Not hyperbole, and given some of the truly uncalled-for things that have happened to me over 39 years, that’s saying quite a lot.

(I originally had a list of the top 5 until-this-point occurrences, but damn, that made for some depressing reading. Let’s say that the look of pity in the funeral home employee’s eyes as he clarified, “This check pays off the balance of your father’s funeral, and this one is a deposit on your mother’s?” was only at number 5, and leave it at that.)


I read a lot of personal development books, or self help books, whatever you want to call them. And nearly all of them, while the author recounts their own experience, references a moment on which their whole outlook, their whole life, hinges. A moment that separates your life into before and after.

Rock bottom. Now I can say I’ve been there, done that.

For me that moment came in early September. First I noticed that my oldest son, Jake, was 15 minutes past curfew on a Friday night. Then I was livid at 30 minutes past curfew. I went to get my phone, sitting on the charger in my bedroom.

Several numbers had called earlier in the evening. None that I recognized. None that had left a message. It left me on edge, but I reasoned that if anything was amiss they’d have called back or left messages. If anything, it was probably Jake calling on a friend’s phone, preemptively offering up an excuse for his breaking curfew, reminding me that he needed a new phone as his battery didn’t last very long anymore.

At an hour past curfew I started to panic. I started texting his friends. They didn’t know where he was; they’d been trying to get hold of him themselves. They checked in with other friends, friends I didn’t know.

90 minutes past curfew and I had officially lost my mind with worry.

At 12:45, nearly a full two hours past curfew, I answered a phone call letting me know Jake had been taken to the ER and was put me on hold so that the hospital could officially take my permission for treatment.

Those minutes— it was probably only two or three, but it felt like a lifetime, as I ran to wake my husband up, the fear in my voice jolting him awake and scaring myself even more. Those minutes were the hinge my life swung upon.

Jake prom

Jake is OK. He was in a head on collision going 40mph; his organic chemistry textbook clocked him on the back of the head as the airbag opened. Aside from some bruising, some staples to the back of his head, a car that didn’t make it and a total blank where memories of the accident should be, he is fine.

As we arrived at the hospital, though, we didn’t know that. We didn’t know anything. They had wheeled him away for a CAT scan and again, we waited for what seemed like forever. Plenty of time for worst case scenarios. Lots of time to worry about the state of the other driver, to think about their spouse or child or mother waiting, willing their phone to ring. Too much time to think about our bank account, already shot to hell from months of unemployment and the cost of buying the car in the first place.

I’d already been fighting the slow slide into depression, and the week before this happened was particularly bad. I’d felt like I was waiting for something terrible to happen. I felt like I had somehow willed this into happening.

I cannot explain in words what it felt like to see my baby boy wheeled in, his head wrapped in gauze, a cone around his neck, his ridiculous ripped up sneakers he insists on wearing sticking out from underneath a sheet.

Jeff kept trying to talk to me, and all I could do was stare at him. I don’t deal well with the sounds of the ER anymore, and he was asking me to stop putting my head between my knees, where I could block out the sound; to stop rocking, to stop pacing. I didn’t know how to tell him if I stopped moving I’d start shaking. I didn’t know how to let him know that if I spoke, I’d start crying, and if I started crying, I might start screaming.

I knew how this works, when the panic fully takes hold. I’ve been there before.

But then we got to take my boy, my baby boy, home, at 5am. I wanted him to sleep on the couch on the living room, where I could keep an eye on him. I didn’t want him out of my sight ever again. I couldn’t sleep. I mentally checked out for days, broken by the idea that we could have lost him, and thanked the gods for my husband who took care of our other kids, of all the calls and questions I couldn’t deal with.

And all I can do now is be grateful. Grateful that there hadn’t been another car on the crossroads, that the airbag on a 98 Civic had been in good condition, that the other driver was unhurt, grateful that my son will be home again in a few hours, embarrassed by having to take the bus but oh well.

And my heart goes out to all the parents that don’t receive such an outcome in just a few hours. That have to spend days, weeks, months listening to the beeps of a hospital room, that await diagnoses, that live with uncertainty and anxiety, that struggle to keep their child’s (and their own) spirits optimistic.


This is the part where I ask you a favor

My CrossFit box has been my anchor the last few years whenever the overwhelming sadness and anxiety closes in. Not only as a place where I get those endorphins pumping, but as a place that I feel secure and welcome in, and that has introduced me to many new friends. They are good people.


