Category Archives: Fitness

Schwinn 130 (Part 2)


Part 1

After I sent the bike shorts back, my genital numbness started again, but this time due to the Respiro bike seat.  I had to find the right seat pronto!  I could feel the negativity creeping in my psyche.  I was thinking perhaps the Schwinn 130 isn’t the right fit for my body and maybe it was more trouble than it’s worth.  Maybe I was making this a bigger deal than what it was?  Then I began to research every day because it’s a big deal!

It took roughly a month to get warmer to what kind of bike seat my anatomy needed.  I finally came across this awesome website geared for cyclist women called Total Women’s Cycling.  Here they spoke freely about genital numbness cream, soft tissue issues, hot spots, bike shorts and pelvis structure.  It was here where I stumbled upon if I’m an “innie” or “outie.”  It was here that I questioned:  Where are my hot spots?  Do I sit laid back or upright on the Schwinn or do I sit forward and aggressive?  Are my knees too bent when I’m pedaling or am I hyperextending?  Are my sit bones small or wide?  Does my hip movement have too much movement?

Based on what I’ve research and on the shape of my body, I’m an outie.  This means I have more soft tissue than the next woman.  It’s no wonder why the bike shorts did me wrong.  It’s because I have my own padding, so to speak.  I also have wide sit bones (about 168mm).  I’ve tried seats close to the size of my sit bones, but it didn’t feel quite right especially with a traditional seat.  Even though, I did measure my sit bones at a bike store, I searched for a YouTube video of a man who says you can measure your sit bones right at home with a few items.  What I took from him was:  Add 20mm to his/your sit bone measurement for comfort especially if you’re planning on going longer distance.  I added the extra 20mm to my size.

After I answered a lot of my own questions like the ones above, I still needed to find a good seat.  So, on this same website I learned about this company ISM.  I bought my next 2 bike seats from them.  I love them both!  The ISM seats are designed with a split-nose.  They’re not traditional looking seats.  I think that’s what makes them super cool!  Anyhow, these seats, the brains behind ISM and the technology itself is smart, innovative, unisex and efficient in my opinion.  I’ve tried a few traditional seats long before I thought about buying a stationary bike back when I did cycle for about 6 months out in the city streets, and I always had a problem with my lady parts being numb, sore and very tender during the ride and majorly the next day.

With the split-nose it cuts out the pressure it can add to the lady part.  So, whether I’m upright or forward, there’s no additional cushion/padding where my padding is.  It’s invisible.  It’s beautiful.  It’s all I want!  Pain-free!  Pedaling smoothly.  I want the traditional nose out of the equation because it brings more trouble than what it’s worth.  With the split-nose, circulation IS better.  It’s not cutting off my circulation and putting my lady part to sleep.   And when I get off the bike, it doesn’t feel like I broke my clitoris and everything else around it I shouldn’t have.

The first bike seat I bought from them is called Touring and it’s under the Comfort category (Comfort City) on the ISM website.  Instantly, I felt the difference when I sat down.  I notice that the front nose of the saddle felt like it wasn’t there.  It feels almost like there’s a gaping hole in the center, but not really.  I don’t feel anything digging into my lady part.  The Touring seat is smaller than what the picture has you believe.  And when you sit on it, it feels like there’s only room for your sit bones and nothing else.

I ordered the Berkley which is also under the Comfort ISM category (Comfort Fitness).  This seat feels wonderful, too.  I like this seat more because now it feels like my ass has a place to actually sit on.  Touring is simply for your sit bones only with not enough pad to go around your ass although it has a good amount of padding thickness to make you feel like you’re floating on a piece of cloud.  I don’t need bike shorts with this seat.  I don’t need genital cream.  This could always change once I buy a bike that isn’t stationary, however.  But I’m hoping not!  Maybe I’ll just try one of the ISM performance seats.

All of ISM’s bike seats are unisex.  I know some people who have a problem with the split-nose design, but I think it’s perfect!  I’ve read horror stories of men and women who injured their genitals, their nerves and even experience erectile dysfunction or can’t have sex because of the wrong bike seat.  Maybe trying something out the box will save more nerves, genitals and sex lives then we know?

And to think, there was this woman whose supposedly certified to do bike fits tell me she would do my fit for $120 bucks.  Yet, when I spoke to her about the split-nose design, she acted like she didn’t know what I was talking about.  They didn’t even sell it in her store.  She sold me the Respiro seat, and it turned out to be horrible.  So, I just couldn’t trust her certified ass.  I was confident in my own research.

