leave no trace

As someone who has thoroughly enjoyed the outdoors since childhood, it’s no surprise that I get involved in a lot of hobbies that take me into nature… Mountain biking, camping, hiking, snowshoeing, off roading with my Jeep…I follow all sorts of individuals involved in these hobbies on Instagram, but not so much on Facebook.  However,  In the past few months I have mingled into a few different Facebook groups for Jeepers.  I have meet a lot of individuals from the local club and a club out of Chicago; I’ve enjoyed outings with both groups and made some new friends.

All of this is great and some of the advise is wonderful, but with the good comes the bad.  Most of it, trivial dumb stuff, whatever keep scrolling.  However lately there has been one that just urks me.  Tearing up trails.  So this is where I climb on my soap box and start a verbal vomit of a rant.


Mountain bikers, hikers and campers all thoroughly believe in leave no trace.  Not just pick up your own garbage, but don’t tear the area up.  Most mountain bikers believe if the trail is too soggy, you don’t ride.  Yes a little mud is fun, but if you are leaving serious imprints of your tires or digging up the trail, you are doing harm.  It can change the drainage, then causing harm by speeding up erosion. In fact a quick google and you can find all kinds of articles about mountain bikers and not not riding in “soggy” conditions.

I know personally, that the Michigan Mountain Bikers Association actually does go out and conduct trail maintenance, usually the beginning of the season (late winter/early spring).  However, when people are careless and tear up a trail, do you think they come behind you and fix it?  No.  Well the same goes for off roading.  When you bury multiple rigs in a two track trail, who do you think comes behind you and fixes this?  Because I seriously doubt the ones who tore it up are.

Damaging a trail, in the sense that I am talking about only speeds up erosion and damages the ecosystem.  Which then can spiral into a whole mess of problems.  Do you ever wonder why the forest cops are such assholes at times?  Did you ever stop to think that they came upon the mess you created with zero regard for those that might come behind you?  With zero regard for generations to come that might want to enjoy the same beauty of the outdoors that we are enjoying today?  No.  Your selfish self was caught up in the crowd mentality.

A 2013 article from MLive about illegal or rouge ORV riding:
Playing rough: Illegal ORV use overwhelms law enforcement and restoration efforts

“We put things up and they get torn down,” said Diane Walker, assistant ranger for the forest’s Baldwin ranger district. “They have this beautiful national forest outside their doors and I don’t know why people think it’s OK to go outside and tear it up.”

Tear it up, indeed. I visited recently with forest staff and toured one of the more extreme ORV damage areas in the southern part of the forest. It’s near the Cedar Creek Motorsports Area, a designated 24-mile single-track trail for quads, motorcycles and smaller ORVs.

The vandalism and landscape damage was not on the ORV trail. It was on areas adjacent to the trail. Cedar Creek is the southern-most trail in the forest, the closest for riders from Indiana, Ohio, Grand Rapids, Muskegon and other areas.

Riders have been going off-trail and created a web of illegal trails, deeply eroded hill climbs and denuded valleys where entire forest bowls have scrubbed of vegetation by spinning wheels, and left as barren sand.

I am rarely speechless about these kinds of things. And that wasn’t the case this day, but I was astounded by the extent of the damage and found myself resorting to simple, one syllable exclamations under my breath.

What a disappointment.

In 2013, “The Baldwin Ranger district now spends $50,000 to 75,000 on average each year to fix ORV damaged areas, using its own money and state grants.”  50 to 75K a year!! To fix the damage caused by people being assholes!  Seriously, for what a handful of laughs about how bad you tore up the trail and a few Facebook or Instagram pictures?  Wow.  …and this article mainly only talks about those who go off trail.

I find it funny.  Mountain bikers get annoyed at hikers on their trail, ‘hiking’ in the wrong directions -yes, there is a directions, you always hike against the riders and you yield the damn right of way to the riders.  Hikers might get annoyed at less considerate riders for tearing up a trail, it does happen.  However it seems this impact is far less than what I have seen in the off-roading community in just the past few short months of summer.  Plus multiple studies have shown that hikers and mountain bikers do the same amount of ‘damage,’ which pales in comparison to equestrian riders.  Really didn’t expect that, but makes sense.

