I dumped Scott for Cody.

I know many of you have been reading my blog for years now.

You’re probably not shocked at the title “I dumped Scott for Cody” because you know I’m scheming you with my words.

You are correct. The title is not what it appears.

Cody is a girl.

I dumped Scott for Cody. The statement is still true.

No, I’m not a lesbian. 

I dumped my old workout partner – Scott – for a new workout partner – Cody.

I do not sugar coat blog posts. We’re all friends here and by friends, I mean real friends. Not some Facebook friend that has OMG. Best. Husband. Ever. Or an Instagram friend with smiling kids at the park, because it’s a good day with good friends! Friends also don’t let friends post videos of feet climbing a stair stepper. We get it. You’re working out.

I mean, it’s totally cool if you scrapbook your life on social media. You’re proud. We all are.

But I don’t scrapbook.

I’m a storyteller. If my husband gives me a present for no reason – he did something awful and he feels guilty. If I go to the park with my kids and friends – you won’t know about it unless something monumental happened, like the time 4-year-old Emma dropped her pants, squatted, and peed in the splash park. And as far as working out – again, you won’t know about it unless I dump Scott for Cody.

Fitness is not new to me. I’ve had a gym card since college and I use it a lot. I’ve worked out with Scott at a gym for the past 15 years. I’ve trained like an elk hunter. I’ve trained for a 5K with my friend, Heather. My new neighbors dragged me to a mud race.

I’m not athletic. I never played sports. I guess the only reason I’ve worked out for so many years is habit. And I train my body to handle something specific – reeling in a marlin, skiing in the mountains, running a 5K or a mud race. As Scott’s wife, my lifestyle is an active one.

Cody is drowning me facedown in my own puddle of boob sweat at Fusion.


There are three locations in the area but one concept – you sign up for a class at any of the locations. You show up, take the hour-long class taught by an instructor, and you leave. It’s not an open gym; it’s classes only. And if you miss the class you signed up for, you’re charged. This forces you to not be a quitter. This is good for me because I have no problem quitting free of charge.

And now I can’t quit. I’m a hostage.

That came out wrong. Let me try that again – I dread walking into the building.

Fusion’s tagline is “shock your body.” It’s printed on the door and it makes me feel like I’m going to get electrocuted if I touch the door handle. But that’s ridiculous. Electrocution.

They shock your body during class instead.

Things I’ve learned the past few weeks at Fusion:

  1. I’m the stumbling baby giraffe everyone watched on the Internet and I swear everyone is watching me. Not only am I tall and lanky but I can’t tell my left side from my right side. The mirror confuses me. Cody reminded me that everyone is lost when they first start Fusion. She gave me helpful words of encouragement like “find a spot so you can shadow the instructor” and “your days of not washing your hair are gone” and “don’t bring a tiny washcloth as your sweat rag. You might need a beach towel at first.”
  2. Barre is not pronounced “bear” as in “the bear is trying to kill me.” It’s pronounced “bar” as in “the workout is on the ballerina bar” or “I swear to God, if I make it out alive, I’m going straight to the bar after this.” Ballerinas make me cry.
  3. Cardio Sweat Lab should be called Class Swamp Ass. I asked Google if excessive sweating is a health condition. Google said I might die. I apply deodorant on my crotch now. I say this like I’m joking but, in fact, I am not.
  4. Bikini Boot Camp is not taught in bikinis. So don’t ask, guys. Bikini Boot Camp refers to kicks, jabs, jumps, and uppercuts for the next time you ask if this class is taught in bikinis.
  5. I don’t understand why we have eyebrows anymore. The sweat, you guys. The sweat. Isn’t the point of eyebrows to stop sweat from dripping and burning saltwater into your eyes? I peel off my workout clothes when I get home because they’re stuck to my skin. And then I go straight to the shower because Cody brought me to a new level of boob sweat Scott has never given me. I’m still not a lesbian.
  6. The burpees at Fusion make me see the Devil himself. Did you know burpees are a workout developed by Satan? It’s true. I saw him. Here’s what you do: Stand, drop to a squat, jump your feet back to a plank position, jump your feet to a squat again, and jump up to a standing position. Repeat. The stars come out and meet my friend, Lucifer.
  7. Everyone at Fusion has favorite instructors. I haven’t found my favorites. Each one has a special way of making me wring my sweaty hair all over my mat at the end of class. I’ve determined Satan must be a woman with a rocking six-pack body.
  8. No one will call you out if you show up with your workout pants inside out. I had two choices once I realized what my dumbass did: 1. Grab the instructor’s microphone and announce that I know my pants are inside out, please don’t judge me. Or 2. Text Cody what I did and tell her I must walk out of the building backwards, reading “Shock your body” as the door closes in front of me. I went with option 2.