Signing off with a happy seat.

P.S.

Do you guys name your bikes?

-Pennington

Advertisements

Schwinn 130


I always wanted a stationary bike in the apartment.  I’m not sure why I didn’t do it sooner.  Maybe because I was using the gym on a regular basis or maybe because my last apartment building didn’t have an elevator and if I wanted to get anything upstairs, I had to consider the ridiculous 5 flights to my place.  Now, I have an elevator, so easy peasy.  Plus, I don’t go to the gym nearly as much.   Over the past four years I got used to home workouts.

I also got used to buying different fitness equipment.  I’ve become a shameless collector because variation.  But I’ll admit there was a time when I was struggling with my identity, motivation and fitness goals.  For a little while I was looking for something outside to make my inside feel better, and in the meantime I accumulated tons of interesting fitness stuff.  Right about the time I started to change my attitudes and perspectives in life, I started my research for stationary bikes.

The latest badass equipment and so far, the most expensive is the Schwinn 130.  I got it for dirt cheap – $110 bucks! – from someone who was selling it on the LetGo App.  She admitted to buying it because her doctor told her she shouldn’t run anymore due to her plantar fasciitis.  So, she bought the bike, but with her busy job schedule and never being home, she never used it.  I think it’s crazy that she spent over $500.00 for a bike she never tried.  She was kind enough to let me try the bike at her house.  Then I lugged the Schwinn on a dolly back to the apartment, which was roughly 18 blocks.  It was totally worth it!

The Schwinn being in great condition made me super happy!  I jumped on the bike as soon as I got home.  I didn’t think anything could go wrong.  BUT by the second day, my body awareness was strong.  It was then I realized the bike seat was digging hard into my sit bones.  The pain was unbearable.  I felt the hairs on my body standing up and within 7 minutes I felt my body cringe and posture cave in.  Not even the gel cover that came for free with the rest of the bike supported me in any way.  Pedaling became a problem!

So, I found a bike shop to measure my sit bones and bought a new sexy seat – Respiro Athletic Bike Saddle Unisex.  Instantly, it felt different.  I can now pedal continuously with less pain.  Within the second week, I bought women’s bike shorts to be extra.  And it turns out that it was leaving my vagina numb.  I got off the bike believing I broke my lady parts somehow.  I returned the bike shorts with gel padding.  I love my Schwinn, but I have to tell you that I’m learning more about seat position, bike shorts, saddles, millimeters, bibs and a whole host of other shit I never thought I’d get into.

Work is always in progress.

-Pennington Hall 

Different Now


queen 3

Things are different now.  And of course, it’s expected as nothing in life remains the same.  I’ve become aware just how much I’ve held onto things I shouldn’t have due to fear like ideas, fantasies, job, people, places and things.  It’s strange holding onto something and being afraid of losing it.

Where does that come from?  How many reasons do we need to hold onto something?  How many reasons do we need for us to let go?  It’s kind of crazy because as people we live every day of our lives with things changing all the time, so what are we afraid of?

It’s scary to think of what we do, and what we say and how we are shaped by things simply because we’re doing what we can to keep it.  I know I bring a force that unfortunately places resistance to what is, which in the end, means I will suffer more than I must to maintain a keeping.  Well, is it worth it?

The past few years I’ve been learning and practicing with each new day how nothing is meant to last.  Everything is in an impermanent state – every face, feeling, state of mind, impression and precious moments.  And that’s something I’ve learned is okay.  As a matter of fact, with each change came more blessings and visions I could never imagine due to being rigid within my ways.

I did want things to remain the same for me like my identification with the fitness lifestyle and having my body conditioned.  However, everything is different as it’s supposed to be.  If it weren’t different, then I wouldn’t be different, but because I’m different, everything else is different.  It’s been different going back to the gym.  Sometimes it depresses me.

I still suffer from the physical trauma of having broken my ankle.  Trauma can remain in the body like the way muscle memory does.  I’ve been working on it for years now.  With trauma comes some undesirable associations like intrusive thoughts.  So, for instance, going to the gym and getting on a bike gives me anxiety as I believe (imagined; possibly irrational, but feels real) I’ll break my ankle again.  Before I get on the bike, an image will flash where I reinjure my ankle by slipping off the bike in horrible fashion – a visualization I would love to do without.

