CFO of the Arizona Cardinals
+ WINTER • 2023
MEMBER SPOTLIGHT: The Bigger and Better Sin City Classic
OUR VISION: Compete Sports Diversity Unites the World Through Sports.TM
Compete connects, educates, empowers and inspires mission-driven LGBTQ+ and allied sports and community leaders, sports organizations, non-profit groups, tourism partners, corporate partners and athletes to further sports diversity together through our membership, media and event platforms.
2023 CSDC Leadership Board Meets
The new Leadership Board for 2023 met on February 1 at the Arizona Cardinals Training Facility in Tempe, Arizona. It was led by Chairperson Diane Maiese.
• Connor Shane, SDLT started as Compete’s Chief Operating Officer on February 1. This marked his first meeting as Compete’s COO
• 1st Quarter Initiative Pride Night is with the Arizona Coyotes, March 5 at Arizona State University’s Mullet Arena in Tempe, Arizona
• 2nd Quarter Initiative Dive Into Diversity Series is being hosted in Tempe, April 28-30. The event is being supported by USA Diving, Tempe Tourism, the City of Tempe and Mayor Corey Woods
• Planning is underway for Compete Sports Diversity’s Summer Membership Conference being held in St. Petersburg, Florida on June 9-11
CEO | DEI ADVOCATE
Eric Carlyle • firstname.lastname@example.org
C0O | DEI ADVOCATE
Connor Shane • email@example.com
VP OF PARTNERSHIPS | DEI ADVOCATE
John Deffee • firstname.lastname@example.org
MEMBERSHIP DIRECTOR | DEI ADVOCATE
Trayer Martinez • email@example.com
EDITOR-IN-CHIEF | DEI ADVOCATE
Connie Wardman • firstname.lastname@example.org
MANAGING EDITOR | DEI ADVOCATE
David “Dirk” Smith • email@example.com
Dara Fowler • firstname.lastname@example.org
Emma Carlson • email@example.com
Bethany Harvat • firstname.lastname@example.org
To partner with Compete Sports Diversity, please contact our Vice President of Partnerships.
VICE PRESIDENT OF PARTNERSHIPS
John Deffee • email@example.com
All Mail: PO BOX 2756, Scottsdale, AZ 85252
7014 E Camelback Rd Ste 1452 Scottsdale AZ 85251
Copyright ©2023 Media Out Loud, LLC
All Rights Reserved.
Compete Sports Diversity, Sports Diversity Leadership Council, Sports Diversity Leader and SDL are all trademarks of Media Out Loud, LLC.
Proud Partners of
2023-2024 COMPETE SPORTS DIVERSITY LEADERSHIP BOARD
LEADERSHIP BOARD COMPETE LIAISON: Connor Shane, SDLT
Compete’s Leadership Board is comprised of leaders from college athletics, professional sports, business, non-profits and the travel and tourism industry who engage the professional and business communities on behalf of Compete Sports Diversity.
2023 EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE COMPETE LIAISON: John Deffee, SDLT
Compete’s Executive Committee is comprised of recreational sports leaders from diverse backgrounds, including leaders from both the for-profit and non-profit sectors who work closely within the diversity community to engage sports organizations, organizers, athletes and other sports leaders to further Compete’s missionANGELA SMITH, SDL Amateur Sports Alliance of North America (ASANA) Commissioner JOEL HORTON, SDL National Gay Flag Football League (NGFFL) Commissioner ARION HERBERT, SDL Main Attraction Recreational Sports (MARS) Owner BRIAN HELANDER, SDL International Gay Rodeo Association (IGRA) President DIANE MAIESE, SDL BOARD CHAIR USA Diving DEI Council Chair DiveRVA CEO GREG LEE, SDL Arizona Cardinals Chief Financial Officer DR. WILLIAM KAPFER JPMorgan Chase Global Head of Supplier Diversity RHONDA RAJSICH, SDL World Champion Racquetball Athlete ROGER CAPOTE CAN Community Health Senior Vice President
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CSDC SPORTS ORGANIZATION MEMBER SPOTLIGHT THE SIN CITY CLASSIC
COMPETE SPORTS DIVERSITY COUNCIL What Is the CSDC and Why Does It Matter?
13 WAS COMPETE’S LUCKY NUMBER
The 13th Annual Petey Awards
CSDC CORPORATE MEMBER SPOTLIGHT SVTV’S SHERI JOHNSON
CSDC COMMUNITY MEMBER SPOTLIGHT CAN COMMUNITY HEALTH
CSDC TRAVEL + TOURISM MEMBER SPOTLIGHT BUFFALO’S VARSITY GAY LEAGUE
Jaime O’Neill • Already On a Train to a New Destination FROM THE COMPETENETWORK.COM BLOG
Seattle Seahawks Announced as Presenting Sponsors for Gay Bowl XXIII
GREETINGS FROM THE CEO
A MESSAGE FROM THE MEMBERSHIP DIRECTOR FROM THE CATBIRD SEAT
The Power of Change
What an amazing holiday season and exciting new year! The Compete team is recovering from our annual trek to Las Vegas for the 13th Compete Sports Diversity Conference and Awards. This year we highlighted organizations such as the International Gay Bowling Organization (IGBO), the Las Vegas Aces, the University of Nevada Las Vegas and individuals like Beau Bradley, Tanya Jackson and Ernie Jaramillo. You can see a complete list of honorees in this issue.
And just like the seasons, Compete is also changing. When we started in 2006, Compete was the first and only LGBTQ+ sports magazine in print. We will still be publishing Compete Magazine, but we will be publishing quarterly with special editions throughout the year (see our special Pride Run Phoenix Issue in March).
Beginning with this issue, our schedule will be Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall issues. Our special issues will be focused on sport and travel events, including the Compete Sports Diversity Playbook, a directory of Compete Sports Diversity Council members. Connie tells you more about the Compete Sports Diversity Council in this issue, too.
Compete Magazine will focus more on our mission. Compete connects, educates, empowers and inspires mission-driven LGBTQ+ and allied sports and community leaders, sports organizations, non-profit groups, tourism partners, corporate partners and athletes to further sports diversity together through our membership, media and event platforms.
Although you may not immediately see a difference, we hope you do. We will continue to publish Compete Magazine as it grows and changes. While always supporting our mission, the magazine ultimately supports our vision of Uniting the World Through Sports and our ever-growing event platforms and membership.
I am starting to embrace change. Spring must be coming. •Eric Carlyle, SDLT, CEO • HE | HIM CEO | DEI ADVOCATE firstname.lastname@example.org
JOIN US FOR PRIDE ON THE PATIO
Saturday February 19th
2 PM - 5 PM on the Gila River Resorts & Casinos Patio
411 S Packard Dr Tempe, AZ
FREE HIV TESTING! FREE STI TESTING!
