Dreams

A couple years ago, a certain job opening was made known to me. For years – maybe ten? -, it had been my dream job. But, on that day, when I was stressed at learning of its becoming available, I had a great talk with my cousin to help me sort through what was going on inside my body and mind.

As it turns out, I didn’t want the job anymore. Who I was was beyond the job. I had outgrown the dream. And I don’t mean in age. I just mean that who I had become at this point in time was more than that dream, more than the person who had had that dream ever imagined she would be. I had outgrown that person and that dream.

And, though it was a tad stressful at first, it turned it to be a wonderful thing, much better than the dream the job had once been.

Today, walking the running/walking trail loop at the park, a girlfriend and I were nearing the area with pull-up bars. Growing up, and even as an adult, I had always dreamed of being one of those guys – as I only knew guys who could do it – who could walk up to a pull-up bar at a park and just do a pull-up, like it was no big deal, and then continue on their way, returning to their different reason for being at the park in the first place. They weren’t there for pull-ups. It was just fun to do a pull-up whenever a bar was around like that, right?

I longed for that for myself in life.

I doubted that I ever would reach such a goal, but I never gave up hope entirely. When I finally got myself sorted emotionally, and had joined my current gym, my doubt lessened, at last, but did not disappear.

Now, remember how we were about to reach the pull-up bars on our walk today? Several years ago, at those same bars, a different girlfriend wanted to attempt a pull-up. She absolutely could not do it, so I told her to bend her knees and let me assist. I might have assisted in lifting her more than her own arms did. It was comical, but still satisfying for both of us, because she had experienced her first pull-up of any kind.

Those same bars always remind me of that friend. (She had joined the gym with me, but she moved out of town after about a year. At that point, she and I both almost could manage a real pull-up. Depending on whom you asked, we both got it. But I don’t really count it. 😛 ) So, on a whim today, I asked the friend with me to do a video for me, so I could send it to that other friend.

We went to the bars. They were super hot. I had to adjust my palms to the heat of metal that had been baking in the sun all day. After a matter of seconds, though, I figured I could stand the heat enough, and we started the video. I grabbed onto the bar, dropped my feet from under me, and did a few pull-ups. Four was all I did, as I doubted another was in me at the time. I said as much, and we laughed about it, as we headed back into our walk.

It wasn’t until I was thinking about it later, after the walk had finished, that I realized that, well, I had just achieved a dream of mine. And not just any dream, but a long-time, doubt-filled dream of mine.

So, why hadn’t I noticed? Why was I more excited about remembering that I had even had a dream, than achieving the dream itself?

And I realized: because I had outgrown the dream.

At the gym, after every work-out, I do a maximum effort set of pull-ups. From the day I got my first pull-up (though I did two rounds of that one rep), I have done this. For a long time, that max effort was one rep. Then, it became two. Then, it was two or three. Then, it was mostly three. Then, it was four or three. Today, after the morning workout that had had 45 reps of banded pull-ups (in sets of nine) in it, it was five.

I once dreamed of being able to do a single pull-up at any time, anywhere. After a few months ago, though, that dream transformed into ten pull-ups at any time, anywhere. So, doing a single pull-up in the park was no big deal for me today. But it was a big deal for me for most of my life.

So, where do I go from here?

Forward, just like my kakizome for this year says.

You see, I think dreams, rather than merely being a destination, are really just a starting point. As we grow in who we are, so do our dreams grow. What seemed colossal at one point in life, suddenly seems minuscule later down the road. But the colossal dreams we have today would have been too much for us back then. We needed those earlier dreams in order to help us become who we are today, to help us create these new, even larger dreams. Without the relatively small dreams, we never would have made it to the big ones of today.

So, yeah… I think dreams aren’t a destination. They are a starting point.

Post-a-day 2021

Karate

In the tournament today, my age and belt level had only three women, so, the black belts set us up to spar one another, with one girl having a sort of bye. So, I was put against the one girl who had shown up specifically because her instructor wanted her to spar me. The winner of our match was to spar the other girl next.

I was that person.

I won that match, too.

It was very cool.

However, the videographer for my matches totally blew it with the videos. He shook the camera terribly at all the important moments, without clear reason. So, the videos are near-useless for evaluating how I did from an outside perspective. (And he was the same one who did an amazing job last time on the video’s angle and stability! We will be discussing this, he and I. 😛 )

Nonetheless, I felt comfortable regarding the matches today. Though the advice is to jump into it as soon as the head judge says to go, throwing a kick or strike before the opponent has a chance to move or think, I didn’t really like doing that last tournament. It actually was much more stressful for me, and I was near-panicked at the risk involved.

I had seen how the upper belts, black especially, had tended to take their time in attacking one another. It was easy and casual to watch, though still exciting and filled with bated breath when they sparred. The action moments were frequent and awesome, but no one was in a hurry to dive into them as soon as the head judge said to go.

