The Baby Inside My Baby

We athletchics believe we can have it all: family, career, exercise, and possibly travel the globe. But what happens when we get the big news? Hear those seven words that change our lives?

“You are going to have a baby.”

Well, we still believe we can have everything our heart desires, after all, we are tough. Invincible. Our low BMI and healthy living will catapult us into healthy pregnancies. This is going to be easy.


Sometimes yes. Sometimes no.

When it isn’t

Thirty-four years ago my OBGYN gave me the bad news: I was dilated to five at thirty weeks gestation.  High risk. He sent me home with a note for work and sentenced me to bed rest.

Yes, sentenced. Any athletchic would consider being confined to the couch a sentence. For a good eight hours of rest? Okay, we would welcome that. But for ten weeks? Yikes!

My first thought was how could this happen to me? I was a runner, swimmer, skier. I batted balls back and forth over nets and against walls and bats, all while working a full-time job. I worked hard and played harder. Was in perfect shape. You name the sport, I partook.

High risk pregnancies happen to the best of us and when it does, we adjust. We heed our doctor’s advice and we rest. Pushing ourselves to the limit and taking risks is fine, when it is just us. But when we are carrying a child, we submit. (It is the only time in our lives that submission is necessary.)

When I was pregnant with my first child, Jessie (Athletchic), I discovered my mother took the famed DES pill. The technical name for DES has long escaped me. But its purpose was to help women who had trouble carrying babies get to a full-term, healthy delivery. Unfortunately years later, the female babies of those mothers who took the drug were plagued with a barrage of female and fertility problems.

I had six pregnancies, three healthy children, and a hysterectomy at age forty. And I was one of the lucky ones. Many DES babies couldn’t carry babies full term at all.

And, I don’t own the corner on tough pregnancies. Lots of women have them. If it happens? Simply, you adjust. It’s not forever. (Only a blink in time when you’re my age.)

What’s good is that high-risk pregnancies are not the norm. Having a baby is natural, and most women have a much easier time than I did.

When it’s easier

Let’s not confuse easier with easy. Pregnancy is challenging. You have another life inside you, and you become concerned with everything you put in your mouth, the amount of rest you get, travel, even the weather can be a challenge. (A friend of ours, Athletchic Elana Morales, was born a week late in Houston, Texas, on the Thursday after Harvey reared his ugly head!)

But my baby, Jessie, is having a baby and, while for years we worried that she would go through the same troubles I did, she is healthy and active and beginning her thirty-third week. Working, walking, hiking in the mountains, and even able to do a little running, she hangs onto every word her OBGYN gives her.

What is important to remember about pregnancy is that we are all different and no two pregnancies are the same. You’ll hear stories spanning from women who didn’t know they were pregnant until delivery (secretly, we long to be them) to those who knew the day after they missed their period (when the aroma of their daily coffee made them throw up in the sink.)

Each pregnancy is as unique and diverse as the baby inside you.

A little advice from an expectant grandma

Listen to your body and don’t listen to anything or anyone else except your doctor. Or at least only half listen, because people talk too much about the problems and not enough about the joys.

If you asked me what my pregnancy was like thirty years ago when it was fresh in my mind, I would have complained about the morning sickness. Twenty years ago I would have mentioned not being able to see what color shoes I had on in the morning. (Yep I got it wrong a few times. One black. One blue.) If you asked ten years ago, I’d mention my worries about the rising college costs.

And if you ask me today, thirty years later?

I remember little hands and feet fluttering inside me; my husband stroking my belly, trying to get closer; never being alone; reading softly to my unborn child; and closing my eyes and holding tiny, terrycloth sleepers to my cheek in anticipation, knowing I had already fallen in love.

Some of us have a hard time and for some, the months pass easily by. Whether you must plod along bravely or are one of the lucky ones who sail by, my advice is savor this time you and your baby have together. Because before you know it, those tiny toes pushing at your belly will be strong enough to carry that child far away from you. She will be off in the world standing on her own, maybe—like mine—with a baby in her own belly.

I love you and that little girl inside you, Jessie. More than you know. I’m counting down the days, hours, and minutes to November 11th. See you soon.



Gigi, Cyndie Zahner, is a freelance writer and about to be a grandmother for the first time. Follow her on Twitter @tweetyz, Instagram @athletchicz, or on her author website at


We are back with Round 2 of our 2017 NBA Playoff Fashion Report! Although we will miss Russell Westbrook in this round, we still have some guys who would give him a serious run for his money in this round. So let’s begin with our best dressed!


