Spinderella Cut It Up One Time (Or, What I’ve Learned from Spin Class) January 29, 2017

1) Don’t Wear Mascara.

The first time I went to a “real” spin studio, I was in the South. From what I’d seen and read (perhaps from Steel Magnolias?) I thought that Southern ladies pretty much slept in their make-up. Therefore I didn’t want to show up to the 6:15 a.m. class looking like…well, looking like my natural self. I put on a little concealer and my normal Dior Show mascara and headed out the door. About one hour later I was literally soaked with sweat but super proud I had done the class while not looking like too much of an idiot. (Wait for it.)  I then walked the 1.5 miles back to my hotel. Only when I got into the bathroom did I realize I had two huge raccoon eyes; that damn drag queen mascara was all over my face. I basically looked like I had just walked out of the Kentucky coal mines after a long days’ work. (And I should know; I’ve watched Coal Miner’s Daughter at least twenty times.

2) The Instructors Look Like Athleta Models.

This, of course, makes me instantly resent them. Many of them have ultra hip names like “West” or “Tedrick” or “Dannan”, a long blonde ponytail, abs of steel, and a sizeable thigh gap even my skinniest self has never seen. They were all former cheerleaders and/or dance squad captains at some big college, and I am constantly left to wonder how the hell they got their bodies. I’m sure it’s not all from spinning, despite what Kelly Ripa may tell you.

3) But I Still Love the Instructors.

Even though I resent their perfect bodies and perky demeanors, I still can’t hate them. The fact is, they’re good and inspiring and so darn nice. One instructor in particular, who reminded me of that perfect blonde Athleta model from every catalog (you know the one I’m talking about, ladies) does a fantastic job of making sure we leave all of our stress, insecurities, pain, etc. at the door and just focus on being good to ourselves. “Nobody is ever as perfect as they seem,” she (ironically?) said to the class. “Everyone has their thing, everyone has their own issues even if they don’t show it.” I couldn’t imagine what perfect blonde Athleta model’s struggles were, but I decided there must be something and just went with it.

4) You Rarely Sit Down.

I don’t know why this was a surprise to me; the instructors sure as hell didn’t get those bodies by taking leisurely rides like they were in a Schwinn banana seat. Once you get on the bike, your keester is up and out of the “saddle” most of the time. Sometimes when they dim the lights really dark I sit down and pretend that nobody can see me, but I know better. Plus I’m too competitive and self-conscious to be sitting too long, so I savor those 5 seconds of rest and then go back for more before the instructor sees me. Yes, it’s painful, but after awhile you get used to it.

5) There’s a Weights Section.

I’m usually jumping for joy and relief when the weights part of the workout rolls around. (Well, okay maybe not jumping…since my thighs are burning so much I pretty much have spaghetti legs by then, if you can imagine spaghetti legs with a little more than the desired amount of thigh meat.) I enjoy the weights because I can rock them out better than a lot of people in class, and for a few minutes I feel better about myself.

6) The Music Keeps Me Coming Back.

Bruno Mars vs. Michael Jackson theme nights? Old School Hip Hop? Yes, please! The music is always fantastically motivating and super loud, and sometimes it makes me forget I’m suffering (and paid an enormous amount of money for a 45-minute class.)

(That reminds me: Must suggest New Edition/Bobby Brown/ BBD theme night, based on recent success and hype of The New Edition Story miniseries. Spin instructors reading this, feel free to use my awesome idea. You’re welcome.)


Running Sometimes Makes Me Angry September 5, 2016

Filed under: Humor,Life Lessons,Uncategorized — aniederkorn @ 8:30 am
Tags: ,

I am not a runner. I am someone who sometimes runs and even sometimes signs up for things like 5K’s or even marathon relays, but I still don’t consider myself a runner. There are a variety of reasons for this, but it’s probably because 1) I don’t usually run on a regular basis (unless I’m training for something), and 2) I am slow as sh*t. I figure if I’m ever going to get any enjoyment out of running, I don’t want to suffer too much…hence I keep a very steady and slow pace just to avoid too much discomfort. Most days I would much rather do forty-five minutes of Insanity than run. Running is just such a constant mental battle for me: Can I keep this up? A car is coming, I’m going to speed up a bit. Seriously, how can that only be 1.5 miles? There’s another runner. Do I give him the runner’s nod, even though I clearly am not at his level? Is he mocking me? Etc. Etc.

