Death Ring

I pulled into the parking lot, and I was scared.  Like, my heart was pounding, and I just kept repeating in my head ‘WHY did I do this to myself’, over and over again.

I got out of the car, found my friend, and apparently didn’t say ‘WHY did I do this to myself’ in my head, because she responded, ‘I don’t know, but I’m nervous, too!’

We open the door, walk up the stairs, and into the gym.  In front of us is a group of people stretching, men punching bags hanging from the ceiling, women seamlessly throwing medicine balls, and then taking glamour shots, and an empty boxing ring.  The Death Ring.

My friend looks at me, while holding her gym bag, and says, ‘Oh this?  This is empty.  I literally just brought it so I looked like I knew what I was doing’.  At that very moment, I realized I was going to have to take some serious mental notes for this ridiculous adventure I got us into, so that I could write some great blog entries.

After having our hands wrapped, this little firecracker of a blond woman comes bouncing over and moves eight freestanding punching bags to the middle of the floor.  Then she tells us to start doing some sideways running, around and around the line up of bags.  Next, we did long lunges.  After attempting to catch our breath, we jumped right into sideways running, going the other direction.  My legs felt like they were doing something wrong, and I was tripping over myself.  As if my friend knew what I was thinking, she turned to me and said, ‘It’s SO much harder this way!’.  Thank god I wasn’t the only one.  During our second round of long lunges, we both looked at each other and wondered if this was it.  Were we done yet?  Was class over?  Oh…. it’s not?  We haven’t started yet?  Cool.

Firecracker spent the next 55 minutes of this hour long class hopping from bag to bag, showing us how to hit, kick, punch, correctly.  Our arms hurt, our legs were tired, and I’m 99% sure I shouldn’t be jabbing my toes into the bag when I kick it.  I think I’m doing it wrong.

‘I NEED water!’
‘My pants are falling down’
‘I can’t breath!’
‘Fuck you, Franz!’

Those were just a few of the things that we screamed as we sat and murdered our punching bag.

After the 4,827 sit ups, 8,361 push ups, 10,736 punches and countless incorrect kicks, we looked a hot ass mess.  Our hands were sopping wet inside the borrowed gym gloves, and we desperately tried to just breath.  When we thought we were done being cardio-murdered, Firecracker told us to hop into the Death Ring.

Quick add-in: When told to go take our sweaty gloves off, my friend quickly smelled her hands, and said, ‘OH MY GOD, Don’t smell your hands.  They smell so gross’.  After saying that, she proceeded to sniff them again.  WHYYY???  ‘Why’d you do that??’ I asked with a face of pure disgust and shock on my face. ‘I don’t know!!’ she whimpered.

Also, Firecracker said that swearing is 100% acceptable here.  

            1. I think I found my true home.

            2. She doesn’t know the doors she just opened up for me.


(Ok, back to it.  We’re in the ring.)

At first, we thought our boxing dreams were coming true.  We were in a ring.  We were professional.  Time to show off our skills, that we learned 5 minutes ago.  But no.  While in the ring, we had to pair up, and basically do trust-sit-ups.  One person, dangerously dangling over the edge of the ring, while their partner held their feet in place.  Oh and we punched at the ropes.  We are such bad asses.

At the end of the class, my friend and I looked at each other.  Sweat dripping down our faces.  Pure exhaustion in our eyes.  The feeling of being survivors in our hearts.  As if we hadn’t just suffered through sixty minutes of pure hell, my friend turned to me and said something about signing up for MORE classes, when this session was over.  And somehow, I summoned the strength to agree with her.  11 more weeks to go.




A couple posts ago, I told you all about the dynamic of the relationship Franz and I have.

Over the time we have worked out together, we have shared lots of stories about high school, family, friends, and so much more.  We talk about how he was a part of the METCO program, and that I was friends with a lot of the METCO kids.  It’s a connection.  A weird one, but it’s still a connection.  We share stories about what we used to look like, or what we were like, back when we were younger.  We talk about Franz dating, and meeting people.  We talk about how I struggle with how I look now, and how hard it is to see what other people see.  He listens to me talk all about the weird crap that happens to my body when I work out, and lift a lot of weight.  Since we know so much about each other, it’s no surprise that when we start making fun of each other, we have some really good details to pick from.

The other day Franz was really on his game, and had a few good zingers.

We were talking about his experience in METCO, and I was telling him about how I would (sorry ma!) sneak my friends in on half days and we would hang out, and order pizza, when no one was home.  This some how turned into a conversation about how I looked in High School, and Franz whipped out this whopper of a ‘ha-ha’; ‘Wait, when did you get cute?  I thought you said you looked like a hippopotamus in high school’.  Never did I say such a thing… maybe I have actually thought that, but I would never say it.  Especially to him.  Franz said this as I hung from a bar, attempting to do pull-ups.  I started laughing so hard that I had tears in my eyes, and I lost all strength and concentration.  I was a mess.  That was the end of pull-ups.

