Break a Sweat in a Different Way


aeon_flux_by_lucirgoI’m a big believer in doing things differently in life every few weeks, months or years as it shows maturity and continual personal development.  I carry this thought process in every aspect of life – especially fitness.  I like to switch things up all the time.  I can’t even do the same workout twice in one week unless I’m no good at something and I need to improve to make a set of gains I find to be necessary.

It’s incredibly easy to get caught up in everyday routines because it doesn’t take much conscious effort.  A routine and few redundant examples are: Traveling the same way to work, spending quality time in the same exact way with your kids, knowing what your partner is going to do later on tonight in the bedroom and using the same training program your uncle wrote you when you were like fifteen years old.  Being on auto-pilot is safe on one end, but dangerous to your health and depressing in another.

This leads me to being a big believer in changing my workouts.  (I despise doing the same workout twice even in one month.)  On top of my weightlifting workouts, I now have reintroduced a lot of things I used to do because I must keep it funky fresh and because my ankle has made some gains.  Some of these workouts are total body circuits, dance fitness, ballet, Yoga, Kenpo X and Pilates just to name a few.

These workouts on top of the strength-training aren’t JUST because I want to lose weight or gain a better core or reintroduce balance again, but it’s because my metabolism is sluggish since I broke my ankle a mere year ago and have gained weight.  I’ve notice in the past – when I want to kickstart my body and have it be a fat-burning machine my body needs something different.  My body needs something out of left field in order for it to start responding in the way that I like.  I believe it’s partly due to having a low thyroid as well as my dietary intake – it’s not the best or the worst.

And this is where my theory comes in, and why I’ve chosen to once again mix my workouts heavily.  I have twelve years of weightlifting under my belt and some of my fibers are used to this weightlifting plan.  This means that focusing on the strength-training aspect to pick up my sluggish metabolism initially doesn’t work for me.  It’ll actually work against me since my body is already used to picking up steel and putting them down.  So, my body needs a different shock.

It’s not a wonder why over time one has to overload their muscles to the point of no return, and that’s simply to make a small gain.  It’s easy to gain muscle in the first 3 years, but after that it becomes harder and harder to make the gains AND at a quicker pace.  I believe that on one end, weightlifting for twelve years has hurt me in some respects, and in others it has blessed me.  I’m restarting from a different place where I had mobility, balance, proprioception, strong fibers and a decent metabolism for the longest time.  Now I’m working to gain each and every one of these back and much stronger than before.

In my partner’s words, “You’re getting sleeker”, but it’s not necessarily due to the weightlifting at the moment, it’s due to everything else my body isn’t used to handling.  I laugh hysterically whenever I pick up 3lb-10lb dumbbells and have a tough time doing a difficult exercise and am not allowed to perform reps and sets that constitute ego lifting.  I’m humbled every time I perform the Swan Arm Ballet Workout and Bun Shaper wanting to cry from the scorch I feel throughout my body, yet I can do 100lbs and more of Barbell Hip Thrusts for 4-5 sets on a working bench with no problem.

Because the fact remains that the things your body is good at and is used to – you can do it forever without breaking a sweat; however the things your body isn’t used to – you can only do for a small amount of time and break under the sweat of a new raging world.  I know I love to do things I’m good at.  (How about you?)  I know that I hate to make myself look bad or stupid or like I’m not strong enough in front of others.  But that’s just fear, embarrassment and ego talking.

This also comes from a place where one doesn’t want to evolve because of fear, but making the conscious effort and having the desire of wanting to excel despite looking silly, or knowing you’re going to fail and such leads to maturity and personal growth.  We learn more about ourselves from adversity than we do when we’re full of joy and happiness.

In hindsight, breaking a new sweat because you opted to do something different will break you (people) out of your (their) safe routine life.  And in turn, will break you out of your plateau – yes this includes fitness – the kind of plateau YOU (they) weren’t even aware about.

