Speaker 1 (00:00):
This is max Carter, and this is compassionate. Las Vegas, the podcast,
Speaker 2 (00:27):
Welcome to compassionate Las Vegas. The podcast I'm will Rucker, and this is such an impromptu recording for this. So you'll have to excuse the, the lack of production. But I was speaking with max today and I said, we need to share your story with our audience because it's powerful. We've been together a few minutes and I've already been moved in so many different ways. So I just wanted to make sure that you got a chance to hear what it is that I've been hearing. So, max, I always start with a question and it's really a simple one, but it's also quite complex. And that is what does compassion mean to you?
Speaker 1 (01:05):
Compassion means service. It means being there for others. It means having an open heart and allowing yourself to see other open hearts.
Speaker 2 (01:17):
I mean, we could end right there because that, that is exactly, uh, what I believe compassion is meant to do is really reconnect that human, uh, connection. And we've seem to wander particularly in the industries that you know, you and I are, are in at the moment, but it's all about connection. Now. We're sitting here at your home and when I pulled up, there were two incredible animals outside. Tell me about them.
Speaker 1 (01:48):
So the first one, the bigger one, it's two horses. There's William, the mayor who was my wife's horse. And, um, a little sideways saying I won't get there too much, cuz I'd probably end up crying. But five years ago my wife was riding William and I heard her yell my name three times and William come running back through the gate without her. And um, we found her around the corner and she didn't survive. We still don't know what happened, but that's William the mayor. And why is it William? The mayor is because my granddaughter Avery had a dream that her poppy, I was, I am poppy was gonna buy her and her bunny bunny was Karen a horse and it was gonna be a, a girl, but her name was gonna be William. And so William's name was on the papers is robs, but she's William, the mayor.
Speaker 1 (02:54):
The other one is Milky, AKA buttermilk, cuz her her official name buttermilk was the most famous buck skin mayor of all time. She was Dale Evans horse from Roy Rogers and Dale Evans and Milky is a chin fatigue, pony chin fatigue is an island off the coast of Virginia. That's a federal preserve that there was a book written by Margaret Henry in the 1960s. 1950s was made into a movie in the 1960s was my favorite book. In fact don't tell anybody, but I still got a copy of it that I checked out from the Clark county library in 1973 when I was in fifth grade. Okay, we've gonna scratch that holes. We're gonna, no one is gonna know. And um, it's around here somewhere. It was my absolute favorite book. It was my wife's favorite book. It was my FA sister's favorite book. It was about a band of wild horses that have been on an island.
Speaker 1 (03:52):
It's actually O absentee island off the coast of Virginia for over 300 years. The myth is that it was a Spanish gal that wrecked and you know, and actually there was just an article came out national geographic that there may be some truth to the myth, but the herds been managed by the volunteer fire department and the neighboring island for a hundred years or so. And they round up the whole herd of horses, swim them through the ocean from one island into the other, separate out the babies. They actively manages herd wild horses and us in Nevadas know, we don't do a good job out here. There they do because they separate out all of that. Year's folds and they auction 'em off. And it's how grandfathers have been buying their granddaughters ponies for 75, 80 years. My wife and sister had visited the island. I hadn't got a chance to had an amazing time and it was Karen and I's secret dream to take her granddaughters there someday and maybe just maybe buy 'em a pony of the auction in 2020, my sister and I were gonna take my middle granddaughter Avery there to take pictures.
Speaker 1 (05:08):
I had it already arranged that if I'd happen to, to stars aligned and I could buy a pony, I would, and it went, COVID hit, went online and I got the auction premium and lo behold, the only time that all three of my granddaughters agreed, they circled, I let 'em pick at a 78 or 80 ponies. They picked they all three agreed that this one was the best and sitting the beach in Southern California and Oceanside my sister and I just kept bidding, bidding, bidding, bidding, bidding. And I won the best pony in the batch, according to my granddaughters. And then that fall, I had it arranged for her to be taken to a, to a, a stables that specializes in those ponies. In, uh, November of October of 2020, I drove across country with a tr with a horse trailer and picked up Milky and brought her back.
Speaker 1 (06:08):
And so now she's two years old, she's feisty, she's everything. And you know, the school kids come by to feed her apples after school, make their parents stop to so they can drive by and wave to Milky. There's several groups of retirees that she's on their normal route. My horses are spoiled because they come to feed her carrots and she gets carrots in the morning from a retirees apples at midday, from the school Coots. I love her and she's just, I think that she's more popular in the community than I am. And so that's the story of my two horses.
Speaker 2 (06:49):
Well, they are both beautiful and amazing stories behind each of the now I don't know if this is in frame, but just over to my ride and probably Springs left is a yoga block.
Speaker 1 (07:02):
Speaker 2 (07:03):
So you don't look like the typical yoga practitioner, but you do something very special. Tell us about that.
Speaker 1 (07:12):
I, I actually, I, I teach yoga. I'm a certified instructor, 200 hour R Y T registered yoga teacher. Um, but I teach in a very specific world in trauma recovery, yoga. And how did I find trauma, recovery, yoga? It was listening on NPR. I heard a woman talking. This is after my wife died. I'd never done yoga before. Never I'm a retired electrician. You know, I'm like you said, it's not my demographic, but I heard this woman talking on NPR about a book she had just wrote yoga for everybody. And her message was yoga is for everybody. And everybody, um, found out later, I, I didn't even know who she was, but it was Jeman Stanley. She's wrote a new book yolked, but her word spoke to me. I come and tried doing online yoga and it just didn't work. And one of those dark nights, about six, six months after Karen died, I opened up Facebook and there's a, a thing about come down to the VFW hall on Bonanza in Las Vegas Boulevard.
