On being real

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

(Cross-posted from MindHeartSwole.com blog)

I think we can all save ourselves a little bit of time, frustration, and future regrets by first admitting that we all are, at least a little bit, full of shit sometimes.

It isn’t until we’ve transformed into something truly beautiful that we really can appreciate how things are, instead of how they should be.

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This quote was gifted to me by a friend who is an astounding woman, truly beautiful in every sense from the inside out. She’s a warrior, a survivor, a kind-hearted soul who heals people’s bodies and she’s an amazing listener. I personally had never read this quote before and when I did, it brought me to tears. It’s now something that I read daily and take it to heart.

There’s another amazing soul that I know who has this incredibly beautiful scar on her arm, and though I’ve never asked what exactly it is, I’m thinking it’s a skin graft. I know bits and pieces of her story, and admire her beautiful stories every time she speaks. Sometimes I feel like she’s speaking to call me out on my shit, and that’s very likely just me projecting my insecurities, catching myself when I need to check up.

Today is day 65 in my sobriety; technically day 66 now that it’s past 9:00PM EST.

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Many times I feel like rock star sober girl, like I’ve got this shit down pat and there ain’t ever turning back. There is zero desire in my waking life to use, despite what’s happening in my dreams. The thought of drinking again makes my stomach turn, and I can’t even imagine using drugs again. The very thought makes me want to jump out of my skin and run like hell. I want to keep living clean and sober, I want this to be a lifelong commitment, and just for today, I’m taking it one day at a time, as it should be.

However…there are challenges every moment. Every fucking moment. I don’t drink, I don’t use drugs, I’m practicing abstinence, I work out every day and do restorative yoga on my rest days…and yet I still have my vices. I still obsess.

I still eat crap food sometimes. I still eat too much sometimes. I still take things personally. I still struggle with self-acceptance.

After I finished writing 100 Reasons To Lose 100 Pounds, I expected this big cloud to move over and then ta-da! Back to where I was…and that’s just not the case.

When I hit my goal, I let go for a while and then grew, and when I was at my goal, I felt maybe a bit too thin for my shape and for my personal liking. I then got to a place that I felt more comfortable, and then when I saw the videos from my goal size, I went back to wishing I was that small again.

Today I was feeling lonely. I had made plans with a friend to hang out yesterday and we never connected. I texted my sponsor and didn’t hear back. I went to a meeting at 10AM and didn’t get to share, and when I went to a noon meeting, I cried my eyes out and felt terrible. When I came home, I didn’t want to do shit but sulk and eat, but instead I geared up and got 6 miles in on my skates. The whole time I was obsessing about Doritos. I finally got the damn Doritos, ate half the bag (it was a serving size of 3 and I threw the second half away), and then went into the backyard to cut the rest of the firewood and get the log pile cleaned up.

Today was a hard day to trust and surrender, and I know I *should* do it, but the punk bitch-ass fucker wanted to be a goddamn punk. There were many moments that I stayed on the right track, but my mind just wasn’t in a good place. I didn’t want to talk to my sponsor (we texted each other a few times, it was good hearing back from her but like my prayers and conversations with God, I was withdrawn). I went to another meeting at 5 and shared again, and afterward I was given this advice:

“If you want to know who your true friends are, see who sticks around after you’ve 1) Declared bankruptcy, 2) Come out and 3) Come out about being HIV positive.”

Miracles happen, and just as this man waited for me to come out of the clubhouse to give me this advice, I think God’s waiting on me to just shut my mind off of what I think should happen and how He’s planning it to happen. He’s saved me WAY too many times to give up on me now. It’s up to me to believe in myself. As the saying goes, when the student is ready, the Master will appear. My Master is always ready;  I have to do the listening.

I’m impatient. I’m afraid. I’m dealing with ignorance.

Being real means allowing all of these things, to be perfectly imperfect, with no comparison or judgment, and just be completely authentically me.

