to those without.

For America as a whole, the total estimated cost of diagnosed diabetes in 2017 was $327 billion. The breakdown of this cost includes (direct link to this info here) :

Direct medical costs:

$237 billion

  • Hospital inpatient care ($69.7 billion).
  • Prescription medications to treat the complications of diabetes ($71.2 billion).
  • Antidiabetic agents and diabetes supplies ($34.6 billion).
  • Physician office visits ($30.0 billion).
  • Nursing/residential facility stays ($6.4 billion).

Indirect costs:

$90 billion

  • Increased absenteeism ($3.3 billion).
  • Reduced productivity while at work ($26.9 billion) for the employed population.
  • Reduced productivity for those not employed ($2.3 billion).
  • Inability to work as a result of disease related disability ($37.5 billion).
  • Lost productive capacity due to early mortality ($19.9 billion).

4. Osteoarthritis 

According to CDC.Gov

Osteoarthritis, is the most common type of arthritis and affects more than 30 million adults in the United States. It is also among the most expensive conditions to treat when joint replacement surgery is required. Osteoarthritis, which is degeneration of the joint cartilage and underlying bone, costs $185 billion dollars a year. Of which, insurance generally accounts for $149 billion, and patients pay $36 billion. For more info on the costs, click here.

Alright let’s break those stats down

  • American population (as of 2018 census): 327.2 million
  • Total blood pressure cost in the U.S: $46 billion
  • Total sleeplessness cost in the U.S: $41 billion
  • Total diabetes cost in the U.S: $327 billion
  • Total osteoarthritis cost in the U.S: $36 billion

If we were to average the cost for each medical issue across the entire U.S. population, here’s what it would look like for EACH PERSON

  • Blood pressure: $140.5
  • Sleeplessness: $125
  • Diabetes: $999
  • Osteoarthritis: $110

Again, that’s the cost per year if we could average it across the entire U.S. population, which we can’t. Meaning that cost per person actually living with the disease is staggeringly higher.

I bet you’re wishing you had spent $8 on that Salad 5 years ago, huh Johnny?

You have one body to live in.

One body to protect.

One body to nourish.

I’m not sure why people put so much care into the upkeep and looks of their cars, their houses, their lawns, their boats or “grown up toys”, and quite literally anything along those lines, but cannot get themselves to take care of THEIR OWN BODIES?!

Wake up America. Wake the F up.

And while you’re up, go grab those sneakers, go for a walk, or a run. And when you’re done have a nutritional breakfast.

And then repeat those efforts daily.





Further resources:

Triad Golden Retriever Rescue – Join our efforts!

Shameless plug for my favorite non-profit organization, Triad Golden Retriever Rescue out of Greensboro, North Carolina.

Yes, this is a different blog post from what I normally post, but C’MON PEOPLE WE NEED YOUR HELP!

Coming up on Saturday, April 27, we are participating in our largest fundraising event of the year- The Human Race 5k FUN RUN!

Did I mention it is also the Human Race’s 25th anniversary this year?! So big & fun things will be happening.

Our fundraising goal has just been increased to $2,000- can you help us pass that?!

How can you help?

It’s simple:

Join our team of fundraisers by creating 
your own fundraising page CLICK here

Donate to our team fundraising page 
(no need to join as a fundraiser yourself) CLICK here

Share this blog, the link to our team page, or both!

Come join us on 'race day'! And tell your friends too. 
The more publicity the better!

(TGRR at the Human Race 2018)

Did we mention your dogs are welcome to walk the 5k with you?!

Where does your donation go?

Vet check ups and procedure (a large portion). Every dog we get in goes through a vet check up to make sure they are up to date on vaccines, etc. If they aren’t microchipped or fixed, they get that done. And in the unfortunate case of a more serious medical issue (heartworm, broken bones, mange, etc), we still cover the cost to get that done! We try to put the best possible effort into our dogs. And yes, I said our dogs because every dog that comes through our organization steals all of our hearts!

Misc fees such as participating at events, or booths, transportation costs, items that the foster homes might need, etc.

And if you’re encourage to do more with us, well dear friend, we are ALWAYS accepting new volunteers! Especially foster homes. The amount of work you put into your volunteer time is UP TO YOU! I’ve been with Triad Golden Retriever Rescue since November of 2017, and although I’ve taken on more responsibilities over time, I didn’t have to I wanted to! Because the outpouring of love and dedication throughout this organization is inspiring!


If you’re on the edge of signing up to become a volunteer with animal rescue, let me plug a few more things in here to sway you 🙂

Does that picture not speak to you?! How about this link? 


TGRR, my dogs, and ME, thank you for even considering helping us out with our Human Race fundraising goal this year!