Dear Compete Sports Diversity Members,
Firstly, we are so grateful that you are entering 2023 as official members and partners of the Compete Sports Diversity Council. For us, this year is the year for our organization and all our members to have that BIG breakout year. To have a breakout year, you need change, and for us that is our biggest priority. This letter is to officially introduce two important changes to you, our Compete Sports Diversity family.
New Faces Bringing New Roles:
• Connor Shane, SDLT- Chief Operating Officer.
• John Deffee, SDLT- Vice President of Partnerships.
Connor and John are important pieces to the growth and development of Compete. Their experience in DEI, partners, and sports tourism, will allow our team to bring a higher level of service to members of the CSDC. They’ve also been key support players of Compete’s development.
When internal discussions about adding and filling new positions began, we wanted to make sure that we bring on board the right people who see the importance of fulfilling our mission and our vision. Connor and John both do that with extremely high passion and attention to detail. Adding Connor and John will create new opportunities with a primary focus on our members of the CSDC.
We’re excited for what lies ahead. And we’re even more excited that we get to share it with you, our family. •DIRECTOR email@example.com
I Love Compete!
As the Compete Sports Diversity Council has continued to grow, I reflect on where Compete has come since Eric and I first started back in 2006. For those of you who don’t know my back story, Compete became my retirement job since I had a gay son who, as a child had desperately wanted to play sports but was uncoordinated at the time. As a result, the coaches never let him play and develop.
He ultimately became a world class dancer who traveled the world, bringing happiness and joy with him wherever he went (he was a hugger and kisser like his momma). AND he did things with his now hyper-coordinated body that still make me wonder the following: how did he manage to move his body like that; as the tremendous athlete he was now as a dancer, what might he have been as a young sports player; and above all – why did he have to be bullied, even attacked just because he was gay?
This has turned into my life’s work. I now have a gay grandson. Although he faced some bullying, thankfully his passage into adulthood was much smoother. You ARE born this way (thank you, Lady Gaga!) and it does run in families. But Compete, now the CSDC is about more than diversity, inclusion, equality/equity, acceptance and leadership for the LGBTQ+ community alone – we believe that this is for everyone!
Because sports of all kinds really do bring people together, our Vision from the beginning has been to “Unite the World Through Sports.” And we believe that each one of you is a vital component in making this happen! As a result, we’ve decided to reconstitute Compete Magazine into a membership magazine so we can communicate directly with you. I hope you’ll read all the articles and give us some feedback.
As always, with lots of hugs and kisses,Connie Wardman, M.A., SDLT • SHE | HER
Deserving athletes, teams, leagues, organizations, and corporations as well as high profile celebrities receive High Fives for their contributions to promoting diversity, inclusion, equality-equity and acceptance for all.
LOS ANGELES LGBT CENTER
… for launching Black History Month by commemorating “The Future is Black: Renaissance, honoring Big Freedia, newly-minted Grammy winner for Best Dance Recording, with their Bayard Rustin Award for her fearless advocacy of the LGBTQ+ community. Sitting down with content creator and activist, AmbersCloset (Amber Whittington) for a moving keynote conversation, she explored her journey through the entertainment industry, her advocacy and her role in Renaissance, the groundbreaking album by Beyoncé.
… for competing at the Paris National Swimming Championships this past December at 26 weeks pregnant and for sharing the journey she and husband, Jay have faced to have their child that’s due in March. She has no childbearing issues but Jay has a low sperm count, resulting in their use of IVF. To change the narrative, they’re vocal about the stigma attached to male infertility and to elite athletes with disabilities becoming mothers.
LEBRON JAMES | 38-YEAR OLD NBA SUPERSTAR
… for breaking Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s almost 40-year record of 38,387 career points during a February 7 game between the LA Lakers and the Oklahoma City Thunder with a current career total of 38,390 points. Abdul-Jabbar and James embraced at center court following the record-breaking third quarter bucket. There to witness the great moment were James’ mother, wife and three children, and NBA commissioner Adam Silver, Nike founder Phil Knight and basketball greats Magic Johnson, James Worthy, Bob McAdoo and Dwyane Wade.
U.S. SKI & SNOWBOARD IN PARTNERSHIP WITH KAPPA AND PROTECT OUR WINTERS (POW)
… for using athletes’ speed suits to advocate for systemic solutions to climate change these three organizations represent. Produced in an environmental sustainability-certified factory, the suit features large chunks of icebergs sailing in the ocean based on a satellite image of ice breaking due to high temperatures. The Stifel U.S. Alpine Ski Team wear the suits throughout World Championships held in Courchevel, France; suits will then be auctioned off, with proceeds going to POW.
• SUPER BOWL LVII
… for the first championship contest in NFL history where – two starting quarterbacks will be Black: Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes versus Eagles’ Jalen Hurts and – two brothers will face each other: Travis Kelce, 33 TE for the Chiefs and Jason, 35, C for the Eagles
• AUTUMN LOCKWOOD, ASSSISTANT COACH WITH NFL PHILADELPHIA EAGLES
… for becoming the first Black woman to coach in a Super Bowl. She’s the team’s Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.
• NICOLE LYNN, BLACK SPORTS AGENT
… for becoming the first Black female sports agent to represent an NFL player (Jalen Hurts) in the Super Bowl.
• HUDSON TAYLOR, FOUNDER & EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF ATHLETE ALLY, FORMER COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY WRESTLING COACH
… for being named to his alma mater’s Class of 2022 University of Maryland Wrestling Hall of Fame.
• TONY HAWK, LEGENDARY SKATEBOARDER for announcing he’ll donate profits from an upcoming photo sale to the Tyre Nichols Memorial Fund which includes plans to build a skatepark in Nichols’ honor. Nichols was a member of the Memphis skateboarding community.
• NASA for awarding $11.7 M to eight Historically Black Colleges and Universities through a new Data Science Equity, Access and Priority in Research and Education, enabling HBCU students and faculty to conduct innovative data science research that contribute to NASA’s missions.MALLORY WEGGEMANN 5X PARALYMPIC MEDALIST IN SWIMMING PHOTO COURTESY OF LOS ANGELES LGBT CENTER PHOTO COURTESY MALLORY WEGGEMANN INSTAGRAM PHOTO COURTESY OF BASICNETSPA-MY.SHAREPOINT.COM BY CONNIE WARDMAN, M.A., SDLT COURTESY OF JAIME O’NEILL
Jaime O’Neill: Already On a Train to a New Destination
I have the pleasure of interviewing Jaime O’Neill, a professional World Long Drive Golfer and a transgender woman. Welcome, Jaime. I’ve been particularly impressed by your openness and willingness to share your story with Compete Sports Diversity readers. And particularly right now when the trans community is facing so much vitriol, misinformation and anti-transgender legislation.
Connie Wardman: Had you always been an athlete growing up, Jaime? If so, what sports had you played besides golf?
