Epic Voyage: Part IV – Fabulous Finale!

balance, body and swole, choices, cross country road trip, fitness, florida, gay, healing, health, healthy lifestyle, inspiration, inspire, lesbian, LGBT, life, life coaching, meditation, mindfulness, motivation, nutrition, peace, recovery, reflection, relax, road trip, roller derby, rollerskating, skating, sports, strength, therapy, travel, wellness, women

It’s of course in the finale that everything swells up into one huge explosion of hedonistic ecstasy 🙂

This is the final installment of the #EpicVoyage! The preface, Part I, Part II and Part III have all lead up to this – the best part 😀

Back on the road! Last we left off, I was at Four Corners. Reception was still NOT happening, so once again I had a map, an idea, and the road ❤

I decided to hit Colorado Springs next! It took me the whole day, because again, the scenery was immensely gorgeous and I got to drive winding roads through mountains and valleys.

Epic. Fucking. Journey. Word, yo.

THATPIC

A real map. No pressure. Just an idea ❤

This picture summarizes this entire #EpicVoyage in its essence – exactly what I needed: chillin’, happy, fulfilled, pleased, content, surrounded by majesty.

DSCN0265

DSCN0268 DSCN0270

DSCN0281 DSCN0283

DSCN0287 DSCN0298

DSCN0299 DSCN0304

So beautiful.

While staying in Cortez, I took advantage of the Internet availability and booked myself a room in Colorado Springs. The hotel called me about 2 hours before my arrival asking what time I expected to be in, & I told them around 10 p.m. They said that they actually close the reception area at 10, but they’ll work with me to see what we can do. When I asked why they close, something I’m not used to a hotel telling me, they replied that they are a family owned business, & I hauled ass to get there in time before they closed so as not to inconvenience their family.

I got there at 9:59 PM ❤

I LOVED my hotel, the owners, the room, and the area altogether.

DSCN0310

DSCN0309

DSCN0305

DSCN0317

DSCN0316

DSCN0315

It was here that I fell in love. I fell in love with Colorado, with Manitou Springs, with the moutains, and with the new options of what a “smoking” room meant in Colorado.

The following morning, I thought it’d be cool to check out Garden of the Gods and finally make peace and get closure from my last visit there. The last time I visited Colorado Springs and Garden of the Gods in particular, it was the first time that as an ordained minister I performed a funeral service and it was for a friend. And while the funeral was more of a life celebration, there certainly was mourning.

I thought I would check out of the hotel that morning, go to Garden of the Gods, and then start looking at various ways that I could drive toward Florida. What was interesting is that I’d originally intended on going back the way that I came, and now that I was up in the middle of the country, I had more options. I looked at one route in particular and realized that it was actually going through parts of the country that I had never been to, and toward someone that I had not seen in a while. We’d been talking about meeting up if it were an option during this road trip, and while I thought it would just be a fantasy if it happened, now it was becoming more of a reality. So, I sent her a screenshot of my route, and she informed me that it would take me through where she was.

Cool!

However, the next contact I made was…

…well…

Come on dude, I was in Colorado after all.

I called a dispensary.

And then went.

02

Selfie x2

ColoradoEmeraldFields

Emerald Fields gave me a 10% discount for checking in and posting to social media, and another 10% off for joining their membership program. So I got 20% off bud.

20% off. Of Colorado Bud.

A 20% cash discount. 20% off of marijuana. WEED. DISCOUNT.

It’s still taking a while for me to let that sink in. When the hell else will anyone EVER get a discount on bud?!

05

The tables from back right, to left and front: decent grade, great grade, BEST grade!

I went to the best grade table. Carpe Diem, man! It’s COLORADO!

06

Indicas and sativas, oh my!

07

“Hi, I’m Smash.”
“I’m not high, I’m Sarah.”

Meeting my bud-tender 🙂

09 10

Holy fucking mother of amazing smells. Sweet Tooth indica (smells and tastes like candy) and Area 51 sativa (tasted like stanky danky heaven) 🙂

So naturally after I visited there, my next stop was to grab food!

Coloradogermanfood

German food!!! And unsweet tea! Everything was funny and delicious and I was one happy camper ❤

Sooooo instead of leave and head out after all that, stayed another day 🙂 Because reasons.

Plus by the time I left the restaurant, hit some spots, made some visits and met some cool people, it was around 4:00PM…

…which meant I had about 20 minutes to hit a lounge and make it in time for Happy Hour 😀

I found the SpeakEasy Lounge, where I – OH MY – discovered prices are MUCH different than the dispensaries. Soooo I got more Colorado green and made lots of friends at 4:20PM that day 🙂

I went to Colorado, I smoked some fine bud, and chilled out on my Epic Voyage. Things were pretty damn peachy 🙂 The bud, however, was Pineapple Express 🙂

Seriously I could go on about the sativas and indicas that I tried, and I could go on and on about it as much as I speak about women and how much I appreciate them as well, but we’ll leave it here and say I had some really good weed, shared it with some super cool people – ALL OF THEM FROM FLORIDA, WHAT?! – and enjoyed myself. By the by, all the Floridians I ran into were Baby Boomers. That’s the market, folks. And usually people flock to Florida to move and to live, and now they’re flocking to Colorado.

Wake up, Florida. Legalize marijuana already.