Aside from the mental intrusive thoughts, images or flashbacks I have, there are other things that come, which I call the lingering side effects of things that may never go away.  I’ll rock out on a cardio machine (preferably the bike) and within twenty-five minutes my feet will start to hurt and swell, each fueling one another.  Sometimes the pain creeps where my metal rod and screws are.  Other times the pain comes directly from the arches of my feet and travels upwards in an ache that makes me shudder and vulnerable.

Sometimes I stop for 30 seconds because I don’t want the machine to reset my time.  Other times I loosen my shoelace or take my sneakers off, so I can continue with my sixty plus minutes of cardio.  These things do depress me, especially if I look back on my past and feel like I was better than.  I don’t want to look back there because there is nothing there for me but pains of what I had, which will give me present sadness and if I’m not careful will rob me of all the blessings I do have today.

So, I don’t do plyometrics anymore.  I don’t jog anymore.  Maybe I will l someday despite the syndesmotic widening in my right ankle.  I focus on the blessings of having all my limbs.  I focus on how far I’ve come like when walking a single block would flare everything in my body because I had to learn how to walk again, which essentially meant walking the fire for me.  I focus on the resiliency and how good I feel when the endorphins fly like a thousand butterflies heading to the sunlight to fuel their wings with solar energy.

Things are different.  I’m forged by a new fire.  And it’s okay.

– Pennington

Fitness Wasn’t Everything


I had someone tell me once, “Fitness isn’t all there is to the world.” And, although, I knew that, I didn’t comprehend what that looked like or how does one practice that kind of lifestyle, until life told me to take a seat with a cast on.  It was during this time I learned fitness wasn’t everything in life.  Fitness no longer always became the focus for which I identified with.  That changed my perspective on everything else, and it also made room for everything else I had to deal with.

I believe fitness has helped me to manage my bipolar for over a decade.  The first time I was diagnosed I didn’t want to believe it.  I think it’s not uncommon to say that before I was diagnosed, life was better.  But, that isn’t necessarily true.  I want it to be.  However, I understand that the notion of my life being better in the past is most likely stemming from not having the diagnosis in the first place since I can’t unknow what I know.  Nevertheless, the moment when fitness became unavailable for me, it was easier to see how difficult it became to stabilize my mood swings and irritability in general.

I used fitness as a crutch for many things like anger, depression and the void.  There were times I genuinely enjoyed gym-hopping because I naturally thought it was healthier than barhopping.  But, those hourly long sessions five or six times a week at the gym were where I chose to avoid certain life reflections.  So, rather than cut myself with a blade or fracture my hand on a solid wall, I would train to injury repeatedly.  I was using a different method to continue to hurt myself.

When I couldn’t train for a period, I had to learn to sit with my passions.  I had to observe my pain and find times for when I could adjust in healthier ways.  I had to find new ways to regulate my recurring moods, triggers and symptoms.  This was one of the most difficult things I had to do, despite allowing myself to feel what I feel when they arise.  It took a long time for me to realize that not every feeling will remain and not every thought was something I had to believe in.  I also didn’t realize in the way I trained my mind and body reflected my pain, avoidance, passion, anger, sadness and loneliness.

I’ve been a queen of silent pain, abuse and trauma.  I’ve been cold and brutal many times, not only to myself, but to others as well.  Once I started to transition from a masculine approach to more of a feminine one, I learned how to become softer and not have a meltdown.  With changing my mindset, from being open to change and flow while being less critical, clarity came along with ease and it reflected in my training styles as a form of better awareness, in and out my fitness, and life itself.

-Pennington

Where Are You?


Since September my motivation has dipped.  I knew it was dipping as it was happening.  I was doing my best to stop it even when it had the nerve to stare at me as much as I stared at it.  Of course, I was doing what I thought was the right thing.  I kept going to the gym as if I were going to find a halo over there.  I kept doing home workouts while I cleaned and prepared my space as I sucked my teeth in unhappiness.

I did everything I could think of.  I watched training videos, inspirational videos and coach videos.  I looked up fitness quotes.  I switched up my workouts.  I gave myself low-intensity and high-intensity work.  And there was Ballet Beautiful, weightlifting and circuit training.  But by October I drastically lost touch.  I could only make it to the gym once a week.  And as far as home workouts were concerned, I just sat my ass on the couch.

