Oh, no…

The.

Rash.

Is.

Baaaaaaack!

Ugh!!!

Once I noticed it tonight, I immediately took some of the supplement I had been taking back when we got rid of it. I also put some topical things on it, and I reached out to the nutritionist to ask his recommendation. (He’s the one who got rid of it last time.) I am praying and intending that this will sort it out within the next 24-48 hours.

Please, God and Universe, heal my body. I have been dealing with so much lately, it is starting to feel like it isn’t worth it to bother taking care of myself. My emotions are really starting to struggle here… please, please, please, help me to heal myself in all ways this week.

Amen.

Post-a-day 2021

Wow

A somewhat recent acquaintance of mine is a chiropractor. I asked him last night, as he had told me to ask whenever I wanted his help, if he could look into a sharp pain I was getting in my left elbow (not for the first time, but the first time in months). The casual deftness and gentleness with which he evaluated, pressed, prodded, rotated, shifted, squeezed, and popped the various parts and muscles of my arm, wrist, elbow, and shoulder had me blown away. And, after he fiddled around so gently and calmly, doing what all he was doing with my arm as he made a running commentary about how tight this or that was, my arm felt a hundred times better. When I went and tested the exact movement that had been causing the sharp pain each time, the pains were gone. Only a slight dullness remained at one single point in the movement, the point with the highest level of stress on my elbow. But it wasn’t painful; just tired-feeling. All-in-all, it was an amazing experience with an utterly relieving (physically and mentally) outcome.

Though this acquaintance himself has little to do with this next statement, what he did last night has everything to do with it.

I think I might want to marry a chiropractor.

😛

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

Day 1

Today, I had my first splits stretching session. A friend of mine works in stretching, aerials, and acrobatics, and she is now working with me. I am extremely excited about it. My flexibility has always been mediocre, even as a teenager, and I have been actively pursuing improving it lately. Just over two years ago, I began a 30-day stretch challenge. At the end of it, I took the stretches from it that I had found most valuable for me, and I now do them every day, usually at night before bed. With two years of just that, I have immense differences in my flexibility. I can put my head to my knees, and with my legs and back straight. I can hold my feet straight in front of me with my hands, back straight. And all of those are with minimal warm-up. I can just do them. I never was able to do any of them in the past, even as a kid.

So, now, we are approaching my other true desires: splits and head kicks. I want to be able, on any given day and at any given time, to drop into the splits and also to do a kick to the head of someone around my height (especially when preceded immediately by a kick to the chest [aka double kick that rises]).

We went through a lot today, and it was stressful how hard most of it was for me. However, I love that I am pursuing this and also that I get to do it with someone I love. We took progress photos for me, both to see where I stand compared to two years ago (had a photo on that Day 1, too) and to have a starting point to reference down the road. I have my tasks for every morning (after my regular workout) this week, and then we shall meet again next Tuesday for progress and to do whatever she has planned for my next steps.

I’m cautiously optimistic and delighted. And I can hardly wait!

Plus, I’m excited to get to spend more time with her. 🙂

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

Breathing through the pain

I woke up this morning, unable to walk. It was terrible. In intense pain, I struggled down the stairs to use the bathroom, then back up to see if I could sleep some more. I did sleep more, though it wasn’t as restful as I might have hoped (but as restful as I had expected).

Apparently, I have had some viral infection the past couple weeks-ish. I knew something was up. Stretching was miserably difficult each night, I was exhausted every day and sleeping poorly, and nothing seemed to give me the energy for everyday life, let alone to get through the workouts without feeling ridiculously heavy and incapable… Sure, menstruation has that kind of effect on my body, but only ever for a few days and only ever to a small degree – this was a whole different level of exhaustion and struggle. The kind that just feels like something is wrong inside.

And so it was.

I can finally feel things improving, now, as of a couple days ago. Each day is a little better, and today was the first day I didn’t feel heavy. Of course, it happened also to be the day that my leg muscles determined to be somewhat spastic, and not let me walk without intense pain in my knee/s…, but I’m hoping that will continue to subside overnight tonight, and I will be able to walk comfortably and capably tomorrow.

I didn’t get to exercise today because of that, and I am feeling that tomorrow might be the same. However, I have already scheduled a run with the weighted vest for Thursday morning (he day I usually do not go to the gym, as it is intensely knee-heavy), and a make-up time for the pull-up cycle work I missed this morning.

Anyway, I must sleep now. Goodnight, all… may we all rest deeply and effectively tonight.

Post-a-day 2021

Ouch…

But seriously, who invented all the nonsense that goes alongside menstruation? Utter nonsense… ::facepalm

Anyway, this weekend, I saw the wife of someone I know. Though I had seen the husband many, many times, I had not seen the wife until this Saturday.

