Being myself, laughing out loud*

Be the person you long to be.

Let go of whatever is holding you back, including yourself.

Accept the fears, acknowledge them, and allow them to be superfluous side comments in your mind.

Feel the pressure that time is upon you, and just start – then the pressure will be off.

Say what you mean, and mean what you say.

Be who you long to be, now.

These are my near-daily considerations…, plus specifics on who that person is who I want to be.

In January, I began slowly searching for what to do next in becoming that person… I knew it had to do with my physical body and my fitness level, but I didn’t yet know how that would turn out.

I got a friend to join me in my search, as I knew I needed the moral support to make it truly happen.

In April, I found the place where I wanted to belong.

The place where the person I want to be would belong.

101 workouts later, I am so much that woman, it is almost scary for me even to consider it – I have been afraid of never becoming that woman for so long, and it seems that I am actually being she, and now… I’m not waiting for 40, like I had once thought.

There is an image I’ve had for years, and it is of me when I am 40 – I live in a chic place, with a chic and gorgeous man, and, somewhere, there is a kid or few… every time I glimpse this woman, my breath is caught in envy – she is my every dream for myself…, all the better that she is myself, though my future self.

In the past several months, I have been taking on being she now, and not waiting for 40 anymore.

When I began these workouts in April, joined this gym, I knew I was taking a step I had never before taken toward being that woman.

Fitness would be only the catalyst for an explosion of transformation in who I am in life.

I knew I would end up fitter than ever before (though I grew up doing sports, and was always fit), and that fitness would help me be who I wanted to be.

I knew that I was acknowledging that, despite the fact that there are terrible deeds done by people constantly in this world, those people and those deeds do not define humanity, nor do they define my life.

I was acknowledging that being fit, being sexy, being the best physical version of myself need not be dangerous, despite what has happened to me in the past.

Besides…, now I could just kick the guy’s a**, if ever he – whoever any new he may happen to be – tries something terrible toward me… anyway…

My second class, I had to attend alone, without my friend who signed up with me.

When it got hard physically, and I felt the beginnings of the challenges to come that would change my body for the better, for the sexy self I wanted for myself, I cried.

I was alone and exposed, and it was emotionally scary.

For the next few weeks, whenever I hit those physical challenges, I cried – I was not accustomed to fitness and sexiness being safe, and so it was scary to know that I was doing work that would turn my body fit and sexy.

It felt like walking around Downtown Gotham at night, singing – as though asking for an attack from any which direction…, but I now knew that it wasn’t… in a way, I knew that Batman was by my side – please excuse the silly reference, but it is oddly applicable – … and he still is…, and it’s like I’m training to be Robin – I’ll always have Batman, but I can handle things on my own, too…. and, it just so happens to be that we have cleaned up Gotham altogether, and there are only the occasional bad guys now…

Anyway, enough Batman…

Working out was scary and actually made me cry from fear on the almost daily – not because of actual dangers, but because of perceived dangers from the physical results I eventually would have.

After a month of what I felt were too minimal results, I took my diet fully into hand – I did a mostly raw cleanse for two weeks, tried out some regular foods again afterward, decided I hated how the regular foods made me feel, and eventually took on my current diet of absurdity that has me feeling amazing, pretty much always.

I currently weigh – and have weighed for a few months now – less than I did at my fittest, back in high school, and I still have some more visible patches to relieve.

I fit into all of my shorts, and have had to alter some of them, because they were too big, only weeks after they suddenly fit again.

Just about every item of clothing I own…, actually no… some of my clothing is just a bit too big, because of how I’ve shaped out and slimmed down, but some of the best pieces from my wardrobe look absolutely amazing on me.

I’m almost totally comfortable in a swimsuit, and I can get over it and wear one when circumstances involve swimming.

I have dropped several percentage points in my body fat, to the point that I am in a fancy percentile of really healthy people.

My butt is about 75% muscle now, and I kind of can’t stop checking it (to make sure I wasn’t exaggerating on that estimate)…, and it makes me smile with delight every time I rediscover how much muscle there is there now.

I find myself looking at and feeling my muscles somewhat as a pastime nowadays, and it makes me chuckle every time I notice that I am doing it.

I’m not (socially) afraid of attractive men, and I don’t feel inadequate around them or attractive women.

I am stronger than I have ever been, and by far.

And not just physically.

I teach high school boys, and I could totally take a good chunk of them – it’s actually funny seeing the weights some of them use at weightlifting practice, when I consider that I used to think them so strong and fit compared to “adults” who are not in the prime of life and have ‘let themselves go’.

I now see that the prime of life is more about when we take on life and take on being our best possible selves, and much less about an age.

(e.g. “Sexy Old Man” at the gym, as my friend always calls him, is fitter than probably all but a handful of these boys, and even that handful is questionable.)