(Image courtesy of Cleveland CavaliersBoston Celtics, and Washington Wizards)

  • #1 — Lebron James

    Taking our number one spot on and off the court is the Cavaliers star, LeBron James. The King pulls together a complicated but fresh look for Round 2 of the NBA Playoffs. As we have seen all throughout this offseason, jackets are everything! LBJ styles his look with one of the most popular pieces in menswear this season, the camo military jacket. He pairs it with a simple white tee and painted jeans. James finished the look with matching green shoes, and complicates it with red and black striped socks that tie into and bring out the patches of his jacket. The Kings tops it all off with a neutral colored hat. Complicated in the most perfect, off the run way, way! We only wish we could pull off a look like this!
  • #2 — J.R. Smith

    Runner up for this round is Cleveland Cavaliers J.R. Smith. The Cavs guard goes trendy with this all camo in this A Bathing Ape sweatshirt and matching baseball cap with matching high top sneakers. J.R. not only kills us with his on court thoughtlessness, and trickery (tying other players shoes together while the foul line), he also kills us with this look!
  • #3 –Isaiah Thomas

    Opposite of the camo trending look, Boston Celtics, Isaiah Thomas pulls off a classic style in Round 2 of the playoffs wearing all black everything! The staple piece in the 5’9″ pointguard’s look is his black hooded letterman’s jacket. Again, menswear jackets are everything! #GetBucketsAndJackets
  • #4 — John Wall

    Finally we have a suit break the list at honorable mention. This Washington Wizards #Wallstar kills the suit game with this nicely fitted navy suit and red power tie. He polishes the look off with a pair of shades. His future was so bright, boo! We want more J.Wall!


(Image courtesy of Boston Celtics and Washington Wizards)

  • #1 — Kelly Olynyk

    This man has been haunting my dreams both in game and now out of game. This outfit looks like a middle school boy heading off to the bus stop in the 90’s.
  • #2 — John Wall

    Camo is totally in this season but camo on camo? It doesn’t even match John Wall! I love you but I just cannot!
  • #3 –Isaiah Thomas

    This look is not all that bad right?! Isaiah is always so stylish but honestly, I am so confused by the black lines on this shirt. Did someone get out black tape and just place it across IT’s chest to make this look more interesting? So confused!


Jessie Zahner is the owner of You can follow her on Instagram (Athletchic) or on Twitter @Athletchic.

2017 NBA Playoff Fashion & Style – Round One

The time has come for the NBA Playoffs so we are back with our 2017 NBA Playoff Fashion Report! Now that round one is officially finished, we here at Athletchic put together the best and worst dressed of round one as well as popular trends around the NBA during the first round of playoffs! 

Best Dressed


Oklahoma City Thunder’s Russell Westbrook is not only known for his triple doubles but also for his unique fashion. This year, the point guard did not disappoint. He won Athletchic’s best dress of the NBA Playoffs – Round One with this patterned short-sleeve button up, navy bandana, sunglasses and beat up cropped jeans. Although most men could not swing this look, Russ rocks it with confidence and completely pulls it off. We love it Russ!

(Image courtesy of OKC Thunder)

Runner Up


Memphis Grizzlies, Guard, Wade Baldwin doesn’t fall far behind Russell Westbrook in the fashion department during the first round of the NBA playoffs. Pictured here, pre-game, wearing a tee by Chris Brown’s Black Pyramid Clothing, a flannel tee tied around his waist and camouflaged skinny jeans. As if his look couldn’t get any more fire, he paired the look with probably the hardest pair of shoes to get your hands on, the Yeezy Boost High-Top Glow Brown Suede Sneakers by Kanye West and Adidas. Seems like Baldwin is a fan of musicians. Either way, Athletchic is obsessed with this look!

(Image courtesy of Memphis Grizzlies)


Honorable Mention



Honorable mention in fashion for the first round of the NBA playoffs goes to Chicago Bulls, Small Forward, Jimmy Butler. Jimmy Buckets looks like he just walked off the runway in this Saint Laurent floral patch jean jacket which didn’t break this 27 year old millionaire’s bank even though it cost $3490! And he isn’t the only celeb that rocked a jean jacket this week. Kanye West, Future and Jared Leto were spotted this week wearing denim jackets too! So look out men, jean jackets may just be the new It jacket of 2017! Butler rocked the Parisian look by pairing it with light skinny jeans and a maroon tee underneath! After seeing this round one look, the women of Athletchic will be rushing to the re-create this look for themselves!

(Image courtesy of Chicago Bulls)




(Images courtesy of Cleveland Cavaliers, Boston Celtics, Houston Rockets, Oklahoma City Thunder)

NBA players aren’t just talented on the court! These guys really know how to pull off street fashion! Check out looks by LeBron James, Isaiah Thomas, James Harden and more above! All of these players pulled off fire fashion during round one of the 2017 NBA Playoffs!


1. Rajon Rondo’s Short Sleeve Suit Coat

Poor Rajon Rondo! The Chicago Bulls, Point Guard helped the eight seed pull off two stunning wins in game one and two, while on the road in Boston. Unfortunately after an injury the team went on to drop four straight, losing the series. But the Bulls aren’t the only losers in April 2017. Rajon took a second loss with this short sleeve suit jacket. I mean, I get it, “How does he fit that cast in a jacket?”  Honestly, I don’t know but cutting the sleeves off a suit was not the first idea I would have come up with! Although I loved the color scheme, I had to pause the game to rewind and re-look at Rondo’s interesting outfit. I have never seen a men’s short sleeve shirt coat. There is a first for everything I guess!