/rant

After hanging out for a bit, I hit Garden of the Gods ❤

CoGardenGods

I got that closure that I needed ❤ Love you, Em ❤

DSCN0341

 DSCN0323

DSCN0350

DSCN0349

DSCN0364

11

The sunbeams busting through clouds and the sunset reminds me of my grandfather, and I felt his blessings on me again ❤ Thanks, pop 😀

That night I slept like a baby, and woke up at 3AM to hit the road and start the 1800+ mile trek home, broken down into a few legs. Since the hotel office was closed, I did as they said and left the key on the desk and left the door unlocked. I can’t wait to visit again; I am SO staying at the Buffalo Lodge again!

As I progressed through the country, I witnessed some amazing landscapes. Even the flatlands of Kansas were beautiful. Miles and miles of green farm country, fields, and landscape. So vast, so beautiful ❤

Kansas01

CotoKansas

Once I hit Kansas, I realized we’re not in Colorado anymore! Har har.

I progressed until I made my next stop, and that’s where something pretty epic and magical happened.

After two years of abstinence, three years of being single and dozens of opportunities that I decided to skip out on, a GREAT opportunity presented itself and I went for it.

FINALLY.

It was like that “I CAN SEE AGAIN” moment from Bound ❤

Except, having my way, I was the giver and not the recipient. After the first….uhhh like 4 times…she said she needed it, and I said gotdang have I need that. When she said how long it’s been for her and then asked me how long it had been for me, I couldn’t help but laugh. I was kind of embarrassed. I mean, TWO YEARS DUDE!

Her jaw dropped. “Really?… but why me?”

Because I care about her. Because there’s always been that thing between us, and the circumstances were never right. Because she’s absolutely beautiful, femme, smart, brave, witty, bossy, and gorgeous because she’s both beautiful on the inside AND out, and should get an extra accolade for being so lovely.

ALSO, she knew what she wanted, she went for it, and she properly seduced me like a grown-ass woman should. It was natural, playful, smart, fun and very open. I was tired of games people play; this was NO game. She acted like an adult and went for it. And she got what she wanted.

I asked her where I should put my bag, and she pointed next to her night table. Then I asked where I would stay (she offered to let me crash for the night), and she said “in here.” I asked where she was staying, and she said, “in here with you.”

OKAY! I put my bag down and excused myself for a moment. I drove 100 straight miles without taking a piss because something told me to get there. Just fucking get there.

As I looked in the bathroom mirror, I braced the counter and told myself, “this is about to happen. Just be cool. Let it happen naturally.”

I joined her again in the room, we talked more, and there was the moment when she looked at her phone, smiled, put it down and said, “so my (former lover) asked if I’d fuck you, and I said yes.”

I took her hand and put it to my neck, so she could feel my heart beating like a teenager’s would on prom night.

TWICE on this Epic Voyage I had that feeling. TWICE! First, when I bought weed. Then two days later, here I was in a friend’s bed, about to throw down with her. Holy shit.

She asked me, “are you nervous?”
“Little bit. More excited than nervous. I feel like a teenager.”
“Why?”
I laughed. “I’ll tell you later.” *grabs what was in her hands and puts it on the end table*

“We should do something about this.”

And then I kissed her.

I told her to get comfortable, and made her very, very, very, very very very very very happy. And I felt happy. I broke her bed and she didn’t give a damn.

“Shit! I broke your bed! I warned you I was a bed breaker!”
“SO WHAT JUST DON’T FUCKING STOP!!!”

Finally. FINALLY felt all studly again; like the proper way. Making a lady feel amazing.

A bunch of times.

Okay a lot.

Hey it’d been two years.

And she made more than just amazing sounds; there was a symphony of melodic, harmonious, gradual crescendos leading up to big, full-out fortissimos, over and over again, for hours.

We tried ordering Chinese food like five times.

“Where do you want to order from? I’ll go pick it up.” I offered.
“Pick it up, are you fucking kidding me?” She hit a button and started placing the order. Then, without moving from where she was, she rattled off her credit card information.
“Oh Jesus, what a princess!” I said.

And we killed some time before the Chinese food showed up. And killed even more time before actually eating.

The Chinese food, I mean.

“This is us, eating Chinese food just aahhhhHHHHHHHHHH!!!!…ARE YOU REALLY DOING THIS LIKE REALLY HOLY $&%^^**#%#”

I’d never shared myself as a fit person, ever. I’ve never been fit like this before, and it was amazing to share myself and what this body can do with someone who not only appreciates it, but deserves it. She had it coming.

*clears throat*

So, there’s that 🙂

The next day (I would say next morning but we were busy all morning…) I took her to breakfast, said farewell for now, and headed out.

I made a quick stop in St. Loius…

DSCN0406

MoGatewayArch

…and then off to Nashville and spent the night there. Crashed, packed, and for the first time in two and a half weeks, I pulled up Waze and hit “HOME” as my destination. nashvilleheadedhome

Leaving Nashville, rocking the Emerald Fields tee!

Knowing that Atlanta would be a clusterfuck of traffic, I pulled up Yelp and found some good southern food outside of the city to nom on before making that one last final push toward Florida.

southernfood

Southern deliciousness from Doug’s Place!

Georgia came and went, and home was near. It had been over two weeks since I was home and as I neared the Florida border, I was just ready.

The road had been conquered and I felt like a champion, returning home from something I’d been training super hard for. I was!