Jaime O’Neill: Growing up in Australia, I played soccer, field hockey, golf, cricket, tennis, squash, surfing – whatever my friends were playing. I represented my shire (region) at state level for field hockey on several occasions. My abilities as an athlete? Well, let’s say I just loved to hit things hard, and in any direction. When I moved to America I started playing softball and continued playing social rounds of golf.
CW: How old were you when you realized you weren’t meant to be a boy?
JO: Growing up I had an amazing childhood, but I had these feelings that I was “different.” This was at the age of five. Not knowing what these feelings were or how to deal with them, I just expected that everyone felt the same as me. It wasn’t until my teens and early adulthood that I had access to the internet to do my own research into Gender Identity Disorder (GID).
In 2010 I started my transition from male-to-female at age 34. Deciding to transition was not an easy decision. I was prepared to lose my family, my friends, my career –but what I knew was I was not going to lose my life!
“With my openness, honesty and compassion, all of my family and friends were my biggest supporters of transition.”
CW: Wow, thank you for sharing your intense level of need and determination to transition, Jaime. I think that’s something many people simply don’t grasp, that this can be a life or death matter for those who aren’t, for a variety of reasons able to have proper medical care. Ultimately, what happened in your case? Did you lose any of your family, friends and/or career in order to transition to a woman?
JO: My transition started with a plan, a schedule and a budget (I worked for an engineering company). The best way to describe my transition? I was already on a train to a new destination. With my plan in hand and assistance from my therapist, my goal was to get all my family, friends and coworkers on the next train to meet me at my final destination.
I achieved this by writing a letter to everyone I cared about, providing them with all the details of what I was going through, along with resources such as the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) Standard of Care. With my openness, honesty and compassion, all of my family and friends were my biggest supporters of transition.
CW: How wonderful! Not everyone is so fortunate to keep family and friends but it appears the way you presented your information to them was key to helping them understand what you were going through and what you hoped would happen.
What was the total cost of your transition and what was your career that enabled you to afford to pay for it? Did you transition as you could afford it; set up a go-fund-me account, cash in savings/ retirement? Someone reading your story will surely want to know how you managed this!
JO: My transition came at a huge cost as this was not covered by insurance. Over a two-year period my transition cost more than $120,000. To afford the expense I worked fulltime at an engineering company and two liquor stores. This also meant I had to transition on the job at three businesses. Additionally, I borrowed funds from my 401k.
I started living full time as a woman on April Fool’s Day, 2011 and started my physical transition at that time. I underwent facial
feminization surgery in Boston with Dr. Jeffrey Spiegel, along with hundreds of hours of electrolysis for hair removal, voice therapy and breast augmentation. A year later Dr. Pierre Brassard at the Centre Métropolitain de Chirurgiemy in Montreal, Canada performed my final gender reassignment surgery. It took me six painful months to recover from this.
CW: And yet, based on a transition or die choice as you saw it, am I correct in assuming that all that hard work and pain was worth it?
JO: Absolutely! •
Editor’s Note: Please check out the MVP section where Jaime O’Neill continues her journey to becoming a professional athlete.
CSDC SPORTS ORGANIZATION MEMBER SPOTLIGHT
SIN CITY CLASSIC JUST KEEPS GETTING
BETTER AND BIGGERBY CONNIE WARDMAN, M.A., SDLT • SHE | HER & EMMA CARLSON, M.S.L., SDL • SHE | HER PHOTOS COURTESY OF THE SIN CITY CLASSIC
The one tournament many look forward to year-after-year, the Sin City Classic has just continued to grow and get better over its 16-year history. It’s now to the point that we decided to tell you about the two important award winners and sports updates in written word and then let some pictures do the rest – ENJOY!
SIN CITY HONORS ITS OWN
The 16th annual Sin City Classic was certainly another one to be remembered. Among the sports competitions, adult beverages and camaraderie, the SSC honored two exuberant individuals who have graciously served the LGBTQ+ sports community for many years.
The late Ken Scearce, former SSC Tournament Director, is remembered as a dynamic leader within the LGBTQ+ sports community. His legacy lives on through the Ken Scearce Leadership Award, given to a person who demonstrates Scearce’s values of passionate inclusivity in sports.
The 2023 Ken Scearce Leadership Award recipient is Tommy Otterbine. “Tommy has exhibited Ken’s leadership since the day I met him in 1999. He was the captain of the track team I had just joined; he welcomed me as a friend and enabled me to excel athletically with mentorship, enthusiasm, and a personal approach,” said Lucas Mariano, a friend of both Scearce and Otterbine as well as the person who nominated Otterbine.
the LGBTQ+ community through his work in higher education by cultivating more gender-inclusive and accessible sports in their intramural systems at Penn State and formerly at Virginia Commonwealth University. He’s also partnered with organizations such as the Special Olympics of Virginia, Virginia Pride and an adaptive recreation non-profit to build inclusive recreation programs.
Within the LGBTQ+ sports community, he founded the Richmond, Virginia chapter of Stonewall Sports, helping grow it to the fifth largest of 23 chapters. As Vice President of Stonewall, he expanded the league from 13 to 23 chapters while facilitating relationships with organizations such as Compete Sports Diversity and Varsity Gay League.
The second important award is the SCC’s Volunteer Award that went to Dorian Dixon for his years of dedication to serving the LGBTQ+ sports community. Dorian Dixon is a natural-born volunteer. He’s also been a team manager for the Greater Los Angeles Gay Softball Association almost a decade. And since the rest of GLASA’s members are part
of his chosen family, he believes that getting rewarded for something he already loves doing is both a shock and an unexpected honor he greatly appreciates. When asked, he said, “I really don’t have words to describe how surprised and thankful I am.”
A volunteer in year two of the festival’s 16 seasons, he began by helping field reps and being in charge of wristband and cup sales. When Scearce became SCC director, he put Dixon and Alan Matsudo in charge of the Friday registration party, giving them an excellent opportunity to liaise with all the other sports coordinators involved as well as sponsors and vendors.
Great memories of working with Scearce are just part of Dixon’s gifts from his volunteering for GLASA and the Sin City Classic. He also includes joy, friendship and fulfillment as part of the package. Even though finding another Ken Scearce sounds like nearly impossible odds, Dixon still encourages everyone to volunteer. Who knows? It’s Vegas, Baby – you may just get lucky!
“... he welcomed me as a friend and enabled me to excel athletically with mentorship, enthusiasm and a personal approach.”Ken Scearce (left) and Dorian Dixon (right). Courtesy of Dorian Dixon
“I really don’t have words to describe how surprised and thankful I am.”
SIN CITY CLASSIC ADDS NEW SPORTS
For millennia sports have existed as an equalizer, a vault of deeply-rooted traditions that have continued to evolve over time. From this evolution has come our more inclusive tradition of sports diversity, such as the Sin City Classic which celebrated its 16th anniversary this past January. Along with a growth in the number of LGBTQ+ and allied participants, this year’s SCC also brought two new sports – sand volleyball and pickleball to its list of sporting events.
