Epic Voyage: Part II – VEGAS! Cuz ROLLERCON!

balance, chakras, choices, cross country road trip, fat loss, fitness, florida, gaining weight, gay, healing, health, healthy lifestyle, inspiration, inspire, lesbian, LGBT, life, life coaching, meditation, mindfulness, motivation, peace, recovery, reflection, relax, road trip, roller derby, roller skating, skating, sports, strength, therapy, travel, wellness, women, yoga

The telling of the #EpicVoyage continues, and as the Preface and Part 1 and the past year have led up to…

RollerHKAAAAN

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Basically.

When epic things like roller skating, skaters, roller derby, and the love of skating worldwide comes together in one sweet roller baby, it happens in Las Vegas and that baby is named RollerCon ❤

It’s kind of a great thing worth looking forward to every year. EVERY year.

Though, admittedly, a veritable battleground for juggling adulting, fun, indulging, making responsible decisions, forget responsible and adulting for a bit, back to adulting, be good and work hard, eat right, save money, buy ALL the things, stay focused…I mean it’s Candyland and opportunity and fun wrapped all into one.

I mean, I also have an amazing perspective of the event to share. I’m independent, unaffiliated, and I went from going as a skater to going as an official, so my obligations and intention shifted. Since I retired from playing only a month before RollerCon, I had to transition from skating rosters to getting onto ref crews. Like the rosters, the crews were set MONTHS in advance. My option was to drop-in, to wait in what we call the Shark Tank, and pick up shifts.

But, leading into that, we have STUFF!

LIKE YOGA ❤

The morning that everything officially started was gorgeous, sunny, and we were at the pool with dozens of bright-eyed, ready-to-derby yogis for a 6:30AM yoga practice before any of the scheduled clinics, classes, and challenges.

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That first morning for me actually started at 2:00 AM. I had just delivered the last of Georgie’s supplies to her when I realized oh fuck, I gotta teach yoga at 6:30 AM and figure out where the pool was so I could get set up to teach. So, after making the delivery, I marched my tired ass to the pool deck and felt that third wind rush through as I realized a) holy fucking shit, I actually made it to Vegas, b) RollerCon was ON, and c) the first thing we’re doing is yoga in four hours.

Time to get my shit together.

I sat on that pool deck and just stared out, taking it all in, thinking about not only the road trip out to Vegas, but every damn and blessed thing that happened bringing me to that point.

Knowing what I’ve experienced to get there, I felt grateful again for the opportunity to teach, and what better audience than the very people that got me to do yoga and inspire me to teach it.

The best thing yoga has given me is the chance to calm my mind and get my act together so the class gets a clean slate with their practice. I keep my head together so they don’t get ANY of it by transference. I wear my heart on my sleeve and I can’t hide shit. People know exactly what I’m feeling. All the more reason to calm the demon and be kind to myself; the universe is continually reminding me to be kind to myself. It’s better for me and for the people who care about me.

With that in mind, it was hard for me as a skater to keep my head together, but as a yogi and yoga instructor, I get out of my head and learn to just *BE*.

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How my days started every morning in Las Vegas…except that one I overslept. SO worth it. Sorrynotsorryyyy…

When the skaters showed up at 6:30, we had a powerful practice with people from all levels, from teachers to first-timers.

This is how my mornings started, with roller derby people practicing yoga classes, in Las Vegas, on a pool deck, as the sun rose and our bodies warmed up for our long days.

After yoga, I’d make oatmeal and grab snacks for the day, shower, change, clock in, get to the Zebra Huddle (officials’ meeting), and gear up to hit the Shark Tanks for drop-in reffing.

SundayIrony

This is the Shark Tank. We go to the Track Lead to see if any officiating positions are available. I like being useful during a bout/challenge 🙂 Plus at RollerCon, our volunteer/service time counts toward discounted and even free passes for the following year!

I also had to post this picture because the dichotomy is beautiful ❤

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This would have been my first scheduled challenge as a skater. This challenge was Doms vs. subs, which I thought would be a nice way for people to meet without any pretense or bullshit 🙂 I got a chance to say hi before getting over to the next track where I picked up a ref spot!

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NEW SKILLS ACQUIRED! JAM REF!

Now I get to wear TWO whistles!! I learned a lot and love it LOTS 😀 Can’t wait to keep getting better!

Skate/officiate until mid to later afternoon, meet for lunch, drop in some more, take classes, drop in more, dinner with friends or dinner meetings, skate more or freestyle, and aside from that first night where I was in bed by 10PM, the other evenings I was out late.

LATE.

Dancing.

In great outfits.

Sometimes kind hot. I mean…the party tits came out.

