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.

Epic Voyage: Part III – Almost getting arrested at national parks

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

These last two posts have been building up for several weeks, and I think a part of my reluctance is that it feels as if writing about it makes it “over.”

While I admit that I was VERY reluctant to head back home (I fell in love with Colorado and almost moved there), once I actually woke up in the last hotel I stayed in, I finally felt ready to go back.

This #EpicVoyage, after all, is very much like Santiago’s tale in The Alchemist, my favorite book. And, just like Santiago, I had quite the existential experience ❤

So, let’s start where we left off – LAS VEGAS!

One of the last skaters I got to hang out with shared with me how surprised she was at how fucking crazy some moments were at RollerCon, particularly how goddamn girl crazy I was.

Shit, 6000 skaters from around the world, let’s say at least half of them women (we know that it’s probably more disproportionate, but let’s just pretend…), and as statistics go, at least 10% of them are gay. That means that I was surrounded by at least 300 lesbians for a week, all skaters and skate-related, and athletes.

It was a buffet of hotness and I felt like a fat kid on cheat day.

HOWEVER!

It’s about habits, and what we ultimately DO.

My friend said, “I was surprised how out of your mind you were about (women) after all that meditation and yoga you’d been doing.”

I explained to her that while the thoughts are there, the behaviors are what matters. Sure, I was girl-crazy. I flirted, hung out with, danced with and spoke to a lot of women. A lot more than I had in the past three years. THREE YEARS! And in that time, with all the sleep deprivation, food (OMG all the food), temptation, derby, dancing and LOTS of influences, I still kept my honor intact and didn’t sleep with anyone.

Er…by “sleep with” I mean provide a thorough, high-quality, passionate fucking, provided by yours truly 🙂

So, I didn’t do that. I didn’t do it with women interested in me, nor the ones that I was interested in. I just had fun and put the flirt out there. I didn’t know what I was doing at the time; I was just putting it out there, letting the universe know that I was ready to have fun, but on my terms. It had to be with someone that I care about a good deal, someone I have a connection with, and someone I respect and KNOW will appreciate it.

After all, I’m a giver when it comes to this.

And we’ll get to that later on, but in the meantime, still in Vegas!

That last morning I was in Vegas was on a Tuesday, and that day before a bunch of friends went to the Grand Canyon and I was peeved that I didn’t get to go. I was solo my last day and thought it’d be cool to do a group thing…even though I pretty much did group stuff all week.

It was good because this last part of the road trip was all me. Miriam flew back to Miami that morning, and I had the rest of the journey on my own to do exactly what my heart told me to do.

My brain said go to California, so I can do the “OH I went from coast to coast” and serve my ego.

My heart said to do something I’ve never done, and I felt moved to go to the Grand Canyon. I’d never been; I’ve driven up and down the California coastline and I LOVE it, but it’s route and I’ve done it already.

Interestingly enough, I saw this sign at the Westgate after I dropped Dee off, and I have no idea if it was there all week, but I noticed when I needed to and it sealed my conviction that the Grand Canyon was the way to go.

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The epic sign I saw the last night I was in Vegas

My day started early again that Tuesday morning, and while I was still wrestling a bit with the California or Grand Canyon conundrum, I followed my stomach first and ran into a few lovely Florida skaters and had breakfast with a few before they left and we got this shot ❤

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Some of Florida’s finest and classiest ladies ❤ Mel, Brawl, me, Jax and Jam(s-her-ass-off) 😛

Before picking up my car, I ran into this British belle who was sporting both a skate shirt like me, but also HALLOWS LIKE ME ❤

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HALLOWS AND SKATING. Nerdgasm! I love that her shirt says “Skate don’t hate” and mine says #8WheelsOneLove ❤ Same message!

Once I finally stopped taking pictures with people, I took a few selfies and hit the road!

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Leaving the Westgate 🙂

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Keep it classy, Las Vegas ❤

Once I resolved to finally leave (admittedly it’s hard; I mean I once again had the time of my life and was still basking in RollerCon joy as well as the remnant Vegas sparkle imprinted on my mind), I made the short drive out to the Hoover Dam and thus continued my skating adventures on the road ❤

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Damn dat dam doe!

