January 21, 2020

Before we can begin the story of the incredible things that happened on January 21, 2020, we need to rewind about seventeen hours. Monday, January 20, 2020. I had been watching a foster baby for another foster family I am friends with. They needed babysitting overnight, so I took the baby from Sunday afternoon until Monday night. She was about 2 months old. She was amazing, and beautiful, and she was SUCH a good baby. Yet, when her foster mom came to pick her up, I said, ‘I loved having a tiny baby in the house, but I don’t think I could EVER do multiples…’ Let me repeat that. A mere seventeen hours before I found out about TWINS being born, I said I could NEVER DO MULTIPLES. Can we talk about manifesting the future???

Ok, let’s resume. January 21, 2020.

Just like any other ordinary Tuesday in my life, after my girls went back to their biological parents. I dragged myself out of bed, forced myself to put clothes on, drove to the gym, and worked out with Franz. It had been a serious struggle, and I would spend a lot of my work out time almost in tears. I just had enough of the bad news and sad moments. It was all consuming.

I had recently forced myself to interview with a new family, to be their nanny. I really didn’t want the job. Like- I REALLY didn’t want the job, yet there was nothing keeping me from saying no. I needed to get myself back in a routine, and out of bed, and give my life some sort of purpose again. After all, it had been almost 4 months since the girls left. I really had no excuse.

After a tiresome work out, I grabbed my jacket, and took out my phone. The notification of a missed call from the family who I had interviewed with, lit up the screen. My stomach dropped. I needed to say yes to this job- but I just COULDN’T! I didn’t want the job. I didn’t want to start over with yet another family. I wanted to be a stay at home mom. So naturally, I decided to wait to respond. At the very least, I needed be in a better head space before talking to them. Procrastination at it’s finest.

Instead, I drove home, and did what I did every other time I went to the gym. I showered and climbed my sad ass back into bed. It was quite the life I was ‘living’.

At 12:54 an email pinged my phone. It was from my social worker. ‘Do you have a minute to chat today?’ Without hesitating, I called her. No answer.

A couple of hours later, she called me back apologizing that she had been in a meeting. She told me I should add Mike onto the call, so we can all talk about the information. I did. Then she said it.

“There is a case that came to me. The babies were just born last week. They are on the adoption track’ …..and everything started to go blurry. BABIESSSS??? ADOPTION TRACK??? She didn’t have much information about the babies, but knew they weren’t named yet. Before she could even tell me all about the medical needs that these two boys had, I already knew it was a yes. In fact, before Mike could catch a breath, I said, ‘we don’t need to talk, Mike and I are in’. She laughed and said, ‘No way. Talk about it and call me back.’ Guys, she hung up the phone, and I called her right back. This was at 3:41 pm.

‘We’re TOTALLY in’.

At 6:15 we walked into the hospital, and went to the Special Care Nursery where we were greeted by nurses who were so happy to see us. They kept saying how amazing these boys were, and how they would miss them when they left. They were one week old, itty bitty, one covered in wires, the other with a brace, made by the nurses, around his foot. We looked at these tiny humans and there was zero hesitation. Zero doubt. These boys belonged with us.

A social worker, whom I had just met, walked into the room and said, ‘Let me take a picture of the new family!’ and I am forever grateful that she did. It felt a little awkward. We had just found out about these boys mere hours earlier, and yet here we were… ‘a family’. That picture is my favorite picture of 2020.

That night we learned more about our boys. We knew we were up against hearing loss, a club foot, and many other things that we couldn’t predict in that moment. Nothing mattered. There was nothing that made me stop or hesitate. Nothing made me nervous, at all. Until the nurses said, ‘So, they could go home tomorrow….’

Umm, what? Tomorrow? The room that the babies would be living in was FAR from ready. It was like a memorial to the girls. Their remaining clothes, toys, beds, art… it was all just sitting there. I hadn’t had enough energy to even think about disassembling it, yet. I felt like I was in a negotiation when I asked, does it have to be tomorrow? Can it be Thursday? In all reality- I’m glad I asked for the extra day, even though I would have strapped them in the car THAT FIRST NIGHT, and brought them home!

