No Pain, No Gain, Staying Safe While Training


After years of a moderately active, or even sedentary lifestyle you have finally done it! You have made the decision to take charge of your fitness, your health, body, and mind. For this, we at Wicked Fitness applaud you! It’s a big step, both mentally and physically, and it is a lifestyle change. It’s something in a world that sometimes seems out of our control, that we can directly control. It’s beautiful, it’s hard, and so empowering, and the “you” that is born out of it, is a healthier, stronger, more confident one.
Like any commitment you have ever made, it doesn’t come without sacrifice. The reward is so worth it, but it’s a journey. Your body will remind you of that. It will also remind you how inactive you have been. With your new healthy lifestyle will also likely come a few sore muscles and body aches. As a trainer, my number one concern and mission is keeping my clients safe. Yes, I am going to push you, motivate you, and change your body, but you have to remember, Rome was not built in a day. Nor did you gain an extra 20, 30, 50 plus pounds overnight. It took time to put that weight on. Although for some of us, it seems as though we went to bed one night and woke up 40 lbs. heavier…. Looking at a picture like “wait…what? Where did that come from?”
So, you took the first step, and now we are working it out… hooray! But, in thinking realistically at how long it took to put that weight on, just because you are on your way does not mean it is going to come off overnight either. There is no magic weight loss, although companies try to tell us those lies all the time. As much as you think in your mind that you can, you cannot take your body zero to 100 real quick. That would put you on a path to injury fast, which will thwart progress, and is not worth it.
With that said, there are a few things you must remember. STRETCH!!!! We stretch at the beginning of every class for a reason. Do not skimp on the stretching part, your muscles need it. Tweaked, twinged, strained and pulled muscles happen to the very best of us, even taking the proper precautions. In pushing your muscles to be stronger, your muscles may resist a bit, but stretching will keep them lengthened, and risk of injury lessened.
For all pole athletes, don’t jump in to your tricks. There is a reason our program teaches you from the first day to keep your arm high. Swinging in to your tricks and spins is far less jarring than jumping in to them. When you jump your body feels a sudden demand to catch itself putting a huge sudden strain on your muscles, which could lead to injury. Hands high, take your time, swing. It will also lead to less pole bruises, not to mention, elongating your tricks will look more graceful and aerodynamic.
Don’t push it. Only you can listen to your body. There is a difference between pushing yourself and pushing yourself so far your muscles throw a middle finger up to you. In all classes at Wicked Fitness, we try and give you a beginning exercise, an intermediate, and a more advanced. If you are just starting a workout routine, it might be lofty to attempt the most advanced exercise. A better idea is to start slow and then work your way up. See what your body is capable and then push it, don’t push it past its limits.
As I said, injuries happen to the best of us. You can ask me how like a dummy I folded like Gumby under 120 lbs. of plates one day at the gym (most embarrassing…moment…. EVER). Lesson learned. Some of us, have to learn the hard way to spare others from injury and embarrassment. Like in all sports and physical activity, it’s part of training really hard, and becoming stronger. But if we can spare you from ever having an injury, that is our goal! Keeping you safe, while building the best “you” you can possibly be. Time, technique, and patience is the key to your new fitness journey.

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Post-Baby Slim Down Advice

Whether you are becoming a mom for the first time or you are having baby number four, your post-baby body is always something in the back of your mind. As if adding a new and enormous responsibility to your life isn’t enough, the fear of how your body will look and react in the aftermath of childbirth can also be a major concern. While we understand that everyone’s body is different and will heal and adjust at various rates, there are a few helpful reminders we would like to share to help with transitioning back.

First, wait until you are fully healed to start a workout regimen. The doctors will most likely suggest you wait six weeks post-partum or possibly even longer if you have had a cesarean section. Yes, it is important to get back into a workout routine, however, if you jump in too soon you may end up with complications and not healing properly. Listen to your body; you will know when you are ready.

Next, pay attention to your calorie intake. If you are breastfeeding, you will need to eat approximately 300 calories above what someone who is not breastfeeding should typically consume. Make sure to check with your doctor to find out exactly what the best plan is for you. Keep in mind that your calories should be comprised of a healthy balance of proteins, fats, veggies, and carbs. For example, a bag of chips should not be your serving of carbs for the day if you are trying to shed pounds. Rather get your energy from complex carbs like sweet potatoes or added energy from fruit, and don’t forget to eat breakfast. Once you get into a routine of eating right, you really can’t go wrong. Also, if you feel really motivated try meal planning and freezing them before your baby is born. This way, you won’t even have to think about dinner in the first few months.

