On being real

body and swole, choices, fitness, florida, gay, healing, health, healthy lifestyle, inspiration, inspire, lesbian, LGBT, life, mindfulness, motivation, peace, recovery, reflection, roller skating, rollerskating, skating, strength, therapy, weight loss, wellness, women, yoga

(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 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.

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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.

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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.

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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 🙂

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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 ❤

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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 ❤

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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…

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…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.

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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.

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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!

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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 ❤

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I’m in Daytona, Bitch!!!

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

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

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

This is a happy tale!

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

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

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

It needed to.

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

There have also been some huge lessons learned after.

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

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

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

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

They just will 🙂

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

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

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

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

Here. Now. As I am.

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

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

Epic Journey: Part IV – Fabulous Finale

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

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

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

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

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

Epic. Fucking. Journey. Word, yo.

THATPIC

A real map. No pressure. Just an idea ❤

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

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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.

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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 ❤

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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 ❤

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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…

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…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.

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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.

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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!

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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 😉

The gift of choice, and the power of will

accident, fitness, healing, health, healthy lifestyle, inspiration, inspire, life, mindfulness, motivation, peace, recovery, roller skating, RollerCon, skating, strength, therapy, wellness, yoga

It’s already day 14 of the 30 Days of Skating challenge! The month is flying by, and RollerCon is nearing!!!

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These skaters ❤

It's a big deal for me to be a part of this,  not only to be strong and lead 1200+ people through an international challenge, but to be human, vulnerable, and authentic about my journey.

This morning, I had a setback. I woke up in massive pain, the worst since the accident. By the grace of God, I haven't taken any pain pills or muscle relaxers (though they were prescribed, I chose not to fill them), but today I thought about it.

However,  yesterday we had a foam roller workshop, which was aptly timed! I rolled out some of the junk in my back and had a bit of relief before our last training day of the weekend.

When Kim told us that injuries are our best teachers, she wasn't playing around.  This has humbled me, and even bigger, has taught me to accept things as they are. Even deeper…

…accepting myself as I am.

I am.

There is so much power in that.

“I am” is the shortest and most powerful sentence; it is complete by itself, and though simple, it is incredibly profound. 

Just like the sentence “I am” is complete, so am I.

I was told I said something deep and fitting at the end of class during savasana, and though I have no clue what words I used, I spoke about the power of I Am, and the gift of choice. That is our greatest power. 

Free will.

No one “makes” us do anything.  Sure, people can inspire us, but we are masters of our actions, owners of the thoughts that create our reality.

So, today I chose to fully accept myself, as I am. There may be things I want to change, but it ain’t gonna stick if I don’t accept and appreciate life NOW.

The present is all there is.  We only get moments.

So let’s make each and every single one count  ❤

How things are now are not how they will always be

health, inspiration, inspire, life, life coaching, mindfulness, motivation, nutrition, recovery, reflection, relax, roller derby, wellness

The past is unchangeable, the future is uncertain, and all we have is the present. I have to remind myself of this when I fall into feelings of despair and lose hope.

People keep asking when I can play again. “Can you jam for us next bout?” “When will you get cleared?” “Oh, I didn’t know that, you didn’t say anything.”

I haven’t been going into details about it, and I don’t fucking want to. People don’t ask how it’s going to see how I’m doing, they want to know specifics and timetables. There’s a reason I’m not talking about the details.

It’s fucking terrifying.

There are days that I feel like it’s any day now that I can play derby again. Then, there are days like today that I think maybe my body had enough of the contact and perhaps it’s time to take coaching and reffing more seriously. As I’ve been reminded, I have “so much to give, so much to share.” Yeah, yeah. I know. I’ve been part of this community for four seasons now and have always intended to play, especially to become a bad ass jammer. I had my moment of glory and then less than 12 hours after earning my last MVP jammer award, the accident happened.

It sucks ass that it happened. I mean, I’m not only physically jacked from it, but it’s been a huge mental challenge as well. I know that only work and time will help me manage it. I’m struggling with how to accept my limits and get over what I’ve wanted, and accept what I have.

Emotionally, I want to say “fuck that.” Objectively, I know I will thrive no matter what the circumstances, and that whomever tells me I have limits is sorely disappointed when I exceed their (and even my own) expectations.

I’m a warrior, and how are warriors forged? In battle.

This is a huge transitional time for me, and I’ve planted the seeds and am patiently nurturing them in order for them to all grow.

I’m exhausted. Technically, I’ve been on vacation for the past two weeks, and I’ve spent so much time and energy on taking steps to move forward. It’s inevitable; everything I’m doing is for a purpose and that will come to fruition precisely when it needs to.

Today I completed training through the American Academy of Sports Dietitians and Nutritionists, and I’m stoked and SO ready to take my certification exam and start working with folks. Once I got home, I started preparing meals for the week coming up; it’s going to be another busy one. This is how I’m spending my rest day, so I’m kicking back between stirs and washing dishes, listening to music, and planning my week.

