Tag Archives: life

Above All, Love Thyself (2005)

I met that assailant five years ago, today.

Internet connections say little about deviant ways.  I only know the sadistic things he’d say to me, while he forced me down, bleeding; telling me to say I loved him.

In that apartment of discardment and disregardment, the stranger of violence, sickness and anger; and a child trying not to be bitter, bleeding between virgin thighs.  Not from his penetration, but of her womanly cycle.

She came with two intentions; her first stop, a film festival.  She came to meet new friends, she only meant a night with out regrets and loose ends of insanity.  She only wished to be innocently entertained; not emotionally rearranged by a deranged stronger stranger.

She did want the later weather to keep her there; she didn’t want to seem overly careful.  She didn’t want him to be inside of her.

Why did he ask her to lie to him, when she could only cry to him to “Stop!”  Why did he mistake her curiosity for infatuation?  Alcohol, a mental obstruction for erectile distraction?

Her strength only a fraction of his, a safe distance missed by watery miles.  Her smiles are long gone.  Her night began at this innocent film fest with other aquaintences; those artsy types, a long and rainy ride to meet a director for his debut.  Not rude at all to his young admirer.

A wine reception was only a lesson in show business and politics.

Next comes that sick twist of cinematic proportions that corners this sad story of lost glory and innocence.  She leaves the film fest to meet those she doesn’t know; the water flooding the highway floats her toward disaster.

Some one must defend her!  Try and rebuild her sense of self worth, but she’s left feeling more worthless than ever before.  A trusting girl, now she’s only a mess on this emotional train wreck.

It takes more then seconds to think of the lessons she has learned from this tragedy.  I know it’s messed up, because it happened to me.  Now self esteem seems so hard to catch.

Men leave me cautious and sick when I think of lost intentions and sad revelations.  Not all men are the same, but the bad name is branded by a night that broke me.  Not at all a joke to me, just a sad story of lost virginity that needed to be told.

I will choose to be bolder, though my heart grows colder than it would have been, had my innocence been left to rest a while longer.  I needed to be stronger than I was that night.  What was once made wrong, I need to right for myself.  Search for help.  Pay these dues, get past the hurt of being used, sexually abused.

Move forward to help some one else, before the memory fades.  I know no matter how many days pass, I won’t relax because there is a mission to share.  You girls, beware; some guys are beasts out there.  Some times you can control your fate before it’s too late to say those words.

Stand up like a woman, though you feel like a girl.  You show this world that you can overcome; beyond grey skies, look toward the sun.  Innocence is lost everyday.  That doesn’t make it okay or right, but it’s no reason to want to die.  It’s a reason to grow; be bold, live to grow older.  To be the shoulder to some one younger.

It’s a lesson born of a sick sad situation; building aggression, fused confusion and broken illusions of grandeur.  This is the stuff soap operas are made of- the complete opposite of love.  It’s sick, it’s bad, but it’s something some of us have had to endure.  It is the merger of physical violence, sexual deviance, and disgusting circumstances rolled into a complete disregard for a woman’s voice crying out “NO!”

It’s the emotional blow of a lifetime; the intimate mark on a personal timeline.  The invasion of a jail-able crime, but a sentence that doesn’t serve enough time.  Something I didn’t report, a personal decision of mine.  Something upon which Karma I tend to rely on.

So I have gone five years, not so much fearing for myself sexually, as much as I started hating male humanity.  Not the lest life to lead in a hetero-relationship.  I haven’t figured out yet, some I am suppose to live in forgiveness of the situation.  To really let it go, and begin again.

I take it with me everyday… it’s a lot of hidden pain and twisted thinking.  Enough to constitute drugs and reckless drinking; which is what got me moving forward into helping myself and trying to help some one else… yet, I still haven’t learned to love.

I’ve got to take these lessons, there is something to be gained from the most painful of days.  A bit of enlightenment that never fades; a diamond of knowledge from the wise old sage.  A source of healing from the rock of ages. Another one of those challenging steps in the phases of womanhood. A woman, where a girl stood.

Should you ever be this woman’s lover; LOVE HER!  Cherish her.  Covet the love you have for her.  Sing Songs of Solomon to her.  She is a beautiful disaster and at times a walking contradiction.  She suffers the lost virgin affliction.  She NEEDS love to be her addiction.

She will fight it.  She will fight you.  I know all of this, I do it too.  She will cry, she will weep, she will stay up all night and make you lose sleep.  She will mourn, she will come to terms, only to wake in the morning and burn again with anger.  Some times she will seem like a stranger.  The faces of hurt sometimes can not hide within her.

She will want you to hate her, because she hates herself for a situation she couldn’t help. To her control is something she prides in herself, it’s at the top of some list next to personal health.

Just love her. Learn her.  Remind her of her worth.  Let each new day, really mean “re-birth”. The pain is sharp as it internally hurts.  Love and time can heal all wounds.  It’s just a tough job convincing her she is worthy at all.  Not a small task for the weak of heart, the faintly in love.  You WILL want to give up! Yeah, and some times it really sucks… but once she “gets it”, it will be eternal love.

So please, curb your tendency to criticize, look deeply into her eyes and ask her to vocalize her worries, her deep set fears. Tell her, tears are okay.

And if you are on the other end, quit defending your pride!  Don’t lie and say “nothing is wrong.”  Admit that you are insecure, full of fear, anger and resentment. Let him know about those losses and so much more.  Tell him this unlocks the door to the dark stuff that keeps you awake.  These are the feelings that make you fake your security.  It’s okay to express the pain of how you use to be, and how you can seem to change or get it back.

Hold her hand as you listen.  Never think her deranged.  Listening like this could forever change the course of everything later on.

Girl, learn that when they listen, you know they are for your best intentions.  Each time it’s a new lesson of patience.  It makes no sense to try him over and over; Rover only returns if you treat him well.  He can assist you with finding Heaven, if you face it that you are not in Hell.

