Thursday, February 28, 2013


This is an older story I wrote to my friend and editor, Jan who said I should "blog it" back when I didn't even have a website ... or a book for that matter. The meaning remains the same ....

Jan is having a bad day so I'm going to tell you a story ...

A long time ago, like 4 and a half years ago I purchased several charms with a 21 in a heart to give to Carly's friends. The company I got them from also has a "grab bag" with unpopular, out of date and ugly charms and I ordered a couple of those at the same time, well, because I'm a risk taker like that.

So 4.5 years ago amongst the grab bag of random zodiac signs, malformations, arrow heads, and Y2K charms there's a charm that says "Let's Roll". Well I'm thinking, "oh jeez, I'm not a trucker" and I leave it with all of the other rejects and smile because I find one that sort of looks like an angel and another that is a snowboarder I can give my brother.

Now its last Sunday and I just got back from another thrillsville-FDA job in Indianapolis and I think of the heart-21 charms because I want to send one to someone. And, in the sack I see the old grab bag rejects ... and I see "Let's Roll" and I'm struck first by the thought, "Wow, what's that doing in there?" And I feel a little twinge of guilt as I recall that 4.5 years ago (pre-BJJ) that little statement meant nothing to me, in fact I thought it was corny and I put it in a reject pile. And now, "Let's Roll" is an invitation to sport and friendship and has a completely different meaning to me. I'm wearing it right now!

And I was struck by the idea of context and how things can mean so much more or less to us depending on where we are at that time and what we are bringing to the table.

And I was reminded of how I laugh everytime I think of James and PTR (Jan, did you see this by his name in the ackno page?). That story goes like this: I had sent James a text and signed off with "PTR". In the basketball world, you might fist-bump your friend and say, "Peace Yo, PTR" when you depart. PTR = Pound The Rock. Which means keep your dribble low (the rock is the ball) and firm, keep the ball safe.

James texts back, "PTR?"  then before I can respond sends a follow up text, "Prepare To Roll?" Haha I'm laughing right now. Back then I laughed because I thought, "what a dork" (respectfully of course) but now that I understand the power of context and words, I get it.

Story time is over, I hope your day gets better.

Let's Roll-PTR,




Tuesday, February 12, 2013

An Enriching Weekend

But here I am. After speaking on empowerment last Friday at PNW Grappling Women's Training Camp +Sonia Sillan I admitted to myself that I was not "walking my talk" if I continued to avoid this blog site that I was so excited to have +Mike Baltierra +Janet Green  and then let scare me into elusion. "What can I possibly have to say that anyone would want to read?" and "There are so many really great bloggers out there, why add another mediocre one?"  But here I am. I Know My Go. My Go is the anxiety I cause in my gut by tying my worth to an outcome... such as the quality of this post. But here I am. I am going to honor my Go and use it as the fuel of empowerment.

I had an enriching weekend. On Friday at PNWG I spoke before, and with, a group of women jiu-jitsu athletes about empowerment and how to Know their Go. I shared my story and read from Flowing with the Go, letting them know that as women, as athletes, as mothers, daughters, sisters friends and teammates, we all struggle. We struggle with fear and disengagement. We struggle with loss and disappointment. We struggle with resentment and feeling alone. We struggle because, for a while, we let the idea that there is no escape from these feelings consume us. And we waste emotional energy on those feelings. Energy that could be spent living fully, loving authentically and accepting ourselves as the gifts we are.

Each woman there had a story of WHY they practiced jiu-jitsu. A story about how jiu-jitsu gave them courage, physical strength, confidence,  a healthy outlet for stress and a sanctuary of inner resolve that was unique to each personal journey. I feel fortunate to have met these women and learn from them. Sharing is a truly a reciprocal endeavor.

My enriching weekend continued. On Monday I was asked to attend a book club meeting of women who read Flowing with the Go. None of these women did jiu-jitsu. In fact, none of them had any interest in ever doing jiu-jitsu. After the buzz of having the author there died down and I showed my motif of harmlessness - wearing Converse All-Stars with my dress pants - they asked me questions and I answered them all, as best I could. And it was delightful. I said they could ask me anything, When we discussed death and loss, everyone had a relatable story and we all cried. One gal admitted that she didn't finish the book because the beginning was hard and she was too raw from having lost her father two years ago. But she said, even in those first chapters, she found relief in realization that her feelings of transparency and gut-wrenching ache were feelings that I also went through and that she was not crazy. Several women wanted to discuss a statement I wrote about how I felt entitled to my future... my plans about my family and myself - they all felt that way about their lives too. And then when life finds a way to let you know that you are not entitled, that you are not in control - you get scared. So took them to Know Your Go and empowerment, like I did with the BJJ women.

And I was enriched. I was reminded that these emotions are universal features of being human. Two very different groups of women with a common thread. Thank you Carly.