Last night after I got out of training, I was thrilled that I was able to free up time and surprise my ladies of Sintral Florida Derby Demons and pop in for the second half of their season opener! Afterward I hung with a few of my buddies in the referee crew, and then went to the after party. For the first time EVER, instead of watch the dancing, I got right in there and STARTED the dance party ON THE TABLES 😀 😀 😀  The moment was wonderful and there were so many great people there to share it with, and I’m so grateful for this community. Though I miss actually playing, I’m thankful to still be involved in this world of ours.

So, who knows what my role will be. I know what I want to do, but this isn’t all about me. I know God has a bigger plan for me. Though I’m NOT happy the accident happened, I’m grateful for all the things I’ve learned in the process. Whatever happens, happens. This is just now. This doesn’t define what my future holds; this is only what is going on right now in this moment.

After all, it took me 30 years to finally come out of the closet, and look at me now, I’m a phenomenal lesbian 🙂 I’ve lost 100 pounds twice, and this second time, it’s staying off. I didn’t start speaking until I was three years old, and now I can’t shut my fuckin’ mouth. How things are now are not how they will always be.

So, though I have no idea what the future ultimately holds for me, I have hopes and goals, and as always, I will pursue them until I achieve them or until I come up with bigger goals. If it’s meant to be, it’ll find its way to me.

Who knows? Who knows if I’ll play again, or coach, or ref, or be a fan, or leave derby altogether (OMG MELODRAMA. Like THAT doesn’t exist in the derby world?!). But if I do coach, I know I’d be dynamite at it.

Derby never came easily to me, ever. I had trouble fitting in, I had trouble on my skates, I had trouble managing my anxiety, trouble minding my words, trouble accepting limitations placed on me…shit, the list can go on and on. This is great coaching fodder, and I LOVE helping people grow. I thought that would be my role as a teammate, and then my silly ass goes independent and unaffiliated. That was the biggest gift I’ve given myself thus far as a skater, and the smartest call I’ve made. Now I can go anywhere and skate, coach, and ref with whomever *I* choose.

It may take weeks, months, years, or may never happen, but I have a feeling, like a deep knowledge that was transmitted to me now from the future, that I will play again, when the time is right, and when my body and my brain are ready for it again. If it happens, great. If not, I’m happy to live under the delusion that it’s going to be a reality.

“Aren’t you afraid of getting your heart broken?”

Bitch, who you talking to? Do you even know me?

My heart’s been shattered many, many times. It has broken so far open that I’m ready for anything. My heart will continue to take the hits until it breaks so much that it becomes countless pieces, eventually breaking into pieces smaller and smaller that they become infinitesimal, part of EVERYTHING.

Isn’t that the point?

So, like several of the endeavors I’m putting the intention and work into, I’ll let it happen as it happens. I’ll do the work, I’ll keep working on personal development, and I’ll keep hoping and praying for my desired outcome. Going through this, as always, I know whatever happens is going be a blessing or a lesson, and there is only good to be reaped.

When I started this post, I had no idea how I was going to pay my gas bill. The gas was scheduled for disconnection tomorrow. Between the time I started this and as I write this now, the money came to me and I paid the bill.

Talk about putting the lessons into action!

I can’t think of a better way to end the post 🙂 I’m wearing a US Marines hat. Talk about always faithful ❤

The short version is this: I am unstoppable, and whatever happens, I am meant to thrive, and not just survive.

I am SO ready for my life to keep going in the direction I’ve been working my ass off for. We hear about these “overnight successes” and I’m sure my story will seemingly appear like that, but this has been ten years in the making, and ya know what? It’s about damn TIME.

Bullshit stories

healing, health, life, life coaching, meditation, mindfulness, peace, therapy, yoga

I have a habit of using the word bullshit a bit too much, so I’m working on cleaning it up. It’ll be great if I do, and if not, fuck it, ya know?

Realizing that the word I have such an affinity for really just means stories, I’ll use that word in its place.

How often do we go through our day, telling ourselves stories about what we can’t have, can’t do, can’t be, and so on?
Our brains spend so much time in the past, recalling and recreating unchangeable events. Then, there is a fixation on the future, and attachments form to specific outcomes.

So many people that I speak with who want something different to happen know what to do, but aren’t quite ready to make changes. For a long time, I kept trying to fix people. Now I’m learning to help them save themselves.

As for me, it’s taken a lot of adjusting,  and I’m getting into a groove 🙂 I realized that for now, I can only do what my body can do right now.  That doesn’t mean things won’t change,  and if they don’t, then I will keep on doing the best I can with what I’ve got!

Attitude is everything.  From the very beginning, what my intention when I started this was to share my experience and encourage people to create new habits in action and especially in mind. That’s the very source of it all. Our thoughts create everything.

I am witnessing how real and powerful my thoughts are, and that things are getting remarkably interesting 🙂 I worked on the assignments given to me by a life coach I am working with, and working it out in steps, breaking it down and seeing it all written out is making this more and more real for me.

