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 😉

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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 😉

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:

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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 😀

Yin, Yang, Love, and Skate

balance, fitness, florida, health, healthy lifestyle, inspiration, inspire, lesbian, life, mindfulness, motivation, peace, recovery, roller derby, roller skating, skating, strength, weight loss, wellness, yoga

It’s Day 4 of the 30 Days of Skating challenge, and the group is giving it hell! The pictures, stories, and so much variety is a beautiful thing to see and to be a part of ❤

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This weekend, I will be reffing Sintral at Molly, which is sure to be a great bout 🙂 Tonight I went to Sintral’s practice, and we finished with endurance.  YAY!

Before skating, I taught the high intensity intervals class at Blue Moon, and was excited the WHOLE day to give them this workout! The playlist was sick,  and I added some new songs…discovering new music also inspires new movements, and we did some pretty crazy awesome stuff tonight 🙂 Tonight’s workout was another one that I felt super duper happy about, and tonight’s class killed it. So, so happy to teach!

I took Jessica’s class this morning and felt so positive and connected in savasana. But then…

…what had happened was…

I felt this immense love for people who have stood up, brave and strong, with class and honor, against oppression. Then, as I felt this love and connection,  this wave of emotion hit me so heavily that just thinking about it now makes my chest tighten.

I felt the burden of the weights that create strength. To see it is to own it. I own strength like a boss because I’ve worked for it myself.

However, my life is pushing me toward finesse, softer things, more…femme stuff.

Balance…a Libra’s favorite 🙂

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So, today’s lesson was in appreciating and owning ALL the aspects – femme, butch, yin, yang, love, and SKATE ❤

Find the place where strength meets compassion

balance, choices, fitness, health, healthy lifestyle, inspiration, life, motivation, roller derby, roller skating, skating, strength, weight loss

Today is Wednesday, which is usually the day in the week that my body is feeling the intensity of my training sessions the most. I do either cardio or weights on Mondays, followed by a power yoga practice with my guru, and on Tuesday I practice Yoga in the morning, prepare to teach class, teach class, and then I take Buti yoga. So, by Wednesday, I’m feeling strong, but tired. Today we had BodyPump, and later on I taught yoga and skated after.

Reaching my goal initially was one thing, sustaining it was an important process in learning how to continue those habits, and not fall into bad habits. I started finding a rhythm again, and then I had an injury. Any time we experience an injury, particularly athletes, what’s going on in your head is a story of doomsday, fear, and taking everything the doctor says to heart. So, I was feeling pretty down, and to be quite frank, there were moments of despair. Anytime one hears permanence, fears do all kinds of things with our brains. I was afraid of losing the ability to stay fit, which ironically impacted my body. By being afraid of decreasing my fitness level, I wasn’t working out as much. By being afraid of how an injury would impact my body, I allowed it to and I gained fat.

What we resist persists.

I resisted weight gain, and it persisted on me.

The deep existential lesson I’ve gotten from my experiences this year is that I can still be kick ass, but also find and allow compassion for myself.

Setbacks are part of the growing process. We learn that in our coaching. And just as we learn the habits to overcome obstacles, we learn again what it takes to get by if the lesson didn’t really stick the first time. Sometimes, the lesson has to be learned multiple times.

I’ve lost a hundred pounds twice. The first time I lost a hundred pounds, I had an injury and went through a horrifying ordeal, and during all that chaos, I gained about 70 pounds. Several years later when I was ready again, I lost the 70 that I gained, plus another 30. After hitting my goal, I settled for a moment, put on a little bit of fat from victory meals and especially enjoying Las Vegas for a full week, and then struggled to find consistency.

During the 30 days of skating challenge, I hope to inspire people to be their best, and do the best they can with what they have. There’s a lesson in that for me as well. As leader, not only do I have to show strength, but I also have to emphasize the importance of balance and rest.

When it was my turn to lead a yoga practice this training this weekend, I addressed the group and told them to continue to work to their edge, but also realize that we’ve been working very hard. Though it is important to continually grow, it’s equally important to know when the ego is pushing the body past growth and toward danger. I then said something to them that I tell the students in my high intensity interval class.

Find the place where strength meets compassion.

The athletes in my high intensity class are exactly that. They are high intensity. Is a highly aggressive workout, and as an instructor, I have to pay particularly close attention to ensure proper form, to make sure that they are getting a good workout, but also that they are not overdoing it. I remind them that doing exercises properly and at their own particular level ensures that they can do it over and over again. It only takes one bad movement for the ego to take over, and impacts our body and our ability to do the things we love.

Strength is not only physical, it’s also the mental fortitude to realize that we are human, we are flawed, and our best today will vary from yesterday and tomorrow. We are always great, we are always exceptional, we always carry an amazing potential within us.

“You are as good as your greatest day even if you have not had it yet.” – Kenyan runner’s phrase

Last week I had dinner with a friend that was visiting from out of town, and while talking about the classes we teach, we discussed how fitness, just like food, can be used excessively. She then said something that stuck in my mind profoundly. She said fitness is not a punishment, it is a reward.

This is yet another reminder that what we do is important, and how we do it is equally as important. Is good and well to eat healthy, but still having excessive tendencies means excess calories will be consumed, which leads to fat gain. Also, what it takes to burn excessive calories takes way more time and effort then consuming those calories. So, with balance, comes smart eating, and smart exercise.

Conversely, excessive exercise without adequate nutrition leads to depletion and is detrimental to our bodies externally, internally, and messes with our minds.

The takeaway here is to find balance. Even bigger – and much deeper – is accepting what is without continually obsessing about changing it. Again, what we resist persists.

Let it go. Whatever it is we don’t want to be, we can choose to avoid by focusing on what we DO want to be.

By focusing on being OUR best – not THE best, not better than so-and-so, not comparing to others – we are able to unleash our greatest selves to express our true genius. OUR genius. No one else’s.

So, be brilliant. No option 😉

Onto the 30 Days of Skating challenge!

We’re 1200 people and 3 days in, and today was another day of ass-kicking skater goodness! It’s remarkable to see people rally together and share the joy of skating! Some of us are feeling the extra work, and with any sport, we’ve also experienced a few injuries. The group’s been amazingly supportive and every day is busy, fun, interesting, and another opportunity for us all to see that, despite our differences, we are truly in this together.

Tonight while reffing for Palm Coast Roller Derby, I was reminded yet again that I want to keep working on my plow stops and transitions. As an outside pack ref, I want to get super on my feet, because I have the endurance, and I can do even more once I get quicker with the fancier stuff. This month’s challenge is a great way for me to not only keep building on my endurance (to say I need more endurance is like saying I need more muscle…I love what I got, but I’m glad to have more :D), but to deal with nagging annoyances I’ve been pushing aside because I’ve been reffing and not playing derby.

Day 3 rocked, and it’s a joy and a blessing to be a part of this challenge, and a particularly humbling honor to lead and witness the worldwide participation.

Skate life…so much love ❤

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