The Bachelorette, According to a Bachelor

Alright, happy Bachelor Monday, yall! Hope yall had a fantastic weekend celebrating the birthday of the best nation on earth. Tonight, you can continue to indulge your alcoholism with a foolproof excuse – you’re watching The Bachelorette.

Regular readers know that I write weekly Bachelorette recaps for a great little company called STAG.  [By the way, disclaimer: this post is not at all related to or endorsed by STAG.  If you’re offended by the snarkalicious glory herein, you can take it up with me.]  Really, really “vintage” readers might remember that I started this blog writing Bachelorette recaps here on my own site.  [I was fresh out of college, with no job and more snark than I could keep to myself.  It was only natural.]

Today, I figured we could pregame for tonight’s red wine binge reality TV indulgence with something that I’ve actually never done before:

A guest post.  On The Bachelorette.  From a male perspective.

Enter my friend, Drew….

Drew and I worked together leading the First Year Experience (“orientation”) program for our university during our last two years of undergrad.  Fantastic experience, lots of funny stories, and more educational than probably 85% of my classes.
…I digress.
Part of the reason Drew and I worked so well together was because his sense of humor made mine look somewhat normal.  (And if you know me in real life, you know that’s quite a feat.)

Anyway, I know Drew sometimes watches The Bachelorette, and when I’ve shared past posts on social media, he’s had the most hilarious responses.  When I had the idea to get a guest post from a guy, Drew was the obvious choice.  Real talk: I snorted with laughter when I read his post.  It was like Miss Piggy, but much less ladylike.  Obviously, it would be unethical of me to withhold that kind of hilarity from my readers, so without further ado, I’ll hand it over to Drew…

***

He left that world behind, said he wouldn’t go back. His loved ones told him to stop: they said it was too dangerous. His friends looked away, their eyes pleading for him to keep that part of his life a secret. But on one fateful day he receives a communique asking for him to get back in the game, dutifully he returns…

I return to The Bachelorette.

Okay, so enough of my being dramatic, The Bachelorette is certainly dramatic enough already. Right? I was asked if I could provide a secondary perspective on the events of this season, both in retrospect and as a male viewer. As fellow guys can probably attest, The Bachelor/Bachelorette is definitely a guilty pleasure because in the public perception it is a bizarre dating show about “love”, but the reality is that this show can appeal to the primal man because it is at its very core a show in which we can observe Darwin’s survival of the fittest. Does this sound crazy? It isn’t. We tune in each week to watch the hunkiest/hottest people (read: virile/fertile) compete to woo a suiter by any means necessary. I wouldn’t be surprised if between the kick boxing and sumo wrestling the eligible bachelors were asked to strap on antlers and ram each other.

Two more points before we delve into this season. I promise I don’t watch The Bachelor from a weird biologist perspective, I watch because I love the awkward tension that can arise in situations like this week’s two-on-one date. How can anyone not love the awkwardness of a third person toasting to “us”? Second, I once read online that the most popular television program among the wealthiest Americans is The Bachelor; not Antique Road Show, not Amish Mafia, and not The Illuminati’s Secret to Wealth. My theory is that wealthy Americans enjoy watching the exotic and extravagant dates and use these to plan out their Labor Day weekend. As a capitalist, idealist, and romantic I also like to live vicariously through these dates.

Let us reflect on this season and see whether there is hope for Kaitlyn (spoilers: I doubt it).

In the premiere episode Kaitlyn and Britt both agreed that their husband was in “The Mansion”, I postulate that only one of these women may actually be correct. The other woman actually doesn’t know that in that house are a number of creepy, possessive, self-absorbed, smug, and or simple-minded men of varying levels of attractiveness who are candidates to be her doom. A little melodramatic sure, but please join me as we travel back in time to revisit a few pivotal moments during Kaitlyn’s journey to discover why I believe she will NOT find her “happily ever after”.

She Who Does Not Wash, aka britt

britt crying gif

I have to agree that having the men vote out the bachelorette really does steal any power from the women and completely objectifies the whole situation in a counterintuitive move for the show…but oh, man. It was delicious to watch the women squirm in the background as one woman was complimented; props to the camera people for their staging. Watching Britt be hugged while Kaitlyn awkwardly shuffles in the background was fantastic.

I also relished in the moment as men said “I’m team Kaitlyn” or “I’m 100% Britt”. Sure you are, until one of them is gone. When Tony explains “the Universe wills us together” to Britt was weird, but it was gold when he repeated his exact same mantra to Kaitlyn. I knew instantly that Tony would be what I call a “Producer’s Pick” (which is to say someone who receives Chris Harrison’s blessing and is protected by the reaping of the Rose Ceremony to be the Designated Weirdo).

If you read the above paragraph and confused “reaping” with “raping” then you might have unconsciously remembered Ryan M. (aka: the season drunk). I typically enjoy trying to guess who will have the first meltdown but Ryan M. stole my opportunity by being drunk before the show even started.

horned up and drunk

He might as well have pulled up in the back of a cab missing an earring and a little puke stain on his shirt. But, ah, the fun of “I’M HORN-DOGGING IT NOW!” as he stumbles into the pool or when he – this was the best – calls out that car-pool as “stupid” (ha, the reaction of the driver: “You don’t even know who I am!”) comes to an end as soon as he drunkenly says “I’m gonna rape you.” Woah. Somebody needs to dial Mickey Mouse’s head hunters because someone just threatened to rape on an ABC show, I think it is generally safe to say that threatening rape doesn’t go over well, particularly in a room seemingly half composed of personal trainers.

Last season I thought Britt was attractive until I learned more and more about her; that she is overly-emotional, super needy, and does not shower. Last season we learned she sleeps with full make up on, apparently she does not even need a geisha neck pillar and magically uses her pillow without it turning into a Ronald McDonald. I really appreciated the moment when Britt is given Kleenex and this happens:

Kaitlyn: “What did he give you?”

Britt: “This”, holding up a small package of tissues, “He said I needed it.”

Kaitlyn: Squinting, “Soap?” (Dang, burn! Kaitlyn instantly won my vote here.)

I did appreciate Brady being straightforward and being willing to leave the show to find his woman, he seemed authentic and sane but with enough bohemian vibe that I think he and Britt can enjoy baby-wiping each other clean.