We’ll get to that in a bit.

Since I wasn’t scheduled for anything firm except the 6:30AM daily yoga classes, I had a few pockets of time here and there for shuttle runs, grocery runs, and to have lunch with some great people ❤

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Brawl and Fancy ❤

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Rosie and Hung ❤ ❤ ❤ AND FOOD BABIES WE MADE.

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I bought some fabulous things. Kinda lots.

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And ran into my swolemate Smarty Pants. I love that we’re both sporting our respective shirts 😀 I sported her Strong Athletic Queer shirt that Friday which reminds me…I gotta get Smarty a #SkateEveryDamnDay tank…

My days were filled with reffing, learning, meeting and interacting with people, making runs with folks, and then night festivities!

There was one night that I knackered out, slept, and adulted the hell out of that morning!

Each night after, however, ran into the wee hours and were spent dancing our asses off in cool outfits and just being awesome and happy about being at RollerCon, surrounded by all this skater love ❤

There was a superhero themed night, SCOOORE 🙂

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An awesome superhero and villain assemblage of Florida-based skaters!

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These classy ladies again ❤

That was Thursday night. Friday itself was gay themed, so…I am referred to as the Most Lesbiandist of them All. I hope I made my people proud ❤

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FridayGAYREF

I had rainbow socks, and Smarty’s Strong Athletic Queer tank, plus I’m a diesel with unabashed super gay powers, so suffice to say I gayed it up on Friday!

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Starting with yoga 🙂 Now I know what my mat sees when I’m in Downward Facing Dog!

Friday night was also my favorite moment on the track at RollerCon. Team North Florida took on Team South Florida, and since the bout was so friggin’ late, there were a LOT of drop-out spots for officials. What’s beautiful about this is the folks who came to watch the bout – Friday night at 11PM – were, of course. Florida-based.

By the time all the officials’ spots were filled (including a spot for ME!!! I got to be where I am strongest right now – Outside Pack Ref), all the skaters, non-skating officials and refs were ALL Florida-based! It was a true Florida bout!

I also got to ref some amazing things that day on different tracks, so I got to see things from C-level/beginner scrimmages to officiating challenges that had high-level skaters competing. Pretty sweet ❤

Back to the parties 🙂

Saturday night was the Black and Blue Ball, and to be frank, I was kinda nervous because…well, it’s Vegas. It was a party. My friends here actually took me shopping to help me find stuff to wear. I had to borrow these fly ass combat boots from my friend’s teenage daughter (she is also gay so she gave me her massive blessings). She said if I get laid in them, to take them off first. I gave her my word that I would 🙂

And I did.

😀

So, I shopped in advance in a place I’d never ever purchased anything else aside from smelly sprays…

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STUFF! AND THINGS! STUFF AND THINGS! SECRETS INDEED 🙂

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This was NOT a secret, I freaking told EVERYONE as I was getting measured. I’m pretty sure the attendant’s hands were still on my actual boobs when I exclaimed this 🙂

I had help with the sizing, but it was ultimately I who decided which bra was mine! And it made my boobs look GLORIOUS!

Armed with a sexy bra, I threw this outfit together after FINALLY scoring on a camo fedora, which was a nice little extra diesel touch on my stud-yet-femme fittage 🙂

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GLORIOUS.

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Miriam did my make-up, and I like how natural it looks; it’s an enhancement, as it should be, not overwhelming 🙂

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Egg also brought her party tits. And her freaky identical friggin outfit! This was not planned, and yet we both rocked the shit out of it 😀

That night I met skaters from around the world, spoke and danced with some pretty big deal people (who are, really, just people), witnessed a marriage proposal and got to hug the couple and congratulate them (MORE FLORIDA PEOPLE!!!), and dance, dance, dance some more. And though I kept my honor intact, I did flirt, dance, and exchange hugs and some kisses with some lovely, lovely ladies 🙂

That night was an amazing one. I felt like I was ready to shed some shit I’d been holding onto, which in turn was of course holding me back. Luggage was left, and I felt free. I didn’t give a shit about attachments, expectations, outcomes. I just danced, had fun, and had an amazing night. It was the best of the dancing nights ❤

Since I was partying until 3:45AM, it came as no shocker that I overslept for yoga the next morning by 30 minutes.

SHIT.

Kickit, an amazing yoga instructor and former Gotham skater, was blowing up my phone but my ringer was off, so by the grace of God somehow I made it out of bed, dressed, and hauled ass for the last of the yoga practices of RollerCon. Kickit assured me that all yoga instructors fuck up and that it’s okay.