Besides, I don’t even have a runner’s body; I have a long torso with short legs. A “regular runner’s” stride equals about four of mine. (On a side note, my body is apparently better suited to swimming. I’ve tried swimming fast. It never happens.) The truth is, running can scare the sh*t out of me. And here’s why: I never know when I’m going to have a great run or a terrible run. One day I could be feeling like a rock star and the next I have such a terrible run that I end up questioning my entire fitness level and abilities. And this makes me angry.

If you’re a runner and you enjoy it, I really envy you. I do. You most likely have impossibly long legs and weigh next to nothing. If you think I hate you for this, you’re probably right.

But seriously… if I really examine where my anger towards running comes from, I’d have to look back at my brief and totally non-illustrious personal history with running. I’ve pretty much narrowed it down to this list:

Runners Who Run BEFORE the Race

There are actually people who go on runs around the course before the race even begins. At a high speed. I am not one of those people. I need to conserve every ounce of energy I have before the race, therefore the walk from the parking lot and maybe a few half-assed stretches are all I’ve got. There is no way in hell I’m going to run a 5K before I run a 5K. Who are these show-offs? They’re runners. These people make me angry.

The Walk-Sprint People, a.k.a. Annoying Children

These are the 5K participants who have not prepared in any way for the race, so they decide to do a combination of short sprints followed by walking. They are usually clueless children who had no idea how far a 5K actually was, so they start out the race by sprinting for about a tenth of a mile, then suddenly realize holy sh*t I can’t keep this up (at least that’s what the foul-mouthed children are thinking.) So they walk. The second I catch up to them, they will inevitably start to sprint again. And then they will walk. And then I will catch up to them, and then they will sprint away from me again. We will play this little cat and mouse game almost the entire time until I finally can’t take it anymore and pass those little bastards once and for all.

Jean Shorts Guy

There’s always some scrawny guy in the race who looks like he rolled out of bed, threw on some jean shorts and some Chuck Taylors and decided, “I think I’m going to run this charity 5K today.” Even though the last year of his life consisted mostly of time spent in front of the penny slots machine, he passes me on the course and beats my time by about 10 minutes. Yup. I just got passed by a guy in jean shorts. And you wonder why running sometimes makes me lose my sh*t.

Incompetent Race Direction-Givers

One time a few college students who were supposed to direct people where to go on the course apparently missed the memo…and I went the wrong way.  (Yes, this would only happen to me. As if the actual running part was not hard enough, I now had to guess where to run.) As I passed others who were running the opposite direction, I wanted to scream at the boys: You had ONE JOB PEOPLE!! ONE JOB!! I ended up going about 3.5 or 3.6 miles instead of 3.1. Who knows. All I know is I was suffering badly. But Anne… how does this even happen, you ask? Read on.

Runners Who Run AFTER the Race

So apparently I went the wrong way during a race because I saw some other people way ahead of me…and I followed them. And the direction guys did not stop me. Seems logical, right? Well apparently not, because those people who finish the 5K so frickin’ fast then feel the need to actually go back onto the course and RUN. SOME. MORE. In the wrong direction. In any direction they feel like. So people like me see them and follow them.

Here’s a thought: Once you’re done with the race, F*cking. Stay. Off. The. Course. Want to go run some more? Fine, go knock yourself out. But don’t go back on the course. The fact that I am still struggling to finish while you are doing your “cool down” (at a pace still way more fast than more normal one) only makes me feel bad about myself. Oh, and angry. And here’s another thought: If you like to run so much and wanted to run more than a 5K, then why didn’t you sign up for the half marathon instead? These tiny distances are clearly way too easy for you, and I’d much rather avoid your condescending little looks of encouragement in my direction while you pass me during your cool down.

You’re welcome.


Despite all my embarrassing running moments,  there are actual times that running makes me feel good. And perhaps that’s why I continue to do it…to prove I can. To prove that despite my body type and overall general attitude towards running, I can actually do it if I set my mind to it. Even if I’m angry.