Speaker 1 (08:30):
And I knew it well, I grew up down there and um, I thought, I honestly, I sent a, sent a message that I overshared of all of the pain within me and didn't hear back. And I thought, Ugh, they think I'm an internet creeper or something. And then two days later, I get a message. Get your effing down here. And if anybody knows the originator of trauma recovery, yoga they'd understand. So I have my son buy me a yoga mat on Wednesday, August 9th, 2017. I walked into the VFW, the old abandoned VFW hall on Las Vegas Boulevard. I sweated felt awkward. I fell over and then they did this thing that I didn't know what was called Shavana. And the hamster that had been running nonstop with all of the Wooda should have, could have took a nap for a few minutes. And yoga became the only reason that I willingly left the house for about a year.
Speaker 1 (09:42):
It became that place where I could go feel included and escape from that hamster running on the wheel in my head. And somehow how I don't even know how it happened. I, you know, a year later, six months, a year later, I took the class because I wanted to know what was going on in here. And at the time the founder, Joyce, I knew her. She since become one of my dearest friends, Joyce Bozen, she took and kept pointing at me and at lunch, she come over and she goes, I know you're trying to pretend I'm not pointing at you. She says, I am. She says, we need you max. I go, what do you mean? She goes, you need to be a teacher. I'm like Joyce, I'm overweight. I can't touch my toes. I, you know, get winded and all of this stuff. And she goes, and that's why we need you back.
Speaker 1 (10:45):
She says, you know that in the community, she says not many people that look like you in the mirror come back. She says, most guys will come, will come the first time and they'll feel what you felt. And they'll come back the second time. And about the third time they get embarrassed because there's some hot young yoga chick up there teaching and they feel awkward and they just don't come back anymore. She says, we don't know why you came back. She says, maybe if you're up there in the front, people like you will come back.
Speaker 1 (11:24):
So I went through the 200 hour official yoga teacher training and come to find out fatal construction workers. Aren't my job. I don't. I ended up teaching at a place called endure LV, which was a recovery facility that, um, had a unique plan for people in recovery, from alcohol and addiction. They combined traditional talk therapy and group with physical fitness and activism in the community, trying to restore self-esteem through acts of service in the community. And lo and behold, it's where I fit in. And now I've taught at desert Parkway and the 500 unit, which is another recovery facility. I've taught joint base, Louis McCord for people working on physical recovery. Um, I've just, it's, it's opened up so much in my life and I've found that now, even in the deepest, darkest days, if I'm anywhere, Oceanside, California, black sheep, yoga, you're hurting, you can go to a yoga studio and there's people with open hearts, you walk in and you're accepted. And you know what, in a yoga studio crying is a superpower. So if you're ever, for me, it became, if it's coming up and it's hurting, I go to a yoga class and it's okay to cry. And that's what I found was the older.
Speaker 2 (13:02):
Wow. Well, uh, I mean, I, I think that gives people a, a real glimpse at your heart. And, uh, before we started recording, you mentioned that you're looking to serve the community because of your heart and you're coming to it from that heart center of space, which is what I think our community really needs and deserves. So I just wanna say thank you for, uh, your sacrifice and putting your time and energy and your heart into Las Vegas and to our great state of Nevada, to ensure that every human has the same type of belonging and recovery and sense of freedom that you are finding in this world. As we close, could you just share one or two things you really want folks to hear from you?
Speaker 1 (13:52):
For me of always tried to lead a life of service. And I say, now that that's all I've got left, that's not true. Service is helping me be part of the bigger community and family that is east Las Vegas.
Speaker 2 (14:11):
One last I'm allowed to I'm the whole, if I can ask more than one question, you have a mural that we're gonna show. Tell us a little bit about that outside,
Speaker 1 (14:19):
You know? Um, so yes, it it's got campaign logo on it, but the, the reality of it is, is that, you know, I live on the east side, in the, in the Barrio, so to speak. And so there's a lot of tags and stuff. And I came home one night and there was a Tager out there tagging my wall, come to fight out. It was a woman that was a dear dear friend of my wife's. That was her trauma recovery. My wife was in a, in a shooting. Her bird shop was robbed and she was shot about 15 years ago. And she suffered with PTSD. And whenever she found that when it went, when she could feel it going sideways, she'd go get a tattoo. Cuz it gave her control. And she became dear friends with this young woman, serene temple. And they became like mother and daughter besties, everything else and person tagging my wall was serene temple out there, putting beautiful murals, whatever she felt. And it's kind of nice taggers, respect each other. My walls are beautiful because of all of the hard work that serene is put into 'em whenever her heart overflows, she comes and paints on my wall. Beautiful.
Speaker 2 (15:42):
This has been compassionate. Las Vegas, the podcast I will Rucker. And as I always remind you, you are not just a drop in the ocean. You are the entire ocean in a drop and what you do matters. So.