Sadness for the past drowns the strongest swimmer in the Sea of Despair.  You only fair so well for so long before your air escapes you and you sink so far below, he can’t see you, see him anymore. Just a word from one who knows.  She is the repeat offender; all of her destructive decisions fall in the blender of memories.

The times I have made myself scream at self loathing and the desire for Love to leave, for the leave of love I couldn’t understand and still some how still don’t.  I believe in Love above all, and perhaps just not for me.  Another struggle of trying to believe; I’ll convince you, if you can convince me.

I am waiting for seasons to pass before I drop these leaves of self doubt and hate.  All those lovers before, bailed  after they realize the bait was tainted by sorrow.  I never plan on being sad tomorrow, sometimes it just ends up that way.

If you are sad and you want love, you will find excuses to pursue love and then call it all useless.  It draws you back in, time and again.  I suppose the fact you can still fall at all, is a positive sign but learning how to stay is like finding a pearl of Truth.  Eternal Love is Eternal Youth; the ultimate soother of all those fears and bothered looks. (Trust me I read about it in one of those Self Help books.)

I feel I can help you along a road of self love and self help; but I feel like I can’t help myself.  My advice leaves me dry of knowledge for my best intentions. I tend to learn life’s lessons the hard way.  I start up the same old mountain, from the same place, and fall at a moment late in the game from failed interactions and emotional distractions.  Leading at times to erratic over reactions and faulty verbal transactions.

Maybe someday I’ll try the other side of the hill; it could be the cure for spilling down that rocky road, and getting that bulky load to the top.  Showing that rock, whose boss.

Look at the Lover, and wonder where they got their graceful strength and patience.  The power of two is more than one.  Set this to the reminder at the rise and set of the sun.  Love, above all, Love Thyself.  The wealth of Love is with you.  Covet Love.  Love the lesson of a lifetime, the delicious fruit on Time’s vine.

The Kiss of a Stranger (2006)

She looks at her reflection, it just won’t teach the lessons she’s looking to learn.  All these consequences for risky actions; scandalous transactions have this girl attached to unreliable sources.

Forces of nature, put her there.   Aware, the whole time, of her shortcomings and the risks. She slips across these thoughts like skipping rocks across water, bouncing a few times before they disappear.

Walk along these empty streets with me, just breathing the fresh air and carefully walking in darkening grace. This place, right now, is silent solitude; a lovely little interlude from this crazy life.

A momentary escape, late at night, a people packed room.  A slow progression forward, not bored at all by our conversation. Walking to your home in synchronicity, in these moments of clarity, I want your kiss desperately so.

Did you find me witty and adept?  Appealingly unkempt and at times a bit bereft of rational thoughts?  Are my motions too fast, did I interact too boldly?  Knowing I only want luscious lips on mine.  I want to redefine my single-hood.

I am a walking effigy of innocent integrity; he begins to boldly kiss me; softly, sweetly and passionately.  It’s been  over a year since I breathed the breath of another.  The wonder of such newness!  The friction of a first kiss; a moment I have missed so desperately!

It is my weakness; this physical plea test, the best part of the beginning.  The feeling of winning the touch of a beautiful stranger.  Later he hours go until no more darkness rests on this hemisphere; the queer night of indulgent lips lock in lust and curiosity.

He even still smiles at me; not as bad as it could be.  Thank God, he didn’t want to sleep with me; but I want to see him again so badly!  I have got to breathe, because this has only just begun with a question and a look.  A smile.  A chat.

Chatting over a cigarette for a while, walking back east in style; a wily hippie at my right.  A perfect night cap.  How is it I find him so appealing?  His physicality reels me forward into kinesthetic wonder.  And I question if he rocks like thunder under the sheets.

What am I thinking?  I am again forgetting to breathe.  The lack of oxygen is clogging my senses.  Again I feel reckless and senseless confusion.  I give these illusions abandon. I am not yet stranded.  I should be celebrating my independence.

May 24, 2014 : Lesbian Stereotypes I learned by Binge Watching “The L Word”

 

  • There are NO overweight lesbians in L.A.
  • It is inevitable that you will eventually be best friends or lovers with the lesbian that aggravates you the most.
  • Lesbians, have little qualm with  sleeping with more than one woman a week.
  • Lesbians “in heat”, are loud mouth breathers.
  • Lesbians in L.A. wear tight pants, that are often times hard to remove.
  • Even “butch” lesbians in L.A., are fucking HOT and still pretty fem.
  • L.A. lesbians rarely, if ever, discuss their periods or reproductive health.
  • Lesbians eat A LOT of pussy, but they never discuss how it tastes.
  • Lesbians apparently don’t have very many heterosexual friends; especially heterosexual male friends.

 

Attempting to Submit to Love in 2003

I knew my adult story started with him.  My superficial bones tested the strength of will, I thought I had.

We tell ourselves things in judgement of others.  An internal pact, ” I will never be that woman.”  Then some how the ironic face of circumstance sets forth a learning curve you once thought yourself to be invincible against.

I walk through life, listening to my own voice-over; laughing and wondering how a story could begin like this; but it did.

Imagine a girl entering into a new period of her freedom.  Twenty-three and vigorously trying to be more athletic and perhaps more hip than she has been before.

It’s a ski town and she is trying the “snow bum” lifestyle for a while.  This place is edgy in its very removed and integrated way of twenty-somethings and older folks alike.  They were all there for the snow; small town drama and copious amounts of intoxicants at any moment came as a sidecar.

Their attitude was “the moment is meant to be lived”; this philosophy in this neck of the woods led to other sentiments, such as “It’s better to live below poverty ABOVE 9000 ft.”

I love the mountains and nature.  Every once and a while I like to party.  Mostly thought I love nature and beer, with a sidecar of interesting stories.  So, I found a job at a local pub with the help of a couple of local friendly friends.  Forward I worked into the integration process.