Last Day Abroad July 6, 2016

Filed under: Humor,Life Lessons,Travel — aniederkorn @ 10:41 pm
Tags: , , ,

The year was 1994. I had just finished a semester abroad in Toledo, Spain, followed by about three weeks traveling around Europe on the cheap. My experience was a combination of culture shock, anxiety, enlightenment, and just plain fun. My Spanish was the best it had ever been, and I ate a ton of wonderful Mediterranean food but never gained a pound. (Probably a combination of my twenty-year-old metabolism and the unprocessed, healthy diet). However, by the time late May rolled around I was more than ready to head home.

Let’s start by saying I wasn’t one of those students who came back from abroad and had to make sure everyone around them knew how “worldly” they were. I wasn’t wearing a long peasant dress and constantly working references about Spain into normal conversation just to get attention. Okay so maybe I did think, “Wow, you have no idea how sheltered you are” when I ran into a few people, but for the most part I just felt so lucky that I lived in the United States and could come back to such a wonderful country. I had missed my family and friends so much; with email in its infancy, I had to rely on good old-fashioned letters during my entire stay. I saved every one. I also came to miss the little mundane everyday activities we all took for granted. For example, when I had composed a list of things I wanted to do over the summer, one of them was actually “go grocery shopping”. (Ironic since I now absolutely hate grocery shopping unless it’s Trader Joe’s or Costco.)

Now the second thing you need to know is that I had grown up in a family that was exposed to other cultures quite often. Even though I lived in a small town, my dad was a member of the local Rotary Club that would host exchange students every year. It was common for our family to host students for a weekend here or there; when I was in high school we hosted a Japanese girl for a semester. The whole experience with Rotary was based on kindness, fellowship, and generosity. My family was not compensated for hosting these students; we willingly took them in, took them places, and bought them Christmas gifts as if they were part of the family. That was just the way it was, so I somewhat expected the same kind of treatment when I studied overseas years later. I was so wrong.

So here we are back in Toledo, Spain.My last day abroad. I got up around 5:30 a.m. in order to catch a ride with a neighbor to the bus station. That’s right; my host family had already said their goodbyes the night before and were not actually taking me to the airport about an hour away. This was definitely not the send-off I had expected, but I knew that my host family was being paid to have me in their home. Despite this, I still felt hurt that our friendship was not worth a trip to the airport.

So instead there was Carlos, clearly annoyed he had to bring me to the bus station on his way to work. I struggled to get my suitcases down all the stairs to the waiting bus. Once in Madrid, I managed to find a taxi to the airport, relieved that I was almost there. Until we actually got to the airport, that is. The taxi driver did some calculations on a piece of paper, careful to include my 2 suitcases and the carry-on, then announced that I owed him $120.


I was cranky already and now this guy is trying to rip me off? I didn’t even have $120 on me. And here we had such a nice conversation in Spanish on the ride here…MIERDA.  He tried to play nice and offered to help me with my bags as I went to find an ATM (and a police officer, which I never did find. They were probably on strike. Every other day someone was on strike in that damn country.)

Once I was robbed by the taxi driver I got into the long check-in line. As I was waiting, a chipper lady from the airline approached me and told me that the flight was oversold and she was looking for volunteers for a later flight. Since my family was driving 5-6 hours to O’Hare to meet me, this was out of the question. I smiled at her through gritted teeth and told her no while shaking my head wildly. My crazy eyes seemed to tell her: Leave. Now. 

I checked in, found my gate and settled into a chair, now more than ever just wanting to get home to my land of Taco Bell and peanut butter. But alas my hell was not over. Soon after I sat down, a forty-something Spanish man decided to lie across the chairs directly across from me. He closed his eyes and seemed to be hunkering down for a pre-flight nap. But first, he had to take care of a little business. And by business, I mean sticking his hand down his pants and scratching like he had pants full of poison oak topped with mosquito bites, then sprinkled with an allergic reaction. He was not adjusting any balls, he was not playing with himself…he was just SCRATCHING.

I looked around the gate. Uh…yeah, is anyone else seeing this? Why isn’t anyone else looking disgusted? What is wrong with you people? This guy is rubbing himself so much his balls have turned into one huge human scratch-off ticket.

I closed my eyes and dreamed about kissing the ground when I landed in D.C.

Try not to be ethnocentric. Try not to be ethnocentric. Try not to ethnocentric.