(Image courtesy of Boston Celtics)

2. Russell Westbrook’s KISS Button Up 

Now you may see this next picture and wonder how someone could be on the best and worst dressed list all within the same series. Well ladies and gentleman, leave that to your boy Russell Westbrook who wore this interesting combination of a short sleeve button up KISS shirt and tight red athletic pants. Sorry Russ, I love you, the way you play on the court, the shade you throw during interviews and I even love your fashion, but not today. This shirt is frankly scary!

(Image courtesy of Oklahoma City Thunder)

3. Jerami Grant’s Red Camo Sweater

I am still unsure of what exactly this sweatshirt Jerami Grant is wearing is. Is it Camo? Is it some weird trippy tie dye? Is it velvet? What is it? I get that he is trying to out-do Russ on the catwalk but bro, this just is not working out. You can’t beat Westbrook in the style department, even if he does end up next to you on a worst dressed list. So let’s tone it down, just a notch!

(Image courtesy of Oklahoma City Thunder)

Not Sure What to Think

(Images courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers, Golden State Warriors, Memphis Grizzlies, Oklahoma City Thunder, and Milwaukee Bucks)

So many looks here! Good? Bad? I honestly don’t know and it is driving me crazy!

“What is Jerami Grant doing in a women’s black demin jacket? Spencer Hawe’s shirt is a joke right? Is DeAndre Jordan actually pulling off a Canadian Tuxedo? Are Dante Exum’s pants too short? Is he too tall? Are they women’s pants? Men’s capri’s? Help me understand! Is Mike Conley wearing shoulder pads? Is Zaza Pachulia wearing dad khakis and a women’s coat? What is happening?” All thoughts that ran through my head while taking one look at the collage of pictures above. These looks could be good, they could be bad, I haven’t been able to figure it out quite yet.

Round 1 Trends

All Black Everything

(Images courtesy of Cleveland Cavaliers, Los Angeles Clippers, Utah Jazz, Memphis Grizzlies, Washington Wizards, Golden State Warriors, and Atlanta Hawks)

This round of playoffs did not shy away from classic fashion statements like all black. Here, we see players pull off the timeless look with a flair of their own individual styles.

Best in Black

  1. J.J. Redick (Top Left) – The Los Angeles Clippers, Guard kills the black-on-black-on- black game rocking a bomber jacket, tee and skinny jeans.
  2. Andre Iguodala (Top Right) – The 33 year old veteran of the Golden State Warriors totally rocks an all black look with a fitted leather jacket, a tee and skinny jeans.
  3. Kyrie Irving (Bottom Left) – The Cavs star Guard pulls off his all black everything look with a hoodie, baseball cap, tee and long black coat.

Children’s Back Packs

 (Images by Washington Wizards and Milwaukee Bucks)

Yes, this may sound odd but if there is one thing that round one of the NBA Playoffs has taught me fashion-wise it is that children’s backpacks are a fashionable accessory staple for the modern day jet setter! Check out the stars of the Milwaukee Bucks and Washington Wizards rocking their children’s backpacks!


(Images courtesy of the Boston Celtics and Memphis Grizzlies)

Old Skool classic Vans have made a strong showing during round one of the playoffs. (From left to right) Wade Baldwin, Andrew Harrison and Jaylen Brown paired their Vans with black skinny jeans.

Red Sneakers

(Images courtesy of Washington Wizards, Los Angeles Clippers and Memphis Grizzlies)

Red sneakers aren’t a piece of a wardrobe, they have their own wardrobe! No one walks into a store and purchases a pair of red sneaks without thinking about it. These sneakers are unique in that, once purchased, the individual must then go out and create some type of wardrobe built around these shoes. With shoes at the center of a look, you can almost always guarantee fire and these NBA players proved that once again. (Left to Right) Jarell Martin, Chris Paul, John Wall, and James Ennis all rocked all red shows during round one.


(Images courtesy of Toronto Raptors, Portland Trailblazers, Washington Wizards, Boston Celtics, and Utah Jazz)

Last but definitely not least, suits! Although street style is everything right now, suits are never out. Check out the NBA players who rocked the classic look during round one of the 2017 NBA Playoffs.

That is all for round one NBA Playoff Fashion, check back at the end of round two for more NBA fashion finds!


Jessie Zahner is the owner of You can follow her on Instagram (Athletchic) or on Twitter @Athletchic.

I Decided Big Sean’s Pop-Up Shop was Urban Street Fashion Gold

Friday, February 3rd Big Sean dropped his fourth album, I Decided. To amp up the release, he simultaneously unveiled I Decided pop-up shops in four cities:

New York – 127 Grand St, New York, NY 10013

Detroit – 1441 Woodward Ave, Detroit, MI 48226

Toronto – 12 Ossington Ave, Toronto ON M6J 2Y7, Canada

Los Angeles – 501 N Fairfax, Los Angeles, CA 90036

The shops were open Friday and Saturday 5PM-11PM and Sunday from 12PM-6PM. Pop-up shops are the new way to stay in the “in crowd” when it comes to urban street fashion. Items at the shops are few and limited, wait times to get in are hours long, prices are well over ten times the cost to create, and when the shops close people race to produce knockoffs to sell online at a fraction of the original cost.