This was May 2003.  By October I had a few friends I could stand on a regular basis; plenty of places to hang out if things got dull, and a condo with a filthy roommate who was rarely there.

I was getting more fit, and spending much of my free time painting and forcing myself to workout.  Twenty pounds of extra winter clothing and a two to four mile walk, would make me happy, as I was literally “walking my ass off.”

I wasn’t smoking cigarettes. I had a healthy pot habit and mostly drank Guinness or Carlsburg Dunkle.  I walked to and fro, from my three jobs.  Mostly I avoided drama.

I remember it was a warm day in August, or September; the first day he saw me.  I recall him telling me his friend owned the condo behind mine.  He was helping with “home improvements.”

He’d seen me running.  That same day I had finished one of my favorite paintings out under sun.

In this small town, his friend living directly behind me,  his avoidance of drama; we were bound to eventually meet. Our paths had to cross.  It would take a couple of months.

I had some flings before then.  Maybe more than I would like to mention, given the circumstances of small towns, and my distaste for sloppy seconds; none of it was of real potential, just young snow boarder guys.  Most older than me, but not at all very serious.

I am feeling my superficial bones ache.  It takes more than beauty and brawn to win me over.  Still, admittedly, I like good looks and a great mind.  Great minds are sometimes a bit vulnerable to superficial beauty.  The brain could go on thinking in such contradictory and malicious circles, until one finds themselves void of the ability to communicate clearly; perhaps going so far as to not be able to communicate at all.

I’d like to say that when we met, I was starting to feel as though I was grasping clarity; though now I know, I hadn’t even really started the search.

He touched me and this muddled mind and vulnerable heart, immediately forgot about listening to common held fear, and jumped happily forward into a hard lesson.

Something I have always known and been impressed with, is the most effective way to fully know a lesson, is to fully immerse in order to truly learn.

An Open Letter To All the People Who Wonder Why I Shy Away From Intimacy

Dear Loved Ones,  those I continually shy away from emotionally and physically.  To those I have run away from, and have run away from me;

I apologize that at times I can’t seem to escape the nauseating feeling that builds in me when I come into contact with physical intimacy; whether it be between parents and children or lovers and friends.  I find it hard to watch; to stomach the outward affection people are able to show toward one another.  I don’t quite understand it, but I crave it.

I find myself caught in a steady state of loneliness, confusion and hopelessness, that I will never be able to “feel” and express “feeling” like others seem so comfortable doing.  Something in my second nature has atrophied.  Will I ever be able to truly share and savor those aspects of emotional camaraderie, that should come with love and intimacy?  The seemingly one thing, keeping me chained to isolation caught in stagnant aspects of my emotional world.

I often cringe away from physical touch, as a completely unconscious response; I find myself jump in surprise when touched affectionately.  I find this to be upsetting for both parties.  This leaves me further feeling untouchable, misunderstood and lonelier, still.

This is not a matter of not wanting to be touched at all, but rather, I do remember that I like to be touched.  The ability to be touched starts in my brain.  I don’t just go around touching people, and people certainly don’t just go around touching me.  I have spent more of my life being untouched, than touched.   I don’t have normal daily excretions of Oxytocin.  I get a good hug in, every few months.  Seasonal hugging.  In my mind, I think, if I could just surrender, then I know I would want to be held forever.  But, for some reason that cognitive dissonance sets in and I can not surrender.

Everyone knows about the wall around my heart, and some even believe that they themselves, are enough to beat it down.  No one wants to break it down together, and I am not just going to give hammers out, willy-nilly, with out at least being able to supervise the progress.

The ability for me to start to surrender,will always be, when I feel a foundation of trust. I need to know that I won’t be left to the wolves again, by this obvious distraction that exists within my brain spaces.  I don’t need extra isolation, I can provide that plenty on my own.  I don’t need harsh emotional critics, I have that covered as well.

I would be happy enough with compassion and understanding.

 

 

Photography courtesy of Pat Kight.

 

 

 

Richard Johnson, Renegade Politician Pt.1

If you are a Cheyenne resident voter that follows local politics, the name of Richard Johnson, has probably popped up in conversation more than once around the water cooler.

In all seriousness, it appears that he has a completely diametric effect on those who have taken notice of his politics; whether from the outside looking in, or first hand. You either love him, hate him or find yourself completely confused by him and his presence in the political arena. Some may say, though, that “that’s par for the course when it comes to politicians.” Rich, however, is far from par for the course when it comes to politics.

And, now, our Black Sheep Councilman, is running for Mayor, on a write in campaign.

Richard is a life long resident of Cheyenne. Being labeled as “subversive” or “controversial” is nothing new when it comes to how he chooses to play his role in the game of society. Even from a young age, Rich was getting things done in a manner of hard grit sandpaper. Ruffling feathers with his ideas; all the while making strong attempts to bring sub-sectors of our community, places and ways to feel involved.

Take for instance, his involvement and passion to help get the skate park built.

I remember this town before there was a skate park.
Though I didn’t skate, many of my friends did and I knew how badly they wanted a place to go; a magical place where they could do what  they wanted to; a place where they weren’t going to get yelled at or cited for “illegal skating.”

Rich was just a few years older, and cared about skating AND politics enough to jump in; because, even when building a skate park, it all comes down to politics and support of the community.

At a first and superficial glance some may assumed that Rich is just out to break things. Breaking the systems and people who view him as obstructive or destructive… but can One individual really break something that is already blocked and/ or broken? Can One individual use their own transparency to show others that they need not pretend that superficial fixes and ignorance will alleviate a certain history of systematic dysfunction, that no longer fits our growing and changing economy?

I suppose Richard is out to challenge that in a very direct way that will yet again ruffle feathers.

This is not to say that in the process of his involvement, officially with the City Council, that he hasn’t himself changed, and noticeably so….

It’s a moody spring day in Cheyenne, Thursday in the Third week of May; we decide to meet up at the new Danielmark’s Brewpub, to discuss his effect on the community, and the reasons for the write in campaign.

