Monthly Archives: May 2014

A Real Gym


CaptainMarvel-SallyJaneThompson
I believe in the kinds of gyms that are supposed to be grungy-looking with a profound dungeon-feel.  The one that kick-starts your central nervous system by the dilation of the eyes as you enter it, where it’s fairly loud with metal clanking and comes across intimidating on various levels, where grunts run, no lunk alarms, along with sprinkled friendliness and ironhood, where the air is thick with the sweat and blood of like-minded individuals who come to the gym for assorted reasons but all remain for one in particular:  To obtain gains.

So those people who complain about stinky gyms, towels on the floors, weights never being racked, who are too busy staring at their cell-phones than glancing at their workout program, who become unfocused by the sheer silhouette of a man or woman, who don’t know a single difference between a front versus a back squat or grumble about how the gym isn’t pretty enough because it’s missing the state-of-the-art equipment make me, to be honest, want to vomit in their goddamn mouths.  FUCK THEM!

Look, I understand it’s all about the personality and the behavior and the perspective and the yada yada of a person.  But I always dreamt of going to the gym I recently signed up with, just shy of two weeks and where I started training at 2 days ago.  It’s a gym that’s successfully nerve-racking by Hammer Strength eye-popping jazzy blue machines that look like smaller versions of Transformers.  These transformers are all set at center stage of the gym itself, so no matter what spot you’re in you’re feeling the next guy’s super-buff energy entering your personal space.  You have a few choices:  Cancel your membership, get used to it, or get angry and join the crowd in raging fun!

I want to go into a gym and see freak of natures whether genetically natural or juiced up to resemble a King Kong god!  FUCK walking into a place where everyone knows your name.  I want to be in the gym where everyone knows you by your deadlifts, your escalating numbers, your awe-inspiring training partner and the muscular shadow on the wall.

And now I do!

I’m at a place where the owner knows everyone personally, where he came up to me after I finished a set, shook my hand and said, “If there’s anything you need or any problem you have, tell me and I’ll fix it” while asking about my injured shoulder because we were friends on Facebook before I became a gym member.  He actually took the time to get to know me and read my statuses as I took the time to learn about his gym and even promoted the Powerlifting Competition as a way of saying thank you.

I’m at a place where a naked woman could walk in the center of the gym like the whores in a boxing ring holding up cards of round numbers and the beasts of the gym wouldn’t flinch for shit.  They aren’t there for eye-candy.  It’s not only because there’s a handful of women around but because they’re there for serious gains.  I’m at a gym where men rock colorful tights and rock big bulges during their million snatch performances.

I’m at a place where I asked one of the lifters, “What’s your favorite body part to train?”  And he single-handedly states, “Squats.”  Favorite body part to train?  Well, we don’t think under these terms.  And I get it.  So, this lets me know I’m in the right place.  I’m among the like-minded individuals.

On the same day I chatted up one of the hardcore females at this new gym and she mentioned she takes Tae Kwon Do (in the vicinity), sparred with a guy, broke her finger and the master put it back into place like nothing.  Apparently, she took that shit like a champ! – where another woman at another gym club would have fucking sued!  I’m going to say only flaccid soft penises and soft pussies sue.  Unless of course the gym didn’t do anything to take care of you in every way possible, then they deserve to get sued.

Still I’m at a place where there’s camaraderie, it’s a respected community, whether young or old, big beer-belly or slim-twig.  We’re all are at a common ground.  Rather than dirty looks and gymtimidation, guys come up to me and out of the blue offer me chalk for my deadlifts.  One guy saw me taking off the first two 45lb plates with 6 more to go on a High-Iso Hammer Strength transformer machine.  Unexpectedly for me, he came by and said, “Let me help you” and he just took off the rest.

So I’m at a place where I need to get used to countless plates being on benches, Squat Racks and Hammer Strength machines but it’s okay because I feel I belong here.  I trained with as many plates as possible when I first started training back in 2003 and some people wonder why I’m strong.  *Sings* I started from the bottom now I’m here.  (I hate that fucking song!)  But maybe I need to train like how I used to in the beginning; stacking plates so I can maintain my motivation?

