On being real

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(Cross-posted from MindHeartSwole.com blog)

I think we can all save ourselves a little bit of time, frustration, and future regrets by first admitting that we all are, at least a little bit, full of shit sometimes.

It isn’t until we’ve transformed into something truly beautiful that we really can appreciate how things are, instead of how they should be.

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This quote was gifted to me by a friend who is an astounding woman, truly beautiful in every sense from the inside out. She’s a warrior, a survivor, a kind-hearted soul who heals people’s bodies and she’s an amazing listener. I personally had never read this quote before and when I did, it brought me to tears. It’s now something that I read daily and take it to heart.

There’s another amazing soul that I know who has this incredibly beautiful scar on her arm, and though I’ve never asked what exactly it is, I’m thinking it’s a skin graft. I know bits and pieces of her story, and admire her beautiful stories every time she speaks. Sometimes I feel like she’s speaking to call me out on my shit, and that’s very likely just me projecting my insecurities, catching myself when I need to check up.

Today is day 65 in my sobriety; technically day 66 now that it’s past 9:00PM EST.

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Many times I feel like rock star sober girl, like I’ve got this shit down pat and there ain’t ever turning back. There is zero desire in my waking life to use, despite what’s happening in my dreams. The thought of drinking again makes my stomach turn, and I can’t even imagine using drugs again. The very thought makes me want to jump out of my skin and run like hell. I want to keep living clean and sober, I want this to be a lifelong commitment, and just for today, I’m taking it one day at a time, as it should be.

However…there are challenges every moment. Every fucking moment. I don’t drink, I don’t use drugs, I’m practicing abstinence, I work out every day and do restorative yoga on my rest days…and yet I still have my vices. I still obsess.

I still eat crap food sometimes. I still eat too much sometimes. I still take things personally. I still struggle with self-acceptance.

After I finished writing 100 Reasons To Lose 100 Pounds, I expected this big cloud to move over and then ta-da! Back to where I was…and that’s just not the case.

When I hit my goal, I let go for a while and then grew, and when I was at my goal, I felt maybe a bit too thin for my shape and for my personal liking. I then got to a place that I felt more comfortable, and then when I saw the videos from my goal size, I went back to wishing I was that small again.

Today I was feeling lonely. I had made plans with a friend to hang out yesterday and we never connected. I texted my sponsor and didn’t hear back. I went to a meeting at 10AM and didn’t get to share, and when I went to a noon meeting, I cried my eyes out and felt terrible. When I came home, I didn’t want to do shit but sulk and eat, but instead I geared up and got 6 miles in on my skates. The whole time I was obsessing about Doritos. I finally got the damn Doritos, ate half the bag (it was a serving size of 3 and I threw the second half away), and then went into the backyard to cut the rest of the firewood and get the log pile cleaned up.

Today was a hard day to trust and surrender, and I know I *should* do it, but the punk bitch-ass fucker wanted to be a goddamn punk. There were many moments that I stayed on the right track, but my mind just wasn’t in a good place. I didn’t want to talk to my sponsor (we texted each other a few times, it was good hearing back from her but like my prayers and conversations with God, I was withdrawn). I went to another meeting at 5 and shared again, and afterward I was given this advice:

“If you want to know who your true friends are, see who sticks around after you’ve 1) Declared bankruptcy, 2) Come out and 3) Come out about being HIV positive.”

Miracles happen, and just as this man waited for me to come out of the clubhouse to give me this advice, I think God’s waiting on me to just shut my mind off of what I think should happen and how He’s planning it to happen. He’s saved me WAY too many times to give up on me now. It’s up to me to believe in myself. As the saying goes, when the student is ready, the Master will appear. My Master is always ready;  I have to do the listening.

I’m impatient. I’m afraid. I’m dealing with ignorance.

Being real means allowing all of these things, to be perfectly imperfect, with no comparison or judgment, and just be completely authentically me.

A friend of mine keeps recommending that I listen to Grant Cardone‘s podcasts, and while I like his ethic and how hard he works, he’s aggressively arrogant. Like so many “rich” white guys who are VERY well off, he puts others down, calls people “pussies” and claims how he wants to punch certain politicians in the face.

I want to do better than that.

YES, there IS a way to be a bad ass success story without being a thundercock.

And dammit, I’m going to show people how it’s done.

As I said in the meeting, I think God’s preparing me now, in this time of uncertainty, to keep my shit together so when I get everything that I want – a clean slate, a fresh start, the car I want, property, a farm, fospice care and an animal sanctuary, facilities where I can host retreats for special-abled people, trauma victims, re-entering citizens post-incarceration, recovering addicts, burn victors, abuse victors, yogis and high-risk youth and the means to run these programs successfully – I can find peace when things are going extraordinarily well.

For those of us who have never been wealthy, the idea seems appealing, and for a while, it surely is a dream come true. However, there’s a reason why most lottery winners end up as broke as they were before they won the jackpot – piss-poor habits. A bank account says nothing about a person’s habits; our actions, our lifestyles reveal everything.

When I was making a great living as a 20-something year old airline manager, I pissed it away. Well, drank and ate a lot of it, so pissed and shat it away. I was working 100+ hour weeks and didn’t have the appreciation for my salary. Then, I moved back to Florida and got a great job that paid much less, and still it covered my expenses. It was a good career and it ran its course, and now I’m ready for work that is my purpose, to make what I’m really worth, and on my own terms.

