Tattoos

I’ve said plenty of times that I feel as thought our gym is the tasteful tattoo gym… not everybody has tattoos, but a lot do, and a lot have a lot of tattoos… and all of them are quite tasteful.

Today, I had the, albeit brief, pleasure of having one of the guys tell me a little about his various tattoos.

I was enthralled by in the use of lines and textures and shadowing that I hadn’t ever been able to notice from a distance… I was practically lost in the movement that made up a formerly hidden elephant, the shapes and swirls waving a hello, while beckoning me forward, causing my fingers almost to tingle, forcing me to restrain myself from reaching out and stroking it, so much did I desire to test its 2-D-ness.

And yes, this guy is gorgeous, but no, that wasn’t why I wanted to touch every so gently the sweeping strokes of the tattoo – it is merely a tattoo that was so well done, I almost couldn’t help myself.

I love hearing from people who care about their tattoos, why they have their various tattoos – there are so many beautiful little stories that are carried on their skins, and these stories always seem to bring me another little glimpse of what lies within each person…

And I like seeing who’s really there (despite all of our best efforts to keep one another out most of the time), thereby being able to love the true person within.

And isn’t that what we all desire, anyway, to love and to be loved truly and fully?

I suppose being true to ourselves is a good first step, and accepting and loving others as they are a second necessity…

Anyway, I had a lovely time exploring briefly this person’s tattoos today, and, frankly, I want to explore them more (again, not because he’s gorgeous, but because the tattoos are great).

I mean, what’s the point of showing them off so boldly, if hey aren’t meant to be examined and appreciated?

(Because house does one truly appreciate them without examining them closely?)

🙂

P.S. I, myself, have this gorgeous henna from an event this past weekend, and I love it. 🙂

And yes, I am petting my friend’s cat, who just could not stay off me at night, whenever I was getting ready for bed this past weekend. 😛

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. 😛

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

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. 😀

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. 😛

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

Thanks, CrossFit!

Post-a-day 2019

Photography

Well, today was crazy for photography for me!

First, it turns out that the owner of this awesome dance studio in town and I work out at the same gym… so, I actually met him a few weeks ago, but just didn’t know about the studio until this morning.

And the dance studio part came up, because we were talking about photography, since he’d brought his camera to class this morning, and was letting people look through them on the camera after class… I asked him about the lens, since I knew it took something expensive to get photos on that setting.

He asked if I was a photographer, and I told him that, as of last week, I sure am… and he asked about my background in photography, and then he told me about the photos he tends to do, and showed me some of them on his website.

They were awesome and fun and really neat portraits, and I totally loved and was inspired by them.

He said to get in touch, so I can come by his studio sometime, which is nearby… ‘Oh? What kind of studio is it?’… ‘I actually own a dance studio, and it’s in there.’… ‘Uh…, what dance studio?’…

I could hardly believe when he said the name of the studio – super excitement!

So now, it looks like I’ll have the chance to intern with him a bit on the photography he does, which will include getting to visit the studio and likely some spectacular dancers do their stuff for shoots from time to time!

At the social the gym had later on today, he and his wife and their baby were in attendance, and he introduced us, and brought up the idea of my doing some photography with them and working with them some, saying also that his wife does really wonderful photography, too, that is different from his own.

She, too, told me that we could do some shoots together, and even mentioned an upcoming one (but she verified that I was connected with her husband on Facebook, which I am, as of our conversation after the workout this morning, so that she would be able to get in touch with me so we could talk).

!!!!!!

Totally awesome and exciting, especially considering how I just recently started discussing how I’d like to go ahead and do some interning with a different style of photographer from the wedding photographer with whom I’ve interned this past year.

And now, it seems, I have that opportunity!

I knew the gym was the perfect place for me to be (Yes, I say that to myself every time it gets really hard in a workout and I feel like crying). 😛

So….(!) then I went to help out a photographer with some commercial work he’s doing for a sort of hotel in town.

At the end of that, which was a rather fun time, we were treated by the hotel liaison to almost-filthy-expensive dinners in their restaurant, at which point, the liaison recruits me to do some fun and creative photos of a few things for their social media…

… They don’t currently have money in the budget for photography for social media, so she was about to start looking for an art student or photo intern to do the photo…, but, since I was there with this photographer, she would love for me to take it on myself to take the photos.

(!)

And then she said that, while they can’t give money, since there’s no budget for it, they can do some trading with me… nights at the hotel, or meals at the restaurant, or something else like that.

(!!!)

And my photographer said for me to go for it, so I am!

I said that I’m doing it, and here I seem to be, actually doing it… and the world is lining up so that I can do it more and more.(!)

I’m just really excited about photography tonight… yay!

I don’t know what will come of this all, and that’s okay with me… the point is that I am incredibly grateful for its all having happened today, and for the experience of such enjoyment today. 🙂

Good day… good day… and so much else was really good about today, too… really good day today. 🙂

Post-a-day 2019

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

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