Nashville does things differently. Fit & Inked

LINDSAY BROOKER
Verticity Co-Owner & Cycling Instructor

Mid Back: The phrase “abbracciare il frattempo” or “embrace the meantime” is Italian. There’s a book by Iyanla Vanzant titled “In the Meantime” and it’s all about the valleys we walk through between life’s peaks. Those moments where life gives us circumstances, situations, relationships, and decisions that are hard and hurt to teach us more about how to find love and acceptance within ourselves so that we can then give love and acceptance to others. She calls these moments our meantime.

The premise is that we are each responsible for everything that happens to us and we must learn to know ourselves in order to heal ourselves. The “meantime” is the place where we do our learning. It was a book that found me in the midst of my divorce seven years ago and it quickly became my bible. It changed the way I see myself, the way I see the world, the way I respond, react to others, and the way I approach every decision I ever make. It taught me how to take back my control and my power to be the person I needed most, to be unapologetically me and build the life that I wanted and needed with complete confidence and no questioning, to fully trust myself. “Embrace the meantime” became my motto and my way of life. Instead of running from the hard stuff, I lean in to the lessons it has for me.

Right Shoulder: I have always been fascinated by big cats. All of them. Lions, tigers, jaguars, cheetahs, pumas. They have so much power and strength but also so much grace. They live in packs and care for each other so well. But they can also be super fierce when necessary. And they are beautiful. They are sleek. They are fast. They are fearless.

Left Shoulder: Owls are a symbol of wisdom and of motherhood. They watch over the world below them and have an almost majestic nature about them as a result. To me they have almost a silent strength about them. They command such attention without moving a muscle or making a sound. Just perched above the world. I respect that about them.

Inner Bicep: As cheesy as it sounds, underneath it all, we are the same. What sets each of us apart is what exists outside of our physical bodies. It’s our minds and our hearts and our souls that connect us to each other and to the world. Our bodies carry us from one destination to another, but they are merely vehicles that allow us to express our hearts and our minds in a physical way that can be seen and felt by those around us. I want to always be more interested in what people think, what they feel, who they are, and where they are going. The skull and roses reminds me to always seek out what lies beneath the surface.

Forearms: The planets on my forearms were a design that my tattoo artist (Joe Bostick, Bostick Art) came up with and posted to Instagram offering to tattoo on someone. I jumped when  saw it. I’ve always loved the arm placement to separate an image across both arms where the images on each arm are interesting by themselves but together create a whole new piece. It’s how I view human interaction. Everyone is so beautiful in their own right, but put people together and they create a whole new beautiful thing. Given this image encompasses the universe but also brings in such a human quality with the hands fell directly in line with the idea I had for the placement on my forearms.

DAVID COOK
Cookie Cuts Co-owner & Personal Trainer

What do your tattoos say about you? As you can see from the photos, I have several tattoos. The first tattoo I ever inked though was on my right side (not pictured). It says, “Know Yourself” in Latin. I was 19 years old and thought Latin sounded cool. As I’ve matured in life, I have found that my tattoos have become expressions of greater meaning and emotion for me though, not just expressive artwork.

Right Shoulder & Arm: My first large tattoo was my Phoenix shoulder plate that drapes across my chest and back. I tore my pectoral muscle when I was younger, so I wanted a big tattoo to cover the scar from the surgery. I also got this tattoo shortly after a very difficult period in my life. A time when I didn’t want to live and attempted to end my life. The Phoenix represents rebirth or the start of a new life. Just as a phoenix is reborn from its ashes after death, we too are in a state of preparation to change at our lowest point in life. We must choose that change though and embrace it for what it is.   

Around that same time in my life, about 10 years ago, I decided to get a full sleeve. I was going through a lot of intense changes during this time. One of the biggest struggles I faced was my relationship with God. I had been through a lot of hardships in life and tended to blame Him. It was hard to find the words to express my feelings, so I went to my tattoo artist and just said, “I want my sleeve to represent my relationship with God. The good and the bad.” My arm is what we came up with. It’s a constant reminder of both my struggles and triumphs.

