Be Here Now!

I saw it on a bumper sticker and I decided to get it tattooed on my body. I had survivor’s guilt. I was with Sparkly Devil just a few hours before she died. This happened in May 2013 and I’m just now able to type this out. We were all backstage, laughing, talking shit, and drinking. There was a bottle of Bulleit Bourbon being passed around. We all drank from it. We all thought her husband (who was driving) was fine and that he didn’t seem impaired. Fact: No one can “see” blood alcohol levels, especially if none of the telltale signs of drunkenness are present. Fact: His BAC was .18

When Sparkly Devil and Bones Padilla left for the night, her last words to me were “I’m getting stronger!” We were scheduled to run the Tahoe Tough Mudder together that year and she was excited about how well she was doing in her training. She was getting stronger and I was happy to hear how excited she was about that strength.

They never made it home that night. They were in a car accident and Sparkly Devil died on the scene. For weeks, I kept questioning what I could have done differently. What if I didn’t pass that bottle? What if I stopped them from leaving even though Bones “seemed fine to drive”? Why didn’t he die that night? (That may sound like an ugly thought. But, I’m being vulnerable here. Bear with me.) After all of the crying and guilt, I realized that I was doing something that a lot of us do… I was allowing my mind to be everywhere and everywhen else but here and now.

Some time later, I got a tattoo inside of my right forearm, where I’ll never be able to ignore it, the ink reads: “I’d rather be here now!” I saw it on a bumper sticker. I look to this ink when my mind drifts to the wasteland of “what if”. I look to this ink when my ego wants to time travel and make things (my definition of) right. I look to this ink when I need to be reminded that magic exists, here in this moment. I look to this ink when I need to express gratitude for the ability to be here now. There will come a time when I can’t change what’s happened. When that time comes, I’ll need to stay centered and be here now. There will come a time when the training will hurt and I need to embrace that pain to move forward on the path to strength. When that time comes, I’ll need to stay centered and be here now.

When I began using TRX to assist with my handstand/hand walking skills. I was training and misjudged my vector. I came down hard on the, thankfully, padded floor during rush hour at Equinox in downtown San Francisco. I wasn’t embarrassed because of the onlookers. (None of them seemed to give a shit.) I was embarrassed because I let my ego try a new move and gravity won, decisively. I lay on the floor laughing out loud until my inner voice told me to get some ice and plan better for the next attempt. At that time, I had to remember there is no such thing as an exercise that makes you feel weak. There is only an exercise that will show you the path to strength. #Jism Falling didn’t make me feel silly. Falling pointed out my flaw in execution and showed me the path to balance/stability. It’s my hope that you all have some positive/rhythmic phrase that you repeat when the pain comes. No matter what your mantra, I hope that there’s no other place you’d rather be than developing strength in your body, spirit and mind.

Just a thought… What if we all stopped comparing Superman to Batman, Lebron to Jordan, ex-girlfriends to next girlfriends or feelings of nostalgia to the present? What if we stopped complaining that apples don’t taste like oranges? What if we all breathed a sigh of acceptance to what once was and found the peace in accepting the things we cannot change? That would be a nice world to live in. If “remember when” is the lowest form of conversation, “should’ve been” is the sub-basement. Stay present. Be here now. Keep celebrating as you grow stronger.

I love you, Sparkly.

Start Where You Are

My first dance with self-doubt happened when I had 11 years and my favorite rap group, the Fat Boys, had released their movie “Disorderlies” on VHS! I wanted to watch it. But, my brother’s room was the entire basement and he held control of the big screen TV and VCR. So, I had to ask for big brother’s permission. Staying true to the asshole big brother/jock stereotype, he wouldn’t allow me to watch the movie unless I did one push-up. Just one? No problem! I tried. I failed. Problem. I was convinced that this was an unreasonable request and that I’d never watch the movie. I struggled for what felt like an hour to do that one goddamned push-up. When I was done, he kept his word and we watched “Disorderlies” and it was ridiculous. He was sure to point out that the test wasn’t to prove to him that I could do the push-up. The test was to prove it to myself. I didn’t really know how to process that at such a young age. It wasn’t until I began to notice the direct correlation between people’s abilities and their use of positive language that I understood. Flash forward to a high school weight room with strong teenagers encouraging each other to lift more than the last set. All of the language was positive in that room. There was no “can’t” language spoken in that weight room. I learned to stop saying, “I can’t do [blank]!”, just because I was never given the building blocks or coaching techniques to do so. Instead, I learned to ask for help. Here’s my challenge to you. Don’t say that you can’t just so that you’ll have an excuse not to try. Here’s my challenge to you. Speak/Think about what you can do and use that positive momentum to build. “Yeah, but Jet, I haven’t been doing push-ups since I was 11!” So what, start today with no regrets of when you did/didn’t start. As long as ambition exists, don’t try to convince yourself that there’s no way something can be done. What would your average day feel like if you replaced every can’t with a can?