I also got lots of video skating around here, but in all candor I’m a bit overwhelmed with video content and that I will certainly need help with! So excited to go through that stuff as well and fine-tune it 😀 Ideally I’ll have a video journey to follow-up with as well. I recorded some immensely awesome stuff and SUPER inspirational messages!

After the Hoover Dam, I checked the route, my time, and realized I’d do pretty well as far as time goes and hit my goal of reaching the Grand Canyon in time for sunset. I got there with plenty of time to spare, and thankfully it was after 5:00PM, so security was a bit more lax about me skating around the trails, the rim, and…well they didn’t see me take these, so no harm, no foul (or, as we say in derby, no impact, no penalty :P)

Though there was no lodging available, I was ass-tired and did NOT have it in me to drive to the North Rim, and the park is open 24 hours, so no matter what, I was staying there and with no risk of getting kicked out.

I relaxed, put on my skates, and took some pretty cool pictures.

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I ate shit on one of the turns on the trail and scraped up my FRESH TATTOO. That I got TEN HOURS before this stop. And, of course, fell on a spot I’ve never fell on before, right on the toe of the skate. So, appropriately so, it’s the toe that’s scuffed because there’s no toe guard on the skate in the tattoo 😛

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Be bold and do epic shit.

So now I have a tattoo that says SMASH that has a scuff on it from SMASHING my damn leg, ON THE SAME LEG as the tattoo of the Deathly Hallows with Harry’s scar. I broke that ankle a few years after getting the tattoo, and now I have a surgical scar running through it.

Next to the tattoo of Harry’s scar.

So I have a scar next to a scar.

It’s like I gave the universe a fucking bulls-eye. “RIGHT THERE, MOTHERFUCKER, RIGHT THERE.”

Hey I can laugh about it 🙂

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This is the picture that terrified all the moms on my Facebook feed.

😀

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This one gives me so many happy feels. SO many. I was so scared to take my skates out there with me, and seriously I did consider if this was the last damn thing I did, is this how I want to go out?

FUCK YEAH IT IS! WHY NOT?!

It’d make a hell of a story!

I spent that evening skating the trails, exploring the South Rim from the main visitor’s area, watching the sun set and the moon rise (kinda made it hard to skate back and ultimately find my car…got lost for an hour, in the dark, on skates :P), and observing the vastness of it all and the silence it commanded. No music, no talking, just witnessing and being humbled by the majesty of nature’s creation.

Here I felt the surge of inspiration rush through me again, as I contemplated the strength and persistence of the Colorado River as it pushed on through mountains and rocks to create this beautiful masterpiece. This was created as a cooperative endeavor, not a competitive one. The river *IS*. The rock *IS*. Together, they created this. Together. In harmony. They simultaneously exist as beautiful, whole, and magnificent in their glory. That tiny river caused all this.

That’s some profoundly inspirational stuff right there!

After I eventually found my car, I looked around for a place to park so I could get some sleep. Once I had a good spot, I moved over to the passenger’s side, lounged back, and got the most sleep thus far of the trip.

Shit I’ve been homeless before; at least here I knew I was allowed to be here, and as far as scenery goes, I could do much worse!

That next morning I geared up again and hit the trail for more shots…or so I hoped!

I almost got arrested, so I took off my skates and gear and did the pedestrian, legal thing for a bit before I went into #YogaEveryDamnDay mode 🙂

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Not too shabby for a woman with a justifiable heights aversion 😀

I had ZERO phone reception, so researching stuff online wasn’t going to be an option. Though I had an idea how to get to California (uuuhhh…head WEST?!), I didn’t quite know how I wanted to do it, or if I even wanted to do it in the first place.

After wandering a bit, my heart said to go to the visitor’s center and look around. I got some GREAT information for the next visit in which I plan to hike, camp, and do more epic shit. Thankfully I wandered and explored for a bit more, because I heard a family say “Four Corners” in passing, and when I went inside, I heard “Four Corners” again. Since I had no map or clue how to get there, I went inside to see if I could buy a map.