So are the shops worth it? YES! The products in these stores turn to instant fashion gold. Big Sean’s shop did not disappoint! The experience was like no other but not necessarily in a good way. After two hours of waiting in line on a cool Saturday night, I entered the small shop with the other ten people who were already inside. Yes, that’s right, two hours in line to shop with ten people. The bouncer at the door counts people as they enter and exit the shop allowing only 10-15, of the hundreds waiting in line, in at a time. When I entered I wondered if this is how the Kardashians feel when they go shopping, everyone leaves the store and it is you and your 12 friends. The shop held fours rolling racks with a very limited number of shirts, hoodies, sweats and bomber jackets — one in each size. Two benches of baseball caps and winter hats displayed the I Decided and No Favors headwear for purchase. A giant tree sat in the middle of the room with a white Beats Pill on the ground playing I Decided on repeat. Purple and blue low lights kept the shop dim while a strong aroma of weed filled the room as the employees smoked. When I entered the store, I felt like I was entering his album, his dreams, thoughts, the inner workings of who he is as a rapper. I dig it.


How it worked is you can go through and decide (hehe) what you want to purchase and in what size. Let one of the staff members know what you would like to order and he or she heads into a back room and comes out with everything you need. You then walk right up to the register, where the weed smoking cashier will check you out, no wait, because there are only nine other people in the store! Check out what was featured at the shop below:


Jessie Zahner is the owner of You can follow her on Instagram (Athletchic) or on Twitter at @Athletchic.

Women Need to Back Fox’s Pitch

Women in baseball. Is it far-fetched? Let’s compare swim caps to ball caps: Katie Ledecky to Ginny Baker.

If a jocular pat on the behind after a good inning (episode one) was all women need overcome to play ball, one of us would be kissing necklaces, counting steps, and spitting sunflower seeds by now. But other hurdles antagonize us.

Athletchic is first to commend—celebrate!—the birth of Ginny Baker into the MLB on Fox’s new Thursday night prime-time show Pitch. Sure, she’s tall, dark, and stunningly beautiful (we are still talking TV here) but she brings with her a plethora of real-life problems that might occur if a woman suited up. And that’s a pretty big if.

If a woman can play ball. Can she? We can’t look at all the angles to that question but let’s look at a blaring few.


Pardon the pun but do we have the balls to play? Technically no. Figuratively, yes. Our hearts, lungs and muscles may be smaller, but today science constantly raises the bar. Better training, equipment, and nutrition make us bigger, stronger, faster.

Disagree? I challenge your opinion with two words: Katie Ledecky.

I know. Good as she is, her 3:56:46 in the 400 freestyle still lags 16 seconds behind the men’s record. But hear me out. There are 30 MLB teams (I think you know where I’m going) with rosters of 25 (I could debate that number but don’t need to) for a total of 750 male athletes playing professional ball. So let’s take balls out of the scenario (and at the same time leave them in) and convert those players to swimmers. Teams of 25 swimmers on 30 teams swimming the 400 freestyle and guess who shows up as number 311 on the men’s list at right between good old Alex and Eric?

You got it. Our man Katie.

In fact, look further. I hate to be the bearer of bad news to the Archie Bunkers of men’s baseball, but that puts her way above Ginny Baker’s fifth-on-the-roster spot. Hell, a few torn rotator cups of team mates and Ledecky is in the starting line-up.

So move on to a second hurdle.


How’s the timing? Is Prime Time the right hour for a story about a profession female ball player?

Baseball is all about timing. Stepping up to the plate, swinging the bat to meet the pitch perfectly, tagging home plate before the ball slips into the catcher’s mitt. Does Fox earn a run?

Athletchic encourages more women and girls to get behind Ginny Baker. We feel she’s arrived on the mound at just the right time. If you don’t think so, we challenge your opinion with one word. Hillary.

With public audiences drooling over Hill versus Donnie reality TV (oh wait, strike reality), what’s a little girl-meets-boy on-the-pitcher-mound saga? Fox couldn’t have timed this show better if they tried. It seems orchestrated from the upper deck. And if you feel the possibility of having a female president in 2016 doesn’t prove perfect timing then let’s mention Mo’ne Davis. (Athletchic isn’t sure she wasn’t the inspiration behind this story.)

Years ago, a little girl didn’t have the opportunity to play ball like the boys. She grew up on the sidelines tangled in ribbons while boys logged precious minutes, hours, days on the field. Don’t think that doesn’t count. How many families taunting boys with major league potential didn’t pack bags for those snowball prodigies and send them south for winter to spend more time with a girl’s best friend? (Don’t even tell me you didn’t get that.) Time spent in the diamond is everything.

