• “A Letter To My 18-Year-Old Self” - article for This! Magazine

    “A Letter To My 18-Year-Old Self”

    (This! - September/October issue)

    Dear 18-year-old Blair,

    I’m writing you this letter because 1, for the most part, people still wrote letters in your day and 2, I want to prep you for your future. First thing’s first, let’s demolish the giant pink ceramic elephant in the room; you are gay! Everyone knows it; own it. Quit telling people, “you can’t find the right girl” or “no one’s interested in you”. There are interested parties but they are lacking the one component you gravitate to. I know it’s scary, but it’s okay. You’re blessed with a great support system that accepts who you are, a spastic nut-job who has an appreciation for dong.

    Because I know you better than you think I do, you’ll take up residence in the state of denial for quite sometime. Don’t waste your time. It’ll inhibit your creativity and partly lead to depression. Yep, prepare to be medicated. Don’t think you’re weird or “going crazy” because you’re taking antidepressants (I told you I know you well). Just consider your roots and then you’ll wonder why you weren’t medicated sooner.

    You’ll get an opportunity to fulfill your dream of moving to Hollywood, only to return with your tail between your legs a month later. Don’t let this defeat you. You weren’t ready. A therapist once told me it takes almost 30 years before the brain is fully formed. Not sure how accurate that is, but it gave me some comfort. Sidebar, only visit this particular therapist for a maximum of 3 sessions, after that you’ll basically be paying for an audience. She’ll give you no real advice, just simply tell you how “entertaining you are”. I know you’re a whore for an audience, but this situation will actually make you a whore.

    When you do come out, you’ll discover the joys of dating and by that I mean there is none. There’s a “dating” app called Grindr (pronounced “grinder”)… Oh wait, you own a flip-phone. How can I describe this? Basically, it’s a website that shows you who’s nearby and ready to “date” AND it’s on your phone! Technology gets awesome; just trust me. Try to avoid this website as a primary source for coupling. It’s 75% sleazy. Although, you will fall in love with someone you meet on Grindr, just tell people you met “through friends”.

    The relationship you develop with this guy you met “through friends” will be great. He’ll be your “ying” to your “yang”. Just know there’s an inevitable expiration date and it will come sooner than expected, at no fault of either party. You’ll be okay, but it’s going to hurt for a while.

    Drinking! You’ll take to this like a duck to water. But please have a DD!

    I know fitness was never really your thing but that’ll change. You’ll begin seeing a trainer who’s as dumb as a box of hair, but is worth continuing sessions with because of his hotness. He’ll tell you to eat six meals-a-day. Please ask for clarification on this! Otherwise, you’ll jump from 130 to 195 lbs in the matter of months. You’re not bulking up by eating 6 regular sized meals; you’re a fat ass.

    These are just a couple keys points I wanted to prep you for. If more comes to mind, I promise to give you a head’s up. In the mean time, I have to head to Midtown for work. That's right, you made it to New York! Don't worry, I won't spoil it for you.

    Future Blair

  • “BP & CrossFit" - article for This! Magazine

    “BP & CrossFit”

    (This! - November/December issue)

    The health benefits of pizza: the crust provides insulation for the cold winter months; tomato sauce contains lycopene, your prostate's best friend; cheese aka dairy makes for good, strong bones. Bonus points if your pie contains pepperoni, thus meeting your protein requirement. Because of this form of thinking, it's imperative I spend a decent amount of time in the gym.

    Like most people, I would go workout only to find myself in a rut and not accomplishing my ultimate goal. The ultimate goal being looking good naked; call me J-Lo because I'm real. Who really wants to develop and increase their strength, only to utilize it on moving day for a friend? Not me. That's why God created credit cards and professional movers. To achieve my ultimate goal, I decided to join Roanoke's first CrossFit gym, Brickhouse.

    Jay and Amanda Forrester, co-owners of Brickhouse, describe CrossFit training as “functional movements that are constantly varied at high intensity” or in layman's terms, “You gon' sweat.” Coming into CrossFit as a beginner can feel very intimidating, which is mainly provoked by misconceptions. Most people think you already have to be fit to do CrossFit or, for females, that you'll get bulkier. Amanda stated, “just come in; that mentality will only put you behind”. Jay proudly boasted, “the Brickhouse team is good at getting the average person fit”. That's where Amanda steps in and gets the ball rolling with a private foundations course that allows newcomers to get comfortable with the barbell. It's important to note that all workouts can be modified based on skill level. And believe me, I modify the crap out of them!

    Once you've become immersed in the CrossFit world, you'll start to hear the term cult. Paraphrasing Greg Glassman, CrossFit CEO, Amanda said, “cult has such a negative connotation, but if when you hear cult you mean community & passionate, then yeah!” Being on the inside, I can honestly say I've never seen any strange pagan rituals. Then again, I only attend class twice a week, an hour at a time. Come to think of it, I do see all the CrossFit folk drinking the same beverage called “FitAid.” I may need to do a follow-up piece, but I digress.

    I suppose you're now wondering, “how's Blair at CrossFit?” It might seem, to borrow a word from Trump, braggadocious to discuss my CrossFit abilities. As any humble man would do, I asked my coach Zach Bennett to tell me how great I am, for literary purposes of course. Zach blankly stared at me, clearly blown away by this honor and said, “you're very positive”. Man of few words, I like it.

    Get a jump on the food-filled holidays. Whether you share my same ultimate goal or if you prefer the health and fitness aspect, definitely check out my buddies at Brickhouse CrossFit, by visiting

    PS – My goal is to contort my face, while working out, with the same intensity as my coach.