With EVERYTHING that happened leading up to this, everything I endured, not only have I survived it all with my head held high (often with support), but I took a fucking VACATION!

And I got everything that I wanted. Everything.

To me, it validated all that I have been saying, practicing, and putting into action. It validated, to me, that I am stronger than whatever life throws at me, whatever people do to me, and that I will always come out on top.

Then, as I’m contemplating my journey – especially my previous struggles with my sexuality, the shit I’ve gotten because of it, the issues I’ve had in relationships, and all the crazy stuff that comes with being a lesbian – I see this span across the sky JUST AS I GET TO FLORIDA.

Welcomehomo

Welcome homo, Smash ❤

At that point, I was familiar with where I was, and the drive home felt just like any ride back from Lake City 😀

Here’s what’s super duper spectacularly awesome – I left on a Saturday night, right after reffing Sintral vs. Lakeland. I approached their venue on I-95, 20 miles from my house, and was able to make the last few minutes of their practice before I went home!

sintral01 Sintral02

sintral03 sintral04

Love, hugs, and receiving kudos for making it there and back again, and on making really, REALLY good decisions.

Buxom looked at me and I smiled at her, and she paused for a while before opening her eyes SUPER wide and exclaiming, “FINALLY! JESUS SMASH. FINALLY.”

She didn’t even have to ask; she could tell that I had magical amazing lesbian lovings on my voyage 🙂

I left Destination Daytona, and then, finally, I pulled into my driveway, into the carport, and parked my car at MY HOUSE ❤

HOME

I’m in Daytona, Bitch!!!

The very next day, life resumed, as it should. I was still (shit, I still am) basking in vacation/road trip/goals smashed glory, and taught class that evening with a new charge! Vinyassa the next morning was super empowering, and since the trip, my personal yoga practice has become even more fluid and, quite frankly, it feels beautiful.

Since returning, I’ve picked up a few more classes to teach, I’ve got an editor to help me with BIG project I’ve been working on for a few years, and I’ve been pounding away with the business. Booking workshops, speaking, interacting with the community, and making Body and Swole a name in the community and out there in the world.

This story is just a piece of me, and a damn good one. There are so, so many more bits, and so many more stories. This one was just well-chronicled and told with a fairly fresh mind.

This is a happy tale!

All of my stories have a happy ending, or at least something positive can be reaped from each of them. There are some great ones, funny ones, uplifting, inspirational, empowering…you name it.

There are also some pretty dark stories, but again, it all turns out well in the end 😀

This whole process has been an alchemical one, turning the shit life throws at me into something spectacular. Life threw me a HUGE challenge, and with lots of support, encouragement, and lots of help and faith, it happened.

It needed to.

I needed to prove that I am SO much stronger than the struggle, that my light persists in the darkest of dark times. I needed to prove that no matter what anyone does to me or takes from me, that I am greater than what has been taken from me, and I’ll do better next time.

There have also been some huge lessons learned after.

Like Santiago experienced on his journey, he found someone, but he still needed to continue on his quest. I found myself in a similar situation, and though it’s been very hard to keep my focus on here, now, and on my business as it goes from infancy to full-on growing up, I’ve had to make that decision like a parent makes for his or her child. An actual, real relationship, the kind that I want in the long term, is for now a dream, a fantasy, and one that will be a part of my future, but not part of now.

I did very much enjoy the experience, and the fantasy 🙂

All good things, no regrets and lots of hopes for the future.

I don’t know *how* things will happen, but I have plans for WHAT will happen. And, just like my #EpicVoyage, I’ll bust my ass to work hard with an idea for an outcome, but no particular attachment to *how* things will come together.

They just will 🙂

How do I know? I don’t just know it; I feel it.

I know because I’m a witness to amazing achievements. Of course I know – I’ve seen me do it!

All in all, everything that I’ve been speaking about and the hard things to believe in were all proven to me.

Be brave, be yourself, be true to your heart and authentic in your endeavors. There’s no room for anything else in my life.

Here. Now. As I am.

I am Smash, and I am conditioned for epic things 🙂

As I’ve said before, this is still very much just the beginning 😉

Epic Journey: Part IV – Fabulous Finale

balance, body and swole, choices, cross country road trip, fitness, florida, gay, healing, health, healthy lifestyle, inspiration, inspire, lesbian, LGBT, life, life coaching, meditation, mindfulness, motivation, nutrition, peace, recovery, reflection, relax, road trip, roller derby, roller skating, rollerskating, skating, sports, strength, therapy, travel, wellness, women

It’s of course in the finale that everything swells up into one huge explosion of hedonistic ecstasy 🙂

This is the final installment of the #EpicVoyage! The preface, Part I, Part II and Part III have all lead up to this – the best part 😀

Back on the road! Last we left off, I was at Four Corners. Reception was still NOT happening, so once again I had a map, an idea, and the road ❤

I decided to hit Colorado Springs next! It took me the whole day, because again, the scenery was immensely gorgeous and I got to drive winding roads through mountains and valleys.

Epic. Fucking. Journey. Word, yo.

THATPIC

A real map. No pressure. Just an idea ❤

This picture summarizes this entire #EpicVoyage in its essence – exactly what I needed: chillin’, happy, fulfilled, pleased, content, surrounded by majesty.

