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.

001

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.

00

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.

DSCN0265

DSCN0268 DSCN0270

DSCN0281 DSCN0283

DSCN0287 DSCN0298

DSCN0299 DSCN0304

So beautiful.

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

I got there at 9:59 PM ❤

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

DSCN0310

DSCN0309

DSCN0305

DSCN0317

DSCN0316

DSCN0315

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

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

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

Cool!

However, the next contact I made was…

…well…

Come on dude, I was in Colorado after all.

I called a dispensary.

And then went.

02

Selfie x2

ColoradoEmeraldFields

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

20% off. Of Colorado Bud.

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

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

05

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

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

06

Indicas and sativas, oh my!

07

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

Meeting my bud-tender 🙂

09 10

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

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

Coloradogermanfood

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wake up, Florida. Legalize marijuana already.

/rant

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

CoGardenGods

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

DSCN0341

 DSCN0323

DSCN0350

DSCN0349

DSCN0364

11

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

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

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

Kansas01

CotoKansas

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

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

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

FINALLY.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“We should do something about this.”

And then I kissed her.

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

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

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

A bunch of times.

Okay a lot.

Hey it’d been two years.

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

We tried ordering Chinese food like five times.

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

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

The Chinese food, I mean.

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

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

*clears throat*

So, there’s that 🙂

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

I made a quick stop in St. Loius…

DSCN0406

MoGatewayArch

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

Leaving Nashville, rocking the Emerald Fields tee!

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

southernfood

Southern deliciousness from Doug’s Place!

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

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

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

And I got everything that I wanted. Everything.

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

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

Welcomehomo

Welcome homo, Smash ❤

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

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

sintral01 Sintral02

sintral03 sintral04

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

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

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

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

HOME

I’m in Daytona, Bitch!!!

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

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

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

This is a happy tale!

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

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

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

It needed to.

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

There have also been some huge lessons learned after.

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

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

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

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

They just will 🙂

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

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

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

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

Here. Now. As I am.

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

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

Epic Journey: Part IV – Fabulous Finale

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

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

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

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

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

Epic. Fucking. Journey. Word, yo.

THATPIC

A real map. No pressure. Just an idea ❤

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

DSCN0265

DSCN0268 DSCN0270

DSCN0281 DSCN0283

DSCN0287 DSCN0298

DSCN0299 DSCN0304

So beautiful.

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

I got there at 9:59 PM ❤

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

DSCN0310

DSCN0309

DSCN0305

DSCN0317

DSCN0316

DSCN0315

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

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

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

Cool!

However, the next contact I made was…

…well…

Come on dude, I was in Colorado after all.

I called a dispensary.

And then went.

02

Selfie x2

ColoradoEmeraldFields

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

20% off. Of Colorado Bud.

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

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

05

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

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

06

Indicas and sativas, oh my!

07

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

Meeting my bud-tender 🙂

09 10

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

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

Coloradogermanfood

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wake up, Florida. Legalize marijuana already.

/rant

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

CoGardenGods

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

DSCN0341

 DSCN0323

DSCN0350

DSCN0349

DSCN0364

11

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

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

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

Kansas01

CotoKansas

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

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

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

FINALLY.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“We should do something about this.”

And then I kissed her.

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

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

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

A bunch of times.

Okay a lot.

Hey it’d been two years.

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

We tried ordering Chinese food like five times.

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

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

The Chinese food, I mean.

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

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

*clears throat*

So, there’s that 🙂

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

I made a quick stop in St. Loius…

DSCN0406

MoGatewayArch

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

Leaving Nashville, rocking the Emerald Fields tee!

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

southernfood

Southern deliciousness from Doug’s Place!

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

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

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

And I got everything that I wanted. Everything.

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

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

Welcomehomo

Welcome homo, Smash ❤

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

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

sintral01 Sintral02

sintral03 sintral04

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

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

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

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

HOME

I’m in Daytona, Bitch!!!

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

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

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

This is a happy tale!

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

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

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

It needed to.

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

There have also been some huge lessons learned after.

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

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

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

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

They just will 🙂

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

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

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

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

Here. Now. As I am.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

HOWEVER!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

DOSTUFF

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

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

TuesdayTeamFl

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

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

sk8

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

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

Tuesdaybouncin

Leaving the Westgate 🙂

TuesdayFabsign

Keep it classy, Las Vegas ❤

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

TuesdayHooverDam

Damn dat dam doe!