Rich looks like I feel; tired, and perhaps retaining some water. On his head is a black ball cap that proclaims “DON’T ASK ME 4 SHIT!”… ironic accessory to wear to an interview… when all I have is answers to ask for.

As per usual, he has also accessorized with one of his favorite black metal band t-shirts; today it’s Panzerfaust. According to Wikipedia “Panzerfaust is an inexpensive, single shot, recoil-less German anti-tank weapon of World War II. It consists of a small, disposable pre-loaded launch tube firing a high-explosive anti-tank warhead, and was intended to be operated by a single soldier. ” This could be the end of this article. Whether or not he realizes it (and I guess that he does), he sums himself up consistently, without the help of others.

My hope for this series of pieces, is to give you a more clear view of where Rich stands on topics effecting this town.  For those of you who may be on the fence, or just on the side of the fence where the haters hang out; This is for you.

We grab our brews, and head out the the nice new Danielmark’s patio, and jump straight into it.

“Well, Rich, tell me about how you have become who you’ve hated?”

Basically over the last month I have done a huge paradigm shift from who I was before January 5, 2015. Pretty much before that I was an idealist, and now I am the fucking worst pessimist you’ve ever fucking met.

“So you basically skipped realism, and jumped straight to pessimism?”

Yeah, it’s pretty much, this whole escapade is total fucking failure. At least my site lives up to it’s name now. (The infamous FaceBook page “Richard Johnson, You Failed This City)

“Why are you feeling so disappointed?”

Well, because I know that there are ebbs and flows, and right now it’s on a flow, and soon it will be on an ebb…and we’re going to get another old man as Mayor. And I bet you that this year the status quo is going to go out in droves and kill everything (progressive.) I was actually waiting for more candidates to run against me, not because of who I am, but basically because of what I stand for. So I thought there would be a lot more opposition candidates. I mean they have nine more days to file… I figured they would come in a put the kibosh on it. I mean if they really look at it, I haven’t done anything except repeal some laws and ordinances. Like spitting is coming up, and weapons. Basically chickens was a thing that nobody thought should happen, but I just did it to piss people off.

“Are you maybe just being a little too hard on yourself? I mean, you have only been in the position a year, and it probably takes at least a year to figure out what you are doing, since you hadn’t done it before.”

No, I knew exactly what I was doing. I did it with the skate park. I knew what government was all about, that’s why I thought I could just, kind of, mesh in. But, you know, really, it’s just smoke and mirrors. I don’t really feel like anything has really been accomplished in seventeen months.

“But, you didn’t have a clear plan, right?”

No. And I never do. I never run on that type of shit. I told them, that I have no agenda. For my write in, let’s just say that this community better hope I’m never elected for Mayor.

“What does that even mean?”

I will raise impact fees for developers. I will never have a six penny or seven penny tax, where you have to pay for a fire station because a developer wants to keep a couple of million for themselves. I WILL RAISE IMPACT FEES, and I WILL make developers pay for fire stations and more police officers. And I know, the Chamber of Commerce is going to come after me and tell me that I am not supporting local business. Then the Council is going to flip flop on me because they are a bunch of cowards. They are going to get scared that suddenly local business’ that hires local employees, is going to get the shaft again. If you look at inflation rates the Walmart on Livingston paid $125.00 for their final flat.”

Richard then explains his observation of wasted funds on spaces, with things like landscaping, in the name of “beautification” with plants that are having a hard time surviving in our climate at the times of year that they are planted. At the same time he is addressing his experience with the community complaining about the overgrown Green Way, that is justified to not be trimmed as a means of “trash mitigation and purification of waters with natural grasslands.”

Johnson makes note that Cheyenne lacks a specific beautification plan that is symbiotic with the climate and environment of the city and surrounding areas, and that citizens and business’ are wasting funds yearly on everything but long lasting beautification solutions that can also add to the the potential uniqueness of Cheyenne.

Maybe it was the topics of trash, and  monetary waste; that the conversation led next to the other Mayoral Candidates running for office.

As you may have heard before this article, Johnson, is running on a write in campaign. No signs, no banners, no $25.00 entry fee to put his name in the hat. He doesn’t think you need to spend money for a campaign, and he is out to prove it in his own renegade way. Some people are laughing, I know… and maybe I am giggling a little on the inside, too. My reason is, “you never know until you try, and if you don’t put any money in… what do you have to lose?” Right?

A slight controversy recently came up online, after Marian Oor announced her Mayoral bid with videos, balloons and bright orange posters. Richard boiled it down to gimmicks and things that would end up as trash in peoples yards.   In turn he encouraged  voters to avoid posters on their lawns and in their business’, and instead, actually investigate what the constituents were currently doing in the community that would prove they should have a seat ( whether City Council, Mayor, or beyond.)

Social Media followers of Richard Johnson, and active participants in the community eager to try their hand at city council agreed with his logic. Gabe Pina of Pina Accounting and the Downtown Cheyenne Business Coop is running for a seat in Ward 3 City Council.  He  was inspired to ask his supporters to donate to one of several community charities in lieu of campaign donations.

I almost feel like an asshole now, every time I go into a new business opening, because I am surrounded by fake assholes. I am surrounded by ‘candidates’. It’s almost like everything I have done for the last year and a half on my own was “Oh I am elected, now I have to really go out and support my community. “

And support his community he did. “Richard Johnson, You Failed This City” has been just as abuzz with community events as it has been with Johnson’s personal rants; raves, observations, controversial pictures and not so rhetorical questions.

Anything having to do with Cheyenne; issues within the community have been posted to his social media participants, by Richard himself. Concerns by the public have been emailed to him, and he has posted them anonymously to gauge the interest of the community with topics raised. Overall, Rich has made a pretty concerted effort to attend as many events as possible regardless of  niche or perceived “cool” factor.