“To achieve greatness, start where you are, use what you have, do what you can.” -Arthur Ashe

The Wedding Party

The California King-sized bed had been moved into the main living area, the largest room in the house. The entirety of the home, inside and out, was adorned in their favorite flowers. Blood red dahlias for the groom and purple orchids for the bride. The scent of the flowers filled the entry way and the aroma was punctuated with sandalwood and jasmine in the form incense burning in several rooms. A little over a dozen well dressed people began to fill the space. Most of them drifted into a circle around the bed. No side of the bed was against a wall allowing an adequate vantage point for everyone in the circle. Once everyone found their assigned places around the bed, there was a respectful silence that held the room. The silence exploded into applause when the bride and groom arrived, dressed impeccably and still aglow from their wedding ceremony.
A woman with sienna-colored dreadlocks projected her voice over the applause to congratulate the couple on their union and to begin the ceremony for which they’d all gathered. She spoke with the same tone and respect one would at the opening circle for a play party. This party was a bit more exclusive as only the closest friends of the newlyweds were in attendance. She spoke about consent, boundaries, respect, and holding space. Everyone stood with a muted respect for the orator, the unofficial matriarch of the group, until she’d finished. Once the opening circle was complete, a person who sang at the wedding began singing softly to set the mood. Their voice was low and rumbled with a vibration strong enough to give the guests a tingle. The singing continued just long enough for the DJ to finish cueing up the music playlist that had already been curated by friends of the newlyweds. Music began playing softly and the vocalist sang quieter until they faded out their contribution to give way to ambient noise. Music that felt impossibly slow with its own brand of tension filled the room.
By this time, the couple had already begun undressing each other. His hands slowly loosened her red corset until unhooking it was easy. He dropped to his knees to help her out of her thigh high boots, again unlacing slowly. The onlookers were silent, save for a few whispers, as he continued to undress her. By the time he’d reached the last layer, she was bent over the bed as he pulled her panties down, covering the backs of her legs with kisses as his hands pulled them closer to the floor. When he reached the floor, he took the time to kiss her feet. She turned and sat down on the bed as he massaged her toes, squeezing and pulling each one to help her feet relax after a few hours in six inch heels. She was completely free from any clothing, which meant it was her turn to undress him. She took the same care and patience with undressing him. She used her fingernails, manicured to a dagger-like point, to stimulate the nerves in his skin wear clothing had been instead of the kisses he’d used to show his affection for her. She knew every erogenous zone that made it difficult for him to stand. She played with him until he was short of breath and weak in the knees. At last, they were both naked.
The photographer was given a nod by the bride. This was their cue that they were now allowed to begin capturing the event for them to frame and enjoy for the remainder of their years together. Boudoir photos in real time. They each turned to their trusted friends, the groom to the best man and the bride to the maid of honor, to receive gift wrapped boxes. These boxes held their wedding gifts to each other. She opened her box first. In it she found a purple Hitachi with the words, “Can’t stop. Won’t stop.” engraved on the handle. She laughed as she read the inscription. It was their private joke and there was no need to explain it to the wedding party. He sat upright on the bed, near the head, with his legs spread and she nestled in between them facing away. Her ankles were then bound to the bed posts by soft leather restraints. Her hands gripped his shins as he plugged in her new toy. Once he turned it on the lowest setting, he began gently running the wand across the nape of her neck. He then moved on to her shoulders until he felt more tension leave her body. He whispered more private jokes to her low enough to stay out of earshot of the wedding party. She laughed as she leaned her head back for a kiss. He continued down to her nipple where he stimulated her briefly until she seemed to lose her breath. He knew that her nipples can only take so much before the pleasure crossing the line into annoying. He then crossed over to her sternum and moved lower until reaching her waist. He then moved in a circle, past the iliac crest and on to her sacrum. There, he held for a while and pressed the vibrating wand between his penis and the muscles in her lower back. Both of them began to lose their breath. He circumnavigated her pelvis a few times before placing a condom on the wand. By this time, her lips were swollen, red, and pulsing. He applied more pressure and a higher vibration on her pubic bone as her left knee began to sway side-to-side. He continued with the massage just outside of her vulva, being careful not to touch her pussy, not yet. He moved on to her gracilis. Her legs began to shake. While he continued to use the wand with his right hand, the palm of his left hand covered her pussy with gentle pressure, no movement, no rubbing, just gentle pressure. She breathed a sigh of relief as he felt how wet she’d become. “Do you want me inside of you?”, he whispered into her ear. With eyes half-closed she exhaled an anxious and audible “Yes!” The wedding party smiled in silence.
He extended his hand out to the left as someone was ready with the bride’s preferred lube. After a few squirts into his hand, he rubbed all five fingers together and reached back to his partner. He began with one finger as he slid from the perineum up and slowly pressed inside. He felt her Skene’s gland swelling as he gave gentle circle stimulation until she accepted a second finger. Less focused on destination and more enthralled with the journey, he massaged her pussy with two fingers and alternated back and forth between nature’s oldest sex toy, the hand, and her wedding gift. Between heavy breaths, she encouraged him when to stay “right there” or reminded him “don’t stop” when his intentions were in alignment with her reception. Following her guidance, the massage from man and machine continued. Her moans turned into song as her voice outperformed the speakers. Her toes would curl as if her feet were making fists and her ankles pulled at the leather restraints. Her eyes rolled back at regular intervals only broken up by the occasional proclamation of “FUCK!” or “YES!” The wedding party stood in quiet reverence, excited at the possibility of what was next. The thoughts from the party ranged any where from expectations of an epic squirting orgasm to clenched teeth as they patiently waited to play with their mates. Time seemed to travel from fast to slow for everyone in the room. There were times when it felt like time was moving fast and that five minutes felt like 30 seconds. There were times when some felt the opposite and everything was in slow motion. The groom continued to massage the bride’s pussy, focused on journey in lieu of destination. And then it happened…
A bridesmaid in the corner who had yet to make a sound, dropped to her knees. She had an orgasm! The entire room shifted their focus to where she had been standing in the corner, untouched, uncoupled, and up until that point, unspoken. She had fallen to her hands and knees and squirted so hard that the carpet underneath her was spongy to the touch. As she gyrated through a series of pelvic thrusts, the wedding party began to erupt in cheers, applause, and laughter. The bride laughed the loudest. When the cacophony died down, the bride wiped a joyous tear from her face and announced to everyone, “YOU MAY ALL JOIN IN THE DANCE!”
The wedding party erupted in cheers and laughter as the exercise in voyeurism transitioned into a play party for everyone in the room. The groom paused his massage, removed his partner’s restraints and they held each other, laughing at the unexpected turn of events. Everyone began to undress and play in groups. The bridesmaid who broke the ice kept to herself in the corner. She refused any would be partners and massaged herself into orgasms for the rest of the evening.
This has been an original erotic short story written by Jet Noir. This is a work of fiction.