Hell, all bets were off at that point. I can still appreciate other cultures and celebrate their differences while thinking my country is the best, right? Everyone should think their own country is the best! (I can’t speak for those countries that are so corrupt and full of terrorism that people need to leave – of course in that case then yes get the hell out.) But I’m not going to apologize for loving my country. U.S.A.! U.S.A.!

Happy belated Independence Day, everyone! And may your days abroad be safe, merry and scratch-free.





GPS Fail May 22, 2016

It all started out so innocently. I had booked the training in Atlanta because I was genuinely interested in the session and San Francisco was probably out of the company budget (not to mention a long way to go for a one-day seminar). I was savoring the chance to get out of the office and read on the plane, not to mention a hotel room and remote all to myself. I had heard the traffic rumors about Atlanta, but I honestly thought, “Meh, how bad can it be, right?”

I was so very wrong.

My trip actually starts out pretty well. My flight arrives early, and I’m the only person in line for my rental car place. I get to the expressway just fine, as I have to travel to the north side of Atlanta (the airport is – of course – on the far south side of the city). I’m cruising along, slightly slowing in the middle of the city but for the most part keeping a steady pace.

I get off the expressway and onto another highway, then take my exit to my hotel. This is where the trouble starts. According to my GPS, my hotel is “on the right”. That isn’t really specific enough, and I don’t see my hotel at all, but I could figure that out later. That’s because my hotel exit also featured a sign for Chick Fil A, and I was hell bent on getting some delicious chicken before hunkering down for the night. The sign had said the restaurant was maybe a half mile down the road, however it became clear that they either lied, I had missed it, or it was very cleverly hidden.

In the meantime I get completely turned around and confused and somehow end up in a mall parking lot. Right in front of Nordstrom, specifically. If you know me, you realize the irony of this situation.

But at this point I was so frustrated and bordering on hangry that even a beautiful shoe department could not deter me on my quest for chicken. I regroup, punch Chick Fil A into my phone’s GPS, and wait for my instructions. The calm voice tells me to do something like “Head Northwest”.

“Well bless her heart, she honestly thinks I know which way is Northwest,” I say in my best Southern accent.

Honestly, I’m more of a “turn right at the McDonald’s” kind of gal, so the GPS may as well have told me to “Go Table”.  I end up flipping a coin and hoping for the best. Of course by the time I realize I should have turned left instead of right, it’s too late. I have to turn around in some residential community that looks like it could house a poorer Real Housewife. Maybe Kim before she met Big Papa.

Honestly, how do people ever make a left turn around here? If there’s not a light, you’re pretty much screwed. I have no choice but to somewhat pull out in front of someone, and then I realize how painfully close I was to Chick Fil A all along and I feel like an idiot for wasting the last 30-45 minutes looking for it. But I do get my chicken and kale salad, and then I vow to walk to my training in the morning. After all, it’s less than a mile away and not worth the hassle.

As luck would have it, it’s pouring rain in the morning (of course!) so I decide to just suck it up and drive. The GPS directs me right to the building and tells me to go in the two left hand lanes. I do this and decide I will then go to the back of the building and park. Except that the lanes do not lead to the back of the building. They lead to the expressway.


Note: The GPS will just get you to the front of the building. It will not mention that you need to get into a certain lane to find the parking garage for the building. This lacking functionality completely effs up my simple commute, which has now turned into a COMPLETE NIGHTMARE.

I let the f-bombs fly as I realize I will now be late for my training, since not only is traffic crawling, but the next opportunity to get off the highway is about 5 miles down the road. So even though I left 30 minutes early to travel 1 mile, I still end up LATE for my training. I hate being the late person.

Honestly ATL people, I don’t know how you do it. I loved how you had the three C’s covered in a small radius (Chick Fil A, Container Store, Costco), but if it takes an hour to travel between them all, that kind of defeats the purpose of this beautiful trifecta, am I right?

Even as I traveled to the airport at 6 a.m. the next morning, the traffic was hectic…not because of the number of cars, but because of all the maniacs who were frantically trying to avoid the impending rush-hour. Their motto seemed to be, “Screw that. I’m going to work at 6 a.m. and driving 90 mph to avoid all you other suckers.” Fair enough.

Never again, ATL. Never. Again.




