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Jessica is our 2016 Olympic Hopeful and Sarah is our 2012 Olympian in Weightlifting. We're setting out to be "Pretty Strong" and we encourage you to do the same.

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Friday, October 3, 2014

The inner feminist is coming out (nsfw?)

So recently, I shared a video on my private facebook page.

What are your thoughts? For your I, the video is graphic and some may be sensitive to the video. 

I cringed and laughed all while shaking my fist. This video was gross, sad, hilarious (at a certain part) and all true at the same time. 


Were you thinking this was "pornographic," "offensive," or "inappropriate?"

I had a conversation with a male friend of mine who shares my same religious persuasion soon after it was posted. This is how it went:

"not critizing except the part about the naked woman post on facebook"
"What was wrong with that?"
"naked women=pornography
pornography = bad.... its something we're commanded to stay away from in the church"
"That's not really pornography. It's a message about how messed up beauty ideals are in our society and how women feel pressured into looking a certain way."
"so have her wear a full one peice swim suit... or jogging clothes"
"I think that would take away from the message. The intent wasn't to arouse anyone. But, hey, we can all make the choice to watch or not watch."
"sure we can make the choice....by why is a friend putting a friend in the position to have to make the choice?"

Instead of avoiding the image, or not watching the video, or unsubscribing from my newsfeed, shouldn't have to make someone else choose, the person who made the video should have covered her up, etc.

Please, if/when you comment, be kind. If we share our ideas, let's remember that not all of us feel the same way; and that's ok. If you have anything negative to say about my friend, please keep that to yourself. He is a kind man. 

Anywho, I am unsure of which direction this will go but, here we go. 

Under the logic that a naked woman (I believe the conversation would be the same if it were a man) is pornographic the following images would be considered as such:




It sure would be hard to learn to be culturally sensitive, get educated, or appreciate are with out seeing some skin at some point

As a person who has seen pornography in the past, been in a relationship where it was encouraged that the man "try before you buy" and having one of my best friends go through a divorce because of a porn addiction, I strongly disagree that the video shared is indeed, pornographic. I am not here to discuss pornography or whether it is right or wrong. Instead, I'd like to talk about some other things.

Without words, the video has managed to show how women feel sometimes that they have to change in order to fit in or feel beautiful. Most of the time it isn't even for ourselves. It's for the people who create and force certain standards on us.

I discussed this with a friend and her response was "So, what he's trying to say is that he can't control his own thoughts?" Yes, I can agree that they way we dress, talk, and act can and does affect others. Ultimately, though, it is up to the individual to be able to control our own thoughts an actions.

We are all beautiful and special creatures. We are made attractive to each other for a reason. Because of this, wonderful things can happen. Because of this, not so wonderful things can happen.

Because people can't control the "madness" or the "improprieties" that would ensue at bare-breasted women, they have to always remain clothed. While men can freely do so themselves. Because some people can't control themselves and choose to view the body of the opposite gender solely as a sexual object instead of what it is: a body; that choice is then taken away from another person.

When we respect our own bodies as well as others, so many fantastic things can happen. Just look around you and see the great things each body is capable of doing! I am amazed every day.

When the body is disrespected and we lose control of our emotions, terrible things can happen:
*I had a friend live with us for a short period of time because her step-father was molesting her.
*I had friends that grew up and their mother would have sex with the father in order to avoid having her children beaten.
*I have had a friend who was raped by someone she knew and trusted.
*I had a friend with special needs who was taken advantage of and was impregnated at least twice, resulting in abortions

Those women all had choices taken away from them and are scarred from the actions of someone else who could not control their mind or their bodies. It was not the women's fault. "Well, she shouldn't have been alone." "She shouldn't have gone home with him." "She should have never married him." "She shouldn't have flirted." "She shouldn't have worn that outfit."

A more basic example is when my car got broken into and my wallet was stolen. My coach at the time said, "You shouldn't have left your wallet in the car." My response? "Me leaving my wallet in the car is no excuse for someone else to break the law and rob me." Same thing applies here.

Here's a link to an interesting article from Women You Should Know  about what is "acceptable" to post on the internet despite trying to post something body-positive.