When I first saw her, it took a few moments to process fully what I was seeing. Then it took another few moments to allow for my initial reactions. And another few to crave indulging in them. And a final few to allow them just to be, and then, therefore, to release. Rather than being upset by what I saw, I knew I could have it be a positive experience – even if it took some effort.

“Body goals,” I told myself, letting it fall heavily from my lips, the initial sigh thereby dispersed. Music was playing loudly at the gym, so I had no overhearing ears. I really only could feel the words vibrate through my body, as it wasn’t loud enough for my own ears to hear over the music.

But I felt it… and in more ways than one.

After that, I kept going back and forth between awe at how amazing she was physically, and wanting to break down crying at how far away I am from that right now.

I knew pitying myself was neither necessary nor valuable, so I always let that one go. But that didn’t stop it from co to hint to pop up at intervals throughout the whole day afterward, and even the following day somewhat.

As a friend reminded me later, the wife probably wasn’t like that when they got married, and it probably took her years to get to that point. Same for the husband. (Though, he was always less intimidating or whatever, because he’s male, I suppose.) It wasn’t an overnight process for either of them, and they probably weren’t already like that when they first met one another or even got married.

That idea gives me hope… that I can find someone who is fit beautifully already and who values my own work thus far, but who will continue to grow with me and thereby support and empower me o to further-enhanced fitness throughout our future. I would continue this same road, but no longer on my own. I’d have a true partner in crime for it all. (So to speak, that is… haha)

Anyway,… there’s that ouch and the menstruation and resulting digestion ouch, and the utter exhaustion that they and all the other stress have brought for this evening.

Alas, I shall now go sleep… with an alarm every two-ish hours, of course, to use the bathroom. ::facepalm I swear…, whoever made up this nonsense must have been severely out of his wits at the time… Man

Post-a-day 2021

A day of rest

My weighted vest arrived yesterday. I went to bed last night, considering that I actually might not be going to the workout this morning, but still leaning more towards going. When I awoke this morning, around two hours before my alarm, I was almost certain I would not be going to the workout. I felt terrible, utterly exhausted. When my alarm later sounded, it was confirmed: I was going back to bed, because I needed some serious rest. I slept an extra three and a half hours before waking for real. I didn’t actually get up until another half hour later, listening to an audiobook as I lay curled on my side under the comforter, eyes closed.

I eventually got up and made breakfast, though. After eating, I went and unpacked the vest with delight. I was super excited. As soon as I unpacked it, I put it on and wore it around the house for a while. It was certainly heavy, and would take some major adjusting, if ever I were intending to run two miles with this thing. I’m still not sure that I’ll ever do it, but I’m not giving up the idea so easily. Slow and steady, were my thoughts. We still have time.

By 10:00, I was barely staying awake, however, and so I lay down comfortably on the floor… and passed out… hard. I woke only once, and fell right back asleep, adding yet another additional three hours to my sleep tank for the day. I really was wiped, I thought. I had needed this day of rest, for more than just resting my muscles – so much of me was tired. Last week and the weekend and start of this week had been, well, a lot. And being behind on sleep with all of that only made things harder, both then and now.

And so I truly rested today, swapping between a new book on the kindle – got the notification this morning that it was now available from the library! – and the audiobook on my phone (also from the library, of course), and even spent close to an hour just stretching while reading, and half an hour swinging on the front porch, despite the heat and humidity (once the mosquitos arrived, however, I was done sitting out there).

Around 5:00pm, I was unsure as to what to do. I had rested much today, but didn’t want to rest too much. I also didn’t want to exert myself when I actually just needed rest. But I could feel it within myself that I needed to move. Not intensely or hard, but truly to move. So, I donned the weighted vest, though only with 10lbs now, instead fo 20, and went on a long walk. Two and a half miles in the heat, I walked at a mostly brisk pace, experiencing moving with the vest on me. It was simultaneously rough and easy.

Now, it is 9:00pm, and I can hardly stand up, I am so sleepy and tired. Therefore, I bid you all a wonderful night. 😉

P.S. Tomorrow is my anniversary of first beginning as a member at the gym. I had reached 55 workouts so far this calendar year yesterday, and so was comfortable not going today. Last year, at this point, I had done only 51 workouts. I still considered going at noon or in the afternoon today, just to round out the year’s total, but my body went into sleep mode for the noon class, and was too exhausted to fathom doing such work by late afternoon.

Post-a-day 2021

Gym

Remember how I mentioned that Katy Perry song last night, “Teenage Dream”? Well, guess what song played at the gym this morning! It was so fun to have that happen, especially considering how that song does not usually play at the gym – nothing of its genre, even. So, that was a delightful start to the day for me.