My current theme lately on this blog as you can see is how I’m lacking motivation.  So much so, I’ve been thinking about taking a hiatus for a few months away from the gym.  I’m still reflecting and speculating on the countless reasons as to why I may want to do this.  One of the biggest reasons why I thought about this break from the gym is because I’m tired of forcing myself into the gym for the past few months with zero motivation.

However, being in this new gym and training among a crew of cool powerlifters and bodybuilders, I’m starting to think I can turn this attitude over.  I can be motivated again because this is where I need to be and like the gym owner told me, “We need the gym even if it’s to keep hope alive.”

-Pennington

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Lack of Drive Kind of Night


Pale Comparison
Today I woke up, among a lack of drive, aches in the center of traps, spinning wheels against the uneasiness of day.  I looked for inspiration in opened paperbacks, dipped into phony motivation within cups of roasted caffeine.  I regretted it once I finished the cup because my mouth tasted like darkness and death.  But, the mood was lightened through warm phone conversations.  I came across a twenty-four hour CVS store, entered awkwardly like an orphanage and lingered in the wellness aisles, until I purchased a 5-hour energy drink.

On the train platform I waited.  Destination to gym was approximately thirty minutes.  Similar to a concealed alcoholic, I glanced over my shoulder; full suspicion, threw my head back and drank junk energy.  Eleven-something-PM and the red line pulled in with swarming bodies.  I entered and a kind middle-aged man took his jacket off the seat, so I can sit and wouldn’t have to scramble for a comfortable standing spot.  I smiled.  I didn’t want to be rude and decline the offer and in return I thanked him.  I sat between him and another man who plainly made love to his dazzling tablet with his eyes.

Smashed in the middle, my arms laid over my book-bag, hands clasped obedient.  Heat rose to caress my face, but it was followed by rolled evil eyes.  I scanned mush-sardines everywhere.  And every now and again, I stared awfully long and awfully hard at the ceiling, prayed to God for bodies to exit the cart or die.  I wasn’t sure how much longer I could take my inner thighs contracting under excruciating tension.  There was wicked edge in my legs and they were about to cramp like Charlie horses in the core of night.  I prayed in excess.  I needed anything and everything to take my mind away from expanding fury.

When I noticed a group of male friends in front of me lined up like bowling pins and how each had the same brand on:  Levi’s.  My heart rate decreased from anger and eased once I searched for the outlines of buttocks:  Who owned the biggest, who was trying to show it off and who was trying to put their glutes out of sight?  Then the kind man who made space for me originally was getting off the train and my heart soared knowing I’d be able to breathe large again by swerving to the left and conquering the corner seat.  Thank god and the heavens!

Walking through the gym doors, I saw the regular night shift receptionist guy put his conversation on hold to greet me with a huge grin; he puts my mind at ease by saying, “Hello!  Have a good one!”  All smiles, passing a row of proud ellipticals; I jog the flight of stairs.  I quickly analyzed the weight-room with a criminal grill, turned the corner to find a caramel-Dominican running on the treadmill in mesh shorts with buttocks hopping in succession.  I slowed down to catch a few seconds of eye-candy and disappeared like magic into the locker room.

Feeling internally flirty, the hair went in a high ponytail, bangs are held back by a bobby pin and I creep to the weight-room floor.  I eye-fucked the first exercise to get me primed and ready to rock and roll:  Seated rows!  And with the lat-pulldown bar attachment, taking the hand placement as wide as the sky, set after set, fifteen full reps each, I burn and flame, burn and flame.  I start to love myself.  The blaze starts to give me repeated drive.

I moved on to dumbbell seated shoulder press and with the first set I reached a full fifteen reps with 30lbs.  But by the third set my triceps were fried (thanks to the bang of the buck of Seated Rows – surely you can figure it out) and my favorite technique, rest-pause took over.  It went from 5 to 4 to 3 reps.  My mental flare shook its head each time in a kind of displeased failure.  Angry, I powerwalked to the back of the gym and sighed at the sight of the pull-up assisted machine.