I don’t sugar coat my blog posts. Fusion takes me through a workout I’ve never experienced before. When I’m done with a class, I get in the car and sign up for another one.

Because I dumped Scott for Cody.



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And don’t forget to buy my book, “But Did You Die?”

An elk runs my fitness routine.

There’s an elk roaming a mountain in Colorado right now.

He’s 11,000 feet above me.

It’s a bull elk. His antlers tower four feet above his head. He eats grass and flowers. He drinks from the clear, cool mountain streams. His surroundings are majestic, a wilderness untouched by man. There are no roads. No trails. He screams a bugle into the thin mountain air, challenging another male for his prize of getting laid. They always want to get laid. 

This elk runs my fitness routine.


I will never see this elk, not alive anyway.

I don’t have the desire to shoot an elk. I’m content with killing my meat with a swipe of a debit card at the grocery store.

Scott will see this elk. He’ll lure this elk to him with his come-hither calls. He will pull back his bow and close one eye. And he’ll release. That’s what happens when the only thing on your mind is getting laid.

Scott is an outdoorsman. That’s what they call a man like him in 2016. But back in, oh I don’t know, 1870 circa Little House on the Prairie – Ma and Pa Burton would be chatting it up with Ma and Pa Wilder while gnawing on a turkey leg.

A turkey shot by Pa Burton. His survival instincts are incredible.

Fast forward to 2016 – the era of selfies in a cornfield. The hunt Scott is about to embark on is for elite fitness levels. Imagine carrying your house for the week on your back. Now imagine you’re carrying your house on an incline, not a smooth treadmill incline but a rugged incline. You’re going 6,000 feet up. You will be whacking down tree limbs, crossing streams and losing oxygen.


And that’s just the ascent.

If successful, descending will be brutal. Add 100 pounds to the house on your back and stumble back down the mountain. And then you do it again because elk meat weighs more than 100 pounds.

Scott will be accompanied by his friend, Hunter. They will not have any communication with the world, not even a nagging wife text. Scott and Hunter will be hunting an elk but they will also be surviving whatever mother nature decides to throw at them. A mountain lion. Freezing temperatures. Wounds that require stitches. I know how it sounds. It’s hunting at the highest level. It’s insanity.

It’s Pa Burton.


Scott’s workout routine at the gym includes a weighted vest and hiking boots. He spends hours on the stair stepper. He hikes in local parks with rugged terrain. He hikes with his backpack filled with 100 pounds of corn on the weekends. He drags me into the oven of 110 degree heat index. We don’t hunt together but we do workout together.

“I’m hot and this is bullshit.” – Ma Burton
Scott is training his body to handle the extreme and unexpected. And I am choosing random times to sprint towards Scott – BOOM! – to see how fast his reaction is to an angry bear. Have you seen The Revenant? He could die if he’s not prepared.

There’s an elk roaming a mountain in Colorado right now. He’s taking me to levels of fitness I’ve never felt before.



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Somewhere over the rainbow…

Wait, that’s not right.


Somewhere in the city limits of Topeka, Kansas, Coach Pain gave a motivational speech to the 10:30 am wave of runners in the BattleFrog obstacle race.

Coach Pain. Image via BattleFrog.

“Who here is cold?”

My teeth chattered while I jumped in place.

“Take a deep breath.”

I inhaled and exhaled. I continued to jump.

“Breathing will warm you up. And I’m gonna tell you right now –  holding your breath and hopping like this with your teeth chattering will not warm you up. You want to feel cold? Go to San Diego, California. Coronado Beach. Now that’s cold.”

I don’t know, California seems pretty warm. I continued to jump in place. Scott rolled his eyes at me.

“Are you scared?”


“I said, is anyone here scared?”

Please don’t yell at me.

“That’s fear.”

Ya think?

“Fear doesn’t care if you’re scared.”

Well, shit.

“Everyone get down on one knee.”

I made a disgusted face. Ugh. Mud on my knee already. Scott gave me a stern look. I half smiled.

“We do not live just to live. Each one of us has a duty for ourselves. When you get up in the morning and the sun is shining on your face and not on your grave, that’s a blessing.”

I’m going to die. Right here. In Topeka, Kansas.

“I like to tell people the truth. We are missing the truth. You’re going to be challenged today. Fear is going to challenge you. You’re going to want to give up.”

How much did we pay for this?

“But there’s another person in the mirror when you looked at yourself this morning. You’re fighting a fight because someone else fought for you. Someone else that is not here with us today. Can I get a HOORAH.”

Group: HOORAH!



“You, sir!”

Coach Pain pointed at Scott.

“You will be your team leader. You don’t get a choice. I picked you for a reason.”

You have got to be kidding me. It’s only because of his muscles. 

Scott got our group organized at the start line and stood next to me.

Me: I’m not listening to you.