Another interesting article was this one:  Plus Size Bikini This brought up a valid point about how most of the gawking and teasing about her two piece was from men. Later on, her boyfriend wore her dress (to stay warm) and got even worse reactions. A woman can wear pants but, a man cannot wear a dress? I understand that there was a time when pant-wearing was unacceptable but, why is it that wearing a dress for men has yet to catch up? What is wrong with being or looking like a woman?

Why do our bodies have to be policed so much? Why must we be shamed for them? Why is it that when something goes wrong, it is the woman's fault for "dressing like that?" Instead of changing the way we think about things or the behavior of those who oppress others because of their lack of will-power, we should just"cover up." Guess what? Under all those clothes...there's a naked body. *gasp!

Now, I do have my own set standards of "modesty." They are probably different than yours. Maybe they are more "extreme"or way more "relaxed" than you are accustomed to. I will be very clear in that I choose to dress and act a certain way according to my own reasoning. Yes, they comply with church standards but, I made the choice myself. My parents don't tell me how to dress, my church does not force me to dress a certain way, and I certainly do not dress a certain way in an attempt to please other people."

I will not attempt to persuade another person to compromise their standards and I do not purposely try to offend others when expressing myself or my opinions. We still have a long way to go when trying to be equals with each other. We are on the right track though, I believe that having an open mind, things can change for the better. It is important to be aware of other people's feelings and standards without trying to compromise our own. Let us try to be more educated. Education is so important when making societal leaps and bounds. Let us all take a minute to reflect on ourselves and where we can improve. Are we oppressing ourselves and others? If there is no willingness to change, can there at least be a willingness to understand?

Thursday, September 25, 2014

September 2014

I need to think of a more creative title than that. Oh well. :/

Anywho... I thought I'd give you guys an update on what's going on this month.

Training:This month brings on a transition with my training. In one of my most recent posts, I talked about wanting to train like I will be competing at the World Championships this year. Plan is still on. We're going to do it at a friend's Crossfit gym and make an exhibition of it. My teammate and I were talking about possibly making a bbq fundraiser out of it for my training. We'll see how that goes. My coach wants me to hit 122 in the snatch and 152 in the clean and jerk. Hopefully, that goes well.

I coached two people in the same session at a local lifting meet and I wasn't a nervous, anxious, monster for the first time. Thumbs up for me.


I am no longer working with OURX management. So, I am now agent-less. I'm on the hunt for a new one. If anyone knows of anyone in the Houston area, or anyone in particular, please give me a heads up.

The head coach of the track program that hired me, resigned. So I am now left wondering what I should do in regards to coaching and making sure I have enough hours of work.

I went on an amazing trip to Martha's Vineyard. Don't worry, I wasn't just there for fun. Well, it was fun but, I had a really great opportunity that I can't explain quite yet. Around the New Year, I'll let you know what's up.

I got hit on at the grocery store yesterday. It wasn't even creepy or weird. Score one for Robles! I think that's pretty much it.

Sarah

Monday, September 22, 2014

The "Sarah Robles Standard"

