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Category Archives: Fitness


Last post Dec 20. Now that we are through the holidays and I am over the cold I had all week, I am back. LOVE LOVE LOVING my break!!! ME time!!! WOO HOO! I have been cooking, writing, reading, watching movies, going to the movies, and seeing friends. I took my mother to see Burlesque – the movie with Christina Aguilera and Cher. My mother LOVES Cher. I have taken her to every Farewell tour there has been in the NJ area. Anyway, the movie was AWESOME! If you are into theater or musical theater, go see it! I was dancing in my seat and ran out and bought the CD for my mother (Christmas gift) and I the same night. I can sing in that range and I have the song Somethings Got a Hold on Me as my ring tone on my cell. Christina has a set of pipes boy WOW! I was all into it! My mother of course loved it.

Now that 2011 is here, I did a Facebook clean out. I needed to alleviate the dead weight that was bringing me down. Some people I thought I had a relationship with but it’s like out of sight out of mind and who needs friends like that! This is going to be a good year I think. The Giants were eliminated from the playoffs which wasn’t so good for the new year but other than that, things will be great! All I have to say is GO BULLS! GO ST. LOUIS CARDS! Speaking of the Bulls, me, my hubby, and my brother are going to see the Bulls play the Nets on Wednesday at The Prudential Center. I can’t wait! Getting all my fun in while I can because once school starts up again, I go back to not having a life!

I still haven’t gotten my placement for my internship, which at first annoyed me, but you know what, whatever. I sent them an email today inquiring. It is what it is. I did find out however, that the illustrious state of New Jersey is pulling my unemployment as soon as I am finished with school. Isn’t that great? They want you to go to school to get trained in a new career but they don’t want to pay you until you find a job in that new career. Lovely. I need to get a job come May!

The holidays were low-key. A lot of family time and WAY too much eating! As I said earlier I had a cold all this week which prevented me from getting to the gym everyday like I wanted! UGH! I am starting back at the gym tomorrow. I had a nice routine going and then the holidays and this cold happened.

We are almost done with our second one act play and I have 53 word pages in the book I am writing. I need an editor and a literary agent.

Some good songs from Burlesque:

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Just heard some great news. I had emailed my best friend’s brother a photography contest for Sports Illustrated. He won the Sports Illustrated photo contest, $10,000, a 7 day trip for two to the 2011 SI swimsuit photoshoot in November, as well as a 3 day stay in NY & Las Vegas for the after parties. He also won a Smart phone of his choice to document the whole thing. That’s great news! Congrats Matt!

It seems things are happening around here in good ol’ North Jersey – The hubby and I get  to have our 1st written play performed and our friend wins a big photo contest. Pretty cool.

Must be the double rainbow that was outside the window this morning!


I found out that I will be playing Zoe in the one-act my husband and I wrote. We can’t find anyone available or with a normal schedule. I really didn’t want to be in it. This is the first time a work I was involved in is being performed. I wanted to get excited and watch. Zoe is a serious character. SIGH.  My mind is working overtime now. I have to learn these lines in addition to taking care of all my responsibilities with school and interning. I can’t complain really though. Good things are starting to happen at least! I know I have changed. I still may have my wit and humor but I am not the same person I was at the beginning months of 2010. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y4VwhQlf1cc  I want to continue to write. I work so better with structure and deadlines. Anyone out there want to push me? 🙂 I would kill for an agent or something to give me deadlines.

Oh man. I just read that  39-year-old Joseph Cerniglia who owns Campania in Fair Lawn killed himself over debt. He is leaving behind a wife and 3 kids. That’s a shame. His restaurant was on Season 2 of Gordon Ramsey’s Kitchen Nightmares. That’s the second person to commit suicide that was on one of Gordon Ramsey’s shows. YIKES! While I am sure Joseph Cerniglia’s debts were way more than ours were when we owned the fitness facility, I certainly understand the stress of the debt. You honestly don’t understand or know the sinking feeling and feeling of failure that overcomes you.  There have been people who have owned the same franchise I owned that have committed suicide because they felt like there was no way out. When you tell people about it and they answer, “I can imagine,” they really can’t. You don’t know how it feels to almost lose a marriage and in this case a life because overwhelming amounts of debt. I am not even going to pretend I understand what his family is going through right now. It’s a shame. It’s sad. My heart goes out to the Cerniglia family especially his kids.


