Score(!) + Ugh(!!)

Two things:

1) I learned loads at the class this morning… my evening internship was cancelled this afternoon, so I went to cheer on my friend at the evening class she was attending… moral support, you know?

Then we could have dinner together afterward.

When they were gathering for class, the coach asked about why I wasn’t joining their pow-wow… we explained… he continuously encouraged me to join, and I somewhat quickly accepted – I learned lots of technique this morning, and so certainly could use the extra practice, but also could use the weight training that I had to give up for technique training this morning (now that I know the technique, I can add weight to it all, you see).

Sure, there was plenty in the workout that wasn’t the technique-based stuff I had just learned… that mattered little – I had done the beginner version this morning, and I managed to complete the advanced version this evening (for the rest of the workout, that is, because the weight I used in the weightlifting part was still for not strong muscles… though no weight was listed on the actual workout, so I technically did everything on the advanced level this evening… cool!).

The coach was joking about enjoying our results by late summertime, and I asked if we really had to wait that long .

He said, “It depends on how hard you work.”

My friend replied to him, ‘This is only our first week, and she’s already doing two-a-days(!).’

It was a good body love and pride day.

2) The vacuum broke down as I was almost finished with everything that needed to be vacuumed before the main effective flea treatment tomorrow morning… there has got to be a lesson in all of this somehow… just what in Heaven and Earth is it???????

Ugh.

Post-a-day 2019

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More than just a physical workout

Today was my second day as a member of this CrossFit gym. My friend and I – we signed up together – have schedules that don’t align for workouts today and tomorrow, so we’re going to separate classes on both days, as will be the case going forward, whenever our schedules don’t align (that is, we both must and will go on the same day, at least three days a week, just not always at the same time… sure, there will be times where this doesn’t work out, but it is our strong intention to stick with it as absolutely best as is possible). Therefore, I went to the midday class on my own today. It was hot out, in the eighties, and I was tired… I had helped this same friend put together her new television stand and television last night after our late dinner together after class, and then I had to be up rather early this morning. Plus, of course, I had done the actual workout yesterday evening in the first place, and I was still a bit sore from the test class we’d done on Thursday evening. Altogether, I was hot, tired, and alone on my own. But I was there, and I knew it was exactly where I wanted and needed to be – everything was perfect in this. I was even nervous, because I’m new at it and don’t quite know how things work at least half the time; I’d even said we felt like lost puppies the other evening, as we tried figuring out what was going on in the middle of the class. 😛 Anyway, continuing onward…

So, I’m there on my own. I also happen to be rather un-strong right now – not that I’m weak, but I’m nowhere near as strong as I have been much accustomed to being throughout my life. And I have a good amount of fat on my body that I want to go away. In fact, I have wanted it to go away for years, but it has, instead, increased ever so slowly these past few years or so, with the occasional drop of most of it, and then the returning slow increase. You see, I can’t ever stick with it… I always hit a point where I can’t stand the fat an low fitness level, and so I do something about it. Whenever I hit a certain level of fitness and fat reduction, I always end up stopping… not from exhaustion or annoyance or anything, but from a thought that comes up of, “That’s (good) enough for now,” with a hint of something like fear behind it.

I shall return to this thought after explaining more from the class today (that is, you will figure out its relevance in just a bit).

Pushing through the workout, doing all that I could, my body shaking throughout about half of the workout, due to the struggle, I found myself in almost constant tears. I methodically reassured myself (when I was alone on the running section each time) both inside my head and aloud, that this is perfect that I am here… I can’t do this, and that is why I am here… I am meant to be here… This is perfect… This is exactly where I belong… This is where I need to be right now… This is where I need to be… This is perfect…

Over and over again, I repeated the varying versions of the idea that I was exactly where I needed to be, while acknowledging that it was difficult to do the workout (without degrading in any way), all the while crying.

