One Year with Cokes

So, let’s start by describing what position I’m in.

After a speed workout on Tuesday, and teaching two classes, I woke up on Wednesday not really being able to move my neck around a whole lot.  I tried turning it right, then left.  Not a whole lot going on.  Up and down?  Same thing.  And I knew I had like two meetings at work.  Kinda felt like Miranda…

Miranda SATC

When she managed to pull her neck during marathon training, and Aiden had to come peel her off the floor. [Side note: still a little upset about the way things ended with Aiden the first time because the second time those two got together and got engaged was just painful to watch.]

But I digress. My neck was not at all feeling well, I’m not sure what I did to it, and with two meetings scheduled that day, I really couldn’t not go into work.  Double negative.  But you get it.  So I popped three Aleve, and went on my way.

By the time I’d made it through my second meeting, the pain was starting to come up through my head, so I went home and alternated putting this heated rice bag thing on my neck with this neck massager thingie my mom very thoughtfully got me for Christmas a few years ago.  It came in handy with my first marathon because I was having a lot of trouble with my pirformis, and I would just wedge the massager onto my big ass.  This time, it’s actually on my neck where it’s supposed to be.  Ahhh!

One year with the Coco. 

About a year ago, I took a huge leap of faith, and adopted a little dog, sight unseen, because I was told her owner was going to take her to the pound.

CocoThe night we got her, she jumped up on the end of the bed, and I woke up periodically that night to make sure she was still there.  She was thin, her hair was patchy, and I don’t know that she was getting the love that she needed.  But she fit right in with our family, and really has brought us so much joy.  I’ve convinced myself that Coco is immortal and she’s done little to correct me.  I love that.  Here’s to many, many more happy memories with the Coke-monster!

Tell me about your pets!

How I ended up at Fat Camp.

I started this post a few days ago – I was feeling a little nostalgic for Pennsylvania air and then we got the news that one of the guys from the resort had passed suddenly.  Isn’t it strange the things that pop into your head at just the right time?

Fat camp is a little difficult to explain to anyone who hasn’t been there.

Like 8 or 9 years ago, my friend Morgan, this absolute party of a woman, and I were watching MTV, and we fixated on something called Fat Camp.  The series was followed up like a summer later with MTV’s Return to Fat Camp.  The place seemed magical to me, and something about the concept of this tucked-away place where kids went was incredible to me.

We had Adisa, throwing a birthday party in the rec hall and being monstrous to the other girls during color war.  We had Dan and the play.  We had the chick with head lice.  We had some camp romance.  It all looked amazing.

So, I applied, and I’m not sure how this happened, but one October day, I ended up on the phone with Tony Sparber, the boss-man at camp.  I knew it was Tony, one, because he told me it was him, and two, because I recognized his voice.  Which I’d heard in the documentary, because when you were in trouble, you got the bossin’ from Tony in his office.  So anyways, I ended up on the phone with him one day in October after I’d applied.  He interviewed me, and he told me right then and there that he would give me a shot.

The following June, I woke up early, and on a beautiful day, I drove my old Taurus up the east coast, and stopped only with enough time to visit my family in New Jersey.  I had no money.  And off to camp I went!

When I pulled up, the place was straight out of the movies.  MTV had not misrepresented it in any way.  And it actually was a little more beautiful than I’d imagined.  I met someone from the resort, who directed me to the cabin where I’d be living with the other counselors for the next week or so.  And when I pulled around to the cabin, I was greeted by this absolutely wondrous sight – the sun getting ready to set over the trees, over the lake, and over the two pools.  My mouth was hanging open.

“Have you never been here before?”

I shook my head no.

The first night there, it rained, and I quietly cried into my pillow.  I think I was homesick.  But as the days went on, and training wrapped up, camp became my home.  The kids arrived.  I taught classes.  And as I slowly, slowly peeled off the pounds I’d put on while in a bad relationship over the years, a new me emerged.  I was happy.  I wasn’t anxious.  I had friends!

I settled into a beautiful routine.  Color War Broke.  The weather started to cool.  And almost as quickly as the magic had started, it was over.