The next 48 hours were a blur. Between telling my parents we were bringing TWIN INFANTS, ‘Yes, mom- I said TWINS!!‘ True story: my mom didn’t hear me say ‘twins’ on the phone when I called to tell her the news. All she heard was baby and then THEM. ‘THEM?? What do you mean them? There are two?’, ‘Yeah mom, twins!!’ ‘WHAT??????’ Definitely a phone call that I’ll never forget.

The next day, my mom happily called out of work, and we spent the day shopping for these two babies whom I had JUST met. I try to explain the situation to people like this; You’re pregnant and you have 9 months to prepare, except accelerate that to ~50 hours to find out, and prepare. OH, and there are two of them…. you know, like that. No problem. Every preemie outfit we could find went into a carriage. Blankets, burp cloths, sheets, bottles, and a ton of swaddles. I remember throwing a package with three swaddles into the carriage and my mom said, ‘Umm.. you’re bringing home twins’. She promptly grabbed another package, and in the cart they went. She wasn’t wrong. It felt like I needed 300 of everything.

That night, I drove the hour back to the hospital to see MY boys. Walking into their room was still such a strange feeling. I belonged there… but did I really? There were two tiny humans in two tiny bassinets, in a huge room. They were so loved. Someone had already brought tons of clothing. Someone else donated car seats. It was all just waiting for them. I also found out that despite the nurses not knowing, the boys had been named by their biological parents. The heaviness and fear of thinking of names for children I only just found out about was replaced with ‘…I like those names, but do I LOVE them?? Is that what I would have chosen?’ Again, it didn’t matter. All I saw were my two perfects G’s.

That night, I planned to surprise my brother and sister in law, since they worked just a few minutes from the hospital. They had no clue what they were going to walk in and see. A nurse helped me keep the look out for them, while I propped up my camera. Then I stood directly in front of Greyson’s bassinet, holding Gage. When they walked in, I introduced them to their new nephew… and then I moved to the side to surprise them with another nephew.

We spent the rest of the night digesting what was happening. We ordered food, ate while holding babies, changed diapers, got peed on, and made a surprise FaceTime call to the boys’ other aunt and uncle, and two very special cousins in New York. After that, Auntie N and Uncle B went home. I sat in the room, alone, with my boys. Quiet sounds of fans playing on the TV, and little whimpers of babies. I had waited a long time for this, and it was really happening.

That night, when I was leaving, I felt such a deep ache in my stomach. I didn’t want to leave them there alone. My babies were in the room, alone. I couldn’t do it. I had to remind myself that for the first seven days of their lives, they didn’t have me. The nurses had done a wonderful job caring for them, and they will continue to do so until I take them home- TOMORROW. I whispered, ‘Goodnight my babies, I love you and I’ll see you tomorrow’. I kissed their tiny faces, shut the light off, and walked out of the nursery. That was the last time I would leave alone.

IT’S TOMORROW! FINALLY!! Thursday, January 23, 2020.

Thursday was spent gathering all of the information for doctors and specialists and checking off lists for social workers and the hospital so we could take the boys home. When we got to the hospital- the last time my car would be empty- we went through all of the feeding and safety lists, and packed the babies up. Guys; In two days, I managed to buy matching twin outfits for the boys to wear home. However, the outfits were HUGE- and it was going to be a bigger pain in the butt to change them, instead of leaving them in their warm clothes and bundling for the winter weather outside. But wait…. to bundle, you need blankets. Something I DIDN’T bring. How did I remember outfits that were FAR too big, but not blankets?! First fail is now complete. The hospital kindly provided us with hand knit blankets from a local group of women. We cozied the tiny babies into their (what seemed like) HUGE car seats, and we were off. A family of four.

