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 😉

There are drug cartels that are easier to get into than this community

beach, florida, roller derby

This weekend’s plan was to get away.  I had been cutting firewood and prepared myself to escape into the woods and go camping for a few days to find clarity, focus, and to center myself. On Friday morning as I was packing my car, one of the last logs I placed in my trunk slipped and a stick popped up and right into my eye.

Ever since I turned 30, I’ve had this realization that when something happens, it’s best to get it checked out before it becomes a problem. Since adopting this in action, I’ve saved my ass more times than I can count. Initially I’d go to the doctor to rule things out, then I realized uuuuh yeah, shit happens, especially as an athlete and one who can be a bit of a klutz, so best to play it smart. The eye was hurt and my camping trip was postponed.

So, instead of run and get insight, I had to stay in and get introspection. Moreover, I wasn’t allowed to be alone. Turns out, I needed help. I’ve got the very good fortune of having great friends and got help getting everything taken care of on Friday, and spent the rest of the day in sunglasses, shades drawn, giving my eyes a rest.

Saturday I didn’t expect to be doing as well as I was, and neither was my doctor! I had a great check-up and got the okay to drive. Since I was doing so well, I decided to drive to Gainesville and surprise my friends playing in a bout 🙂 It was a great trip and I got to see a lot of awesome folks, and surprising people is among the best gifts we can give people ❤

Today I got to have a beach day with derby friends and their families, and it was the best time 🙂 The day flew by and we had an amazing time just hanging out, laughing, sharing stories, swimming, boogie boarding, and oooh my goodness, was there so much food! Just like any great family gathering, there’s always plenty of food 🙂

One of my buddies was sharing with me a bit of his perspective being involved in this community, and it was good to hear because it gives us an opportunity to know our family a bit better. When anyone comes into this, on or off skates, it *is* a challenge and a test to get involved in the community. We invest in people and they leave, give up, or they don’t stay interested enough to really get a lot out of it. It’s a hard community to get into because our hides are thick from not only the physical battle of the conditioning involved to play roller derby, but the time, commitment, and investment we all have to make and the compromises and sacrifices we have to make to train, to play, and to run our leagues.

This was such a hard concept for me to grasp when I first started. I’d think, “I’m a professional, why don’t these people listen to me? I can promote the shit out of this stuff.” and it had nothing to do with my abilities, but where I was in the “pack”, so to speak 😉 I steamrolled into this culture, ready to work my ass off and earn my spot and earn the gifts I’d seen exhibited so often on the track. I knew what I needed to do physically and mentally to succeed, but reaaaally struggled with how to fit into the culture.

It can’t be forced; it’s an investment that takes a lot of time, and a lot of vested interest. Effort, getting to genuinely know people, and to encourage and befriend people with NO incentive other than to be a part of the same family. Hey if more grows from that, great, but many have failed by trying to infiltrate and be greedy.

My buddy that I was speaking with was neither a skater nor an official, so his perspective of roller derby is solely from an observer, in a sense. He’s involved, but not in the play or strategic aspect. He said that he’s been involved for three seasons now, and he *finally* feels like we’ve taken him in as family.

He said, “there are drug cartels that are easier to get into than this community.”

I said it’s the difference between a, “hey, buddy” (and I gave him a little tap tap on his shoulder) and “HAAAAY MAN!” (followed by a big hug), and he said, “EXACTLY!!!”

We also agreed that these are the three most common things we are asked about roller derby:

1) Do y’all get paid?

2) You’re around all those girls…do you just sleep with them all?

3) IS IT STAGED

The answers to all three is NO.

No #1 – Actually, it’s quite expensive for us to play. We PAY to play. We PAY to do this. Training and practicing is hard work, but it’s also just as much work running a league. Leagues are skater owned, which means the business is taken care of by the members. So not only do we have to be athletes, we have to make sure we are running an organization well enough to keep it alive. The skating and training is time-intensive, and it’s just as important to do the off-skates work, as a team, to keep the team alive.

No #2. Though I can’t answer for everyone, I can say from my own perspective that I don’t dip my dick in my derby. The derby world is small enough and the lesbian community is a microcosm, so imagine how small the gay derby circle is?!

I love my derby girls dearly, not queerly 🙂 It keeps things focused on the sport, and ultimately, the fun of it!

I will say, however, in time I’ve also learned that amazing things blossom when the right things come into our lives, and sometimes, we have to look over our “rules” to get different results. So, all of these are pretty much “in general”, because in all truth, there are some folks out there that are sponsored and some are paid skaters. And some skaters are married, and skate for the same team. There are exceptions, but as a whole, we don’t go into this (and stick around) for the sake of chasing tail.

No #3 – this is a legitimate sport with rules, and an international stage. Hundreds of teams exist on the big levels (like WFTDAMRDA and JRDA), and hundreds if not thousands exist on the recreational level. We have rules, officials, strategy, training, practice, and so much more that we do and invest in to make our leagues and our sport successful.

It IS a hard community to get into, and if you look around, you’ll see it’s a goldmine that has yet to be fully discovered. There’s an immense amount of value, and we have a big job ahead of us to not only keep ourselves conditioned, but to make a good name for our sport to help proliferate it.

An enormous mix of people come into this and it takes a bit for us to find who will stick it through with us (the faces change so often and people come and go all the time), so it’s not personal when we don’t become besties right away and invite you over to our houses for our social events. It’s not personal.

We know what it feels like, so give us time and invest in us, and you’ll find we’ll warm up to you as well 🙂

As long as you’re not a douchepoodle 🙂

That last one was for my friend Doc, and God bless for quick healing ❤ Big love to our girl BJ as well, prayers for that big smile to stay wide and genuine ❤

The original plan for me this weekend was to get out and get introspective for growth ideas. What happened was my vision got botched for me to learn that I didn’t need solitude, I needed companions to remind me that I don’t need to grow, be better, or improve. I just need to be me, to be real, and to realize I’m loved and accepted as I am.

After paying my dues for so long in this community, I stopped caring about fitting in and just let myself be authentic. Since doing that, the genuine interest and love for the sport, the culture and the community grew, and instead of care about fitting in for my good, I cared about keeping the community alive and letting the culture thrive. I sang the song of cheerleader and uplifted people, because I needed that uplifting and I figured the best way to do it was to enable growth around me. People grew much faster than I did, and I’m thrilled with their success and focused on building on what I had. I became a different skater than I imaged I would, but I’m authentic and unique, and there really is one and only one Smash Tank 😉

Losing a bit of my sight gave me the opportunity to see beyond what’s a solution in my mind, and just accept what happens. My time freed up in ways I didn’t think, and things turned out pretty spectacularly 🙂

It’s pretty wonderful what happens when I get out of my own head, and just surrender to what’s possible 😀