When I finished the last bit, I stayed lying on the bench for about thirty seconds or so, because the tears were so strong, my body was even convulsing with a few hearty sobs as I rested my arms on top of me in a sort of relaxed hug… I let it out, so I could let it go.

And then I wiped off my tears, got up, and started cleaning up everything that I had used, reminding myself that this is perfect.

I didn’t talk to anyone initially… just the bare minimum of how long it took me, and then nods to say that I was, in fact, okay… avoiding the part where I didn’t know what I even could say, let alone would say, if talking were required.

As I put away the last thing, the bar I had used, the girl (lady) I’d met at the beginning said something to me. I don’t remember if it was a question about the workout, or merely encouragement, but there eventually came a point at which I went ahead and shared a little with her. Taking it slowly, and eventually having the tears start pouring out (but not as badly as they could have been had I not taken it slowly), I told her how a lot was coming up for me in this… My having always been one of the top performers in almost any and every sport I did growing up and as a younger adult, and suddenly being on the other end of it all, I felt like the fat kid – this workout was hard for me in places that things had never before been hard for me… My life direction and style and goals having begun and finally done a sort of plunge into a drastically different direction, terrifying me ever so slightly but intensely… The regular stresses of life, combined with the raccoons and the fleas… and, most importantly and intensely, that I am actually taking on for real getting my body to the physical fitness level and look I so long to have.

This last one may not seem like much, but it is. I told her how I had kind of hit a point of being afraid of being a beautiful female body, and that I started to shy away from the idea, aiming for the less feminine versions of clothing and such. She (appropriately) asked if something happened to me, and (appropriately) acknowledged that it wasn’t that something had to have happened to me – she just wondered if any incident had played a role in that, since it so often does, especially for women.

And, surprisingly, – but also not surprisingly, since I’ve been working on being my true self and being self-expressed truly – I told her that Yeah, I kind of did. It wasn’t exactly the catalyst of it all, – I had already started feeling uncomfortable with being womanly and all. But it did act as a strong encouragement that I was right, and that it is bad to be womanly and sexy. I even shared a bit of details that were relevant, remaining comfortable and confident in myself the whole time.

I recently had a long and tough and beautiful conversation with my best friend about my own incident, and I completed what I needed through that conversation – whatever I needed addressed or said or acknowledge, happened, and my feeling of being trapped by the incident was, after years of avoidance and mental pain and struggle hiding in the back of my mind, finally disappeared… I could see it as something that happened, and was able to talk about it fully at last. I don’t mean each and every detail, of course, but the experience itself and anything that was particularly heavy on me suddenly lost their power and weight in my mind. And my recent efforts to find the kind of exercise I want to do, and then finding the right gym to do it once I’d found the exercise, all came out of this conversation I’d had with my best friend near the end of last year.

And today, all on my own, knowing fully that I am in this at least through September – already paid of through then, essentially – and that I am guaranteed spectacular results by then (especially since it usually only takes about three months to see massive results, anyway, here), was a somewhat terrifying experience and feeling. I’ve spent so long, so many years, convinced to my core that I must avoid these exact results I am not actively seeking. I must not become an object that might be desired sexually… But my recent experiences of wanting to be able (eventually, anyway) to have that experience of not only wanting to desire a man, but of wanting that man to desire me… now those already have been huge, and were formerly unthinkable… but now they actually have a chance to happen one day soon…, and that is so scary to the terrified girl I had grown so accustomed to being inside my head.

But I want this. And I can finally see clearly enough to believe that it truly is okay for me to want it. I want my partner in life to want me in every way, and vice versa…and physically is one of those ways. And I shared this all with her.

And then she shared about her own miserable incident… and how she struggled to get to where she is today – happily married and comfortable with her body and going after amazing fitness, even showing off her body in her workout clothes (not inappropriately at all, but quite flatteringly and tastefully, I dare say) – and that she agrees with me that this is the perfect place for me to be with this. The community is wonderful at this gym – yes, there are physical beasts of men, but not one of them is anything less than a wonderful human being. And, by the way, ‘I didn’t dress like this when I first started coming here,’ she told me, smiling knowingly as I smiled and chuckled in my loose and somewhat baggy t-shirt and shorts. A hint of her midriff was showing, her top was sleeveless, and her shorts were mid-thigh and exercise style snug… it looked great and showed off her muscles modestly, but well.