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

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

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

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

20150728_185323

20150728_173023

20150728_174854

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

TuesdayBADASSTATTOOGRANDCANYON

Be bold and do epic shit.

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

Next to the tattoo of Harry’s scar.

So I have a scar next to a scar.

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

Hey I can laugh about it 🙂

TuesdayGrandCanyon

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

😀

Tuesskatescanyon

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

FUCK YEAH IT IS! WHY NOT?!

It’d make a hell of a story!

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

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

That’s some profoundly inspirational stuff right there!

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

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

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

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

Wedcanyonyoga

DSCN0042

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

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

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

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

So yay for not getting arrested AND for getting help 🙂

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

WedCanyon

03

01

04

05

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

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

BORING.

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

I MET THESE GOATS ON THE WAY.

WednesdayGOATS

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

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

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

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

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

Wedfourcornerscollage

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

WedFourCorners

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

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

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

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

Epic Voyage: Part II – VEGAS! Cuz ROLLERCON!

balance, chakras, choices, cross country road trip, fat loss, fitness, florida, gaining weight, gay, healing, health, healthy lifestyle, inspiration, inspire, lesbian, LGBT, life, life coaching, meditation, mindfulness, motivation, peace, recovery, reflection, relax, road trip, roller derby, roller skating, skating, sports, strength, therapy, travel, wellness, women, yoga

The telling of the #EpicVoyage continues, and as the Preface and Part 1 and the past year have led up to…

RollerHKAAAAN

RC15-web

Basically.

When epic things like roller skating, skaters, roller derby, and the love of skating worldwide comes together in one sweet roller baby, it happens in Las Vegas and that baby is named RollerCon ❤

It’s kind of a great thing worth looking forward to every year. EVERY year.

Though, admittedly, a veritable battleground for juggling adulting, fun, indulging, making responsible decisions, forget responsible and adulting for a bit, back to adulting, be good and work hard, eat right, save money, buy ALL the things, stay focused…I mean it’s Candyland and opportunity and fun wrapped all into one.

I mean, I also have an amazing perspective of the event to share. I’m independent, unaffiliated, and I went from going as a skater to going as an official, so my obligations and intention shifted. Since I retired from playing only a month before RollerCon, I had to transition from skating rosters to getting onto ref crews. Like the rosters, the crews were set MONTHS in advance. My option was to drop-in, to wait in what we call the Shark Tank, and pick up shifts.

But, leading into that, we have STUFF!

LIKE YOGA ❤

The morning that everything officially started was gorgeous, sunny, and we were at the pool with dozens of bright-eyed, ready-to-derby yogis for a 6:30AM yoga practice before any of the scheduled clinics, classes, and challenges.

PhotoGrid_1437591483575 PhotoGrid_1437706106699

That first morning for me actually started at 2:00 AM. I had just delivered the last of Georgie’s supplies to her when I realized oh fuck, I gotta teach yoga at 6:30 AM and figure out where the pool was so I could get set up to teach. So, after making the delivery, I marched my tired ass to the pool deck and felt that third wind rush through as I realized a) holy fucking shit, I actually made it to Vegas, b) RollerCon was ON, and c) the first thing we’re doing is yoga in four hours.

Time to get my shit together.

I sat on that pool deck and just stared out, taking it all in, thinking about not only the road trip out to Vegas, but every damn and blessed thing that happened bringing me to that point.

Knowing what I’ve experienced to get there, I felt grateful again for the opportunity to teach, and what better audience than the very people that got me to do yoga and inspire me to teach it.

The best thing yoga has given me is the chance to calm my mind and get my act together so the class gets a clean slate with their practice. I keep my head together so they don’t get ANY of it by transference. I wear my heart on my sleeve and I can’t hide shit. People know exactly what I’m feeling. All the more reason to calm the demon and be kind to myself; the universe is continually reminding me to be kind to myself. It’s better for me and for the people who care about me.

With that in mind, it was hard for me as a skater to keep my head together, but as a yogi and yoga instructor, I get out of my head and learn to just *BE*.

ThursSunrise

How my days started every morning in Las Vegas…except that one I overslept. SO worth it. Sorrynotsorryyyy…

When the skaters showed up at 6:30, we had a powerful practice with people from all levels, from teachers to first-timers.

This is how my mornings started, with roller derby people practicing yoga classes, in Las Vegas, on a pool deck, as the sun rose and our bodies warmed up for our long days.

