Oh, dear

It is far too late for me to be awake right now. Especially considering that, not only do I have to get up at my regular time tomorrow, but I then have things back-to-back until 8:30 PM. Remember that my morning wake-up time is 4:20 AM, and my regular bedtime is 8:30 PM. It is currently 12:38 AM.

But I saw the nutritionist and chiropractor tonight, and it just happened to be a terrible week to have that happen. Today was already rather booked, from rising to 7:00 PM. But add onto that the sitting around and waiting in the office, until I finally have and finish my appointment just before midnight – I could have gone home after work, slept three hours, and then gone to the office, really. This is just a tad absurd.

Man.

Okay, deep breaths. Tomorrow will be beautiful. And I will sleep fantastically tomorrow night, for sure. Perhaps this is why I never signed up for be volunteering at the park for Wednesday morning – the Universe knew that I might need the rest then. Depending on how tomorrow goes, I might see about still signing up tomorrow night for Wednesday morning. But we shall see. Fingers crossed, and goddesses bless!! 😉

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

Body Image

I intentionally look at myself in the mirror, nude – or almost entirely – every single day.  I look and I see all that there is to my body.  I fill myself with the experience of all that my body is, standing before that mirror.  And I love myself.  Through and through, from the tiniest hair to the German skin to the inherited bowels that are all too sensitive – I love my body for all that it is and for all that it is not.  This is my vessel, my space, my temple, my power, my source in this life.  And I am ever grateful for and in love with it.

That does not mean that I do not want to improve upon it.  One can love something and still want better for it.  Indeed, I believe part of loving something means always wanting better for it.  Such is the case with my body.  Every day, as I see the improvements from only a week ago or days ago, I am grateful that I have blessed it with such love… such love as it takes to get out of bed when I want to snuggle in deeper to the cozy covers, to get myself ready for bed early enough to have enough sleep, to choose these foods over those, to deny the casual pressure of those who do not have the same intentions with their food and drink and schedule, not to take the easy route, and just to accept the current and temporary convenience of eating this standard meal that I find before me, possibly even for free.

They mean no harm to me, I am sure, but such a meal is not free for me.  It has its costs.  Yes, it is utterly convenient, and significantly less socially odd and, sometimes, less embarrassing.  But, it is not blessing my body when I consume it.  Often, it causes my body actual pain, in some small way or other.  And, occasionally, it causes pain in some not-so-small ways… things I never noticed until I began to pay close attention.  I always thought eating meant one would feel ever so slightly ill afterward.  But that is only with certain foods, with the ones that do not serve my body, that I feel that way.  I have learned.

My food is my medicine – I take no other – and it is my daily blessing that gives me the energy for tomorrow.  It gives me my strength to exercise at 5:15 most mornings, as though it were a normal hour of the day.  It gives me the nutrition I need for my deep slumbers at night to restore and improve my strength and energy.

And it is not always easy.  Indeed, it often is difficult to manage getting myself the food I need, whenever I am doing things away from home, with others or alone.  Even at home, it takes effort.  And yet, after all this time, the effort seems like almost nothing.  Why?  Because it is so incredibly worth it.  I don’t even have to think about giving myself the right foods to serve me best, let alone thinking twice about it.  All because I love and want to take loving care of my body.

My body is merely the starting place.  If I am comfortable in my body, and it is ready and able for anything, then my spirit, too, with my body’s support, can take on whatever comes my way, and with a ready heart.  So, as I gaze at myself in the mirror each day, easily noticing the room for improvement, I also marvel at the beauty of all that I am, of all that I have become, and of all that I see I can become… all because I love myself for exactly who and how I am. I once was afraid to see myself naked – I couldn’t stand it.  Now, I look forward to that time of intimacy and being attuned to and connected in all ways with my physical self.  It is one of the most beloved times of my day, and it fills me always with love, joy, and gratitude for this life and for this current step within it.