Every once in a while, I get to thinking that there's some kind of "Sarah Robles Standard." This is a standard by which I seem to be held and most times, no one else. I spoke with an old coach of mine the other day and asked him about this. The answer was phrased like this: "People with exceedingly great talent have exceedingly great standards placed on them." I can remember a few instances where I felt I was treated differently from everyone else. Like my standard was higher. Once I was late for practice and I was supposed to run stadiums as a punishment and other athletes that have been late to practice...nothing. Once, I was out of clean clothes and it was cold outside so I opted to wear pajama pants. I figured that was my best option at the time. Well, I was told, "Don't you ever wear those again. If you do, you're not allowed in the gym for two weeks." Or after I'm done training, I'd switch into my flip flops, "Sarah, you're setting a bad example for the kids." From my end, I saw and sometimes see these types of things as unfair. I can remember not being able to negotiate having one Saturday off a month or go home for different things. Another athlete might randomly take a ski trip or go to Disneyland without so much as a phone call to tell our coach otherwise. Those are just a few examples. One of my counter-arguments would be, "If you treated everyone else the same way you did me, imagine how good of lifters they would be." I understand that not all lifters have the same goals, or abilities that I other other elite athletes have but, when you have some kind of goal and you are committing to something, why not give it your 100%? What ever that may be. I'm not even sure if some athlete could handle the expectations on them that are had on me. "How many people can talk about going to the Olympics or breaking the American Records as nonchalant as you?" This is true. It was explained to me, that why beat someone up over messing up when they are barely going to make it to Competition X or have no realistic chance of breaking records? When someone has a lot of talent or potential, it is the coach's responsibility (as is the athlete's) to make sure that comes into fruition. I'm pretty sure it doesn't have to be explained but, I am a pretty goofy person. I am also pretty talkative and social. As weightlifting is my main social outlet, it is definitely difficult for me at times to reign all that in. If I didn't have those standards and expectations, I would probably get too off task in training. I realize too, that as an adult, and as an Olympian, it is my responsibility to set an example to younger kids on beginners on how to properly behave and do the right things to make my self a success. I have never been one to party or drink or get into trouble much. There are times I can get rebellious or ornery. That mostly comes from feeling bossed around. Am I 100% perfect when it comes to discipline, timeliness, or other necessary traits? No. That's why I need a coach. That's why I need standards and expectations. Is it "fair" all the time? No. It is true, though what has been explained to me. People with big goals and have big talents, big standards will be placed on them. People will remember what you say and do. The energy of those around you will reflect your own. People have expectations on you both when you compete and when you are "off the clock." We may not like it and it may or may not be "fair" but, it's part of the game. It's something you learn along the way. If it were explained ahead of time, it would deter people from going for it or we wouldn't be able to comprehend it anyway. I still stand by my counter-argument. If you held yourself to the "Sarah Robles Standard" when doing things, I'm sure you'd get good results. A little discipline, sacrifice, and high expectations never hurt anyone. Lift lots, Sarah

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Blame it on the alcohol - by Jess

Pretty strong, You ever notice in middle school and high school it's the end of the world if you're a little different than your peers but when you get to college and beyond it's all you can do to make sure you different and stand out? Growing up my parents were super strict. Super strict. I had Olympic dreams and my parents had them with me. However, I wanted nothing more but to fit in. I had big muscular legs I wasn't a cheerleader and I was always missing school to travel for competitions. Even if my peers thought what I was doing was awesome and they were supportive or even if they weren't (and trust me there were both) all I thought I wanted was to do what they were doing. They drank and hungout on weekends and my parents would never let me go with them. At the time I was so angry and thought they were controlling, and over protective and just mean. Now? I'm grateful. Regardless of what my friends in high school did on weekends or how their lives turned out, I was on a different path. As a young (trying to be) adult I never thought about the long run. I knew to be an Olympian I'd need to do everything it takes in the gym, to work harder than anyone else, to go above and beyond the rest. What I didn't know is what alcohol would do to my body, how it would effect my recovery or my brain. I didn't know how slow I'd move trying to lift the barbell the next day. I didn't know drinking would heighten my chances of injury. I didn't know staying up all night partying would make me too fatigued to push hard the way I could have if I would have rested. I rebelled from my parents and it took some trial and error to figure it out on my own but I did learn. I learned what priorities really mattered to me. My goals were more important to me than making sure I fit in. I learned that my parents weren't trying to be fun suckers they were trying to do their best to help make my dreams come true and they're intentions were pure. I'm grateful they believed in me so early in my career and stood their ground. Even though we fought about it plenty back then now I see why. Dreams don't fall into your lap and even when they do you have to work to keep them. Making dreams happen takes more then going through the motions, It's a lifestyle choice. I promise there's someone out there that wants it just as bad that works just as hard and makes all the right decisions. So it's your choice are you gonna let them take your Gold medal or are you gonna do everything necessary to keep it? Fearlessly, Jess

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Poor Athlete Recipe: Chicken Basil Pasta

That's as good a name as I could come up with. This recipe is one of my recent favorites because it is: cheap, fast/easy to cook, and delicious!