Pickleball, one of the fastest-growing sports in the U.S., made its debut at this year’s Sin City Classic with organizers, Darla Christensen and Elise Lindborg at the helm. Tournaments were held on the roof of the Plaza Hotel, formerly the Union Plaza on Fremont Street, according to Christensen. “We just got our pickleball courts redone and resurfaced earlier this year,” she said. “We’ve got 16 of them and they’re absolutely gorgeous, so we were super excited to roll that out with this tournament.”
Christensen’s biggest quest was to find opportunities for beginner players to get on the courts. Tournaments are usually designed with bracket play favoring more experienced players, meaning newer players get less playing time. So to encourage more gameplay among newer players, they did small round robins that gave newer players a great introduction to the sport before being added to bracket play.
But pickleball wasn’t this year’s only new kid on the block. Sand volleyball was also added to the total lineup at this year’s SCC. So whether you were already an experienced player or a newbie, you were invited to get ready to spike and dig in to launch this exciting new Sin City sport coordinated by OutLoud Sports, formerly the Varsity Gay League. A popular multi-sport group for LGBTQIA+ and ally members, VGL recently made a name and logo change to reflect more accurately the fast-growing diversity of its membership.
There were 16 teams from across the U.S. competing but there was still room for new people who were interested. A seeded bracket tournament, Day 1 was for seeding matches with seeding determined by their final rank. Games were played in one-hour timeframes, best two out of three, rally points to 21. Day 2: single elimination tournament.
Along with a growth in the number of LGBTQ+ and allied participants, this year’s SCC also brought two new sports sports – sand volleyball and pickleball..
And in keeping with the philanthropic nature of LBBTQ+ sporting events, several sports were used to raise money at this year’s festival for some great causes:
CORNHOLE FOR CHARITY TOURNAMENT
The popular SCCs Cornhole for Charity tournament was back for year two. To honor Ken Scearce’s legacy, all proceeds from this tournament support the Ken Scearce Scholarship Fund.
STEEL-TIP CRICKET DARTS TOURNAMENT
For the second year, Rogue League Sports organized a Steel-Tip Cricket Darts Tournament to help raise money for the Ken Scearce Scholarship Fund.
KICKING OUT TRANSPHOBIA SOCCER MATCH
The USA’s first-ever full soccer match consisting of transgender and nonbinary players was an SCC feature event. Co-organized by IGLFA, the match raised money for the Kicking Out Transphobia soccer organization, helping it to fund scholarships for trans and nonbinary soccer players to compete in upcoming IGLFA tournaments.
PRIDE CHEERLEADING ASSOCIATION’S CHARITABLE CHEER COMPETITION
PCA was active on both Saturday and Sunday. Saturday was a day of “VolunCHEERING” where PCA athletes traveled to several different sports to cheer, perform routines and raise money. On Sunday the cheer competition started with “bucketing on the strip” at 11 a.m., with competition taking place at Noon in the Flamingo’s Sunset Ballroom. This year’s beneficiary was the Golden Rainbow organization which provides housing, education and direct financial assistance to people and families living with HIV/AIDS in Southern Nevada.•
HOMETOWN: Nowra, New South Wales, Australia
CURRENT RESIDENCE: San Antonio, Texas
SPORT(S) PLAYED: Long Drive Golf, Softball
RELATIONSHIP STATUS: Married to Ashleigh McDonald
WHAT’S YOUR DAY JOB: Owner/CEO Shade by Jamie (Shades, Shutters, Blinds, etc. for Residential & Commercial)
To continue our interview Jaime, how did you come to compete in Long Drive Golf? In May 2019 I started another chapter in my life with a new career at an engineering company. As a teambuilding activity, we played golf during the summer. It had been six years since I had played golf. My first drive was a bomb – 280 yards straight down the fairway! With that one shot I was addicted to playing golf again.
During that round, my co-worker jokingly stated I should compete in the World Long Drive competition. But my path to competing had a hitch: I’m a transgender woman. So I reached out to the World Long Drive Association and the Golf Channel for their policies and procedures that I had to follow in order to compete. They were very welcoming, wanting to be inclusive for transgender athletes wanting to compete in their events.
In 2020 my career in Long Drive was about to begin when unfortunately, COVID-19 shut down my plans. I was completely gutted – tournaments were canceled and the Golf Channel closed the World Long Drive Brand.
After several months of quarantine, I was able to get back to training and preparing for my first event. I’ll never forget the thrill and excitement of standing on the tee box and staring down the grid at my first event. I was completely hooked on competing in long drive events.
I’m really impressed by your enthusiasm. By completely hooked, I’m guessing that’s you confirming that you’ve turned professional long drive golfer? Yes. Fresh after competing in the 2022 World Championships Ultimate Long Drive (ULD), I reflected on my amazing season of Golf Long Drive Tournaments. I competed in Florida at the Xtreme Long Drive (XLD) World Championships, finishing fifth in the Women’s Open Division, second in the 40+ division and third in the 45+ division. This is on top of my success in both the Texas League and the Professional Long Drive
Association (PLDA). Plus in Denver, Colorado I hit a new personal best of 348 yards/291 meters.
That’s incredible. But you’ve competed in both Florida and Texas. As a trans woman and Athlete Ally representative, how have you been treated overall in anti-trans states like these? Are you doing any public speaking appearances for the organization or limiting your exposure to the written word? Between my career competing and traveling, it’s important to stand up for your rights and to be a role model for future generations of LGBTQI+ athletes. I’ve shared my story and experience to thousands of people and created many friends along the way.
Sure, there are negative people out there that have not educated themselves or believe in wild conspiracies, but they are always welcome to sit down with me, have a beer and talk about the facts. I’ve done some guest speaking opportunities for Pride events and I look forward to doing more speaking engagements in the future.
As an Athlete Ally, I’m a part of their Ambassador program which collaborates with and supports sport federations, organizations, associations and schools to ensure that future generations of LGBTQI+ athletes have opportunities and rewarding careers.
Is rewarding the word you apply to your personal journey as an athlete? My journey into professional Golf Long Drive has been imperative for my own growth as an athlete. I am thankful that my fellow competitors and community have had the opportunity to learn about my journey and about the importance of LGBTQI+ inclusion in sports because I am an Ambassador. Whether a person is an amateur or professional athlete, playing sports builds leadership skills, camaraderie, passion and character, which is why LGBTQI+ inclusion in all parts of life, including sports, is so valuable.•
“... playing sports builds leadership skills, camaraderie, passion and character, which is why LGBTQI+ inclusion in all parts of life, including sports, is so valuable.”