I know how every rep feels before I perform them:  Difficult, treading through deep water, muddy-like, an overload of massive bodyweight.  Sometimes I wish they were a walk through the park, but deep down inside I would never want this.  Roughly 8 set of tough chins and pulls than kept it moving.  The incline rear-delt flyes are tougher than they appear; the ego lowers itself along with the weight to be used, another exercise that stops the hardcore flare in my mind.  After deep breaths taken, full contraction and 2-3 second holds at the top of every rep, the first set wrapped, and I notice the group of men from the corner of my eyes nodding respect at my performance.

The most challenging thing of the rear-delt flyes is not dropping my face into the bench when I start to fatigue and create grimaces like a mad hulk, to fight any sort of momentum and not go beyond the range of motion to strike a meek nerve.  Then on to the front raise with a barbell, go high above my head, core braced and my entire body tight in one line.  The scorching starts from the top of my traps, slides into my deltoids and enters in the center of my back.  By the end of the sets, I pause on every fourth rep.  I shake my head in partial defeat, and I rise again in full power.

By this time, I imagine the snarl of my vagina rages with odors of unfathomable ammonia, growing more teeth as every bit of exhaustion tries to yank me in submission.   I stuck my hand out in front of my body and examined my fingers for the rush and temp of adrenaline.  I need the shaking reminder, the bearing of fruit.  Happy and high, bent-over rows became the name of the game, pyramided by 10lb increments, pushing through countless reps and the dead hang arm feeling only to row, row, row it back.

Face pulls, a classic, cable tension, good stretch, long step back.  I felt my teres minor flared from the front raises and as a result I stretched for twenty seconds in between sets.  Then the lat-pulldown machine, not cable, actual machine because my muscles respond at a greater frenzy.  Within this meantime, I couldn’t help but enjoy the puzzled look on the woman’s mug, a kind of blasé air, pursed lips on a nipple water bottle, eyes lowered, dragged in slow-motion to the corner to glare towards my action.

I finished with calves on an extension machine I grew to love; abusing it bilaterally until they scream further into mercy unilaterally followed by abdominal exercises.  My entire happy ending came to a halt once I got down on the perky blue mat of heaven and performed 50 reps of Superwoman’s and heard the middle of my back crack.  I found myself in the locker, hands washed, headphones bagged in its pouch, headed down the stairs where the guy receptionist said, “Have a good night.”

And I did.
I did. 

But I’m still struggling from the lack of motivation.

-Pennington

Motivation Absent


Big Apple Powerliftting Competition

It’s interesting how someone from the outside (generally those who don’t surpass their or your own limits) would consider I’m motivated, when in actuality I’m not.  I know countless workouts in a week or multiple training sessions at any given time of day or night would give a person the impression I’m motivated.  I hate to break some peoples heart, but I don’t remember the last time I had a super drive making me feel invincible.

What someone else perceives as easy for me, probably is, but only because I made it so.  For years, I didn’t devote time to cardio.  Now I do.  It only took bad roommates, hating my job, brainwashing myself on how the fitness professionals do it and whining excessively until I finally got to the gym to do my cardio five times a week (sometimes six).  Now I do it without bad roommates, with or without a job, devoid of brainwashing and endless whining.  I’m on auto-pilot.  There’s not a moment to question, I just depart blindly.  The only actual question that may come up is:  How intense am I going to make it this evening?  And do I need a cup of Joe?

Weight-lifting is of course my first love.  It provides me everything I need like comfort, stimulation, anger management and allows me to release any stress or sexual pent up energy I have building inside.  The dumbbells, barbells and cable machines are always there for me.  They never let me down.  They never reject or disrespect me.  They’re my home.  My happy place.  My everything!  But, when I’m lacking motivation, lifting weights can slightly feel like a drag.