Fresh Basil $1.88
Whole Rotisserie Chicken $6.99
3 Roma Tomatoes A little over $1/lbs
Olive Oil Free - it's my roommates
Box of Pasta Free - my friend gave it to me before she moved. 
Crumbled Feta Cheese $2.99
2 large garlic cloves  (I think a head of garlic is a little over $1 as well)

Boil and drain pasta
Pick of chicken breasts and shred. Add to the pasta
Mince cloves of garlic
In a pan, heat up a copious amount of olive oil (enough to help cook the other ingredients as well as coat all the pasta)
Add minced garlic and sautee
Add chopped basil saute briefly 
Crush all three tomatoes and add to pan (this is the funnest part)
Keep cooking until it reduces a bit.
Add a little salt and pepper
Stir into pasta/chicken
Add feta cheese and stir

Eat and enjoy!


 

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Stuff- September 2014

Oh hey there!

Nice to see you again! Thanks for visiting my blog of doom.

What's been going on with little old, Sarah Robles?

So... I moved to a little town called, Alvin. Raise your hand if you've heard of it! I'm living with a friend from church. Her name is Tegan. Tegan and Sarah! For real. She is hilarious, a perfect friend-match for me, and she loves horses. She's a very talented person. We coined the hashtag #bitsandbarbells and everyday is a new and humorous moment with us.



Training has been going pretty alright. I think I can safely say that I'm in shape right now. Since training here, I have hit a 115 snatch a 145 clean and jerk a 195 front squat and a 210 back squat. They are not my bests but, I am working on some things. I had a pr snatch double with 110 and it looked like I could have done a triple, I had a snatch pr from the hip of 100 and a clean pr from the hip of 130. I have been hitting 105 and 135 in snatch and clean and jerk respectively at least twice a week. I have been trying to lit as exhibition in local competitions but, either there is "not enough room" or I don't hear a response to my request. I'll just keep plugging away though. I have discussed with my coach that I would like to train like I am going to compete at the World Championships. So, I will train and prepare and in roughly 10 weeks, we'll see what I am made of. If I don't do well, hey, it's practice. Rather here than actually at the meet, right? Competition simulation is always hard to do at home but, we'll see if I'm mentally and physically prepped.

Work is going well, at the Depot, I got 3 of my shifts changed to later times. I get an additional two hours of sleep at night which is making all the difference in the world! I have also accepted a coaching position at Yes! Youth Fitness and Sports Performance. Here, I am involved with the Olympic Development program as a throwing coach and strength and conditioning coach. Business for me is slow right now but, hopefully as things progress, I will gain more clients. I am excited for this opportunity and I am looking forward to developing some kids into talented athletes and educating myself in the process.

Lastly, I'd like to talk about food. Because it is delicious, and I like it, and eating it is part of my job. So, I was looking for ways to get sponsorships (which I still struggle with...understandably so...) and I stumbled upon these box-a-month kind of deals. I didn't ask for a sponsorship...yet. Right now, I am going to go ahead and give Love With Food a try. It's a box full of random and delicious healthy and organic snacks for $20/month. We'll see how delicious it is and if it's worth it. The best part for me is that with the purchase of a box (depending on the size) you help provide one-two meals to a hungry kid in the US. LOVE that idea. I feed myself and two other people for $20. Great cause! Anyone else have experience with them? Are they pretty legit?

Hope all is well!

Stay strong,

Sarah

Monday, August 18, 2014

Q and A week one by jess

Hey my beautiful pretty strong people :)

I actually got a lot of questions for this month so I'm adding a few questions in each blog so I can get to everyone's! Thanks for taking the time to do my Q & A.

#1 I recently did a photoshoot for @skins_usa and the question this week is "you look fab how do you stay in such great shape" 



 #2 was "what's your diet look like"


First of all thank you for the kind words!

Both questions can be answered with two sentences- being the best I can be is a lifestyle choice. I eat to perform, and I train to perform.