Later on, I followed up on his jab with one of my own.   We were talking about how Franz took a (much) older woman out on a date to a new hot spot in town… Panera Bread.  I started thinking about all the women that Franz meets and takes for coffee.  Without really thinking, I said, ‘You’re a date-ho.  There are ho-hoes… but you’re a date-ho’.  Anyone who knows me, knows that I am LOUD.  My words echoed in the gym, and I knew that everyone (all three of us there) heard what I said.  Again… we both start laughing, and I started laughing so hard I couldn’t breath, which wasn’t helpful as I tried to push him on the sled across the green.

My recent favorite Franz Zinger was when I was at the end of an arm work out.  I looked at my forearms and noticed each and every vein popping out.  It was so gross.  I looked him dead in the eyes, and said, ‘Ugh… I look like Angelina Jolie!’

‘What?!’ he said.

‘Look at my arms!! My veins are popping out like the ones on Angelina’s hands!’.

‘Yeah!! You definitely look like Angelina Jolie… except without the lips… or the looks’.

Dead.  I started to cry laughing.  It was so dumb.  We both sat there laughing at each other.. and then he yelled at me to finish working out, like usual.


I will say, that if it weren’t for our sense of humor, and good relationship, we wouldn’t have lasted this long.  And to think that when we first met, he didn’t want me to talk when I worked out.  He had no clue what he was getting himself into.


Franz has really been on a roll lately.  It could be his recent hot dates to Panera with ‘cougars’ that’s giving him these boosts of confidence, but when I come into the gym, he’s bouncing off the walls, ready to murder me by way of lifting weights.  On top of that, he’s seriously on his game with making fun of, and embarrassing me.

Over the last 10 months, Franz and I have really gotten to know each other well.  We’re like some seriously dysfunctional siblings who have a weird sense of humor, and fight/laugh like an old married couple.  When we make fun of each other, we each know that it’s out of love.  I respect Franz, and some where, deep down beneath the layers and layers of muscle, he respects me too.

Now, for story time.  One day, about a month or so back, I was working out with Franz, and I was people watching the whopping three other humans in the gym.  My old lady eyes were scrunched so I could attempt to see these people clearly, and Franz noticed me looking at them.  One of these said human beings, was of the male species.  Franz turned to me and said, ‘Oh, is that your type?’

‘Huh?’ I asked.

‘I see you staring at him… is that your type of guy?’

I replied with one of my witty remarks ‘Yep, I’m totally into a little bit of dad bod‘.

‘Well, he’s not a Dad… he’s like 22. Like, you could be his mom.’

So after that day, when Franz made me feel like an elderly female creep, I never looked into the poor ‘dad-bod-child’s eyes again.  Until I walked into the gym, yesterday.

Me.  Franz.  Dad-Bod-Child.  We are the only people in the gym.  I walk in, set my phone down, and take my jacket off.  Franz walks up to me, and without skipping a beat says, ‘I told ‘Dad-Bod-Child’ that you thought he was cute’.

Ummm….  wut.

I proceeded to scream at him, grab his chest and push him backwards.  WTF.  Why??

  1. Married.
  2. I’m old.
  3. Never.Ever.Said.He.Was.Cute.
  4. WHY?!

This set the stage for the rest of the work out.  I was furiously trying to shut him up, and also gather information at the same time.  I wanted to know why the hell he thought that was a good thing to tell this poor child that I thought he was cute, but I also didn’t want to hear him talk about it any more.  It was a weird place for me to be, in my head.

At the end of my work out, while I was pulling 75 pounds back in rows, is when Franz decided he should finish telling me about the conversation they had.

‘But wait!! You didn’t let me tell you about what he said, when I told him that you thought he was cute!’

‘Because I never ever ever said he was cute, and I really do not care, at all!’

‘Ok, shut up.  You definitely said he was cute.  Anyways, I told him you thought he was cute, and then I told him that you were super old, and he said, ‘Well, not really… I mean, I am 22′.’

Ok, so not only do I have a lying trainer who tells ‘Dad-Bod-Child’ that I think he’s cute, but then I have ‘Dad-Bod-Child’ who thinks that, at 22, he could …I don’t even know… ‘get with’ a 35 year old??

I think these Panera ‘cougar’ dates are really getting to Franz’s head.


RGF.  Resting Gym Face.

Franz actually requested that I call this entry “Resting Gym Bitch Face”, but it didn’t seem to roll off the old tongue as easily.

I make dumb faces in all aspects of my life.  When I take pictures of myself, I make dumb faces.  When I see people do dumb shit out in public, I make dumb faces.  When I am listening to my friends/family/Franz speak, I make dumb faces.