If your post baby eating habits are on point, then you should be on track to losing almost all of your baby weight. Remember that the last 10lbs can be the hardest to lose, and you will have to work for it. Start incorporating exercise into your daily routine even if it’s only 20 minutes per day in the beginning. Be sure and increase your intensity and duration steadily over time. You can even get creative and use your little one as a prop.
The last thing to remember is that you should not compare yourself to others. Just because your best friend into her pre-pregnancy jeans in the first two weeks post-baby, doesn’t mean you will too. Keep in mind; it took you around nine months to get this way so give yourself around nine months to get back to where you want to be. You have enough pressure on you as it is so the last thing you should do is make yourself feel bad. If you find yourself feeling down, talk to other moms who are or were in your situation. Support from those who are empathetic to what you are enduring is always uplifting. Just remember to try and stay positive and motivated and you will succeed!

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The Beauty of a Woman

A few years ago I met a man who was up from Charleston to do some business. After talking for quite some time we realized he knew a former client of mine. Such a small world it is. What I found most fascinating is how he described her. When they met she was this brave, strong woman, full of exuberance, and self-confidence, as she was dancing in a club with such passion, as if no one was watching her. He said she was a “wild one”.
I literally laughed out loud. What a great, independent woman she was. However, that was not the same woman who had originally come to me. When we first met, that “wild” woman was hiding. The woman who originally came to me couldn’t bear to even look at herself in the mirror and see her own insecurities, and was so self-conscious in how her body moved when trying to dance, she looked more appropriately suited to be dancing in church than in a night club. Throughout the several years I had her as a client, her “change” always reminded me of a butterfly spreading its wings and being set free.
For years I have seen it over and over. It’s more common than not. Women are hiding. We have been taught that we cannot be too sexy, (people will talk about us, “she must be a Ho”), cannot be too confident (then we are stuck up or conceited), cannot be beautiful (for then we must not be humble), cannot be strong (or else we are manly), cannot be independent (“she must not want a man”), cannot be opinionated (“she’s a bitch”), and the list goes on of all the things women shouldn’t be. So, we have been hiding. We hide under our clothes to hide our bodies, we learn to talk a certain way as to not offend, we look quickly to always be in a relationship, often because we are not truly comfortable with just ourselves.
Women care so much about what other people think. We care what our husbands will think, what our bosses will think, what our families will think, and what our friends will think….. but what about what WE think and feel?! Society has pushed us to be inside this tiny box. We feel the need to compete from the time we are little girls against one another instead of boosting each other up. Why? A strong, sexy, fierce, beautiful, independent, opinionated, EMPOWERED woman is the most feared thing on the planet.
At Wicked Fitness we strive to change society one woman at a time. Women are beautiful, sexy, fierce, strong, funny, quirky, silly, but most of them are lost. They’ve forgotten how to be these things and be ok with it. We give you permission!! You will actually really love that you you have been stifling. We have created a safe place where all women can be accepted and loved for exactly as they are. No boxes required. Actually, we quite prefer you out of your box. Can you handle it? Feeling sexier in your own skin? Remembering the beautiful being you truly are? Having self-confidence and opinions, and not being afraid to actually have conversations and voice them? Find your voice. Find your butterfly and set her free. Stand in your power.

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Quick Workouts For The Modern Day Woman

Regardless if you are single, married, have kids or not, working full time, or are a stay at home mom, it seems like our lives as women in modern society never stop.  For some of us a trip to the gym might be a little less of a sacrifice than others but a sacrifice none the less.  Ideally we would all like to make it to the gym and go to our favorite fitness class 4-5 times a week but in reality that can’t always happen.  Therefore, we have composed a few quick at home workouts for you to do on those days where you just can’t make that trip to the gym.

The Glutes & Legs Lift & Burn

Goal: Three rounds with only a 30 second break in between rounds.

30 -Side Lunges, 20-Weighted Walking Lunges (make sure the weight you chose is challenging but you can still complete all of the reps), 50- Air Squats (25 regular stance & 25 wide stance), 30- Jump Squats, 20- Glute Kickbacks.