As we were leaving, she told me that she regularly attends that class, clearly encouraging me to return and to see her as a willing friend of sorts. It felt good. And in a way I’m not sure I’ve known in quite a long time.

Post-a-day 2019

Some sort of workout

We did some CrossFit tonight – or, as I sometimes like to call it, XFactor.

I also started menstruation today.

Not that I initiated it or anything, of course… it just began.

Usually, if I have any pain, it is right at the beginning of menstruation, Day one or Day two.

And, naturally, Day one this time around opted to give me a bit of pain.

Not much, but some pain, nonetheless.

Add to this my significantly lowered energy level – yes, this is totally normal for menstruation, in case anyone was unsure – and the high humidity and heat of this afternoon, and you can imagine a tough workout ahead of me when I arrived for the class.

So, the sprints for the first fifteen-ish minutes were tough, but I made it.

And the weight stuff was okay – I was just generally weaker and shorter-winded than usual.

But the plank stuff at the end – by the way, plank is usually no big deal for me at all – was one of the oddest experiences I’ve ever had with all of this.

You see, plank was fine… it was when we continued from regular into what light have been called a marching plank, where you put one arm stretched in the air in front of you at a time, while keeping your back flat, legs wide, and butt still low, that I hit a tiny bit of trauma…

For that part, followed by mountain climbers (still with the butt low), a lot of the lower abdomen ends up being used.

… a part which had not clicked for me ahead of time…

And so, as I struggled through my second round of the plank combo, and was on the marching plank things, I actually had to stop – something I’ve never done in plank work – for the extreme and intense pain that felt like my ovaries and uterus were about to explode forward out of my lower abdomen… I skipped over the rest of the marching things and just finished the mountain climbers before stopping, but it was still enough to leave me almost rather paralyzed when I sat back, crying.

I’ve never cried in the middle of a workout before, but I did it about three times today.

Yes, the one cry could have been enough, but I had to make sure I wasn’t just being lazy, wanting to get out of the hard work simply because it was hard, and using the excuse of my menstruation to get out of it… and it turned out that it was a combination.

So, I did a few of the marching things and all of the mountain climber things each round afterward, thereby still putting in the work, but not putting myself in unnecessary and useless pain.

I know I have lower energy at these times, and so I have aimed recently to allow for that (and rather successfully for the most part).

Tonight was just the first time I had to factor that into my goals of becoming more fit – I always push hard when my fitness is on the line these days, and it was surprisingly hard to scale back tonight, despite the fact that it was necessary and good for me to scale back.

Anyway, speaking of all of this, nature calls, so I’m off.

Sweet dreams, World at large.

Post-a-day 2019

Ninja Stuff

I went to a ninja gym yesterday, and I felt very out-of-place.  I was not uncomfortable, but I felt how disconnected the people in this place – this place, even – and I were.  I also saw how I wanted us to be more connected, to be connected.  There were plenty of things, obstacles, that did not interest me, of course, but there were significantly more that truly struck my interest.  However, given that I am currently so out of shape as I am, – no, not fat, just not very fit right now – I really wasn’t able to do much with a lot of the obstacles.  I envied the fun my brother had just in attempting so many of the obstacles.  I want to have that kind of fun.

And so, my goal is to do some sort of upper body exercise every day (not too hard, but just enough to make habit of it), get a pair of gloves (because I am SO uninterested in having torn up or rough palms), and go back again when I feel I would have even the slightest chance of succeeding at some more of those obstacles at that ninja gym.  Also, I am considering a go at some CrossFit gyms, to test it out.  I might only be willing during the cooler season, but that’s better than never for something that strongly interests me (I live in Houston, recall.).