These are moments where I’m overthinking reps, sets, what exercises to do and I put eleven through seventeen different exercises in front of myself just to further the demoralizing effect.  And even when my blood is sizzling, the sensation of the pump is growing and the hard steel is crushing my skin, there’s a feeling of lost drive.  I know what it’s like to be at my peak for fitness (conditionally speaking) or for motivation.  And, lately I just don’t have it.

This Saturday is a Powerlifting Competition which I’ve been invited to.  This will be my first time being in a Powerlifting Competition.  I’m not sure what to expect, except big weight, big tanks and perhaps even bigger growling.  I’m super excited and am trying to bring a small group of great online friends (who I’ve already met) with me!  On a side note:  I did flirt with the idea of being in the competition myself, regardless of the weight class (I’m sure I’d be heavyweight), but this would’ve involve buying gear and I bet I wouldn’t even know how the fuck to get into any of it.  Perhaps, next year?

With this competition coming tomorrow I’m hoping somewhat that being in this atmosphere and watching other people work tremendously at this event will be my ticket to gain and achieve the inspiration I need before winter came over and shook it’s naked trees of death on me.

-Pennington

I Don’t Belong


During my periodic monthly episodes of blood, increased hormones, life force and such taking over, I tend to get a bit gloomy, while becoming overrun by immaturity, not to mention, I write more carelessly than I like to admit throughout this instance.  So, if you’re looking for something thrilling, inspiring, and poetic or whatnot, you’ve come at the wrong time.  There’s no true significance in this entry, except that I’m venting.

Throughout the course of my life, I never thought I belonged anywhere.  There were things I’ve always enjoyed like reading, writing, receiving education, sex and being physically active.  And although I’m aware that one can be content and isolated away from the conventional world, sometimes I can’t help but wonder how would my mind and heart have been shaped like if I did feel I belonged to something?  Would I have felt less alone or more engaged to the world like how dreamers dream profusely of that lotto ticket?

I don’t belong to friends.  I have zero (doesn’t include the fabulous ones I have made online or the two ex-boyfriends in my real life that I consider to be like family).  Growing up, it was hard to blend in and follow the disgusting girls into their femininity and twin-like mirroring behavior.  I took pride in being a tomboy and in being an individual, whereas most appeared to benefit from being a replica of another, so it wasn’t a question why I was constantly the first to be flat-left in the blink of an eye.

I thought things would naturally get better once I got older because of better judgment.  Apparently not!  From the twenties, and into the early thirties (of where I am now), it seems I meet the wrong types of people.  Some of them believe friendship is about sugarcoating, living with illusions, and never involves the truth for personal enlightenment and growth.  So, I don’t belong to friends.

I don’t belong to family.  I only have one favorite aunt, whom I took after, to a small degree.  I’ve been working on my rapport with her for the past year because part of the new me is to be better acquainted with family, although I dislike nearly everyone in it.  It’s ironic; I believe the injustice of life has been slowly taking her away from me.

I digress, however.  Friends are a lot like family.  It involves fitting into a certain mold.  And it’s hard for me to be the type of person who can easily overlook their principles, values, beliefs in such a way where I can willingly blend in with the rest of my hypocritical family.  I haven’t been blessed with any true friend or relative.  I just keep bumping into the wrong people.  And why have the wrong people in my life, when it’s better to be true to myself and live within truth instead of a lie?

I don’t belong to fitness.  I work out faithfully.  I don’t eat clean majority of the time.  I don’t take numerous selfies.  I don’t buy expensive supplements.  I don’t feel the need to show off my body.  I don’t have the desire to inspire or motivate others because they usually fall short of my standards.  I no longer truly look up to the fitness professionals of the sport as role-models.  I don’t even have people in my circle who are diehard fans of training or weightlifting.

In a place of fitness and the gym, it’s my happy place and true religion.  But with the masses making a mockery out of fitness (mostly on the internet), where egos turn fit people into assholes and where asking for well-being guidance is replaced by a hand asking for money; I feel as if I’m further away from this sort of crowd and in my own ways, I feel more alone than ever.