More than once, Richard, has arrived unannounced, and not specifically invited. And, perhaps to some onlookers, who may have been self placated in their own perceived superiority; were the least impressed with the effort in which Mr. Johnson was asserting himself into political circles concerning this community in the fine state of Wyoming.

So, though perhaps not out to impress, Richard Johnson is more willing than others to play the game and attempt to beat it by breaking the status quo.  Whether he  breaks it, or perhaps just overloads the system; there is bound to be an impact for Cheyenne.

(To go to Part 2, CLICK HERE)

Fit Body Boot Camp- Week 13- Meet the Boss Lady, Sara Goossen

Fitness CAN be fun, with Sara Goossen!
Fitness CAN be fun, with Sara Goossen!

Are you familiar with the action of a wrecking ball?

That is Sara Goossen in a nutshell. The lady is powerful, energetic, and ready to knock excuses out of the way. She is a bright and compassionate person who sees the potential in people and then helps individuals harness their inner bad ass. This talent is an imperative staple in her personal business model.

October 1, 2012, Sara opened Fit Body Boot Camp- Cheyenne, with 14 clients. Her goal is to change the lives of 5000 of Cheyenne’s citizens by 2017. As of April 2015, she has trained and cultivated a community of 1200 residents who are interested in adopting a healthy life style. That is an average of 400 people a year, getting active and aware in the fair city of Cheyenne and it’s surrounding areas. No small feat for this 5’3″ wrecking ball.

Sara and I got together to discuss her fitness past and her optimistic fitness future; how she came to start FBBC and some of her own trials and tribulations in the fitness process.

Before I jump into the interview, I would like to state that when you are looking for a gym, and a support system to help you change your habits; having a leader like Sara is imperative because she has run the gamut of unhealthy eating and body weight issues. She has children, she knows struggles and excuses. She has taken initiative on her own, in her own life in order to transcend her past hang ups. In turn Sara has turned hardships into valuable insight for those at any point in their fitness journey.

It may be easier for certain people to take her ethic very seriously because she didn’t start out on this lifestyle right after high school or college before having children; when most women’s bodies are still in that youthful metabolism. She wasn’t always healthy. It was a choice that she had to dedicate herself to; which meant a long road of challenges that led to the changes that are evident in her today.

Let’s find out more, shall we?

March/April 2015; back in  the game after a 2 month break.
March/April 2015; back in the game after a 2 month break.

STATS

AGE: 28

HEIGHT: 5’3″

WEIGHT: 145.3 lbs

FAVORITE EXERCISE: RUNNING STAIRS, WORKING THE BACK, AND SQUATS

LEAST FAVORITE EXERCISE: BUILDING CLIMBERS

Breaks are temporary... This lady is out to GET IT DONE!
Breaks are temporary… This lady is out to GET IT DONE!

Let’s talk about your fitness past, eating disorders, all that stuff.

It goes so far back, it’s disturbing… so, okay, 10 years old; my mom told me I needed to stop eating granola bars because they were making me fat and at that point in time I had just finished some book, I can’t remember the title of, and it was talking abou this girl who would throw up, because she was so fat. So…I…followed suit.

Thank God for Children’s Literature, right?

Yeah, I was like, “Well, now I am well informed and I can solve this problem.

(Sara reminences with awkward laughter.)

So, at ten years old that started fourteen years of just roller coaster disordered eating; ranging the spectrum of binging and purging to just starving myself. When I got pregnant with my son, when I was sixteen, I kind of just said “Fuck it. It doesn’t matter if I am skinny; it doesn’t matter if I am fat…I am pregnant. I can eat whatever I want and have no guilt.” I gained 50 pounds when I was pregnant with him, and I lost ten. I lost some weight nursing, but after I stopped nursing him, I continued the disordered eating cycle.

Just picked it up where you left off?

Yep, just picked it up right where I left off. And I knew… I was an athlete in high school, I knew about nutrition but it’s not something that I ever listened to because disordered eating was so much easier than learning how to feed myself. At nineteen I married my now ex-husband, (my daughters’ father) and gained all that “happy weight” I maxed out the scale before we got married, at 197 lbs…. so, I looked like a cow in my wedding dress.

None of this happens over night... it takes time to get to either end of the spectrum.   Which one would you prefer to be closer to?
None of this happens over night… it takes time to get to either end of the spectrum. Which one would you prefer to be closer to?

Thank god for girdles….

After that we were trying to get pregnant with Emma, and couldn’t get pregnant… couldn’t get pregnant. We tried for two years, and I finally went to the doctor and asked “what is going on?” I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) and the doctor told me that I had to make a lifestyle change, or else…. “you’re going to end up with diabetes; you are more apt to have certain types of cancer, you are just going to get fatter, your thyriod is going to peter out…” All the things that go along with PCOS… “This is your future. You either make a change now or enjoy your future where it is headed.”

At that point I sought help because I knew my disorder was no longer a sustainable way to live life. It wasn’t mentally or emotionally healthy.

So I lost about 20 lbs. and we got pregnant with Emma through a series of fertility treatments. When I was pregnant with Emma I only gained about 20 lbs and then I lost it all right away. At that point they (the doctors) said “Well you are probably not going to be able to have any more children, so don’t worry about it.” And I thought, okay, cool; I am just going to go back to doing the whole weight loss thing, because I still had fifty pounds to go.

So I lost another twenty pounds, and then I got pregnant with my daughter Ileena… BOOM! I remember going to my dads house and saying, “Well… I am pregnant again just when I was gettting my ‘sexy’ back.” My grandma looks at me and says “Well honey, maybe that’s the problem.”