Episode 4 / Week 3

In my opinion the best episode of the season, we had sumo wrestling, a horror room (not the rose ceremony room), Sex Ed, and a bromance.

sumo wrestling indecent exposure

Really guys? You thought you were just going to sumo wrestle each other, did you get kicked too hard during the previous week to figure you would go against real sumo wrestlers? They put on their sumo diapers, which is fun in theory, revealing in practice. Personally, I would be down to try sumo wrestling, but watching this episode I had to change my mind. There is nothing appealing to grapping with a sweaty fat man while baring everything. As Kaitlyn explained, she could see all of Joe’s goods (hmm, maybe that’s why he is still around). So I imagine – because if I were Kaitlyn, I would, too – she probably inspected each of her male suitors.

Poor Ben Z. had the least romantic date possible; he and Kaitlyn were supposed to go through a horror room simulation thing called The Basement (which is exactly where Jared would feel at home). Kaitlyn probably heard “horror room” as a homophone and got all excited, but it turned out to be a freaky locked room guarded by terrible creatures; birds. Kaitlyn has birds/mockingjays tattooed on her body but she was terrified of a pigeon! Kaitlyn must have more repressed issues than Batman because at least he was an orphan. I also really appreciated how ABC added a disclosure to explain that this horror-room does not usually contain living animals, ABC upped the ante on their own. I also do not believe that Ben Z. and Kaitlyn would have survived that room because I got the sense that they would have been hopelessly trapped until they got gassed.

Next up was a group date to another horror-room, a Sex Ed classroom filled with child actors. The poor guys had no idea that the next Macaulay Culkin might be in this next room. The children asked the most awkward questions imaginable, I knew it had to be a set up because no public school has such small class sizes and no private school would outsource their Sex Ed to complete strangers without verifiable credentials (except for Hogwarts, which regularly recruits sketchy individuals to teach and has a name that does not exactly exude confidence that students will not contract an swine-related-STD).

tanner bananner

I appreciated the emphasis on known external body parts “This is the anus” – pause -“this is the anus” – pregnant pause – “this is the anus?” But Ben H. comes swinging and somehow, inexplicably, made Sex Ed less awkward and romantic. I was surprised and Kaitlyn was probably like, “Kids, want to see how sex works?”

what does a “former investment banker” do, anyway?

Oh, JJ. Your teeth look like miniature tombstones meant to grind up caveman food and your face looks like it perpetually has what I will refer to as “fratboy confusion.”

the teeth the teeeeeeth

You even have that fratboy pudge (which, hey, I certainly have no room to judge because I’m not one of the 18 personal trainers this season). “Former Investment Banker” can mean a lot of things: you Madoff’ed with a lot of money (ha, get it?), you lost your license for selling rancid batmeat under a bridge, you got caught in the office with a coworker as you gave them your floppy disc. What “Former Investment Banker” does not mean: you are gainfully employed.

brokeback or bromantic?

So needless to say, maybe JJ found a sugar daddy in Clint, but I think the reality was that JJ and Clint had a harmless bromance. Bromances are becoming increasingly common and I don’t think this is a bad thing. I think it is important for guys to have solid friendships with other guys, there is a real need for positive male interaction and affirmation. I really do sympathize for guys who grow up without a brother or close male friend because there is something about having an uncomplicated guy friendship; when you can slug someone, trust them completely, and play Halo in your boxers together. Clearly most of the guys usually get along with each other; it would be hard to travel the world with a bunch of likeminded dudes (dude, lets lift, tan, and do our hair together) and not develop friendships (even if they “hate seeing her with other guys”).

At rose ceremonies these rivals hug each other goodbye. I was not a hugger until going to a Christian college and even then I think hugging should be reserved for friends, these guys are not going to hug unless they have mini-bromances. Clint’s transformation from seemingly decent guy to all-bark-no-bite “villains got to vil” (totally stealing that line) happened overnight in my opinion and I believe it resulted from a sense of vulnerability. I thought Clint was in the lead and I think he did too until whatever happened happened, then I guess he decided to cut his losses and go full villain. Being a reality TV villain comes with notoriety, guest appearances in the audience of Dancing with the Stars and guest roles on Sesame Street so I think Clint decided to go all out. Unfortunately this meant hamming it up and working the innuendo to fuel speculation that he and JJ had a “thing.”

brokemantic clijj

I wanted to give these two a couple name like Branjelina or Rodham-Clinton, but the best I came up with was “Cli-JJ” which sounds like what Oprah would get checked at her gynecologist. I do not doubt that Clint and JJ may have assisted each other with back shaving/sunscreen/whatever in the shower, but Clint’s sly little grins tell me he wholly knew that his goal was to make the other guys squirm (I’m sure at least one guy was probably thinking “JJ, JJ, JJ. Why can’t I have a bromance?”). Their bromance was probably benign and transformed into a malignant representation of drama, but Clint was right: a “villain’s got to vil”.

The ele-faun-t in the room…

Gross, I despise Nick. He is weasely looking, not attractive, conniving, and a total tool.

nick and mr tumnus collage

In case you didn’t catch it: I DON’T LIKE NICK. Even when I was watching Andi Dorfman’s season (the prosecutor who kept saying “stop” as “stahp” and always meant “please, continue”), I hated Nick and could not understand why he was still around. Some people, I have discovered, have a sort of intangible charisma or animal magnetism that does not correlate to their appearance, Nick must have this in droves as a result of his extracting pheromones from the puppies he keeps chained in his basement at home.

(I will say, however, that when I visited Chicago I did go out of my way to visit the Milwaukee Fish Market simply because that was a hometown date on Andi’s season and it was the only place on Yelp I actually recognized. Great chowder.)

Nick appears a quarter of the way into the season but his ghost lingered from the very beginning when Chris Harrison promised yet again that “THIS WAS THE MOST DRAMATIC SEASON EVER.” In those very spoilerly why-are-there-previews-mid-episode previews the viewers catch a glimpse that Nick may return and that Kaitlyn sleeps with someone and “I’M NOT A BAD PERSON, I JUST MADE A MISTAKE.” I knew, deep down, that Kaitlyn had violated sacred bachelor rules and slept with Nick. I knew because Nick was slimy and if he could weasel his way into this season he could weasel his way into Kaitlyn’s bedroom for “conversation” (bachelor parlance).

“Hey guys, can we take a vote? Who is cool with Nick butting in and joining us?”

1 Aye (Kaitlyn), 8 Nays (Guys, though JJ’s spot in the social pecking order just improved…“the enemy of my enemy” and “the devil you know” and all of that.)

“Cool. Nick joins us next week.”

To the Camera Later: “I hope the guys will be nice to Nick.”

(I was so happy to see Crazy Ashley S. from the previous season. I am convinced she was a part of a secret government experiment code-named Mesa Verde because she kept uttering that name like she was in a trance. A hyper-violent paint-ball trance.)