WHAT IS the CSDC and WHY DOES IT MATTER?BY CONNIE WARDMAN, M.A., SDLT • SHE | HER
COMPETE SPORTS DIVERSITY’S BEGINNING VISION
Eric and I have been working on Compete since 2006, with the first issue of our magazine going public in February 2007. It launched under the name Sports Out Loud with the tag line, “The Best Gay Sports Magazine in the World” (of course we were the only gay sports magazine at the time). As early leaders in the sports diversity movement, we paid attention, watching as things in the gay sports community started to change. As the first couple of queer recreational, college and even a few professional athletes started to come out, the support they received was tentative, at best. Many organizations, businesses, professional teams, colleges and universities as well as municipalities were hesitant to offer any support. What was needed was for the personal stories of these athletes to be shared and, as an Irish storyteller, I’ve always been happy doing that. As a result, we became Compete Magazine. This time we decided our tagline would become more than just a marketing slogan; it would become our Vision Statement, the one that continues to lead us today – “Compete Sports Diversity Unites the World Through Sports.”
CSDC IS ON A MISSION TO CONNECT, EDUCATE, EMPOWER AND INSPIRE
In order unite the world, Eric and I knew we were on a true mission! We had to share our vision and invite like-minded others to join us in the process — we had to create a meaningful Mission Statement that others could believe in. It needed to be interactive: we would connect people and offer to help them as they were helping others. While Eric’s title is CEO, it really should be Chief Connector. Have you ever met him? It just comes naturally to him … and best of all, it’s truly genuine.
Our mission statement is something we take very seriously! By connecting, educating, empowering and inspiring mission-driven LGBTQ+ and allied sports and community leaders, sports organizations, nonprofit groups, tourism partners, corporate partners and athletes to further sports diversity together through our membership, media and event platforms, we present a united front to a chaotic world that needs access to honest sports diversity information on which to base sane, wellbalanced decisions.
Sports Diversity Leader Designation Program For CSDC Members, CSDC Certified Partners & SDL Individual Designees
For any movement to fully succeed, representation is needed at many levels and in multiple ways. To that end we developed the Sports Diversity Leader (SDL) designation program to recognize our members as true professional
sports diversity leaders who have joined us, taken the training and are now entitled to add SDL after their name. The T on the SDLT designation indicates a focus on the Travel & Tourism Industry.
While we all may profess a deep belief in Inclusion, Diversity, Equality/Equity, Acceptance and Leadership as described in our IDEAL Principles, each new Compete Sports Diversity Council member is asked to sign it. Without our shared willingness to take action, to make the CSDC’s goal of Uniting the World Through Sports a reality for ALL, including those underserved, underrepresented communities, what we’re really supporting is the status quo. We must actively work together toward making sports diversity a reality in a way that brings diverse communities together, engendering harmony and good will rather than more anger and frustration.
Ongoing Education In A Variety of Formats
To stay relevant in our quickly changing world, our education program strives to offer important and comprehensive education experiences through attendance at regular conferences, in-person training, mentoring, webinars or elective online classes to ensure you keep current on quickly changing topics.
With two in-person member meetings a year and member Zoom meetings every quarter, there are six yearly opportunities to interact with other CSDC members and
Without our shared willingness to TAKE ACTION, to make the CSDC’s goal of Uniting the World Through Sports a reality for ALL, including those underserved, underrepresented communities, what we’re really supporting is the status quo.
keep up to date by sharing ideas, projects, committee assignments and just catch up with the friends you’ve made. But we also answer phone calls and emails, to the surprise of some!
Part of the success for a movement like the Compete Sports Diversity Council is to have clear, concise messaging used by all of its members all of the time. For example, you can Google leadership and come up with multiple descriptions. But we want to have just one description, and that’s for a SPORTS DIVERSITY LEADER! And based on our values of ESP — Excellence, Service and Passion — one of our decisions for 2023 has been to reconstitute Compete Magazine as a membership magazine. There’s an important reason for that decision!
As the CSDC continues to grow, Compete Magazine becomes the perfect “connective tissue” needed to keep each of you abreast of new developments, stories, ideas, programs, etc. and for us to feel the pulse of your thoughts, concerns and community needs. It now becomes our way of staying in touch with you in print, four times a year and more.
Empower and Inspire
At Compete, we recognize the power and positive influence each one of you has in your own area of representation.
As the CSDC continues to work together, with the individual power and positive influence each member brings now added to the mix, the organization empowers and inspires others to participate.
So we ask the question: Does the Compete Sports Diversity Council Matter? From our perspective the answer is a resounding YES!
We stand strong as service leaders for our LGBTQ+ sports organizations, BIPOC associations, womenfocused sports groups, allied organizations, and underserved/smaller sports teams as well as those sponsors, donors, DMO/city partners, and others who join us as we pave the way for a safer and more inclusive environment to play.
Whether you come from an LGBTQ+ or allied sports background, a community leader, a sports organization, a non-profit group, a tourism partner, a corporate partner, or an individual athlete, when you can multiply the power of your positive influence to make sports diversity happen on a larger scale, you’re actually making the world a better place for everyone. That is the world we are striving to create. •
... when you can MULTIPLY THE POWER of your positive influence to make sports diversity happen on a larger scale, you’re actually making the world a better place for EVERYONE.
at the 13th Annual Petey Awards Shine at the Sin City Classic
WAS COMPETE’S Lucky NumberBY MIRIAM
At the 13th Annual Petey Awards held at the Sin City Classic, 13 was truly Compete’s lucky number. The table lines were pressed, the lights were dimmed and 150 sports leaders from across the globe celebrated deserving individuals and organizations for their efforts in “Uniting the World Through Sports.”
The red carpet was hosted by SVTV Network CEO Sheri Johnson and Phoenix Gay Flag Football League board member Jesus Godinez. This year’s winners and special guests shared their thoughts on camera with Sheri and Jesus. You can watch the red carpet interviews on SVTVnetwork.com.
This year’s event included a special performance by Sania Dela Cruize. Winners came representing sports such as bowling, NHRA drag racing, softball, tennis and many others. And Sin City Classic codirectors Larry Ruiz and Dr. Jason Peplinksi were on hand to present the Ken Scearce Leadership Award to Tommy Otterbine, one of the many standout moments of the night.
Greg Lee, Compete’s 2022 Person of the Year, presented the Professional Sports Organization Award to the Las Vegas Aces. Greg accepted his award at the TEAMS Conference in Oklahoma City this past October.
Travis Shumake, NHRA’s only out drag racer was honored as the Professional Athlete of the Year and Ernie Jaramillo was honored as the Mark Bingham Athlete of the Year. Racquetball World Champion, Rhonda Rajsich, last year’s Mark Bingham Athlete of the Year, was on hand to present both awards.