Sorry there was a lapse in time. I started classes. Today as a matter of fact was my first day interning at a local high school. I will elaborate on being back in college at a later time. Oh boy, I am definitely not used to getting out of bed at 5:10 a.m. The school’s first bell is at 7:20 a.m.

March 20, 2009 – Time for court! My husband and I arrived in a downtown urban area where the court was housed. We walked four blocks to the court building, took the elevator up, and entered the waiting room. The court was PACKED. It was like a sardine can in there. I couldn’t believe all the individuals there for the same reason. Since there wasn’t any room, we stood up against the wall near the entrance and waited for our attorney. When she arrived, she took us into the actual court area we were seated and waited for our case to be called. Supposedly the trustee we were assigned was a real hard ass. When our case number was called, the trustee asked if counsel was present. We approached the table and answered all his questions. He was actually very nice to us. My attorney was shocked at how well he treated us. We explained everything. He had a copy of our Quickbooks. It was very easy to see how much money we lost from this lemon. Listening to him read back our situation left a sour taste. We were sitting with him no more than 10 minutes. He concluded our meeting by saying, “I am assuming you wouldn’t be here if it had not been for this business, correct?” We answered, “correct” in unison. That was it. Our attorney bought us lunch and we left our future in the trustee’s hands. It was another waiting game.

In the next month and month and a half we received news on both fronts. My test scores had come in to ETS Testing Service and we received a letter in the mail from the district court. Nervously I logged into the test site. I clicked on test scores and up they came. WOO HOO! I passed! I got a 164. In order to get a Certificate of Eligibility, a score of 162 had to be obtained.  

When my husband got home from work we opened the letter from the Bankruptcy court – DISCHARGED! The feeling was unbelievable. It was like having an enormous weight lifted off our shoulders. Bye Bye Albatross! We craved a fresh start and now we were going to finally have the chance to get one. One can only watch The Secret so many times!

When I received my Certificate of Eligibility in English in the mail, I started to submit resumes for a Teacher of English position to various districts. I even submitted for Teacher Aide positions. I had two interviews for an Aide’s position out of the 30 something resumes I sent out. This is another situation one has to laugh at. I wonder if people even look at resumes before they call you in.

The Alternate Route path was not working out. A friend of my husband’s who is a principal told him for every position open, the district was receiving 200 resumes. He also said that when he received resumes he separated them into 3 piles – Experience, No experience, and Alternate Route. If someone was alternate route, he didn’t even bother with the resume. Apparently student teaching was a very important component to most districts. That prompted a discussion with my husband about applying to college and getting the certification the standard way. I hadn’t been in college since 1999. Now at 34 I was applying to go back.


During the week we lost Tweetie, we shut down the franchise. Another domino down. We had met with our bankruptcy counsel and had the petition filed. This was our third attorney. She was a very get the job done and matter of fact individual. She advised us not to notify our employees, clients, or landlord we were filing bankruptcy and shutting the business down. She wanted us to just put a note in the window or have the locks changed. While I agreed with not notifying the landlord, I didn’t agree with not notifying the clients. We set a date of February 6, 2009 to shut the doors for good. I typed up a letter and mailed them out to all the clients on a Friday. I also contacted all the employees and said we were going to have a meeting Saturday after we closed at noon. By the time we got to the gym Saturday morning, all the employees had already found out because the first thing some of the clients did when they got their letters was of course call “Devri” and complain. When my husband and I explained our personal situation, how we couldn’t do it anymore, how the corporation was of no help, how our attorney advised us to not even give notice and how losing my father put a lot in perspective, “Devri” responded with a VERY selfish comment. But what else was new . . . This woman had the audacity to say to us “I wish you would have told me this the other day. My husband is in Italy. I purposely didn’t go because there wasn’t anyone to work. I sacrificed the trip. I could be in Italy right now.” ARE YOU KIDDING ME? My response? “Um well, I just lost my father so no disrespect to you, but I really wasn’t thinking about people’s vacations.” Pardon my French, but what balls! To add to her character flaws, she had the nerve to steal supplies that WE purchased in addition to member folders in order to pass them out to those that wished to go to another facility. Her mentality that she ran the place continued even to the day we shut the doors. When the employees left and we realized what she did, my husband left an unpleasant voicemail on her cell phone. We called our attorney and told her what “Devri” did. Our attorney said we could have filed a police report. We decided against that because we still had to live in the next town over. We put a “Closed due to bankruptcy” sign on the door and left. That was the last time we ever saw the women’s fitness facility again. The albatross was slowing removing itself from our necks.