DSCN0265

DSCN0268 DSCN0270

DSCN0281 DSCN0283

DSCN0287 DSCN0298

DSCN0299 DSCN0304

So beautiful.

While staying in Cortez, I took advantage of the Internet availability and booked myself a room in Colorado Springs. The hotel called me about 2 hours before my arrival asking what time I expected to be in, & I told them around 10 p.m. They said that they actually close the reception area at 10, but they’ll work with me to see what we can do. When I asked why they close, something I’m not used to a hotel telling me, they replied that they are a family owned business, & I hauled ass to get there in time before they closed so as not to inconvenience their family.

I got there at 9:59 PM ❤

I LOVED my hotel, the owners, the room, and the area altogether.

DSCN0310

DSCN0309

DSCN0305

DSCN0317

DSCN0316

DSCN0315

It was here that I fell in love. I fell in love with Colorado, with Manitou Springs, with the moutains, and with the new options of what a “smoking” room meant in Colorado.

The following morning, I thought it’d be cool to check out Garden of the Gods and finally make peace and get closure from my last visit there. The last time I visited Colorado Springs and Garden of the Gods in particular, it was the first time that as an ordained minister I performed a funeral service and it was for a friend. And while the funeral was more of a life celebration, there certainly was mourning.

I thought I would check out of the hotel that morning, go to Garden of the Gods, and then start looking at various ways that I could drive toward Florida. What was interesting is that I’d originally intended on going back the way that I came, and now that I was up in the middle of the country, I had more options. I looked at one route in particular and realized that it was actually going through parts of the country that I had never been to, and toward someone that I had not seen in a while. We’d been talking about meeting up if it were an option during this road trip, and while I thought it would just be a fantasy if it happened, now it was becoming more of a reality. So, I sent her a screenshot of my route, and she informed me that it would take me through where she was.

Cool!

However, the next contact I made was…

…well…

Come on dude, I was in Colorado after all.

I called a dispensary.

And then went.

02

Selfie x2

ColoradoEmeraldFields

Emerald Fields gave me a 10% discount for checking in and posting to social media, and another 10% off for joining their membership program. So I got 20% off bud.

20% off. Of Colorado Bud.

A 20% cash discount. 20% off of marijuana. WEED. DISCOUNT.

It’s still taking a while for me to let that sink in. When the hell else will anyone EVER get a discount on bud?!

05

The tables from back right, to left and front: decent grade, great grade, BEST grade!

I went to the best grade table. Carpe Diem, man! It’s COLORADO!

06

Indicas and sativas, oh my!

07

“Hi, I’m Smash.”
“I’m not high, I’m Sarah.”

Meeting my bud-tender 🙂

09 10

Holy fucking mother of amazing smells. Sweet Tooth indica (smells and tastes like candy) and Area 51 sativa (tasted like stanky danky heaven) 🙂

So naturally after I visited there, my next stop was to grab food!

Coloradogermanfood

German food!!! And unsweet tea! Everything was funny and delicious and I was one happy camper ❤

Sooooo instead of leave and head out after all that, stayed another day 🙂 Because reasons.

Plus by the time I left the restaurant, hit some spots, made some visits and met some cool people, it was around 4:00PM…

…which meant I had about 20 minutes to hit a lounge and make it in time for Happy Hour 😀

I found the SpeakEasy Lounge, where I – OH MY – discovered prices are MUCH different than the dispensaries. Soooo I got more Colorado green and made lots of friends at 4:20PM that day 🙂

I went to Colorado, I smoked some fine bud, and chilled out on my Epic Voyage. Things were pretty damn peachy 🙂 The bud, however, was Pineapple Express 🙂

Seriously I could go on about the sativas and indicas that I tried, and I could go on and on about it as much as I speak about women and how much I appreciate them as well, but we’ll leave it here and say I had some really good weed, shared it with some super cool people – ALL OF THEM FROM FLORIDA, WHAT?! – and enjoyed myself. By the by, all the Floridians I ran into were Baby Boomers. That’s the market, folks. And usually people flock to Florida to move and to live, and now they’re flocking to Colorado.

Wake up, Florida. Legalize marijuana already.

/rant

After hanging out for a bit, I hit Garden of the Gods ❤

CoGardenGods

I got that closure that I needed ❤ Love you, Em ❤

DSCN0341

 DSCN0323

DSCN0350

DSCN0349

DSCN0364

11

The sunbeams busting through clouds and the sunset reminds me of my grandfather, and I felt his blessings on me again ❤ Thanks, pop 😀

That night I slept like a baby, and woke up at 3AM to hit the road and start the 1800+ mile trek home, broken down into a few legs. Since the hotel office was closed, I did as they said and left the key on the desk and left the door unlocked. I can’t wait to visit again; I am SO staying at the Buffalo Lodge again!

As I progressed through the country, I witnessed some amazing landscapes. Even the flatlands of Kansas were beautiful. Miles and miles of green farm country, fields, and landscape. So vast, so beautiful ❤

Kansas01

CotoKansas

Once I hit Kansas, I realized we’re not in Colorado anymore! Har har.

I progressed until I made my next stop, and that’s where something pretty epic and magical happened.

After two years of abstinence, three years of being single and dozens of opportunities that I decided to skip out on, a GREAT opportunity presented itself and I went for it.

FINALLY.