The Cardio Killer

Goal: Four rounds with only a 30 second break in between rounds.

50 -Jumping Jacks, 15-Burpees, 30- High Knees, 30- Mountain Climbers, 20- Jump Squats.

The Upper Body Burn

Goal: Four rounds with a 60 second break in between rounds.

10-Push Ups, 30-Bent Over Rows, 20-Tricep Extensions, 10- Front Lateral Extensions,  10- Side Lateral Extensions, 15- Hammer Curls.  (Remember to challenge yourself on the weights you choose and you can decrease them as needed)

The Abs & Core

Goal: Three rounds with only a 30 second break in between rounds.

30 Seconds -Flutter Kicks, 60 Seconds – Bicycle, 60 Seconds- Plank, 60 Seconds- Side Planks (30 per side), 30 Seconds -Jack Knife, 30 Seconds – Russian Twist.

Once you get acclimated to these workouts you can always incorporate additional exercises and switch them up.  Also, if you are up to the challenge, try to combine two or more of the workouts listed for an intense calorie burn.  Don’t forget to modify if you have to and be sure to warm up and cool down properly.  Lastly, just remember to stay motivated and even if you can‘t get to the gym an at home workout is better than not doing a workout at all!

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Football Season. In my opinion, more exciting than winter, summer, spring, or fall. My personal favorite season of the year. Myself, like so many others, live for weekends from August through January. Whether it’s college teams you are rooting for or the NFL, they all have one thing in common… FOOD. Football food, oh how we love it, and how it will quickly sabotage any recently laid clean eating plans. Here are just a few ways to fight the battle of the bulge with gridiron grit this season.

You throw the party! Whether tailgating or watching the game with a few friends at your house, if it’s your event, you get to plan the food. Have water bottles in a cooler, or even make fruit and spices infused water in a lemonade jar. Tell your friends it’s a BYOB event if they are set on beer with the game. Guess what? These days there are tons of clean eating, football food “cheats” recipes available online. Try buffalo “chicken” cauliflower bites, or turkey meatballs, or even veggie slices instead of chips and dip.

Make it a workout. Those players are working hard out on that field, (most weeks anyway). So, why don’t you challenge yourself also? Every time the opposing team scores, or your own team scores (your choice), do 20 pushups. They aren’t as hard when you are doing them in sets with rests in between. Why not try doing sit ups the entire commercial break, every commercial break, your abs will thank you. How about standing up from your couch and sitting back down 20 times each commercial break? Even doing a fast lap around the block every time the other team scores? The possibilities to get in a workout while you watch the game are endless!

Don’t mindlessly snack. How often are you getting so wrapped up in the game that before you know it, that entire bag of chips and dip sitting in front of you is gone? It’s very easy to not be monitoring portion control when we have food in front of us and we are distracted. So, if this is you, first, change up your snack. The healthier the better, like fresh vegetables or apple slices. Then, if you can also only put out a regular sized portion, so you know when it’s gone, snacking is over for a while. Also, eating an actual healthy meal before the game will stave off hunger and the desire to just eat and eat.

Water Challenge! You have a block of time set aside for the game. So, you are saying, it’s not like a regular day, when drinking your water can run behind schedule because of that work meeting, or kids sports practice, and so on. How much water can you possibly drink during the game? Challenge yourself. You are already close to a restroom and commercial breaks are often. It will hydrate you, and keep you feeling full longer so you don’t mindlessly snack. Remember, water is KEY for flushing fat!

So, there you have it! Just because football season is here doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice all your hard work in the gym. Keep to your goals. Remember, what you eat and do today will affect your whole fitness game plan. Champions are not made over night, nor is a healthy fit body. It takes work, and constant dedication. If you need a pre-game pep talk, we, at Wicked Fitness have got you!  Go TEAM!

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     I suppose everyone’s “Ah HA!” moment comes in a different form. I can tell you I ignored mine time and time again and let it eat away at me little by little until it literally smacked me across the face while saying, “Woman, WAKE UP”. Then, it was as if it was screaming at me, “Your time here is done! Your lessons are learned. Get to steppin!” From that moment on, I knew when a woman was done, she was just that… done. There was no working on it, or trying to fix it. So, after 7 years, I told my now current ex-husband that I was done. I was filing for divorce. I wasn’t going to fight him for anything. The house, the cars, the furniture, the tvs computers, dishes, he could keep it all. All I wanted was to have custody of my kids, at least 5 days a week so they could be in school with me.