I got into my Taurus.  Wove my way back down the east coast.  And went back to my old life.  Except this time, I was a new me!  In the following years I ran.  I ran.   I ran some more.  I ran a marathon.  Taught many classes.  Branched out and taught Toning, Cycling, Body Pump, Pole Dancing.  Won the ever-waging war on anxiety.

I wasn’t a camper at fat camp.  I was just a counselor.  The fitness girl.  And yet, I gained so much that summer.  To to the summer of 2010, I owe so much.

via CPT
via CPT

Coffee Date

Sparkle Tights

Have you guys ever met my Jesus Shaves mug?

Jesus ShavesIt’s a mug that I purchased from this adorable shop in Cameron Village.  My mom hates it, but the way it works is that when you pour hot liquids in it, Jesus’ beard comes off and he becomes fresh-faced and clean-shaven.  People either think it’s hysterical, or they tell me I’m a heathen like my mom did.  But I honestly think that Jesus has a sense of humor and would quite enjoy a mug where he looks like he’s ready to take on any job interview that may come his way.

Let’s go on a coffee date, with my Jesus shaves mug in tow.

If I were on a coffee date, I would tell you: 

  • My pets are driving me up the wall.  I love them, don’t get me wrong, but I was asleep on the couch in the great room in the house, and when I woke up, I discovered that the entirety of one of the pet’s stomach linings had been emptied onto the couch.  I went into hysterics.  I called Austin, my voice rose about 2 octaves, and Austin had to purchase a little spot cleaner for me to fix the couch.  Verdict?  I think I’m going to have to replace that couch.  Hysterics.
  • I am doing well with some of the goals I’ve set for myself and outlined, as well as some of the goals I’ve started with myself last year.  One thing that has driven me nuts about myself is that sometimes, I put things off because I can always just “do it later”.  I’ve taken things more by the horns over the last few weeks, and it’s helped a lot with my productivity.  I like it.
  • I’m taking a break from drinking.  I drank a lot the week of my wedding back in August, the week of my sister’s wedding in December, and on New Year’s Eve.  I’m sort of over being hungover, with my GI issues, it’s not good for me.  I’m taking a break.  I’m not sure how long I’m gone for, but long enough to clean out my system is awesome.
  • I’m wondering about this winter.  I’m training for RnR, the full, in April, and I’m just wondering if the winter we have this year will be anything like last year’s.  Because ice storms may make things just a tad tricky.
  • I got these tights…

Sparkle TightsAfter I spotted the gold version on Amanda’s blog.  They’re on the clearance rack at Lululemon, so go run and grab them quick if you think you can handle them.  For me even, they’re pretty wild, but they’re interesting to look at, so I’m just gonna go with them.

  • I’m playing with the idea of an Ultra Marathon, or a 12-hour race around the time of my marathon in April.  I’m not even sure what this preoccupation with the challenge of the event is, other than I read a bunch of Dean Karnazes’ books last year, and the idea of an ultra seemed ridiculous…but almost ridiculous enough for me to do it.
  • I want to go to Greece for our honeymoon.  I got this idea in my head after I read The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, and I haven’t been able to get it out of my head for like 10-15 years now.  I’m checking on prices and rates for us to be able to head there in like August or September.

What would you tell me if we were on a coffee date?  <3

Pole Fit

Aradia Fitness

In case you were wondering, per one of my last posts, everything is still freezing and miserable, complete with the schools here doing a two-hour delay.  Brr!

I went for a run with my headlamp on the trails this evening (the sun went down about three-fourths of the way through the run), and my hands are still frozen.  I got home like a half-hour ago.  Double brrr.

Anyhoo, I hope you all are attempting to stay warm and snuggling under lots of blankets – I feel like life has reached new levels of sadness when a high of 47 gets me hot.

Reminds me of this guy, who said “I am too cold, take my ass back to jail.”  That’s where I am right now.

But I digress.