I had to have all the utilities turned off. Before I had the phone disconnected, I checked the voicemail. There were at least 6 on the machine. I only listened to one because I knew that these trust fund babies felt a sense of entitlement to know ahead of time and were only going to degrade us for doing what was in our best interest. God forbid!  The one voice mail from one of the clients said she didn’t appreciate how we did this. She said she understood why but that customers were loyal to us. Who was she kidding? The women’s loyalty was to “Devri” just like “Devri’s” loyalty was to them. They never participated in any of the promotions I had going on in terms of bringing in friends to workout or to try the circuit workout itself. It was social hour and time to get away from their husbands and be with the girls. They didn’t care if my husband and I were struggling. I think they expected us to stay open regardless.  

With all this going on, I had to make time to study for my Praxis exam which was taking place about 5 weeks after the closing of the gym. That’s all I focused on. I threw myself into studying and attending workshops for extra help. I had to keep myself busy to get my mind off everything else. During my study time, we received our letter from the court. The bankruptcy court date was a week after the Praxis. Can you see the domino pattern here?

Through all this, there was one positive. My best friend was pregnant for the first time with her daughter – My God daughter.


After that phone call I was beyond livid. We went back up to the bank. I started raising my voice to “Barbara” and telling her what the Assistant Director of the SBA said. It was one of those “Uh Uh” moments. She reverted back to how the business isnt making any money. At that point, all I heard was noise – think of the teacher voice on Charlie Brown. That was a dead end obvioulsy.

Months passed and our financial situation got worse. We got a phone call from our realtor. She told us she had a local woman interested in the gym and wanted to know if I could drop her off an extra key and some paperwork. Unlike “Kevin” I  provided a REAL member number list. A little background on this prospective buyer – Think Jersey Shore (tv show) looking with a British accent, what guys would call a “bangin bod,” long nails polished, a lot of makeup, VERY rich and possibly an entire bottle of perfume.  We will call her “Lizzy.” Early on our attorney called her a “tire kicker” and that is exactly what she turned out to be. She kept us on the hook for nine months. Every phone call, whether we spoke to her or her husband, they wanted more and more information and more time. The last phone call we received from them they wanted us to wait longer because they wanted to refinance their house to get extra money for the purchase. Can you even believe it? People this is my life. You can’t make this up. WHY ME? She told us they needed two months and that they wanted us to hold membership steady at the number it was at which at that point I think was about 185 members. We held steady for the two months and never heard from them. Membership started declining even more again due to members losing their jobs or what have you. When we called to get a status update and told her we had the membership steady for two months and never heard from her and how membership declined more, there was dead silence on the other end of the phone. After the silence, she again asked us to wait longer. We gave her a deadline and said if we didn’t hear from her we would have to shut the gym down because we just couldn’t do it on our end anymore.