A friend of mine keeps recommending that I listen to Grant Cardone‘s podcasts, and while I like his ethic and how hard he works, he’s aggressively arrogant. Like so many “rich” white guys who are VERY well off, he puts others down, calls people “pussies” and claims how he wants to punch certain politicians in the face.

I want to do better than that.

YES, there IS a way to be a bad ass success story without being a thundercock.

And dammit, I’m going to show people how it’s done.

As I said in the meeting, I think God’s preparing me now, in this time of uncertainty, to keep my shit together so when I get everything that I want – a clean slate, a fresh start, the car I want, property, a farm, fospice care and an animal sanctuary, facilities where I can host retreats for special-abled people, trauma victims, re-entering citizens post-incarceration, recovering addicts, burn victors, abuse victors, yogis and high-risk youth and the means to run these programs successfully – I can find peace when things are going extraordinarily well.

For those of us who have never been wealthy, the idea seems appealing, and for a while, it surely is a dream come true. However, there’s a reason why most lottery winners end up as broke as they were before they won the jackpot – piss-poor habits. A bank account says nothing about a person’s habits; our actions, our lifestyles reveal everything.

When I was making a great living as a 20-something year old airline manager, I pissed it away. Well, drank and ate a lot of it, so pissed and shat it away. I was working 100+ hour weeks and didn’t have the appreciation for my salary. Then, I moved back to Florida and got a great job that paid much less, and still it covered my expenses. It was a good career and it ran its course, and now I’m ready for work that is my purpose, to make what I’m really worth, and on my own terms.

My dream is to have trustworthy, dependable, reliable staff, to treat them well and pay them fairly, and to do something great and fill a MUCH-needed void in the community.

I thought health management, weight loss, and nutritional education was the ticket, and that’s still a pressing need.

The bigger picture is addiction.

I’m still rather new at this, and I have every intention and the burning desire to stay clean and sober, no matter what. When I set my mind to do something, I do it. Especially if the odds are looking unfavorably.

Those are MY kinds of odds.

I am an outlier.

I am an unlikely success story.

I am Smash, and it is my purpose to rise, to stand tall, to encourage, inspire, and to move people to right action. It is my job to blow sunshine up people’s asses, to wake people up, to shake them out of destructive thinking, to get them to reach their highest potentials.

It’s what I do; it’s my story. I’ve had a lot of help along the way, but ultimately, I’ve always been on my own. This is how it is for now.

I do want to share my love and my life with a special woman and make her my wife, and though that is part of my future, right now I’ve got to become the woman that *I* want to spend the rest of my life with. She’ll find me. The best things always do.

Right now, I’ve got work to do.

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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… 🙂

Epic Voyage: Part 1 – Daytona to Dallas…and then Las Vegas!

cross country road trip

I’m currently listening to The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and Covey literally just said, “before you go on a trip, you determine your destination and plan out the best route.”

Well…not if it’s me 🙂

The plan I had in mind was to get to Dallas safely, drive to Arizona after that, and then hit Las Vegas to attend RollerCon. Since I’d lived in Dallas for quite a while in the past, I knew spending the night with friends would not be a problem, and I also reached out to a friend in Arizona for a place to crash. I waited until the last minute to ask and work it all out, and thankfully it worked fantastically 🙂 However, even this loose “plan” was further modified, so once again, flying by the seat of my pants, buddy! Winging it!

Which was, by FAR, the best way to go on this trip. Again, I had NO CLUE how I was going to pull it off, but I knew that I *wanted* it, and I *HAD* to do it. After all, EVERYTHING had been challenged and yet I still believed.

I’ll give the secret away and say I got to do everything I wanted to do and so much more. I listened to my heart, surrendered and trusted, and that was definitely the way to go. It’s about having an intention, doing work, and not expecting it to work out a certain way. It’s trusting THAT it will work, and not caring HOW it will work.

For real, I would have never seen things turn out the way they did, and thank God. My mind is limited. Amazingly inspired things happened, and that definitely was God’s work.