I’m sure it’s all about the attitude and perception of mine and how I live in a matter-of-fact system.  Nevertheless, it doesn’t change the fact that I don’t feel like I belong anywhere.  But please, don’t get me wrong, I love myself and I am who I am today because I never thought the grass was greener on the copycat’s side.  I never thought to fit readily into the methods of the conformist world which occupied family, friends or gyms I belonged to.

I just wonder..

-Pennington

The Bleak Light


female titan 12
It’s the easy slither on my face
from conditioned matters done in automatic fashion
that perform the strongest clang.
Hard tension set between brows
cause sentiments of bitterness
and loathe
miles deep
Until they carry out death sentences
in the form of migraines.
The lush of menstrual blues
and cold reality freeze the heart
from momentary joys.

Satisfaction can be found for some
through human interaction
exchanging concepts and composition
Or sitting alone in the corner of a restaurant
hunched weakly
people-watching
soaking interaction
through space regarding reflective
elevated status of emotional cesspool energy.
What is contentment if others
cater to ruin the whole
lot evenly?

-Pennington

Personality Jog


running-shoe-clipart-3.

I start walking, warming up limbs, core temperature, until I feel my blood spike.  Mentally, I get myself angry, believing I’m a gorilla, big appearance, flared nostrils, beating on my chest like I’m king of the jungle.  I’m where I want to be and take off at a slow pace, practically skipping, and arms by sides with hands half-fisted.  Looking straight ahead, my eyebrows aim to create a unibrow to fierce my mood awake and to speed a little bit more.

The next vision I have of myself, is of a boy who believes he’s invincible through every jolt, hurt and side-stitch and shin splint in a casing of a man.  I don’t view myself as a woman, for my big breasts would only drag me down to an imagined pain that society says belongs in my backside due to the fatty support in front.  I view myself as the man who doesn’t wobble due to accepted hips or waist.  I continue to fool myself and don’t give way to thinking my centers of gravity are where my legs live.  Instead, I consider gravity high in the center of my sternum, picturing my broad shoulders to carry out the movements through like individual shoulder punches.

I agree within my being, the permit of my muscles becoming limber from the blasting heat of jogging.  Fifteen minutes in, and my hunger is delightful as I battle deep inhales to pack my lungs and exhale them out gradually.  With razor eyes straight ahead, I feel my body trusting me with its own tenderness.  Still I wonder why my spine senses this compressed feeling.  But I don’t speculate too long as I’m concerned with every second of every minute that flashes in red on the screen of the treadmill.  I’m concerned by tiny jabs of syringe-like pain in my left knee.  I’m more concerned about embarrassment of falling due to the freezing of my toes, how the phalanges and first metatarsal turn dead.  Another five minutes, I alternate walking at a comfortable speed to tame down these dreadful sensations.

The almighty high, it has kicked in, and I’m going for the 25 minute mark, covering more distance than I’ve ever had in my thirty-two years of living and I ignore the menstrual cramps raking its long demonic nails throughout my uterus, trying to lure me its bitch.  However, I’m familiar with pain.  Pain is a seducer, an addictive chemical, a form of art and beauty to treasure.  The more pain one allows themselves to feel, the more it scrapes inside our souls with magnitudes of hell and fallen heroes.  So, I must climb out the shadowy pit, to uncover my recurrent slice of heaven, in the midst of jogging and new personal records.

-Pennington

Body Nags


I don’t openly volunteer information about myself or my life to people I deal with.  This is why I have a blog.  Plus, I figure if a person wants to get to know me better, they’ll slowly work to pry me open.  Or read my blog or Tweets.  Point is, there are things I don’t reveal to anyone like body nags.

Don’t you hate nags?  Whether they concern a relationship, parental or societal badger?  Don’t you hate body bags, no matter what the cost is and how you pay its dues over and over again?  Some nags are preventable, some are induced, some nags come and go while others, remain forever.   All I know is, I can’t come up with all the fucking causes to nags, but I know that nags are pretty shitty!  And I have a few of those pretty shitty ones.