An 8K in American terms is 4.97 miles and in BattleFrog terms is 5.5 miles.

I don’t sugarcoat things.

I rummaged the Internet the night before. I looked for articles that weren’t written by the mud race elite. I’m a real person, not a machine. I didn’t want a motivational speech. I didn’t want someone to tell me, “anyone can do it! It’s for all fitness levels!” I wanted honesty. I wanted someone to tell me exactly what each obstacle entailed.

If you want to know what an 8K mud race is like for a beginner, this is the only place to read about it.

Please remember I trained for this by eating cupcakes.

See previous cupcake post.

Mother is nature is a bitch. I live in the heartland of America. In the spring, the warm gulf stream air rises and the cold arctic air pushes down. When the two air masses collide over Kansas – BOOM! Thunderstorms. Mother Nature will run your cold, mud bath from her never-ending faucet. We spent two miles of this race walking through water. We spent the other three miles running through a slip and slide of mud.

Marathon runners are a bitch. No, not you. You’re not a bitch. You keep doing what you’re doing. I’m just saying I would be a bitch. I don’t have an autopilot mode or a “zone” runners get into. I like to give up and walk. It feels good to give up. This wasn’t a marathon. Everyone walked. We walked through pitch black, cement storm sewers against a cold current of water at our knees. Every time I saw a storm sewer coming up, I knew it would slow my team down to a hunched-over crawl. And it felt good to crawl, even if it was pitch black, sewer-crawling.

Vietnam was a bitch. Every war scene in Forrest Gump was performed by my team. Adrenaline pushed us in and out of trees. We grabbed anything to keep us from falling in the mud, a thorny tree limb or a handful of poison ivy. Invisible holes would appear while walking through the murky streams. Underwater tree roots would trip us. We walked along the edge of a pond – the inside edge of a pond in waist deep water. My shoe got stuck in the muddy bottom, I tripped and there was nothing to catch my fall. My hand touched the bottom of a pond and probably a dead body. I saw the white light.

Obstacles are a bitch. The first obstacle was to carry a sandbag over our shoulders up and down bleachers. But first, we had to walk up a steep hill of mud. I face planted. There was no time to turn my face away. Cameras clicked. I heard laughter. The weight of the sandbag on my neck pushed my face in and I couldn’t move. The doctor in our group pulled the bag off my neck and I continued on with a mud mask. We encountered monkey bars over a pool of muddy water, we carried two jugs of water with BattleFrog cameras in our faces. We climbed walls. We belly-crawled under crossed wires in a pit of mud. There was no one there to stop you from skipping an obstacle or to make sure you did eight burpees if you skipped. I skipped a few.


It was 5.5 miles of running, falling, walking through water, crawling in sewers, shivering and sweating. Fear showed up. Weakness showed up. Help was there when you needed it. There was a laugh or two. I flipped off the frogs croaking in the ponds more than once because they needed to shut up and stop cheerleading.

I walked through the finish line 3 hours after Coach Pain gave us his motivational speech. Even though we stayed together, I was the last one in our group to finish.

I’m going to tell you right now – it was painful. If I had my phone on me, I would have called Uber to pick me up in the woods around mile 1. But I didn’t have my phone. Once you start, there’s no going back. You can walk 5.5 miles and skip the obstacles or you can run and do every obstacle. No matter what your fitness level is at a mud race, you will start and finish 5.5 miles. And maybe that’s the hardest part for everyone – starting. Once you start you can’t stop.

I received a medal around my neck. My only emotion was relief.

I did it. It’s over. HOORAH.



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Tomorrow never comes.

You know when you meet a new group of people and you’re polite and they’re polite and you hope they like you?

And you know when this new group of people lives next door to you and you realize, after a year, the politeness is over and now they’re reading about themselves on your blog?


It’s April 26th. I have four days to prepare for a 5-mile mud race including 22 military-style obstacles, such as crawling in mud under barbed wire and climbing up walls by lifting each other up like middle-aged cheerleaders.

Scott and I agreed to run Battle Frog on April 30th with our neighbors.

Our neighbors, the highlight reel: A former Kansas City Chiefs player, a former Sporting KC goalie turned broadcaster, a pediatric cardiologist, halloween enthusiasts, a mom with arms that can open any spaghetti sauce jar, and another mom with abs that makes me I should put this cupcake down. Oh! And a nice family from Iowa.

Half of these people have their own Wikipedia page because of their athletic ability. The other half do Crossfit. And the remaining few have the will power to never touch cupcakes.

In move the Burtons. We must have looked promising.

We have Scott Burton – VP of a medical software company by day, ripped caveman by night. He is training to hike a mountain, shoot an elk, and carry the 500-pounds of meat back down on his shoulders.

And then we have Julie Burton – hi.