Absolutely none of this feels like me.  Nevertheless, I’ve come to understand that unlike years before me I’m stressed the fuck out to the max.  To the point where it’s affecting my workouts.  I have no energy to conjure.  I’m constantly fatigued.  In the past, I managed to save my workouts by going through the motions or working out until I felt that fire power come alive again.

But, the issue is I’ve been going through massive stress for years.  It’s a giant accumulation of WHAT THE FUCK!  And I believe it’s finally taking its toll on me.  It’s too embarrassing to talk about, so I don’t talk about it here.  I don’t think I’ve ever experienced this amount of stress in my life.  I’ve been working on managing my stress because I don’t have an option not to.

Well, by the time November came I decided to stop pretending to get the halo over my head and take the entire month off.  It’s now December and I keep telling myself to get my act together.  The things that used to motivate me before doesn’t motivate me now.  I know that drive changes and usually I do my best to reshuffle my enthusiasm.  I’ve done all my usual tricks and brainwash mantras, and nothing is working.  Fuck!  This feels beyond me.

The good news is:  Now, my muscles want to be used.  There’s a craving.  When I walk, my core is contracting like yeah mama we’re back!  It’s such an interesting feeling.  I think my body may be calling out to me the last few days in a way where my mind is listening again.  I’m hoping to put a world of hurt on my body starting today to make up for lost time.  I plan on going hard and strong.  Maybe this will save me?

P.S.

I’m open to any suggestions anyone may have.

-Pennington

BLINK FITNESS


1

Yesterday I made a decision to rejoin the gym again.

I had many reservations about it.  Okay, it only lasted for thirty minutes, but those small reservations felt like an anchor that was going to last longer than twenty-four hours, which is unlike me.  I think I’m going to blame it on the miasma of depression and the uncertainty it causes.  Now I know to most people joining a gym doesn’t sound even remotely significant, but when you’ve made the gym half your fucking life – it’s a big fucking deal!

Joining Blink was a happy accident if I believed in accidents.  I didn’t know they built a spanking new gym walking distance from me.  So could you imagine how big my heart swelled as I sat tipsy nursing my white plum wine across from the gym Pre-Valentine’s Day eating like a silly pig at my favorite Thai restaurant?  The thought of the gym alone gave me enough excitement to give my entire body a staggering erection.

Old memories flashed before me in all my assertive and madwoman training and the way I felt empowered simply by owning truck loads of ego and exhibiting strength and personal space in the weight room alongside the brutes of men.  It all rewound itself to foggy windows, smelling the dampness of other people’s sweaty gloves, headbands and fabric while zoning out to chalky protein, diverse tunes, and colossal sounds of iron clanks as well as cardio machines that squeaked for mercy and oil.

But since I broke my ankle I’ve become somewhat of a recluse and kept myself as inaccessible as a teenage girl in her Gothic room.  Over the course of two years I joined a gym twice and canceled the same.  At first I liked the idea of going back to who I was – the full time badass who wanted to spank everyone in the gym while priding and lifting for power, mass and size.  Until I realized I wasn’t the same woman.  I transitioned into something else (I don’t fully understand yet) and my goals did too.  The thing I do know is over the course of time I wanted to default to a natural size, lose a substantial amount of weight (still do) and still keep a lot of the strength I’ve earned from a decade.

Plus, I got used to working out in my own personal space at home.  I was made aware of my troubled hermit existence only after I started to go back to the gym and notice whenever someone would come near me I would practically hiss, sneer and snap at them if they even asked, “Are you using this mat?”  I think I lost some social/interactive skills by being a recluse.  Well, I live and I learn and I also change.  I’m at a different place now mentally, emotionally, spiritually and especially physically.

So once again I’m here joining a gym.  I know some of the good involves:  Being able to strengthen more of my ankle by using certain machines like the Treadmill and I’ll also lose weight quicker by devoting longer and steadier sessions instead of doing HIIT and circuit (strength) training multiple times a week.  I burn myself out all the time.  The bad is being around people and their bullshit, whether they say no when I ask to jump in with them on any given machine [or insert any other annoying gym attitude/behavior here].  Is this something I want to deal with?

More importantly joining this gym is about reflecting harder on the possible notion that I’ve outgrew the gym.  I may no longer find the gym a daily requirement in my life.  If there is a chance I don’t feel like I need the gym anymore, then I have to learn how to come to grips with that instead of wasting precious money trying to figure it all out.  However, if I wind up falling in love with the gym all over again, then that’s just true love that feels like sticking and I’m with it either way.