No way, these guys already have a hard enough time tolerating guys spending time with you. It is as absurd as telling a pack of wolves “Hey, I decided I also want to feed this deer a piece of steak, please be nice to it.” Except this deer is evil incarnate so I really, really wanted guys to have a hissy fit (totally justified though) and leave. I wanted to watch Kaitlyn holding onto Shawn’s ankle with her mascara running down her face as he walks out on her. But alas, no, the guys do not protest. Each of them probably thinks “Well, I am mentally checking out. Kaitlyn is a waste of my time, but if I want to be the next Bachelor I need to look supportive and at least make it to the final four.”

Intrigue in Ireland

Kaitlyn and the Bachelorette crew treat us to two hours of tears because the men are getting anxious and Kaitlyn is convinced every single conversation is going to be about her and Nick playing “where is Nicky?” (Which to be clear, I can totally imagine Nick’s smug little demon face wedged through a wooden door he just axed. After all, as Kaitlyn says “It’s, like, a legit castle. There was a queen who visited and it’s supposed to be haunted.” Haunted, you say? It sure will be after Nick visits, but I digress.)

Kaitlyn totally manipulates every conversation in which she feels the tinges of regret and conviction for having slept with Nick. She cries everytime someone gets serious with her and then twists the conversation to about how Shawn(Shaun?)(definitely not Sean)(the more I type his name the less real his name looks) is being insecure. Which, yes, Shaun is being a bit of a baby, but the entire time I can see Kaitlyn processing “I slept with Nick. I’m carrying the antichrist and Shawn knows.”

gollum crying

But the moment that stood out to me most was when Kaitlyn responds to Ben H. about that “thing that happened” and she says her biggest mistake was “affirming Shawn”, really? Kaitlyn, no, what has been blowing everything (no innuendo intended) was your “Laying with a Leprechaun.”

Oh, but wait, Chris Harrison decides to “even the playing field” (aka: the production team decided other guys need to have sex with Kaitlyn because apparently Nick has the advantage.) Chris justifies this by explaining “it is important to have that intimate time with each other before moving on to the big step of meeting families.” Oh, right, because intimacy is not the bigger step or even a big step? Kaitlyn’s response really puts to words what we already know “well, intimacy is where I would naturally go before meeting families”, nice. Words I am sure my own mom would love to hear from a lady “I prefer to sex up a guy before I meet the family, gives us something to talk about.” Meanwhile, Nick smiles smugly thinking (Nick 1, Everyone Else 0).

kaitlyn and nick macking

Sidenote regarding musical men in harem pants:

Also, even though Cupcake Chris has beady little rat eyes…

creepy creepy  creepy aladdin cupcake man

…he sang “A Whole New World” Aladdin duet with you. In my book, by which I mean the Disney movies from which I have a totally healthy, holistic, and age-appropriate definition of love, a duet should seal the deal.

Remaining Contenders:

Evil Incarnate, aka Nick
Seriously, he smugness is unmatched in television villainy. He literally appeared on a couch with like two women draped over him. He might as well have been petting a white cat and asked Frau to activate the “laser.”

Innocent Joe
Joe thought he was signing up for cable when he met with ABC, poor guy.

joe has more chemistry with his horse

Frankly his lack of crazy is probably the only reason he hasn’t been kicked off. I think Kaitlyn keeps him around so she can believe she is a good person, they have zero chemistry.

Serial Killer/Pet – Jared
Even though I’m a firm believer that beards are cool and most guys are, Jared your beard needs to go. It accentuates your face by making you look reptilian and like you were unable to shave because Kaitlyn doesn’t have a vanity in the bushes outside her window. I give you props for being the smallest guy in the boxing ring and taking a beating like a champ, seriously, but you are Kaitlyn’s pet. She even lets you ride shotgun in her Mini Cooper on the way to lick a rock.

creepy shotgun rider

Which I always imagined the Blarney Stone to be more like a meteor with ancient inscriptions, not a wall you’re supposed to kiss upside down. Swapping spit with thousands of people is even less cool when done upside down, then again I’m sure all of the Bachelor contestants have already resigned to using the same toothbrush because they already taste each other’s meals left behind on Kaitlyn’s teeth.

Elongated Ryan Gosling
Shawn Listen, we get it. You’re ripped with icy blue eyes and swoopy blonde hair.

145677765IB014

You’re also really tall. Your personality, however, means that a husky with frosted tips, on stilts and a weight lifting regimen has you beat.

My Last Horse in the Race – Ben H
A normal guy without the weird idiosyncrasies.

ben higgins plaid normal

Even if you do look like young Donny Osmund, you are the only person I would trust to… teach Sex Ed to my kid. Sure, because you survived child actors and Sex Ed while also making a move on Kaitlyn, bravo.

My prediction:

Final two: Jared and Nick.

Kaitlyn has to explain to Nick that his hypnotism no longer works on her because she replaced her contact lenses. He freaks out and goes all psycho killer like he did on Andi’s season, Jared pushes him off a cliff but keeps a lock of curly hair to add to his “trophy collection”.

Kaitlyn then decides she can’t settle for a pet like Jared and calls Brady hoping he changed his mind.

Brady and Britt get married and become spokespeople for Axe Body Spray.

***

Alright folks, was that the funniest thing you’ve read all year or what?  Show Drew some love in the comments below, and let me know who your predictions are!

If you’re tuning in tonight, add me on snapchat (@maggiegetsreal)! I’ll be snapchatting live while I watch…and yes, you know what I’ll be wearing!

Real People, Real Fitness: From Parties To The Podium

Today I want to introduce yall to a fantastic human being.

emily cook crossfit 2015 (1)

Spoiler alert: She’s a badass.

I met Emily a little over a year ago, when I started working at Starbucks. At that time, she had yet to set foot in a Crossfit gym.  A year later, things sure are different, not only is she doing Crossfit but she’s started competing as well.

emily cook crossfit 2015 (6)

I’m not a Crossfit fanatic like she is [tried a WOD with her once, and no way am I even close to her level!], but there is no denying the positive impact Crossfit – and I think especially the community at her “box,” Crossfit Bios – has had on her.  Personally, I loved having a friend at work with whom I could “talk shop” about fitness!  A lot of good memories came out of that little espresso-sweatshop, from talking about being stronger than a lot of guys, to comparing muscle soreness, to standing in the back room of the store comparing our ratio of boob-to-chest-musculature. [I will forever be ringleader of the IBTC.]  And it was so fun to see her progress – she’s not one to admit it easily, but she’s somewhat of a prodigy.  But even cooler than all of that was seeing .how much more confident, happy, and stronger – both physically and mentally – she grew as she threw herself into this newfound passion.

Her story is powerful, so I’ll let Em take it from here…

***

What competition did you just complete?

