Facing My Biggest FEAR aka How I Learned to Swim in my 40's

Water to me has always been a siren's song to me. It calls me, beckons me and for years I would evade it. I loved water as long as it wasn't on my face or near any part of my body that I used for breathing. I would scream whenever I had to get my hair washed or if was caught out in a rainstorm. I always felt it was trying to drown me.

It started one year at summer camp. I had an ambitious swim coach who swore up and down, every which way until Sunday that she could teach me and anyone else in the world to swim. Somehow my parents believed this cocky little girl as she was probably 20 at best. Yeah...

I won't even bother to go into the details except to say I almost drowned and took out another little girl at the same time. I was seven. That day I decided swimming is not for me. My sister almost drowned a few years later. My mom didn't swim and oddly enough she drowned in the bathtub at 50. Needless to say, we are not water folks.

I tried again though at 16, then 21, 30, and the magical year of 33. I thought if Jesus can die for our sins and save the world at 33 I could learn how to swim, and well, just be thankful your soul was not at stake on my swimming prowess. Now here I am in my 40's and #livingmybestlife

I was given a couple of near-death experiences over the last few years that I now have a "fuck it" mentality. When it's my time, it's my time...period the end. Some think it makes me reckless, I believe it makes me fearless. Don't get me twisted I'm not jumping off cliffs or anything.

I am trying things I believed were damn near impossible for me. And what I've learned is all things are possible. In four weeks...I did what so many had tried to teach me to do. I SWAM ON MY OWN, without floaties, without anyone in the pool to hold my hand. I did it. WHY? What changed?

When I first arrived in Koh Samui, I went to a Detox camp. The instructor was very motivational and convincing. She along with my best friend and a host of others talked me into going in the ocean. To calm my fears they gave me a floatation device which I refused to hold on to. I insisted that I wear it instead. Then they all told me I would be safe they were strong swimmers...blah blah blah...they are all looking and talking to me with their back towards the ocean. I am looking past them at the biggest wave that was about to take us all under. If I hadn't insisted on wearing that floatation device I honestly believe I would not be writing this as I would be dead. It was in that moment I knew, if I ever wanted to truly survive I could not depend on others. I was going to swim!

I reached out the Aqua Instructor, Marco. We worked every other day 3x a week. Every week was a battle but now four weeks later...I'm a swimmer baby. Aint no stopping me now.

Many lessons, I wanted to cancel but I decided NOT THIS TIME. Many times I cried while in my lesson and at home in private but I KEPT GOING BACK. I PERSISTED and I SUCCEEDED. This has empowered me in more ways than I can count. Not only did I learn how to swim, I learned how to LIVE.

Until next time....



just keep swimming ...just keep swimming...just keep swimming swimming swimming swimming



My Birthday Adventure..starts now...Malaysia

Wow..today is an amazing birthday (so far) as it is only just beginning. I woke up at the lovely Mandarin Oriental in Kuala Lumpur. Malaysia. I expected the executive club but the treat was the upgrade to a lovely suite. (Don't forget that if you can't see all the pics then just click. )

My birthday began at the crack of early 5:30 AM to be exact. Time to get up and head off to my birthday adventure. Those who know me...know I am TERRIFIED of heights, and since my dad died I have tried to live my life in love and not fear, and embrace all that scares me. So, I decidedfor this MAJOR bday...to tackle heights and away I went:

The company is called My Balloon Adventure and is family owned and operated and have been around for ages. They were super professional and so kind. As you can see in the first pics I was terrified but by the end I was having the time of my life. My pilot was named Agatha (no that isn't it) but I can't remember as I was only introduced once in the beginning and to be honest I was scared out of my wits but she is an amazing pilot and so kind. We talked about travel, live and family. It was not an ordinary tour as I felt I was with a good friend, who also made sure all my needs were met. 