The 14th Annual Petey Awards will be held on January 11, 2024 in Las Vegas as part of the Sin City Classic. •
13th Annual Petey Awards
2023 LAS VEGAS
Sporting Event Awards-Regional or Local: Saguaro Cup, Cactus Cities Softball League
Sporting Event of the Year Award-Professional:
United States Tennis Association for Billie Jean King Cup and Diversity Brunch
Sin City Classic Volunteer Award: Dorian Dixon
The Spirit of Sport Award: Las Vegas Tennis Classic
The Pillar Award: Felicia Paschal-Gilmore
The Beacon Award: Chris Davin
Community Hero Award: Tanya Jackson
Welcoming City Award: St. Petersburg, Florida
Molly Lenore Inspiring Athlete Award: Beau Bradley
Corporate Change Champion Award: Cintas
Outstanding College or University: University of Las Vegas Nevada (UNLV)
Sports Organization of the Year Award: International Gay Bowling Organization (IGBO)
Professional Sports Organization of the Year Award: Las Vegas Aces
Ken Scearce Leadership Award: Tommy Otterbine
Professional Athlete of the Year: Travis Shumake, NHRA Driver
Mark Bingham Athlete of the Year: Ernie Jaramillo
Special Tribute to Kenyatta Scott
CSDC CORPORATE MEMBER SPOTLIGHT
SVTV’S SHERI JOHNSONBY CONNIE WARDMAN, M.A., SDLT • SHE | HER
This quarter’s CSDC Spotlight is turned on Sheri Johnson, founder and CEO of SVTV Network. If you’ve been to an CSDC event and had the opportunity to meet her, then it won’t surprise you to learn that SVTV stands for Strong Voices Television, the network this out lesbian created to represent the underrepresented voices of the entire LGBTQ+ community.
Each month SVTV delivers a fresh mix of both original and licensed entertainment as well as sports content that reflects the rich and authentic diversity of all queer lives. At a time when that kind of content has been hard to find nationally, let alone globally, SVTV content is currently available on iOS, Amazon Fire TV, AndroidTV, AppleTV and Roku. Recognizing that representation matters, the company refers to itself as a “purposeful, mission-driven outlet” that’s dedicated to maximizing inclusion by sharing programming not normally seen on mainstream media.
How appropriate, then that Black History Month falls in this quarter. SVTV celebrates this important month by sharing programs like “Amplifying the Strong Voices of Black LGBTQ Pioneers” that offers stories of six Black queer pioneers: James Baldwin, a writer, dramatist, speaker and civil rights activist whose keen observations forged a better understanding of U.S. race relations during the mid-twentieth century; Marsha P. Johnson, the transwoman activist with the sweet smile who co-founded the radical activist group Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries (S.T.A.R.) with close trans female friend, Sylvia Rivera; and Bayard Rustin, who helped form the Southern Christian Leadership Conference to support Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s work.
Also included in this program are teacher, civil rights activist and lawmaker Barbara Jordan, the first queer woman elected to Congress; Angela Davis, now a Marxist and professor in ethnic and women’s studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz, she was a former member of the Che-Lumumba Club, an all-black branch of the Communist Party USA and so much more; and finally, Mel Boozer, the first Black man chosen in 1979 as president of the Gay Activists Alliance of Washington, D.C. During his term in office sodomy was decriminalized and permission was granted for GAA to lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery.
Television isn’t Sheri Johnson’s only passion, however. This is a woman filled with what appears to be unlimited energy, resilience, tenacity and selfdiscipline. This Columbus, Georgia native is a volleyball and basketball coach and seventh grade social studies teacher in Harris County. She developed her focus and self-discipline while playing basketball in high school and college. And in the late 1990s she played on the Columbus, Georgia Lady Blazers team, part of the WABA semi-professional women’s basketball league.
Serving her community for four years as a firefighter, Johnson quickly rose to the rank of Sergeant. As a member of Out Georgia, she also supports gay business leaders and organizations that align with her mission of amplifying the voices of the LGBTQ+ community, and in 2021 she was the recipient of the Constellation Award from the Heaven Help One Help All Foundation for her work supporting Atlanta-area youth for both school supplies and Christmas gifts •
THIS IS A WOMAN FILLED WITH WHAT APPEARS TO BE UNLIMITED ENERGY, RESILIENCE, TENACITY AND SELF-DISCIPLINE.
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CAN COMMUNITY HEALTH AND COMPETE SPORTS DIVERSITY RAISE NEARLY $45,000 WITH ARIZONA CARDINALSBY DIRK SMITH, M.SC., SDL • HE | HIM
The Arizona Cardinals partnered with Compete Sports Diversity, CAN Community Health, Greater Phoenix Equality Chamber of Commerce (GPECC), World AIDS Museum and the Lynn Lewis Foundation to raise nearly $45,000 on November 27, 2022. CAN Community Health has been serving the needs of the HIV Community for over 30 years. It is a private, not-for-profit organization dedicated to the treatment, care and continual wellness of people living with HIV. Its clinics offer the finest medical, dental, psychological care and lifestyle counseling to all patients, regardless of their financial situation,
insurance status or ability to pay.
Grace Ashu, CAN Community Health’s regional manager led a team of volunteers to help raise the money during the Cardinals vs. Los Angeles Rams game at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona as part of the game’s 50-50 raffle.
Members of local sports groups, such as Cactus Cities Softball League, International Gay Rodeo Association (IGRA), Outloud Sports and Phoenix Gay Flag Football, among many others who attended to support their hometown football team and CAN Community Health. •
Kickin’ it Kickin’ it IN BUFFALO IN BUFFALO
BUFFALO’S VARSITY GAY LEAGUE TAKES OFFBY MICHELLE KEARNS • SHE | HER • PHOTOS BY DEANNA BEDNARZ
The Varsity Gay League in Buffalo, N.Y. has really taken off with kickball: 20 teams, 300 players and now, in September, a national tournament!
After Katie Jurkas, a Michigan-native, landed in Buffalo due to a work transfer, she fell in love with the sports-loving Buffalo Bills community of Western New York. When another work transfer led her to Long Beach, California, she began playing kickball in its Varsity Gay League and discovered something she would eventually launch to a surprise success: Buffalo Varsity Gay League.
In the four years since Jurkas returned to Buffalo, the league she started in 2018 with four kickball teams and 60 players quintupled in membership. Now there are more than 300 gay league players on 20 kickball teams, like Pink Taco, Scrambled Legs, Mixed Signals and Funky Monkey.
This September 17 and 18, there will be even more players in town: the Buffalo league will host its first Queen City Cup Kickball Tournament, a new championship for all skills, genders and sexualities. So far, nine teams with about 100 members will visit from leagues in Rochester, New York, New York City and Los Angeles.
“This is going to be awesome for Buffalo, to bring that kind of diversity from other places into the Buffalo area and show them what we’ve got here,” said Jurkas, Buffalo Varsity Gay League general manager.