After yoga, I’d make oatmeal and grab snacks for the day, shower, change, clock in, get to the Zebra Huddle (officials’ meeting), and gear up to hit the Shark Tanks for drop-in reffing.

SundayIrony

This is the Shark Tank. We go to the Track Lead to see if any officiating positions are available. I like being useful during a bout/challenge 🙂 Plus at RollerCon, our volunteer/service time counts toward discounted and even free passes for the following year!

I also had to post this picture because the dichotomy is beautiful ❤

WedDomsSubs

This would have been my first scheduled challenge as a skater. This challenge was Doms vs. subs, which I thought would be a nice way for people to meet without any pretense or bullshit 🙂 I got a chance to say hi before getting over to the next track where I picked up a ref spot!

ThursZeebin

NEW SKILLS ACQUIRED! JAM REF!

Now I get to wear TWO whistles!! I learned a lot and love it LOTS 😀 Can’t wait to keep getting better!

Skate/officiate until mid to later afternoon, meet for lunch, drop in some more, take classes, drop in more, dinner with friends or dinner meetings, skate more or freestyle, and aside from that first night where I was in bed by 10PM, the other evenings I was out late.

LATE.

Dancing.

In great outfits.

Sometimes kind hot. I mean…the party tits came out.

We’ll get to that in a bit.

Since I wasn’t scheduled for anything firm except the 6:30AM daily yoga classes, I had a few pockets of time here and there for shuttle runs, grocery runs, and to have lunch with some great people ❤

WedBrawlandFancy

Brawl and Fancy ❤

ThursFOODBABIES

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

WedCAPPANTS

I bought some fabulous things. Kinda lots.

ThursSmarty

And ran into my swolemate Smarty Pants. I love that we’re both sporting our respective shirts 😀 I sported her Strong Athletic Queer shirt that Friday which reminds me…I gotta get Smarty a #SkateEveryDamnDay tank…

My days were filled with reffing, learning, meeting and interacting with people, making runs with folks, and then night festivities!

There was one night that I knackered out, slept, and adulted the hell out of that morning!

Each night after, however, ran into the wee hours and were spent dancing our asses off in cool outfits and just being awesome and happy about being at RollerCon, surrounded by all this skater love ❤

There was a superhero themed night, SCOOORE 🙂

fridaynightvegas

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

frinightparty

These classy ladies again ❤

That was Thursday night. Friday itself was gay themed, so…I am referred to as the Most Lesbiandist of them All. I hope I made my people proud ❤

20150724_201738

FridayGAYREF

I had rainbow socks, and Smarty’s Strong Athletic Queer tank, plus I’m a diesel with unabashed super gay powers, so suffice to say I gayed it up on Friday!

20150724_070608 20150724_071042

Starting with yoga 🙂 Now I know what my mat sees when I’m in Downward Facing Dog!

Friday night was also my favorite moment on the track at RollerCon. Team North Florida took on Team South Florida, and since the bout was so friggin’ late, there were a LOT of drop-out spots for officials. What’s beautiful about this is the folks who came to watch the bout – Friday night at 11PM – were, of course. Florida-based.

By the time all the officials’ spots were filled (including a spot for ME!!! I got to be where I am strongest right now – Outside Pack Ref), all the skaters, non-skating officials and refs were ALL Florida-based! It was a true Florida bout!

I also got to ref some amazing things that day on different tracks, so I got to see things from C-level/beginner scrimmages to officiating challenges that had high-level skaters competing. Pretty sweet ❤

Back to the parties 🙂

Saturday night was the Black and Blue Ball, and to be frank, I was kinda nervous because…well, it’s Vegas. It was a party. My friends here actually took me shopping to help me find stuff to wear. I had to borrow these fly ass combat boots from my friend’s teenage daughter (she is also gay so she gave me her massive blessings). She said if I get laid in them, to take them off first. I gave her my word that I would 🙂

And I did.

😀

So, I shopped in advance in a place I’d never ever purchased anything else aside from smelly sprays…

stuffandthings

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

stufffreddy

This was NOT a secret, I freaking told EVERYONE as I was getting measured. I’m pretty sure the attendant’s hands were still on my actual boobs when I exclaimed this 🙂

I had help with the sizing, but it was ultimately I who decided which bra was mine! And it made my boobs look GLORIOUS!