At this point, the body nags have entirely affected my right side.  The first was my elbow back in 2006.  That’s when I first saw someone for the opening debut of tendonitis.  Now there are undiagnosed flares in my teres minor, which I assume comes from the rotator cuff syndrome I’m still experiencing because clearly I’m a dick and am not very gentle with myself.  Then, there are the bicipital groove flare-like bouts and gluteus medius annoyances that come and go.

Not to mention, two out of the three hamstring muscles take turns straining me every step of the way, every few months, making sure I can’t reach my front split goal.  Plus the gastrocnemius has tightened up when it used to be on the left side only and just like everything else, it’s on my right side.  What is it with this side of my body?  And who the fuck knows?  But I’m thinking sooner or later, I’m going to have to start being gentle to myself.

When I got an MRI done a while back to see if I wanted to pursue surgery for a partial (on the small end) tear on my right shoulder, I cut out many exercises that had to do with chest, back and shoulders.  There are still some exercises I don’t do today, but over time I worked into getting many exercises back into my programs.  The next time, someone tells me I don’t have patience, I’m going to stick a dumbbell up their ass and grind it because patience is crucial with these nags.

And let’s be honest, sometimes patience sucks and pain does also.  So I’ve slowly entered:  Assisted pull-ups, Incline/flat dumbbell/barbell bench press, push-ups, hammer and bicep curls.  Volume has been cut, in addition to warming up prior with easier exercises and stretching in between most sets.

It’s been a year (or more probably?) since I’ve done any Lat Pull-downs.  But I finally gave in because I rather rotate my exercises than do the same ones.  Flares happen, regardless of how much I warm up or stretch in between.  I can feel the tiniest spasm pulsing in my teres minor; an electric type of nerve of a twinge, and the spasms continue the more time under tension it’s given.  After this, I stretched and meditated on a prayer to the Gym God’s that I’ll be able to continue pain-free through my workout.

Now, I have another nuisance here to join my many nags, something new and daunting in my knee.  Stay tuned for that in an upcoming entry.  In the meantime, how many body nags do you have related to exercise or no exercise?  And yes, it works both ways. 😉

-Pennington

Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award


I want to give a BIG THANKS to SleepyKitten for nominating me for the Sisterhood of the World Bloggers award.  I’m quite honored and am full of smiles, as this is my first.  Plus it’s a wonderful feeling to be recognized in the endless sea of WordPress and bloggers.  So, thank you so much!

Also, please check out SleepyKitten’s blog and poetry.  She dazzles from the heart like a candy apple.  Side note:  By receiving this award I’m to answer some questions.  Here goes nothing. 🙂

1. What is your favorite color?

My current favorite colors are:  Olive green, burgundy and gold.

2. What is your favorite animal?

Anything in the cat family.

3. What is your favorite non-alcoholic drink?

Coconut Bubble Tea.

4. Do you prefer Facebook or Twitter?

Without question, Twitter.  I’ve made many friends there.

5. What is your favorite pattern?

Lumberjack plaid shirts. (This counts, right?) 😀

6. Do you prefer getting or giving presents?

I don’t prefer one more than the other.  I’m quite equal on receiving or bestowing gifts to others.

7. What is your favorite number?

Zero.

8. What is your favorite day of the week?

Wednesday because Hump Day. 😉

9. What is your favorite flower?

I thought long and hard on this one.  I had to look up the image, then name of the flower.  Luckily, with good research, turns out it’s:  Calla Lily.

10. What is your passion?

Weightlifting, writing, poetry, blogging.  These are the things that make my world go round and are worthwhile to my mind, heart, soul and spirit.

To wrap this up and to pay things forward, here are some blogs I nominate for the Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award.  (Be aware, it’s expected of you to nominate other blogs and answer these same questions.)

1. WriteWendy
2. Another Angry Woman
3. Chapter TK
4. This Mighty Life
5. Cheryl Moore

-Pennington