Anyway . . .

No one likes to come up on this beautiful forest area only to find the ground has been absolutely trashed by a handful of gearheads with no regard for anyone else using the area.  In fact it makes me extremely sad to see the recent sputs of posts on social media basically boasting about how bad they got stuck, not just one rig…that is going to happen; but in the posts (yes there was multiple from the same trip) it appears every driver got stuck.

This tells me two things, 1. No one recon’ed the trail to see if it was a good idea and if you did you’re an asshole who didn’t care about the damage you did.  2. The entire group was a handful of immature and non-caring drivers.

Now yes, there are going to be times and plenty of trail rides that trail damage is unavoidable.  It happens.  However, if everyone in your party is getting stuck in multiple locations, and absolutely obliterating the trail leaving track marks deep enough that a quad wouldn’t even consider that route… Well.  Your group qualifies as the ones I’m ranting about…frankly if this offends you, it probably means you are guilty of this….then I’m definitely talking about you.

People, there are off road parks, controlled areas specifically designed for this.  Take your rig there, stop being a tight wad with your pocket book and go to Badlands or such places like that.  Or simply wait until the trail isn’t so soggy.

 

The Seven Leave No Trace Principles
  • Plan ahead and prepare.
  • Travel and camp on durable surfaces.
  • Dispose of waste properly.
  • Leave what you find.
  • Minimize campfire impacts (be careful with fire).
  • Respect wildlife.
  • Be considerate of other visitors.

un-broken

**I’m not entirely sure about this blog.  It is something I have been rolling around in my head for a bit now.  I figure if I get going on one of my infamous rants, at some point I am going to offend someone…**

A month ago, a facebook acquaintance shared a short blog (here)

If you’re single, and you complain about being single, you’ll normally get some advice about learning to accept yourself before being able to be with a partner. The current model is work on yourself, “improve” yourself, when you’re alone then when you are sufficiently “un-broken” you will be able to attract a mate. To admit that you’re unsatisfied being single is almost like an admission that you’re not ready to be in a relationship; if you’re not “complete” when you’re alone, you’re not worthy of a partner.

large

God isn’t that the frustrating truth when talking to your friends who are in relationships.  Or the ever annoying “don’t worry, there’s someone out there for you, you just haven’t found him yet.” Oh just shut up, shut the fuck up.

Now there are thousands of articles, blogs, facebook statues, tweets, memes and word poems about relationships.  I’m not talking love, but relationships; they’re two different things.  You can be madly in love with someone and not want a relationship.  Or still be deeply in love with someone and the relationship has passed.  Heck you can love someone with all your heart and not like them.

At this point, I’ve been single well over a year.  Most of the time I am fine with this, no I’m not just fine with it, actually I really like it, most the time I question the sanity of why others want to be in a relationship that is nothing but turmoil and problems -hey that’s what too many of y’all are constantly posting on facebook, what are the rest of us suppose to think?! That you’re actually happy? I call that settling.

Frankly, I rather enjoy my space, my routine and not having someone else drinking the last of the morning coffee when I’m grumpy and running late.  Not using the last of the hot water in the shower, or leaving a wet towel on the floor or bed. Snoring to such an extent that I cannot even fathom the ability to sleep -which, I snore myself so if you are keeping me awake…the neighbors can hear you too.  Oh god, and dealing with someone else’s family functions when I’m over worked and sleep deprived.  I say each one of these, because well, they happened and not once or twice but to a point I was ready to explode.