Parenting Fail: Mommy Has a Potty Mouth April 12, 2015

As a stepmom  Bonus Mom, I have to admit I am pretty darn lucky. Both of my stepkids are awesome, and I am so proud when I see what kind, smart and genuinely responsible young adults they have turned into at eighteen and fifteen-years-old. Most of the time I think I set a pretty good example for them; other times I know that I fail – pretty miserably. A good example of this would be about a month ago.

In order to understand what led to my horrible behavior, we need to go back to my tennis match, of all places. My doubles partner and I were playing two other women who had been ranked/rated above both of us for quite a while. At first we were both a little nervous, and they took an early lead. However, we fought back and ended up going to a third set. Now in this particular league, you don’t play a full third set; you instead play to ten points, and you have to win by two. We didn’t come close to winning the third set.

We quickly had a chance to redeem ourselves, however. After a quick break, we headed into match two of our doubleheader, playing the same two women. This time we quickly gained the lead but blew the second set, so yet again we were faced with a third set. Spoiler alert and sad face emoticons and emojis all around: we lost the third set again.

Ah, but all is not lost! A few weeks ago we had yet ANOTHER opportunity to beat these ladies. Long story short: We played two more matches, we went to three sets both matches, and we narrowly lost both the third sets. So if you’re keeping track at home, that’s FOUR matches lost in three sets to the same people. What in tarnation is wrong with us, right?

As soon as I got off the court, I checked my phone and found a chipper text waiting for me from my husband.

Hi Honey! How did your match go?

There are some moments in life when only certain words will do to describe how you feel. I had already mumbled quite of few of them under my breath and to my teammates as I anguished in the losses. And now I was about to use a few more choice words that would truly communicate just how I felt. They would also make me feel just a smidge better.

These words may or may not have rhymed with “brother chucker”.

Or to be more specific: BROTHER. CHUCKER.

The all-caps and period really added to the moment, don’t you think?

After some much-needed food and an even more needed adult beverage, I headed home. When I walked in the house, there was my husband and stepdaughter, Karissa, working together to clean the house and make cupcakes. They are awesome and sweet and…

“So…did you get my text?” I ask my husband.

“No…,” he replies. “But Karissa did.”


He had her check his texts, and she reported that I had said…well, she never got past the first word, apparently.

What could I do? Well, all I could do was laugh. Laugh like a maniac. And apologize. My cover was blown. I was not the squeaky clean Bonus Mom I appeared to be. I was an imposter.

And so we all had a good laugh. When I think about it, the best reaction was probably laughter (shame-filled laughter, that is.)  I also know that Karissa is a smart girl fifteen-year-old, and I think she’s figured out that I’m definitely human. And sometimes a potty-mouth.


I Can’t Throw: An Update on Last Year’s New Year Resolution February 17, 2015

So if you follow my blog, you may recall that last year my resolution was to learn how to throw. Better late than never, right?

Spoiler alert: I still can’t throw.

Well, I take that back. I think my throwing motion has probably improved, but I really haven’t gotten to test it out much. Let’s just say that I haven’t been lining up to join any dodgeball tournaments lately, and I won’t be joining that spring softball league. Because not only can I not throw, but I have a huge fear of getting hit by balls, and I can’t bat either. So basically I’m the total package.

So the biggest impetus for learning to throw was because it was affecting my tennis serve. I needed to get that right “snapping” motion in order to get the most power. This was a huge hole in my game, and I was tired of opponents asking me how my shoulder surgery went. (This was of course a big rumor, and after a while I just decided to go with it and not correct anyone. I had already told people I was a big spaz and couldn’t throw, but for some reason they didn’t believe me and preferred to think I had a bum shoulder. Go figure.)

And so I took service lessons.

Now without the actual tennis ball, my service motion looked incredible. I practiced and practiced that motion and it looked beautiful. But put a tennis ball in my hand and ask me to now use that same motion while hitting the ball…well, it all fell to shit. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t combine the motion with the ball toss and put everything together. So now I’m back to my old reliable-yet-crappy serve. (I’m wondering what my next move should be: hypnotist, maybe? Obviously my problem is mental, right?)