I don't have a very strict diet I don't measure anything or write it in a meal book or send pictures of my meals to Greg Everett (anymore). At one point in my career I didn't have a good hold on staying and training at a good body weight for my weight class. I've learned a lot since then. That struggle was hard and greatly impacted my mood and my performance at practices and competitions. Now I just think about everything I put in my body and how it'll make my body recover and feel the next day at training.

I don't have cheat days because Like I said it's a lifestyle choice. I don't like cheating life!  On special occasions I'll eat things or if I'm eating out and there isn't a healthier option but I try to stay as clean as possible, all the time.

Everyone's body is different and I don't think everyone needs to make the same choices I do with my diet. However, This works for me and I feel great! My joints feel better I am in a better overall mood and my recovery is pretty quick when I eat clean. I used to consider it a sacrifice and it was the hardest part to being an elite athlete for me. Now I've matured some and realized I'll do whatever I can do be the best I can be and diet is a huge part of it. You are what you put into your body. I don't wanna be a greasy, artificial lifter!

List of things I stay away from- gluten, dairy, sugar, food with add hormones and McDonald's human meat burgers.
Don't get me wrong I love bread and cheese and candy (not really mcdonalds tho I read that article that just came out and seriously? Barf) but I also want to be the best and love winning and know I have to do everything it takes to be the best that I possibly can.

Now on to Training!! Training is my favorite thing to do in the entire world. I love every bit of it. Yes I come in tired and don't want to some days. Yes I come in hurting and ache and it takes me like 30 minutes to warm up or more. Yes i cry a lot if I have a bad day. I still have a hard time staying away from it. I've recently changed my training up a lot. I've tried a lot of different programs and I liked them all for different reasons. Catalyst made me the strongest I've ever been, Zygmunt Smalcerz made me the most confident and consistent I'd ever been and Andy Tysz' made me mentally push everyday. I've decided to do my own thing now and my boyfriend and I work together to try to combine them all. Yes, I do some Crossfit (thats related to my sport) for my mental push, gymnastics to strengthen core and stability overhead and normal strength, and Olympic lifts. I'm a high maintenance athlete when it comes to programming I have a hard time trusting and letting go of control and so this is a good fit for me even though my past programs were also so amazing. I'm exited to see it all come together in November at a competition in Costa Mesa, California as a prep for American Open in December.

So that's my program design. How my days usually go is I coach in the morning train from 1-4 and coach again in the evening. I've tried two a days, three a days and just long practices. The long ones are draining but I have a full time job so I do what I have to do. I get in don't complain and put in the work everyday usually reminding myself no matter how hard "this is what's gonna make me better" and suck i up. Train like you compete.



Thanks for the questions! If there's anymore questions again send them to my email jessicamarie979@gmail.com or Facebook message me find me at Jessica Marie Salvaggio*

Fearlessly,
J

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

i chose happiness- by Jess

Lately I've been thinking about what I should blog about so hard my brains been hurting. I've gotten lots of requests and people asking me whats going on in my life pre and post National Championships and why I haven't been writing. Truthfully I'm not really sure, I've been trying to just go with the flow and enjoy my blessings.


One of my favorite people (Deborah) had a good idea and for the first time in months I'm excited to write. 

I've always struggled with not letting myself be a negative thinker. I've noticed though when I can find a positive about every situation I'm happier AND more successful in both training and everyday life. I wanted to invite ya'll into my life the last few months to see how I've been working on finding the positives even when they're hard to see so that you can too!

I moved to Denver for this amazing job at @backcountrycrossfit coaching Olympic lifting, to be with fellow @barbellsforboobs pro advocates, and my boyfriend @chr1st1anlucero (p.s watch for him in the Crossfit world he's pretty amazing). As most of you know if you follow me on social media or read my blog posts you already know that I'm a family girl. It's hard for me to be away from home and in the past its broken me down and really impacted my life in a negative way. It's been a constant struggle and always seemed like a sacrifice to be away from my mom and family. I used to respond to the homesickness by crying all the time and feeling overwhelming with sadness no matter who or how positive the people were around me. This time here in Denver with some trial and error I've decided to change my thinking of negative into a positive. Instead of missing my home I took my mom's advice and tried to focus on making Colorado my home, and these people my family. I'm changing my perspective to see that God wants me here, whatever the reason. I chose to be happy and sometimes happiness means to let go and accept the NOW.