Then there are the very few random days I do miss the connection.  I miss the ability to lean on that other person when it’s been a rough day at work.  I miss knowing someone so in depth that all those little things, you already know the trigger signs and know how to get them out of their funk, or they have made up the excuse for you to miss their family function.  So out of sheer curiosity, and the fact it’s been a few years since I last tried, I signed up on a dating website.
14572252_10154577476575879_820136546810822311_n
That lasted 36 hours and I deleted it.  Then I seriously questioned my sanity in a moment of weakness.  Between what people portray on social media now a days, the way they talk to each other, and the “what I’m interested in;” yea no, I’m good, I’m staying single.  I’m old fashion in the sense of dating and frankly, I hate what social media has done to the lost art of dating.

I was a child of the 80’s; I fully remember growing up with all the awesome 80’s movies like The Breakfast Club, The Goonies, Pretty in Pink, Sweet Sixteen… and maybe the endless stream of these movies and similar ones that followed in the 90’s, is what set my unbroken and young heart up for failure… I can’t blame Disney, I never really bought all the fairy tail stuff as a kid.  I always thought Ariel (The Little Mermaid) was better off as a mermaid and not chasing some dude -pretty sure I actually said that at 10 or 11 years old too.

Or maybe I can only equal one adult broken heart to the one I suffered at 19.  One.. One guy, in my post divorce life has managed to reduce me to utter tears on my kitchen floor wondering where I go from here.  One guy got inside my heart, not my walls, but my heart.  One guy that I had been so in love with that I did not see my life without him in it.  In fact I remember clearly that day, I sat on my kitchen floor after getting off the phone with him, balling pretty much hysterically.  My dog Reese, was by my side instantaneously, licking my face and crawling his 60 pound puppy ass into my lap.  I had to work mids that night, I had debated on calling in, I didn’t.  Instead, I spent most of my shift hiding in my patrol car and on the phone with my sister from another mister, doing everything I could to keep from crying. Life goes on, you’ll get over this, eventually, I kept telling myself, just one day at a time.   There hasn’t been a guy come even close to that level, since.

…wow… That’s it.  Two heartbreaks.

Sure there have been plenty of let downs and disappointments, times where I’ve felt the void because someone I’ve talked to daily or quiet often is no longer in my life.  But hell, that “void” has been no deeper than the violent end of a friendship.  There was no random burst of crying, waking up in the middle of the night and feeling that pain or the need to keep busy to distract from the pain.  Even my own divorce… I worked my ass off, but that was because I was trying to figure out how to live an adult civilian life without being married, I was in totally new territory there.  In fact I remember fessing up to my mother, over the end of my marriage, that the void I felt was the disappointment and realization of the lie.

I don’t jump from relationship to relationship, I’ve never been that gal.  Hell I wouldn’t know how to.  So, seeing, especially, on facebook both males and females that one day they are dating this person, then suddenly that’s over and next week or maybe next month there is someone new… Or shit, the ones that get married… wait, weren’t you just in a relationship with someone different like less than 6, or was it 4 months ago…. what the hell….

Driving home from work earlier this week, I was randomly listening the the classic rock station (fuck I feel old some days) and a love ballad (yes love ballad you assholes) came on the radio, Aerosmith from the Armageddon movie.  This movie came out right after I had graduated high school…. I was dating, him.  The one who destroyed my heart for the first time.  I was foolish and happy, unbroken, I thought this was it, how it was supposed to be.  Then suddenly the rug was yanked out from underneath me and I was left on my bedroom floor balling my eyes out.

It’s been years.  Once in a while the memories of those relationships surface, I don’t regret either one of them.  Both were good guys, one a boy still growing up, the other in every sense a man.  I still respect both of them and cherish what was because there was a huge cause and effect in my life and without both of them, I wouldn’t be who I am today.  Now I don’t expect every guy I meet to have such a profound effect on my life, but lets face it…if you are not contributing good to my life, douces dude, there’s the door.  But on the same note, those two now phantom figures in my head hold a standard.  How these two guys treated me, at 19 and ten years later… If a guy today can’t match that, then I’m not interested.