By the by, God is really just good, without the extra O. God doesn’t need redundancy, He’s omnipotent 😀

So! Hitting the road, yo! Here’s how the journey went, from Daytona to Dallas, and then to Las Vegas:

Saturday was the day we planned to leave Daytona, and I was SUPER stoked to thunder away at the day! I did yoga in the morning, and after I got home, my friend Miriam from Miami and I did some shopping and food prep to have lots to bring with us on the road and to save costs. I then took the laundry I washed and dried (and neglected to fold  :P) and kinda threw a bunch of stuff in my bag as I “packed,” It was more a “SHIT I’M RUNNING LATE” scattering of tossing, rolling up, and grabbing. Thankfully, I grabbed a LOT of stuff. A LOT. Even with the experience of RollerCon under my belt from 2014, I knew that I didn’t need a lot of stuff…but I panicked, I was driving so I had the space (LMAO ohhh boy how that changed), and I figured better to have too much than not enough.

That actually served me well because the whole two and a half weeks I was on the road, I had exactly enough underwear, socks and bras…and a veritable shit-ton of shirts, leggings, bandannas and hats.

Plus it was RollerCon, so you know I came home with more than I brought 😛

After my chaotic packing, we headed to Destination Daytona for derby! Sintral Florida Derby Demons played and again I got to ref 🙂 I can’t remember much from the bout, other than it was fun, and we made an Irish exit and bounced the fuck out to hit the road!!!

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Car packed, ref duties over, ready to roll!!!

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We met up with Furious George, owner and artist of Five Second Skate Gear, in Tallahassee, FL. Georgie was in Tally for a bout as Dub City took on Capital Punishment. Georgie and I spoke before I left Daytona and we discussed her logistic needs for RollerCon. I advised her to buy all her supplies in Florida to save money (imagine how much more it’d be in Vegas?! Plus the cab ride? Fuggedaboutit!) and I’d transport and deliver them to Vegas for her. She filled my gas tank in exchange. BOOM! DEAL!

See, that’s what I mean by stuff just coming together. A tank of gas gets me 400+ miles. Plus I was gifted a Shell Gas gift card TWO DAYS before the trip, and that card got me TWO tanks of gas ❤

Trust and surrender…that shit works!

After Tally, we continued our drive to Dallas, and it would’t be a proper trip on I-10 if we didn’t stop in New Orleans 🙂 Miriam had NEVER been to Cafe Du Monde!!!

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So we put and end to that! She enjoyed beignets and an iced Cafe Au Lait, chicory-style 🙂 She even kept the bag of sugar – as anyone who has ever been here knows, you get a bag of sugar with your beignets 😛

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Since I don’t eat sugary things nor drink coffee, I just enjoyed the people, the scenery, and the smells around me. We got there just before dawn, and there were still party revelers wandering, eating, and hanging out from the previous evening 🙂 New Orleans, so much love!

On the way out, we enjoyed a gorgeous sunrise in New Orleans on the ride out to Dallas!

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Driving through the Louisiana countryside, from parish to parish, we made our way down I-10 until we hit TEXAS!!!!

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FUCK YEAH, TEXAS! Even the ENTHUSIASM is bigger in Texas!

It took a few more hours until we hit Dallas, met up with a friend, hung out, and then visited another friend and crashed for a few hours/the night.

I’ve been forthright and authentic in this entire journey, from 100 Reasons to Lose 100 Pounds, to this blog, to my yoga practice *and* instruction, so I’m just gonna say this. The last time I was in Dallas, I got to visit my friend Sasha. She passed away last March, and when I visited her home (a friend is taking care of the house and we stayed there), I asked my buddy if Sasha ever comes to visit him, and he said yes. Later on, I saw her walk by, across the hall, from her old bedroom to the guest room. It was like a sneaky hide-and-seek, youthful, playful “did you see me?!” moment 🙂 I was happy; not scared, and glad that I got to see that. It gave me closure to know she’s okay; I mean I know that she is, but now I also feel it ❤

We slept for a few hours, got up early as fuuuuck (3AM), and hit the road again!

