Because…

It is 00:16; much too late for me still to be awake. But I am staying at my aunt’s house for a visit. My scheduled run was pushed back first by a ‘need’ to start the cooking process of crawfish, and then by the arrival of more extended family. So, I had to eat first, and then let the food settle, wait for the family to leave, and then go running.

My cousin, who rode a bicycle beside me, and I set out at 9:21pm. That’s past my usual bedtime. Add onto it that I was running with another 2.5 pounds in the vest today (tonight, I suppose, really), for a total of ten pounds in it. I had intended only to run a mile and be done for the night.

But my cousin and I have something in common: we both know a lot about David Goggins. It had come up yesterday, and we nerded out a bit together. It has come up several times since, both as conversation and as comedic comments. (e.g.’What’s the active ingredient in that medicine?’ asks my cousin, referencing an allergy medicine that was just declared unreal regarding how effective it was. I answered casually, ‘David Goggins’s blood. It has magical healing powers.’)

And so, while out, I determine that I will do the full half of the ladder, from running five, off one, down to the run one, off one, and be done.

As I grow close to the end of that half ladder, I notice myself being very tired and wanting to be done. I have the option to turn left and probably end up back at the house right at the end of the half ladder, or go straight and have to walk a lot extra at the end to get back to the house…., but also have the option to finish the ladder, should I do choose.

I continued straight, just in case, and mostly because I so desperately wanted to turn left – I was feeling tired (but not bad by any means).

As I reached the near end of the half ladder, I asked my cousin, who was semi-drunk swerving alongside me (swerving intentionally to keep pace with me, not because he was too drunk to go straight – he just also happened to be drunk) if I was doing the whole ladder. He merely responded, “Are you?”

I replied that, well, with David Goggins being so prevalent this weekend, I kind of feel like I have to do the whole thing.

And so I did. At some point, as we discussed how silly it all was, my having reached a point of things being already half-digested for my morning BM (which is just after four most every day, remember) that they were started to shake heavily down low, calmly demanding a bathroom break when I had about eleven minutes remaining in the ladder, my cousin commented, in response to a why? inquiry, “Because F***ing Goggins!”

It immediately reminded me of the phrase, “Because F***ing Japan,” which I learned to use while living there. This new one was quite the different experience, but a similar sentiment – absurdity. Why is this utterly ridiculous thing happening? Because f***ing fill-in-the-blank!

And so, we now have the phrase, “Because f***ing Goggins.”

I hope he would be honored to know this, as it is an honor. Extreme respect for him and for his beautiful influence via insight.

Post-a-day 2021

Ever the procrastinator?

Well, I have four days remaining in a 100-day challenge to go 100 miles of cardio activity. It could be swimming, running, walking, cycling, rollerblading, etc. in any combination, just so long as it is 100 miles achieved in 100 days.

I started out strong, and was determined to have all my miles be from running. But then I had that fall that one ridiculous Friday evening, and my running (and general walking for a while at first) plans were ruined. I had hoped that I would be able to start running much sooner than I was able, but the bruised bones really pushed that back for me. I can run mostly okay now, but have to be careful with the cold weather, as it makes the pain show itself in my knee.

However, that all being said, I had accepted conceptually that I would not be able to run my whole hundred, based on my body’s situation after that fall. I had begun walking with my mom on occasion, and counted that toward my hundred. But my subconscious somehow missed the part where I needed actually to start these other cardio activities of my own. I kept just thinking I would do the whole thing running, when I was able to run again, and the only walking I did was once a week, give or take, with my mom. I wasn’t able to start running for real until just a few weeks ago… at which point I wasn’t anywhere near half of the way on those hundred miles. Even as of this week, I wasn’t half way through the hundred.

So, despite my efforts to be ahead of the game here, I ended up doing the bulk of effort right at the end of the whole thing.

But it has been nice, actually. I rode my bicycle around, looking at Christmas lights last night for an hour and a half-ish in the cold, and it was lovely. And I got ten plus miles out of that ride. The other night and tonight, I hung out with my mom at the office where she works, and I used the elliptical-type machine to get some run-walks in not out in the cold. And, this morning, my dad called me and invited me to go to a casual spin class with him at the Y, so I could get some more bicycle mileage in without having to ride outside in the cold.(Actually, I’m not sure how that will be, masks and digital class and all, but it will be nice to be doing it with my dad, and that’s the point of tomorrow’s plan anyway.)

So, fingers crossed that I manage this all appropriately in the next couple days, and I am able to turn in my sheet for the challenge, fully completed!