Thankfully the group was super duper awesome, and we had a small yet very powerful practice. I was also VERY grateful that, for once, the music was finally turned down so I no longer had to SHOUT over it. We did fine and tuned it out but by the last day of RollerCon, my voice was beyond lost and the quiet was MOST welcome.

The last class was really chill and they were so cool about everything 🙂

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Such lovely ladies ❤

I also got my first zeeb shirt custom airbrushed by Georgie!

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Team BAMF.

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Rocked that shit, too.

Sunday was bathrobe/pajama day, and when I ran into this stud, I HAD to get a picture! She had a Russian counterpart as well 😛

After officiating, I met up with some folks and we watched the last challenge that I had it in me to watch. I mean it was the last night of RollerCon, I wanted to go out with people and DO STUFF 🙂 So we watched the Las Vegas Convention Center vs Riviera, got the derby funk off of us, and then went out to dinner like classy bitches 🙂

Sundaynightmollies

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Vacation mode. RollerCon. Party tits (sensing a theme…). Great friends. HASH. HOUSE. A GO-GO.

CHICKEN AND WAFFLES. FOR DAYYYYZ.

We were out pretty late that night and a few hours later, Dee and I packed it up and I took her to the airport.

RollerCon was now over and people were starting to leave.

MEEEEH 😦

BUT! As always, we reunite ❤

After I dropped Dee off, I checked my roommates out of the hotel and switched everything over to myself, giving myself an extra night in Vegas and giving them the day to take care of whatever they needed to without having to rush out of the room.

So as I’m standing there in line, I turn around and right behind me is ANOTHER Florida skater who, like me, is still pretty much operating on an hour of sleep. As we talk, she tells me her teammate broke her ankle and I went to go talk to the injured skater. They’re based out of Orlando, so I asked if I could chronicle her return to skating from the injury, and she said YES! And she’s the best candidate for this, for real. We’ll get to that later 🙂 Teaser!

As I’m helping these ladies out, I turn to the door and see *another* skater from Florida and offer her a ride as well. Teamwork makes the dream work, and we were all able to help each other out that day, which was especially nice because one of them was celebrating her birthday 🙂

That morning I also went out on the pool deck and rocked out to “Rooftops” by Wiz Khalifa before calling my life coach.

It hit me again. Everything that I had wanted had come true. I had NO idea how I would pull it off, and there I was. Vegas had been conquered. I felt like the sky was no longer the limit; I’m limitless and it’s time to aim higher.

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My life coach gave me some great insight and was amazingly supportive and receptive when I expressed to her what I’d done, the decisions I made, and how well things worked out for me 🙂 She’d been listening to me talk about going on this trip for six months, she knew ALL the things I was facing before I left. She knows how much this means to me ❤

Once we finished, I made more runs and took care of some business, and then I came back and received an amazing massage from Brawl. We had the best arrangement – in exchange for a massage, she got her cooking items and some groceries transported to and from RollerCon. A GREAT bartering arrangement 🙂

Once Brawl finished my massage, she met up with Missi Blue, a skater, business owner, and tattoo artist and got a lovely tattoo. After Brawl got her tattoo from Blue, I got mine.

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It’s mine and I get to keep it forever ❤

Love. Love. LOVE.

‘MURICAH AND SKATING 🙂

It was the 10 year anniversary of RollerCon, I get a tattoo from the first person I fell down with back when I went to my first practice and have admired her work for YEARS. Not only is this woman now a friend, but now I have a unique, custom, amazing piece of her work on my body 🙂

That evening, I was thoroughly drained. Physically, emotionally, mentally tapped. So much joy, so many decisions, so much stuff to do, so many great memories, moments, stories…so, so much.

So much to look forward to for 2016 🙂 I love that, as we were at Hash House on Sunday evening, Holly had already created the 2016 RollerCon Facebook group ❤

Well folks, that wraps up RollerCon! I did spend the next morning in Vegas, but then I hit the road and the second portion of my epic road trip began. So, we’ll end it here!

The next post…eye candy and another epic and amazing existential tale of dreams realized and opportunities flowing toward me in wonderful ways ❤

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Fields of Green

chakras, fat loss, healing, health, meditation, mindfulness, peace, therapy, weight loss, yoga

One of my favorite smells is fresh-cut grass. It’s an omen of warmer weather, growth, and seasonal change in which life begins to wake up and become verdant and vibrant again.