My first competition 2 weeks ago was called “The Rookie Rumble” in Hercules CA. Meant for crossfitters who have only been doing the sport for a year or less. The weekend after that I competed at a local competition “Bringing Color Back” in Folsom at Crossfit Anywhere. A partner competition, and also a bit higher level of competition.

emily cook crossfit 2015 (11)

What did the competition workout entail?

The Rookie Rumble had 3 short workouts [WODs]plus the final work out if you made it. [The workouts were completed using]  light weights, meant for you to sprint through them, trying to get as many reps, or the fastest time you can. .

  • WOD #1 for time: row 500 meters, 40 goblet squats, and 30 kettlebell swings @35lbs.
  • WOD #2: 7 min AMRAP of 8 deadlifts, 8 hang cleans, 8 shoulder to overhead @65lbs.
  • WOD #3: 5 min AMRAP of 8 box jumps and 5 dumbbell snatches on each arm.

[It was] definitely a test of motor and mental strength. They released the workouts a week in advance, so I was able to practice them before hand.

Bringing Color Back was a different story… This competition also had 4 workouts as well, they only released 2 ahead of time.

  • The morning of competition we found out the first WOD was run 2 miles with a 35 pound bumper plate (needless to say we weren’t excited).
  • WOD #2 was strictly weight lifting, we had 12 minutes to find a 1 rep max of snatch, clean, deadlift, and strict press. Kelly took the snatch and clean. I had the press and deadlift.
  • There was a “floater” of 20 tire flips for time. 800lb. tire (heavy af) we did it in 1:48.
  • Last but not least was “the chipper” (aka WOD from hell). So between you and your partner you had 24 minutes to do 50 handstand push ups, 50 burpees, 50 front squats @115lbs, 50 pull ups, 50 overhead squats @75lbs, 50 toes to bar, 50 power cleans @115lbs, and 50 burpees.

[Maggie’s commentary: Just reading that last WOD set off my gag reflex.  Yeesh.]

emily cook crossfit 2015 (10)

What were your results (i.e. placement), and can you give us a breakdown of your score?

Rookie Rumble I placed 2nd overall out of like 60 women. The first 2 WODs I stayed stop 4, the 3rd WOD I took first place (was stoked about that). The final WOD I placed 2nd out of 5 girls, so that took me to the 2nd spot on the podium. My main goal with those workouts was beating my practice rounds I did at the gym the week prior, and I did on every one. All by a pretty good amount.  Bringing Color Back was rough, but Kelly and I ended up taking 5th place out of 8 teams. Pretty good considering there were regional athletes competing along side us!!

What was the hardest part of the competition physically?  What about the hardest part mentally?  Was it different than what you had anticipated being most difficult?

I always underestimate the WODs, I think to myself “ehh that won’t be too bad” and I always curse all the way through the work out because it’s always a lot worse… every single time.  Rookie Rumble: Physically I pushed myself the hardest I could on every WOD. I collapsed on the ground after each one.  The way I see it, if I didn’t collapse, I didn’t work hard enough.  Mentally it was tough, because you can always do 1 more rep. Whenever I have work outs like that I count by 5s. Just 5 more and another 5 and before I know it I’m done. And simply not stopping, no matter how bad I wanted to. You get tired, you shake your arms out for a second and keep going. Bringing Color Back: Physically way more taxing. I’m still feeling sore a week later. And I definitely didn’t think any of those WODs would be easy. But it was a lot better pushing through the pain with a partner.

emily cook crossfit 2015 (9)

How did your training change when you decided to specifically train for this competition?

Training did not change much at all. Still went through my daily programming like normal.

How long had you been doing CrossFit when you decided to compete?  

About 6 months in.

What brought you to CrossFit, and what made you stay?

I’m not really sure what made me want to start. All I know is I needed a change. So I contacted Corey [Maggie’s commentary: Corey is a coach at Crossfit Bios and actually one of my former coworkers!] on facebook and I was in the gym that Saturday doing my first ever WOD. After that I was hooked. I finished my onramp sessions and I started doing the classes with the other members. After about a month of that, Corey kind of took me under his wing and I started doing this program called The Outlaw Way. Peter and Corey had this expectation for me, I think. They knew I could push myself beyond what I thought I could.  Thats still the case to this very day. Corey is the strategizer, and the explainer.  Peter gives me “the nod” and tells me to get more weight on the bar. Aside from the great coaching, is all the close friends I’ve made. We’re all family in there, I love it! We all cheer each other on, when i’m struggling with something there’s always at least 2 people yelling at me to keep going.

emily cook crossfit 2015 (8)

Speaking of coach corey….

“I have nothing but great things to say about Emily as an athlete. We give her programming and she follows it exactly as written. It’d take an act of God to break her routine. That consistency has been huge for her progress. She’s kind of a smartass when I correct her…we’re good friends so I expect it now. My favorite part about coaching her is the fact that she trusts me 100%. If I see a gap in her game I’ll tweak the program to fix it and she never thinks twice about my decision. I mean it sincerely when I say that Emily has the athletic ability, the commitment and the work ethic to go far in the sport of Crossfit.”

– Corey

Any suggestions for folks who are considering trying CrossFit, or those who are already doing CrossFit and considering competing?

If you’re even thinking about trying crossfit.. DO IT! It will do great things for you, and you will love it! And the best part is, that anyone can do it.  I want to share the love I have for the sport with others. The cool thing about competing is you don’t have to be super serious, just go have fun! Just being in the atmosphere is great. Who wouldn’t want to sit and watch super fit people walk around all day.

What exercise or benchmark WOD has been the most challenging for you?  In what exercises or areas of training have you found you have a natural strength? (Do you have a favorite WOD?)

I feel like all the benchmarks are all still very challenging to me. My natural strength is my legs. My upper body.. I’m still working on. Along with gymnastics and everything else. I’m a whole lot stronger than when I started. I couldn’t even do a pull up. As far as a favorite WOD, I don’t think there’s a favorite, but I do love conditioning. Well.. love and hate.

What does your recovery process look like between workouts?  

On rest days, I go through the crazy process of napping and watching netflix. I try to stretch and foam roll as much as I can. It’s not my favorite thing to do.

Is it all CrossFit, all the time for you…or do you enjoy some variety in your workouts?  If you mix it up, what other sports/athletic endeavors/physical activities do you enjoy outside of CrossFit?

It kind of is all CrossFit all the time for me.  I train hard 5 days a week so I’ve got to utilize my rest time. But sometimes I’ll go for a good swim or a run.  I also love hiking, snowboarding, or wakesurfing.

What has been the biggest change in your life since starting CrossFit?