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Me and my tired crackdaddy eyes 😛

As we drove across Texas, the landscape was flat yet lovely, and it was cool to see lots of sustainable energy sources on the way – I was THRILLED!

From Texas we hit New Mexico, which was quite beautiful and I look forward to visiting the state again and spend more time there 🙂

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With all that gorgeous landscape in New Mexico, the pic we took was at a fuckin’ truckin’ stop 😛 But, it’s a fun picture, sooooo yay 🙂

And then, Arizona!

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We found this groovy scenic view stop and enjoyed the scenic view!

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THIS MADE ME SO HAPPY. I WANTED THOSE GOATS.

I have a penchant for goats. They crack me up. I think they’re damn funny and I want lots. I mean…dude. GOATS!

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We also left Arizona on a high note by feeling up her lady humps.

The plan was to continue to Prescott, AZ, spend the night, and then leave super early again to head straight to Vegas so we could get there on Tuesday by 8AM. The GPS said it would take two and a half hours to get to Prescott and then three hours to Vegas the next day, and out of curiosity, I plugged Vegas into the GPS and we learned that, from where we were, we could get to Vegas in four hours.

NO BRAINER!

After some brainstorming and social networking, we asked around to see if anyone was in Vegas that night and would let us crash. Our friend Pixie and her husband responded, so we skipped Prescott and went straight for Vegas!

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AND WE MADE IT ❤

Pixie and Jason were awesome hosts, and we finally got more than 5 hours’ sleep! Which we needed, because Tuesday morning, all four of us had shit to do and we hit the ground RUNNIN’!

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Miriam, Pixie and Jason had volunteer shifts,so Miriam and I got an eaaarly start and got this FABULOUS picture 🙂

I was running a shuttle service from the airport to the hotel, and to and from grocery stores. I’m a hustler, so you know I charged for these rides, and at fair rates and with outstanding hospitality 🙂

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Some of my favorite skaters from Molly Roger Rollergirls ❤ I fucking love these people. LOVE ❤

Then, checked into the hotel with Miriam and Amazon!

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Amazon, Miriam and I!

I then took a moment to go and register to get that out of the way and ran into people!!! DERBY PEOPLE!!!

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Fluffy and Milo from Tampa – Team Florida represent!!!

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Milo met Jerry Seltzer

I did a few more shuttles and had several more adventures 🙂

TuesRidesThis is also just a classic Vegas moment 🙂 I was waiting for one of my customers to exit the grocery store and this is where we met. Right where a woman was getting arrested 😛

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Piper, the birthday girl, me, and Dee Mented of Molly Rogers ❤

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That night the Mollies and I went out, and since it was Piper’s birthday, we went out on the town and had an AWESOME night 🙂 We watched the fountain shows at Bellagio, met cool people, ate, and just hung out, laughing, talking, and riding elevators the wrong way 😛

After we got back the hotel, Georgie’s flight came in and I met her at the hotel to deliver her art supplies. I was dog-tired, but super glad to help out, especially after she literally helped get me to Las Vegas 🙂

All in all, an excellent start to our stay in Vegas, which would span over the course of a week.

There is so, so much more, and Part 2 is all about RollerCON!!!

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 🙂

Mondays have become my favorite

fitness, healing, health, healthy lifestyle, inspiration, inspire, life, motivation, recovery, roller skating, RollerCon, skating, sports, therapy, wellness, yoga

…hear me out on this Monday thing.

I love beginnings. Sunrise is to me the greatest thing to behold visually, and the feeling it evokes is splendid 😀

This week I am teaching three 6am yoga classes as well as Cardioga. I love teaching the super early class. These people got shit to do, and they are ready to go.  At 6am 🙂 I’m cool with it because I did 5:30am yoga every weekday for two months before I started teacher training.

SO!

I had a great conversation with Kat, who runs Flat Mat Yoga. Super stoked to talk more about that, and to see her in Vegas in a few weeks!