CrossFit Riverfront is hosting a fundraiser this Saturday to benefit A.I. DuPont Children’s Hospital, in the name of the Esmond family. If you’re local, you’ve heard this story: while on vacation in the Virgin Islands, the Esmonds were exposed to a neurotoxin via pesticide spray. Mr. Esmond was an official at Tatnall, the Esmond boys promising lacrosse players.  They were— are— members of our CrossFit family, but Mr. Esmond and the boys are no longer capable of even simple physical functions. Mrs. Esmond received the least exposure and has recovered most fully, and of course spends her days and nights with her boys at A.I.

I’ve spent my fair share of time at A.I. DuPont; again, with Jake, when he was younger. He’s had his time in intensive care, as an inpatient, as an outpatient. He’s had tests and appointments with specialists.

My father-in-law works there, helping to give voices to the deaf. (That’s a huge understatement.)

The staff there is wonderful. So much thought has gone into making the experience bearable, comfortable, less frightening. Every attempt is made to make sure the parents understand what is happening, what their options are. Children are spoken to, not around. We are hugely fortunate to have it nearby.


Oh. Right. That favor

I’d love for you to donate to our #EsmondStrong fundraiser and support A.I. DuPont Hospital, which does so much to support children and their families, and research like my FIL does. If you’ve ever experienced the heartache of seeing your child in a hospital bed, I’d really appreciate if you’d also share the link to the fundraiser with others.

In the name of the Esmonds, with me and Jake in mind.

For the kids, and for the parents sitting by their bedside, ready to hear some good news.

And please, love on your loved ones today and every day; hug them tight. You never know when your life will turn on a hinge.

me and jake


You can donate directly on the fundraiser page (every dollar counts! No donation too small), or you can come check out the event on Saturday from 10-2 at the box. WODs will begin in multiple heats soon after the 10:00 mark so that everyone can get a workout in. Raffle tickets will be sold for $5 a pop for awesome prize baskets sponsored by Hylete, Reebok, Caveman Coffee and lots more; Kettlebell Kitchen will be there cooking up food for everyone.

It’s a opportunity to see what CrossFit is all about: community, and accomplishing so much more than you ever expected.


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**This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.**

Heads up, MMA fans! Reebok recently unveiled their new Fight Shop. It’s a destination where fighters, and those who train like fighters, can find all the apparel they need.

In Reebok’s Fight Shop, you’ll be able to gear up for the main event and shop the official UFC Fight Kit worn by all UFC fighters on Fight Night. The line of apparel in the Fight Kit was developed by Reebok in collaboration with Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighters, for fighters.

The kit will debut for the first time in the Octagon at UFC® 189: MENDES vs. MCGREGOR on July 11.

In the Fight Shop, you’ll also find UFC Fan Gear, so you can show your support for your favorite fighter, and Reebok Combat, gear that is light and breathable, enabling you to train like a fighter.

P.S. Save up to $30 off with Reebok’s July 4th Spend and Sale! Get up to $30 off through July 4th (excluding Nano 5.0 and select ZPumps) with code AMERICA.

  • $10 off $75
  • $20 off $100
  • $30 off $125+


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**This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on those links.**

They’re here! They’re here! The Nano 5.0s drop today!

This new shoe enhances Reebok’s already successful Nano line, which I will tell anyone who asks is the best choice for CrossFit. I just wish they came in a wide size so Maverick could wear them too.

I’ve been in a very serious longterm relationship with my Nano 4.0s, which were a huge improvement on the 3.0s, so I’m excited to see how the next generation performs.


The Nano 5.0 features:

Enhanced Durability
Built with a Kevlar® DuraCage upper for lightweight strength so you can take on the toughest of workouts again and again.

Improved Fit &Natural Flexibility
Natural Last construction with an all-new molded heel and a fully contoured sockliner allows for an improved anatomical fit that keeps feet locked-in.

RopePro® +
Equipped with stronger composite materials, the re-engineered RopePro® Wrap provides bite and support against shoe shredding rope climbs.

And you can custom design your own, too.

Reebok 5.0


Have you tried on the Nano 5.0 yet? What’s the fit like?


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crossfit kid

I was compensated for this post by HEX Performance. All opinions are my own.


Maverick and I try to make it to our CrossFit box at least 4x a week. We work hard. We sweat hard.

Some people will try to tell you that those of Asian heritage don’t sweat as much as other people. This is an outright lie, at least when it comes to me and Maverick. We are sweaty sweat sweaters. I like to say this means that our bodies are super efficient and superior at self-cooling, but mostly we’re just gross.