Its safe to say my life has changed tremendously since my first day at Bios. People regularly ask me what I did before I started crossfit. My response is that I partied and drank a lot. Now my bed time is at 9pm every night at the latest and the worst thing I put in my body is ice cream and candy. Oh, I do love my junk food. But other than that… I feel like I’ve found a hobby that I’m absolutely in love with. And the best part is, that I get to do it every day! I’m finally able to feel confident in my body. The muscles I seemed to grow overnight were sort of a shock to me. I had to come to terms with that. But overall it is safe to say I’m a happier human. (:

emily cook crossfit 2015 (2)
Do you have any goals for the next year or two in terms of CrossFit, competitions, etc.?

I would love to keep competing the rest of this year.  I’m going to work my hardest and see how I do with the CrossFit Open workouts next year. I also would love to coach, maybe I’ll get my certification later this year.  The big goal would be making it to regionals eventually.  I believe in myself and so do my coaches.  So why not dream big?…I’m willing to put in the work.  I’m hungry to get better.

emily cook crossfit 2015 (5)

***

Don’t you just love that?

Dream as big as you’re willing to work.

[Might just become my new motto for July/2015/life…]

And that attitude is one that could change anyone’s life, whether you’re doing Crossfit or triathlons or powerlifting or ballroom dancing.  Dream as big as you can, and work as hard as you can.
Embrace grit.
Embrace sweat.
Embrace challenges.
And have some damn fun with all of it.

***

If you want to see more of Emily’s Crossfit adventures – and you should, because something tells me we’re going to see that girl in the Games someday – you can follow her on instagram.

Local and interested in Crossfit?  Whether it’s your 1st WOD or your 100th one, check out Crossfit Bios!  Great coaching, welcoming community, and they all truly love what they do.

Thanks for sharing, Em!

Bachelorette 2015: Week 7

Aye carumba.  This season is an emotional trainwreck.  And you want to look away, but you can’t – not because of human nature, but because we’re on the trainWe are on the train with Kaitlyn and Chris Harrison and the guys, and it is a heck of a wild ride.  So let’s dive right back in where we left off last week, yeah?

Shawn had visited Kaitlyn’s suite to talk to her, and they’re both more on edge than a crack dealer during a drug raid.  Shawn seems practically on the verge of leaving, although it takes a little bit to figure out why.   He’s very confused as to why he didn’t get the rose from the group date after he had a great conversation with Kaitlyn and showed her pictures of his family/dog at the Guinness Storehouse.  Kaitlyn is panicking because she thinks he knows she slept with Nick, but Shawn is actually just confused about them.  Kaitlyn reassures him that her feelings for him are strong and reminds him that there are still a lot of other guys who she is getting to know and she needs time to figure out who and what she wants.  Shawn leaves mostly placated.  Things are decidedly calm for a moment, but don’t worry – we’re just getting started….

kaitlyn pensive guinness

photo source: NY Post

 

***

2 on 1 Date: Joe and JJ

Let’s not beat around the bush – this was awkward as hell.  They do have a pretty cool date though.  Who wouldn’t love a romantic picnic at a castle perched atop a cliff?

Cliffnotes version of all this (sorry, couldn’t help myself): Joe says he’s falling in love with Kaitlyn.  What?  What?  Did anyone else not see that coming at all? Completely out of the blue.

Then JJ makes a big confession.  “I’m truly going to build this relationship on rock, not sand,” he tells the cameras.  So far, he’s quite accurate. They’re on an island, which is a rock.  Then he takes Kaitlyn away and warns her, “This is going to be the hardest thing I’ve ever told somebody.”   I thought he was going to share the fact that he used to be a woman, that Clint was sneaking into his hotel room each night for “bromance” shenanigans, or that he had a habit of murdering small animals and storing them in his freezer.  Turns out he cheated on his wife three years ago and it destroyed his life.  It was almost a letdown after everything …but Kaitlyn handled it well and was very gracious.

And then Kaitlyn decides to send JJ home and hang out with Joe a little more before finally giving him the rose.  Who thought it was a good idea to let her hand out the rose while they were near a cilff?  These people are all under some significant emotional stress, and some are prone to gestures of an excessively dramatic nature.  The last thing you need is someone experiencing heartbreak (or a psychological break) with rocky cliffs and the Atlantic ocean right there. 

***

This post was originally written for STAG.

To read the rest, head over to the blog at LetsGoStag.com!

Who TRULY Inspires You?

Wouldn’t you know, sometimes inspiration comes from the most unlikely sources.

If you’ve been reading awhile, you already know that “fitspiration” is not my thing.  It’s more psychologically damaging than inspiring, and there are far better ways to improve your body image than scrolling through the #fitspo tags on instagram or pinterest.

lifting oly bar chalk

There are certainly times when I meet people who are dedicated athletes – like the IronMan addict I met working at Starbucks – that inspire me with their incredible accomplishments and the work they did to get there.  And there’s something somewhat motivating about seeing general athletes who are in great shape at the gym (looking at you, homegirl who always takes her shirt off and does her foamrolling in the middle of the weight floor).

But the people who inspire me more than anything else are the ones who are least likely to be seen on a magazine cover, at a finish line, or even in the middle of the gym floor.

portrait of a mid adult man jogging in a park --- Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis

Photo Source: The Takeover

Maybe you’ve seen them, too.

The chubby teenage boy I saw jogging by on a busy street when I was at the gas station mid-morning.
You inspire me, bud.  Keep it up.

The obese woman I’ve seen in the back of the group fitness room, shuffling along in Zumba class.
You inspire me, girlfriend.  Keep it up.

The heavyset older man who I see powerwalking with his dogs most mornings.
You inspire me, amigo. Keep it up.

The young boy – maybe 12? – that was working out on the weight floor with 15 pound dumbbells, surrounded by guys  who were much older and bigger and throwing around 45s.
You inspire me, champ.  Keep it up.

The elderly woman who is thin as a rail but shows up every day to work out with a trainer or on her own, lifting weights that others might sneeze at but are clearly a challenge for her.
You inspire me, ma’am.  Keep it up.

The elderly veteran who shuffles along on the same treadmill, wearing the same “Vietnam” ballcap, with the same hunched posture, every single day.
You inspire me, sir.  Keep it up.

Why are they so inspiring?  Sometimes I’m not sure.  But I know that they do what they need to do, and from what I can see, they keep on doing it, no matter what. They are willing to be humbled, to sweat, to work hard and risk failure.  They walk for awhile when they can’t run anymore.  They move to a lighter set of dumbbells when the ones they’re using are too heavy.  They keep movin’ and groovin’ even when the choreography doesn’t click.  They keep showing up, even when the results don’t immediately follow.  And they keep doing it.

