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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

HOWEVER!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Leaving the Westgate 🙂

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Keep it classy, Las Vegas ❤

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

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Damn dat dam doe!

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

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

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

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

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

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Be bold and do epic shit.

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

Next to the tattoo of Harry’s scar.

So I have a scar next to a scar.

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

Hey I can laugh about it 🙂

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

😀

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

FUCK YEAH IT IS! WHY NOT?!

It’d make a hell of a story!

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

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

That’s some profoundly inspirational stuff right there!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So yay for not getting arrested AND for getting help 🙂

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

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

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

BORING.

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

I MET THESE GOATS ON THE WAY.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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

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Basically.

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

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

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

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

But, leading into that, we have STUFF!

LIKE YOGA ❤

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

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

Time to get my shit together.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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NEW SKILLS ACQUIRED! JAM REF!

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

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

LATE.

Dancing.

In great outfits.

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

We’ll get to that in a bit.

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

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Brawl and Fancy ❤

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

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I bought some fabulous things. Kinda lots.

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

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

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

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

There was a superhero themed night, SCOOORE 🙂

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

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These classy ladies again ❤

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

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

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

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

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

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

Back to the parties 🙂

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

And I did.

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

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

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

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

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

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GLORIOUS.

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

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

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

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

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

SHIT.

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

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

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

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Such lovely ladies ❤

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

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Team BAMF.

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Rocked that shit, too.

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

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

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

CHICKEN AND WAFFLES. FOR DAYYYYZ.

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

RollerCon was now over and people were starting to leave.

MEEEEH 😦

BUT! As always, we reunite ❤

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Love. Love. LOVE.

‘MURICAH AND SKATING 🙂

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

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

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

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

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

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 🙂

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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.
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400

500

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800

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

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Practice with Palm Coast Roller Derby 🙂

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Revolution Roller Derby vs Thunder City Derby Sirens!

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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.

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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 😀

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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 ❤

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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.

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ANY 😀

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And we have shirts, WOOOO YES!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 ❤

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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 😀

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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 🙂

To bear the light, one must endure the burning

choices, fitness, florida, healing, health, healthy lifestyle, inspiration, inspire, LGBT, life, meditation, mindfulness, motivation, peace, recovery, reflection, roller skating, RollerCon, skating, sports, strength, therapy, wellness, yoga

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

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

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

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

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Our graduating class ❤

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Photo credit Greg Hunter

My guru and I after lots of tears and hugs ❤

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

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

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

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

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

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

There is now. Only now.

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

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

To bear the light, one must endure the burning.

Shining on, brighter and brighter ❤

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

It always gets better.

The Light endures all ❤

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

Yer ass belongs to ME!

fitness, health, healthy lifestyle, inspiration, inspire, motivation, roller derby, roller skating, RollerCon, skating, sports, weight loss, wellness, yoga

NEW MUSE NEW MUSE NEW MUSE

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

I am loving their seventh album, Drones ❤

Today in Cardioga, the entire playlist was Muse 😀

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

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

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

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

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

Loves of my life

fat loss, fitness, healing, health, healthy lifestyle, inspiration, inspire, life, motivation, recovery, relax, roller derby, roller skating, skating, sports, strength, therapy, weight loss, wellness, yoga

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

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STOKED EXCITEDNESSSSSS ❤

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

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

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

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

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

This is the upswing.

Great things are happening. 

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

This is the next chapter.

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