It was like that “I CAN SEE AGAIN” moment from Bound ❤

Except, having my way, I was the giver and not the recipient. After the first….uhhh like 4 times…she said she needed it, and I said gotdang have I need that. When she said how long it’s been for her and then asked me how long it had been for me, I couldn’t help but laugh. I was kind of embarrassed. I mean, TWO YEARS DUDE!

Her jaw dropped. “Really?… but why me?”

Because I care about her. Because there’s always been that thing between us, and the circumstances were never right. Because she’s absolutely beautiful, femme, smart, brave, witty, bossy, and gorgeous because she’s both beautiful on the inside AND out, and should get an extra accolade for being so lovely.

ALSO, she knew what she wanted, she went for it, and she properly seduced me like a grown-ass woman should. It was natural, playful, smart, fun and very open. I was tired of games people play; this was NO game. She acted like an adult and went for it. And she got what she wanted.

I asked her where I should put my bag, and she pointed next to her night table. Then I asked where I would stay (she offered to let me crash for the night), and she said “in here.” I asked where she was staying, and she said, “in here with you.”

OKAY! I put my bag down and excused myself for a moment. I drove 100 straight miles without taking a piss because something told me to get there. Just fucking get there.

As I looked in the bathroom mirror, I braced the counter and told myself, “this is about to happen. Just be cool. Let it happen naturally.”

I joined her again in the room, we talked more, and there was the moment when she looked at her phone, smiled, put it down and said, “so my (former lover) asked if I’d fuck you, and I said yes.”

I took her hand and put it to my neck, so she could feel my heart beating like a teenager’s would on prom night.

TWICE on this Epic Voyage I had that feeling. TWICE! First, when I bought weed. Then two days later, here I was in a friend’s bed, about to throw down with her. Holy shit.

She asked me, “are you nervous?”
“Little bit. More excited than nervous. I feel like a teenager.”
“Why?”
I laughed. “I’ll tell you later.” *grabs what was in her hands and puts it on the end table*

“We should do something about this.”

And then I kissed her.

I told her to get comfortable, and made her very, very, very, very very very very very happy. And I felt happy. I broke her bed and she didn’t give a damn.

“Shit! I broke your bed! I warned you I was a bed breaker!”
“SO WHAT JUST DON’T FUCKING STOP!!!”

Finally. FINALLY felt all studly again; like the proper way. Making a lady feel amazing.

A bunch of times.

Okay a lot.

Hey it’d been two years.

And she made more than just amazing sounds; there was a symphony of melodic, harmonious, gradual crescendos leading up to big, full-out fortissimos, over and over again, for hours.

We tried ordering Chinese food like five times.

“Where do you want to order from? I’ll go pick it up.” I offered.
“Pick it up, are you fucking kidding me?” She hit a button and started placing the order. Then, without moving from where she was, she rattled off her credit card information.
“Oh Jesus, what a princess!” I said.

And we killed some time before the Chinese food showed up. And killed even more time before actually eating.

The Chinese food, I mean.

“This is us, eating Chinese food just aahhhhHHHHHHHHHH!!!!…ARE YOU REALLY DOING THIS LIKE REALLY HOLY $&%^^**#%#”

I’d never shared myself as a fit person, ever. I’ve never been fit like this before, and it was amazing to share myself and what this body can do with someone who not only appreciates it, but deserves it. She had it coming.

*clears throat*

So, there’s that 🙂

The next day (I would say next morning but we were busy all morning…) I took her to breakfast, said farewell for now, and headed out.

I made a quick stop in St. Loius…

DSCN0406

MoGatewayArch

…and then off to Nashville and spent the night there. Crashed, packed, and for the first time in two and a half weeks, I pulled up Waze and hit “HOME” as my destination. nashvilleheadedhome

Leaving Nashville, rocking the Emerald Fields tee!

Knowing that Atlanta would be a clusterfuck of traffic, I pulled up Yelp and found some good southern food outside of the city to nom on before making that one last final push toward Florida.

southernfood

Southern deliciousness from Doug’s Place!

Georgia came and went, and home was near. It had been over two weeks since I was home and as I neared the Florida border, I was just ready.

The road had been conquered and I felt like a champion, returning home from something I’d been training super hard for. I was!

With EVERYTHING that happened leading up to this, everything I endured, not only have I survived it all with my head held high (often with support), but I took a fucking VACATION!

And I got everything that I wanted. Everything.

To me, it validated all that I have been saying, practicing, and putting into action. It validated, to me, that I am stronger than whatever life throws at me, whatever people do to me, and that I will always come out on top.

Then, as I’m contemplating my journey – especially my previous struggles with my sexuality, the shit I’ve gotten because of it, the issues I’ve had in relationships, and all the crazy stuff that comes with being a lesbian – I see this span across the sky JUST AS I GET TO FLORIDA.

Welcomehomo

Welcome homo, Smash ❤

At that point, I was familiar with where I was, and the drive home felt just like any ride back from Lake City 😀

Here’s what’s super duper spectacularly awesome – I left on a Saturday night, right after reffing Sintral vs. Lakeland. I approached their venue on I-95, 20 miles from my house, and was able to make the last few minutes of their practice before I went home!

sintral01 Sintral02

sintral03 sintral04

Love, hugs, and receiving kudos for making it there and back again, and on making really, REALLY good decisions.

Buxom looked at me and I smiled at her, and she paused for a while before opening her eyes SUPER wide and exclaiming, “FINALLY! JESUS SMASH. FINALLY.”

