The first time my dad found out that my mom was sucking off strangers in Trenton for $10, she snapped “Well, I was orphaned!” and stormed out of the room. My dad was as shocked as I was. He let it go, and even five years and several high-profile arrests later, even after mom became immortalized in techno music as the “Cocksucker on Clinton,” when dad lay dying, he would tell me not to be so hard on her. Then after he passed and mom took me to the woman who answered her CraigsList ad, she soothed me on the bus ride over by saying, “This will be so much nicer than growing up in an orphanage.”

nj bus

Damn. I thought we were going to the mall.


I tried not to be hard on her. I tried to understand. It helped that the lady who took me in, Mrs. Schieden, had a daughter who was also 14, Beth. In return for doing Beth’s homework I had a comfortable home, my own room, bland but plentiful home-cooked meals every day, and a friend and playmate. Beth went from a C student to valedictorian! When she accepted the offer from Brown, Mrs. Schieden began paying me $1,000 a month to continue helping her, and that allowance is still what pays my rent and allows me to pursue my dream of becoming a fitness model and martial artist to this day. Much nicer than growing up in an orphanage, hell yeah!


This leg day sponsored by Mathilda Schieden.

Leg day sponsored by Mathilda Schieden.


Still, my mom’s mysterious childhood intrigued me. I always assumed that she, like dad, was born and raised in Thailand, but the one time I brought it up she snapped, “I was orphaned here in America!” and stormed out of the room. I began reading up on the history of American orphanages. There was a time when they were truly horrible, with poor children being stolen by the state and institutionalized, “orphans” dying of hunger, disease, and exposure. The so-called “inmates” were sexually vulnerable to adults and older orphans. No one loved them or even respected them as human beings! But in the United States orphanages have tots been passé for a century. Try as I might, I couldn’t find any horrible orphanages that my mom would’ve likely grown up in, and none at all that seemed traumatizing enough to drive her to star in a self-produced film called “Rudee Awakening: Rudee Drinks a Milkshake at 3:01 AM,” featuring 301 male supporting actors.

Even though my mom barely tried to keep in touch, I always loved to hear her voice speaking to me through a pay phone. I wanted so badly to tell her that I understood what she had gone through. Being an orphan drove her to a dangerous and demeaning lifestyle, but I’ll help her overcome the trauma and start anew. The last time mom called was for my birthday, a couple weeks late.

“You’re 25 now,” she mused, barely audible over the sound of her pimp in the background. “Almost as old as I was when I was orphaned.”


If you know me, you know that there’s only two types of men I can’t resist – dangerous badasses and Greeks. So imagine my surprise when I discovered that the ancient Athenians were all over boxing Denville! It was every man’s favorite sport. You couldn’t throw an olive without hitting a boxing match, not only in athletic competitions but also between random guys trying to resolve a conflict on the street.

Boxing Denville

Boxing Denville never looked so hot

Living in Morris County, New Jersey myself, I realize that my odds of meeting my dream guy in a boxing Denville class are pretty slim. In ancient Greece fighters didn’t mess with taping their hands. They wore leather strips or even a “cestus,” the infamous metal-spiked battle glove. They were stoic out-fighters who threw mostly round, right-hand punches and absorbed a lot of abuse. Before athletic competitions such as the Olympics it was customary to prove to the audience that you took the feud seriously so fighters would spit, yell, curse, and make fun of each other’s mitéras. Athletic competitions, by the way, were deliberately scheduled in the middle of the day so that boxers would have to endure the midday sun as well as each other’s punches. Only a knockout or a finger raised in the air (the sign of surrender) could end a match. Awesome!

The funny things is that even though I’ve always loved training martial arts, I’ve avoided boxing classes like Thomas Eric Duncan’s vomit because I always thought it was boring. Was I ever wrong! Boxing requires skill, strength, strategy, and a hefty set of lady-balls. I’m thinking of signing up for boxing Denville classes at Andy Main’s gym, Pure MMA ( The BJJ there is legit. If I meet any time-traveling Greek fighter hotties, I will let you all know!

Over the summer of 2013 I lost 15 pounds without getting any happier about the woman in the mirror. I knew that I wanted to get fit and healthy – not bony and weak – but being hungry all day long was a steep enough sacrifice to make… right? Well, the problem with dieting alone is that it depletes muscle mass, saps the will and energy to be active, and in the long term even sabotages itself by forcing metabolism to a crawl.



Thanks for nothing, lemonade diet

Now that I’m one year the wiser I wish I could take that whole miserable summer back! For my $$ cardio is the ultimate weight loss Poughkeepsie tactic because you get an enormous calorie deficit compared to dieting alone, without any of the drawbacks and with a host of bonus perks. A single session of Poughkeepsie Crossfit can blaze through 500-800 calories, in other words as many calories as you can save from skipping an entire meal. Recent studies suggest that bones, brain cells, and the entire cardiovascular system stand to benefit. The endorphin release during a cardiovascular workout also boosts good feelings and in time builds a positive association between exercising and a good mood. That means that even if you can’t get in the American Heart Association-recommended 30 minutes a day five times a week, every little bit of cardio you can do gets you closer to a healthy, fit, sustainable lifestyle.