That’s what my plan is at the moment!

Post-a-day 2017

Workouts, Teachers, Tears, & Careers

I honestly don’t know how to describe today. It was good and bad and wonderful and horrible and surprising and loads of other stuff, too. I’m not sure there’re real words for it, even. And not in a bad way, of course. Just in an indescribable way. You know?

I guess the best way to describe it is by saying that today was filled with love.

I found out on Tuesday, that one of the teachers at my gym was leaving at the end of the month (i.e. this Friday).  I was rather distraught upon learning the news.  However, I wasn’t too surprised about it – she had always seemed like a superstar in our kind of gym.  We are casual, everyday family, exercising together and having fun.  She is one of the most fit, beautiful, sexy women I have ever known.  And her enthusiasm and real-ness are both top notch.

She has this one class that is insanely difficult, though totally simple, and today was the last time that she she would be teaching it.  Afterward, she kind got a little red-eyed after one lady hugged her after our high fives (she always starts and ends that particular class with enthusiastic hang tens).  When she was saying a thank-you to everyone, I started to redden around the eyes, too.  And, when she started to talk to me while I was finishing putting away my weights and bands, I just went full-out crying, and we hugged multiple times, both crying and saying thank you (in Japanese, of course) to each other.

The gym won’t and can’t be the same without her, though I know it will still be good.  In the midst of my depression, this gym, and especially this teacher’s classes, were the main thing that started me on my road to becoming myself again, and they now have been a fixture in my life.  I have never before scheduled activities around a gym schedule, nor preferred to spend hours at the gym on my own instead of, well, doing anything else.  The gym was my life for a while, and it was what helped me to be healthy enough to find more to be part of my life.  And, now that this teacher and her classes are going to be gone, I can now spend more time doing those other things that I want to be part of my life (because, up to now, I have tended to cancel other activities when they coincided with her classes, because I so loved her classes).

Plus, at some point, I am going to be leaving myself, so I needn’t be too upset at her leaving first.  But that isn’t exactly the point.  Tangent-ish.  Anyway…

The group gave her flowers, and we took a group photo with her, and various folks were crying (or perhaps it was just she and I), and it was super sweet.  

When I asked for the group photo, I got to find out that she is going to be studying instead now – she wants to study physical training and English, and working here keeps her from having the time to do that.  So she’s giving up one love for a greater one. And, when she asked about when I’m leaving Japan, she was all surprised and distraught that it’s so soon (four-ish months), but was really excited for my own plans for what’s next in my life.  She could relate to how I felt about wanting to pursue the things most important to me, even if they seem a bit abnormal or crazy.

Then we took a few selfies together, at her request, even finding better lighting to make sure they were good ones, and then we hugged some more before a final goodbye.  She didn’t ask for solo pictures with anyone else – just the one big group picture.

All in all, it was awesome.  And, possibly the best part, is how much love I felt.  From me to her and from her to me, there was so much love.  I don’t know lots of Japanese (though I understand a good amount), so I don’t typically start much chit-chat with people, simply because I don’t have the words.  I always would find ways to talk with her – often using English, which often resulted in a fun befuddlement on both sides of the conversation.  She was always hesitant to use English herself, but she usually understood me, and I usually could understand her, so it worked.  However, her hesitation with English made me wonder if it were the English or the Hannah that had her be hesitant.  I always suspected it to be the English, but it wasn’t until today that I really discovered that for sure.  She loves me and I love her.  And I believe I have never cried over any kind of teacher the way I cried over her today after our last class with her.
Post-a-day 2017

 

Ooh, ah, ow!

Everything hurts.   Like… really… everywhere that I have muscles hurts.