However, I often wonder, how that early 19 year old girl would view this world we now live in… The one who existed before her heart was shattered for the first time.  The one who knew Jake from Sweet Sixteen was just a movie, but secretly hoped.

 

14590372_10154577352640879_5695964174708062263_n.jpg

  -Inked Amazon 💋💀

sports bras

Yesterday, I went to the movies with a good friend and fellow strongwoman competitor.  We got into the discussion of sports bras and she commented with a laugh, “Do you own more than 10 sports bras?!” Actually, yeah, I’m pretty sure I do.  Considering these things get more use than just the hour and a half in the gym. I go through sports bras the way average women go through purses or shoes.  …but why not?  Some weeks, I spend more time wearing a sports bra than a normal bra.  Heck there are times where my normal bras do not come out of a drawer until the weekend.

Ladies, lets face it.  We’ve all been down this road. You are standing there, in some random store -Target, Dick’s, T.J.Maxx and you are looking at a shelf, a rack or a neatly folded pile of sports bras and you are just standing there.  Dreading even starting this process.  Looking left, then right, no sale associate in sight…not that it would matter, most of them are clueless anyway.  So you take a deep breath, grab a couple and head to a fitting room.  How far do you get?  How many did you successfully try on before giving up?  …and by successful, I mean how many did you manage to get on and off without getting stuck in one.  Lets face it at one time or another we’ve all been stuck in a sports bra…probably half way off too.  Hell last spring I got stuck in one, thankfully I was at home; I was half begging my at the time boyfriend to cut the cursed thing off, he thought it was funny.

I think every woman who has ever worn one knows the annoyance with finding the right fit.  I constantly see the standard sports bra question posted in different women’s lifting groups…asking for suggestions, favorites, etc.  With literally hundreds of styles and brands to choose from, it can become frustrating and discouraging without some focal point or directions.

Years ago, when I was doing Crossfit, one brand covered it.  I could wear it for hours and not have an issue.  Being a first responder, I have work in sports bras for hours on end without any issue.  Yeaaaa, the end of an 18 hour shift, there might be a few red marks along my neck, but no big deal.

Fast forward to becoming a strongman competitor.

Wearing a sports bra for 10 minutes, holy fuck I’m dying this torture device is severing my traps in half…. GET. IT. OFFFF!!!  I’m pretty sure I have driven home, with one strap (or both) pulled over my shoulders and whimpering a few times in the past couple weeks.  If I don’t change back into a normal bra before leaving the gym, the drive home can be a little rough.

I should back up and say, last month I slept funny and for several weeks I had a weird twitch in my right trap.  This is the longest it lasted…and before anyone pipes up, yes I did go to the doc’s.  I have just been that abusive on them during this training cycle, or Brandon’s programming has been that abusive and I’m not backing down.  The twitch…knot in my trap eventually subsided, but since I kept on training it just took four times as long.  Trust me, waking up and finally being rid of it, I wanted to dance some kind of weird bizarre stupid happy dance.

ace-ventura-1994-01-g

I have literally gotten to the point, that I rub the inside seam or a strap, with my index and thumb debating if this is the bra I am going to wear for training today, or if I’m looking for a different one.  I have had FB, text message and even IG conversations with other women, usually fellow strength athletes (because they understand the pain best) about sports bras… Usually this is because I see them wearing one I love and I want a fit/quality review and size comparison (lol).

Which brings me to the thought of low cut sports bras… Sweet baby Judas Priest!!! Ok, I get it, you gals who were luck enough to lose most of your boobs getting into heavy training might love the low cut, but me, hellFUCKno! I do not want to be readjust after every set, putting the girls back in where they belong.  Dear god the thought of a “wardrobe malfunction” like that just makes me want to set fire to a sports bra.

So to kick off my opinion of some store bought sports bras, I’ll start with Target’s brand.  No, just absolutely no.  Zero support, cheap and by that I mean they do not stand up in the washing machine…and I am not hand washing sports bras. Some of Target’s designs have become cuter over the past few years, trying to hold their own against the big name brands.  However at twenty bucks a pop, maybe twenty five… the designs are cheap.  So if I’m looking for a lazy lay around the house thing, yeah I guess.

