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

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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

Speed Runner

Once, when I was little (maybe still in elementary school), my mom let me out of the car near the end of our street.  We were heading home, and I don’t know how it came up, but I wanted to know how fast I could run.  So she had me get out to run next to the car, and she would measure my speed by driving next to me.

I didn’t even have shoes on, as I recall, but we went for it anyway.  Perhaps I made it to 17mph.  That number stands in my memory as connected to the incident.  Whatever the speed, though, it has always stood as a favorite memory of mine.  I love the nonsense that my mom and I get up to, and it hasn’t been until recent years that I have begun to notice how much so we really are ridiculous, and how we have been so all my life.  I love my mom.
Post-a-day 2017

Ouch

I decided Friday that I wanted to do another running challenge with my birthday as the deadline/goal line.  I had just run a bit over two miles, and I could feel the pain (though it was slight, I am not accustomed to two miles being any sort of painful).  And so I decided 66 miles total by my birthday, the end of February (most years, anyway).

With the consideration of upping it to 100 miles, I got myself out on another run today – I realized that running two miles every day would get me close to 100 anyway, and so, the more I run, the longer the distances get, and the less often I have to run (meaning not daily).  It ended on top of the riverbank hill, watching the sun set behind the clouds blocking Mt Fuji (Bummer, I know, but it was still beautiful.).  And that was great, except that, once I attempted to walk back home, I could barely use my legs.

As I had been running, it had felt like the second day of cross country practice all over again – a painful, when will this ever end beginning to my dislike of what was once one of my favorite pastimes.  Standing in my hot shower after the run, my right knee was swollen, and my legs felt worse than they have in years, as though preparing to give out beneath me, and crying silently all the while.

So, now I’m unsure as to what will happen with my running challenge, as I also have a swollen spot on the right side of my lower back (first time for that one), which also hurts… hmm.

The whole idea was a sort of way for me to release pent-up energy regularly, and to get myself fit like I want again.  Kind of like a Happy Birthday to me thing.  Let’s hope I wake up revived and well in the morning, shall we?  Yes, let’s. 🙂
Post-a-day 2017