My dream is to have trustworthy, dependable, reliable staff, to treat them well and pay them fairly, and to do something great and fill a MUCH-needed void in the community.

I thought health management, weight loss, and nutritional education was the ticket, and that’s still a pressing need.

The bigger picture is addiction.

I’m still rather new at this, and I have every intention and the burning desire to stay clean and sober, no matter what. When I set my mind to do something, I do it. Especially if the odds are looking unfavorably.

Those are MY kinds of odds.

I am an outlier.

I am an unlikely success story.

I am Smash, and it is my purpose to rise, to stand tall, to encourage, inspire, and to move people to right action. It is my job to blow sunshine up people’s asses, to wake people up, to shake them out of destructive thinking, to get them to reach their highest potentials.

It’s what I do; it’s my story. I’ve had a lot of help along the way, but ultimately, I’ve always been on my own. This is how it is for now.

I do want to share my love and my life with a special woman and make her my wife, and though that is part of my future, right now I’ve got to become the woman that *I* want to spend the rest of my life with. She’ll find me. The best things always do.

Right now, I’ve got work to do.

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Beautiful Flaws

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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 🙂

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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.

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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  ❤

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Cup don’t fit,  don’t give a shit 🙂

30 Days of skating – DAY 30!

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WE DID IT!!!

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It’s pretty EPIC AND AMAZING that 30 days ago we started with 1200 skaters from around the world with one objective – lace up our skates every day. So many of us had to settle for wearing skates around the house and do chores, study or just lounge around if we had no time to actually skate.

I saw some VERY impressive mileage times, several of them surpassing my own times. KUDOS! ❤ These speed skaters are top notch!

ALL these skaters are!

That is what this has been ALL about.

I wanted to build people up.  I wanted to train hard in June so I could play derby again.

But I got so much more out of it.

Meeting, speaking with, helping, and encouraging these folks was just as good for me as it was for them ❤

I get to meet a ton of them on my road trip. I leave two weeks from Sunday. OMG.

There is so much to do but I am SO ready to get things going.  It can be scary, but it is so worth it. So, so worth it. 

GOT SHIRTS TODAY 😀

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The timing has all been God's work. This has all been an experience in living from the heart's guidance 🙂

28, going great!

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Almost through our 30 Days of Skating challenge!  28 days strong!

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This challenge was SUCH a great thing to be a part of, and as I sit here in ny skates,  I’m looking at this and marveling at how amazing things work out.

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We got our certificates today, celebrated, and got all share-time and said how much we love each other and how much this group and this experience have enriched our lives. A bunch of folks told me that I grew the most and made the most change.

I had this moment in this morning’s practice where I realized how God answered a prayer of mine. I asked Him to help me always see His light in me.

These people were that answer. 

It’s happened.

We find these things in a search, not by doing the same thing the same way and always getting the same result.

The unknown is where the brave venture into. We learn that bravery means recognizing fear, and going onward anyway.

Derby healed and broke me in so many ways, and it’s all been useful and beneficial. 

Yoga has only done good for me. Even the “bad” parts served me well.

The timing is so serendipitous that it’s almost laughable.  Skating made this month and this unknown ahead all the more exciting, and instead of bracing myself with fear, I am opening my heart and pockets for ALL GOOD things and  ONLY good things to find their way to me.

The flower doesn’t dream of the bee, it blossoms and the bee comes.

Lacey wrote that in a journal she gave me, and it perfectly sums up the mindset I want to keep as I press on.

I feel good ❤

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

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

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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. 

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100 pounds lost in the journey.

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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 😀

Yer ass belongs to ME!

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NEW MUSE NEW MUSE NEW MUSE

I get a bit excited when my favorite band…well whenever they do anything,  but especially when they make MOAR MUSIC!

I am loving their seventh album, Drones ❤

Today in Cardioga, the entire playlist was Muse 😀

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It was a great workout, and the class did spectacularly!  They are growing so much, and developing and teaching the classes has done WONDERS for my fitness 🙂

Today is also day 18 of the 30 Days of Skating challenge!

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I am so excited to meet a whole bunch of these skaters next month at RollerCon!!!!

Tomorrow I hope to get in an outdoor skate, Saturday is the next Sintral bout and I’m reffing, and then Sunday is a skate event in Jacksonville! 

12 more days in the challenge,  and I’d like to continue lacing my skates on every day. I also want to custom build a set,  but that will be another post altogether 🙂

Loves of my life

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Today is day 17 of the 30 Days of Skating challenge!

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STOKED EXCITEDNESSSSSS ❤

I made some interesting phone calls today and…good seeds have been planted 😀

Today I got an early start,  and taught yoga at YogaStudio8 in Palm Coast at 7am and 9am. Met some new people, praticed with familiar folks, and got to goof around afterwards on my skates 😀

Later on I taught my regular Wednesday class, and took a friend's class on the river. Yoga all damn day, and HAPPY to do it! Great day, and I needed it 🙂

I also caught myself checking out my reflection when I was tidying up after one of the classes…

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I’ve been through ups and downs,  which is all part of the process with managing a lifestyle adjustment.

This is the upswing.

Great things are happening. 

I’m leaner, faster, and getting more cut, I feel more calm in my mind, and my heart is lighter. 

This is the next chapter.

There’s no starting over, no new beginnings, time race is on
just gotta keep on keepin on
Got to keep on going, looking straight out on the road
Can’t worry about what’s behind you or what’s coming for you further up the road
Silver Lining by First Aid Kit