I found out I sprained my MCL and had some fraying in my patella tendon a few months before the US National Championships. As minor as that sounds the pain wasn't. I wasn't able to set up on the bar from the floor at all from the swelling my knee would "catch" and get stuck. When my PT ( @cascadesports1 ) told me I was a mess. Leading up to the injury or minor set back whatever you want to call it I was training the best I had maybe in my entire career. My confidence was high, my strength was up and I was so ready to compete. As you could imagine the first sign of barrier to my previously uphill climb was crippling. Training started to quickly become an avalanche. With lots of help from Christian, my good friend @mikecerbus and Aimee Everett I realized that my reaction to the bad was how old Jess would respond. They helped me remember that God has a plan. Everyone says that, "God has a plan" i didn't get it fully until after nationals was over. During nationals I had a lot of help to just not let the weights break me. "I'm tougher than this" was my mantra. I came home with a Bronze medal, a pretty low performance for my original goals and a bad attitude. The saying "God has a plan" came back into my head and everything clicked. If by going to nationals and not hitting near my Personal Record lifts, if by getting third instead of first or second was his plan it was for a reason. Maybe I could reach more, and do more good for others by getting third over first. Maybe God didn't think I was ready and needed to use this experience to make me a better lifter or person. Who knows but I can accept that it happened for a reason even if I don't know what the reason is yet. It's not the end of the world and at the end of the day i got to do what i love, support the sponsors I love, stand in front of the fans I love and do my best. SO, in conclusion I chose happiness over "what could have been". 
Nationals is over my knee still isn't 100% but I'm still training hard with a new plan, new goal and new outlook. I'm excited for what's to come Gold, Silver, Bronze or 02380385202384082034 place- I'm ready and grateful to compete in a sport I love, surrounded by people I love, and helping people everyday in the gym reaching their fitness and just plain every day life goals. I chose happiness and you should too :) 



Going into the next few months of training i'm going to be channeling my inner Ronda Rousey getting as mentally tough, physically healthy, strong and unstoppable as possible. I'm going to open the forum to all of you amazing people reading and following our blog to ask questions you want me to answer! The questions can be anything you want to know from what my training looks like on a daily basis, diet, competitions, coaching, or even why Chick fil A is so dang good. Every week I'll answer a new question and post the answer to #prettystrongblog so send you questions to my facebook message box or my email. I'm excited for all you pretty strong followers to be empowered to chose happiness with me! 

Fearlessly, 
Jessica Marie Salvaggio 

(email: jessicamarie979@gmail.com) 

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Travel Exploits #1 Desert Cities

I've been really thinking lately that I need to start talking about all the cool stuff I've seen around the country and the world and help inspire you all to get outside and do something. Life is way more exciting outside of the four walls we're usually trapped between. I have tried some amazing food, seen some cool things, met interesting people, and whatnot. I hope you all enjoy this series!

I thought I would get started in the Southern California Desert since that is where I am originally from.

In recent years I have come home to see this place really improve. It gets cleaner with more things to do and career opportunities.

Desert Hot Springs:

     Right off the San Andreas fault line, this little down is full of mineral spring spas. My grandparents used to stay at a hotel down the street when visiting us in the summers and a couple of years ago I stayed at the Miracle Springs Spa and Resort. I had a great massage there, the water in the pool is mineral spring water (felt silky somehow), the food at the Capri Restaurant was delicious, and the staff was very friendly. For food, I recommend my favorite Pizza Place: Rocky's. There are quite a few cute little shops and boutiques on Palm Drive. They have recently built the largest Boys and Girls Club in the area which is a great place to let your kids play if you're going to pamper yourself at one of the spas.

Cabazon:

     Have you ever watched the Peewee Herman movie where he is in the giant dinosaur? That's Cabazon! They have a gift shop inside of the TRex and you can climb all the way into it's face. Super cool! They have a little museum to look through for a small fee and you can go on a "dig" to find rocks to redeem for prizes and you can sift through rocks to find bones, teeth, and claws.