To her, the Varsity Gay League [varsitygayleague.com] is a convivial athletic alternative to the bar scene. The host organization, founded in 2007, is the first national sports league for LGBTQIA+ athletes and allies. There are 22 chapters from San Francisco and Austin to Memphis and Phoenix. League teams play games of all kinds, including dodgeball, tennis, soccer, volleyball, bowling, beer olympics and video games.Left: Teresa Trevino, of the Big Ang and the Cohorts, heads for the pitch Above: A jump shot with the Buffalo Varsity Gay League kickball team Assume the Position
For a mid-sized region, the Buffalo-area has a surprisingly strong crew, said Jurkas. “The LGBT community in Buffalo is larger than one might think,” she said.
The Buffalo Varsity Gay League has also amassed devoted fans. Families and friends come to watch and celebrate the kickball teams at Sheridan Park in Tonawanda, a northern Buffalo suburb. “The other day,” said Jurkas, “one of our team friends had a birthday and we did a cake at the field and her family all came.”
The list of other Buffalo league sports includes softball, dodgeball, bowling, darts and cornhole. Soon, Jurkas expects to add volleyball. “Part of what I love is bringing people together,” she said. “When I see people becoming friends and I see these new people join a league and meeting people, it’s just very gratifying. That is why I do this.”
September’s debut Queen City kickball tournament connects with a local tourism campaign designed to highlight the Buffalo-area to LGBTQ travelers. Visit Buffalo Niagara President and CEO Patrick Kaler looks forward to watching a
few games and sharing Buffalo with new visitors.
“They’ll be coming here for their tournament, but they’ll also be experiencing our community and the restaurants, the nightlife, our cultural attractions, our waterfront,” he said. “It goes back to why we are the ‘City of Good Neighbors’ … Local teams are excited to welcome their counterparts from across the country to Buffalo. They get to showcase why they love Buffalo and why they choose Buffalo to live, work and play.”
Buffalo’s passion for sports is one of the reasons Jurkas, a health insurance investigator, moved back to the city. “Buffalo has that sense of home feeling for me,” she said. “I also fell in love with the Buffalo Bills ... Bills fans are something special. They’ve always got the back of the team, win or lose.”
The Buffalo Varsity Gay League’s swift rise has been a thrill. “It’s almost like a disbelief thing that it has grown the way it is,” Jurkas said. “I couldn’t be more proud of what has happened in Buffalo.”•
TOURNAMENT GAMES WILL BE PLAYED at Sheridan Park on Sheridan Drive in Tonawanda, a northern Buffalo suburb. For details check the listings at varsitygayleague.com/buffalo
The Elmwood Village will be the heart of tournament gatherings (including a party at the Thin Man Brewery), so while you’re in the neighborhood, check out the Burchfield Penney Art Center — featuring art by artists with local connections. Across the street from the Burchfield is Buffalo’s famous modern art museum — which is being expanded and updated. And don’t miss the city’s waterfront: The districts developing around the old Erie Canal include Canalside with a walking path to a lookout tower and eateries. Look south toward the grain silos and find Riverworks’ beer garden and zipline. Then take a Buffalo Tiki Tour through the city’s inner harbor and sip an ice-cold beer while sightseeing from a floating grass-hut bar.
“There are so many things to do here. Buffalo is one of these hidden cities that no one really knows about until they come here and fall in love with it.”Above left: Members of the Pink Tacos, a kickball team with the Buffalo Varsity Gay League. Above right: Buffalo Varsity Gay League players gather on a Buffalo Party Barge, one of the paddle boats in Buffalo Cycleboat’s fleet.
Seattle Seahawks Announced as Presenting Sponsor for Gay Bowl XXIII
As part of an ongoing and growing relationship between the National Gay Flag Football League (NGFFL) and the National Football League (NFL), the Seattle Seahawks have signed on as the presenting sponsor for the Gay Bowl XXIII set to take place October 5-8 in Seattle, Washington.
The Seahawks have sponsored the local Seattle branch of the NGFFL league, the Cascade Football Association since 2019. Then the Seahawks helped provide funding and resources to the LGBTQ+ flag football league to help it grow and prosper. This effort ultimately led to the 2023 Gay Bowl bid being awarded to Seattle.
“The Seahawks organization is committed to spreading a love for the game of football and providing equal opportunities for people of all backgrounds to play, regardless of gender, sexual orientation or race,” said Karen Wilkins-Mickey, Seattle Seahawks Vice President of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion. “We are proud to support the Gay Bowl XXIII – Seattle in its mission to make sports, especially football, more inclusive for all.”
Local NFL teams have sponsored previous Gay Bowls and NGFFL local leagues, beginning with the New England Patriots, New York Giants, New York Jets, Denver Broncos and the Arizona Cardinals. The growth of early efforts led to 20172018 when the Arizona Cardinals partnered with the Compete Sports Diversity Counsel to find ways for their team to better connect with the local LGBTQ+ community, especially the sports community, to learn how they could improve their Diversity, Equity and Inclusion efforts.
This ultimately led the Cardinals to build a working relationship with the Phoenix Gay Flag Football League and then-president, Jesus Godinez who had already been building bridges between the PGFFL and some other local professional sports teams.
Seeing the success of the initial partnership and the mutually beneficial support from both
sides, this inspired more teams to get involved. And with the help of Jesus, NGFFL and Compete, a “snowball effect” occurred that has ultimately led to everything from NFL teams sponsoring local leagues, participating in LGBTQ+ pride parades, sponsoring Gay Bowl and inviting local LGBTQ+ leaders and members of the Compete Sports Diversity Council to offer DEI training for team staff and athletes. And board members of the NGFFL were even invited to make a live announcement of a Cardinal player selection in the NFL 2022 draft.
Compete is excited to see this relationship continue to grow and prosper. Compete also will be hosting another Sports Diversity Summit in Seattle with the Seahawks in 2023. We will be sharing more details about it shortly — we hope to see you there! •
... the Seahawks helped provide funding and resources to the LGBTQ+ flag football league to help it grow and prosper. This effort ultimately led to the 2023 Gay Bowl bid being awarded to Seattle.PHILIP ROBERTSON FROM NEW YORK, NY, USA VIA WIKIMEDIA COMMONS
Boundaries, Barriers, Hurdles and Setbacks (What
Other PTs May Not Tell You)
In the always-on, always-connected, always-showing only the “good stuff world” of social media, you could be forgiven for assuming that for some, their fitness journeys had only been a positive; that gains and progress had always come easily, that no injuries had occurred and that their gyms had always been open when they got there.
As a Personal Trainer with almost 12 years working in the Fitness Industry and a 17-year personal fitness journey that I, too, have had a seamless experience with no downsides. Well, let me stop you right there. In this article I’ll share ONLY the bad stuff that’s happened to me (or because of me!) ... BUT it’s so I can tell you how you can avoid it!
Let’s go back to the start: walking into a gym feeling completely overwhelmed, a bit confused, a bit intimidated, too. All those confusing machines! The members who seemed to know precisely what to do! The grunting — oh Lord, the grunting! Baby Matt did what a lot of people do in that situation: got on the treadmill for 15 minutes, then went home. Moral of this story: I persevered, returned and things got easier; I felt happier there and over time and I was able to just get on with my workout.