I had very little money, but was so done I refused to fight over “stuff and things”, I just wanted to be free.  I decided I would walk down whatever road it took to be just that, no matter how hard that road was. I had no idea how I would make enough money on a bartenders salary (just tips) to pay rent ANY where, much less electricity, food, gas, and all the other bills that go along with living on your own and supporting two children. I prayed A LOT, and yes, asked for help from the universe knowing I would need some divine intervention. But above all, I had another thought… What if my mental vibrations could help manifest a new destiny?

We have all heard it before, the power of positive thinking.  Often we think of it as cliché and continue on our same destructive thought patterns. But…what if your thoughts really could change your reality? I had nothing to lose right? So, I focused… HARD. I wrote it down. Starting with a place to live. I needed a place for myself and my two kids and knew what I could afford, which wasn’t much. I wrote down everything I hoped for in a place.   I spent the next few months living out of my car like a gypsy, never sleeping on the same pillow two nights in a row. Every night I slept only a few hours between driving and work in a different place, still focusing hard on manifesting a new home that seemed impossibly out of reach. But I had to know with all my being that the universe would answer. It did!! Our place, at exactly the rent I could afford, with almost all my wishes I had written down materialized. Small things I had written, such as lots of windows, and natural sunlight, surrounded by trees and nature, a quiet place for helping bring peace to my soul, even having hardwood floors, all came in to being within 3 months.

So, I began to study more on the idea. Maybe it was fluke, although I found it hard to believe. But just what if I could manifest the life I wanted through the power of my thoughts? There was a study done by Dr. Masaru Emoto who went on to write a book called The Hidden Messages in Water, which explores this same concept. Emoto discovered that crystals formed in frozen water reveal changes when specific concentrated thoughts are directed towards them. For example, Spring water put in a test tube where words like, Love and Beauty where written and then groups of people surrounded it and thought beautiful loving thoughts directly at the water, over time, that water when observed through a microscope formed the most beautiful crystals. Whereas water exposed to negative thoughts, formed incomplete, asymmetrical patterns with downright dull, brownish colors.

The next thought I had was, if this was true, and our bodies are made up of 65% water, how can this positive thought process change our bodies? If instead of looking in the mirror and instantly thinking how we’ve gained weight, and projecting thoughts like, “I’m fat, I’m ugly, my nose is too big, my thighs have cellulite, and my hair is ugly….” Just what if you took a few moments a day to look at yourself in the mirror and think, “I AM BEAUTIFUL.” What if we challenged ourselves to think and know in the deepest part of our being that we are beautiful, loving bodies, perfect in our own skin? Write it on your mirror and read it to yourself everyday!

So, the challenge is up to you. If you could change your life, your love, your surroundings, your body…. What would your perfect existence look like? Do you think if you focus all your vibrational energy on that powerful thought… can you manifest it in to reality? I know I am a walking example of continually trying to manifest the new life I want. So, do you have anything to lose?

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Why Exercise?

Why make time for exercise when you barely have time to get everything done that you need to do in a day? That’s a very good question that we are prepared to answer.  We understand that life can be crazy and overwhelmingly busy with work, school, family, chores and everything else.  However, it’s essential that you take the best care of yourself first and foremost so that you are able to be the best you can be in all aspects of your life.

Running low on energy because life has you running ragged?  Well, the more exercise you get, the better shape you are in, therefore the easier it is for you to accomplish regular house hold chores such as vacuuming or putting groceries away. Also, did you know that working out consistently can help promote a better night’s sleep?  And we all know there is a significant difference in mood and energy depending if we are getting adequate amounts of rest.  Imagine sacrificing just a little time and effort 4-5 times a week but seeing an overall change in your presence, mood and energy level?  That small sacrifice is beginning to seem more and more worth it.

In addition to the immediate effects of working out, there are also some long term benefits as well such as weight loss and the prevention of certain health ailments and disease.  Let’s be real, who doesn’t want to lose a few pounds?  That’s what we thought.  In regards to health issues, exercising regularly can aide in preventing a plethora of ailments such as depression, type 2 diabetes, stroke, arthritis and more.