Fox’s Pitch is the story of a girl, Ginny, with a talent, pitching. She has the balls to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the boys and play major league baseball. She’s fifth on the roster, and her feminism may have saved her from a trip back to the minor leagues, but sometimes physicality and punctuality has to be brushed aside and an exception made. Because on this television show, out in the stands, little girls sitting in bleachers have tossed out their Cinderella costumes for Ginny Baker costumes. They wave signs that say “Go Ginny” with thoughts of “it could be me” dancing in their heads.

And out in TV land, little girls sit on couches, wearing Nike sneakers, drinking coke, and responding to their brothers when they say, “that could never happen,” with a hard, cold, determined and strong, “don’t be so sure.”

What could be better than that?

Thanks Fox. Girls? Let’s get behind Ginny Baker and support Pitch.

_____________________________________________________________________________ Cyndie Zahner is a freelance writer. Follow her on Instagram @athletchicz or Twitter @tweetyz.


About to Get Married? Here’s What You Should Know.

I married my husband 35 years ago today. It was picture perfect. A bright sun warmed the October air, and orange and red leaves glistened in a light breeze. Our families and friends watched as we travelled up the long Cathedral aisle, hand in hand, as Mr. and Mrs. Jeffrey Zahner.img_2923

A lot has happened since then. We buried our daughter, Jackie, born prematurely. Raised three healthy children. Built a house. Spent time with ailing parents—all four gone now. Met friends. Said goodbye to friends. Ran marathons. Hosted a wedding for our eldest daughter. And shed tears as we watched our three beautiful children move away, one by one, to begin their own stories.  When all was done, we faced each other, alone, and wondered what was next.

We were next. We’d weathered several storms, survived some of life’s hardest challenges, and found ourselves back in that same place—walking hand in hand.

How did we get here? A little bit of luck and lot of craft.

I have some words of advice. Take them with a grain of salt. I’m not a professional. I’m an amateur and still learning. Not sure what it takes to get to 50, but here’s what you need to know to make it to 35:

It will be hard—the whole 35 years.

However hard you think it is going to be—it is harder. Yes you will have good times—great times, but you will have to work toward that marriage every day for the rest of your life. If you don’t believe that, postpone the ceremony and wait until you do.

The honeymoon is over when the honeymoon is over.

Your first year living together will be one of the hardest. It’s not all happiness and wrestling under the covers. It’s compromise and realizing the person you married is human.

You can argue and go to bed mad.

I know. Jeff and I have done it many times.

You can even stay mad for the whole day. Maybe two. But not much longer. Time should soften misunderstandings, disappointments, and anger. Too much time can send you in different directions. Remind yourself you are in this for the long run. Never leave. You can ignore each other, but come home every night.

There are going to be times when you feel like running away. When that time comes, stay. Plan a trip together or even separate trips with friends. A weekend away with your best friends will rejuvenate you as long as you pay attention to my next piece of advice.img_2931

Never cheat on each other.

People are not going to like this, but cheating on your spouse is like signing the divorce papers and tucking them away for the future. Don’t do it. Yes, people make mistakes and there are couples who weather through this storm, but they are rare.

So if the temptation comes, stop, ask yourself if you are truly ready to call it quits.

Hold hands when life is unfair.

Burying our parents was horrid, but burying a child crushed us. Realize we all grieve and mend differently. Be patient with each other and when you are both ready, talk about what you’ve learned from life’s crosses.img_2927

We saw a sibling and his wife face Alzheimer’s and dementia this past year. It put life in perspective for us. We changed. Vacationed. Took weekend trips. Long walks.  We made arrangements to spend more time with our kids, and Jeff encouraged me to retire from my full-time job. I did.

Finally, love each other repeatedly.

You can never say “I love you” too much.

Talk to each other. Dream with each other. And never ever stop playing.

Happy anniversary, Jeff. I’m the luckiest girl in the world. Yes, you still make me mad lots of times—really mad. But then, how bad could it be?  I’m still in love with you after 35 years.


Cyndie Zahner is a freelance writer. She has been married to the love of her life Jeff Zahner for 35 years.

Follow her on Twitter @Tweetyz or Instagram @ahtletchicz.

Pitch -A Prime Time Series with Pitch-Perfect Timing

Is this concept far-fetched? A woman playing professional baseball?

If you answer yes, then ask yourself what the responses would have been 100 years ago to this question: Is this concept far-fetched? A woman president?

I thank my lucky stars times are changing. I am the mother of three strong children. Two are girls and today those two girls have so much opportunity it would make my grandmother’s head spin.

But I digress, back to baseball.

Pitch is the new “what if?” series on Thursday night. What if a girl made it to the MLB? What if a teammate hit her on the butt after she had a good inning? What if the crowds got behind her just because she was a woman? What if she was named an all-star, not because she was deserving, but because she was the only woman to make it to the major leagues?