*

At this moment I’m setting up to go on my date with Blink Fitness.  I haven’t decided on the time yet.  It’s not only about Blink impressing me; I’m not above impressing Blink.  Don’t ask why.  It’s a gym.  I believe in making all kinds of impressions.

The gym from what I assessed is on the smaller end with just two floors.  The people there seem somewhat motivated, but they lack passion, which I’m surprised about because I guess I expect more out of people.  But I can see their blank faces droning whether they’re weightlifting, cardioing or stretching.  I’m telling myself it’s just the weekend and perhaps the energy is different during the weekday.

I’m going to shower, put cold cream on my face, smooth it over with some serum, and shave my underarms and legs.  I’ll slick the ends of my hair with protein polish and a flat-iron only to hide it’s slickness in a bun.  And although I have lots of variety (DVD’s, YouTube and paid Fitness Streaming Subscriptions) working out at home, everything is much different in the gym – energy, friendly competition and even meeting people or bumping into a gymrat I used to know takes place there.

I’m hoping being at closer distance would keep me motivated at first and I’ll have fun second.  I want to remain a gym member in my heart of hearts.  Also I don’t want a third cancellation on my gym life resume.  I would say wish me luck, but I don’t believe in luck.

Crazy excited,
Pennington

Rump Fun


0-t

My body’s thumping.
My heart’s pumping.
My rump is shaking.
My skin is baking.

*

The verge of a coughing fit is near, but good women like me enjoy revolving around naughty actions.  I rise above my upper respiratory tragedy and decide to sweat the illness away by twerking out to rhythmic music.  This evening I wear a form-fitting black blouse with light gray harem pants.  The loose fabric puts me in the mind state of free flow.  Also, strangely, I know this now, but never focused on it then, if I want to form a better connection with my glutes they mustn’t be shielded with an undergarment.

So the warm up begins, body temperature is busy with total body dynamic stretches and a various amount of hip circles in every direction.  I thrive in the sensation of my muscles and blood heating up and swirling with flaming passion.  Already I can sense the beloved charming playfulness and my fierce sexual energy intertwine as one.  I throw my hands high in the sky, shuffle my feet to the beat and lose myself to the experience of my heart being musically inclined to the coolness of a down tempo.

My hair is loose, happy-go-lucky and fun just like my attitude.  And I can feel the music about to change and lead on it’s up tempo journey and this is where open joy takes place and I forget about the meddling of my chest congestion and need of an asthma pump push.  I grin in beautiful amusement and shake my tush like a hypnotic waterbed.  I shake it in the vein of wanting an imaginary world to stand at my peppery interest.  I shake it with the intent to make the fabric of my blouse stick with sweat to the small of my back and my harem pants dance against its own resolve.  Proudly I wiggle my rump like a basic bellydance shimmy.  I continue vibrating my bum to turbo achievement without letting any other body part assist.

Except, my body has a habit of working as a unit, so my core tightens on it’s own accord like a watchful warrior as well as my conscious thighs flex because they’re always ready to slay with action.  And I continue in a light trance bending over forward similar to a hamstring stretch as I come back up and bend over again and come back up continuously wobbling my bum with a blissful smile on my face.  I keep this stance happily for minutes on end before stepping out with a leg and creating a mini circle with my ass still quivering in its womanly flamboyance.

The hips continue side to side during the wobbling effect as I squat down and squat wobbling back up easy like a summer breeze.  And it remains intriguing back then while I practiced as now how my butt jiggles with a mind of its own.  I start to zone out a bit more and hurl my ass back into the groins of an imaginary person circling deliberately at first, but then building it forceful.  In my head, I envision myself a ballerina on a dazzling jewelry box merrily going around and round yet evidently not as graceful, but putting in work as one for I never stop my glute throwback circles until I begin to feel a deep side stitch.

Then I move on and sit in a low squat position, fingers rotated inward so they face and grip the top of my inner thighs.  It is here I feel the twerk within the static creases of my traps, triceps, back, core, erector spinae, tush, quads and hamstrings.  I arch my hypersensitive back like a cat and lift my glutes upwards slow and drop it back down vigorously so they bounce relaxed and free from care.  Gradually I bounce back up and down until the bum makes a synchronized ripple wave effect in all types of speed.