Pole Fit

So, I have been teaching at a Pole Fitness studio for a few years, but I’ve been strictly teaching off-the-pole classes, meaning that I stick to what I know.  I’ve taught Zumba® Fitness classes, and boot camps and things, but as of December, I’ve started my training to teach Pole Fitness classes at Aradia Fitness, and Saturday morning, I assisted at my first “Teaser” class, the class meant to entice you to take more and more classes and to get to those classes that will get you poling for real for real…

Aradia Fitness
Our shiny new poles!

I guess what I’m really starting to love about this type of fitness is really two-fold.

Number one, you are really doing a lot of bodyweight stuff, something I think that a lot of folks tend to skimp on – rather they just go doing a million bicep curls and thinking that they’re rocking out.

Two, it’s so cool to lead a class where women are actually getting a chance to be aware of their bodies. Because in a lot of classes, that just ain’t happening. But it’s cool to strut around, be sexy, and allow other women to do the same. It’s always funny because in the first few minutes, you hear the giggles, and the nervous laughter – it’s almost as if they’re – we’re – nervous to have a good time with our bodies.

Have you ever taken a sexy-fit class?  Want to?  

Applebee’s Pub Diet Menu

Let me preface this entire post by saying that typically, this family is not big on eating at places like Applebee’s.  Also Applebee’s has not paid me one red cent for this, I just thought that you all might be interested in this.

In Applebee’s defense, they are not the only offender – but eating out can often lead you down a dangerous path, dietarily (and budgetarily) speaking.

Neither of those words, dietarily or budgetarily is a technical word, but go with me here.  

So we don’t eat out a ton because there are a few dangerous points there, especially since my husband and I really try to stick to a clean, healthy diet.

  • Restaurant food, even fancy restaurant food, is FULL of sodium.  You know when you flip over a Lean Cuisine, and there’s an obscene amount of sodium in it?  And you’re like WTF?!  But then you get it because the food was frozen, and it has to be preserved.   Sort of the same idea.
  • The portions are absolutely ridiculous.  Seriously, did you catch this NYT article that illustrated what 2,000 calories looked like at different chains?  It was just stupid.  And place like Cheesecake Factory and Chipotle can be some of the worst offenders.
  • A little unrelated to what we’re talking about here, but the shit is expensive.  I cannot justify paying $2.58 for a large diet coke when you can get a two-liter of my guilty pleasure for that much.  It’s so silly!

So back to my original sort of point, we don’t usually do Applebee’s but over Christmas, one of our relatives gifted us an Applebee’s gift card, so we decided to go there one date night two weeks ago.

Austin teased me about it in the days leading up – he knows how into food I can be, and it made him giggle that finding something on the menu to eat without sabotaging a full day was stressing me out a little bit.

So I did a little pre-research and decided that I might try something called the “Pub Diet,” an entirely new, beautifully photographed section of the menu.

Pub Diet 1

I went ahead and made my pick….

Pub Diet 2

And Austin had to sabotage EVERYTHING and order some bottomless chips and salsa, which I shamelessly indulged in.

And this is what it looked like when it came out!

Pub Diet 3And very delightfully and surprisingly, this dish off of the Pub Diet menu wasn’t bad in the least!

Because I stuffed my face with some chips, I definitely made sure to split the entree in half, and I saved the other half for lunch the following day, but I was really surprised at how good it was.  I even remarked to the server at how good it was, and she said that a lot of folks had felt the same way.  Interestingly enough, she also said that sometimes, after folks ordered it, they threw a little fit because it doesn’t come with a bread stick or anything.  But sorry folks, the point of a lower-calorie, higher-protein option is NOT so that they can throw a bread stick in.

I’m no nutritionist, but when folks ask me about eating out, I typically steer them far away from chains – but I would say that the Pub Diet is a winner in my book.

If/when you eat out, what is your go-to place? 


Speed werk + China

I’ve mentioned a few times that I’m training for Rock ‘n’ Roll, the full, in Raleigh in April.  Training is in full-swing, and last night, with there being some nasty weather in North Carolina early this morning and last night, I was forced to do my speed work, 12×400 with 400 meters of rest, on the indoor track.