Post-a-day 2020

Work, work, work

Today, I accomplished loads, and most of it being photography-related.

It feels so good, I could almost do a little jig in my hips and belly. 😛

After the noon workout today, I hung out at the gym and worked on my laptop, originally planning to stay for half and hour to an hour…

I accomplished the immediately needed photos and sent them off (just proofs, really), and then just moved onto the next thing on my reminders list: sending a photo to a photographer I know from the gym.

He encourages me in my photography lots, and told me this Friday to send him a photo on Monday of something I took over the weekend.

After doing that, I moved coolly to the next on my list of photo work, and ignored my reminder to pick up my new scooter cover from the Amazon locker, delaying it another hour.

I finally finished photos from the CrossFit gym’s warrior Navy Seal workout I photographed a while back, and I sent them on to my cousin, and she sent them to the gym owner, who was grateful for them and who asked me for my website or other info I wanted him to use, so he could give credit to me on them.

That was great.

Then, somewhere in the middle, I had a totally and horrendous breakdown, crying my stomach out over the announcement that our gym is moving locations… I ride my bicycle for multiple reasons, the top one being that I need to save money as much as possible, and so it doesn’t work for me to spend money on gas for going to the gym almost every day, nor on risking my car hitting it’s final mile (it’s old and has problems already)… the new gym is an extra 5.5 miles away, adding easily half an hour each direction and lots of bayou hills… not exactly a mile away anymore, and not exactly a mere hour and a half out of my day anymore… Not to mention that I often struggle getting home after the workouts, because my legs and body are so exhausted, and that’s barely over a mile I have to go right now…

But, just as I was finishing blowing my nose, and had stopped crying, the most gorgeous gym member showed up super early for a later class, talked to me a bit about it all, and was overall super sweet to me (yes, I cried all over again while talking with him, but it wasn’t nearly so terrible as the violent shaking version of just beforehand), and he helped me talk it through better and feel at least a little better about it all – I didn’t know what my solution would be, but I left the conversation confident that a perfect solution would arise by the time the gym is moved in a month.

Also, it was a total treat to see him, too, as it always is, but even more so since I hadn’t expected to see him at all today.

I later had a good talk with one of the coaches about it all, and I plotted on the map and mathed and planned and felt the insanity of it and let it happen, anyway, and trusted that this felt right for the moment, and I made a distance goal for my bicycle riding.

(He and I also talked briefly about how my friend kept sending me profiles of guys in the dating apps, and he commiserated with me for just a bit, and it totally made me feel better about it all.)

So, I now have a goal of riding a total of 1000 miles on my bicycle, using the 134 miles I currently had since starting at the gym in April, and continuing forward through the end of December.

I leave town December 8, but this gives me some buffer room to get in some bicycle riding elsewhere, for the days I don’t ride, but have a ride.

I still am not sure if this riding will happen as thought out this afternoon, and I trust that that is okay that I do not know yet – I am not meant to know yet.

When it is time, everything will be clear for me, and I will know exactly what is perfect for me to do… just like how I found this gym in the first place… God gave it to me, brought me to it, and I trust that he will uphold the relationship if it is what is best for us all.

I waited around for my friend to show up for her class this evening, and then headed out to pick up my scooter cover and then heat up my yummy dinner (grain-free homemade gumbo that I made the other night!), and then, of course, eat it.

Immediately afterward, I headed to someone’s home to do a little photo shoot for an event they’re planning.

I had a great time doing it, and I think the photos just might work for what they were wanting.

(If they do, that’s a super plus for me as a photographer!)

And then I came home and ate a mango and then an apple all sliced along the way, topped with salted sunflower seed butter (unsweetened) – and it was one of the best desserts!!

Super yumm…

And now, exhausted, I write this as a reflection upon the day, and I am filled with gratitude for such wonderful experiences and accomplishments today.

Thank you, God.

Now, I must pass out. 😛

Zzzxxx…

Post-a-day 2019

The Lingering Effects of Culture?

I have noticed two behaviors of mine that linger still (and consistently), despite my having been in the USA and out of Japan for almost four months.  They are 1) constantly looking right first before crossing the road, naturally walking to the left, and casually beginning on the left side of the road when riding my bike; and 2) silence.

The first has been improving significantly, and is almost never present when I am driving a car (though those two-lane, small town style, empty roads do make me think twice before I pull out onto them).  It is mostly just my bicycle riding and walking that is still in the habit of Japan’s side.  Seeing as how I am aware of the road-crossing issue every time I approach a road, I feel confident that things will be fine there – even if I must continue constantly checking both directions over and over again, because I don’t trust myself as to from which way the cars actually will be coming on which side.  The second is a bit different.