Post-a-day 2021

Why I do the hard workouts

Zachary Tellier, from what I have been able to gather from various online resources (including the military times), is listed in military memory as the following:

Army Sgt. Zachary D. Tellier

Died September 29, 2007 Serving During Operation Enduring Freedom


31, of Charlotte, N.C.; assigned to the 4th Squadron, 73rd Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, N.C.; died Sept. 29 at Firebase Wilderness, Afghanistan, of wounds sustained when insurgents attacked his unit using small-arms fire.

And, from an obituary, we have this:

FORT BRAGG — An 82nd Airborne paratrooper who pulled two comrades from a burning vehicle in April died Saturday of wounds sustained while on a ground patrol in Afghanistan, military officials said Monday.

Sgt. Zachary D. Tellier, 31, who most recently lived in Charlotte, was a combat infantryman with the 4th Squadron, 73rd Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team at Fort Bragg.

“He really just wanted to serve his country,” said wife Sara Tellier. “He felt it was something he should do with his life. … He didn’t like to be called a hero. He was very uncomfortable with that, but he was definitely very brave man.”

Sara Tellier said her husband grew up in New England, but they moved to Charlotte in 2004. He joined the military in 2005.

He was supposed to fly to Atlanta for a brief leave this month. Sara Tellier has been splitting time between Charlotte and Atlanta, where she has family.

In April, Tellier’s unit was on a mounted patrol when one of its vehicles drove over and detonated a bomb, which set the vehicle on fire, officials said.

Tellier pulled two paratroopers to safety, suffering severe burns to his hands. He was awarded the Bronze Star with valor for his actions. Tellier also had received two Purple Hearts.

After he was burned, Tellier jumped up in the turret to return fire, said Sgt. Michael Layton, a member of his unit. A lieutenant made Tellier get out of the vehicle because of his injuries.

He is survived by his wife, Sara; his father, David W. Tellier of Groton, Mass.; and his mother, Pamela Rodriguez, of Falmouth, Mass.

It is difficult to honor someone fully without having known him, and especially so, when only a small bit of text on a screen is all that is provided.  I did read some of the personal notes at the bottom of the obituary page.  However, they somehow felt too personal for such an outsider to be reading.  Nonetheless, one stood out to me in particular, and I think it is what I was meant to see on that page.  Benjamin Shields, a fellow member of the military, commented, “He was one of the most selfless individuals I have ever met and I still think about him to this day.”  And, when Benjamin eventually became a sergeant, he said that he did his best to model Zachary’s leadership.

Originally, CrossFit released what are called “Hero WODs” (workout of the day) to honor and to pay tribute to specific individuals who have fallen and died during active service to our country.  Eventually, the fitness community around the globe began creating their own Hero WODs to honor and to pay tribute to their selected, wonderful individuals who would be missed, due to the same result of falling while serving this country.  It seems Zachary Tellier was one of the second group of individuals, from what I have gathered so far.  Yet his name has become known across the globe, simply because of the workout given to honor him, to pay tribute to all that he was and all that he did, as well as to all that he still today inspires in those he knew.

The workout titled “Zachary Tellier” is not an easy one.  None of the Hero WODs are.  And yet, yesterday morning, as I was crawling back into bed to go to sleep, to take a day of rest from my regular, difficult exercise, I saw his name listed at the top of my gym’s Workout of the Day page, and I jumped into action.  I told myself inwardly to wake myself up, because we are not missing this one, no matter the oh-so-few hours of sleep we had gotten last night.  This was was worth it.  And my body agreed.

I arrived at the gym, excited, almost bouncy.  This was Zachary Tellier, after all – how could I not be?  I had donned an all-black outfit with an American flag scrunchie in my hair.  Today’s workout was to honor the struggles through which so many people go in order to provide for me and for my life.  From the smallest to the largest, their sacrifices, their persistence, their struggles, both won and lost, are all a part of my ability to live a life I love.  Just as mine affect those around me.  Today’s workout was about honoring all of them, while giving special attention and gratitude to this one known but unknown individual, Zachary.

He is a reminder that even the unexpected can be faced effectively, even the worst of our fears can be faced successfully, and, even when we do fail at something, we succeed in something greater than we could have imagined.  He did not consider himself a hero, it seems.  And yet, for so many, he was just that through his daily life, through who he was as a person.  And the world is a better place because he was part of it, and because he showed up in it.