She didn’t even have to ask; she could tell that I had magical amazing lesbian lovings on my voyage 🙂

I left Destination Daytona, and then, finally, I pulled into my driveway, into the carport, and parked my car at MY HOUSE ❤

HOME

I’m in Daytona, Bitch!!!

The very next day, life resumed, as it should. I was still (shit, I still am) basking in vacation/road trip/goals smashed glory, and taught class that evening with a new charge! Vinyassa the next morning was super empowering, and since the trip, my personal yoga practice has become even more fluid and, quite frankly, it feels beautiful.

Since returning, I’ve picked up a few more classes to teach, I’ve got an editor to help me with BIG project I’ve been working on for a few years, and I’ve been pounding away with the business. Booking workshops, speaking, interacting with the community, and making Body and Swole a name in the community and out there in the world.

This story is just a piece of me, and a damn good one. There are so, so many more bits, and so many more stories. This one was just well-chronicled and told with a fairly fresh mind.

This is a happy tale!

All of my stories have a happy ending, or at least something positive can be reaped from each of them. There are some great ones, funny ones, uplifting, inspirational, empowering…you name it.

There are also some pretty dark stories, but again, it all turns out well in the end 😀

This whole process has been an alchemical one, turning the shit life throws at me into something spectacular. Life threw me a HUGE challenge, and with lots of support, encouragement, and lots of help and faith, it happened.

It needed to.

I needed to prove that I am SO much stronger than the struggle, that my light persists in the darkest of dark times. I needed to prove that no matter what anyone does to me or takes from me, that I am greater than what has been taken from me, and I’ll do better next time.

There have also been some huge lessons learned after.

Like Santiago experienced on his journey, he found someone, but he still needed to continue on his quest. I found myself in a similar situation, and though it’s been very hard to keep my focus on here, now, and on my business as it goes from infancy to full-on growing up, I’ve had to make that decision like a parent makes for his or her child. An actual, real relationship, the kind that I want in the long term, is for now a dream, a fantasy, and one that will be a part of my future, but not part of now.

I did very much enjoy the experience, and the fantasy 🙂

All good things, no regrets and lots of hopes for the future.

I don’t know *how* things will happen, but I have plans for WHAT will happen. And, just like my #EpicVoyage, I’ll bust my ass to work hard with an idea for an outcome, but no particular attachment to *how* things will come together.

They just will 🙂

How do I know? I don’t just know it; I feel it.

I know because I’m a witness to amazing achievements. Of course I know – I’ve seen me do it!

All in all, everything that I’ve been speaking about and the hard things to believe in were all proven to me.

Be brave, be yourself, be true to your heart and authentic in your endeavors. There’s no room for anything else in my life.

Here. Now. As I am.

I am Smash, and I am conditioned for epic things 🙂

As I’ve said before, this is still very much just the beginning 😉

Shift in Mind, Heart, and Swole!

choices, fitness, florida, healing, health, healthy lifestyle, inspiration, inspire, life coaching, mindfulness, motivation, nutrition, recovery, reflection, roller derby, roller skating, rollerskating, skating, sports, strength, therapy, wellness

I’ve got everything moved over to MindHeartSwole.com, and am adding more and more to the site and optimizing my challenges, fitness classes, advising and coaching practice 🙂

In the meantime, we are rolling along the September skating challenge! As always, I aim to be the poster child of this #skateeverydamnday challenge, and the quintessence of #8wheelsonelove.

So much to come!

Add Mindheartswole.com to your bookmarks, and join us!

image

-Smash Tank
Body and Swole
Owner and founder
Success story, author, speaker, advisor, fitness and nutrition coach
MindHeartSwole.com

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

RC15-web

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.

PhotoGrid_1437591483575 PhotoGrid_1437706106699

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*.

ThursSunrise

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 ❤

WedDomsSubs

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!

ThursZeebin

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 ❤

WedBrawlandFancy

Brawl and Fancy ❤

ThursFOODBABIES

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

WedCAPPANTS

I bought some fabulous things. Kinda lots.

ThursSmarty

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 🙂

fridaynightvegas

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

frinightparty

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 ❤

20150724_201738

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!

20150724_070608 20150724_071042

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…

stuffandthings

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

stufffreddy

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 🙂

SatnightMiriamandI

GLORIOUS.

20150725_224133

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

Satnightegg

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 🙂

20150726_073857

Such lovely ladies ❤

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

sungeorgieandI

Team BAMF.

SundayBIGpimpin

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

11264842_10153399661541163_6779330417484258022_n

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.

MondayBrendaRooftop

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.

Mondaynighttattoo

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 ❤

Beautiful Flaws

fat loss, fitness, florida, healing, health, healthy lifestyle, inspiration, inspire, life, life coaching, nutrition, strength, weight loss, wellness

Imma show you today’s produce haul and then we’re gonna talk about something special.  We’re gonna talk about Us.