Now that all sounds well and good, but the track?

Indoor Track

15 laps equals a mile.   Kill me!

Surprisingly, it wasn’t so bad though, and I’m not as sore a day later as I thought I would be.  Even though I think most people kind of dread speedwork, I will say that it’s a really fun way to get a lot of miles in – you’re so focused on hitting those meters 12 times (ew) that you don’t realize that 6 miles is come and gone!  And I think speed work can keep you skinny!


Forgive me, but I’m a little salty about this topic.   And by salty, I mean I’m a little salty, but more jealous.

My husband is going to China for work in a few weeks and I can’t go!  Blah!  It’s a work trip, so I have to hold down the fort while he goes and does work things in China.  But a few things I will do while he’s in China that first week of February?

  • I’m going to hire some housecleaning help that we’ve been talking about since before we got married.  Judge away, but we both work full time, I’m messy, and housecleaning isn’t my skill set.  I think it’s a good time for me to get some help in here and see how we do with it.  I would LOVE to (if money were no object) have someone once every two weeks, but we’ll start with just the one visit while my husband is gone.
  • I will cook so girly. Remember that epi of SATC when Carrie talked about secret single behavior?  One of my SSBs is eating strange things as meals.  Veggie dinners, salads with weird little things on them, and all of the things that your husband might look at you funny for eating.  I’m PUMPED.
  • I will drink wine in my underwear.
  • And I will miss the heck out of him.

I’m jealous, but I just want him back with me, not running around China!

What are your SSBs?

Bill Cosby

via Jezebel - Jessica Chastain's reaction to a shot fired at Bill Cosby at the Golden Globes.

I try not to get into politics and anything that’s going to alienate folks too much on the blog.  I try to keep it fun.  But I feel really uncomfortable not addressing the big, old, disgusting elephant in the room that is Bill Cosby.

via Jezebel - Jessica Chastain's reaction to a shot fired at Bill Cosby at the Golden Globes.
via Jezebel – Jessica Chastain’s reaction to a shot fired at Bill Cosby at the Golden Globes.

At this point, over 30 women have publicly alleged that Bill Cosby committed acts of sexual assault against them. Many of the women tell similar stories – that they believed that Cosby would help them with their careers, they were drugged, and later assaulted.

Over 30 women.

Over. 30. Women.

I’m like everyone else.  I grew up watching the Cosby show, which was so cool.  The show centered around a family, a black family, who was successful – Dad (Cosby) was a doctor, and his wife, a black woman, was a successful lawyer!  It was so cool to see!  Additionally, he ushered in the era of the Cosby sweater, Ghost Dad, Little Bill, and actively criticized black folks throughout the last decade, most famously in his Pound Cake Speech, where he criticized single-parents families among other things.

So I found myself extremely confused when these accusations came to light.

One, no.

Two, no.

Three women….

Four, five, six, ten, fifteen, twenty?

I had to look at myself.  Why was I so willing to dismiss the one or two women?  Why did it take three, more for me to turn and look at someone that I’d looked at as something of a voice of reason for black people?

And here’s what it boils down to.  

Bill Cosby did some cool things.  He did some revolutionary things.  However, that does not mean he is not/was not an alleged rapist.  The two are not mutually exclusive.  And to call these women, 30 women with consistent stories “liars,” women trying to get their 15 minutes of fame (what a joke), or “bitches,” as someone stated yesterday, is a slap in the face to not only these women, but to women who currently face or deal with sexual assault.  Cosby was in a position of power, on top of the world, and (allegedly) wielded this power over women who thought he could help their careers.  And he joked about the allegations last weekend.  I wish I could believe that he’s innocent, but it’s just impossible at this point.

At any rate, I’m disappointed in him, and I hope he understands that he let a lot of people down.

Miss Manners


I wore full makeup to work the other day.

And most of you that know me know that I’m a very strictly BB cream and mascara type of girl. And that’s not to say that there’s anything wrong with cosmetics – I absolutely love them, however, in my job, it really doesn’t make a ton of sense to do much more than the BB and the mascara.