Now, that all being said, let’s look at what this workout actually is.

For Time:

10 Burpees

10 Burpees
25 Push-Ups

10 Burpees
25 Push-Ups
50 Lunges

10 Burpees
25 Push-Ups
50 Lunges
100 Sit-Ups


10 Burpees
25 Push-Ups
50 Lunges
100 Sit-Ups
150 Air Squats

Before I began at the gym, I am almost certain that I would have looked at this workout and thought, No Way.  It was not in the realm of the possible for myself.  And, I likely would have thought that as being applicable for the rest of my life.  It wasn’t just a ‘not today’ kind of thing, but a ‘not ever’ one.  I would not have thought it possible for me to complete this workout in a day, let alone all at once, or even within an hour’s time.  If I had attempted it, I likely would have made it ten to 12 burpees into the thing and given up.  Not for me, I would have determined.

Even when we had been at the gym for almost three months, and we did this workout all together, I was concerned partway through whether I would be able to complete the thing, let alone within any set amount of time.  I did knee push-ups with an ab-mat under my chest (so I didn’t have to go as low on them), and likely really sucky lunges and squats, as well as push-ups, and I genuinely wondered whether I would survive, whether I could make it to the end… several times.  I could barely move or breathe after about halfway through it.

And yet, I did survive.  And I did finish.  It took me 36 minutes and 20 seconds to finish, and my repetitions weren’t great at all, but I had done it.  I had pushed through the intense struggles I was facing – not to mention the mental struggle of fitness that plagued me in the first place – and I had done the best I could, crappy, pathetic push-ups and all.  And I had made it to the other side.  I remember looking back on it afterward, wondering how on Earth I had done it – it had felt like the workout would never end, like I would fall to the ground, defeated long before I made it through to those squats.

Persistence, I thought.  Not giving up, and just going for it… just doing it.  That was how I’d done it.  Certainly, the community around me was encouragement in and of itself.  But, I could have easily seen where I was relative to them – so painfully far behind them – and given up.  Yet I didn’t.  Because something was more important than giving up.  Because I saw that my attitude toward this workout could be no different than my attitude toward life as a whole.  How did I tend to respond when faced with a seemingly impossible task?  When I was faced with intense struggle that seemed like it might not let up anytime soon?  I knew how I usually responded, and it almost made me sick to my core.  My breathing was heavy during that workout for more than just the physical effort it was taking.  I almost always gave up, when things got hard.  I ran away, avoided.  I gave up so many opportunities even for fear of their being too difficult – too difficult being defined as more effort than was easy to give.

This workout was just one step toward letting all of that go, and helping myself to become someone I wanted to be: someone who didn’t give up, who didn’t lose sight just because things got hard and seemed impossible.  I can be strong, I can trust myself to survive, and I can make it through to the other side.  After all, I already was showing myself that I could do that, simply by being at the gym that day, and each day since we had joined.  All those tears shed were for the pain I was overcoming with each workout.  And this one was just another, albeit a much more difficult one.

And so, in the intense heat and humidity that is always July 4th in Houston, Texas, I faced my fears and my stops in life, I pushed through and persisted, trusting myself in a way I was no longer accustomed to doing, and I completed the workout.  In the tiniest of ways, I felt my success to be heroic in its own way.  An inward Thank you… was all I could offer to Zachary Tellier after the workout, but I had meant it with all of my being.  And so, though I did not know this man, and it was likely that he never would know how people across the globe, who never knew him, would be saying his name for years to come, I was grateful to him for the reminder that he forever would be for me: That I could do it, that I could survive, that I could thrive.