But first,  food porn 🙂

image

I got a great haul of ripe bananas, Florida-grown asparagus, tomatoes, peaches, pears, variety of zucchini, watermelon, corn, basil, some local raw honey, and beautifully handcrafted blue cheese. Everything except for the blue cheese and honey came from the discount section of the produce market.

image

image

Aside from saving money on buying the discounted produce, I’m actually getting the best deal in the store! The bananas at this stage are actually at their peak 🙂 The spots indicate that they are full of antioxidants, and at this stage of ripeness, they are immensely sweet. Perfect for peeling, cutting, and putting in the freezer to make my protein shakes even extra delicious! I also love putting chopped frozen bananas in hot oatmeal so that I can take it from the stove top right into a bowl (sometimes it doesn’t even make it  out of the pan) and eat it pretty quickly. I’m one to get some kind of breakfast in there within 20 minutes of waking up 🙂

My blood is in farming, & I have not only a love but a penchant for beautiful, fresh produce. I come from generations of people who have worked the earth and gathered in order to stay fed and provide for family. It’s in my blood to appreciate beautiful produce! Even more, it is an inherent part of me to appreciate the beauty in things that are perceivably flawed. I’m not only doing the store a favor by taking some of the stuff off their hands for discounted price, but they’re doing me a favor by giving me some beautiful produce at a good price that actually benefits me in a huge way.

At a professional conference I heard a speaker ask the group who had a garden. A bunch of us raised our hands. He then asked if there was something that we picked from the garden that had a physical flaw on it, would we discard it, or would be cut around the flaw and still enjoy the rest of that plant’s goodness. All of the gardeners unanimously agreed that we would cut around the flaw and enjoy the rest. I consider that same approach when I’m buying produce from somebody else’s garden. The food is beautiful as it is, flaws and all. To me, physical flaws tell a story about what caused that “imperfection.”

Find beauty in flaws.

Eventually, by appreciating the flaws and the things around us, we come to not only accept, but to appreciate the beautiful flaws within us. And when we can appreciate our own flaws, the flaws of others don’t matter so much 😉

I pride myself on being the dark horse with the bright light…what the eff does that mean?

I am a fitness instructor and AASDN Nutrition Specialist who has scars and marks telling a bit of my history from a lifetime of obesity. Though I am fit, I am still the SAME PERSON.

In the fitness and nutrition business, there is this perception of perfection. Quite often, the professionals in this business are the very quintessence of perfect health. They look good, they are fit, and we don’t see any physical flaws.  We certainly don’t see any character flaws. These people do an amazing job of showing up big, and in being efficient leaders. And that works well for them, and I imagine for their clients as well.

And then, there’s the rest of Us.

The Us, who go about our daily lives, working our jobs, looking forward to whatever reprieve we can find, whatever escapes serve us, and whatever means to keep our sanity intact and our stress levels manageable.

Let’s work on bridging the gap between managing our lives on a day to day basis, and finding that place where fitness, health, and nutrition can be an integral part of our daily lives.

I have a proposal.

How about we focus on health instead of looks? How about we focus on accepting ourselves, and deciding to love ourselves enough to take care of ourselves, instead of compete with ourselves for a certain look, unrealistic expectations, and the constant fixation on an end result without enjoying the steps in the process?

Can we love ourselves enough in the present to appreciate the after when we’re done?

This isn’t a trick question, my friends. There’s only one answer, and it is yes! So now that you know the answer, are you ready to ask that question of yourself? Are you ready to appreciate and love yourself as you are, without feeling the need to change anything? Do you accept and understand that accepting yourself as you are right now will help you appreciate what you’ve achieved when you’ve reached your goal?

With the answer of yes, we might actually be able to work together 🙂

With love, always.

Your Dark Horse with a Bright Light  ❤

image

Cup don’t fit,  don’t give a shit 🙂

I don’t want to hit these girls, I want to protect them

accident, choices, fat loss, fitness, healing, health, healthy lifestyle, inspiration, inspire, life, life coaching, motivation, nutrition, peace, recovery, roller derby, roller skating, RollerCon, skating, sports, strength, weight loss, wellness, yoga

Lots to share, and first, let’s start with the 30 Days of Skating challenge:

image

I did a little skating in the house today, and since there were three yoga practices in my day, I opted to skip an endurance skate and go to Sintral’s practice tonight.

This came out at practice and I need to not only say it, but actually write it out to make it real.

I won’t be playing derby anymore.

There’s so much good coming from this, though.  First, it’s a huge relief that I don’t have to fret my body becoming damaged any further. 

Truly, I couldn’t ask for a better experience as a skater. In my first and only full season as a skater, I played for and subbed for four teams and got to be a member of two leagues before I became an independent skater. EVERY weekend, there was a derby event. I was *always* skating. Four teams rostered me for bouts. Four MVP awards – two jammer, two blockers – in eleven months of bouting. 

image

image

100 pounds lost in the journey.

image

As an official, trainer and advisor, I can do WAY more than coach. I can TRAIN these athletes. I specialize in fitness, nutrition, and motivation. It is the perfect fit for me.

Plus, I LOVE watching derby and learning about and observing the strategy. Being a ref gives me the opportunity to skate in and watch EVERY jam.

Derby was the seductive beauty that lured me in, and was a pretense and catalyst for my transition into a healthy lifestyle.  I used derby as an excuse to meet new people, become an athlete, get fit, build my body strong, find an outlet, and help me heal from a broken heart.

I am still very much in the derby community, and I’ve also branched out to meet all kinds of skaters. In all candor,  I really skate more on trails and streets than I do any derby practices. I do more training off skates, & a focus so much on my fitness and nutrition for reasons way beyond roller derby.