Although it isn’t always associated with trimming fat, strength training is also an important component of healthy weight loss. Losing weight is no guarantee that there’s a nice physique under the adipose layer waiting to shine through. In fact, if you’re not doing any strength training at all, that’s highly unlikely. Weight training allows you to tone areas such as triceps and abs that tend to be flabby even on “skinny” people. It’s best to mix up body weight, free weights, and resistance training like Crossfit does. Crossfit helped inspire me to always stay hungry – to try to get stronger, fitter, and better every single day – which was so much more satisfying than watching the dreaded needle on the scale.

Moving nutrition beyond calorie counting will also help move you past unsuccessful yo-yo dieting. You need to give your body the energy it needs for cardio and weight training. You can make intelligent eating choices yourself without the help of a celebrity diet plan. If you’re tempted by garcinia cambogia or any other “get-fit-quick” scheme, let go of that idea right now. While certain foods such as chili peppers (capsaicin) and green tea (catechins) really do raise metabolism by a tiny amount for a tiny amount of time, the best weight loss Poughkeepsie techniques aren’t shocking or new: keep refined sugars to a minimum, eat vegetables and lean proteins, drink plenty of water, and snack on many smaller meals throughout the day to keep you feeling full. Remember, three square meals will keep you round! 😉


Muay thai is a must-have for the striking arsenal of a well-rounded MMA competitor – and one of the best total body workouts available for the rest of us.


When a lot of people hear the words “kickboxing for fitness,” they may think of no-sparring/ no-contact classes and home workout DVDs that target women with promises to burn 500, 600, or 700 calories per hour. This wouldn’t be completely off because so-called “cardio-kickboxing” is indeed an effective way to get fit. However, all kickboxing classes Denville – especially traditional muay thai ones that emphasize sparring and contact – are great for cardiovascular conditioning and can give you much more than just a few inches off the waist. And believe it or not they’re perfect for men as well as women.


Not just another fat-burning routine.


Muay thai classes combine drills, pad work, and partner work to keep heart rate up for sustained periods. Kickboxing is a rare type of cardio that uses not just legs but the entire body, meaning you can expect to burn 500-1,200 calories over just one class, depending on your body type and the class’ specific structure. For folks keeping track that’s about double the burn you get from an equal amount of time on an elliptical. Not bad, and you won’t just be repeating the same boring motion over and over again!

A major benefit that traditional kickboxing classes have over workout DVDs is that contact with bags and sparring partners will tone your entire body. Looking at the physiques of the best kickboxers in the world, it’s hard to believe that many of them do little or no weight training. In fact weight training can interfere with the explosiveness necessary for success. Female and male kickboxers have lean, long, toned muscles that are sexy as hell and super-functional to boot.

Where kickboxing really excels, however, is at core training. Constantly shifting weight off balance and “twisting” to put power behind kicks and punches require both stabilizing isometric muscle contractions and concentric contractions of the abs, lower back, and hips. Gym workouts like sit-ups can only hit a small percentage of core muscles and strengthen them only along one axis of movement. Muay thai, on the other hand, balances opposing muscle groups in your core by building them up in harmony.


Andy Main using his explosive core in the ring.


Research shows that the workouts you’re most likely to stick with are dynamic, varied, and shared with other people. If you live in Denville, NJ and want to pick up an exciting centuries-old Thai fighting style while getting in the best shape of your life, click here.

Since the first CrossFit gym opened in 2005, the sport has come to national attention for transforming so many bodies (not to mention negative mindsets!). In fact the best proof of how exciting, continuously challenging, and life-altering CrossFit can be is that the number of affiliates (or “boxes”) jumped from 13 to 9,000 in only nine years.  Now Pleasant Valley too boasts a world-class facility where men and women at all fitness levels can get in their workouts of the day.

Pleasant Valley CrossFit is unique in that it fuses cardio, gymnastics, and plyometrics with all sorts of weight training including body weight, free weights, and Olympic lifting. Especially when paired with yoga, it targets every muscle group and improves strength, flexibility and endurance all at once. A conventional gym workout can’t touch even half of that.

CrossFitters are in it to get stronger and healthier. Even though CrossFit burns an intense amount of calories, up to 20 a minute, the focus is on improving personal performance. Looking sexier is just an added bonus. CrossFit is an antidote to the prevailing narcissistic, mirror-obsessed gym culture; a box is a community that supports and pushes itself to reach new highs, not a bunch of people with headphones doing bicep curls alone in a corner.

The best part about Pleasant Valley CrossFit is that it’s not just another repetitive fitness routine. The ever-growing catalog of WODs and the competitive nature of the sport keep fitness buffs coming back for more. They are free to come in as often as they like or as their schedule allows, and because CrossFit is so intense a huge time commitment isn’t required. Even busy people who only have time to train three times a week (for about 30 minutes per session) report surprisingly positive results.

There’s Christmas in July, so why not New Years’ too? If you’re ready to take on your fitness resolutions call today at 845-452-XFIT (9348) or visit for more information.

Poughkeepsie CrossFit
807 Main St.
Poughkeepsie, NY 12603