Life is a ShitShow Rodeo!

Woo hoo! Blog time.

I’ve been trying to blog for weeks about all of the junk cluttering up my psyche, but I’ve had too much going on to sit down and focus long enough to get a sentence out. Now, here I am, free of house guests, caught up on most of my work and ready to get it all out.

Consider this a mish mash of what’s been going on in my life lately and forgive me if it flits from subject to subject…I have ADD after all. Flit, flit, flit, ooooooh shiny object…squirrel…

Sooooooo, I had Coach Ziv (from the Go Big Or Go Home state of Texas) here for the last ten days and that made for a lot of derby immersion. He was here to coach my team and others’ and it was a long stretch of playing derby, discussing derby, dreaming about derby, eating/breathing/crapping derby, etc. He left yesterday and, as much as I enjoyed having him here and having him coach us (because he’s radddddddtastical), I am also happy to be back to reality and focusing on work again. I get a bit ancy when I take too much time away from work and start to feel penned in and stagnant. And, as much as I LOVE the Derbs, I love my life and work too. Of course, I have a three day tournament this weekend in Spokane playing with my other team (the ShitShow Rodeo), so I’m only actually working for three days, but we aren’t going to talk about that!

Let’s see, we played a rematch game against one of my favourite teams, the Anarchy Angels and they creamed us again, even with Ziv running the show for us. At first, I was really frustrated that we didn’t pull it together and give the Angels a good run, but I slept on it and discussed it with a few people who I can really vent to and the general consensus was that we still made progress, even if it was in baby steps. We set four goals for our game and, by the end of it, we achieved two of the four and that felt good. My team has, admittedly, been struggling this season, not just because of losses, but also in trying to find the cohesion that all really successful teams have when they are together on the track. All of us realize that we are struggling, but most of us choose to keep working at finding our groove and making things click and every game we play brings us one step closer to the clickity click we are seeking. And, as my well-loved teammie, Moon, says, “Even baby steps are progress”! We also made it into the western championships, so that is also something to keep us moving forward and feeling upbeat about. 🙂

I think the best part of last weekend wasn’t the derby, but the fact that a huge chunk of my family came out to watch and they’d never seen derby before. It’s always nice to introduce people to our kick ass sport and even nicer when I can actually be playing so they have someone to cheer for! I only had a chance to see them briefly, but I loved that they were there and were showing me some support. 🙂 Thanks family people. I hope you all enjoyed yourselves!

Let’s talk about my hubs. He is, seriously, such a damn good guy. Not only was he cool with me dropping life for ten days of derby, but he took it in stride, was completely supportive and smiled and laughed with me all week and kept me feeling upbeat and loved. I think it is too cool that he supports my derby addiction, regardless that it takes me away from him a lot of the time. I also enjoy that he has his own hobbies (fishing, motor biking, etc.) that I fully support, so it makes it easier for him to be cool with mine. I love my guy, all the way up to the moon. He’s kind of a big deal!

Oh, and back to derby for a sec, in a round about way. I am not sore, at all, after playing last weekend. Usually, I spend the day after a bout lounging on the couch, soaking in epsom salts, lamenting that derby is so damn rough and I get the crap beat out of me when I play. This time, though, the only part of me that hurt was my SI joint (because it is sprained and still healing). At first, I thought maybe I didn’t play very hard, but I watched our game yesterday and I played hard enough, so it leads me to conclude that all the extra training I’ve been doing, with the fabulous Robert Petrie (from Kamloops Fit Centre), is really making a difference in my strength out there on the track. This feels really good and makes all the extra training time (and torture…bahahaha) worth it. It also makes me want to work out harder because feeling physical progress is the BEST. FEELING. EVER!

And lastly, flit flit flit, I just have to say that my clients are really and truly amazing people. I’m going to tell you all about something that happened to me a couple of weeks ago that has really made me feel as though my soul purpose – empowering women – is really and truly on track (not in the derby sense of the word). I have asked my client if I can write about her and she has finally given me permission to as long as I don’t show any of her photos or mention her name. This is progress because she wouldn’t let me write anything two weeks ago and I was DYING to shout it from the rooftops.

Last year, a lady called me about a Boudoir session (let’s call her Daisy, to make this story easier to tell) and I booked her in. She was close to 350 pounds and, when she showed up at my door, I could feel the sadness vibes coming off of her in waves. I thought, at the time, that I would do my thing – make her laugh, relax her for the shoot, keep her talking, etc. – and she would get a nice and welcome confidence boost when she saw her pics. I was wrong, but not in a bad way. We did the shoot and I did my best to make her enjoy the entire experience, but I could still feel that underlying “something” was still there. I chalked it up to what I always chalk it up to – a woman with low self-esteem. Again, totally wrong. Two weeks later, I sent her the link to her proofs and, 20 minutes after that, she knocked on my door. She was balling her eyes out and, in a rush of breath, she thanked me for, GASP, saving her life. Literally.

Daisy had a plan. She was so depressed – not just with her self-image, but with many other aspects of her life – that she planned to get the photos I took of her finalized into a book and then kill herself. Two reasons for the photos – something pretty for her husband to remember her by and a nice album to display at her funeral. I’m not fucking with you here – this is all a real life, tragic plan. The glitch was that she didn’t expect to feel what she felt when she saw her photos. Beautiful. Sensual. WORTHY. I hadn’t even edited them yet and just seeing the proofs sparked a will to live again. So she showed up on my doorstep and thanked me and she went straight to the psych ward and checked in. For two months.

When she got out, she had a new lease on life, started working out and eating properly and getting regular counseling. She didn’t contact me again for almost a year, but then called me a few weeks ago and asked me to meet her for coffee. I was ecstatic to NOT RECOGNIZE HER when I walked into the coffee shop. Seriously, she had to stand up and say my name for me to clue in to who she was. She lost nearly 200 pounds, had surgery to remove excess skin and looks like a friggin’ super model now. But that’s not the best part. The best part is that confidence and happiness pour out of her like she’s puking out rainbows and she is alive and vivacious and the picture of perfect feminine sensuality. My jaw hit the floor when I saw her and I had a hard time not staring at her the entire time and shaking my head. And she told me more than once that I saved her life with my camera and my personality. And, to top off the unbelievable radsauciness of the entire thing, she booked another shoot with me and, this time, she wants to do the entire thing naked. (Insert GIANT GRIN here)

I came home and sat on the couch to process and I wept because I had this giant sense that my purpose in this life is being fulfilled. I want her to be my spokesperson. I want her to be her own spokesperson and use her own story to show other women that we can all love ourselves and be happy with ourselves if we only choose to do so. The only drawback is that she won’t let me use her name or her photo because she doesn’t want her children to ever find out how close she came to leaving them for good. I respect that and, really, it’s good enough for me to tell the story to others. I am also willing to bet that, as time goes by, people who know her will make the connection and see how much she has overcome. I am humbled and energized all at the same time by her courage and her determination. Go Daisy Go!

Okay, that is all I have time for. Work is calling.

Here is a pic of me playing some derbs last weekend. It was taken by the talented TJ Chase. I love to see derby pics of me doing crazy things. 🙂


Have a good Tuesday, my friends! I wish you all enough.

2 thoughts on “Life is a ShitShow Rodeo!

  1. That is an amazing story, Jo! It’s amazing how much someone’s opinion on themselves can change if they just look at themselves through someone else’s eyes (or lens, in this case). This is why you’re one of my favourite people – You always find the beauty in everything/one. 🙂

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