Keep Living, Advice From My Father

“Keep Living!” That is the advice of my father. He gave us this reminder whenever something unexpected or tragic happened. For a time, I thought that he was expressing indifference. I thought that his way of saying fuck it was to just say “keep living”. It wasn’t until I grew older and he would follow up his catch phrase with, “that’s all you can do” that I began to understand. When a family member died, my brother and I heard him say it. Keep living. My father still says it today, his simple reminder, left for interpretation like an ancient koan, meant to clear the mind of conscious thought. My brother and I have embraced this mantra over the years and deciphered it as a reminder that we must move on, beyond the event that has the potential to shut down our world. We’re unable to put everything on hold and just stop, we must keep living. I hope that others can embrace this attitude as well. Keep living.

As time has moved forward, we have determined another meaning for Pop’s words of wisdom. In the event of the unexpected, we take inventory of our emotions, and then we’re reminded to keep living. As we keep living, we will be met with greater surprises. We will be surprised by joy, tragedy, new responsibilities, literal/figurative walls to climb, love and pain. If you think this is something, just keep living. You ain’t seen nothing, yet.

Being surprised is an unavoidable part of our lives. Because of this I’ve always battled with the phrase, “expect the unexpected” or the action movie quote, “be ready for anything.” Well, how am I supposed to do that? How do I prepare for a fight with the invisible man? Perhaps it’s part of the keep living mantra to be prepared for anything, within our scope of experience. My brother, a Marine, once reminded me to never leave the house without shoes because, “you never know when you have to run.” I thought he was paranoid. Those of you that have spent any time with me, have seen me spontaneously take off running for any of several reasons. I’m usually trying to be a good Samaritan and chase after someone that dropped something. Because of his advice, I am always ready to run, even in a three-piece suit. Keep living, you’ll learn to stay prepared.

It’s a common misconception that a healthy and fit lifestyle is a life riddled with diet and restriction, no fun and no chocolate. Quite the contrary, my life is not one of restriction. Further, most diets are ridiculous. Yes. I said it. You’ve been a host to this body long enough to know how it will respond to different types of food. Don’t eat/drink things that make you sleepy, suck your energy, or rot your teeth. Food is meant to make us feel good. Keep living and do it by eating well. You’ve heard me say it before, I am not a Registered Dietitian. I am a Fitness Coach. I’m not going to make a meal plan for you or tell you what to eat. I will remind you that common sense should guide your food choices. Is it deep-fried and made in a lab with a 2 year shelf life? Do you think it’s a good idea to eat that? Probably not. If you do eat it, should you feel stress and guilt over your choice? Nope. Keep living. You’ll eat a broad spectrum of things throughout your life. That deep fried Oreo with Nutella dipping sauce tasted really fucking good. Keep living. Don’t judge yourself and don’t assume that others judge you.

Whether you use it as a training mantra, a recovery mantra or a life mantra, keep living. When life, painfully, reminds us that all things end we must keep living, this too shall pass. When we are tired of the challenges that life presents and we want a break we must keep living, more challenges are ahead. When we’re sore and wondering why we signed up for *that* endurance event, keep training, keep living and keep moving forward. Giddyup!