However, speaking of the gym, I totally cried during the workout today. We were doing these deltoid press-downs with stretchy bands looped over the pull-up bars. I had attempted my left arm first. I always ask which muscles are managing movements (if I am not already sure), so that I can do the movement correctly and at all. (I’ve definitely been unable to do something simply because I was using, say, my arm muscles, when it should have been shoulder and back muscles, and then it totally worked when I got the right muscle group going.)

But something just didn’t click for me this morning – I couldn’t make the band go down. As soon as I hit the point of the band’s genuine resistance, I just could not make it go any farther. And yet, that was hardly half the distance to my body. I looked around, and saw everyone else doing it with somewhat ease. I took a step closer to the bar, to lessen the tension on the band. And then another. And I still couldn’t get my arm all the way down to my body, as we were supposed to be doing – as everyone else was doing. I was bordering on tears… from embarrassment, perhaps? I was also quite low on my sleep from the past couple nights – nightmares had plagued Sunday night, giving me minimal rest then, and last night hadn’t been much more restful, though the nightmares had mostly all gone.

The coach saw me and told me to move away from the bar. I moved a bit, and he said with more emphasis and volume for me to move, suggesting that I needed to take a huge step away. And I did, but I was beginning to panic. It is not a comfortable feeling when the body does not do as we wish it to do for something that it, by all means, ought to be able to do. Nor is it comfortable to feel oneself beginning to cry over such a simple little movement in a gym workout.

But I reminded myself that I was behind on sleep, which always seems to affect my ability to remain calm and not crying in situations. And so, I struggled and mostly failed, and then switched to the right arm, just to see if it would be any different. The band went right down. It was easy like how I had seen everyone else doing it… So something is wrong with my left side, I thought. Even more stress.

I moved on to the other activity for that round, and aimed to take a mental breather from the fact that I was supposed to do that four more rounds, and yet I hadn’t even been able to do it one time out of the 20 repetitions with my left side.

When I returned for the start of my second round, I tried again, aiming truly to figure out if there were a way that I could do it, despite my body’s not being able to do it fully as intended. A modification would be fine, if I could find one. The coach saw me again, standing too close to the bar as I attempting the modification. The earlier process had repeated, and the taunting tears from before no longer taunted, but fell forth. He was immediately in front of me, standing very close, talking calmly and gently to me, asking me what was going on, what was happening in that moment. I told him that – after a solid ten seconds of being unable to speak, for my tears – I was frustrated because I couldn’t do it. He evaluated, looking to the bar where I was, and the bar I had used the first round. This one was higher, which increased the tension, he pointed out. And I said I hadn’t been able to do it before either. The bands, too, were new, and so were harder to use than the ones we had had until recently. I told him that it was just my left side that I just couldn’t seem to make do the movement. He aligned everything for me, adjusting exactly the angle of my arm and elbow, and altering my handhold to decrease resistance.

And then I did it. I was still crying and, even, shaking, somewhat, but now there was relief in my tears, not merely stress and embarrassment. And I did it again. And I kept going. I nodded, making it clear that I was okay to continue on my own now. Before he walked away, he said to me, “You don’t need to be frustrated. You’re doing f***ing pull-ups,” and it made me laugh through my tears. He was right, after all. I was crying from stress at a tiny movement that I hadn’t been able to do, thinking I was too weak – I could do it, now that he had helped me figure it out, so it hadn’t been that I was too weak at all. And yet, after the workout today, I did three pull-ups, and attempted a fourth five or so times (making it about 90-95% of the way up each time on that fourth), wanting to get in one more than I had done after yesterday’s workout. I most certainly was not too weak.

I took one deep breathe, let it go, and I was breathing fully and easily again. I’m sure my face and eyes were still rather cry-looking for a while after that, but everyone was busy working, so I doubt anyone else even noticed. By the time I started the next round, which I was able to do with ease – relative ease, that it, as it was still hard work, but I could do that hard work now – I was fully calm and focused. While doing my left side, the coach caught my eye from across the room and gave me a visual clapping with his hands (because it was meant to be seen and not heard – there was loud music playing, after all).

I smiled sheepishly, but with immense gratitude. He is always there to encourage us to push ourselves beyond mental barriers (But he is extremely careful to keep us always safe, especially regarding physical abilities. Once, he told me, after I had cried at some back squats, never to do something that actually scared me or made me uncomfortable, where I didn’t feel safe doing it. He wants us safe, but not lazy cowards. That’s why he pushes us.), but, if ever his push of encouragement does not land as intended, he is at our side to help us how specifically we need in that moment. There was no hesitation when I started crying this morning – he saw that something was not okay for me, and his full focus was on helping me clear up whatever it was. And he did exactly that. And today was just one of the many reasons that I love this gym and its owner (today’s coach). Both because of the ridiculous song choices for the morning and for his clear love and care for me when I hit a roadblock.

Post-a-day 2021