I was amazed by this. I immediately wondered at why I hadn’t done it myself. Then I remembered that the fast-hitting people always beat me in tournaments as a kid. So, I had taken a page out of their books. Those books apparently come from many instructors in the organization. However, not everyone does as he says. And, besides, that approach just isn’t my style.

In sparring in class this session, I took on seeing how it felt to be chill in my own skin in the ring, fully comfortable in patience and intention. When the head judge said to go, I prepared myself fully to receive an attack, but usually never had one. In those first moments, I learned much about the opponent in front of me, and I used it to my advantage. I watched how the person moved, reacted to blocks, dropped guards for certain movements. I didn’t wait long, but long enough to have an idea to use. And then I used that idea. And I usually destroyed.

Today was just the same. I watched my opponents in the eyes. I saw where they looked on my body, while keeping an eye on the tension changes in their own bodies. There was always a bit of a rise and a clench just before a move was made… and the eyes told me exactly where she had set her target. It was a mostly easy block, followed by a bit if pummeling from me. That is, of course, when I hadn’t already attacked her. Because, as a friend said upon seeing the videos this evening, I was on the offense (though the videos were messy, they were still clear enough to notice). Though I waited those precious moments at the beginning, or throughout as I planned my next moves and sought my own opportunities for points, I was still the one managing the ring.

And that was, surprisingly, not a surprising feeling for me. Frankly, it felt natural, as though it were where and how I always belonged: being in charge, running the show.

It was really, really cool.

I still have much, much room for improvement, of course, but attitude is everything in things like this, and my mind seems to have found its place beautifully.

Thank you, God and Universe. I a extremely grateful for all that was today. Happy Christmas in July and Kakigoori Day and, now, Titanic Day!!

Post-a-day 2021

Chiropractors

I think I might want to marry one. They are just so utterly invaluable, when they truly know what they are doing and how to communicate effectively with the human body.

Tonight, just in my evening stretches, my world was transformed. Things that were hard last night just felt comfortable tonight, my body easily going much deeper into the stretches this time, without strain. My balance is significantly improved. How I feel period has improved significantly.

And all that changed was that one of those special chiropractors did a quick adjustment on my body.

I am extremely grateful.

Post-a-day 2021

Okay, then, brain…

I have a problem. It is a ridiculous problem, but it is a problem nonetheless.

You see, I wear this awesome fitness clothing. The shorts and leggings show off the shape of my legs and bum quite classily. The bras and tops show off just the right amount of skin. And all the muscles look amazing. And all the right curves are visible in all the right places, when I wear this clothing.

And, to be fully franc, I look amazing in it.

And, whenever I see myself in it all, even I have trouble keeping my cool. Looking down at myself in the fitted (biker style) shorts and leggings is already a bit rough at times. Add onto that seeing myself in the mirror… man…

I don’t mean to be rude or egotistical by any means with this – I am merely sharing what I have noticed and wondered… but how do men handle it, seeing me in this stuff? I can barely handle it, and 1)I’m a heterosexual woman, and 2)it’s my own body.

But those two facts don’t seem to matter much at all to my brain. It’s like, Oh, sh********… and then kind of loses all train of thought. Until I manage to give myself some calming, deep breaths, and can chill myself out, that is. But seriously…

Major ::facepalm here.

I know I work really hard to be my best self, especially physically. But I think I hadn’t really anticipated how doing just that, pursuing my fitness and physique goals, would leave me so, well – though I am a tad embarrassed to say it -, sexy.

Let there be no doubt: I always have wanted to be a sexy woman. And that has been part of my physique goals with my fitness. But I guess I never expected it to have such an effect on me… Please, tell me this is normal. Or, at least, common enough that someone can tell me with confidence from experience that I will grow accustomed to how my body looks, and this unintentional response – if you missed connecting the dots before, it’s arousal – will chill the **** out… Because this is getting stressful, getting so suddenly sexually charged off and on… like all day long…

I guess this is one of those Catch 22s. I want the fitness, but not the arousal for myself, but I can only not have the arousal if I don’t have the fitness.

Ugh… what a bizarre and silly problem to have. Am I right??

Post-a-day 2021

Theories

Why does all the bad and annoying have to happen one right after the other in life? Ugh.

So, I got sick. So, I can’t go exercise. Then I couldn’t sleep. Then all the crap feelings combined with my living alone, and I was lonely. Then I was miserable because I was sick and alone, and it was even worse. Then I couldn’t make food, which made everything worse, including my recovery time. Then, as I think I am recovering, my lower back seizes up while stretching it out, and I’m in varying degrees of pain there.

What will tomorrow bring for my body?? Please, God and Universe, let it be full wellness…

Oh, and did I mention that there were somehow fleas in my bed, biting me? I don’t even have a pet…

Post-a-day 2021

Quote of the day

“I think the takeaway quote of the day is, ‘Not even Vanilla Bean.’”