In addition to the stress of a failing business and a strained marriage, my father was in and out of the hospital from a heart attack, additional chest pains, getting a stent put in, and bleeding. Could it possibly have gotten any worse? It did. I had a pet cockatiel for 14 years. She fell off her perch and started twitching her head. We took her to the vet and the poor bird was a nervous wreck shaking. Not sure if you know anything about cockateils but they get very attached to their owners and don’t like being in strange places. The vet gave us antibiotics that had to be administered with an eye dropper like tool. I hate vets. No offense to any out there. It’s just I have friends that have many animals and every time they took their pets to vets, it wasn’t long after that the pets passed away. My bird was never 100% again but she was ok for a while.

“Lizzy”, my father, and my bird situations happened from the end of 2007 on through almost the end of 2008. Again I said it couldn’t get any worse. Yet another domino fell. On Novemebr 15, 2008 I received a phone call from my full-time job telling me they were laying people off due to the lack of work because of the floundering economy. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? This is happening again NOW?  While I was still working for the company, our department was taken over by a young woman, who honestly had no clue about what we did in this specific aspect. My old boss got a promotion and went to another department. A few times this new woman suggested stuff and it was like “uh yeah we already were doing that.” Anyone that is a woman and works for a woman knows how catty some of them can be especially if they feel threatened because you actually know more than they do and they are supposed to be the boss. In any case, I was once again being layed off in the midst of a failing business. Thank God for unemployment. It was at that time my husband and I had a long talk and said we had enough. That’s when we decided we weren’t waiting for the tire kicker anymore and to now more than ever get control over this.

On the same day I lost my job, I registered for the Praxis II Exam to become an English Teacher. My test was scheduled for a Saturday in March 2009. Years ago when I wasn’t really into the profession I took the test twice because I was working at the first company in another department where I was getting up at 3 a.m. and I needed to get out because it was killing me.  The two times I took the test I didn’t get the score I needed. When I took the test the first two times, I was still at that “I deserve- wooo is me” phase so I really didn’t care if I passed it or not.


Remember in the first several posts, I had mentioned leaving the new department of that one company to work part-time for my old boss? Well, thank God and what a blessing, but the company wanted to hire me full-time. I could still work from home but had to commute an hour+ or so north for meetings, training, or to make an appearance now and again in the office. That was the end of October 2007. This couldn’t have come at a better time. We were losing so much money from this fitness facility and needed the extra money. I had no desire to be at the business anymore. Membership was still dropping like flies, none of the women members were interested in helping out by having their friends join, “Devri” was still being “Devri” – a diva, complaining, self-fish etc. I HATED going there. I was depressed and felt like a fool. I blamed myself for all of this. Now with a full-time job, I had an even better excuse not to go there unless I just wanted to pop in and make an appearance or drop off supplies. Of course “Devri” didn’t approve of me, the owner, having a full-time job. It was okay for “Kevin” but not for me. Why would I want to go to a place that drove me into more of a depressed phase and recluse? If the business was thriving and I had employees and clients that actually cared about people other than themselves, I would have been there all the time. That wasn’t the case. My marriage was being strained because of our finances due to this horrible mistake and being taken advantage of by “Kevin” and crew. 