So, it’s no secret that I would make dumb faces when I am at the gym.  Oh god there are so many reasons as to why I would be making faces… One of which being- I’m listening to Franz.  Like, when he tells me over and over again to STARE at him while he demonstrates an exercise, even though I can see him in the mirror I am looking at.  That definitely calls for a ‘face’.  When I am struggling to lift weights, I make a face.  A very clear, ‘WHYYYYY MEEEEEE’ face.  And please, have no doubt in your mind when I tell you, that my best faces are when I am resting between sets.  When I am struggling to catch my breath, and not die.  Those are the best ‘faces’.  That’s when Franz will laugh at me.

Franz will not only laugh at me, but will follow up his deep belly laugh with a comment about my face.  His head will be back, while he laughs uncontrollably, and holds his stomach.  When he catches his breath, he will look at me and say, ‘You look so dumb.  You’re faces are stupid.’

Do you know what that is?  Love.

Yup!  That’s love.  He knows that I can’t be mad about what he says, because he knows that I know all about my dumb faces.  I know I look stupid.  Sometimes, I even catch my own face in the mirror, and I laugh at myself.  It’s hard not to.  I look ridiculous.

With that being said- I need this shirt.IMG_1277

I Thought You’d Never Ask

On numerous occasions (FINE! Every time..) at the end of training sessions, I am so exhausted by the end, that I dramatically collapse on the VERY CLEAN AND OBVIOUSLY VERY COMFORTABLE floor of the gym.  Franz hates this.  First of all, I think (I know) it embarrasses him.  I just literally spaghetti legs straight to the floor… I guess it could be somewhat embarrassing for a trainer, but whatever.  Secondly, he’s grossed out that I have no problem laying on the floor, and normally, I would probably be grossed out too.  I mean, let’s be honest, they can clean that place all they want (and to their credit, they do keep it clean!), but it’s still a gym.  Dirty sneakers, sweat, spit… it’s inevitable that it’s everywhere, and on everything.  Gyms are gross.

Anyways, Franz is so used to seeing me collapse into a pile of death, that he doesn’t even say anything any more.  Instead, he let’s me lay there for a few minutes, heaving… usually mumbling some inaudible words, and then typically closing my eyes and wishing I was in pajamas.  At the end of my pity party, Franz will normally chivalrously extend his hand to me, and seamlessly pull me up to my feet, as if I am a rag doll.

So let me set the scene for you from last weeks ‘Lower Body Murder Day’.  Franz had basically made me do 2,762,046 squats, and 9,613,763 dead lifts.  No, I’m not exagerating.  My body was sore and weak, and my legs were jelly.  My mouth, however…. worked perfectly fine (between the heaving breaths).  As we walked over to ‘the green’, to where the death sled was sitting, I opened my unfiltered dumb mouth, and said, ‘Ugh!! Can’t you think of ANYTHING else for me to do?!  All you ever have me do are squats and pushing the fucking sled!! What do I pay you for?!’

Now, let me be clear.  I know what I pay him for.  He knows that I’m kidding when I say that shit.  I throw that specific comment out there on the regular, because I know how dumb he thinks I am when I say it, and it makes me laugh, inside.  Also, don’t you worry, because in turn, Franz has plenty of things he says that ‘get back at me’, for what I say to him.  It’s a very healthy, dysfunctional relationship.

Anyways, I mention my kind words of wisdom, and he responds by pulling a TRX rope from it’s home on the wall, tying it around the sled, and says ‘Of course I can think of new things for you to do!!  Today, you’re going to pull the sled… backwards.  And yes, I’ll be standing on it’.

I literally almost died on the spot.  I mean, part of me was like, ok, going backwards won’t be that bad.  I can do this.  My legs are strong, and I can handle pushing this man-beast while he takes a free ride across the gym.  As I reluctantly get into position to pull, my body reminds me just how weak I am at the moment.  I am so tired, and now I have to pull this meat head and a steel machine, down ‘the green’ and back again.

I start to pull on the handles at the end of the rope, and get some momentum.  By momentum, I mean, we were moving- but very, very slowly.  As I pulled backwards, my toes jammed into the front of my sneakers, my legs shook, my breath was severely shortened, and I complained- The. Whole. Time.

I got to the end of ‘the green’, and bent over, hands on knees, trying desperately to catch my breath.  For once in Franz’s life, he took my complaining seriously, and told me I didn’t have to pull the sled back, that this time, I could just push it.  Awe… so sweet. I can just push it now…’.

Again, I get myself into position, take a deep breath, give myself a pep talk, and start to push.  I’ll fast forward to when I got to the other end of the gym, and Franz hopped off of his throne atop the sled, and I collapsed to the floor.  Like usual, he allowed me to lay there for a moment, and suffer.  Then, Franz reaches his hand down towards me, and says so sweetly, ‘Would you take my hand….in training’

Then, without skipping a beat, as he lifted me from my death bed, he followed up his own proposal with, ‘I thought you’d never ask’.