I’ve been going to my gym most days these past three-ish weeks, and my body hasn’t stopped hurting since that first Angels Training class on a Thursday afternoon.  Mostly, it was only the lower half of my body.  Now that I’ve gone to ballet and barbell workouts, I’ve got the full-body pains going.  So much so, that belly dance class (my first!) was actually quite hard, simply because I could barely control my own muscles.  Ugh.  Just ugh!

It’s all really good, of course, because it’s just part of being healthy and getting fit again and all that yada-yada.  That in no way changes the fact that everything hurts, and doing anything  – even existing, let alone walking or going up and down stairs and such – hurts.

And, what am I doing tomorrow?  Going back.  And for an undetermined amount of time, too.  I want to stay until the last class, because Tai Chi is quite fun and relaxing-uplifting, but I think I won’t.  I have a Lindy Hop party/social happening in town tomorrow night, and I want to go to the lesson that is at the start of it, so I have to head out before Tai Chi even starts, if I want to make it on time to the Lindy dance lesson.  I wonder if I’ll even be able to dance.  I might just keel over in pain, and just fall asleep on the side of the dance floor after my first and only dance of the night.

Anyway, I’m actually unable to see clearly or straight right now, I’m so exhausted from this week.  I think I went to bed close to or long past midnight …oh, my… since last Friday.  Ugh.  No wonder I’m so exhausted!  Haha.  Okay, goodnight!!  😀

 

Post-a-day 2017

 

Musical Theatre

I declared that I would buy season tickets for my mom and me to the musical theatre whenever I got my first full-time, normal-ish job.  So, when I had my first contracted teaching job, I got season tickets.  For two years, we stayed with it, and it was great.  But then I moved here (Japan), and so we stopped the tickets for this current season.

However, I want to speak to two of the shows from those two seasons.   The two shows to which I looked the most forward were The Little Mermaid and Evita.  I quite likely know (or at least knew at some point) all the words to all of the songs in both of these two musicals, I love them so much.  Until these past two years, though, I had never seen either performance (just the movies).

When we finally made it to the performance of each show, rather than being overwhelmed with delight, I was actually rather let-down.  Why?  Because my favorite songs were cut.  Yup.  Really.

In The Little Mermaid, the US theatre folk decided to make a different song for Ursula, even declaring it better for children.  Except that this new song was significantly less exciting musically, and it had a terrible message being sent loud and clear, so to speak – I was hated, because I was ugly, so I killed my sisters in order to win my father’s favor.  The whole reason I had ever wanted to see the stage production of The Little Mermaid was for Ursula’s song (“I Want the Good Times Back“).  And it had suddenly disappeared.  My excitement for the show went with it – it just became some average show at that point.  Not that I don’t find the performers to be totally talented – because I do find them talented – I was just not so thrilled about the show itself at that point.

The story of Evita was similar, but not so distressing.  Rather than replacing one of my favorite songs, the song just disappeared.  (“The Lady’s Got Potential“)  Also, I think one of my preferred verses of another song was missing, but I’m not sure.  I just remember the rock song with the fabulous words, “Ka-pow, die!” was missing.  😛  Naturally, I was disappointed in the missing chunk of the show.  Performers were still talented; the show itself was just lacking.

 

I’m not sure why I decided to share this in particular, instead of the silly afternoon and evening I spent at the gym, doing yoga classes and boxing classes, and what might have been a tai-chi class; chatting with all the ladies afterward; running into one of the ladies afterward at the supermarket; her asking if I’d bought my vegetables; my explaining how I hadn’t bought any vegetables, because I couldn’t until tomorrow, since the ATMs were already closed and I had no cash (jolly dreadful bit of living in Japan, really), so I had just bought a snack with the 100-yen coin I’d found in my bag; ending up having a fabulous Nepalese dinner with her (at her total insistence); rushing out as smoking was allowed just after 8pm in the restaurant; and then, again at her total insistence, being driven home the short distance from the restaurant by the wonderful lady.  And I even remember her name still.  Anyway, I guess the outline is all you get.  Have a great one, world!

 

Post-a-day 2017