AH MAH GAH 😀

Today I planned more of my road trip out and coordinated more details with my Vegas roommates…this is happening!

Speaking of skating, we’re 29 days in for the 30 Days of Skating challenge!

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I cannot wait to travel the country and meet these people ❤

There is only now…and now is awesome :)

fat loss, fitness, healing, health, healthy lifestyle, inspiration, inspire, LGBT, life, meditation, mindfulness, motivation, peace, recovery, strength, therapy, wellness, yoga

Today we completed yoga teacher training with a group practice and some fun picture-taking ❤

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It has been a profound experience for us all, to say the least. We’ve been broken wide open and made space for something incredible, challenging, and evolutionary. 

We came in as seeds and became beautiful trees In today’s practice, I was physically and emotionally reminded how much hip, hamstring, and glute work we’ve been doing,  and as anger started to rise up again for the fourth practice in a row, I made a choice.

I decided to do what a right-minded yogi would do. If it fucking hurts, then back the fuck off!

Soooo yogic 😛

Free will is our greatest gift and power, so if my
body, albeit strong and capable,  tells me to modify, come out, or go deeper and breathe, then I listen to my body. I listen to my body, and not my ego.

“But don’t yoga teachers do all those crazy poses?”

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No. We teach yoga.

The crazy pose is the one that breaks our body and destroys our practice.  Whether I am happy or angry, the practice is the practice.  The difference is ME.

I am.

It is what it is.

Life
is what it is.

Brenda read this to me the morning before my first teacher training, and I again heard it *at* the first teacher training:

Good Luck Bad Luck!

There is a Chinese story of a farmer who used an old horse to till his fields. One day, the horse escaped into the hills and when the farmer’s neighbors sympathized with the old man over his bad luck, the farmer replied, “Bad luck? Good luck? Who knows?” A week later, the horse returned with a herd of horses from the hills and this time the neighbors congratulated the farmer on his good luck. His reply was, “Good luck? Bad luck? Who knows?”

Then, when the farmer’s son was attempting to tame one of the wild horses, he fell off its back and broke his leg. Everyone thought this very bad luck. Not the farmer, whose only reaction was, “Bad luck? Good luck? Who knows?”

Some weeks later, the army marched into the village and conscripted every able-bodied youth they found there. When they saw the farmer’s son with his broken leg, they let him off. Now was that good luck or bad luck?

Who knows?




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Whatever happens ahead happens as it needs to, and should. How *I* press on is where it’s at.

My practice has progressed, my teaching style is authentic, and most of all, my heart is open to myself. To all that I am.

So, this pain in my ass is a lesson. It reminds me that I always have room to grow,  and now I welcome it.

Right before joining Blue Moon, I was finishing a challenge at Kula and finally saw my green chakra while in Frog pose. Today, in the green room at Blue Moon, my knees and hips said that both Pigeon and the reclined modification were not happening.

So, I took Frog.

Yep 🙂

And I held it while they did a good long Pigeon on both sides. My leggings weren’t gripping the mat and towel too great, so my legs kept spreading wider, and it was kind of amazing. If it hurt, I’d lift up a bit, let the new feeling set in, and then come back down and go deeper. When I came out, yep it was hard, but I felt empowered,  wide open, and so fucking relieved.

I made my practice MINE.

I felt like that set a much better example as a teacher and yogi than going to a bad and dark place.

Finding that place where strength meets compassion

There is always a new beginning and chance to start again.  Really,  there isn’t a beginning or end, there is now.

And now is awesome 😀

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I don’t want to hit these girls, I want to protect them

accident, choices, fat loss, fitness, healing, health, healthy lifestyle, inspiration, inspire, life, life coaching, motivation, nutrition, peace, recovery, roller derby, roller skating, RollerCon, skating, sports, strength, weight loss, wellness, yoga

Lots to share, and first, let’s start with the 30 Days of Skating challenge:

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I did a little skating in the house today, and since there were three yoga practices in my day, I opted to skip an endurance skate and go to Sintral’s practice tonight.