When I started working full-time, we put the business up for sale. We didn’t have the money that was needed to advertise consistently. We never had enough money to buy the business period but “Phil” was another one who was only worried about his pay day and not his novice clients. I’m not saying none of this is our fault because I could have handled myself differently after losing my job after the promotion and my husband could have stepped up and said we couldn’t do this; however that is not an excuse to be preyed on. We tried to make the best of the situation and tried to refinance our business loan that we received from “Phil’s” guy. We went to the local branch of the bank we received the loan from. When we discussed with one woman higher up in the branch, she had the ordacity to say to my husband and I, “How did you get this loan? You should have never been given it in the first place.” YA THINK? When we explained “Phil” and “Phil’s” connection, she made a call  to the branch where “Phil’s” guy worked to get his assistance. It turned out that the individual that got us the loan no longer worked for this one particular bank. Hmmmm You don’t say  . . . Maybe all his “friendly transactions” finally caught up to him.  She had us sit down with a woman in charge of Small Business loans. We will call her “Barbara.” When we explained the situation to “Barbara” she had the nerve to turn around and blame us! She told us we surrounded ourselves with the wrong people and why would they refinance a loan for a business that has negative income. UM maybe because you had a crook in your loan division that qualified us without any collateral to begin with? She told us the only way we could refinance the business loan was to default on it. Please someone out there tell me how that makes any sense. WHY would we default on a loan that is automatically withdrawn from our business checking account #1 and #2 Why would we lower our FICO scores? This made absolutely no sense to us. They wouldn’t take any responsibility. So we left. In the next couple of weeks we tried again. We tried to reason with her by telling her that we are people that stick to their commitments and want to pay our debts but need some assistance like a lower payment. SNAKE EYES! We backed “Barbara” into a corner, so what did she do now? She blamed SBA and said you cannot refinance a SBA loan. I told her we did not have a SBA loan because SBA said the particular gym we bought discriminated against men and didn’t allow loans for this purchase. She insisted we had a SBA loan. After that meeting, I called SBA. I spoke to the Assistant Director of SBA who searched every record in the SBA database. You ready for his reply? “Maam, you do not have a SBA loan. I don’t know who told you this but I hope you are documenting everything.” Oh my God it was getting worse.  I felt like “Kevin” was a dark cloud following us around puppeteering these people. The only thing we could do at that point was wait to see if maybe we could sell the business. In the meantime, we would pay down our business debts with the extra money coming in from my full-time job.   

There may be a second post tonight to continue. Keep following and checking back!


Had orientation today at Kean University for my upcoming one day a week internship. I got a GREAT Supervisor. He seems very cool, very laid back, and eager to help. THANK GOD! The last thing I needed was some stuffy suit! I am a nervous wreck as it is!

Back to “Rachel” and her husband’s lawsuit against “Kevin.” After heading towards a court date, “Rachel” and her husband
hired a private investigator to check on several of “Kevin’s” dealings. Turns out the couple that bought TWO gyms from “Kevin” were taken for over $400,000 on their deals. Same pattern as with all of us but thank GOD we didn’t spend that much money. There were also other issues as well that we weren’t privy to. The private invesigator tracked down all of “Kevin’s” former employees and looked into his back dealings. He was even looking into whether “Kevin” really had a baby son that died. Can you imagine if that was a lie and he used the same story with all of us? What an absolute DISGRACE! When it got back to “Kevin” about the hiring of the PI, he settled quickly with “Rachel” and her husband. The one thing that was thought about and that was being looked into with “Kevin” was why did he separate himself with so many layers on the gym businesses? The answer was to protect his license. IF he really was sending patients to the fitness facility for treatment as I had said in a few posts ago, he would have been in A LOT of trouble. Needless to say, the private investigator scared the hell out of him and the call to settle with “Rachel” and her husband was within a week them hiring the P.I. They got their deposit back and “Kevin” dropped his lawsuit against them for Breach of Contract. During all of this we contacted “Phil” because we thought about suing him too. Why didn’t he catch any of this? I don’t even think he looked at “Kevin’s” income tax returns.  It was obvious now why “Devri’s” accountant was against her buying the place. Her attitude through all this was not to get her involved because she would have a panic attack on the stand and that she didn’t know anything. COME ON! You worked for the guy all those years and you are gonna tell me you knew NOTHING? She probably did and used the panick attack as an excuse. Regardless of what she wanted, she would have been called if we had gone forward.

My husband and I obviously stopped going to “Kevin” in the chiropractic sense the minute we closed on the gym. After a while he sent us a “final” bill which was ridiculous. While the amount was small, he had given us a fixed rate at the office and then turned around and billed us for the balance. He also insisted that monies we got back from the insurance company were to be signed over to him. We tried to file a complaint with the Sheriff’s Department but he covered all his tracks and made the insurance fraud look legit.  The man is and always will be a crook and a snake. I don’t know who he had cooking his books but what a conartist and fraud. According to our second attorney we had no case with either situation. I’ll never understand that. He probably said that because he knew we didn’t have the money for a long drawn out court battle.