I practically bounce when I get out of bed in the mornings, and I glide with ease down and up my stairs (in the dark), like I have been up for hours and have stretched and gone for a run…, instead of rolling achingly from bed, and creaking down the stairs, everything just a little too uncomfortable to be moving so much so quickly.

I only feel lame in terms of my fitness when I look to compare myself with others at the gym – who, by the way, are some of the fittest people I’ve ever seen in life, so it’s really no biggie there – so I aim to remind myself that that is not a necessary comparison, but merely a point for encouragement.

And it is encouraging, so long as I keep it straight in my head (which has been easier and easier the further I’ve come with everything these past months).

I am a little bit in love with my gym, and its role in helping me – in being such a valuable tool for me – to become this person I so long to be.

I am extremely grateful – to the point that words cannot express, and only a good, long look into my grateful eyes could possibly portray – to the owner of my gym and to the coaches there.

To the owner, I am grateful for his stand to have an exceptional gym.

Period.

He does not settle – be it in something that improves his gym or himself, he will make it happen, thereby encouraging, enabling, and empowering others to do the same for themselves in their fitness and, therefore, their lives.

Also, I love his humor – I laughed pretty hard today – though I wouldn’t say he jokes around much… genuine is more the word for how he shows up in the world.

And, for his genuineness, I am the most grateful.

He cares, and it shows in everything he does.

And it is always felt, and forever appreciated.

His gym is a place of love and inspiration, and encouragement to be the best possible version of oneself – it is no wonder that it is his gym I ended up joining, though without knowing what exactly it was that drew me in at the time.

For the first time in my life, I am bummed when I ‘don’t get to go to the gym’, as it now is phrased…, because I actually love going there.

I still am super focused on myself and my own training during the workouts, but I even enjoy talking to and with people now, because he has a gym filled with great people – these aren’t meatheads or dopes, but awesome people, every one of them…., and they are all there, because people always end up being surrounded by similar people.

If you have an awesome and amazing and fun gym owner, you get a gym filled with awesome and amazing and fun people.

And I am honored to be a part of their clan, and forever grateful.

Five and half months in, 101 workouts completed, and I know that this is one place where I belong.

I just worked out this evening, but I – despite never having been and still not being a morning person – am practically excited about getting up for the 5:15 class in the morning.

Who knew life could alter so much – and for the better – just by joining a gym? πŸ™‚

πŸ€—πŸ™πŸͺ

πŸ¦– Rawr, World – here I am. πŸ¦–

“Let’s Freakin’ Go”

*because 101… lol πŸ˜‚

Post-a-day 2019

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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. πŸ˜›

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. πŸ˜›

Zzzxxx…

Post-a-day 2019

Ugh

We enter into the scene at Hannah’s gym, just after she has finished attending the midday workout class… Hannah has received multiple messages from her girlfriend named Devon, regarding Hannah’s being signed up for another dating app while she was in class, because the one Devon used last night to find someone for Hannah to date wasn’t going so well…

Reading the confirmation code messages, followed by the explanation messages from Devon, Hannah is stunned, and can’t tell if she is excited or totally bothered by this new information just given to her, like a post-workout shake… Brandon walks in just as Hannah exclaims with understanding…

Hannah: Ugh!

Brandon: 🀨

Hannah: Devon is signing me up on all these dating apps…

Brandon: πŸ˜‚

Hannah: Ugh…

Brandon: Well, I guess…. that’s… what friends… are for…πŸ€”

Hannah: πŸ€¦πŸΌβ€β™‚οΈ

…….

Brandon: There’s actually a new CrossFit dating app. I just read about it yesterday on Instagram.

…………..

Hannah tells Devon about conversation… Devon’s only and immediate response is, “Ooo I’m gonna find it”…

… cue another face palm for the afternoon for Hannah …πŸ€¦πŸΌβ€β™‚οΈ

Great day, huh?πŸ˜‚

It really was great, though… πŸ™‚

And, despite the fact that I really am not pro-digital dating and dating applications, I’ve enjoyed considering the possible futures with all these different people – I only cross so many people a day who are eligible for such analysis, and so this is kind of an over flux of brain exercises in the form of picturing a possible future with various good-looking guys.

So, yeah, I am enjoying it a bit… but I’m also not caring too much, and am letting her handle things, you know? πŸ™‚

Post-a-day 2019

Summer days

I was just invited to a swimming party.

I realized that I was feeling a sense of anxiety, and I asked myself its source.

I discovered it was about being seen in a swimsuit (of any kind, really), which has been frustrating for me in recent recent years, due to my poor physical fitness level.

I quickly evaluated my body, to verify the reason for the concern.