One year later, and I am writing this for so many reasons. I’m writing to finally be able to share the details of this crazy story. I’m sharing to remember. I’m sharing to remind people that if you know someone going through adoption, fertility issues, etc… things take time. Support them. Questions of ‘why’ or ‘when’ or ‘how’ are hard to answer. Be sensitive.

I will NEVER be able to truly thank the people who were on this journey with me, in any capacity. I will try- but my thank yous will never compare to the support, love, help, and so so many gifts that so many people gave us. We are fortunate, and so excited to be at the other end of this long long long long





Fun Fact #1: This has taken a week to write thanks to four chubby little hands grabbing the computer every time I tried to write. It’s a struggle.

Fun Fact #2: When my social worker called to tell me about this case, she mentioned that it wasn’t in her district and that she randomly met with another SW who told her about the case. She also realized she had missed a note about it while she was on vacation. I chalk that up to my babies waiting for me to find them. It was meant to be.

The Beginning Of The End

I knew my life was over, right away.

I knew I was in trouble, and shit was only going to get worse from here…

Franz had read Fat Girl Wunning.

Remember that post where I talked about how much I hate lunges, and how I want to die when Franz takes my water bottle, and says, ‘Lunge all the way down the track, and you can have your water’.  REMEMBER THAT??  HE.  READ.  THAT.
(You can catch up, here: The Front Is For Go, The Back Is For Show! and I Don’t Want To Die At The Gym)

In the weeks that followed……..
Working out with Franz is always a struggle.  Now, when I say, it’s a ‘struggle’, I mean that Franz KNOWS how to push me to limits that I never knew I had.  And, really, they aren’t limits, because in the end, he encourages and pushes me to work harder and get even better results.

HOWEVER.  Franz also likes to try to kill me, and since he read the post about my LOVE of lunges, he has to make me suffer.  Now, (almost) every time we are at the end of our workout, he takes my bottle of water and says, ‘lunge’.  Even worse is when he says, ‘Lunge to the white line, then get down and do ten push ups’.  (or plank, or squat, or cry…)

At the end of my work out, I am usually completely broken.  My legs are shaking, my breathing is heavy, there is sweat running down my entire body, head-to-toe, and THAT is when Franz pushes me ToMyDeath.

Here’s the thing.  When Franz says ‘do 10 reps’, I usually forget to count because I’m so consumed in the way my body is moving, the position my feet are in, my breathing… so basically, counting reps is usually the last thing I do.  On the other hand, when I’m being forced to lunge down the track, or flip the tire… I count.

Did you know from one white line to the next I do 10 lunges?  Or did you know that I flip the tire 29 times each way on the track?  Wait, what about when I farmers walk!! I count my steps, every time.  Then, I compare the count from the last time I went down the track.  Can I do ONE less step this time?  One less flip??  ONE LESS LUNGE???

Silver lining?  I am getting so much practice with my counting.

I Don’t Want To Die At The Gym

Have I ever told you about how Franz likes to show off?  He wouldn’t admit it, but I know.  Listen, I’ve been working out with Franz for two and a half years.  I know him like any good gym wife should.

This is how Franz’s ‘showing off’ made me think I would die in the gym.

First training session of the week:
Normal work out. Me; Dying and complaining.  Franz; Rolling his eyes trying not to kill me.  We’re doing all of the usual suspects in my training, except for maybe adding a few extra pounds here and there.  Honestly, I don’t know.  I don’t pay attention.  I couldn’t remember a routine at the gym, if I tried.  I have no clue how much weight I lift because when I try to add it up, Franz yells at me, and when I ask him how much weight it is, he yells at me.  So, basically I have just realized that this is Franz’s way to have job security.  Oh well.

OK so, I was doing hex bar dead lifts, and in between sets, Franz would add more weight. Everything was going nice and smoothly, until the gaggle of (insert name of snooty town) moms came waltzing around the corner with their group trainer.  In that very moment, Franz changed.  Everything changed.