A lovely park ranger gave me one ❤ We chatted for a bit and she asked what brought me here, so I told her about RollerCon and the road trip, and she was SO cool and hooked me up with maps and helpful tips! 😀 😀 😀

So yay for not getting arrested AND for getting help 🙂

It took me a few hours to get out of the park and toward Four Corners, because the sights were just too perfect to pass up. I stopped every few miles until I hit the rim at the desert view.

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Eventually I hit the edge, and then that was the end of my visit to the Grand Canyon. Knowing I’d be back again, I felt ready to say so long for now and head out to the Four Corners.

What’s pretty fucking spectacular about this is I had no idea how I would get to California and still hit all the stops I wanted to in the middle part of the country, which I’d never been to. Doing the math, it added almost 2000 more miles, just to go to California and then come pretty much back the way I came.

BORING.

When I made a dream list of places to hit on this Epic Voyage, Colorado was at the very top of the list, right under Las Vegas. I had some shit to sort out there in my head, to get rid of old stuff and create space for new stuff. Plus I had relevant interests there…so, Colorado is where I intended to stay, once I headed out to Four Corners.

I MET THESE GOATS ON THE WAY.

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GOATS! LOTS! It was a *SCREEEEECH! car whips around* moment.

After the goats, I drove to Four Corners, and got there 30 minutes after close 😛 Oops!

Oh well, guess I gotta stay in Colorado! I stayed in Cortez for the night, where for the first time in DAYS I had cell reception and uploaded those epic Grand Canyon shots and scared every single mother that I am Facebook friends with 😛

I spent the night in Cortez and while having breakfast, a woman came up to me and remarked how concerned she was for my skin color. Reasonably so – my Irish ass was in the desert sun for the better part of the day prior, and even with my Florida base tan, that desert sun doesn’t play around!!

I put on my Deadpool t-shirt, Captain America leggings, lathered on the sunscreen and hit Four Corners for realies this time!

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Skates were NOT appreciated, so I took them off and decided to do a Wheel instead of some skater stuff on the Four Corners.

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Wheel pose, because a Bridge is nice, but this shit is fancy, yo.

I met people there visiting also from Florida, and when they told me they’re from West Palm Beach, I told them to check out Dub City Derby Girls!

After I got my picture, I decided to explore Colorado some more, and I drove out to my next destination: Colorado Springs!

The tale of the Epic Voyage continues in the finale… 🙂

Epic Voyage: Part II – VEGAS! Cuz ROLLERCON!

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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.

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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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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 🙂

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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 ❤

Mondays have become my favorite

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…hear me out on this Monday thing.

I love beginnings. Sunrise is to me the greatest thing to behold visually, and the feeling it evokes is splendid 😀

This week I am teaching three 6am yoga classes as well as Cardioga. I love teaching the super early class. These people got shit to do, and they are ready to go.  At 6am 🙂 I’m cool with it because I did 5:30am yoga every weekday for two months before I started teacher training.

SO!

I had a great conversation with Kat, who runs Flat Mat Yoga. Super stoked to talk more about that, and to see her in Vegas in a few weeks!

AH MAH GAH 😀

Today I planned more of my road trip out and coordinated more details with my Vegas roommates…this is happening!

Speaking of skating, we’re 29 days in for the 30 Days of Skating challenge!

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I cannot wait to travel the country and meet these people ❤

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 ❤

There is only now…and now is awesome :)

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Today we completed yoga teacher training with a group practice and some fun picture-taking ❤

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It has been a profound experience for us all, to say the least. We’ve been broken wide open and made space for something incredible, challenging, and evolutionary. 

We came in as seeds and became beautiful trees In today’s practice, I was physically and emotionally reminded how much hip, hamstring, and glute work we’ve been doing,  and as anger started to rise up again for the fourth practice in a row, I made a choice.

I decided to do what a right-minded yogi would do. If it fucking hurts, then back the fuck off!

Soooo yogic 😛

Free will is our greatest gift and power, so if my
body, albeit strong and capable,  tells me to modify, come out, or go deeper and breathe, then I listen to my body. I listen to my body, and not my ego.

“But don’t yoga teachers do all those crazy poses?”

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No. We teach yoga.

The crazy pose is the one that breaks our body and destroys our practice.  Whether I am happy or angry, the practice is the practice.  The difference is ME.

I am.

It is what it is.

Life
is what it is.