I then chuckled silently, as I recalled that I clearly don’t have that same problem anymore, especially considering the fact that I almost ditched my shirt during our workout today (It was just so hot and humid today, and the tank top felt like it was holding warmth in!).

It’s a new feeling for me to be back to swimsuit ready at the drop of a hat, and to be fully comfortable with the thought of swimsuits and whoever might be around while I’m in one.

And it is a very good feeling. πŸ™‚

Thank you, gym, and thank you, God, for getting me to this gym where beautiful magic is happening, at long last.

Post-a-day 2019

today’s tasks complete, and completely un-ready for tomorrow

Productivity was on my side today, it seems… and I am exhausted… and I have to get up early for a workout…

Although, it isn’t like I’m actually going to be able to be competitive at it, even though most of the other people totally will be – I’ve relatively only just begun at the gym, and so I have to do a scaled down version of the workout, anyway, let alone have a competitive time of it…

PLUS, we don’t do pull-ups with kipping at our gym, so that already is going to affect people’s times strongly… the only people with whom IΒ could compare my time would be those from my own gym… and, even then, there’s only one person who is comparable to me in the exercise at present, and she’s currently out at a bar, and so no longer plans to be participating in tomorrow’s workout. Β πŸ˜›

Therefore, I guess there really is no need to worry for myself – I’ll be totally okay, however I do on the workout… it needn’t be much different from any other day at the classes (for me, anyway… everyone else can be all pumped and excited for their times, but my goal is just to show up and participate to my fullest).

With that, I am going to shower and sleep now.

Peace
Hannah

Post-a-day 2019

Acknowledgement

The gym owner did the class with us this afternoon.

He does it every day, I think, but I haven’t paid attention as to whether he attends the same class time every day or not.

Nonetheless, he worked out with us today, right?

Right.

Okay, two things.

Firstly, he verified that he intends fully to do the Murph workout next week using strict pull-ups only, no kipping – “Murph didn’t kip…” – and so expects to have a terrible time (of it, and literally, I suppose).

Secondly, at the end of the workout today, I hear someone walking behind me say, “Who picks stupid shit like that?”, clearly referencing the intense and exhausting workout we’d just finished in the crazy heat and humidity that make their appearances this time of year in Houston.

I turn, and, as I had already suspected, I see that the gym owner, himself, the fittest person I’ve ever known or seen in person, was the one who’d spoken.

I laugh a casual, “Ha,” and agree, “Right?”

After a brief pause, during which I consider many possible scenarios, but still settle on the original one as the most likely, I add, “You do pick out the workouts, though, right?”

He looks right at me and nods morosely, breathing through his mouth, and I crack a smile as, shaking his head slowly, he says, “Still stupid shit…”

And then I got to experience the beauty that is my abdomen at this point, flexing wonderfully in giggling laughter. πŸ˜€

Gotta love when people can speak honestly about the pains of doing a quality but extremely exhausting workout, especially when they know it’s because of them that everyone is suffering, you know?

And also that the one who puts us through the misery always makes sure to put himself through it, too.

I love our gym owner – he rocks on so many levels, and today was just another one of those levels shining brilliantly through.

Post-a-day 2019

Progress

I never did do a ‘before’ photo for my workouts… and I’ve been a bit bummed about that this past week and a half or so.

You see, I’ve felt as though I’ve not really made much progress in my fitness… not visually, anyway.

I have no full-length mirror to access at the moment – flea situation still, you see – and so I only get to see my stomach, really, on a daily basis.

And it doesn’t seem to have altered much since we started CrossFit classes.

Perhaps it has, and I haven’t noticed the ever so gradual change…, but it seems slight, if it has, indeed, changed at all.

I almost have a sense that my arms really are more defined than before, but I can’t be sure about it… when I flex my tired muscles, not much shows up still…

So, it feels like I’ve no visual results with all of this… and I’m definitely half in it for visual results – bikinis and swimsuits and awesome outfits are in my future, so my body needs to get into shape, literally.

And I’ve been getting a bit down and out about this all, wondering morosely if it’s all worth it, anyway, if I’m apparently doing it all wrong and not getting any actual positive results.

However, tonight, while brushing my teeth – of all things, right? – I noticed something…just past the outside edge of my collar bone, there is a semi-deep indention… on the other side of the intention is an extremely solid-looking shoulder muscle(!).

I mean, I couldn’t have flexed that muscle if I’d tried, but there it was, flexed, shining casually in all of its toned, 3-D shapeliness…

So now, at the very least, thanks to CrossFit, I look like and extremely fit and BA individual whenever I brush my teeth. πŸ˜›

Not my long-term or short-term goal is, but I’ll take it for now. πŸ™‚

Thanks, CrossFit!

Post-a-day 2019