Double edged sword on that one…

Yeah! So I got pregnant and did that whole thing and I only gained fifteen pounds with Ailena , and I lost that all right away. November 2009 I found Body For Life, Bill Phillips, transformation.com ; whom I heard about from my step-mom. So I thought, I am going to try this thing. (Everybody thought I was crazy for starting during the holidays.) It was pretty easy; three days of lifting, three days of cardio, all high intensity intervals. By doing that the next three months I was able to loose the rest of the weight. About half way through that three month process I was like “Ya, know, I want to help other people because I can do this as some one who has struggled their whole life with eating well and taking care of themselves … I can help some one else do this.”

I got my personal training certification.

How long did that take you?

It was about four months and about that time I was working for my dad as his administrative assistant amoung other things. I decided that I would try this training thing before and after work, and see what happens. I did that and it just blew up, so in June 2010, I quit my job working for my dad and I started training full time.

I was doing a lot of one on one training and two boot camp sessions at a local gym. I was making money, doing something I love. I worked there for two years and I left because there were some issues that made it neccessary for me to get out of that environment. I decided, I am just going to start my own place; I left and they came after me with for violating my no-compete/ no-solicitation agreement.

Looking back, I was so mad at the time. I was furious, like how could they do this? How can this stand up? Well, it stood up because I had solicited the people who had signed up with me, but were also their clients. I had to take a year off of training and I went back to working for my dad for a year and within that year I knew I needed to do something. I was miserable.

When you are following a life of passion and suddenly it is taken away; it’s like the wind has been knocked out of your sails. You don’t even feel like a human being. I started looking down in Colorado for places I could move to and open up. I was doing all this during the same time I was being sued and working for my dad; I also had gotten a divorce from my kids father. It was everything that could go wrong, did.

I was at an impass; like shit, what do I do?

I looked down in Boulder and I spent about six months driving back and forth, just looking for a location I could open up. I encountered road block after road block.

By this point I had already talked to the CEO of Fit Body, who has been a long time friend. I told them, I want to do this but I have to wait until this year is up or I am screwed.

Was that part of your Non-compete agreement? Did you have a time limit to wait?

Yes, that was the year. One year to the day, October 1, 2012; we opened up with fourteen clients. I was just so excited to be open and be able to do what I love to do. That’s it… the rest is history. Here we are today; looking for another space, a bigger place… sitting down with the bank and talking about bigger loans.

The beginning bare bones of a fitness fortress in the making.
The beginning bare bones of a fitness fortress in the making.

That’s pretty quick, only three years.

Yeah, less than three years actually.

How do you know the CEO of Fit Body?

The fitness industry is so small, it really is. So if you don’t know every one you soon will if you stay in it long enough. I met him doing a master mind. I was in there with the two founders of Fit Body Boot Camp, Steve Hochman and Bedros Keuilian. I was in Steve’s Master Mind and through that I met Bedros. We had several conversations and talked on the phone several times, emailed back and forth; He called me up one day and said ” What’s it going to take to get you to open a Fit Body? And I told him, “You know what it will take, you know what I am up against right now. It’s going to have to take one hell of a deal and some patience and that is where it’s at.” So he said “Alright, let’s make it happen.”

At this point it was going from licensing to a franchise, so they were looking for people and I just happened to be one of those people.

Do you get together with other gym owners?

I do know a lot of the Fit Body owners simply because we get together quarterly; every three months, usually in San Diego or Chino Hills, California. There is a great community with in Fit Body, even from a corporate structure coming all the way down to the clients. It’s nice that we can just continue to pay it forward. It’s pretty cool, and a very unique situation.

Would you like to talk about your competition stuff?

OH YEAH! Sure! I don’t want to bore you to tears with business.

I first competed in August of 2011, I also ran the Denver half marathon in October 2010, and after that I gave myself permission to never run again. (laughter.) I find it really useless and painful. It turns out I am better suited for lifting heavy things than go fast.

2011 looks good on Sara Gosseen!
2011 looks good on Sara Gosseen!

Did you do this on your year of sabbatical?

No, it was right before everything blew up in my face. Then I competed in my second figure show August 2013.

2013 looked even better!
2013 looked even better!

Did you win anything?

I did. I placed 5th in the second show, I was pretty excited about that. Granted there were only six figure competitors, so I was 5th, but I was happy to have something to take home, regardless.

My first show I did there were 36 figure competitors, and I think I finished 34th. So I was like, “I think I have improved!”

'High Knees
‘High Knees” are different than heinies… make sure both are in good form!

Were these in Wyoming?

The one in 2011 was in Loveland, Colorado. The Warrior Classic, and the other one was in Wyoming, and that was the Jay Cutler Classic. And that Dude, is a Big Dude. I have a picture of him somewhere.

Not only is Jay Cutler bohemoth, but he makes Sara look like a tiny lil tea cup.  Jay Cutler Classic 2013.
Not only is Jay Cutler bohemoth, but he makes Sara look like a tiny lil tea cup. Jay Cutler Classic 2013.

 

He was there?

Yeah, he is huge! He is a moose of a man! My head is as big as his shoulder!

He could pick you up in the palm of his hand!

Honestly I am getting the bug again, to compete. I am trying to weigh out the time commitment that it takes, along with my other obligations to see what it will take… if it’s something I can feasibly do right now while keeping everything else balanced. I do love competing .

If you wait to have your own place, you could put on your own competition, in house competition. Then you won’t have to go too far.

That is one of the most fun things about competition; you get to meet so many interesting people from all over the country. People who are busting their asses just to get super lean for just a minute. It literally lasts a day. You deplete enough to have a six pack for a day, and then you gain 20 pounds the next day because you drink water. It’s crazy.

It would be interesting to time lapse a person going through the build up to competition, and then the 24 hours afterward. Once you get the tanner off, and start drinking water again, it’s like what the hell? You blossom like a flower.

You still eat, you carb load the day of to fill out your muscles because you have depleted to the point that you have taken all the glycogen and striped your body of literally everything. It’s not something you want to do often because it is kind of dangerous, BUT, it’s still fun to push your mental ability and physical barriers. That is big for me, because I love the challenge.

Are you a challenge junkie?