Now, roughly a year and nine months later, I found myself jumping out of a beloved opportunity for sleep and rest, donning an attitude of, “I can do this,” and heading into the 5:15am round of the Zachary Tellier workout with intense joy.  My first time through, I had spent 36:20 on the seemingly impossible workout.  The second time, exactly a year ago (nine months after the first time), it was 33:33, and I no longer used the ab-mat for my push-ups.  Yesterday, though I wanted to show Zachary – as if we are buddies who meet up every time I do his workout – that I had improved upon myself, and I wanted to complete the workout faster than before, I knew that the best way to honor him and to pay tribute and true gratitude to him was to focus on my struggles.  How I face this workout is how I face the world, right?  So, let’s face it with confidence, excitement, and a touch of fear, ready to take on the challenge and face the unknown.  In other words, I shall be my best self.

And I was.  When things got really hard, I gave myself the needed breath, and got right back to it.  A cry of pain or exhaustion was merely a release – like that old poster, it was weakness leaving the body – and each one allowed me to keep moving, to keep going.  I knew I wasn’t in danger of hurting myself – I merely was pushing through the discomfort, the fears, the doubts, the impossibilities I had placed upon my own mind.  I still was one of the last ones to finish, but I hardly even noticed that.  It wasn’t about that.  It was about my attitude and what I did in the face of the struggles.  And, because of that, I had an amazing time.  I was baffled when I saw the clock was only at 28:00 exactly after my final air squat.  That was a 16.5% increase in speed from last year, and 23% faster than the first time.  And isn’t that spectacular?  Especially for a workout that had once seemed an impossibility for me.

I had initially intended to talk merely about the difficulty of this workout here, and yet, here we are, having talked first about the man for whom it was named, and then the workout itself…  I suppose that man is half the reason my heart is in it, though, so it only makes sense.  Without his name, it merely would be a list of activities.  With his name, however, it gains a life of its own, and it reminds me to work on myself so that I might serve others in my world through my life.  When I improve on this workout, I can see how, through my physical fitness and mental growth, I am better able to serve and to love those around me, better able to be patient, to endure, to work through the pain of what once seemed impossible.  I can see how I am better able to be my best self.

Post-a-day 2021

Energy levels

What is it with our bodies that, whenever we sleep in and have a relaxed day, we end up just as if not more tired than the days when we get up early and exercise and do loads of things throughout the day? We still reach the bed at the end of the day exhausted. Today, I let myself fall back asleep after my regular body alarm wake-up, and I passed out immediately and hard. I got an extra two hours of solid sleep then. I did not exert myself almost at all throughout the day. Yet, here I am, barely able to keep my eyes open or sit up straight, and it’s only just after seven p.m. That’s only 13 hours of being awake today, and not even doing very much.

I really think that there is some kind of balance between being active and getting energy from that activity, and being restful and getting energy. If we do too much of either, the scale is tilted and we begin to lose energy. But, if we do just the right amount of each, we end up more energetic and able than ever.

So, while I would have said that today was possibly too restful, I must disagree now. I realize that I went to bed really late for me last night – 10:30. So, I only got just over seven hours of sleep. My body has shown me again and again that it needs more than that on any normal day, let alone when I am already behind on sleep. So, today, I think, was my body just being tired period – it would have been tired if I’d exercised, too, which is why I didn’t go today. I didn’t want to hurt myself. However, I do definitely have the days on occasion when the rest is too much, and tilts the scale the wrong way. Of course, I totally have the energetic days that tilt the scale too far, too, but those make the clearer sense.

Speaking of sense, I’m losing mine for the night, so I’m signing off now. 😉

Post-a-day 2021

Not even thirty… and yet

Man, is it way past the bedtime I wanted for tonight. It is about to be ten pm.

And how ridiculous does that sound? Haha I have learned that my body likes getting up early; it also, however, likes going to bed early. It still can stay up quite late, and rather effectively so. However, it really, really likes to shower and get into pjs around 7pm, give or take a bit, and do my stretches and reading and writing by around 8pm, so I can turn off the lights and go to bed at 9pm. Is that not ridiculous?

Indeed, it is ridiculous. But it is what’s so, so I’m rolling with it!

At that, goodnight, folks! 😉

Post-a-day 2021

^Got it, with only a touch of hesitation!

The full moon is my sister

Anyone else have a night filled with interrupted, unrestful sleep every time there is a full moon?