Screen shot 2015-06-17 at 1.27.14 PM


Now that the weather has skipped over spring and gone straight to the humid, oppressive, dog days of summer the sweat factor has increased exponentially, and we’ve narrowed down our preferred clothing choices to a few favorites. For me this means the shortest of shorts, tank tops only, and the most unobtrusive of sports bras. Mav sticks with the lightest fabrics possible.

Anyone who’s spent some serious time sweating knows that gear matters. Once you’ve owned some workout apparel in tech fabrics that moves with you, has strategically places seams and most importantly is lightweight yet durable, with sweat wicking capabilities you can’t go back. Cotton is rotten once it’s soaked in sweat.


Screen shot 2015-06-17 at 1.28.56 PM


The downside is that while these tech fabrics are awesome at transferring sweat to the outside, they are not so awesome at releasing sweat stench. And while it’s fun to watch your family recoil from you in horror after a sweatfest, realizing you smell before you’ve even begun your workout and suspiciously accusing the cat of peeing in your laundry isn’t quite as cool. (I don’t know who you accuse if you don’t have a cat.)

The cat pee/ammonia smell happens because you’re breaking down amino acids for energy, and it will probably be more pronounced after a really long/intense workout or if you’re not properly hydrated— a description that covers about 95% of my workouts. Add to that the fact that we’re basically wearing the same couple of outfits over and over… yeah. Stinktastic.




To get rid of the smell, I tried:

  • rinsing out gear after class ahead of actually washing
  • small loads of just our tech gear but the same amount of detergent (I hated doing this as it was probably shortening the life of our clothes)
  • repeated washings between wears
  • adding vinegar to the rinse cycle
  • actually soaking the clothes in straight up vinegar before washing
  • using more powerfully scented detergent (just smelled flowery on top of funky)
  • using dryer sheets (this was a big deal! I never usually use dryer sheets)

Sometimes something would work for maybe one or two wears, then it would be back to funkytown.




But I’m not here to tell a tale of unsolvable woe, folks. All these sweaty selfies you’ve endured are not for naught.

I bring a solution.

There is life after stinkiness for your favorite workout gear, and it doesn’t involve potentially overabusing your expensive tech fabrics.


sports detergent

Get the funk outta here

No, seriously, this stuff works. Introducing the next gen detergent, HEX Performance!

Developed by major league lacrosse player Drew Westervelt, who presumably knows what it means to get a good sweaty stink on, HEX is high performance detergent with long-lasting odor eliminating technology. It’s the first and only system designed specifically to clean and protect today’s performance gear and apparel while staying gentle on fabric and skin.

  • free of dyes, perfumes, and optical brighteners
  • naturally antistatic and restores fabric wickability. No need for dryer sheets and fabric softeners
  • for those who are hooked on that “clean laundry” smell, HEX Enhance+ Performance Booster (used in addition to HEX Power+ Laundry Detergent) adds a fantastic, clean fragrance— that isn’t overwhelming or cloying, trust me on this, I’m picky— without compromising your gear’s ability to wick, breathe, and move.
  • HEX Tech creates a unique, bonded barrier that protects gear and apparel with odor-fighting technology, giving them long lasting protection from odors typically associated with bacteria

My favorite gear is back in business.

It doesn’t stink. It doesn’t smell like B.O. covered in fake flowers. It’s just sort of crisp and nice. And my hyper-sensitive skin didn’t react to it. ALL THE WINNING.

Plus, it’s eco-smart

This is important to me. The design of the package means a much smaller carbon footprint: 80% less warehouse space, 80% less landfill space, 80% less wood for pallets and paper for corrugates, and 75% less plastic when compared to the same size rigid bottles. And, HEX formulas are engineered to be eco friendly and biodegradable.


Hex Performance (1)


You can find HEX products in all Wegmans stores (first download this coupon for $2 off!). You can also purchase online here.

But I suggest you enter my giveaway! 10 will win a coupon for a HEX product. Ends at midnight on June 24th.


a Rafflecopter giveaway


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**This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

Have you heard about the zPump Fusion running shoes yet? The Reebok zPump Fusion fits to your foot like no other shoe before it. There’s a push-button built into the shoe and when you press or “pump” it, technology within the shoe inflates around the contours of your foot. Custom fit and cushioning; no sliding around.

The technology is a lightweight and seamless fabric called the “fusion sleeve” that fuses an air-filled cage to your foot. When you’re ready to take them off, you just push a little button next to the pump and it releases the air. Pretty cool, eh?