The neighbors know our schedule. They know when we grill dinner. They know our parents’ cars, friends’ cars, and our kids’ bikes. They know the clanking of the trash truck will be followed by me screaming and dragging a trash bin down my driveway. The one thing they never see or hear is Scott and me having an argument.

They never hear us argue because Scott is a firm believer in the silent treatment.


And I am a firm believer in running for half a mile and then taking a mile-long stroll back home because my lungs hurt and I have a side cramp.


Scott is giving me the silent treatment for being lazy.

I don’t know what happened. I had months to prepare. They say kids grow up in a blink of an eye. Yeah, well, so does signing up for a mud race with the neighbors.

I’m not saying I don’t work out. I’m not lazy. I go to the gym every chance I get. I lift weights. Building muscle makes my metabolism high. I am also tall and an avid eater of jalapeños. My neighbors have no idea I ignored their texts about remembering to get in a morning run.

Sure, I told them I ran a 5k a few years ago. I trained for that race. I worked hard for that race and I made good time. But that was the last time I ran. My neighbors were easily fooled into thinking I have a runner’s body.

And now it’s going to be a dead body on April 30th. Scott will throw me over a wall and leave me there without saying a word. The halloween enthusiasts will stop to take makeup notes on a dying body. And the cardiologist will be hard at work because they need their storyteller alive to tell the tale.

We’re days away from an 8k with military-style obstacles and I’m still eating this cupcake because I’ll just run tomorrow.


Wait, don’t go! Find me on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram. I’ll post pictures of my dead body. 

Color me purple.

Series of text messages on the eve of The Color Run:

Olive's ready!
Olive is ready!
Tank's ready!
Tank is ready!
Bailey's ready!
Bailey is ready!
Belle's ready!
Belle is ready!
Lloyd is ready!
Lloyd is ready!
"I'm too tired to find Sadie." Random stuffed animal.
“I’m too tired to find Sadie.”
Stuffed animal is ready.

“Holy smokes people! 48 missed text messages! No pets to torture here.”


I am alive and well to write about The Color Run – Lawrence, Kansas. Thank you running Gods for giving us temperatures in the 60s. Thank you friends for taking my hand to stop me from bailing the start of the race when the crowd broke out into Rock Chalk, Jayhawwk…K-UUUUU. You know that hurts my Wildcat ears.

Busting my 5k virginity with flying colors.
There we are. I’m somewhere under the purple.

Advice for newbie 5k runners since I’m allowed to give advice now:

  • You won’t die. I mean, I’m pretty sure you won’t die.
  • You must train for a 5k. This actually depends on how competitive you are. I saw several walkers. Walkers with strollers. Wheelchairs. You could walk the thing. No one really cares – this wasn’t a timed race. No matter how much you train, be fully prepared for an 80-year-old woman to sprint past you with pink, orange and blue tinted grey hair.
  • Adrenaline will play a part in the actual race. I was not expecting this. I thought my sides would cramp. I thought I would give up and walk the majority of the race. My body’s pain level went from good – to hurting – to really hurting – to my legs are numb – to just finish.
  • Find running partners. I had pretty low expectations of myself going into the race. My goal: finish. My running partners, Melanie and Allison, ran the entire time. This was just not in my plan. My non-badass self walked for a tiny bit around the 4th kilometer. I finished 3rd in our group. I wouldn’t have ran for so long if it wasn’t for Melanie and Allison.
  • Bring your own leaf blower for Color Runs. The line to get blown was way too long. Blowing the color off, people. The color.
  • Bring headphones. I wish I would have brought headphones. And pull the headphone strings up through the shirt. Allison’s entertainment factor went up as I watched her swat and attack loose headphone strings.
  • Expect your body parts to talk to you. On the ride home, my quads said, “what the eff did you do to us?!” When I got into the shower, my hamstrings said, “Oh, no you di’int!” The next morning, it was my butt wondering, “what the hell…” Serious.
  • Go to an all-you-can-eat buffet after the race. I was starving after the race. I was still starving after lunch. I porked out on 5 full meals when I got home. I consumed a record-breaking 6,584 calories that day. I’m assuming I burned just as many running. I’m eating a taco as I type this.
  • Drink beer after the race. Because you earned it. Follow up with another beer. And a bloody mary. It was all delicious.
  • No matter how much color is thrown at you, you won’t pee different colors. I checked.
  • Watch out for the KU fans picking on KSU fans. Have witty comebacks. This probably only applies to me.


Run a 5K – CHECK! Settin’ goals and bustin’ through ’em! I wish I could write something more inspirational. But that’s just me; I’m not really an inspiring person. I call it as it is —

You runners are effing crazy. You can bet your brand new running shoes that I was cussing you out in my head during the run.

But yes, I would do it again. Olive, Tank, Bailey, Belle, Lloyd and Stuffed Animal want another photoshoot.