I totally am! I love the personal challenge. Competing against other people is fun, but figure prep is anywhere from 2-5 months.

It’s kind of interesting that you have struggled with disordered eating which is in and of itself sort of an addiction, and pushing your body to a limit and challenging it, but not in a very healthy way. And here you have turned your addiction around to a healthier way of expressing it. Yet, there are still these extremes that you go to.

It totally is. What I think helps me with competing and the lifestyle of body building is the structure that it provides. It’s like a security blanket. You take some one with an eating disorder who has struggled with that their entire life, and you say, “you don’t have to struggle, here is some structure. Have a nice day.” It’s like, “okay, this is safe.”

Then the biggest struggle, is will power to be able to keep on the regamine.

Yeah, it’s like any other fitness goals… as long as you have that dead line… the finish line at the end; it makes it that much easier. It’s not like you have to do this for a lifetime or else… It’s here is your dead line, and then you reset the goal. And that is something that is really, really exciting for me.

Through competing I learned to accept my body, where ever it is; whether I am 120 pounds or 145. I am still strong, I am still beautiful and I am still worthy of love and acceptance and success. That is one of those things that I have accidentally learned through the process. It is a by product.

I know a lot of people who compete who struggle with that mindset. Like if they don’t have a six pack they are done for. They are like “Oh My God, My Life Is OVER!”

It basically boils down to bulemia or dysmorphia. It’s all activated on the same brain wave length, same neurological pathway. It’s been nice to find freedom from that as I have gotten older. To not be stressed out about the numbers, to see yourself and be like “You look good!”

IT’s a good example to your kids, too.

I hope so. Sometimes I wonder, “am I ruining these little people?”

Mommy, Wife, Business Owner and Encourager of the Masses... what can't this lady do?         Photo courtesy of  Lacey Dippold Photography
Mommy, Wife, Business Owner and Encourager of the Masses… what can’t this lady do? Photo courtesy of Lacey Dippold Photography

Instead of “You’re the reason mommy has a drinking problem,” it’s more like “You are the reason mommy has an exercise problem.”

That’s funny beacause when I took two months off earlier this year, my kids were like “what is wrong with her?” I did not feel like myself. I felt like I was insane most days; like absolutely bat shit crazy.

You needed to be exerting yourself.

Yeah, I needed that rush of endorphins and I think it was something that I had always taken for granted because I have been doing it for so long, it’s just been part of my life for so long. When I completely took it out, I had no idea the impact it would have on me. Not just physically but spiritually, emotionally and mentally. I got to tell you, the week we started working out again, my husband and I; He was like “Gosh you are so much easier to be around.” And I knew he meant that in the sweetest way possible, instead of being a jerk, and I was like “I know, trust me, it’s easier to be in my head.” I went to the doctor and I asked am I schitzophrenic, what is going on here? And she said “I think you are depressed.” And I just needed exercise.

So tell me about your favorite success story to come out of here.

My favorite one, honestly, is from when I very, very first started. He followed me when I opened Fit Body. His name is Austin, he was 16 when he came to me he was 386 lbs. and he was tall and huge. He knew he had a problem. He was home schooled so he didn’t have a lot of interaction with other kids. The reason he was home schooled was because when he was in school, the other kids were just horrible to him because he was so big and kind of awkward and quiet.

He would come, every single day to Boot Camp. At that point in time, they were 1 1/2 hour sessions, he would show up at 6:00 AM, every day. And even if he couldn’t do it, he would struggle through it.

He asked me, “what do I eat? how do I do it?”

His mom was onboard, but I didn’t see her much. Sometimes she would come and walk while he did Boot Camp. Every now and then she would come talk to me, well when I took the year off, Austin started power lifting and he took his focus off the weight loss. Then he came over to Fit Body when I opened, and he brought his mother with him, and they did it together.

It was just so, so, so cool. He ended up losing 110 lbs by the time he was 19. Then they moved to Oregon. He was such a great, great kid. It was just so cool to see how he was able to influence his mom because it’s usually the parents who influence the kids. He was able to influence his mom after two years of going at it by himself.

Was she also over-weight?

Yes, she was, but such a nice, nice gal. I look back on those two, especially Austin and I think “That kid could have made every excuse in the world because teenagers do, adults do. Teenagers learn from what the adults model.” He just was like “I am tired of this. I am tired of being the ‘fat kid’. I don’t mind being a ‘big kid’, I am 6’3″. But I am tired of being the ‘fat kid'”

The last Halloween he was here, he dressed up as The Hulk; and that involved taking off his shirt, and painting himself green, and walking around with out a shirt on. Two years prior to that you would have never seen him do that. It was so cool to see him blossom from this awkward quiet, video gamer (indoor) kid to this little ball of life and energy, and sass.

It was fun to not only see his journey of weight loss but also to see how he grew as a person. To see him evolve into an adult from a kid that just didn’t want to be fat and made fun of.

Do you stay in contact with him?

I do. I stay more into contact with his mom because he is a young adult now and all over the place.

It would be interesting to see if he takes a career in Fitness from this influence. It seems like people who a great at teaching come from a past of being ostersized.

So, we have touched on this, but obviously Fitness has a positive effect on your homelife.

Oh God, yeah! The kids are like “Mom, go work out, you are driving us crazy.” It is also nice though, because my husband and I can share it together. Every morning Monday through Saturday we go work out together, and then go to work and do our thing. It’s been a good bonding experience for us too. Although it did take us three years for him to come and work out with me. The first time we exercised together, he was having a bad day and we were just friends at the time. I was like “he’s having a bad day, just go lift, and he will be fine.” Well a half hour in, he is dry heaving on himself, and I was like ” I thought you were in shape?” Well, after that he didn’t come back to work out with me for three years. And he comes to boot camp, and he makes it through the whole thing, and after that he said “I am going to have to wait until you are ‘deconditioned’ a little before we can work out together.”