This came out at practice and I need to not only say it, but actually write it out to make it real.

I won’t be playing derby anymore.

There’s so much good coming from this, though.  First, it’s a huge relief that I don’t have to fret my body becoming damaged any further. 

Truly, I couldn’t ask for a better experience as a skater. In my first and only full season as a skater, I played for and subbed for four teams and got to be a member of two leagues before I became an independent skater. EVERY weekend, there was a derby event. I was *always* skating. Four teams rostered me for bouts. Four MVP awards – two jammer, two blockers – in eleven months of bouting. 

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100 pounds lost in the journey.

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As an official, trainer and advisor, I can do WAY more than coach. I can TRAIN these athletes. I specialize in fitness, nutrition, and motivation. It is the perfect fit for me.

Plus, I LOVE watching derby and learning about and observing the strategy. Being a ref gives me the opportunity to skate in and watch EVERY jam.

Derby was the seductive beauty that lured me in, and was a pretense and catalyst for my transition into a healthy lifestyle.  I used derby as an excuse to meet new people, become an athlete, get fit, build my body strong, find an outlet, and help me heal from a broken heart.

I am still very much in the derby community, and I’ve also branched out to meet all kinds of skaters. In all candor,  I really skate more on trails and streets than I do any derby practices. I do more training off skates, & a focus so much on my fitness and nutrition for reasons way beyond roller derby.

I’m so thankful that I’ve had the sport to get me in the type of physical shape that I am in, and especially grateful for the ability to see beyond just this one sport. To see beyond just athletes. To see beyond elements and components, and see a huge picture coming together. Just like in derby, I can see where my strongest assets can be utilized to help people, to grow, and to do some really amazing things.

I had the opportunity to referee on Saturday for a bout, and afterwards, I told a few people that I actually prefer officiating over playing derby. I get to skate in every jam, get a ton of endurance as an OPR (outside pack ref), I get to watch amazing things happen, and I get to call people out on their shit.

As with playing, there is also a bit of a code regarding appropriate force in officiating. What I primarily look for is safety, and cleanliness of play. Level of play also determines strictness.

Some things are a bit subjective, but the things that are highly egregious must be addressed. I aspire to put the same energy and work into being a good official as I did to become a good skater. This was not the direction that I had planned for myself; it’s just another way of life reminding me that life happens when you’re making other plans. There is truly a bigger picture here. I feel relieved and excited about the vast road ahead 🙂

There’s still plenty that I can do with my body, & I choose to do healthy things with it, and listen to my heart instead of my ego.

There’s so much love in my heart for the sport, and the amazing people that are in this community. We are an immensely interesting assemblage of geeks, nerds, outcasts, beautiful people, tall, thin, short, full-framed, strong, fit, young, and life experienced. We come from a variety of professions, backgrounds, socioeconomic statuses, levels of skating experience, & a multitude of other things.

I love these people, and I want to keep them safe.

I want to train them.

I want to learn from the best.

I want to build this sport up to the level it’s capable of, and I can do that and SO much more now without the obsessive focus on being an exceptional skater. I can be an exceptional member of the community.

By opening my mind, eyes and heart, I allow myself to be guided by intuition, instead of by desire and ego. I can just flow along to where I’m being led to go without so much resistance.

So be it a new chapter, book, whatever metaphor, this is a huge step forward in my life. I’m seeing myself becoming less bound by specific definition of what it is exactly that I am. Why would I want to marginalize all that I am? I do a LOT.

I am even more excited about RollerCon now ❤ Now, I can just go and officiate as much as my heart desires, go to as many clinics as I want to, and just watch a lot of derby and be around thousands of skaters from around the world.

Okay!

In the morning, I teach again at 6am and have a full day until I teach again at 5pm, and then I take Christy's class at 630. BUTI BUTI BUTI!

OH. And I am teaching a 26 postures class. Adventure! Newness!

How else would we grow if not encountered with challenging situations?

This is what I do 😀