Happy Training folks! ;-)

-Pennington

Distorted Gauge


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Since February I’ve had a pattern of working out straight for 2 weeks (multiple workouts) and the next 2 weeks I’ll idly be standing by wishing hard on a star that I could unearth the motivation I require to make muscle gains and decrease body weight/bodyfat – as well as gaining that feeling of being normal again (after breaking my ankle) while increasing my sexiness also.

Fast-forward to May I made my debut in the gym 9 months later.  I thought being at my second home would give me all the motivation I needed – that being around the energy of like-minded folks would get my desire burning high.  But the truth is most of those folks in the gym wouldn’t know what it’s like to be me.  And currently speaking, I’m not sure what it’s fully like to be me anymore.  I’ve been transitioning into the unknown on a myriad trip.

Ever since I broke my ankle, my existence has changed.  Everything has become distorted, painful, effervescent, unique, spiritual or unidentified.  I still have complications, and I must obtain a second and third opinion from new surgeons, in order to gain some knowledge, so things are less unknown.

However, things have changed rapidly, and now I can set up back in the gym, but I’m intimidated simply by stepping on the elliptical machine, even though I force myself, so I don’t look like a scared cat in front of others.  Aside from the intimidation, I have constant shooting pains in my foot and they go upwards and I visualize these pains as shooting stars that go into the cosmos of my calves – and I wonder why I’m in a gym at all? And one glance at the chin up assisted machine and it looks like a skyscraper both mentally and physically – how am I to climb it without being frighten on the descending part for I can slip and break my ankle again?

I feel the anxiety of nerves freeze me in place in the center of the gym and I hope nobody notices my own little drama and sense of defeat.  I hope no one notices and this is why I cover myself with an overbearing hoodie to hide behind.  I’m overweight by my standards and I don’t know how I’m not myself anymore?  I am not the gym rat I used to know.  And should I be this gym obsessed person just because I’ve been one for over a decade?  Should I act as if nothing changed when everything changed in my life?  Or should I act as if everything changed as it did and proceed accordingly?

The next month I wrestled with doubling and tripling workouts in a single day at the gym despite my innermost disruptive sentiments.  I wanted to believe I can work through this by moving forward and forcing myself on these machines that used to be my favorite friends.  I do what common people do and bring guests with me so we can workout for the purpose of keeping accountable and motivated.  Well, I burned myself out in a month and a half.  I believe I did this subconsciously until the real answer tore from its denial system and decided to surface: I disliked going to the gym.

There are things I can’t do at the moment that I miss so much like Walking Lunges or Single Stiff-Legged Deadlifts. I can’t bend my foot in half without my arch giving way to a pain quite massive that I lose all hope in working out at all.  I don’t have the balance to stay on one foot for more than 20 seconds on a good day.  And I do focus on all the things I could do like push ups, shoulder presses, seated rows and such, but not even this keeps me motivated.  The next month in the middle of June I told all my guests I can no longer go to the gym 5-6 times a week which includes the multiple sessions in a day.  I’m breaking up with the gym for a little while.  I can probably go once or twice a week on the days where my mood is as bright as the sun.  I need a mental and physical breakthrough, and until this time comes I’ve changed gears.

Now I’m back at home with workouts.  I don’t have to hide from anyone, but myself (at times).  I feel freer and am creative with the dumbbells and barbell I have at home.  I pressure myself less on who I used to be since I’m not that person in and out the gym right now.  I have different goals, and one starts with the shape of my mentality.  Side notes consist of:  Taking turns doing multiple sessions in a single day from Wii Fit, fitness DVD’s and writing my own strength-training programs.  Home workouts seem to be more intense especially when mixed with less rest time.

One day I can go hard on my body, whether it is my Legs or Yoga, and the next day I have to pull back the reigns because the sour pain in my ankle won’t let up.  It all becomes about creating balance.  It all becomes about my preparation now for when I do go back to the gym with a body and mind-frame that would be better than even the person I used to know.  I’m a different person now, and this is a fact.  I have a different body now – another fact.  And what remains is that I’m just in the midst of trying to figure everything out in the meantime.