He took the oppertunity while I took two months off to “even the playing field.”

Since then it has been nice, in the last couple of months to have that morning time with my husband because we have five kids… we need that time together. It’s nice to have that time and cheer each other on.

What are some of your future goals?

Really my mission is just to help people and it always has been. I am in the business of changing lives and if I am not changing lives, then I am doing something wrong.

Watch out folks....
Watch out folks….

YOU RUINED MY LIFE THROUGH EXERCISE!

Ha, ha! Oh man, if some one said that to me, I would have to reevalute everything. I really do just want to leave an impact on this world. And, Cheyenne… God Bless it, and all of it’s citizens; (but Cheyenne) is a FAT city. Overweight, unhealthy; spiritually, mentally and physically. People are over worked and under paid, or over worked and over paid. They have little or no time for their families , no time for themselves; no time to do anything. So we have people spinning their wheels, but for what? At the end of the day if you don’t have your health, you have nothing left. I don’t want to out live my children. I see obese kids around and I want to slap their parents. I don’t want to beat the kids, but I want to slap the parents. It makes me so mad. But then I look at it, and you have to change the lives of the parents before you can change the lives of the children. At the end of the day, it is our job as adults to make those responsible decisions. It isn’t easy, but it is our responsiblity.

It’s in my heart to change the health of this community, if not the entire community of Wyoming, but that’s a long way off down the road. I want to continue to make a difference in peoples health and in their lives.

Thirty minutes of exercise might not seem like much, but it can change how a wife treats her husband. She is in a better mood, she feels better about herself, she feels more attractive… she actually wants to be with her husband instead of saying ” I don’t see what you see, at all.”

It changes how a mother treats her children because she has more energy, she will want to take them to the park, or go hiking and do stuff. Or maybe she is just in a better mood and doesn’t want to paddle their butts just for being little people.

It is just fitness, it is just a work out… but it can change EVERYTHING. I have seen it with myself. I saw it when I started my journey years ago and I still see it today. If I don’t work out, I need to work out because I start feeling ‘cagey’ inside. Anxious.

What has your biggest triumph been in your personal fitness journey?

I think just staying the course. Every day is a new day. I can’t say one event has been a real defining moment in my health and fitness journey. I think it just staying course with the lifestyle. I mean sometimes I fall off, just like anyone. I go on a little cookie diet, when I feel stressed, and then I gain eight pounds and then I have to lose it again. At the end of the day just knowing that I am doing what I need to be doing is just great. But when I am not doing that I can tell a difference. So for me, it’s just committing to the lifestyle.

Is there anything you would want to change?

No. Not really because I believe even the hard stuff is lessons. And I think I am far more grateful now toward some of the hardships that I went through. When you look back at it, it just gives you an oppertunity to learn about yourself; to learn about others and the way the world works. Hardships are often self inflicted. So if anything it’s just learning about who I am and who I want to be and who I do not want to be. It’s just about growing up.

Would you like to give any tips or inspiration?

It’s just about consistency. You have to pick and plan and be consistent. It doesn’t matter what your plan is, as long as it has some good foundation of physical health, mental health and spiritual health. Even if it’s CrossFit or lifting or body building or boot camp; whatever it is, I think it’s just about picking something that works for you and stick with it. I know Boot Camp isn’t for everyone. I wish it was. At the end of the day finding something that works and sticking with it long enough to get results. So many people just go about their life by starting a new program every two weeks, saying “But I am just not getting results.” and I am like “Dude, it’s only been two weeks. Do you know how long it took me to lose 70 pounds?”

How long did it take you?

Beginning to end it took three years. Granted I got pregnant twice in between, but it took me three years to lose that 70 pounds. It’s not going to happen over night.

After spending all this time taking other peoples measurements; when do people, on average see a difference for themselves and accept that change is occurring?

Typically eight weeks, especially for women. I call it an 8 Week Miracle. Literally nothing on the scale can change and inches may not change, but may be your clothes fit differently. For whatever reason the inches may not change, your body fat may not change, and then one day you wake up and somewhere between the bedroom and the bathroom, you realize you lost your ass. It’s like it’s just fallen off somwhere and you hop on the scale and you are down ten pounds from the night before. And you will be like “what the hell? My scale must be broken.”

So you call in a spouse or a loved one and you have them hop on the scale and it says what it always says to them, and you hop back on there and it says the same thing, “you are down 10 lbs.”

You have to trust the process, long enough. Not just “half commit.”

“Oh I am just gonna work out for eight weeks and hope that everything is going to happen. You have to have a plan. Have a plan of attack and exicute it flawlessly. Even if you have one bad day, okay, perfect; get back on the band wagon, but don’t let that one bad day or one bad meal derail you for the next six months.

So I think that is the key. Consistency. You have to be consistent, no matter what. And that goes with anything; if it’s fitness related, or business related, or if you want better relationships. What ever it is, BE CONSISTENT! STICK WITH YOUR PLAN! Things WILL change.

In summery; Knowledge, is the awareness that all action has a reaction, and Wisdom, is using that awareness to your advantage whilst utilizing all available resources.

Fit Body Boot Camp works because of the significant insight that the program lends through collaborative Wisdom and Experience.

Fit Body Boot Camp is calling out more of Cheyenne to get involved in their fitness; and during the month of May we are taking extra efforts to expose residents to the opportunity.  If you have been following this blog and you are tempted to try it; COME ON DOWN!  Let them know you read this blog and that it has helped you to take the first step in health and wellness; or if you are new to town and looking for a fitness community and this seems up your alley, come take a test drive.

You can find out more by going to fitbodybootcamp.com/cheyennefitnessbootcamp, or on Facebook Fit Body Boot Camp Cheyenne.

If this article interests you and you would like to read more, check out these related blogs.  And as always I appreciate “likes”, comments, suggestions and subscribers; so  please feel free to interact.  And remember kids, Fitness is great, but Burpees SUCK!