Chest & Rib Cage: The quote on my left rib cage and the name “Charlie” on my left pec represent one of the most painful experiences in my life. It was a time when I thought I was going to become a father, but it ended in a miscarriage. The quote says, “I never met you, but I love you.”  I’ve never wanted anything more than a child, but I do believe making it through that situation and growing from it made me a better man. That’s all we really can do: Grow from our struggles, or let them break us.

Ears & Hands: The tattoos “Love” on my hand and “Cali” behind my ear are very special to me. I used to think it was ridiculous to get a girl’s name tattooed on your body. Cali is short for California, my fiancé Dani’s nickname. Sometimes I have no idea what the hell I’m doing with my life. I question everything, always have. Yet, she is the only thing in my crazy life that I’m sure about. Now it makes perfect sense why having someone’s name tattooed on you means so much.

The semicolon I have behind my ear is my smallest tattoo but one of my favorites. Semicolons are used to extend a sentence that could have been ended with a period. Or, in my context, to choose to extend one’s life after contemplating suicide. It’s used to increase awareness of mental illness, specifically suicide prevention.  I have personally attempted suicide in the past and will suffer from depression for the rest of my life, so this subject is very close to my heart. The tattoo being in an easily visible place sparks conversation. It’s a subject that needs to be discussed more, not swept under the rug. Too many lives have been lost.

GILLIAN ST. CLAIR
Steadfast & True Yoga Owner

Wrists: I have a cherry and a bomb on my wrists. Nothing crazy here. I just like them! It was one of my first tattoos also.

Left Shoulder: I have a strawberry tattoo that is for my mom. Growing up, I remember she had some needlepoint of strawberries that I always loved. I can now look at my left arm everyday and always have a memory of my beautiful mom right there.

Foot: My sister and I have matching lady bug tattoos for her daughter Delaney. We’ve always called her Laney Bug. She is precious!

Armpits: Oddly enough, those were a wedding present. I knew I was going to be wearing something sleeveless, and, honestly, I have never been a fan of how armpits look so I decided to make them beautiful. Plus it’s pretty badass, right?

What do your tattoos say about you? I think of tattoos as an artistic expression. I like colorful things and individuality. My tattoos are an investment, and a way to store memories on my body. It think they also bring me closer to my husband, this is his skill, effort, and art. I like that I have him with me all the time.

All of my tattoos were done by my husband Jason St. Clair from Flash City Tattoo. They do incredible work!

JOSHUA (JJ) GOFORTH
Artistic Muscle Co-owner & Personal Trainer

Left Shoulder: The cross and Bible verse on my shoulder are my most meaningful tattoo. I was born on January 18th and was named after Joshua, a central figure in the Bible. Tattooed below a cross is the verse Joshua 1:18 and reminds me to always be strong and courageous. The verse says, “Whoever rebels against your word and does not obey it, whatever you may command them, will be put to death. Only be strong and courageous.”

Shin: I have always wanted to start my own business, so looking at this tattoo is a reminder how far Jordon Hull and I have came with our company. this was our first logo that was created in January 2016, Artistic Muscle. The Roman numerals underneath it are also the year my sister was born. She encouraged me to journey down this path and become my own boss.

Chest: My chest piece is a heaven and hell scene. If you’re looking at my chest, the left side is heaven with two of my family members names on it, Ethan and Victoria. They are my brother and sister and represent the “angels of my life” guiding me through this journey and giving my strength when I need it.

The other side is a verse surrounded by fire. The verse states, “In whom we have redemption through the forgiveness of his sins.” This verse is surrounded by fire representing a life of sin. The meaning behind it is no matter how dark or dirty your past is you can always be forgiven.

Back: The meaning behind my back tattoo is a person’s essential being that distinguishes them from others, always be yourself and do what you love regardless of what others think.

Any tattoos planned for the future? I want to get a Native American themed tattoo as a heritage stamp. Part of my family is Cherokee. I’m hoping to get it above my shin tattoo, so I’ll have a half sleeve on my leg.