Moving along, this is Nike’s idea of support (and torture) which any woman who has tried to run with DDs knows , support is a MUST!snapchat-4784982198367390258.jpg

I have worn Nike for years and let me just say it is a decent quality product and it will hold up in the washer and dryer with years of abuse!  I had some that were going on six years old and aside from the Nike “swoosh” having cracked and worn off, the material and stitching was in great condition!  So this is in no way a dis on Nike’s quality…but motherfucker those straps are are trap destroyer!!  I can barely tolerate the sports bra for my leg day workouts and it has got to come off!!!  The Nike Pro has been my go to for years, and I do mean years.  However, the shoulder straps on those are no where near friendly on traps.  Which sucks, because they do pin the twins down and trust me when you are running around with double ds, literally, restrain and lack of movement is a big priority

Next up, Victoria’s Secret Sport or VSX, their entire angle is anti uni-boob.  Which frankly, when I’m training I could give a damn about “uni-boob.”  I’m not in the gym to look cute or sexy, I need comfort in my training clothes and function!  Which lets face it, function will win over comfort, most the time.  Case in point, how I continue to wear the Nike torture device on leg day….because sprints, that’s why, sprints.  Oh, one other thing against VSX….the infamous strongman lift: log!  Have you tried to clean a log with large boobs?!?  Yeaaaaa… You’re gonna need those baby girls pinned the hell down other wise they act as speed bumps and well, you’re totally screwed then!   Trust me.  It’s happened.  Lesson learned. snapchat-1476047299656237468.jpg

Don’t get me wrong, some of the VSX are super cute…ok, not so much in the recent catalog, it’s all that font closure which is nothing more than a regular bar under the zipper -which, seriously, what the fuck is that?!?!  If I’m putting on a sports bra it’s because I need the twins contained and supported for training.  Not to pick up a date in the cardio section of your local globo gym.  Ok, so that is just one more point on how far from a standard girl I am.

But good points to VSX, if you pick a back closure, it’s just like a normal bra, making the tightness of the band adjustable.  POINTS. Also, there are some selections that make the shoulder straps adjustable…which in the case of a smaller chest would be good.  But too loose straps for me completely negates the support.

Heck even the nicer Under Armor ones, with adjustable straps… less than 15 minutes from finishing my workout I am pulling at the straps trying to let my traps…breath more?  I know I could open the strap more but then, it would be kind of pointless, the straps would be way too loose and ending the whole point of a sports bra.  Sadly, also this one, if it is a solid color has wayyyy to much give.  It’s not something you notice trying it on or looking at it in the store…sadly.  But during the train this one literally stretches out.  Something I definitely do NOT want my sports bra doing!!  Also being a 34DD, this puts me in the size chart of a medium.  Ok. That’s kind of flattering at 5’10” and 190 pounds…until you realize how low cut that makes the front.  Basically giving you kind of an 1800s corset look.  EEK.

snapchat-4202552053774819363.jpg

I invested in 1 Lululemon bra (purple one -is called Energy) mid summer, not bad at all! The multiple straps seem to distribute the tension over my traps. So I took a gamble and went for a second one (looks hot pink) again another successful investment!

snapchat-1288288869952720743.jpg  snapchat-6363749285586670735.jpg

The only downside to Lululemon bras is the cost… They are just shy of the most costly sports bras, I personally have dropped cash into.  The only ones to beat them out, Victoria’s Secret.

As of now, the Lulu’s have become my favorite.  While the bands are not as tight as Nike or the adjustable VSX; the Lulu’s are breathable.  Plus, you can still find super cute designs even at a larger chest size.  Two thumbs way up for this.  The only down side I have to these…removable padding.  Lulu, just sew that stuff in!

 

-Inked Amazon Warrior
💋💀

shots FIRED…

sluts & fuckboys

I’m climbing on my soapbox again.