Stop making excuses and start making changes with us at Wicked Fitness.  We have classes for ages and fitness levels.  Not to mention, the variety of classes that we offer is so vast that there is literally something for everyone to enjoy and benefit from.  So what are you waiting for?! Visit our website, call or stop by for more information today!

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Bitch Please, Every Excuse in the Book

So before you go getting your panties all in a bunch, and get on some feminist high horse, let it be known that I have nothing but the utmost love, adoration, and respect for women as a sex. And just as my own personal disclaimer I use the word “Bitch” with nothing but love and humor, not in derogatory sense. If you are indeed offended, even in the use of the word in humorous context by a sister trying to get you to wake up, using the word “Bitch”, please stop reading now.

So let’s get real and hold ourselves accountable for the real reasons you are not losing weight and getting results you want. As a trainer I hear excuses all day, all night, and even on weekends. It’s like as children we were taught to make an excuse for everything, or if something isn’t going our way, or the way we had envisioned, suddenly there must be an excuse as to why. So here we go with just a few.

I work out at least three days a week, but I’m still not losing any weight.

Bitch please! Just because you walk into a gym three days a week, and walk on a treadmill, and walk around looking at weight machines for 30-45 min before you really feel as though you’ve “gotten it in” and leave does not mean you have adequately worked out. Especially if you are trying to see real results and fit into those jeans from 5 years ago that you just can’t seem to bring yourself to take to the Goodwill because they “are going to fit again”. In reality, they are only going to fit again in this lifetime if you make some serious changes and put in some serious work.

Maybe I have a thyroid problem.

Bitch please! Or maybe, you have an “I really like to eat pizza, macaroni and cheese, or Tacos on Tuesdays” problem. When you walk in to that gym, have you ever taken a minute to look around you at the ripped people who inhabit such facilities? News flash…they are in there truly GETTING IT five plus days a week, rain or shine, whether they feel like it or not, and yes, even on weekends and holidays, and they have a very regimented diet to match.

I don’t have time to work out.

Bitch please! You mean you don’t really have a super desire so you make an excuse as to the kids having sports, you having to cook dinner for the family, extra work at the office, etc., etc., yadda, yadda, yadda. Yes, these things are all a part of daily life, and as an incredibly busy single mother myself, my day is seemingly never done. But with a little pre planning, it is possible. Make dinners for the whole week, so all you have to do is stick it in the oven. Or, hey, here’s a thought, maybe that two hours you spend watching t.v. with your husband before you fall asleep, some of that time could be spent working out. Or, hey, here’s a thought, why don’t you try getting up and hour earlier, so you can do it and get it out of the way for the day? (Shrieking… I know… anything but that)

I walk every night.

Ok, not trying to get down on the fact that you truly are making time to do something, but news flash, walking is only really adequate exercise for pregnant women and those with disabilities or recovering from surgery. In order to truly be doing enough to see results, you need your heart rate elevated for a MINIMUM of 15 minutes at a time. So, are you walking up a mountain? Are you doing walking and running intervals until sweat is pouring from your face and you feel like your lungs may give out? By walking do you mean through water for resistance, or with 20 lb ankle weights? No? Ok, than chances are good, you’re walking around the block a few times, although better than nothing, and good for digestion, is not doing enough to see results to get back into those jeans.

I eat really healthy.

Bitch please! Let’s define your version of the word healthy. I bet you didn’t know when you don’t eat all day at the office, and then chow down on dinner, your metabolism has been at a standstill all day and then is suddenly overloaded with food it then can’t burn off. Or those carrot sticks and celery you had for lunch, yes, I give you props you are trying, but you just cancelled them out with the amount of Ranch dressing you drown them in to get them down. That salad you had at the restaurant with your coworkers… same thing…bacon bits, cheese, and croutons drowned in dressing cancels out the good you are trying to do. Let’s not forget, that Gatorade you just pounded at the end of your “workout”… yeah, the amount of sugar in it just sabotaged what you just did. (Unless you are vomiting profusely, you don’t usually need to replace electrolytes. Water is your best choice).

I have this medical condition, X, Y, and or Z.