Armed with a sexy bra, I threw this outfit together after FINALLY scoring on a camo fedora, which was a nice little extra diesel touch on my stud-yet-femme fittage 🙂

SatnightMiriamandI

GLORIOUS.

20150725_224133

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

Satnightegg

Egg also brought her party tits. And her freaky identical friggin outfit! This was not planned, and yet we both rocked the shit out of it 😀

That night I met skaters from around the world, spoke and danced with some pretty big deal people (who are, really, just people), witnessed a marriage proposal and got to hug the couple and congratulate them (MORE FLORIDA PEOPLE!!!), and dance, dance, dance some more. And though I kept my honor intact, I did flirt, dance, and exchange hugs and some kisses with some lovely, lovely ladies 🙂

That night was an amazing one. I felt like I was ready to shed some shit I’d been holding onto, which in turn was of course holding me back. Luggage was left, and I felt free. I didn’t give a shit about attachments, expectations, outcomes. I just danced, had fun, and had an amazing night. It was the best of the dancing nights ❤

Since I was partying until 3:45AM, it came as no shocker that I overslept for yoga the next morning by 30 minutes.

SHIT.

Kickit, an amazing yoga instructor and former Gotham skater, was blowing up my phone but my ringer was off, so by the grace of God somehow I made it out of bed, dressed, and hauled ass for the last of the yoga practices of RollerCon. Kickit assured me that all yoga instructors fuck up and that it’s okay.

Thankfully the group was super duper awesome, and we had a small yet very powerful practice. I was also VERY grateful that, for once, the music was finally turned down so I no longer had to SHOUT over it. We did fine and tuned it out but by the last day of RollerCon, my voice was beyond lost and the quiet was MOST welcome.

The last class was really chill and they were so cool about everything 🙂

20150726_073857

Such lovely ladies ❤

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

sungeorgieandI

Team BAMF.

SundayBIGpimpin

Rocked that shit, too.

Sunday was bathrobe/pajama day, and when I ran into this stud, I HAD to get a picture! She had a Russian counterpart as well 😛

After officiating, I met up with some folks and we watched the last challenge that I had it in me to watch. I mean it was the last night of RollerCon, I wanted to go out with people and DO STUFF 🙂 So we watched the Las Vegas Convention Center vs Riviera, got the derby funk off of us, and then went out to dinner like classy bitches 🙂

Sundaynightmollies

11264842_10153399661541163_6779330417484258022_n

Vacation mode. RollerCon. Party tits (sensing a theme…). Great friends. HASH. HOUSE. A GO-GO.

CHICKEN AND WAFFLES. FOR DAYYYYZ.

We were out pretty late that night and a few hours later, Dee and I packed it up and I took her to the airport.

RollerCon was now over and people were starting to leave.

MEEEEH 😦

BUT! As always, we reunite ❤

After I dropped Dee off, I checked my roommates out of the hotel and switched everything over to myself, giving myself an extra night in Vegas and giving them the day to take care of whatever they needed to without having to rush out of the room.

So as I’m standing there in line, I turn around and right behind me is ANOTHER Florida skater who, like me, is still pretty much operating on an hour of sleep. As we talk, she tells me her teammate broke her ankle and I went to go talk to the injured skater. They’re based out of Orlando, so I asked if I could chronicle her return to skating from the injury, and she said YES! And she’s the best candidate for this, for real. We’ll get to that later 🙂 Teaser!

As I’m helping these ladies out, I turn to the door and see *another* skater from Florida and offer her a ride as well. Teamwork makes the dream work, and we were all able to help each other out that day, which was especially nice because one of them was celebrating her birthday 🙂

That morning I also went out on the pool deck and rocked out to “Rooftops” by Wiz Khalifa before calling my life coach.

It hit me again. Everything that I had wanted had come true. I had NO idea how I would pull it off, and there I was. Vegas had been conquered. I felt like the sky was no longer the limit; I’m limitless and it’s time to aim higher.

MondayBrendaRooftop

My life coach gave me some great insight and was amazingly supportive and receptive when I expressed to her what I’d done, the decisions I made, and how well things worked out for me 🙂 She’d been listening to me talk about going on this trip for six months, she knew ALL the things I was facing before I left. She knows how much this means to me ❤

Once we finished, I made more runs and took care of some business, and then I came back and received an amazing massage from Brawl. We had the best arrangement – in exchange for a massage, she got her cooking items and some groceries transported to and from RollerCon. A GREAT bartering arrangement 🙂

Once Brawl finished my massage, she met up with Missi Blue, a skater, business owner, and tattoo artist and got a lovely tattoo. After Brawl got her tattoo from Blue, I got mine.