But rather than focus on this sporting failure – which I’m pretty much used to – I will instead look back at those few shining moments of athletic glory in my younger life. They are, in no particular order:

  • Dart Goddess. Thanks to the questionable “dart unit” in high school gym class, I discovered that although I could not throw any type of ball, I could definitely throw small spears. And I could throw them well. Thanks to this tutelage and the dart machine in my college boyfriend’s house, I was a force to be reckoned with at the college bars.
  • Badminton Bad-Ass. Another one of the few gym units I excelled at, probably because I was hitting something over a net and there were no balls involved. Also, the one time I actually needed a shower after gym class.
  • Archery Annie. Apparently I am better with sharp objects. I once shot a perfect bulls-eye as all my fellow classmates watched. Suck it, basketball players!
  • Star Shooter. I can’t play basketball worth shit, but I can shoot. I once scored six points in a row in a gym class basketball game, which was enough for an opponent to yell at his teammates: “Get on her!” I was actually a threat. Now this was something new. I’ve been a threat at a lot of things in my life. Power shopping. Wheel of Fortune. Scrabble. Jeopardy. Rock Paper Scissors. Most naps in a day. Caddyshack and Sixteen Candles trivia. But a basketball threat? Now that was hilarious.
  • Dancing Diva. Dancing is not technically a sport, but then again darts weren’t either. But since they were both gym class units and involved physical skill, I’m counting them. The only time I got an ‘A’ in gym.
  • Jumping Jehosaphat. (I’m not quite sure what a Jehosaphat is, but anything that Yosemite Sam says is alright by me.) I’m also pretty sure I hold the jump roping and Double Dutch record at Lourdes grade school. And it was pretty cutthroat; beware little girls in jumpers who are bad rope twirlers and try to make you miss.

Thank goodness I learned to play two lifetime sports: golf and tennis. Because unlike a lot of people, my best athletic years are NOW (and even yet to come) – not when I was sixteen years old. And for that I am thankful.


Things They Don’t Teach You in Spanish Class December 28, 2014

The Time: March, 1994

The Place: Madrid, Spain

The Scene: A Pharmacy

One of the cool things about studying abroad is that you get extra time for travel. Spring break was no exception; instead of the normal week, I think we got two. And somehow I ended up traveling with Colleen, who happened to have a brother and sister-in-law living in Germany. The plan was to visit them and then hit Paris on the way back home.

Of course things started out with a little glitch: Colleen had a yeast infection, and she needed the Spanish version of Monistat ASAP.

Yeah, I know what you’re thinking: Anne, are you sure this “friend” was not you? It was really you, wasn’t it? And let me be clear: NO. IT WAS NOT ME. I’m sure this all sounds like the perfect cover, but I assure you I had not even experienced a yeast infection at that point in my life. And if you must know, I didn’t even have a period for that entire semester abroad, so clearly everything down there was pretty much shut down anyway. But that’s a whole other story.

So we managed to find a pharmacy (apothecary?) because in 1994 Madrid you didn’t exactly find a Walgreens on every corner. This was no corner of happy and healthy. At the most, it was a corner of inconvenience and limited selection. One couldn’t just browse the aisles and pick out a favorite brand of anything; everything was locked up behind a cupboard or on a shelf behind the pharmacist. Toothpaste may as well have been a pack of cigarettes in this joint. You actually had to speak with the pharmacist and tell him what you wanted.

Sadly, my friend realized she did not know how to say “yeast infection” in Spanish. Somehow that one got left off the vocab lists we memorized each week. The best she could tell the elderly male – of course – pharmacist was that she had an “infección vaginal”. Apparently that was not specific enough for this guy, who just continued to give her a confused look. Because we all know there are a whole lot of things that could wrong with your coslopus, am I right, Chelsea Handler? And again – it was 1994 people! In Spain years that was 1974. Unless you had a really good pocket dictionary, you were out of luck. Mobile phones with internet and cool translation apps were still things of a Jetson-like future.

But suddenly, I knew just how to save the day.

“іPan!” I blurted, yelling out the Spanish word for bread. “іEs como pan! Es como pan!” (It’s like bread! It’s like bread!)

Ah brilliant, Anne. You realize you just started shouting “bread infection” at a pharmacist?

But it worked. The old guy suddenly knew exactly what Colleen (not I) needed, and unlocked the huge apothecary case behind him to hand over the goods.

Her vagina was saved, all because of me.

I later found out that “vaginal yeast infection” in Spanish was called “infección vaginal por hongos levaduriformes.” Roughly translated, I believe that means “vaginal infection caused by random attacking mushrooms.”

I think I will just stick to bread infection.