Casinos:

     I don't endorse gambling but, if that's your thing, there are a couple of casinos in the area to have fun in. There's Pechanga and Casino Morongo. I think there's a casino called Aqua Caliente as well.

Twenty Nine Palms/Yucca Valley/Joshua Tree:

     For the urban person, you may not have fun in this area. It's fairly baron but, there are a lot of great murals to appreciate. Joshua Tree is in that area too and has great rocks for climbing and scrambling. There are a lot of hippie type and yoga type  people, there are a lot of retreats for that type of stuff.

Native American Stuff:

     The Indian Canyons near Palm Springs and Cathedral City are very beautiful. I have hiked these as a kid. I had a neighbor down the street from me growing up (Millie Fischer) that used to do make crafts and tell stories at the reservation nearby. There, you could get flatbread, learn history, and enjoy the beauty around you.

The Living Desert:

      Located in Palm Desert, this zoo is really unique. It features desert dwelling creatures. In the winter time is is decorated beautifully for Christmas and has really awesome train set displays.

Candy Cane Lane:

     Also in Palm Desert, in the winter time, there is a magical thing to happen: Candy Cane Lane! This is like driving though the North Pole!
   
Palm Springs:

     Palm Springs is a unique place. There are great places to golf, a mall, an art museum, and spas. For those of you in the LGBQT community, this is a very open and fun place to come and hang out.

Coachella Valley:

     Ever heard of Coachella? They have a big, fun, concert every year. Hologram Tupac! Need I say more?



Monday, June 2, 2014

If I Were Normal

If I were normal:


I would have money to spend.

My life would be less stressful.

I would have finished my education.

I'd live close to home.

Clothes would fit.

I'd have an easier time dating.

I wouldn't have been bullied so much.

My mistakes could go unseen.

I would know where I'm going to live a month, a few months, or a year from now.

I'd see my family all the time.

I wouldn't have to eat so much.

I wouldn't have to say "no" to my friends.

I could stay up as late as I want and sleep in.

The scars, callouses, stretch marks, bar marks, folliculitis, messed up hair, chalk in the eyes, achy joints, broken nails, ripped skin, sore muscles, would not exist.

I would be smaller.

I could find cuter shoes and accessories.

I wouldn't need to wake up at 3 am.

I would have more work experience.

I've been embarrassed/gossiped about in public/online

My career was almost ruined

I've lost many friends along my way.


But, lo! I was not normal:

I have traveled to Colombia, Greece, Turkey, England, Russia, Guatemala, Mexico, Venezuela, El Salvador, South Korea, and France.

I have been to at least 23 of the United States

I have lived in 5 of them

I have seen the Eiffel Tower, the Grand Canyon, walked all the way to the top of St. Paul's Cathedral, swam in the Pacific Ocean/Lake Superior/Mineral Springs/Atlantic Ocean/Mediterranean Sea, Drove through the Rocky Mountains, Driven the Pacific Coast High Way from top to bottom, looked up at the clear sky and looked at the stars in the high desert, watched the fireworks from the lawn of the White House, and so much more.

I have experienced tornadoes, earthquakes, blizzards, and volcano eruptions.

I know/have a friend in every state and have friends around the world.

I have watched, trained with, or competed against some of the best athletes in the world.

I have witnessed the birth of a child.

I hold records.

I have been considered the Strongest Woman in America and the Western Hemisphere.

I have worn USA emblazoned across my chest.

I have met celebrities.

I have worked with a fashion designer.

I have worked with a stylist.

I have met the President, Vice President, and the First Lady.

I have had photo shoots, and been in the news paper, the local news, and in science programs.

I have inspired many people.


I am so grateful for the amazing things I have been able to do and see and for the people that I have met and have helped me along the way. The journey is not over. Not fitting in, experiencing hardships, making sacrifices, and dealing with pain is all part of the package. The negatives make you appreciate the positives so much more.

If you find yourself having a hard time being "normal" or "fitting in" don't worry about it. Your life is probably destined for so much greatness and grandeur but, at this point is unimaginable. Stay true to yourself, work hard, and take risks.

Sarah