Have you ever done something when you’re having loads of free time, and totally loved it, but then, tried it again, but without the free time, and been none-too-excited about it?
We just started up karate classes again after a month break. I have since started school, right? Now, more than ever, I am exhausted in the late evenings, getting into bed as early as possible, sometimes even at 6:40pm. Yet karate class is assisting the juniors at 6pm, and attending my own class at 7pm. If I attend the other classes throughout the week, they go even later. But I need loads of hours to move forward in my official training and belt levels (which I want to do).
So, I guess I need to sit down in the next few days, and figure out how many hours of what I need, and how quickly (or slowly) I can and want to make them all happen. Otherwise, without the specifics and the goals set up, I might get a little too tired to do any of it, especially with school happening right now. I do love this all. But I need to be rested enough to be able to enjoy it fully. Otherwise, the teacher and German within me will tear apart the instructors and assistants and other adults mentally, and be annoyed throughout all the classes for a plethora of reasons. I really don’t want to be that way. Alas, I shall make my plan and get some sleep!
In the shop today, they had a theme of “80s workout”. Suffice it to say that I was best-dressed, and by far. And I only just threw something casual together last night. I had worried that I would be crushed by the competition, considering what pieces would make amazing 80s workout outfits, leotards included. Clearly, however, that was not a problem. 😛
I even lent my whistle to one girl who went for an 80s/early 90s gym coach look. It was super cute and the whistle definitely completed the outfit. But, aside from her, no one else had dressed to the theme with much success.
So, I might have just looked a little ridiculous and like an 80s-loving hipster, but at least I actually am an 80s-loving hipster.
Sometimes, I think nature is unfair. The Darwinism inside of us thinks only of certain degrees of fitness, when it evaluated those around us. It cares little for whether someone is emotionally available, or anything like that. It cares almost exclusively for the breeding power of the individual. And so, every time I ovulate, I get a terminator-style analysis presented to me of every single male I cross, declaring his ranking on the scale of positive breeding potential…, with absolutely no concern as to whether I actually want to have such an analysis… on any of them, let alone all of them.
But such is life, it seems.
One plus, I suppose, is that I would be well aware of whom to seek out, should we have a population crisis, and we needed to rebuild the population ASAP. 😛
That moment of ironic joy when the guy who was attempting to grab a girl’s attention by flexing 1) makes the girl laugh, and then 2) is shown up 1000 times over by the guy sitting next to him who just happened to play along with the silliness… And we’re talking the skinny-boy comedic rendition of flexing from the former, and then the genuine, ‘Oh, wow…’, ‘Those are real man muscles,’ kind of flexing from the latter.
I had a hunch that my friend was extremely good at the acrobatic aerial work she has been doing these past few years, though I hadn’t seen her practice since she started really practicing kind of as a full-time hobby and part-time job a few years ago. She was already a natural in her early days, and not kept getting better and better. Even as a semi-newbie, she was still asked to perform with seasoned individuals in circus performances of varied types. Now, she is several years into it all, and a few years into major practice and work.
Tonight, as I watched her practice for real for the first time in years, I saw what I expected to see in her actions and skills and grace and success, of course. But I also saw in the faces and in the comments of the others present, those practicing and teaching others, what I had long suspected: she is spectacular. Even the owner of the gym had her students stop to watch, she knew it would be worth their time to observe. Of course, when everyone inevitably commented to and lauded her about it all, she was extremely humble and grateful for their kind comments, likely feeling they were over exaggerated. Though, they most certainly were not – she is just that good and that humble.
I am extremely grateful to be friends with her, and I am so proud of her for all that she has accomplished in this field. She has become one of the best around, all through her own hard work and dedication. Anyone who has the opportunity to be her student is supremely blessed to be a le to work with someone so loving and gentle and caring, yet also so supremely talented and effectively self-trained.
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.
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??
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.
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.
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.