Bitch please! You may indeed have a medical condition, but chances are likely exercise is some way, shape or form will make your condition better, your pain less, and give you more energy. You just have to find what works well for YOU without aggravating your condition. There is this beautiful practice called Yoga that is noninvasive, simple stretching, while strengthening your muscles and working on balance. Swimming is fantastic for those with injuries, and preexisting conditions. Even conditions causing debilitating pain can sometimes be over come through exercise. So, the next time you see an athletic amputee, you might want to take a second to reflect on how they never let anything slow them down. Sometimes it’s just as much mental as it is physical.

I really don’t eat much, but I’m still gaining weight.

Bitch please! News flash, you could be under eating causing your body’s metabolism to slow to a hault and hold on to every single calorie and ounce of fat and nutrition it can eek out of the small amount of food you are eating. In order to keep your body burning you have to be feeding it constantly, and no, that doesn’t mean whatever you want. So much food we grab on the go is full of empty calories. And FYI, maybe you didn’t eat throughout the day, but between that grande latte for breakfast, that smoothie for lunch, that coke on your break,  and that beer at happy hour, you consumed enough sugar and calories just in what you drank to last you a week.


These are just a few of the many, many excuses I hear constantly surely along with almost every trainer, at every gym, every where. We have come to terms with the fact the we will always hear excuses because honestly, it’s easier than the latter of actually holding yourself accountable for your actions, your weight, and your lifestyle. Just keep in mind, those around you who really are getting results, changing their bodies, and their mindset, are working hard to do so. Nothing in life that is truly rewarding came easily or without sacrifice. At Wicked Fitness we understand how trying just life in general can be. So, when you are done making excuses we will be right there with open arms to help you on your fitness journey, and with the tools for your success. It’s always easier with a coach in your corner, and Bitch please, you know we’d love to help you reach your goals!

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Just Glow With It

Masquerade balls, secret societies, even today’s modern Halloween, all invoke a feeling of excitement and mystery, and all have something in common…. We feel safe expressing ourselves behind a mask. This has dated back centuries. Even some of our most loved folk tales involve some character or another wearing a mask. When our faces are “hidden” or shrouded in darkness we feel a sense of freedom to express ourselves in ways we normally would think twice about for fear of being judged. In my opinion, it’s the same reason raves gained such popularity in the 90’s. The freedom to walk into a dark space, only illuminated by magical lights and sounds that play on the senses and suddenly one was free to dance for hours on end with complete strangers.

This is possibly the reason behind one of the hottest new trends at house parties, fraternity ragers, birthday bashes and even fitness facilities, the return of the glow party. Who doesn’t love the allure of being in the dark? Add black lights, iridescent glow paint, neon clothing, and heart thumping rhythms and it’s like magic. Even the fitness industry is getting on board with glow spin classes, and even Rave fitness. In the dark, suddenly even the idea of working out doesn’t seem as intimidating. At Wicked Fitness, we strive to bring our clients new, cutting edge, out of the box fitness experiences, so yes, of course we are jumping on this band wagon too, of course with a wicked twist.

Tribal Glow will be an all-out feast for the senses all while feeling the safety net of being unrecognizable in the dark. Tribal costumes, glow attire, tribal glow in the dark painting, and mesmerizing rhythms will not only have you feeling like you’ve fallen down a rabbit hole, but you can feel free to let your inner self dance freely amongst a sisterhood of other women there to encourage and have fun! Why should kids get to have all the fun? Glow fitness makes you forget how truly hard you are working your muscles. I hope you come hide in the dark with us and at the same time be set free!

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Laundramat Adventures of a Single Mom

Often, I think of the beautiful, royal blue dryer, with it’s “Sanitize” function, and “Steam Wrinkle Release” option, not to mention how it was one of the largest dryers on the market, and most importantly….it was ours….or I should say mine considering my ex-husband never did the laundry, yet expected it to miraculously just be washed, dried, and magically reappear in the appropriate drawer. During my marriage, never had I wanted an appliance, but after our previous dryer kept ruining clothes we finally broke down, and I must say, that dryer made laundry much less painful. Yes, often I think of how lovely it was to do wash any and many days a week at an hour of my choosing, in the convenience of my own home. Those days however are so long behind me, some days they seem just a distant memory. Since my divorce, my children and I moved in to a place with no washer and dryer and no connections to hook up. For nearly three years now, doing laundry means a trip, or several back and forth, to the nearest Laundromat. I try and limit wash day to just one day a week. One day a week to pack up all the laundry accumulated in a week, between myself and two children who can’t seem to stay clean for even 10 minutes. Please take in to consideration my eight year old daughter who has to change clothes at least three times before actually finding what she would like to wear, and a son who, when I say, “Go clean your room” will often take clothing that has never been worn and throw it into the hamper.