To be continued.. work in progress.

-Pennington

What Does Fitness Mean to You?


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Fitness is a big part of who I am. Regardless if I get some things right (training/mentality) and some things wrong (like nutrition or life’s hindrances) fitness is who I choose to be day in and day out. I understand fitness as work of continual progress. And because of this simple fact, fitness allows definite opportunities and rejuvenated methods to perpetually update the new you starting from the inside out or from the crown down. What is there not to love about that?

I see Fitness in everything I do from skipping the elevator and taking the stairs, to not having that second serving of pasta to practicing discipline when it matters most. Last year, and still to this day, it’s been a long journey for me. The old ways of motivation doesn’t work for me nowadays. I’m constantly battling against will, cautiousness and pain since my ankle isn’t 100% healed and I’m unclear if it’ll ever be. This will not stop me.

Fitness, time and time again has gotten me through many difficult moments from the death of relationships to anger management and iron therapy. And as long as I keep my head vibrant, my attitude with positive light, my heart full of grace, my training philosophy strong as a bull, and Gods intuition over my being — Fitness will never ever steer me wrong. I’m currently redefining every aspect of my life from love, friendships and spirituality to anything regarding fitness.

What does fitness mean to you? :)

-Pennington

Remain the Way


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1.

I need you to be above.
Like I know you to be.
I want you to fit like a glove.
In the way you say I need.
I require you keep alert.
And be objective.
You can go first.
I don’t mind being second sometimes.
You can take a side,
As long as it isn’t subjective.
Go the distance,
Without resistance.
Remain afloat,
Even when it’s most difficult.
Stay on the up and up.
Who desires to be miserable?
Please don’t fail me now.

2.

I’m holding onto your different,
And your difference.
I’m giving myself – almost at – full imminence,
In the name of new innocence.
You have been the constant light
In my consuming darkness.
The only friend in my life
Who remained honest.
You were (and still are) the love
When I didn’t have any.
When I was down and heavy
Because life was off and plenty
You became the bandages
That kissed my wounds away.

3.

Thank you.

-Pennington

Unnecessary Selfishness


abstract-woman-femile-girl-art--fall-amy-giacomelli I speak the only way I know how – from the heart.

I’ll never forget how you left me solid cold at one of the hardest times of my life.  I’ll never forget how you made everything about you when I was the one suffering from a broken ankle with no income and wondering where I was going to live.  I’ll never forget how all those rare moments you sat by my side like when my mother died and you were just a body, never really there – on your phone all day disrespecting us at her wake.  You were just a body, and so was I.  I was your masturbation device for years, but we did start with love once upon a time – and this is still up for debate.

I’ll never forget the time when life brought to my attention how heartless you were – waiting at the clinic with me to have an abortion.  And all you complained about was lack of sleep, yet I was faced with the decision of having a gargantuan life force taken out of me.  And when we went back to my house, there was no mention of how I felt from what I had to do for the second time in my life.  The truth is:  You went right to sleep as if nothing happened because it didn’t happen to you.  I’ll never forget about the first abortion either because you weren’t there when you could have taken the day off work to be with me.  The truth again:  You didn’t want to be there, and this was evident by the second experience.  I’ll never forget how you made all my problems into something that was never yours to support or deal with.

Thank you for showing me how love was never meant to feel.  Thank you for never being my rock and for never taking on anything you didn’t want to handle – at least this last part you were honest about.  Thank you for letting me know that sex was the thing that kept you going and that you didn’t mind taking over and over again.  Thank you for never protecting me in the ways I should have been.  Thank you for never treating me like royalty.  Thank you for your unnecessary amounts of selfishness.  Thank you for showing me when it was time to walk out.  Without this – I would’ve kept thinking this kind of love was normal, but it wasn’t love, and this behavior wasn’t normal in itself.  Thank you.  I’m at a better place now and in the care of a profound love.