I’ve never been more in… love?


If anyone knows me, or have read some of these blog entries, then they would know that I suffer from ADD.  I am (almost…good lord) 35, and it has taken me my whole life to find my own ways of doing things: To stay organized, to stay on task, to stay motivated, to stick with something.  In a previous post, I mentioned what it’s like to have ADD, in my world.  You can read about it here, Snow Days, ADD, and Anxiety.

This year, I stuck to it, for the most part.  I haven’t given up on training, or trying to be active.  I stuck to my guns, and didn’t eat pasta or rice AT ALL.  I gave up drinking all alcohol (except for the few tiny sips here and there to help taste test new craft brews…oh how I miss beer!).  Sure, I have my moments where I give into myself a little.  We don’t need to call it cheating, or slipping up, because in reality- this is life!! Shit happens!!  Birthdays, holidays, celebrations of all kinds… days when you just need something to make you feel better… we all have those.  You’re not cheating.  You’re living.  So, in 365 days, I have definitely allowed myself to ‘live’, but I have also given myself the opportunity to succeed, in ways I never thought I could.

Now, all of this is tacky, sentimental crap, is building up to something that seems so dumb, but to me: This. Is. Success.

For 365 days, for one whole year, I have tracked my food in the app “My Fitness Pal”.  Everything I eat.  Every recipe I ever came up with (BTW: If I post a recipe on here, you can search for it under the brand name “Allys Own” on MFP).  Every ounce of chicken I weighed, or grape I counted out, was tracked.  I had my times where it would have been too much to track, like I said before, it’s not a slip up.  I was aware that maybe I wasn’t doing the best eating, or I was out to a restaurant and it was easier to just track a well-educated rounded number of calories, vs. actual food items; But, this wasn’t habit.  Habit was entering food as I ate it.  Searching for nutrition facts online.  Creating recipes, and adding them into the app.  That was habit.

Secretly, deep down, I couldn’t wait for the moment the app told me that I had tracked for 365 days.  I literally wanted balloons to fly across the screen….but they didn’t.  I just got a quick update on my app that said, ‘you’ve tracked for 365 days’.  Well, that was disappointing- but none the less… I DID IT!!!  ADD be damned!!!! I stuck to something!

They say it takes 21 days to create a new habit.  I would like to adjust that for myself.  I’m pretty sure that maybe at the three month mark is when things become second nature, for me.  So, here’s to 365 more days of tracking.  Here’s to 365 more days of working hard for a better me.  Here’s to 365 more days of living my life, and letting funny shit happen, so I can keep writing about it.

Cheers! WUN!image1

…and no, I don’t want to be friends with you on MFP.  Find me somewhere else.  The only person who has access to seeing this crap is my nutritionist!! 😉


Franz always wants me to pay attention to what he says, and learn, so that ‘You can do this on your own, and you don’t always need me’.  Yeah ok, Franz.  As if I’d push myself half as hard as you push me.  As if I’d finish a set with as much determination, as I do with you.  I wouldn’t.

I have, however, tried to pay more attention to the things we do, the names of the exercises, and why they are good for my body.  At least I am trying to understand what each lift of a kettlebell, squat, pull-up, or sled push is doing for me.

The other day, on Upper Body Murder Day, Franz walks over to a resistance band that is tied to a steel pole.  He says, ‘Ok, this is new.  You’re going to do rows, like you normally do, except this time, you’re doing them fast.  Speed Rows.’  He says this while demonstrating what they should look like.

‘What’s the point?  What do speed rows do for me, besides make me look stupid while doing them?’ I ask. (Yes, I had to add the last part. It IS me, we’re talking about!)

‘You’ll see when you start doing them’, he replied.  Normally he would answer my question with a well thought out, thorough response as to what this work out is doing to my body, where I should feel the strain in my muscle, and just how many parts of my body I am working, while doing it.  Not this time, though. Not when I actually asked for an explanation.

I grab ahold of the band, and step back into position. Before I pull, Franz says, ‘Don’t let the band pull you back in’.  He was probably having flashbacks of my feet flailing about while trying to do pull-ups, using the same kind of resistance band.  Anyways, I start to pull the band in row formation, rapidly back toward my body.  It was definitely harder than it looked, and I definitely felt it, in my arms.  My core was feeling it too, because I was unknowingly keeping myself super tight to ‘engage my muscles’ (as Franz would say, usually while smacking my ‘abs’ to make sure they were tight).

I ask again, ‘So what is the point of doing it really fast?’

‘Because… it’s awesome.’ Franz replied.  Oh…. ok then.

So, the next time I am looking for a new work out routine, that I most certainly won’t do by myself at the gym, I’ll just look around for anything that looks ‘awesome’ to do.  Cool.