I have struggled with insecurity, inadequacy, and recognizing my value for a long time. I’ve been going through this process of ditching the stories going on in my head, and stepping it up and just DOING things.

Amazing things are happening.  I’m in yoga teacher training and already teach a weekly class. I actually got a check today. My first check doing this. Like…earning money doing this.  *mind blown*

I am planting seeds here, same that has been done for me.

Remember again that time goes by, and we can either daydream about the future we want, or we can actually own that vision and make it happen.

I have witnessed over and over again how powerful my thoughts are, and how strong belief is. It doesn’t matter if I don’t know what to do. It always works out when I keep going, keep rising when I fall, and keep moving on, every time.

Say goodbye to those stories, and step up to your next level. It happens when we are all ready for it.

And instead of listening to the stories in the mind, make better ones with your life 🙂

Gainz and painz

accident, fat loss, gaining weight, healing, health, mindfulness, nutrition, peace, therapy, weight loss

No one tells you when you’re gaining fat, not even your closest friends (at least in my experience). This can be seen as a blessing, and also an opportunity to realize the importance of self-accountability.

I stepped on the scale again for the first time in months the day that I had started the nationwide 24 day challenge. When I saw the number, I was initially dismayed, and then felt hopeful and enthusiastic about the results I was going to have at the end of the 24 days. Clearly at the time I started the challenge, I did not expect the accident and all the stress that would come with. Though I am one tough, persistent, idealistic fighter, the injury really got inside of my head and has affected my behavior, and I have fallen into some habits of old. What is very interesting is that I still do not partake in highly processed, sugary foods. However, bad habits are still bad habits, and excess calories are still excess calories, and at the end of the day, any time we consume too much of anything, there will be fat gain.

I absolutely abhor trying on clothes, especially when I know for a fact that I have been gaining fat. It is one of the most harrowing and depressing ordeals I feel a woman can put herself through…or maybe that’s just me. Even when I’ve lost weight, I’ve needed help trying clothes on because I still have an internal perception of myself as obese.

I needed a suit and was thrilled that I found one in my size that fit…kinda. It’s tight. Perhaps too tight. Cognitive dissonance at play here.

The place that I am at right now with my fitness, nutrition, and mentality is the place where I typically find people when they are looking for and asking for my help. Many of these people are in the beginning of their own journey. Though far from the very beginning of my journey, when going through an experience of bad habit issues, one must realize that we have to start somewhere. We don’t immediately pick up where we left off. So, with that, I will remember to be very compassionate with myself, and take good care and realize that this is where I am right now. This is what I have to work with right now. And it is okay to still experience negative feelings associated with my situation. However, just like we learn in yoga and meditation, it is good and well to have these thoughts, as long as we don’t create attachment to them.

This week in addition to work,  I still have doctor visits to continue with my therapy, keeping up with my yoga practice, a follow-up meeting with a nutritionist, and a consultation with a life coach at the end of the week.

We learn a lot in meditation about finding the calm in the storm, and until our external circumstances change, we must master our internal reactions. I fully admit that this is something that I still struggle with, and I am still having challenges maintaining my inner calm, especially at work. This is the phase I’m at right now. I learned over the last several years to feed my body the right things. Now, I am focusing once again on my habits, and listening to both my body and my internal compass to gauge what my body needs nutritionally. I also understand that a good deal of that is mental.

This is really a pain in the ass to talk about, and especially to be publicly open and blog about it.  However, I have always put my heart out there with very little restraint. I realize that if I really want to genuinely help people, then I have to be genuine about my personal journey. This is very real, very raw, and just like me, it’s pretty much unfiltered. That’s just my approach. I don’t have the attention span for anything else.

So, though it is very hard, I am just going to suck it up and do it the right way. Sure, it certainly feels like I have taken steps back. We won’t even get into how horrible I felt when the pants in the next size up were snug. However, I have a track record for success, and I definitely specialize in finding the light in the darkness. This is just yet another one of those times. And since I am on the brink of something really special, it makes total sense that I am facing a huge challenge at the precipice.

Moving forward for me at this point means confronting what has been holding me back, and just letting it go. I am grateful for the lessons that I have been taught, and so ready to let go of anything detrimental. I am ready for the best possible things to come into my life, as they should.

A friend said I’m about to sabotage myself. I’ve done it so many times. Just as I am about to reach my goals, I fuck up.

Not this time.

I can have slip-ups, but there is no turning back.

…and even if there is, I’m sure there’s a lesson and opportunity in that as well.

Reading this is a challenge, because I KNOW what I need to do. Just like when giving advice to a friend, it’s much easier to tell someone what to do, and much harder to do it. So, though I have my work cut out for me, I’m willing to put in the work today.

All I can control is today, now, this moment. Today, I want to honor myself by continuing to make good decisions, and take good care of myself.

ALL of me. Mind, heart, and soul.