Again. And again. And again.

No matter who’s watching.  

No matter how unqualified they may be.

No matter whether other folks think they “belong” in a Zumba class or in jogging shoes or in the gym or on the weight floor.  

No matter what…

They may not have abs, but damn, do they have heart.

They show up.  And they keep going.  

That is dedication.

That is perseverance.

And that is inspiring as all get out.

So to my friends in the corners of the gym and in the ill-fitting sweatpants and on the neighborhood streets and in the bodies that might not look like the typical athlete’s body, and to all those who keep showing up and keep going on:
Yall inspire me. Keep it up.

Bachelorette 2015: Week 6

kaitlyn and jared

photo source: People

Things pick back up in the land of cowboys and giant blonde blowouts – and things are still a mess in Texas.  As Cupcake Chris said, “There’s a reason they call Texas the Wild West.”

Picking up where we left off…

Last week ended with Ian confronting Kaitlyn about how he felt that she was not as deep and serious as he would like her to be.  Let’s just say he did not go about it as tactfully as one might hope a gentleman would…

But Kaitlyn’s got spunk, and she lays into Ian after he told her how he saw her as a surface-level person (and implied that he saw himself as too good for her).  Eventaully she tells him he can leave, and he says that’s what he planned to do, and it’s the (un)romantic version of your boss firing your while you yell, “That’s fine, because I’m quitting anyway.”  Except Ian doesn’t get a severance package, so there’s that.

He does have some choice words on his way out:  “Kaitlyn’s shallow. She’s just not as complex as I am.  I’m too deep a thinker, I’m too self aware, I’m ver y different from every person here…I’m glad. I’m way glad to be out of there!…I’m being punished for being intellectual.”

Then in the van, Ian starts going on about how he knows he would do a great job being the Bachelor on his own season, and predicts that women would be falling all over him for his intellectual depth and awareness of self.

Then he closes his eyes, rubs his head in exasperation, and moans (this is a direct quote), “Oh man, I need to have sex.”

Yeah, Kaitlyn, you definitely dodged a bullet with that one.  Way to cut your losses and let him walk the plank. [Cue Kelly Clarkson-post breaktup- girl power anthem.]

The actual rose ceremony is held at the Alamo, which is super neat.  The rose ceremonies are getting more and more interesting as the number of guys dwindles.  At this point I don’t really like seeing anyone leave – even if they’re obviously not a good fit for Kaitlyn, they’re still entertaining characters we’ve gotten to “know” over the past six weeks.  But alas, Josh (no big surprise there) and the lost Hanson brother …um, I mean, Justin…got the boot, and the rest of the group gets to head to Ireland for the next week. No big deal, that doesn’t make me incredibly jealous or anything.

Chris waxes poetic about the start of their time in Ireland- “Kaitlyn is a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.”  So that make him a leprechaun, right?

One-On-One: Nick

Kaitlyn picks Nick for the first one-on-one in Dublin.  “Looks like I just got lucky in Dublin!” Yes you did, Nick, yes you did.   (Maybe even luckier than you expected…you’ll see what I mean…) All is going well until they encounter a pack of birds as they’re walking through the park, and her bird-phobia goes into overdrive.  Nick is a little puzzled, but he helps her make it through the park without having a full-on psychotic break…although he does admit, “We may never got to a park again.”

They find other ways to enjoy Dublin, including trying their hand (feet?) at Irish dancing, buying claddagh rings, drinking whiskey, and making out.  Lots of making out.  As Kaitlyn says, “Kissing Nick is great…when we’re together, it’s hot.” I mean, they’re having dinner in a cathedral (Why in a Cathedral? Because Chris Harrison said so.  I don’t know.  Just go with it.) and they’re still making out.  I’d make a joke about telling them to “get a room,” but Kaitlyn beat me to the punch by suggesting Nick come back to her suite…except she wasn’t joking.

And I’m not even ashamed to admit that the obvious impending scandal made me more than a little giddy.  This is why we love this show! (Hashtag scandalous.  And also hashtag amazing.)

Meanwhile, Shawn and Jared are back at their hotel talking about Nick and whether he’ll make it to the end.  Little do they know, he’s making it to the metaphorical finish line as we speak.  Do you know how we know that?  Because we keep getting panned back to these shots of the Kaitlyn’s suite, where the camera is trained on her closed bedroom door and all we can hear is moaning. (Don’t worry, there are subtitles…for better or for worse.)  It was very strange.

And then things get weird because Nick comes back to the guys hotel the next morning and mentions going back to Kaitlyn’s suite the night before, and it’s just very, very uncomfortable.  But that’s why we love it.

***

This post was originally written for STAG.

To read the rest, head over to the blog at LetsGoStag.com!

“No Burpees Allowed” [20 Minute Conditioning Workout]

How many of yall hate burpees?

For a lot of fitness-minded folks, burpee-hating is almost a hobby.  After all, there are shirts out there like THIS and THIS.

buck furpees

As for me? I don’t hate burpees – heck, sometimes I almost enjoy them in small doses [like in THIS workout: “Down & Dirty” Cario Blast] – but I certainly don’t love them.  Plus, there are so many other plyometric exercises that I’d prefer to do in place of burpees.

I threw together this little doozy the other day to do for conditioning after some lower-body focused strength training.  It ended up being a lot more fun than I expected…not a single burpee in sight, but there were plenty of box jumps.  Apparently I’m a sucker for those guys.  [It was my first time doing box jumps, and I’m truly proud of the fact that I didn’t fall even once.]

box jump virgin no more

It was a very effective workout – my heart rate went up, up, up, and my lungs had to werrrk it – and the short intervals meant that the time flew right on by. Interval training is already a very efficient way to use your time at the gym.  On top of that, splitting interval training up by alternating between different exercises is a great way to make a workout go by faster.

If you’ve got 20 minutes and are ready to get in some aerobic + muscular endurance work, take this bad boy for a spin!

NO BURPEES ALLOWED

For active recovery, you can be creative – you want to let yourself catch your breath a bit; the only rule is don’t stand still! I like boxer shuffles, but you can powerwalk back and forth, march in place, do a little box step, bust out a quick tap dance routine…whatever keeps your mojo up while your heartrate comes down a little.

Dont’ forget that you can always substitute lower impact modifications as needed.  If high impact exercises [i.e. box jumps] are out due to joint problems, try bodyweight squat variations. If you can’t complete pushups on your toes, feel free to drop to your knees [even if you start off on your toes!]. The bottom line here is that you want 20 minutes worth of 20 seconds of hard work [aerobic + muscular endurance] and 20 seconds of active recovery…but one person’s hard work might be someone else’s sprint might be someone else’s active recovery.  So adjust whatever you need to in order to make this workout work for you.