The whole situation with “Rachel” and her husband went on from about September 2006 through Novemebr 2007. We unfortuantely lost touch with them. I still have their contact information but I don’t know if they really want to hear from my husband and I. If they did, they probably would have contacted us.


Good Morning everyone! Sorry about not posting yesterday. It was a busy day and the hubby wasn’t feeling well at night. To continue:

Made a Deal with the Devil

Monday came quicker than I would have liked. Going to work was not exciting anymore. I still had two months left in the department. I thought the work I was doing was a total waste of time considering. After talking with my husband, we thought it was best if I took the transfer to the other department since the salary and benefits would stay the same. I honestly didn’t want that but there are two people in a marriage.

After leaving work that Monday, I met my husband at our chiropractor’s office. I will refer to the chiropracter as “Kevin” or other various words. My husband had arrived before I did. We were both early. He sat in my car until we had to go inside for our appointment. I picked my husband’s brain to find out what he thought about looking into one of those women’s circuit fitness centers. While we knew nothing about them, we knew our chiropracter owned a bunch of them. Let me just add that when we first went to this specific chiropracter for a consultation, we explained we were interested in working with someone who was going to be up front with us, someone who had no hidden agendas, or no hidden costs. We gave him a brief synopsis about what had happened to us at our prior chiropractor’s office in West Jersey.  We explained how we were being over billed and how he didn’t let us know when we ran out of insurance money and then handed us a large bill.  The only thing this snake oil salesman said in response to that was, “I will always be straight with you but I can’t promise you that we may not have to do some different things.”

Weeks went by and discussions started heating up between my husband and I about a women’s fitness facility. We started performing internet searches. We found forums, the company website that detailed a purchase, and different reviews. Top business magazines were rating it the #1 facility to own.  From what we were reading, it sounded like a good investment. It seemed very popular. The idea was that if we did this, I would continue to keep my job in client services once I was transferred. I would eventually work in the facility full-time and quit my job.

It was a Friday night. It was time for our weekly ritual of Chinese takeout, a nice bottle of wine, and Ghost Whisperer. During our dinner conversation my husband suggested we go in and look at one of the women’s gyms. He also said he was going to feel the waters with this chiropracter to see what he had to say. 

You can imagine the irony of the situation when my husband told Kevin that we were interested in one of these gyms. The snake oil salesman told him he just happened to be downsizing and selling off his gyms to quote “Spend more time with his family.” A Ha Interesting . . . In any case, my husband set up a meeting with him for the end of the week so we could sit down and discuss this possible business venture.

When the end of the week arrived and we met with the good doctor, what he said to us to lower our guard was terrible. To start off, we sat in his office for fifteen minutes before he came in. When he entered, he apologized and made a comment about an insurance blip. “Kevin” sat down and started explaining how he owned six of the fitness facilities and how out of the six, he just sold two of them not too long ago. He said he was trying to sell them all and focus on chiropractic. The story he told next was the heart breaking tale. He explained how the picture hanging on the wall over his desk was of his baby son who had died. He went on to say how sick over it his wife and he were, how life was too short, and he didn’t want to own a bunch of businesses anymore. He wanted to just focus on one so he could spend more time with his wife and other kids because you never knew what life would bring. “Kevin” explained more about the business, what kind of profits he had made, how many members were in the facility he wanted to sell us, and what the cost would be. He referred to it as “This great price of $99,000.” Great price of $99,000? Sounds like an oxymoron to me now. 

To be continued . . .


You try and climb a wall of ice. Sounds kind of far fetched right? How would you do it? Could you do it? How can one possibly make it to the top when with every foot motion you slide right back down again?

That’s what I’m going through. I am going to the best of my ability chronicle past and current moments. This blog could take me a full year. Come with me on my journey and read about prior experiences that lead me here. This blog will give reality TV a whole new meaning. You want reality? I will give you reality. My real life “situation” started back in September 2005 when I was 30 years old.

We will start my journey tomorrow. My husband and I have an early rise for bloodwork (just a thyroid check for me and annual bloodwork for a physical for him) so it’s time to lay in bed and read some.   

Good Night . . .