Starting to sound familiar? If not, you aren’t a news junkie glued to the presidential election like me.

This prime-time show has been timed perfectly. It isn’t merely about pitching and batting. It’s about women. Struggle. And Life. Its name, two-fold. It pitches the story of female pitcher Ginny Baker and the concept of a woman submerged in a man’s world. Which one of us hasn’t walked that baseline?

As if a girl playing baseball wasn’t a big enough dream, last night producers elected Ginny to the MLB all-star team. Clearly she wasn’t the best candidate—but she was a girl. And girls have dreams. And dreams pay big at the box office. So regardless of how skilled (qualified mind you) she was, the voting crowds of baseball fans checked her name (on the ballot) and Ginny became an all-star.

I’d like to stay out of politics but this is way too tempting. Fiction assimilating reality. Pitch comes at a time when we girls need to dream big.

I listened as Michelle Obama spoke yesterday with the emotion and poise of a woman who knows her place and importance in history. One who doesn’t want our world to take the slightest step backwards for our girls. So she’s encouraging a vote for Hilary. I envisioned she and her girls, later that evening, sitting down to watch all the news reels about the elections and her perfectly executed speech and happening across the silly little drama series of a female pitcher who dared to dream big. I think she’d like it.

I’ll be blunt because I can. I’m not crazy about Hillary. She will never understand my middle-class trials. I hate her hand in Benghazi, cringe about her emails, and worry she’ll open the borders and ask the middle class working souls to pick up the tab. Political analysts will crucify me for this but at 59 years old, I’ll blame this skeptical opinion on my upbringing: The Republican Party protects the rich. The Democratic Party protects the rich and the poor. No matter what promises they make to us, we middle-classers are left standing alone, fending for ourselves.

Case in point: I hear Chelsea Clinton came to my hometown. She flew in and out for a $250 per plate luncheon. Didn’t speak to a soul other than those she was paid to speak to. It saddened me. I’m so proud of Hillary and Chelsea as they trudge down the line, stamping a path to make future travel for women easier. But I can’t help but feel the Clintons think they’re above the rest of us. Too good for us.

Still, I’m voting for Hillary Clinton. Why? Well because I am a woman and the mother of two woman, and the alternative? I can’t possibly go there—take that step (or maybe even a giant leap) backwards.

Hillary may not go down in history as the best president, but she won’t be the worst. Likewise, she may not be the best role model (I’ll never condone staying with a man who has cheated on you countless times) but she won’t be the worst. She’ll take her spot in history, well, because it’s time for this story. Just like it’s time for Ginny to play ball.

I love Pitch. It’s so fictitious, it’s almost real.


Cyndie Zahner is a freelance writer and faithful fan of Pitch. Follow her on Twitter @Tweetyz and Instagram @athletchicz.

Who is your favorite Modern Family character? What that says about you.

Who’s your favorite? Tell me which Modern Family personality lures you to the TV, and I can tell you more than you want to know about yourself.  If you’re favorite character is:

Joe:        You are cute, endearing, lovable, the apple of your mother’s eye, the favorite child, sweet, and a cuddler. People tend to take care of you.

You are more likely to end up living in your parent’s basement than your siblings. You should marry young. The good looks and lustrously thick mane of your tween years will perish. You will blossom into a bald surfer in a tight wet suit by forty.

Lily:                        You are down to earth, smart, perceptive, blunt, sarcastic, easily annoyed, and curt. You are extremely intelligent but won’t bother yourself with deep thinkers. You continually come to the defense of the underdog. No one dare take advantage of you.

Everything in your life will revolve around how you see other people. When you are done with someone, nothing they say or do will reprieve them. People will fight for your friendship because you are quick to say things others only think. Everyone will fear what you think of them. You will chuckle when people fall down, flash a finger when they give advice, and go to bed if you think a family discussion will ensue. You will have great altruistic moments and help anyone—until they say something stupid.

Luke:                     You are kind, light hearted, easy-going, playful, tolerant, impressionable, unreflective, and barely ever become angry. Clothes, housing, and money don’t matter to you. Only toys matter. You love a good dunce cap—which you believe are NASA designed.

Don’t waste money on an education. You are gullible. You know people roll their eyes behind your back, but you think they’re inferring you’re well rounded. You love to perform because lots of people cheer for your magic act, but secretly they’re just hoping you’ll disappear. You tell dumb jokes, believe spelling bees sting, and think the FBI fights bad Indians.

Manny:                 You are polished, patriotic, old-fashioned, sophisticated, well-bred, eccentric, and an old soul. You dress impeccably and talk eloquently. You love history, reading glasses, caviar, and your mama. Popularity is unimportant to you. You are comfortable in your own skin, a Brioni suit or Prada, and leotards. You believe team spirit is bringing a cow bell to a chess game.

You will always use the proper fork, know the brand names of posh décor, drink tea with your pinky up, and be the butt of nerd jokes. You’ll never win a popularity contest, and your name will never appear on any ballot—ever. You’ll be prone to long walks (alone), depression (from falling short of philosophical goals), and gout (from rich foods). Your mama will always love you.