Mondaynighttattoo

It’s mine and I get to keep it forever ❤

Love. Love. LOVE.

‘MURICAH AND SKATING 🙂

It was the 10 year anniversary of RollerCon, I get a tattoo from the first person I fell down with back when I went to my first practice and have admired her work for YEARS. Not only is this woman now a friend, but now I have a unique, custom, amazing piece of her work on my body 🙂

That evening, I was thoroughly drained. Physically, emotionally, mentally tapped. So much joy, so many decisions, so much stuff to do, so many great memories, moments, stories…so, so much.

So much to look forward to for 2016 🙂 I love that, as we were at Hash House on Sunday evening, Holly had already created the 2016 RollerCon Facebook group ❤

Well folks, that wraps up RollerCon! I did spend the next morning in Vegas, but then I hit the road and the second portion of my epic road trip began. So, we’ll end it here!

The next post…eye candy and another epic and amazing existential tale of dreams realized and opportunities flowing toward me in wonderful ways ❤

Skate Every Damn Day: September edition!

fitness, health, healthy lifestyle, inspiration, inspire, life, mindfulness, motivation, roller derby, roller skating, RollerCon, rollerskating, skating, sports, wellness

Doing it again,  September 30 Days of Skating Challenge!

It went so well last time, and we’re  already getting pictures, videos, and tales of amazing skater adventures 🙂

image

image

We have over 1800 skaters (and rising) from around the world, lacing our skates on for 30 days and growing together for the love of skating.  This is the third challenge I’ve hosted, and the biggest by far.

It’s an awesome experience to be a part of, and to lead. With each challenge I get to inspire, and to be inspired.

My love for skating started with roller derby, but it was from good influences that I learned of life on skates off the track, and the deeper skate life bond for my skates was formed.

I love roller derby, I love roller skating, and I love being a part of this community.

The 30 Days of Skating challenge was conceived after I returned from RollerCon last year. RollerCon was the first solid week I had put my skates on, so I just kept going and started the first challenge. It was fun, we had a few hundred people, and had a great time. I was also doing a 30 day core strengthening challenge, and the two together were the perfect combination!

The challenge also gave me the opportunity to make memes.

A bunch.
100

200almost

200Oface

300

400

500

600

700a

700

777

800

900

1k

1234

1500

ithasbegun

Preparing myself to get the habit going again, I started early and got to do some cool stuff with some rad people ❤

pcrd

Practice with Palm Coast Roller Derby 🙂

rrdvstcds

Revolution Roller Derby vs Thunder City Derby Sirens!

meeee

Today I did a great deal of my adulting on skates.

As we thunder onward through the month, may we always be reminded that this is a choice to do something we love to do,  so let’s come into it as an act of will, and not out of necessity.

There’s joy in making choices. Make good ones 🙂

Epic Voyage: Preface from the post-voyage perspective

cross country road trip, fitness, health, mindfulness, road trip, roller derby, RollerCon, rollerskating, travel, wellness

Every time people ask me to tell them about my Epic Voyage, I fuck it up and tell stories scattered and all over the damn place, so I want to do the trip’s story justice and tell it well (as best I can…I mean I’m still like shaking from joy excited) 😀

So, let’s start!

It surely would not have been an #EpicVoyage style #CrossCountryRoadTrip if it weren’t for all the shit that led up to it.

I mean, there was STUFF.

THINGS.

Lastboutskated

wpid-photogrid_1423598954825

Let’s start with all that. That last picture really seals it in. I was training at my athletic peak, then got MVP Jammer in Lakeland (hardest floor to skate on in Florida) with my homegirl Georgie, and then BAM! Ten hours later I was hit by a truck, my car totalled, and the damage to my back took me out of playing roller derby for good.

I cried. A whole lot. I mean…I use the word fuck a lot and fuck did I cry. I cried more than I use the word fuck.

That’s a lot of fucking crying.

With that huge life event came the need to adjust, and as serendipity would have it, I was still doing yoga as best as my body would allow, and then I was in yoga teacher training the week after the accident.