-Pennington

Vital Home


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I stretch long and strong and wide like a rainbow.  I have my colors back from my fair complexion – and the ones I deem underneath my skin – muscles.  I bask once again in the glory of my religion at the gym; eight months later after being snatch up from a break and fall accident.  I’m finally home.  And I welcome myself back with the eyes and psyche of a new foundation and fresh perspective that glitters like gold from the inside out with positivity and nourishment that stems from redefining everything in my life.

It’s been a long while – shy of four months to make a full year.  But now, I’m in my happy place where endorphins give way to my bipolar lows so I can obtain a high again.  The gym is where I center myself, where I create the magic concoction to establish balance and management of my historic chemical imbalances.  It’s where I get to feel the rush of heat on my chubby cheeks and where I get to unleash my every day aggression.  It’s where I thrive on the blood that swirls in burn and ache in every direction from the temple of my body and mind.

I’m once again grateful for all the higher powers that be for allowing me to feel my muscles with hurt on every movement I push without limits.  I enjoy each turn as I wince out of delight from a rotation where my oblique contracts and I involve myself in the flashback of yesterday:  Engaging full integrity on a few hours of work.  Because for a while I forgot how soreness felt.  I forgot about the subtle peaks in muscles.  I forgot about the way those peaks slowly raise with fever over the course of the night and the next forty-eight hours heavy with temper – delayed onset muscular soreness.

The truth is:  I can live with every part of my body given to the brutal pain of a committed lift.  I can dedicate my entire life to infinite repetitions.  I can die happy on my last breath being exerted against the resistance of iron, and the cerebral connection vital for my mental, spiritual and emotional therapy.  I mean, after all is said and done, the gym is a home dedicated to self-love, despite the general mundane (and sometimes) pieces of a day to day.  This is where my importance lies and one of the many things that gives my life character, spirit, purpose and beauty.

-Pennington

March Fitness Update


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Oh, this entry is boring!

I’ve worked very hard, and I’ve put myself through lots of pain to be able to get to walk as much as I can today. The other day I walked a mile and a half straight from the PT place back home. This wasn’t easy, but it isn’t easy for me to want to be less active either. Fortunately, this means I’ve taken fitness under consideration again.

Now I still haven’t set foot in a normal gym — as I consider physical therapy to be a type of gym. And I’m not sure when the right timing will be for me to train at the gym or if there’s such a thing as the right timing? Because recently I hurt myself again. Yes, it was due to overworking my foot.

The truth is for the last few months, many of my tendons have been inflamed. Now I have King Achilles tendon jumping on board to give me horrible annoyances and fuck me over with more issues or at least the equivalent of bad little children.

So, this has reversed my mentality — just when I was going to take a tour of a brand new gym. I decided against it now because I’m not ready because I still don’t have the best patience and because my ego will fail me. But, I must say, this particular gym I want to tour has a pool, so it would behoove me to learn how to swim and also, use my ankle in the water without hurting it further from daily poundage on cement.

It’s been a great deal of struggle for me during these months because its been difficult to start my fitness and to sustain regular motivation. I started picking up lighter dumbbells. I’d perform sit ups. I’d get on the ground to crank out endless reps of hip bridges, but to no avail. My motivation drops off the will of the earth and I’ll skip an entire week. Then after that week goes by I’ll restart again. And the worst part is I make no excuses. I just go according to my cycles and tides of moods.

It’s unlike me to not feel the flames in my blood ignite my passionate training. There are things that are different now — like dare I say I’m more humble (and other things)? However, the past few months I’ve taken a liking to YouTube and their fitness videos. Each day I search and plan out what I feel like training and I scrutinize every workout to see if I have to modify anything for my ankle since all is not well… yet.

I started with my favorite bellydancing videos by the famous twins. Then I thought about what I needed to strengthen — so Pilates and flexibility videos came next. Then low impact 30 minute bodyweight workouts, dancing and boxing furthered it. I’ve entered lots of core and squat work since I have to build up lots of muscle in them again.

It does make me sad that my usual training, and my deep love for weightlifting has been put on hold. I’m forbidding myself because I know I will overdo it and eventually will hurt myself. Once I start, I don’t like stopping. Still my plans are to tour a new gym, but with strict rules on weightlifting if I allow myself.