Now go get sweaty!

As always, I’d love to hear what you think of this workout.  If you think it’s better than burpees, do me a solid and share it with your friends, ok?

Bachelorette 2015: Week 5

Can anyone else believe we’re already more than halfway through the season?  It sometimes kind of feels like it just started…but at the same time, it feels like we’ve been glued to the TV and drooling over these hotties forever.  Is this how parents feel about their kids growing up too fast?

Anyway, let’s get down to business and go over all the craziness from last night.

Picking Up Where We Left Off

So the show picks back up with Nick arriving at the hotel room.  Speaking of Nick, yall see the resemblance I was talking about last week, right?

nick and mr tumnus collage

The guys greet him like it’s some kind of boozy intervention scene – all of them somber and silent, holding their respective drinks as they sit clustered on one side of the room, letting him take a seat alone on the other side of the room.  No one says a word of greeting or cracks a smile, and the Southern side of me is dying over that.  Anyone else have the same reaction?  Sure, he’s a prick, but have yall ever heard of hospitality?  He’s a dude who likes the same girl as them.  It’s not like he’s a leader of Al Qaeda or a drug lord from Cuba.

Needless to say, it was surprising that they didn’t end up waterboarding Nick, or at least engaging in some kind of sadistic tickle-fest.  [Spinoff idea?]

Somehow, they all work things out enough that everyone is able to make it to the rose ceremony without significant bloodshed or psychotic episodes.

Rose Ceremony

The rose ceremony being held at CitiField was kind of a cool twist on things.  JJ picking Kaitlyn up and running around the bases was another cool twist on things.  Any by cool twist, I mean amazing feat.  I’m looking at this from a semi-chubby girl’s perspective, so it’s doubly shocking to think that A) someone could pick her up, and B) someone would have the physical conditioning to be able to run all the bases while holding another full-grown human.  I mean, sure, she’s tiny, so maybe more like 0.75 of a full-grown human, but still.  I was wheezing just watching him run. If he had tried that with me, he’d probably crumple immediately.  If he didn’t, then he’d asphyxiate when he tried to run with me, and then he’d crumple…at which point I’d fall on top of him, break a rib, which would puncture his lung.  Now that would really be the most dramatic episode ever of The Bachelorette, wouldn’t it, Chris Harrison?

Anyway, Shawn has this heart to heart with Kaitlyn and calls her out on how inviting Nick to join the show doesn’t exactly reflect well on her.  She gets offended, because logic and consequences are offensive.  I get turned on, because Shawn’s clearly a smart cookie who could probably be talked into letting me eat cookies off of his abs.  [A fat kid can dream, right?]

Anyway, they finally get around to handing out roses, and everyone looks miserable because it’s clearly cold as all get out.  Then Kaitlyn announces they’re going to San Antonio Texas and no one is genuinely excited.  Who can blame them? They’re expecting Bali, or Japan, or really anyplace tropical and filled with geishas or concubines, and she decides to take them to a desert filled with biker gangs.  Close enough, right?

One-On-One: Ben

two steppin san antonio

photo source: My San Antonio

Ben gets picked for the first one-on-one date in Texas, and naturally they go to a  two-step competition, which is a win for everyone because we get to see him in plaid. There’s lots of talk about how dancing requires communication and brings people closer together, but you know what else does that, too?  Space exploration.  You don’t see any of these dates taking place in the flight simulator at NASA, do you?  [Although, would that not be the best? Someone get Chris Harrison in on that asap!]

Overall, it’s a nice date for them, but boring for us.  We don’t want to see you having a nice time and doing cute, normal/normal-adjacent things that any couple would enjoy.  We want to see you doing things like bungee jumping, rappelling down skyscrapers, or any other activity with a high likelihood of producing embarrassment, drama, and/or a psychotic break.  That is what reality TV is all about.

***

This post was originally written for STAG.

To read the rest, head over to the blog at LetsGoStag.com!

Kettlebell Killa – Full Body Kettlebell Workout

This weekend I found myself in a bit of a predicament: limited time, limited equipment, and limited interest in working out.

I didn’t have access to a gym yet [I’ve been mostly working out in my bedroom since I moved into my new place], and I was working earlier and longer hours than my REM cycle would say is ideal.  Between getting sick of the same bodyweight circuits and feeling like a zombie with a hangover, the usual mojo wasn’t exactly there.

Processed with VSCOcam with hb1 preset

But since my back has been feeling a lot better and my schedule should be getting a little more predictable soon, I wanted to get back into the swing of training.

I knew making the time to do things that are good for my health – even if it’s not something I want to do at first – always makes me feel refreshed and ready to kick ass.  So after a good nap, a homecooked meal, and a little housecleaning, I cued up my Hulu+ account [no shame in watching TV while you work out at home…multitasking can be good for you!] and got to work.

I kept things short and sweet with some kettlebell supersets and a nice little finisher.  This was challenging enough to feel like a decent workout – not exhausting, but definitely worked up a sweat and left my muscles a little sore when I woke up Sunday morning.  It was definitely a workout that I’ll keep in my arsenal for future use, and I figured some of yall might want to give it a shot!

Since all I’ve got  is one 15LB kettlebell, I used higher reps and more sets in my workout…feel free to decrease/increase the number of reps/sets if your ‘bell is heavier/lighter.

ke

If you like this kettlebell workout, let me know! And as always, please feel free to pin it and share with your friends!

Move. Just MOVE.

photo source: pinterest

photo source: pinterest

There’s this book I read recently, by this guy I’ve never met, recommended to me by another guy I’ve never met, and the book changed my life.

No, I’m not referring the the Bible.  [The Bible has changed my life, more than any other book, but that’s a story for another post – or preferably a campfire and a bottle of wine.]

Insert Kirk Cameron movie trailer here…

The book is Crush It, by Gary Vaynerchuk.  I’m planning to do a whole post about how that book/Bossman G. changed my mindset, and through that, career trajectory…but no big deal y’know, everyday stuff.  But for now I want to show you an incredibly short and insanely powerful video he shared on facebook just a couple days ago:

Watch it here.

Seriously, watch it.  Right now.

Did you WATCH THE DAMN VIDEO yet?

It’s less than 30 seconds long, so don’t even tell me you don’t have time.  And really, that’s what it’s about.  Gary’s message is simple: MOVE.   Not in the sense of fitness and physical health [“Get off your ass and move!” – Michelle Obama/P.E. teacher/Jillian Michaels/et cetera…], but in the terms of life.