I finally saw the green chakra last Wednesday. It happened in the hardest posture in my hardest practice, and when it happened, all I did was focus on staying present, breathing, and loving each inhale and each exhale. Frog, especially in a Yin class, is hard. Holding it for over 5 minutes…that shit will make a bitch existential. By choosing to love the posture, each breath was a gift that supported me through the physical discomfort. Though for a long time I understood exactly why I felt the way that I did in that pose, which would range from anger to sadness to fury, I was finally able to just let all of those attachments go, to just exist and be. Ever since then, I’ve made it a point to practice my frog in the same exact mindset. When we go into it, I feel enthusiastic, same way I do for a highly intensive workout. Holding a frog for 5 minutes is much harder than 12 rounds of boxing for me. But now, I choose to love it!

I am seeing fields of green all around me, with both of my physical eyes, and with my third eye. The room where we train is painted green, the candles are green, and I inadvertently wore all green today. When I start visualizing the green chakra, I initially imagined a huge open field of green grass. As I lay with my eyes closed, I feel peace and serenity as if the sun itself is warming me, smiling on me, and shining on me and me alone, and that I may use that light and projected it and allow others to perceive and accept that light, and they can shine it with others as well.

Love. Green is the heart chakra, the source of our love.

Allow love, share love and BE love. It is divine light, and it is in all of us. It is the very source of creation, and at the very heart of our being. Like oxygen, we may not be able to ostensibly perceive it, but it benefits us, gives us life, and is an amazingly abundant source that we can all utilize.

BE love, and witness the world become all the better because of it.

“Be the change you want to see in the world.” – Gandhi

As I am moving forward through this transition, I am experiencing different ways of doing things that I am familiar with. For instance, I have been going to a different massage therapist, practicing yoga in various places, and learning to adjust in a job where transportation is a requirement and I am still looking for a car. All of these things can either be a major source of stress, or an opportunity to approach things in a new and different way. For a moment, I felt like I was cheating on those that I was familiar with, like practicing yoga in a different studio, or letting another massage therapist touch me. But I’m coming to realize that there are different ways of doing things we like doing. These new experiences enrich our lives, and also give us appreciation for the approaches that we are familiar with. Trying new things and being uncomfortable is what makes us truly grow. I still feel like a seed cracking its shell, but I have every faith that the new growth that is emerging is going to give me strong roots, and something beautifully vibrant will surface. And when things get tough and I feel weak, I will remember that my roots are strong and if anything ever happens, I can always go back to that foundation and rise again from there.

We are always growing, and there is such thing as comfort if we want to continually progress. In yoga, even something like child’s pose can be active. Its the same as life. Everything that we learn on the mat, in the classroom, and in the meditations associated with our practice can all be utilized in our lives. The practice is just another vehicle for a personal growth.

Like yoga, life is an ongoing practice, a learning experience, a way to grow and evolve.

My body and brain are tired, and though growing is hard work, it always pays off. Sometimes it’s so hard, tears get involved. I know I sure cry into my mat, damn right I did tonight. Tears are irrigation for growth.

Tomorrow is Monday, and on weekdays I’d been getting up at 5 to do sunrise flow at 530. So, my plan for tomorrow is to keep practicing at 530am, but now I can skip the driving by practicing at home and use the extra time to write and work on my business.

We were also instructed to develop our own daily meditation practice, so as I keep conditioning my body, so too shall my mind and spirit undergo more training.

I got this.

I can do this.

I can do ANYTHING.

Carrying what carries me

chakras, health, meditation, mindfulness, peace, weight loss, yoga

SHOCKER another yoga-related post…I’ll update from the boxing gym soon, or do a post after a derby bout 😛 Okay no promises, I have attention challenges so let’s keep on with the yoga thing!

Last night on my way to class, I marveled how different my life is now, indicated by what was with me and on me. I had my yoga mat and grippy towel cradled in one arm, my backpack from Title Boxing Club slung on my shoulder and packed with post-workout hydration, my workout clothes (Underarmor shorts and a ladies MEDIUM top, WTF), and was on my way to my most challenging yoga practice, Yin (another one…my body needed it). Boxing, yoga…these things were totally foreign to me a year ago. And now I’m a friggin’ poster child of this stuff 😛

I started seeing the purple chakra, so my mind is opening further and ultimately, I think green will be last, though I’ve been seeing glimmers of it around my mat (interesting how that works).

Crown, throat, and heart are next 🙂 What a journey, I’m so grateful and honored to experience this. Also considering Baron Baptiste training…holy shit. Also, I have a partner for Acro Yoga and can’t WAIT to learn more! As it were, I’ll be the base, and a good base I shall be 😀

So, super exciting things ahead! I’ve got an industrious and busy three-day weekend coming up, and between yoga, boxing, bouting and skydiving, I think we’re in for some epic amazingness ahead. OH and between all that, I plan to keep writing book #1!

WORD!