However, these fitness videos have kept me afloat and has motivated me enough because I never have to do the same YouTube workout twice. And since my ankle has made leap and bounds — I’ve finally took it up a notch and have commenced push ups, planks and a shit load of squats, bridges, abduction work and all. Things are slowly starting to come together and this makes me very happy. :)

-Pennington

Quote


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“I was going to die, sooner or later, whether or not I had even spoken myself. My silences had not protected me. Your silences will not protect you…. What are the words you do not yet have? What are the tyrannies you swallow day by day and attempt to make your own, until you will sicken and die of them, still in silence? We have been socialized to respect fear more than our own need for language. Next time, ask: What’s the worst that will happen? Then push yourself a little further than you dare. Once you start to speak, people will yell at you. They will interrupt you, put you down and suggest it’s personal. And the world won’t end. And the speaking will get easier and easier. And you will find you have fallen in love with your own vision, which you may never have realized you had. And you will lose some friends and lovers, and realize you don’t miss them. And new ones will find you and cherish you. And you will still flirt and paint your nails, dress up and party, because, as I think Emma Goldman said, “If I can’t dance, I don’t want to be part of your revolution.” And at last you’ll know with surpassing certainty that only one thing is more frightening than speaking your truth. And that is not speaking.”

– Audre Lorde

Bird


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This bird has outgrown many things in the past months from dying love, to cold friends and to the importance of new love and family. She’s even outdone her physical therapy vicinity and the assistance of their aids. There are always new things to learn, but the most crucial for birdie has been to take charge of her therapy (as she knew right from the beginning). Never allow others to dictate your weakness, strength or levels of success. You must always hold yourself accountable; for this is where the profound and strength of character lives.

The past two weeks birdie had been working with a new PT. She calls bird ma’am, yet thinks birdie is in her twenties rather than thirties. The unfortunate issue — is this new vibrant young lady came a little too late. Birdie both likes and appreciates her techniques and her promising nature. Birdie can sense the love this young flower has for her Physical Therapy work — and how it comes with new eyes, a thirst for knowledge, a keen ear, unstained years of senorioty rights and a clear vision of great passion.

What’s more unfortunate is this birdie is almost gone and is going to leave the Physical Therapy nest behind. She had a long run (4 months), and she didn’t agree with everything, and in some cases they actually hindered her (by overworking her and allowing her to sustain tendonitis in her foot). Still, birdie benefited in multiple ways like overcoming mental blocks and flying and getting out of the house. This birdie is going back home, to the religion, to the glitz, to the empowerment, to the intimacy and love of the gym because there’s more equipment that can be used to improvise.

Birdie can get to where she needs to be quicker (although patience is still the key as she’s no where near 100%) — for in winter, there are only so many ways one can handle the force knocking of the wind and friendly snow that turns to dangerous ice; not to mention the horrid rain outside. However, by the time spring comes; this little birdie will put all her hopes on the comfort of blue skies, delicate breeze and warm sunshine. :)

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-Pennington

Refurbish


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My voice is coming back.
I figured, I ironed my hair flat
Get on a straight groove
Create great moves.
Fuck the past!
There’s nothing there,
So, don’t ask.
My brother disappeared
To somewhere in Long Island
On autopilot
With a fat neurotic wife
Who handed my brother to her psychiatrist
Off like a diamond
Of over thirty years to see
Nothing that wasn’t there.
Now, he’s abandoned
The only family affair
He’s ever had in thin air.
People should be placed under suspicion
Because life is stranger than fiction.
My mother died,
A few months ago
And it was an unpleasant surprise.
All the memories
That mattered
Did not
Because subplots rot
And you never thought
The ending was euphoric
Or that the present could be historic
In all the future
Things you will ever do
Or never not put in review.
I’m no longer scared of anything.
I experience all the good and bad
And come out tougher
And freer living on
Life’s golden wings.

-Pennington