Alex:                     You are punctual, studious, intelligent, balanced, and a perfectionist. You attract stupid people and are therefore the family matriarch/patriarch by proxy. Sugar is your forename.

Work hard. You are destined to support family members.

Haley:                   You are creative, personable, sexy, attractive, airy, and most often unambitiously employed.  Finding yourself means surfing the web for your picture, drinking sensibly implies sipping latte during class, and staying on the wagon means continuing to pester your parents about a car.

Purchase expensive skin products and stay out of the sun. Your looks are going to be important. Find a superficial job and a sugar momma/daddy.

Mitchell:             You are empathetic, capable, caring, companionly and meticulous. You are always out of sorts. And sports. You have two left feet and believe ribbon dancing is a contact sport.

You’re gay. It’s fine. Get over it.

Cameron:            You are imaginative, colorful, benevolent, challenging, ebullient and dramatic. You have a flare for not knowing what you’re incapable of. Strangers think you’re crazy.

Never wear a clown outfit. People will shoot you. Don’t coach, you’ll get fired. Talk as little as possible, you contradict yourself. Don’t listen to idle gossip, it’s about you. Leave interior decorating to the professionals. It dates you. Never wear pink (self-explanatory).

Gloria:                  You are observant, captivating, passionate, protective, high-strung, combative, and stubborn.     You are attractive but dangerously argumentative. People don’t understand what the hell you are talking about.

You will make great first impressions, but should not stick around long enough for people to form seconds. Acquaintances will hide when they see you coming. Friends won’t answer the door when you ring the doorbell, and your parents may deny you. Your fair face will appear on both NRA and Citizens Against NRA rest-my-case posters. Shoot in the air, stripes weight you.

Jay:                        You are farsighted, sober, outspoken, abrasive, and cantankerous. You avoid talkative people and colonoscopies.

You are very lucky. Quit while you are ahead.

Claire:                   You are intense, energetic, family-oriented, competitive, vivacious, and devious. You believe you are in control and consider yourself a clever practical joker—even when you’re not.

You will have great ambition in life. After much persistence, you will succeed, or semi-succeed, in your career, but “I’m an idiot” sticky notes will always find their way to the back of your suit coat. You will constantly vie for co-worker’s approval but often serve as the butt of their jokes. Halloween and yoga shooting days will not become you. Lying will be your demise. Never run a marathon. You’re competitive nature is Rosie Ruez like.

Phil:                       You are fun, sporting, loyal, curious, sentimental, and as profound as you are trivial. You are afraid of heights, don’t go in the water above your ankles, and think living dangerously is not wearing your seatbelt. You shoot for the stars with a BB gun, wear flannel socks with water shoes, and suffer from cleithrophobia.

You are very ill and probably won’t live to see another day. You believe your mother was a Russian spy and your father, a descendent of Houdini. Most of the time there is someone following you.


Cyndie Zahner is a freelance writer. She never misses Modern Family. Her favorite character is Gloria. Tell her who you love on Twitter @tweetyz or Instagram @athletchicz.


Shame on you Ben! I’m-a-mommy Amanda should have gone home last week!

It was hometown Monday and Ben travelled to meet the families of I’m-a-Mommy Amanda, Don’t-know-if-I-love-him Caila, Nojo and LB. Here’s what happened:

The Laguna Beach I’m-a-Mommy Home-Town Date                                                             

Everyone gets a little teary-eyed when I’m-a-mommy Amanda runs to meet her two precious little girls—Kinsley and Charlie. This is the longest she’s been away from them. They have a great day at the beach—picnic, dig in the sand, play tag, and Ben says it feels natural. All goes well until the ride home and bedtime when cute little Charlie cries, and I’m-a-mommy has to tuck her in bed screaming.

At the meeting with the family, Ben admits it’s been a long day but says this relationship is real (one). He looks exhausted and the family wonders if he is ready for kids. Dad says Ben looks like a deer in the headlights.

I’m-a-mommy admits to her mom that she hasn’t been able to date anyone seriously because her girls come first. She was embarrassed over her divorce. But she is falling in love with Ben. She cries and Bachelor Nation realizes this is one great mom, a sweet girl, and we don’t want to see her get hurt.

Amanda says Ben was wonderful. They kiss good bye and we are on to:

LB and the Portland, Oregon Home Town

LB admits she’s in love with Ben. She shows him around Portland, takes him to the whiskey library (cool), and Ben admits he was afraid she was going to elect to go home on her own, but he’s so glad she didn’t.

He meets the family and LB’s sister asks tough questions, says LB gets quickly invested, and she is worried she will get hurt. Ben wins her over with tears (cry card), and LB’s sister surmises he really cares. He talks with Dad. Dad says they are a close family, and this is the longest they’ve been away from LB. Ben says his world stopped when he first met Lauren (pretty sure you gave Cankles that first rose) and that this is real (Déjà vu two).