I dragged a friend along to share the experience which dissolved so many of those initial stresses. Moral of this story: sharing the embarrassment makes it so much easier to laugh at yourself or the situation. I then hired a PT in the
gym to show me how everything worked and create an easy plan for me to follow. I worked out when the gym was at its quietest and went then. All of these helped me change my mindset and belief around the gym, as did holding on to the fact that everyone there pays the same, so I had just as much right to be there as anyone else!
Later in my journey I hurt my back twice, leaving me out of action for two-three weeks. It was incredibly frustrating but I learned from the experience (the second time!). The first time I was deadlifting when I felt something funny in my lower back. “This is fine,” I thought; “I only have four more reps to finish the set. I’ll do them, then rest …” CRACK! Moral of this story: listen to your body! It gives us warnings and signs that things aren’t right. If I’d stopped when I noticed the strange sensation in my lower back, I would have saved myself the enforced rest.
The second time I hurt my back, I was squatting, or rather my Ego was squatting. I had done a few sets and then decided to go for a big jump in weight. As I tried to come back up on the first rep, my legs came up too quickly and I turned the move into a very heavy Good Morning (i.e., I was hinging forward from my waist) ... CRACK! Moral of this story: keep a healthy respect for the big moves. As you reach the limits of the weight you can lift, only increase in small increments.
“... listen to your body! It gives us warnings and signs that things aren’t right.”
Another barrier to the progress I really wanted was doing the wrong workouts. I had always been naturally slim and wanted to put on some weight. So impulsively I purchased Beach Body’s Insanity home workout program - yes, the one with DVDs! The workout got me very sweaty and lean but that wasn’t what I wanted. And my neighbors almost certainly didn’t want me jumping around above them either, but we live and learn. Moral of this story: I then discovered I needed to be lifting heavier weights for fewer (much fewer!) reps, which I then stuck to and saw the right change.
Something I hear from clients and members of my free Facebook group, and very much something I used to believe for a long time, was that there was a ‘magic bullet’ for fitness success out there, that everyone but me knew about. But oooh, when I find that supplement/nutrition regime/workout, I’ll finally make the progress I really want! Moral of this story: of course this isn’t true. But it held me back for a long time investing time and money in the latest fad, absolutely convinced it was the missing piece in the puzzle.
The real magic bullet? Moral of this story: ultimately, it’s consistency, but even more important is to find what you enjoy doing. THEN you’ll find it easier to be consistent since your workouts won’t feel like a chore but instead something you want to do that will only make your life
better. Thankfully, I got there and now I love helping Fitter Confident You clients do the same.
Finally, forgetting to prioritize myself was a major barrier, too. Not seeing what I was doing as being worthy of sticking to, instead allowing other people’s goals and wishes placed above mine. Moral of this story: what took me a while to learn is that no one will ever be able to care for and support ME as much as I can. If I had kept waiting for someone else’s validation or approval for me and what I do, I’d still be waiting.
Moral of the entire story: be your biggest cheerleader. Decide you’re worth everything good you can imagine for you, now and in the future. Every day, put yourself at the top of your to do list and fiercely defend your boundaries to ensure you actually get to do the right things that support you and your goals.
So while I adore fitness now and the infinite number of ways it enriches my life, it hasn’t always been a bed of roses. I accept that the path ahead may not always be smooth, but every day, in every way, I choose ME. And now the Moral of MY Story: I’m not naive enough anymore to assume it will stay that way. But the more good stuff I actively choose to do for myself, the more I benefit and the more the world around me benefits. I hope you accept that the path ahead may not always be smooth, but every day, in every way, I hope you choose YOU! •
Matt Boyles is the Founder and CEO of Fitter Confident You, online personal training tailored for GBTQ+ guys over 40. Check out www.fitterconfidentyou.net/40plusfcy to find out if the Fitter Confident You approach is right for you
“... while I adore fitness now and the infinite number of ways it enriches my life, it hasn’t always been a bed of roses. I accept that the path ahead may not always be smooth, but every day, in every way, I choose ME.”
ERGONOMIC OFFICE CHAIR BY ERGOUSIT • $99
If you’re still using your dining room chair for your new home office chair, give your back a present! This rolling swivel computer task chair made by Ergousit has a high back, adjustable height, reclining breathable high-density mesh and also has flip-up armrest, and back support. Comes in white; manufacturer’s suggested maximum weight, 250 lbs.
HAMPTON BAY STAINLESS STEEL PATIO HEATER • $150
Enjoy your deck or patio even in the colder months! This 48000 BTU gas-powered patio heater comes in silver; dimensions are 32.25 x 32.25 x 87.25 inches.
ECOTRIC POWERFUL 26” FAT TIRE ELECTRIC BICYCLE • $999
If you have a need to be outdoors, try this fat tire electric bike by Ecotric. It has a 26” aluminum frame suspension fork beach snow ebike electric mountain bicycle with a 1000w motor 48v 13ah removable lithium battery, seven speeds and disc brakes.
CHARAVECTOR WOOD SERVING CART • $140
This Solid Wood serving cart is space-saving, multifunctional and practical. It is built with a strong metal frame and solid wood shelves, has multiple uses as a mobile dining room table; desk for the living room; dining cart for the kitchen; or rolling bar cart with wine glass storage. The top removable shelf is easy to use as serving tray; four smooth nylon swivel casters, two of them lockable.
JANUARY WORLD UNIVERSITY GAMES
Lake Placid, New York
WINTER X GAMES
FIFA CLUB WORLD CUP
ALPINE WORLD SKI CHAMPIONSHIPS
SUPER BOWL LVII
FLORIDA SUNSHINE CUP XII
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
2023 ARIZONA GAY RODEO
Corona Ranch & Rodeo Grounds
Daytona International Speedway
Daytona Beach, Florida
CSDC with Arizona Coyotes
ASU’s Mullett Arena, Tempe, Arizona
BNP PARIBAS OPEN
Indian Wells Tennis Garden, Indian Wells, California
NCAA MARCH MADNESS TOURNAMENTS
1st & 2nd Rounds in Various Cities
NCAA WRESTLING CHAMPIONSHIPS
BOK Center, Tulsa, Oklahoma
PRIDE RUN PHOENIX
2023 WORLD BASEBALL CLASSIC CHAMPIONSHIP
LoanDepot Park, Miami, Florida
Hard Rock Stadium, Miami Gardens, Florida
March 20-April 2
NCAA SWEET 16 TOURNAMENTS
AUNT RITA’S AIDS WALK
Tempe Beach Park, Tempe, Arizona
NCAA WOMEN’S FINAL FOUR
American Airlines Center, Dallas, Texas
March 31-April 2
Whoever you are.
Whoever you love.
Wherever your journey takes you.
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