I wonder if the silence is something about which I need to worry.  I feel like it is no big deal, however, when I look at it from an outside, USA perspective, I seem almost oppressed in the action.  The silence comes in the regular everyday passing of people at work.  I often only smile and nod when we make eye contact, and I regularly say little-to-nothing in group conversations.  Partly, I have no interest in discussing the present topic with the present company most of the time.  However, I wonder if part of that is because I am not accustomed to discussing things with people like I once was.

My distress tied to living in Japan significantly affected my desire and will to learn Japanese.  Therefore, I really didn’t put forth almost any effort in the language beyond the absolute necessary, until I was on the rise from all of the depression, only a few months before my departure.  This means that I was not able to participate in most conversation around me.  Yes, I could understand a good amount of it, and often all of it (though, occasionally almost nothing), but I usually was unable to respond.  It was my first experience with what I previously had only heard other people say they did, and the development of which I couldn’t understand: understanding a language, but not speaking it.

So, I grew incredibly accustomed to speaking very little and to listening a lot.  And this was not a conscious decision, necessarily, though I had intended to observe for the sake of learning all about the culture and language.  My goal was to learn, not to separate and somewhat exclude myself.  Transferring the same behavior over here to the USA, my native country, has the behavior occur quite differently.  As mentioned, I seem somewhat oppressed, like something is preventing me from speaking.  All I notice is a lack of desire to say anything most of the time.  But I also don’t even consider whether I want to speak or not – I just don’t speak…  So, I am wondering about this, whether there is something more there, something in the way for me, preventing me from full self-expression.

 

Post-a-day 2017

the wrong side of the road…?

I have been three days riding my bike (bicycle) now, and I still am not fully accustomed to it.  A car was a reasonably easy adjustment, because the driver seat is on the opposite side of the car, making it significantly easier just to flip everything for the road.  I also have spent hours upon hours driving in the US, and only a handful of days doing it in Japan.  Bicycling, however, is a rather different story.

I spent a good number of days riding my bike part of the way to work at my last US job, and I used my bicycle for a good amount of my getting around town (combined with the local busses).  But that in no way adds up to how much I have driven in Houston.  In fact, I think it is quite likely that I actually spent more time riding my bike on the roads in Japan than I ever have in Houston.  I think I’ve spent more calendar days using a bicycle on the roads in the US – I’m saying “on the roads”, because I know I have spent more time and more calendar days using a bicycle in the US than in any other country, but not necessarily as an alternative to a car as a means of transportation – than in Japan, but the days I spend riding in Japan included a LOT of road time every time I went to and from work.

All that said, despite however terribly it may have been said, I have spent a lot of time riding my bicycle on the left side of the road, following traffic in Japan this past year.  This means that I kind of have a really strong habit of getting to the left side of the road whenever I ride.  I have consciously pushed to the right these past few days, but it has been tough.  Especially when there are no moving cars around, I really struggle.  I find myself already going to the left side, before it clicks that that’s the wrong side here.  (Hey, I’m glad it does click, though, and fast!)

As I approached a road with a huge median in it yesterday morning, and there were no visible moving cars on the nearer side of it, I suddenly discovered how much my instincts have been “messed with”, so to speak.  I truly had no idea which way to check for traffic, as I approached the road (I was on a path perpendicular to the road.).  Even though it seemed like no cars were around, I went ahead and stopped at the edge, because I wanted to figure this out.  After a handful of seconds, during which I get quite silly and out of place, a car came along on the far side of the road, the opposite side of the median from me.  It was coming from the right.  Unfortunately, that didn’t have anything click for me – there was no Aha! moment for me, and I was disappointed.  However, I am smart, and so I immediately deduced that cars must come from the left on the side by me, if they’re coming from the right on the far side of the road.  I was just a bit bummed that I was having to deduce, instead of just suddenly remembering and knowing.

On a handful of other occasions, – possibly two or three handfuls, actually – I have found myself heading to the left side of the bike trail or the road, but it is always under the same circumstances: I am alone, and I am turning.  So, if I keep that in mind, and just focus whenever I’m about to turn, I’ll be in good shape in no time.  (As if I haven’t been thinking this all week already…)

Anyway, just thought I’d share all of that, because it’s kind of fun (to me, anyway).

Post-a-day 2017