Some very interesting things happen at a Laundromat, not to mention the very interesting individuals one meets during their time there. One who truly sticks out in my mind was a man by the name of Universal….yes, that’s really what he said his name was. Quite friendly. He saw me carrying in two incredibly large laundry bags and must have thought I was a weak, feeble female who needed assistance. He obviously didn’t see the bulging of my biceps as I single handedly carried 30 lbs of laundry, and laundry soap, and my wallet and phone, walking with a sense of purpose like laundry was my mission. He not only opened the door for me, but proceeded to take my clothes, walk them all the way down to washers of his choosing, and start loading them into the machine! All while rambling a mile a minute. Really, I’m thinking, “Dude, I got it, please don’t touch my panties”. That’s when he introduces himself, saying his name is Universal. He follows it up with, “See, I have it right here” and shows me his forearms. I look down to see not a tattoo but the most horrible scarring (and no, for the record, I could not make out where the brand said, “Universal”). He followed it up with, “you like that? I did it myself…with a wire coat hanger”. “Wooooooooooow”, trying to hide the look on my face when in actuality I’m thinking a prison tattoo probably would have looked better.

I quickly thank him for his help explaining how I have things to do. After a few comments on how well I fill out my leggings he tells me how he’s waiting on his ride, and doesn’t know if he will be there when I get back. (Thank GOD). He asks for my number, but then hesitates…. “I could save your number in this phone but it’s actually my niece’s phone, but if I write it down I could use my homeboys phone later on”. Ok, sir lets be real a minute… You are trying to sound hard and appear dateable however from our very short conversation I know you don’t have a washer and dryer (hence, you, like myself are at the Laundromat), you don’t have a car (you are waiting on your ride), you don’t have a phone, (you are currently holding your nieces), and you have self brands from a coat hanger on your arms. I am not the judging type, but if you have ever heard TLC’s “I Don’t Want No Scrub”… that’s what’s currently playing in my mind. Thank you for your hospitality in trying to put my clothes into a washer for me, but I’m good.

Then there was the time when I see a lady who I’ve seen around the neighborhood several times, bumps in to me at the Laundromat. She had one time followed me in to the store to ask if I played the lottery. She said she has seen my car and always plays my license plate number. When I see her at the Laundromat she mentions that I have a nice car and she is still playing those numbers. I tell her to keep up the faith, and we exchange friendly small talk as I load the washer. We bid our ado’s and I go about my errands.

When it becomes time for me to retrieve my clothes from the dryer, the lady is on the opposite end of the Laundromat also folding. I look around and notice my laundry bags are nowhere to be seen. I second guess myself and go out to my car to look for them. I realize I most definitely left them lying on the folding table nearest my washer. Seriously, who would want to steal laundry bags? All my time doing laundry there and never have I had any one mess with my stuff. I go back in, looking once more with no positive result and ask the woman if she has seen two white, mesh laundry bags. She coldly replies, “No”. At this point I look down and see two white mesh laundry bags… MY Laundry bags amongst her additional plastic hampers. I ask again, “Are you SUUUURE you haven’t seen two mesh laundry bags? One is plain; the other has a Game Cocks logo?” (Let’s be clear, not because I’m a Carolina fan, but because it was a good sturdy bag and it was at the Goodwill for $1) She again replies, “No. All I have is this ripped up one, which is mine” As she is loading her clothes into MY ripped up bag. She then proceeds to tell me how someone had taken money out of her wallet which she had left on the laundry table apparently near where I was doing my clothes. First, who leaves their wallet at a Laundromat or anywhere for that matter, expecting it to be safe? And second, you think I took your money..?! And by taking my laundry bags, that’s going to be justice? Bless you, nasty woman. You are apparently even harder up than I.

Most people take for granted the very act of doing laundry. If anything, these, among many other experiences have made me that much more blessed and grateful. I will feel incredibly grateful when I again in life have a washer and dryer in my home, at my disposal. But in the mean time, clean clothes are a beautiful thing. So on to wash another day, which truly is an adventure.

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