After soaring great heights we had the easiest landing I could have imagined, followed with a champagne/sparkling cider toast:

Celebrating a safe and easy landing

Celebrating a safe and easy landing

and to top it all off...I got a certificate of flying and by golly gee I earned it:-)

Me and my Captain oh Captain...I love it when women are in charge, Who runs the world? #GIRLS

Me and my Captain oh Captain...I love it when women are in charge, Who runs the world? #GIRLS

After the flight we had a nice breakfast then back to the hotel where the staff and mywas waiting with even more goodies. It was an absolute dream.

Day 2: And I Didn't Die

Today was a day of first for me. I went on the morning hike and the guides decided to make it a bit more "fun". Fun is code for hard as hell. So the hike started off hard and crazy, we started a steep incline and scaling the mountain right away. Then she threw in something extra and asked if anyone wanted to try. I am terrified of heights and no one wanted to try...so if you know me, well you know I said "I want to try"...and I did but I just couldn't do the last bit. It was some scary footing and one false move and I would have fallen to my death. BUT at least I did try and got pretty far up.

Today's workout was pretty tame in comparison to yesterday:

I did ALL of this and I didn't die!!!! #winning

I did ALL of this and I didn't die!!!! #winning

After the hike was my favorite part of the day breakfast. We have a great selection but I went with my eggs scramble with hot sauce. Here is today's menu and I got a pic of all the food today. It was delicious. Hard to believe so few calories. Look at all the food for under 1250 calories. Amazeballs

I am feeling much stronger, however the environment can be taxing at times especially dealing with the "personalities". Many are Type A, some are shy, and others are just plain rude. I am the only black woman here and at times I feel like I am the only one in St.George. No one has made me feel uncomfortable except for one guest whose name I knew but he referred to me as "Felicia" He says it was an honest mistake but really COME ON, you'd have to live under a rock to not know one of the biggest catch phrases of the past year. I just laughed it off but it isn't funny. So I just decided to distance myself from the person and focus on me. As I am not here to make friends, but change my life.

Speaking of friends, I have made a few. One is my new workout partner... I push her because I know she can do it. Everytime we workout together she tells me...I didn't think I could do that. And it helps me to push her because then I work out harder as well. It is a good partnership and I look forward to working out with her everyday.

So far, so good. Today was hard and long. I went to bed at 8:30 PM which is why I am posting this on Wednesday morning instead of Tuesday night. However our day starts at 630am and ends around 630 pm...so it's a lot. However I am digging the structure, and I can already feel myself getting focused and becoming stronger.

Welp, gotta hit the gym and foam roll before the hike...time for Day 3: Wednesday. And as they say what doesn't kill us, makes us STRONGER.




Hey friends...I've been away for a few days. I'm currently in Utah shooting a film, as well as checking out a few places for hopefully LOLA getaways in the future...and guess who is going domestic? That's right ...yours truly. I still will be focusing on Amsterdam, however I want to expand to various US cities in unusual places like Utah, Seattle, Portland, Chicago and somewhere on the east coast. Still in the air about that location.

Today was my late day on the set. I'm in lovely Ivins, UT and the scenery is absolutely stunning.

Snow Canyon State Park- Ivins, UT

Snow Canyon State Park- Ivins, UT

Isn't it breathtaking? So breathtaking that I got lost and was scared for my life. I think the movie 127 Hours played over in my head at least a million times.  I walked around FOREVER, then it started to rain so I took cover in a rock enclosure. 127 HOURS had become my life, and all I could think is "Please God let me keep my limbs" . Reception was spotty at best but I was soon able to get a call into park officials and send them pics of the things were around me.

They found me within20 minutes maybe less..definitely faster than Domino's delivery. Once I had been saved...well I needed a pic of course.

Wilderness Woman

Wilderness Woman

At first I swore I would never attempt hiking again, then after thinking about it a few hours I've decided to fight this fear. I'm going ALL IN, and signing up for a hiking retreat. Why? because if something scares you then you have to face it head on.

THAT'S how a LOLA woman does it! Wish me luck.