They kiss and we are off to:

The Quaint-little-Hudson-Ohio Hometown with Caila

I-don’t-know-if-I-love-him Caila takes Ben for a stroll through a park, tells him she envisioned herself sitting on a park bench there with the man she loved, calls him bench-worthy, and they sit, talk and move on to Caila’s daddy’s toy factory. He’s the CEO.

Ben loves the toy factory. He and Caila design a play house and help with its construction. Ben sees Caila with a power tool and in a hard hat and says he never knew a toy factory could be so sexy. He kisses her (all in) and then RUINS Athletchicz’s favorite movie ending (Officer and a Gentleman) by carrying Don’t-know out of the toy factor in her hard hat (instead of a Navy flight cap) while everyone applauds (corny).

We move on to meet Willy Wonka and the fam.

Willy tells Ben he loves his wife’s Puerto Rican heritage, says Ben will too if he ends up with Caila, and  makes an odd remark that The Bachelor has a a microwave frame (Wonka weird). He says meeting four sets of parents must be tough for Ben. Ben agrees. Dad says marriage is a commitment, but if you find the right person, you never regret it.

Mom makes a Puerto Rican meal to die for, then takes Caila asides to chat. Mom is sweet, supportive, tells Caila she likes Ben, and that if Caila loves Ben, she should go downstairs, jump in his arms, and tell him.

When Mom is alone with Ben she tells him that Caila has very high standards. Ben says Caila admitted she wasn’t sure she could fall in love. He’s worried.So we all sit on the edge of our seat when they kiss good bye, hoping Caila tells Ben she loves him. She doesn’t. She can’t, and we come away as we always do—feeling Ben loves her, but she can’t decide if she loves him.

Then we are on to:

The Don’t-Let-Your-Brothers-Kick-My-Ass NoJo Dallas Hometown Date

Producers make us think Ben has sent Nojo flowers which makes us wonder if he likes her more than the other girls. BUT the flowers are from an ex-boyfriend (wonder how much producers paid for that perfectly-timed bouquet). Nojo calls her ex on her cell. A teary-eyed exchange ensues. And when Ben arrives he knows something is going on. She talks to him. He says he is confused, but Nojo reassures him her past relationship is over. She’s falling in love with Ben.

Then all hell breaks loose in Texas when Ben meets the fam.

Nojo’s two older brothers look like they want to beat the crap out of Ben. They are so protective of her that they make the entire evening uncomfortable. They take Ben aside and put him on the spot by asking if their sister is going to get hurt. They are skeptical. Say she deserves better. Ben has three other girls. They accuse him of being coached, but Ben insists it is real (three) (coached).

Nojo talks to mom. Says she is falling in love, and she doesn’t want to get hurt. She’s scared. Mom says fight for Ben.

Dad talks to Ben. Ben does a song and dance and dad ends up saying he trusts Ben.

Big brothers grill Nojo. She makes the mistake of telling them she has only been on two alone dates with Ben, and the brothers go berserk. They ask how she can be in love already. Say she deserves better. phonto (11)She is more invested in Ben than he is in her, and they lecture her, at length, not to sell herself short. (Go brothers!) They tell her she always thinks less of herself, but that she is actually better than Ben.

Everyone congregates back in the kitchen and the entire scene turns ugly. Ben can’t win over the brothers. They say he is manipulating. Nojo is going to get hurt. She’s way more invested than he is, and it becomes so uncomfortable that Mom picks up the Champaign and begins chugging it right from the bottle.

Ben asks the camera:  Am I that evil? Producers switch to the kiss goodbye and we move on to:

The I’m-in-Big-Trouble Rose Ceremony

We can see it as soon as Ben enters to pass out roses. He’s terrified. He loves two girls: LB and Don’t-know-if-I-love-him Caila. Now he has to send either Amanda or Nojo home.

If he sends Amanda home, he’s a jerk. If he sends Nojo home, he gets his ass kicked.

And the roses go to: LB (of course), I-love-her-but-I-don’t-know-if-she-loves-me Caila, and then (wet his pants), he has to give the rose to Nojo so he doesn’t find himself wrapped in a knap sack and being stuffed in the trunk of a car in some back alley.


Athletchic was RIGHT. Ben wasn’t one hundred percent sure he was going to end up with Amanda last week and he should have done the kind thing and sent her home before he met her girls. Yes, Ben, you are turning out to be a jerk. You were selfish. Now, not only does Amanda feel rejected—even worse—she feels you rejected her two beautiful girls.


Here’s what Athletchic thinks will happen:

Ben is going to hire body guards and send Nojo home next week. At the final rose ceremony, he is going to send Caila home and then before he asks LB to marry him, he is going to cry and say he really loves Caila. After that, we don’t know. We just know Ben should have kept Becca last week and sent I’m –a-mommy home.  (Karma.)

What do you guys think?


Cyndie Zahner is a freelance writer and trying to remain a The Bachelor fan. Follow her on Twitter @Tweetyz and Insagram @athletchicz.