I’m about to do my last set of eight reps.  Franz is busy loading the hex bar with as many weight plates he can find.  The ladies working out, are inching closer.  This is Franz’s time to shine!  Look at me!  I can train a girl to lift like the burly man she is!!’.

I step into the bar, and position myself to lift.  I’m squatting down, holding the bar, listening to Franz tell me ‘this is going to be heavy’.  I know I can’t fuck up.  I have to make Franz look like the hero he is!  I start to lift the bar, and………   Fast forward.  I lifted that sucker a whole 4 times.  That’s all I could manage.

As I stepped out of the bar, I started to add up the weight, to see how much I just dead lifted. Like always, Franz snipped at me… but then he went silent.  About a minute later, he said ‘210’.  Me, ‘what?’.  Franz, ‘You lifted 210 pounds.  You asked me and I’m telling you.’

OK first, two hundred and ten pounds???  Holy shit.  And secondly, Franz officially looks like the hero of the day.  You’re welcome, Franz.  Everyone saw you proving how amazing you are at being a trainer. *insert eye roll*
(seriously Franz, I love you.  You know I do.)

So, lets head on over to the second day of training, in the same week.  I am on the green (FML) mixed in with the moms, who are circuit training.  Franz throws a 40lb bar bell on the floor in front of me, and says, ‘Renegade rows- 8 each arm. Then get up and do overhead presses- 8 each arm.’

I get down on the ground in position for renegade rows.  I know 40 pounds is heavier than normal.  Why, you ask?  Have you been listening?  Franz is showing off again, and remember, I’m in a sea of people to impress.  I go through the rowing, and stand up.  I pick up the barbell, and put it in position on my shoulder.  As I push my body to lift the weight over my head, Franz pipes up, ‘That’s the most weight you’ve ever lifted over your head’.

OK guys… I am officially petrified.

Me: OH MY GOD.  Is it really??  Ugh.. I don’t want to drop this on my head and die at the gym.  That would be a terrible place to die.  I don’t want to die at the gym!!! (while lifting at a pretty steady pace)
Him: Yeah, you’re not going to die.  Keep going, keep your core tight. (not having the least bit of concern that I may actually die)
Me: Wait… or do I??  If I died at the gym, I’d go out looking like an athletic hero, right?!
Him: Yeah, and then they could put a plaque and a picture of you on the wall.’

‘She died doing what she did best…until that day, that is.’

P.S. At the end of my session, Franz picked up my water bottle and made me do lunges all the way down the track.  He wouldn’t even give me my water, until I reached the end.  I think he read The Front Is For Go, The Back Is For Show! and knows that lunges at the end of training are the worst thing in the world, to me (right next to literally everything in the gym).

**FOOTNOTE:  I know Franz isn’t just showing off.  He knows my capability, and is honestly working on making me stronger, and more confident.  I just wanted everyone to know that.  Also, in case Franz reads this… don’t hurt me.

The Day After Spin

This is a follow up to my last post “Spin Class Of Death”.

It’s the morning after spin, and I needed to follow up on my post because the pain didn’t stop when I got off that god forsaken bike.

This morning, my ass hurts so badly.  Also, I’m pretty I have a permanent imprint of a bike seat on my back side.

I haven’t stopped coughing since last night.  I’m pretty sure I have adult onset asthma.  I think this one class kicked up 10 years of whatever is in my lungs.

I have the hips of an elderly woman.

I have a bruise on my thigh.  I don’t know why, or where it came from, but it’s there.


Spinning is death.

Spin Class Of Death

This is what happened that time I was suckered into going to a spin class at night, after doing about 7,000 lunges in the morning, with Franz.

I was bored at home, so I decided I would go to the gym, and walk while watching Netflix on my phone.  At least I’d be moving, right?  When I got to the gym, a familiar face greeted me.  We will call her Spin Devil.  Spin Devil is at the gym every single morning.  She’s adorable; Totally fit, super social, and soon, I will see how much of a fucking maniac she is.