I like this one in coral (generally speaking, I’m not into brights but coral is universally flattering!).


Keep in mind, the best shoe for you is the one that best fits your foot. But that fit can change from day to day during your training cycle, or even over the course of the day (tip: this is why you should always try on shoes at the end of the day, to accommodate your biggest size). With the zPump Fusion you’ll always be locked in and good to go.

Today and tomorrow (March 31st and April 1st), you’ll get free 2-day shipping on, no code needed. Just select “2 day shipping” at checkout.

(Another tip: start at and you’ll get an additional 5% back on your Reebok purchase. ALWAYS check Ebates to see if you can get cash back when you shop online.)


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In October I started working with a new client on a FitFluential Twitter chat. We were talking about the love of the run, and running for good, and how the Timex ONE relay tied those things together. This relay “spans the distance between two of the most iconic marathons in the world”— from Chicago to NYC— and happened to still need runners in some cities.

Including my hometown, Wilmington Delaware.

So even though I’d not been doing much in the way of run training, I felt compelled to apply. Each runner got to choose a charity to support; Timex would be making a charitable donation of $100 per mile. The worst they could do was say no, right?

I was quick to mention that I continue to run only to prove to myself that I can do hard things that I really don’t want to do, in the hopes that I will nudge someone else who identifies as NOT A RUNNER to get out there.

And I was selected to participate. I was excited and petrified.

Screen shot 2014-11-30 at 10.49.30 AM

As luck would have it, the weather changed that morning from weeks of beautifully perfect fall temps to just a miserable, cold rain. I was late arriving because there were accidents on the backroads.

But I got there. And I ran.

Screen shot 2014-11-30 at 10.47.36 AM

I had 4 miles to run, starting at the Delaware Running Company store in Greenville right by my BFF’s parents’ house and ending just a bit past my in-laws’ house in Centerville. (This is how Delaware works.)

That’s an uphill climb pretty much the entire way. So much for my usual strategy of running the straightaways and downs and walking the hills.


I started off wearing my Under Armour rain jacket, but got all sweaty and irritated by it almost right away (not the jacket’s fault, I just can’t stand the feeling of wet fabric). So I just sucked it up and weathered the weather. You can’t even tell it was raining in these photos. Trust me, it was.


The nice thing though, was that the weather distracted me from the actual running, and since I didn’t want my phone to get wet I was pretty much unaware of time passing. The miles flew by. Before I knew it I was in Centerville, and headed downhill about a quarter mile towards my finish line.


You can kind of see the watch I’m wearing in this pic (I’m a terrible blogger and didn’t think to get a picture of it myself). It was worn by all of the relay participants to track the miles run. The touchscreen Timex Ironman ONE GPS+ lets you leave your phone at home: in addition to the features of a running GPS watch, it connects to Bluetooth headphones, allows you to send and receive messages, is compatible with Bluetooth heart rate monitors, is water resistant, and can send an SOS message complete with your exact location. Pretty cool.


Once my four miles were done I got to climb into the Timex van and warm up while we tailed another runner who was doing six miles.

Screen shot 2014-11-30 at 10.46.25 AM

Yes, I felt a little silly for being so proud of my paltry 4 miles. I knew a ton of people who were training for the NYC Marathon and were logging long runs of 18, 20 miles.

Running is hard for me. Especially something like this: no obstacles to break up the monotony, no one keeping me company. Just me and my thoughts, the loudest one asking me why the hell do I keep signing up for this stuff.


I don’t really know the answer to that question. But I keep signing up, and I keep doing, and that feels more right than doing nothing at all.

And in this case, I helped raise $400 for charity, which always feels pretty darn good.

You know how they say “if you run, then you’re a runner?” I say it too, but I never really felt it applied to me until I did this. For one day, I felt like a runner. A slow, thoroughly soaked and chilled to the bone runner, but a runner nonetheless.



You can learn more about the Timex ONE relay here.

If you’re local, I highly encourage you to visit the Delaware Running Company. I’d never been there before, but the staff was amazingly nice and helpful. It looks like they do group runs 3x a week.

(And in case you’re wondering about what I’m wearing in these photos: repping The Riv in my CrossFit Riverfront tank and hat; aforementioned Under Armour light weather-resistant jacket (doesn’t look like they carry this one anymore but this is similar); Pro Compression socks; Mizuno Wave  Sayonara shoes.)


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