She had said, “If you don’t stretch, all you can do is Vanilla. And I mean you’re stuck with not just Vanilla, but super bland Vanilla… not even Vanilla Bean.”

Folks, stretching the whole body is immensely important, period. It also allows for loads more opportunities in life, especially in unexpected ways, when we keep the body stretched out, strong, and ready for anything.

Be prepared, and Life will meet you all along the way, and in unexpectedly wonderful ways.

Post-a-day 2021

Still tired…

Apparently, I am still recovering from the past couple weeks and all of their excitement and whelming. This afternoon, I was struck slightly by a thought. It was a worrisome concern. And, instead of it’s just remaining that, it kind of spread, virus-like, into so much more, I was a mess and ready to cry and rush home to ball up during, of all things, karate class. That class is usually my active healing time, my fight club, my releases. However, because I’ve been so worn down, my mental capacity was somewhat shot by this afternoon, and I could hardly keep it together enough to be in class, let alone put forth full effort. My full effort was measly, really, which brought me down even more, mentally.

Granted, I started menstruating today. However, that was only icing on the cake that gave me the exhausted ache of my whole being right now.

Anyway, off to sleep to help as best I can, despite the delay (due to yet another technological letdown) on getting to bed at a reasonable hour.

Post-a-day 2021

Lieutenant Michael Murphy

Today has been Memorial Day, a day for remembering, honoring, and extending gratitude to those who have served in the military, whatever branch they may have been, and who died during that service. In their honor and memory, I now always honor specifically Navy SEAL Lieutenant Michael Patrick Murphy and the 18 others who died for Operation Red Wings on 28 June, 2005, through my practice of the workout now called “Murph”. While it is a thing worldwide, today was a bit extra special for me.

One of my cousins used to live in San Diego and work among the SEALs. He was not technically a SEAL, as he was brought in in a non-traditional way, but he worked and trained alongside them for many years. One of his best friends from that work was on the first helicopter that had aimed to rescue the original four SEALs from the reconnaissance mission that had gone so terribly sour. That helicopter was shot down before any aid could be given, and all those in it died.

Below are all of their names, both those from the original four and those who died while aiming to rescue those four. I list them here, that those who read this might offer up a prayer, a positive intention, some light, some love, and/or some gratitude for the efforts of these men to make the world a better place by giving their all, both physically and mentally, as well as for those efforts continuing all the way to the end of their lives. Being in the military is more than about guns and fighting – it is about being one’s best self, such that the country itself has the opportunity and ability to do that same. Therefore, I am always grateful to those who serve in the military, and I give my love to each of these men listed here, that their souls may be at peace, and their families, too.

Navy SEALs

LT Michael P. Murphy

SO2 Matthew Axelson

SO2 Danny Dietz

SOC Jacques J. Fontan

SOC Daniel R. Healy

LCDR Erik S. Kristensen

SO1 Jeffery A. Lucas

LT Michael M. McGreevy Jr.

SO2 James E. Suh

SO1 Jeffrey S. Taylor

SO2 Shane E. Patton

Army 160th SOAR

SSG Shamus O. Goare

CWO3 Corey J. Goodnature

SGT Kip A. Jacoby

SFC Marcus V. Muralles

MSG James W. Ponder III

MAJ Stephen C. Reich

SFC Michael L. Russell

CWO4 Chris J. Scherkenbach

Post-a-day 2021

Body power

At the gym today, someone asked me what I had noticed as the biggest difference from having been at the gym for so long. I immediately thought of my muscles, the obvious strength in my shoulders and arms – a strength I love to see whenever I pass a mirror -, my near constant touching of my own muscles, the shape alteration of my hips and waist and thighs, the lines (as we call it) on my leg muscles… but those all seem like small things to me, and none stands out as significantly more prominent in my mind than the rest. Perhaps it is my energy levels or my endurance capabilities. Or perhaps it is how I no longer just feel comfortable in my own skin, but I feel capable in it…, ready to take on anything, bidden or not…

I really wasn’t sure, and I thought on it for quite a while this afternoon and evening. However, when I was preparing to take a shower, I went to take a look at my body. Naked and tired from having been worked hard this afternoon at the gym – I felt like fighting someone, so I went to the gym, even though I had planned to go tomorrow instead of today – it stood its ground nonetheless. What stood before me looked nothing like a tired body. Truly, what came to mind when I saw it was simply the word, “woman”. It was woman as she was designed to be. It was the young hunter-gatherer of a clan from so many years and generations ago, when we first became the ingenious homo sapien sapien. It was Ayla from The Earth’s Children book series.

And I realized that that was the greatest difference I had noticed in myself since joining the gym. When I see my naked body now, I do not frown at the shape, nor find sorrow in the excess fat areas. I see simply woman, and I am both grateful and proud to be the host of that woman. I have worked long and hard, and I shall continue to do so, because it feels not just good but right to be this woman. This is part of who I’m meant and made to be. And I am grateful.

Post-a-day 2021