Spin Devil sees me, and says, ‘ALLY!! WHY ARE YOU HERE?? ARE YOU COMING TO MY SPIN CLASS??’

Me: Uhhh.. haha! Oh, hey! Why are YOU still here?  You were here for three hours this morning (while thinking: which is clearly why you’re so damn cute and fit, you bitch)! Ahh umm.. I was bored at home, so I decided to come here (while thinking: Does that make me sound like SUPER fit like YOU?).

Spin Devil:  No way!! Ok, don’t go anywhere… You’re coming to spin.

Me:  I’ll Die.

Spin Devil: No you won’t.  You work out with Franz all the time!

~~~~~3 MINUTES LATER~~~~~

I walk into the spin studio where Spin Devils bike is up on a stage under intense red and blue lighting.  There are two rows of bikes, so naturally I choose one in the darkest back corner.  Spin Devil took my shit off the bike, and moved it to one closer to her view.  She knew me too well…

At this point, I put on the special spin sneakers, and I am then LOCKED into the pedals on the damn bike by Spin Devil and another person taking the class.

Spin Devil takes her seat.  She puts a screen on, above her head, and immediately the names of everyone taking the class is in full display with a number next to them.  I realized that my fucking speed would be tracked, and shown to EVERYONE! I wasn’t going to be able to slow down without people knowing!!  The music starts, the lights in the room dim, and we GO.

My legs are pumping as fast as they can comfortably go, while keeping a good pace.  I’m desperately following along as Spin Devil dips her chest towards the bike. I copy while she is moving her hands from one set of handles, to another.  Every move felt so confusing.  I had to pump my feet, listen to the music, pay attention to where my hands are, stay on the beat of the music, listen to Spin Devil, stand up, dip my chest….. IT WAS ALL TOO MUCH!

At some points I would realize I was focusing so much on where my hands were, or pumping to the music, that my spinning would slow down… and guess what??  EVERYONE KNEW, BECAUSE IT WAS DISPLAYED ON SCREEN!!!

When I realized I was slowing down, I would push harder, and pump my legs faster; and let me tell you-  Thank the good lord that my feet were locked onto the peddles, because I most definitely would have fallen right off that bike, if they weren’t.

At this point at least 3 hours have passed, I am heaving for air, and sweat is pouring off of my head.  That’s precisely when Spin Devil said, ‘OK LADIES!! ARE YOU WARMED UP? ARE YOU READY TO GO?!’

For a second I thought she was kidding, and then I realized only one song had played, and we hadn’t been going for 3 hours, but more like 3 minutes.  I was definitely going to die.

We’re four songs in, at this point, and I am currently crying inside, and it’s quite possible that some of the sweat running down my face is actually tears.  Who knows, any more? Spin Devil stops yelling instructions to say that everyone is doing a great job, which I know is a big fat lie.  She can see me!  I. AM. NOT. DOING. WELL.

It was about this time when she says what I was sure was a joke… ‘Ladies, take a minute to grab some water!  You earned it!’.  My honest to god reaction was, ‘WHAT????  MINE IS ALMOST GONE, ALREADY!’

I couldn’t, for the life of me, get my ass off the seat during most of the class.  As Spin Devil was up and down and in and out, I was just hanging on for dear life and trying not to fall and take the bike with me.

This is when Spin Devil said the funniest joke ever… ‘Ok!  Grab your weights, ladies!!’, except it wasn’t a joke.  No, Spin Devil doesn’t joke.  In one of the water holders on my bike, sat two small hand weights.  They were maybe 2.5lbs. each.  Guys, I lift 40lb weights over my head with one hand… 2.5lbs is a joke.  HA!  Ha! Ha ha ha….. umm, It’s all fun and games, until my legs are moving at the speed of light, sweat is stinging my eyeballs, and now I have to make sure my core is tight so that I can lift these suckers up over my head, and out to my sides, without sliding off of the front of the seat on the bike.  Let me tell you;  That 2.5lb weight starts to feel like 25lbs.  It’s official: I’m dying.