I often don’t even know that there is a full moon. I just find out the next day, when someone tells me, often in response to my comments on how surprisingly terribly I had slept that night. Last night was no exception.

Basically, in some way, I feel like the full moon is my sister – it makes its presence known just by being nearby, we are so connected.

Perhaps that doesn’t make enough sense for you, but I don’t have the words for it right now. We just are family, it feels.

In a separate note, in the middle of writing that all, my actual physical sister called me. She wanted me to meet the husband of her coworker, and to talk to him briefly. Why, you ask? So that I could speak to him in French. He is from Belgium, you see.

And so, basically, I was my sister’s party trick for the night. 😛 Never you worry, though, because it was all in genuinely good humor, and it was quite a delightful chat and brief FaceTime with all three of them.

At one point, the coworker told me that they will try to hook me up with Belgian men here in Houston. They are great, she said, because they have great beer, chocolate, and waffles. I pointed out to her that I do not drink, really, in the first place, but I also don’t do gluten and usually don’t do grains at all, so I don’t drink beer. I don’t actually like chocolate. And, again, I don’t eat wheat and grains, so no waffles either… Her pause of intense contemplation was quite comical.

“I don’t think we would get along, then,” she declared, certainly tipsy. My sister and I both pointed out that, with me along, she never would have to share the beer, chocolate, or waffles. She was baffled yet again, and then conceded that we probably would get along very well, in that case, however, why would I want a Belgian, then? 😛

So, all-in-all, it was hilarious and delightful and great experience. Thanks, sister, for this ridiculous anecdote. 😉

Post-a-day 2021

^Actually got it wrong at first, this time…

Oops

Uh-oh… There’s a tickle in my throat that turned into a small ache on the side.

I hope that lots of water and rest will heal this overnight – I have much to do and good, solid health is needed to do it!

God, help me heal this ache, that it be released as I care for my body and my mind tonight, such that I might be love in the world as my full and best self tomorrow and each day afterward.

It got surprisingly cold this evening, and I was not in the least prepared or dressed for it. May my body be appropriately warm and healed tonight.

Amen

Post-a-day 2021

^Almost missed it, but I remembered!

Another some days

Some days, we have high plans, but then end up sleeping most of the day. And that’s totally okay. It is important that we allow our bodies to rest when they need the rest. Aside from all the general rejuvenation that sleep gives us, it is also the time that our muscles repair and build and that our outgoing fat gets released. So, sleep is even better than we imagined!

That being said, I accomplished minor but important tasks today, and I did not accomplish several intended tasks for the day. And that is perfect and okay. I am now going to bed rather early, and that, too, is perfect and okay.

Thank you, World, for this beautiful day and life. I look forward with gratitude to whomever and whatever it is that may come still. 🤗🙏🐪

Post-a-day 2021

^Remembered again partway through!

Steps, my a…

Why, oh, why did I have to be resting in bed all day today? I know I was sick with a cold, and my body needed the rest and recuperation. I know that. But why did it have to be an all day thing?

Because now I have to compensate 7,000+ steps that were intended to be spread throughout the day. As I prepared for bed just now, I found an unfortunate approximate 2500 steps achieved for the day. Which, I suppose, is a lot for a day of being sick in bed almost the whole day, never leaving the house, and not officially being up and about until after 1pm.

Nonetheless, I genuinely forgot about it today. My rest was necessary, I know, but I very easily could have done some extra walking around the house later in the afternoon and evening, as I was feeling progressively better. Instead, totally sleepy and ready for bed, I’m having to get the remaining approximate 7500 steps required for me to go to bed.

Man, does it sometimes suck sticking to one’s own word…

And I want to go to bed so badly, because I’m getting up at 4:20 in the morning to go do a super intense workout, which will burn loads more calories than these 7500 steps right now will burn. So, that just adds to the annoyance of this all.

But I set this goal and requirement for myself, fully knowing myself. I gave my word. And I always am grateful afterward that I stuck to my word, even when it is under ridiculous circumstances.

So, yeah… ::face palm

Post-a-day 2021

^Whew!