DO NOT let yourself be paralyzed by perfection.

DO NOT let yourself grow stagnant or complacent.

DO NOT let planning and worrying get in the way of doing and MOVING.

photo source: Digital Photography School

photo source: Digital Photography School

Go. Do. Move. Make something happen.

Plans are cool, but they don’t get anything done. Not even the most perfect of plans.

You know what gets things done?

Execution.  Movement.  Action. 

Action begets more action begets better action begets even more action.

Success is built on movement, so get your ass up and get your life going and move.

****

You know why this hit me so hard, I think?  Because that’s exactly what I’ve been doing lately.  I’ve been moving.  Geographically, yes.  But also in my career [STAG shenanigans, plus a new job as of yesterday!], in my social life, in personal projects, in so much…and you know what?

It’s been absolutely terrifying.  It’s been hard. It’s been exciting.  I have cried exactly once, and there were about three tears.  [Which is a lot for me, so go with it.]  It’s been foreign and it’s been fun and it’s been frightening.

That’s what movement is, right?

Physical movement is sometimes hard and occasionally painful and often exhilarating and at the end of the day…it’s life-giving.

Life requires movement.  

Stillness is a sign of death, movement is a sign of life.  It’s why we watch chests for signs of movement, for breath, for life.  It’s why we describe so many crucial life changes as movement.

“Moving out.”  Huge change.  It’s scary the first time, and liberating AF the next.  [If you’ve ever had to move back in with your parents as an adult, yall especially know what I’m saying.]  You get stretched, and so does your paycheck.  You learn how to change cities and the filters in your air conditioning vents.  It’s hard and it’s new and it’s wonderful.  And it’s life giving.

“Moving on.”  Huge change.  It’s perspective and it’s reality, in all their respective grit.  You let go and you bury the metaphorical hatchet or casket, closing off relationships, jobs, plans, pains and leaving them in the earth past. Instead of hanging onto dead ends for dear life, you start digging up another dream.  And it’s life-giving. 

“Moving up.”  Huge change.  It means a new position, and a new office if you’re lucky.  A bigger paycheck and bigger responsibilities.  More people are counting on you, and more people are watching you.  Some might look up to you, and some might be waiting to see you fall. You busted your ass [or in Gary-speak, “hustled”]  to get there, and if you’ve got any integrity, you keep working just as hard to live up to the potential you promised.  And it’s life giving.

betterphoto swimmer BW

photo source: Better Photo

Standing water is poison, just like a stagnant life.  

As scary as it can be to create your own momentum and move, it’s those areas in life – personal or professional – where I find myself stagnant that are scariest of all.  And the only way to fix it is to face things head on.

Whatever it is you want out of life, it won’t come about if you don’t move.  A perfect game plan won’t win games, but a persistent team will.  Game plans are ink on a page, but games are played by people on a field.  If the players don’t move [and move well, and keep moving], it doesn’t matter how good the plan is – they don’t win.  And it’s the same for you, and it’s the same for me – if we don’t move, we won’t win.  

The job. The acceptance letter. The degree. The sponsorship. The title.  The guy/girl.  The deadlift PR.  The race medal.  The brass ring that keeps you up at night, praying and hoping and planning and praying some more.  You have to chase it, you have to hustle for it, you have to fight to win it, you have to move to get it.

If you don’t move, eventually you’ll get stagnant, you’ll grow complacent, and you’ll find yourself existing in mediocrity.

Fight against stagnancy by acting.  Fight against complacency by doing. Fight against mediocrity by moving.

Just move, amigos.  Be wild like the ocean or steady like the river.  Plans don’t have to be perfect for you to execute the plays. 

Remember: Action begets more action begets better action begets even more action.

Movement leads to more movement leads to better movement leads to success, which is, in and of itself, yet more movement.

photo source: image kid

photo source: image kid

Just move.

Bachelorette 2015: Week 5

photo source: Wet Paint

photo source: Wet Paint

Picking Up Where We Left Off

Kaitlyn interrupts the cocktail party to take Clint outside and lay down the law.  And the whole time, all I can think is…

Villians gonna vill, son! 

The way they’re arguing makes no sense to me, but Clint is really good at spin.  And you can almost see the way Kaitlyn starts getting manipulated, then realizes what’s happening and decides to stick with her gut. [Homegirl mentions her gut a lot, anyone else notice that?  Like what’s up with you and digestion, amiga? You need to pop some Rolaids.]

When she brings Clint in to say goodbye – which is a weird move to begin with – JJ mucks things up further by telling Clint he should apologize to the house.  As Ian said, “Clint’s face goes from already sad, to even sadder.”

Really, I think Tanner summed up the bromantic disaster quite well:

“If you’re gonna be a dick, be a dick.  But don’t be a dick and then throw your best friend under the bus.  Because then you’re just an unloyal dick.”

Clint and JJ have that face off in the foyer, and I can’t tell if it’s tense because Clint clearly wants to strangle him or because of some weird sexual energy that’s emerging.  It was a mystery.  But I will say this – when Clint went out to the van and drove off, all I wanted out of life for that moment was for JJ to run outside hollering “Stellaaaaaaaa!”

And then, you know, JJ started crying.  Because Britt’s tears just weren’t enough for this season.
Tanner, where’s that Kleenex??

Group Date – Rap Battle

I love Johnathan’s reaction to the date card – “Let’s keep our date fresh.”
“What are we going to do, take a shower? Go to the spa?”  How about a field trip to those nude hotsprings people go to?  That would be exciting.

False alarm, they’re actually having a rap battle.  With some guy named Doug E. Fresh, who is apparently an “icon,” but I don’t think I’ve ever heard of him and I definitely don’t know how to “dougie.” According to Wikipedia, our buddy Doug E. is from Barbados, just like our girl Rihanna, so there’s that.  At least I know the words to her song, “Umbrella.” Which is basically one word that is just repeated, and it’s obviously not rap.  But it’s something.

Anyway, I loved Shawn’s reaction to the rap battle announcement, and not just because I’m from Nashville.  I feel ya, hombre.  I feel ya.  I can barely sing along with the country stations, let alone freestyle rap.

JJ says that he’s “really never listened to rap in [my] life.  I listen to Broadway show tunes.”  That may or may not earn him a few points in my book, douchebaggery or no douchebaggery.  [It could also be something that points to him actually being in love with Clint in more than a bromantic way.]

“I don’t think there’s ever been a rap battle with two guys in khaki pants.”  Amen to that, Kaitlyn.

****

This post was originally written for STAG.

To read the rest, head over to the blog at LetsGoStag.com!

****