Seventy Seven songs later, and we are finally at the end of this torture.  We slow down, and do some cooling down, and stretching, all while slowly peddling.  At this point, I realized that I didn’t stop pumping my legs for 50 minutes.  That was incredible for me!!  I had to literally tell myself that it was OK that I couldn’t stand and pump this time.  It was my first time, and I never stopped moving, and remember, I did a gajillion squats in the morning!  My legs can only handle so much!  I never stopped moving.  That’s what counts.


Also, spin still sucks. No I don’t want to go back. No it wont get better.

The Morning After

We all have regrets.  We have all done things, fully knowing it wasn’t good for us.   We have ALL woken up in the morning the next day, and thought, ‘oh god, what have I done?’.  I see you party weekend, and raise you a lazy cold Sunday!

Oh, not where you thought I was going with that?  Get your mind out of the gutter.  I’m referring to those weekend binges, or those lazy Sundays when nothing sounds better than shitty food and Netflix.  Ohh!  Or, those days when you’re too tired/lazy/busy to cook dinner and ordering a big, FAT delicious hot and steamy pizza just sounds like the right idea.  THOSE DAYS.

I’ve been having a lot of those days, lately.  In fact, every night, when I’m laying in bed, and my body is slowly relaxing to the point of a deep sleep, and I’m FINALLY falling asleep, that’s the exact moment when my brain goes ‘NO WAY JOSE!  REMEMBER WHAT YOU DID TO ME TODAY? YOU SUCKKKKKK!’

So, anyways, I’d like to think that staying awake all night thinking about how I’ve abused my body and plotting how I’ll make it all better, makes a difference.  Instead, it just forces me to be lazy the next day, because I’m SO damn tired, and then we end up repeating the poor behavior, all over.

I could sit here, and tell you all about the magical things I have done to hold myself accountable.  I could tell you about how I am this all knowing being, and I solved all of my self-doubting, self-hating, poor behaviors.  But, unlike all those motivating and encouraging self help books we dive into, I am (currently) not that person.

Instead, I write this blog in full intention to have YOU hold ME accountable.  These are the things I am going to do for myself, and they may not be the same things you’d do for yourself.  I am printing pictures of myself from when I liked what I looked/felt like. Right now, every time I see them, a get a pang of jealousy of  ‘last year me’, so I know that having them in the fridge/snack cabinet/closet/etc. will snap me into focus.  Also, I’m putting an outfit together that there’s no way in hell I can squeeze myself into now, and I’m hanging it in full view in my room.  A reminder.

Listen, this might sound awful, and could be like your personal hell, but I think (read: hope) it’ll work a little bit, for me.  This is not intended to be my all encompassing problem solver… just a reminder of the regret.  Because, regret is born from a behavior or choice that we can usually change, and that’s what I intend to do.


feel sad, repentant, or disappointed over (something that has happened or been done, especially a loss or missed opportunity).
“she immediately regretted her words”
“she expressed her regret at Virginia’s death”

You Look Like A Dying Goat, But Only In The Face

I mean, he’s not wrong. I know what I look like when I work out…. I make terrible faces. I’ve definitely written about it before. Resting asshole face? I don’t know. Whatever it is, I have it. Especially when I’m dying at the gym.

The nice thing about Franz, is that he always has something super sweet to say. You know, like ‘you look like a dying goat’ or ‘you look stupid’. The best part is, I love it. It’s hilarious. I’m sure if he said this crap to any one else, it would be frowned upon. For me, it’s totally normal, and keeps me going. If it weren’t for the humor in all of this, I wouldn’t survive, I swear.

Now, I would write a whole blog post about this next gem, but I don’t think I could do it justice, so here it is.

Franz and I were talking about how I was CLEARLY and quite OBVIOUSLY his greatest accomplishment in the gym. I asked how he would describe that accomplishment, and I will quote him directly, so you can REALLY get the whole feeling.