Yoga teacher training completely revolutionalized my practice in the sense that I had an expectation of what I should be as a teacher, and instead I became a good teacher by accepting myself. During this whole time I’d also been working with a life coach to help me steer through all the things that life was throwing at me.

Like when I lost my job.

So, in the midst of my physical therapy while dealing with a permanent injury, my former employer decides to end my contract and they tell me this the FRIDAY BEFORE I TAKE A TWO WEEK VACATION.

Classy folks, very classy.

The details are not important, because I never asked for specifics. I’m an intelligent woman and am wide awake, so I don’t need to hear excuses, rationale and lies for bullshit.

The fact of the matter is they did me a favor. Now I can be truly authentic and SOAR ❤

Right, so I became a referee, and I LOVE IT. LOVE IT. Better than I did playing. I get to skate every jam and watch derby from the best perspective, plus I don’t have to hit people and people don’t get to hit me.

YAY 😀

wpid-img_7836

20150620_194906

I’m actually a pretty good ref where I am now, and I have a LOT of learning to do that I’m eager and ready for 🙂

Fast forward: My business is growing, I’m now zeebin’, going through yoga teacher training, and ready to plan for RollerCon.

I finished yoga teacher training, and in the last month of training (June), which was the month before RollerCon, I began the 30 days of skating challenge, and the whole #8wheelsonelove movement ❤

PhotoGrid_1439910352433 PhotoGrid_1439910293922

These collages are 2 sets of 15 collages from the 30 days of skating challenge – which there will be another one in September ❤

When we do the challenge, any time on skates counts.

20150708_205046 20150703_204636

ANY 😀

20150628_222816

And we have shirts, WOOOO YES!

 wpid-img_20150630_233556.jpg

It was at the end of the challenge that we finished teacher training, and our class had a 100% success rate. The program was hard, but we are tough and dedicated, and we knocked it out.

 20150627_151427

This was when we just got the news that we all passed 😀

And, because we’re fun, young at heart, and kinda delirious after 200 hours of teacher training and FOUR REALLY HARD PRACTICES to end it, we kinda got silly and delirious on the last day.

20150628_103518

Passed training, and decided that, despite not knowing how the hell I would pull it off I bought my pass for RollerCon, and prepared myself mentally for the trip, and started working with friends for lodging and the specifics.

Still, having no idea how I’d pull it off. Not a clue.

But, I prepared anyway, trusting that I’d make it there, and not fixating on how it would happen. I mean, I busted my ass to make things happen, but by not worrying about them, they happened.

wpid-20150615_175501

I had a plan, or at least the kinda plan that I can work with.

I was going to drive to Las Vegas with a fellow skater, spend a few days getting there, spend a week there for RollerCon, and drive back home over the course of a week or so and explore the country, visiting friends and skaters along the way.

Three days before the trip, my car pool buddy was ready to pull out for the same reasons I wanted to pull out. Fear. Finances. Uncertainty. Feeling badly that preparation wasn’t all the way there. Fear, fear, fear.

Two days before the trip, she worked it out, and holy shit, things were working out for me as well. Things looked promising.

Day before the trip, my friend found a ride from Miami to Daytona, and was ready to hit the road with me and attend RollerCon.

RELIEF!

Plus, the night before, I got to have dinner at my FAVORITE Thai place in town with my yoga teacher training class ❤

20150717_201029 20150717_201200

They all looked so lovely and I felt like I looked like a schmuck, but they said I dressed as myself and that’s who they know and love ❤

I still think I should have worn this and kinda wish I did…but I got to wear it in Vegas and I rocked that motherfucker 😀

20150717_182009

It was finished with a camo fedora, but we’ll get to Vegas, the fedora, and that amazing evening on a later post 😀

So, this post ends here, the night before my Epic Voyage started. All I knew was that Miriam was confirmed, we had places to stay in Dallas, TX and Prescott, AZ, our RollerCon passes were purchased and on us (I had a fiasco with mine where I lost the pass the day we were leaving, but it ended well by me not freaking out, staying calm, and finding it), and we were excited and actually gonna do it!

I want to keep writing and telling the story, but each upcoming post is really worth it. Super duper REALLY worth it!

If this doesn’t go here I don’t know where the hell I’ll put it, so here it is: I thought about telling the Epic Voyage tale from various perspectives: As a skater, a yogi, a woman-crazed lesbian who finally came out of celibacy, an author, a business owner, on and on. MEH. I’ll just tell it in order 🙂