Brenda read this to me the morning before my first teacher training, and I again heard it *at* the first teacher training:

Good Luck Bad Luck!

There is a Chinese story of a farmer who used an old horse to till his fields. One day, the horse escaped into the hills and when the farmer’s neighbors sympathized with the old man over his bad luck, the farmer replied, “Bad luck? Good luck? Who knows?” A week later, the horse returned with a herd of horses from the hills and this time the neighbors congratulated the farmer on his good luck. His reply was, “Good luck? Bad luck? Who knows?”

Then, when the farmer’s son was attempting to tame one of the wild horses, he fell off its back and broke his leg. Everyone thought this very bad luck. Not the farmer, whose only reaction was, “Bad luck? Good luck? Who knows?”

Some weeks later, the army marched into the village and conscripted every able-bodied youth they found there. When they saw the farmer’s son with his broken leg, they let him off. Now was that good luck or bad luck?

Who knows?




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Whatever happens ahead happens as it needs to, and should. How *I* press on is where it’s at.

My practice has progressed, my teaching style is authentic, and most of all, my heart is open to myself. To all that I am.

So, this pain in my ass is a lesson. It reminds me that I always have room to grow,  and now I welcome it.

Right before joining Blue Moon, I was finishing a challenge at Kula and finally saw my green chakra while in Frog pose. Today, in the green room at Blue Moon, my knees and hips said that both Pigeon and the reclined modification were not happening.

So, I took Frog.

Yep 🙂

And I held it while they did a good long Pigeon on both sides. My leggings weren’t gripping the mat and towel too great, so my legs kept spreading wider, and it was kind of amazing. If it hurt, I’d lift up a bit, let the new feeling set in, and then come back down and go deeper. When I came out, yep it was hard, but I felt empowered,  wide open, and so fucking relieved.

I made my practice MINE.

I felt like that set a much better example as a teacher and yogi than going to a bad and dark place.

Finding that place where strength meets compassion

There is always a new beginning and chance to start again.  Really,  there isn’t a beginning or end, there is now.

And now is awesome 😀

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To bear the light, one must endure the burning

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27 days in, our 30 Days of Skating challenge is nearing the close!

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This isn’t the end; the plan all along was to encourage and establish a habit to find opportunities to get any time on skates in any way possible!

I skated after we finished taking our finals for yoga teacher training. Sore, emotionally and physically worn out, I took it easy for the start and just rolled around, and when I felt like it (errr like when cars were coming), I sped up. It was just a casual, no expectations skate 🙂

Oi and kinda failed this photobomb, but we passed our tests!!

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Our graduating class ❤

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Photo credit Greg Hunter

My guru and I after lots of tears and hugs ❤

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In the past six months, my life has been systematically disseminated and broken apart bit by bit. While this initially appeared to be a loss (which caused suffering), it took time to heal that fresh wound and for me to see with clear eyes how many opportunities will present themselves. After all, I start every day with a clean slate and a prayer of surrender and gratitude. What better place to start from? 😀

Wounds take time to heal, and even when they do, both physical and the mental scars remain. We are forever changed by what happens in our lives,  and often too late do we realize how much more we could have done, “if only.”

“If only I had more money.”
“If only I were pretty.”
“If only I were straight.”
“If only I were more honest with myself.”

Next week I finish my final volunteer training with Hospice, and then I can volunteer in a variety of ways. I plan to start in the kitchen, because one of the best ways to give people love is through good food.

When we were asked what got us interested in Hospice and working with them, I shared with them that everybody deserve second chances, and the times in which we are scared and alone are the most important to know that somebody cares.

Too often, hindsight is impeccable. “If only.”

There is now. Only now.

I want to share stories of empowerment, faith, persistence, success, honor, hope, and inspiration. I have *plenty* of them, and as I continue to learn and grow, so shall my experiences and my stories 🙂

Great stories come from overcoming challenges, and the harder the challenge,  the better the story.

To bear the light, one must endure the burning.

Shining on, brighter and brighter ❤

I feel light and free…now. My body aches and my head hurts, but the hard part is over. My hips got so damn open (OWE.) and I cried bunches, and then it got better.

It always gets better.

The Light endures all ❤

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. – John 1:5