‘The immaculate Transformation: From a Whale to a Dolphin

In theaters in January 2020’

Raise your hand if you’d watch that movie!!! 😂😂😂

(I would)


The Front Is For Go, The Back Is For Show!

I hate lunges. Have I ever told you that? I HATE LUNGES. I don’t know why… but I do. Maybe it’s because Franz makes me do lunges with weights in my hands. I mean, that could be it, right? Adding weights clearly makes it way more challenging.

So, naturally, I’m dying at the gym, and I’m at the end of my work out. In the last few minutes, if Franz hasn’t already killed me, he tries harder. Yesterday was no different.

Get your trusty imaginations out. I’m heaving. Covered in sweat. Half crying. Swearing at Franz. Threatening his life.. and then he says it. ‘Ok, take these weights and do lunges’.

‘No! Please for the love of god no! I hate them! I’m so tired! Please NO!’

My cries of agony fall on the deaf, mean ears of my lovely trainer, and behind me, a middle aged woman pipes up,

‘You can do this! Lunges are good for the butt! THE FRONT IS FOR SHOW, THE BACK IS FOR GO!’

To be quite honest, I’m not quite sure wtf she means, but my head went in a few directions. She heads back to working out, and Franz and I look at each other and laugh.

Clearly, I am now motivated to lunge. HAHA! Yeah right…. But I do it. I grab the 30 pound weights in each hand, and lunge, lunge, lunge. Then overhead presses. Then back to lunge, lunge, lunges. (Please add in a solid minute of ‘rest’ a.k.a. dying on the floor, and Franz telling me to GET UP).

My work out is complete. My body is tired. I have sweat in my eyeballs. My legs are pulling a shaky Elvis move, and I am ready for a nap.

So, moral of the story is, lunges are for GO, apparently. 🤷🏻‍♀️ Also, they suck.

Is a nice butt really worth it?

Hole In The Rock

So imagine, you plan a trip to Phoenix Arizona. You’re so excited for the heat, the mountains, and hiking. However, we’re not talking about most YOU. We’re talking about ME.

I planned a trip to Arizona to escape the craziness that is my life, and visit my friend and her husband. Bonus was that it was my friends birthday weekend, and there is no other gift as special as my face.

So, I plan the trip and I explicitly tell them my plans. I’m sleeping, sitting by the pool, and probably going to cry a little bit (still missing my babies!). I threw in ‘a hike’ for good measure, not thinking we’d actually be motivated enough to do it.

Second day I’m there, and I get dressed in my bathing suit and pop some yoga pants on over it. With every single intention to sit at the pool, I pack a backpack with a towel, and I walk out into the living room where my friend and her husband were sitting.

Friend: so, do you want to go on an easy little walk? You can probably even wear those! (Pointing to my flip flops..)

She follows up with ‘its mostly flat, and its easy. Promise.’

Her husband says, yeah, you probably don’t want to wear flip flops. Throw some sneakers on.

So I do.

We hop in the car, and drive to an incredibly scenic spot called ‘Hole In The Rock’ in Papago Park. It’s a mountain… ok fine, a large ass hill. To my credit, it wasn’t flat, like my friend PROMISED. Thank god I had those sneakers on, huh?

We get out of the car, and my friend grabs her bottle of water with a mister at the top. Hmm, prepared. Me? Nothing. Convenient.

We start our trek to the ‘flat’ mountain. The first part is pretty easy. We’re walking on an incline to the back of the ‘rock’. It’s hot- like 95 degrees. To an east coast girl, that’s like 3,000 degrees. We make it to the back side of the rock, and there is a humongous hill. The hill is so steep, that there are make shift stairs built in. We take a deep breath, and begin our journey to the top.

OK, so it’s not too bad. I’m holding it together. Just a little misty sweat covering my face. Totally normal. Half way up the hill, and I’m just reminding myself to breath, as I focus on where I step. Guys, I’m not a hiker. I’d like to be adventurous, but I’m just not that person.