I spend the daytime part of my job in business casual as much as I can, and then the other part of my job, especially when I’m running or teaching classes, is spent sweating up a storm, and if you’ve ever seen someone in full makeup after a good sweat session, it looks silly.

[Disclaimer: if you feel more comfortable wearing makeup while you work out, that is completely up to you, and I totally get it. Judgement-free zone.]

So all of that to say is that I rock a pretty natural look during the day. But last week, after a night of interrupted sleep thanks to the cats, I decided that not only would I go a little more heavy-handed with the tinted BB cream, but that I would even go for my liquid eyeliner, just to wake those eyes up a little bit.


As I walked through the doors at work, someone remarked with utter shock and amazement, “Cheri’s wearing makeup!!” loudly enough for everyone on the floor to hear. She accompanied this with her mouth hanging wide open. I was really embarrassed. I get it, maybe I looked a little different. But is it absolutely necessary to point out that I look scary without makeup (evidently) and that I put in a little extra effort that day?

Two things I think Miss Manners wants me to tell you if you’ve ever been guilty of making a statement like that one…

  • Don’t comment on when you feel someone looks “tired”.  They might be tired.  They might look like shit.  But they certainly aren’t being told anything they don’t know, and are most likely hoping that no one notices how rough they’re looking/feeling.
  • There is a way to compliment someone if they put on some extra makeup and stuff.  You look really nice!  Period!  End of story!  Reminding someone that they usually come to work looking like Shrek, but today, things are different, which is a pleasant change for you, is not helpful. It’s actually rude.

So – just curious. How much, or how little makeup do you usually wear?

Deep Freeze + The Hanson Marathon Method

I’m pretty sure the entire country is in some state of deep freeze right now – so it’s fairly pointless to complain because we’re ALL going through the same thing.

But alas, after a friend of mine asked if I could run her 8 with her on Wednesday, I thought nothing of saying yes.  Til my husband happened to pull up the weather report and figured out the that low on Wednesday would be like 15 degrees and at the time of kick-off we’d be powering through at 30-ish degrees, I slightly thought better of it.  But honestly, I have to get the run in anyways, so there was no point in putting it off – especially since I had to teach a Zumba class later that day, and it made no sense to run right before (doing that is never fun).

So I bundled up – tights, Nike Weather Shield half zip, SmartWool socks, and went for it.  It honestly wasn’t that bad – when we first started down Hillsborough though, the wind was like biting through my headband, through my shoes, and through my tights.

All that said though, I think I might prefer winter training to summer training?  I’m interested to sign up for something in the fall and see how I do – I just know that when I accompanied a friend training for Marine Corps (in October) some of those runs were downright impossible with the humidity.  I’m sorry Mother Nature, you just can’t win sometimes, can you?

Hanson Marathon Training

So I think I’ve mentioned this before, but I’m signed up for Rock ‘n’ Roll Raleigh, the full, which is taking place in April.  I’m pumped, and instead of doing traditional training for this marathon, I’ve gone with Hanson.  I think I just wanted a little change, and since I’ve done traditional for my first two marathons (small mileage during the week, long-ass run building up to 20-22ish miles), I’m looking for a change, something that will help me to feel strong throughout the 16-26.2 portion of the race (which was, interestingly, when I started profusely BARFING during Greensboro).  The difference between Hanson and regs training is that you’re running a lot of mileage during the week, there is more emphasis on the quality of the run (really specific prescriptions for speed work, and no running just for the sake of it), and your longest run doesn’t really go over 16 miles.  What this means is that I’m running a ton of mileage during the week, and I’m performing a balancing act – makings sure my calories are on point, making sure that I make all of my runs (about 6/week), and still performing well in my classes.

After today’s 4 (well, it was 6 because I got to talking to a friend), I was really concerned about teaching my Zumba class, but was surprised at how energized I felt.  Even as as fitness professional, sometimes I forgot that exercise adds energy.  It doesn’t take it away.  Must be the endorphins.

What is the weather like where you’re reading from?