I’m so thankful that I’ve had the sport to get me in the type of physical shape that I am in, and especially grateful for the ability to see beyond just this one sport. To see beyond just athletes. To see beyond elements and components, and see a huge picture coming together. Just like in derby, I can see where my strongest assets can be utilized to help people, to grow, and to do some really amazing things.

I had the opportunity to referee on Saturday for a bout, and afterwards, I told a few people that I actually prefer officiating over playing derby. I get to skate in every jam, get a ton of endurance as an OPR (outside pack ref), I get to watch amazing things happen, and I get to call people out on their shit.

As with playing, there is also a bit of a code regarding appropriate force in officiating. What I primarily look for is safety, and cleanliness of play. Level of play also determines strictness.

Some things are a bit subjective, but the things that are highly egregious must be addressed. I aspire to put the same energy and work into being a good official as I did to become a good skater. This was not the direction that I had planned for myself; it’s just another way of life reminding me that life happens when you’re making other plans. There is truly a bigger picture here. I feel relieved and excited about the vast road ahead 🙂

There’s still plenty that I can do with my body, & I choose to do healthy things with it, and listen to my heart instead of my ego.

There’s so much love in my heart for the sport, and the amazing people that are in this community. We are an immensely interesting assemblage of geeks, nerds, outcasts, beautiful people, tall, thin, short, full-framed, strong, fit, young, and life experienced. We come from a variety of professions, backgrounds, socioeconomic statuses, levels of skating experience, & a multitude of other things.

I love these people, and I want to keep them safe.

I want to train them.

I want to learn from the best.

I want to build this sport up to the level it’s capable of, and I can do that and SO much more now without the obsessive focus on being an exceptional skater. I can be an exceptional member of the community.

By opening my mind, eyes and heart, I allow myself to be guided by intuition, instead of by desire and ego. I can just flow along to where I’m being led to go without so much resistance.

So be it a new chapter, book, whatever metaphor, this is a huge step forward in my life. I’m seeing myself becoming less bound by specific definition of what it is exactly that I am. Why would I want to marginalize all that I am? I do a LOT.

I am even more excited about RollerCon now ❤ Now, I can just go and officiate as much as my heart desires, go to as many clinics as I want to, and just watch a lot of derby and be around thousands of skaters from around the world.

Okay!

In the morning, I teach again at 6am and have a full day until I teach again at 5pm, and then I take Christy's class at 630. BUTI BUTI BUTI!

OH. And I am teaching a 26 postures class. Adventure! Newness!

How else would we grow if not encountered with challenging situations?

This is what I do 😀

Clever titles go here when my brain works :-P

accident, balance, fat loss, fitness, healing, health, healthy lifestyle, inspiration, inspire, life, life coaching, mindfulness, motivation, peace, recovery, reflection, roller skating, skating, sports, strength, therapy, weight loss, wellness, yoga

Such an amazing day, and worth the tired, stinky, hungry, sweaty puddle I turned into 😛

Let’s start with the challenge!  Today is day 13 of 30!

image

Gahhhh!!! ❤ Epic wins today! Skaters from the challenge meeting one another (how ominous is that?!), and celebrations galore, with a school graduation and Fresh Meat grads! These skaters are remarkable  ❤

Today I started the day with love, joy and excitement in my heart, because I knew I'd be coming back to practice at Kula today! Last night Kim invited us to her class at Kula and I knew I had to go 🙂  Got to Kula super early so I could get in skate time in the parking lot (which I've been wanting to do for over a year!) and get my mat down early because I knew Kim's class would be full. Had a gorgeous skate and felt SUPER stoked for class! I hadn't been to Kula since January!

Kula is my very first yoga love. All my loves stay with me in my heart, but that first always holds a very, very special place ❤ It felt so wonderful to see so many folks I've missed. And it's their first day of teacher training! Great energy there today ❤ So much love 🙂

I also noticed something particularly interesting. Though I know I've made progress in the physical aspect of my yoga practice, it's truly what has happened to me on the inside that is the most significant. I've pretty much come to accept that whatever happens happens as far as progress, & I don't really put too many expectation on myself. What I discovered this morning is how I feel in difficult moments in my practice. In the past, when I would get very frustrated, I would certainly express it. I'd react with an exasperated sigh, a shake of the head, sobbing, or several times I would get angry and curse out loud. There have also been panic attacks.

I still get wrapped up in my head, but the reactions are vastly different now. There are smiles, hell I even laugh about it sometimes! And every now and then, I'l cry, or start to feel panicky. But thank God, it subsides.

There have been moments of…peace.

Contentment. Acceptance. Self-love. Self-compassion.

The kind of stuff I hear about, read about, see in the practices of the students I teach.

It’s happening to me as well.

When I started teacher training, my objective was to learn to calm the demon. And though that demon still rides with me (and that's okay), it doesn't get to drive anymore.

It's been an emotionally and physically exhausting weekend, but just like with all training,  it is SO worth it.

Great things are happening, and I am allowing them to. I'm physically back to where I was before the accident, hell perhaps even more fit. I am shredding fat and gaining strength and muscle again. I feel firmer and leaner, and folks tell me they see it.

My body is shifting. My LIFE is shifting.

Brenda, my life coach, says we contract as we expand. 

I sure have not been on a linear path, so my healing echos that. Ups and downs. 

The great story, after all, is in the journey 🙂