We make it to the top- my friend misting her face and gulping her water. Me; secret sweat dripping from the back of my hair line, down my back, and into my bathing suit. Super cute.

Here’s where my friend is THE BEST. She’s kind of sort of obsessed with taking pictures on her phone- and she’s really good at it. Whenever I’m with her, I feel like I’m in the middle of a photo shoot. So, I took the opportunity to climb some rocks and pose like a sexy model- in a bathing suit and gym clothes covered in sweat. Just like you’d see in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition. I thought I looked amazing. Rocking my moves. Laughing and smiling and having a blasty blast. Little did I know, I looked like I looked more like a bad glamour shot.

At this point, we move to the top of the rock, where you can look through the ‘hole’ at the magnificent landscape of Phoenix. I’m talking, picture perfect palm trees, cactus, mountains… and if you looked past all the crazy people climbing all over this rock, and scaring the shit out of me as I picture them falling, it was incredible.

We felt accomplished. We felt like we had worked our asses off, and we were the epitome of fitness and strength. We high fives each other, and started our trek back down the enormous mountain.

When we get to the car, we decide that we obviously need Starbucks, and we set off on our next adventure to find caffeine.

That’s the story about how I became a mountain climber.

Try To Escape

What do you do when shit gets hard?  Do you throw yourself into work?  Sleep a lot more? Zone out watching Netflix for hours on end?

I tried a couple of those.  I also tried making a point to go to the gym when I wasn’t training, or go crazy with meal planning.  You know, just something to drown myself in.  That way, I didn’t think about how I didn’t have to drive for 2 hours a day for preschool, or what two children wanted to eat for dinner, or how many days worth of diapers we had left, or how I had to make sure the laundry was done so that we were prepared for purple spirit day.  You know…. all that.

In the midst of all of the shit that is my life, I haven’t stopped training.  Believe me, I’ve attempted to run away from Franz, but he wouldn’t let me.  Stupid go-go-gadget arms snatched me back up and snapped me back into reality.  The reality that, if I don’t do this, then I have for sure failed my own mission.  My own mission to be happy, healthy, and to be a good (eventual) mom. 

A few days after the kids left, I went to the gym to train.  I cried all the way there.  I sat in the parking lot, sobbing.  I gathered myself, walked into the gym, walked into the lobby, and cried.  I sucked it back up, went into the bathroom, and lost my shit.  You think we’re done? Wrong.  I walked back out to the vestibule only to break down AGAIN.  There was nothing that was going to help. 

I walked into the gym, and walked right past where I usually start my warm up. I walked right by it, and straight up to Franz.  One look, and he knew something wasn’t right.  I mean, It could have been the dead giveaway puffy red eyes, but I won’t guess on his behalf.  Anyways, I walked up to him, he looked at me, asked me what was wrong, I looked at him and said, ‘I can’t do this’. This is when he led me out the back door of the gym.  This was it.  I had set him off for the last time. 

Nawwwwwww…. Franz can’t get rid of me that easily. 

We walked outside, and he said, ‘were going to walk around the building, and you can tell me what’s going on’, and we did.  We walked.  I bitched.  I cried.

We got to the other side of the building, walked up to the front door, and Franz looked at me and said, ‘Cool, so, now that you have that out of your system, we’re going in.  You CAN do this, and you WILL do this.  If you cry in front of 20 (insert snooty suburban town name) moms, that’s on you.  Ready?’

Uh.. I guess. 

After an emotionally painful work out, I left, and the only only thing my body could do was sweat.  There were no more tears, just a shit ton of sweat.    

It’s kind of sort of maybe a little bit nice that I have someone who will motivate me, and encourage me, even when I am at my worst.  Don’t tell him though, I don’t need him getting even more cocky on me.