The other night I had a hysterical conversation with a buddy about schmoes or simply put, jackasses. I know this sounds like such a broad topic and it really could be…but with social media, it’s like any respect for the opposite gender has all but disappeared. Individuals send half nudes to people who didn’t ask. When its not returned there is hostility. We name call each other and blast bullshit memes about why dating lives are so miserable.

Which this got me thinking as I scrolled through facebook on my phone….wow…. some of ya’ll are so angry, biter and fucking HOSTEL towards the opposite gender. Hoes, throts, fuckboy (or fuck boiz).

screenshot_2016-01-02-11-50-08-1.png

screenshot_2016-01-02-11-45-16-1.png

Sweet baby Judas Priest, how are you even remotely happy with anyone, ever?!!

Guys. When you post these asinine memes about…well, I’d say women, but that would be giving them too much class and insulting the rest of us….so…. when you post these memes about immature and fools girls; it tells the rest of us what kind of girl you usually date. It tells us the low quality we can expect from you.  Because you are willing to publicly (on social media) degrade the opposite gender. fb_img_1451581272841.jpg
Before I get too far into a rant, 100% ABSOLUTELY it goes both ways. However, since I do not socialize with those kinds of girls, I do not see too many of the men….boy….bashing memes.

When you are constantly posting derogatory comments and memes about your ex or the opposite gender, you come across as an asshole (gals, you too). Why would anyone want anything to do with such a bitter and angry individual?

Recently, I sent something to a facebook buddy, well more a social acquaintance in strongman competitions. However, I thought he would appreciate it. He responded with a laugh, the kind you can tell is genuine and a “thank you beautiful.” It made me smile. A pure complement with no hidden intentions. His kind is sadly now a rarity, a gentleman.  On New Year’s Eve, I saw a guy in my facebook feed had posted a boutique of a dozen roses of assorted colors, they are beautiful pinks, peach, red, white…. a caption reads for my New Years date tonight.

Guys. Women, real good hearted women LOVE this stuff. Random acts. It’s not the big things you do, it’s the random little things. I can not stress enough, you wonder why you cannot find a good woman…. Re-evaluate.  Maybe you cannot find a good woman, because they are avoiding you.

Now.  Bring on the hellfire….

screenshot_2016-01-02-10-14-04-1.pngOn the other side of the coin, I saw a gal (well a couple to be exact) post how dick pics will not be tolerated because she is not that kind of gal… Ok, I thought. Be respectful guys.  Then two posts down was some mirror pic of her ass in a thong and sticking out as far as she could manage without popping a rib. Ladies.  What the fuck!?!  SERIOUSLY?! How in the hell can you expect a guy to see you as anything but easy, a slut? When your social media presence is your bare or scantily clad ass.  That is not sexy.  It’s trashy.  Get pissed at me if you want, but frankly.  Posting those pictures, you are telling guys you are easy and nothing but a toy.  You want respect, then respect your damn self first.  When you respect yourself you demand respect from others.  God I could go off on some enormous rant about this, instead I will just shake my head at you.2016-01-02-10.50.38.png.png  No one but your fellow skanky posters are impressed with your booty gains and trust me, the guys are not thinking of you in any respectable way.  You make it easy , they see you as disposable.  You want to find a “good man” who will treat your right?  Well, treat yourself with some dignity and respect first.  I will flat out say it.  NO guy wants to take home to meet his family, some chic that her social media could double as a wanna be Hustler model without the blessing of airbrushing.  You are nothing more than free porn.  An image without feelings.   Now don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with porn -at least not in my opinion.  HOWEVER, save the skanky behavior for a man who respects you.  Don’t belittle your value as a woman and as a human being.

When I was active duty (Army), I had a platoon sergeant who use to say, “Do you love your mother?  Good, don’t do anything that would embarrass her.”  Its good food for thought.  Would your mother be embarrassed of what you post?  Yes?  Then don’t.

-Inked Amazon Warrior
💋💀