I feel my cough starting to climb and I settle down for a moment with calculated rhythm even as I carry the synchronized effect of the bounce in a smooth slow left and smooth slow right motion.  Then I continue in the low squat to jerk my butt up and down while performing a big circle horizontally known by the terminology as around the world.  And by this point my heart and lungs are beating in powerful fashion because they’re trying to catch up to the constant jumping of my harem pants and derrière.  My legs fatigue under constant tension, but I feel wonderful living for these moments of fitness and body awareness.

I keep at different movements to different rhythmic songs for twenty minutes before I start to head on the floor, arms stretched out, palms on the ground where I brace and arch my lower back and soften my knees in a very high doggie position.  My triceps contract hard, core is engaged, but the arch stays high and I once again allow my ass to go to places where it’s unrestricted.  I let it tremble by popping it up in the air and dropping it low.  I let it quake like someone is behind me letting their engine rev into my behind as I rev mine back at them.  I allow my ass to thunder with additional help when I use momentum from my bent legs and shoot the back and bum upwards in a quick succession.  I create fascinating hops, beautiful bounces, alluring circles and waves whether delicate or dynamic.

0-twerk

I persist popping the booty until I finally feel like I’m losing the limits of fluidity thirty to sixty minutes later.  In between I take a breather, but then I start to wind down when my form starts to break and my lower back is inflamed like I maxed out on a thousand and one deadlifts.  I slow it down when my thighs are trembling uncontrollably and I can no longer reach a balance of going back and forth between standing, squatting or bending down.  This is where I get on my knees, jiggle extremely and even isolate each cheek separately with muscle control and than together because rather than feel sick and depressed in bed.  I rather undergo contentment in unvarying states of movement while getting my fitness in.  Plus I mustn’t disappoint my imaginary audience in the process.

P.S.

This would be a twerk level I would love to get to.  Watch Lexy Panterra’s Twerk Out.

Happy training!

-Pennington

High: Pure Being


bell-6

The blood stops short trapped before a hair tie, until I release the bun of tension:  post exercise of body-induced drama.  This is the captivating magic of night.

*

The mind works itself into heavy persuasion.  The body labors with intense urging.  The heart never questions what the goals are or what state of peak condition or overwhelmed fatness I stand in.  A sober thought I do entertain is how someone can not understand the significance of body awareness and its dynamism.

I have a passionate addiction to adrenaline and to the exclusive kick of the way my muscles drum within its act of compulsion.  The heart skips, skips and skips uninhibited.  It beats obsessively and storms out my mouth like an aggressive bird.  It ignites the fight and frenzy over the psyche and tissue land of freedom.

I’ve failed many times and am more successful because of every stoppage.  And now every weakness is formed into substantial strength and what strength has already been established has now constructed itself into marble and stone.

The focus is better determined than years previous.  The focus is better established than the last set and the mind-muscle connection tastes stronger than the last seething rep.  I’ve been sucked into a craving that’s unaware of its bounds.  I throw my fists into the air to battle and enter new coordination and balance ground.

My chest hovers over the floor, shoulders and triceps contract, hum and weep pushing up 200lbs plus over and over again.  The brace of my abdominals is my body’s endless support and savior.  Now there’s a surge spreading like a wild forest fire burning each of my hamstring fibers and into every angle and groove of my glutes with a various amount of hip thrust and single-leg pelvic bridges I can muster under time and tension.  The inner thigh screams by its own distress signals and fleshly vulnerability.  The burn degrees increase and I pull my center deeply to the spine to further the accuracy of the focal point along with the present.

I grimace in pain and drill my teeth into my own mouth.  I start to elevate and disappear like smoke.  I’m high now and there’s an exit.  I’m high and there are no thoughts struggling its way to birth other thoughts.  I’m high and suddenly there are no problems in the world.  There is no suffering.  There is only bliss and light.  There is only presence and heaven.  There is only the state of pure being.

-Pennington

MEDS 2


1mednation1

Written previously, but freshly revised.

MEDS 1

So maybe I don’t need fixing?  Maybe I’m perfectly normal except for a few bipolar episodes a month.  Maybe I’m perfectly normal except that relationships are hard to manage under the waves of my high and low bipolar episodes.  Unfortunately these episodes can last throughout the days, weeks, months and years.  These episodes are rapid, can appear without sudden warning and sometimes when I’m outside looking in, I wonder about the duality of everything, the possibility of borderline personality disorder and about the strife everywhere in life.

As a result six months later after ongoing therapy I told the psychiatrist I would finally be ready to give medication a try and to my surprise she wasn’t super elated about it.  I wonder if that meant anything aside from her not caring about making a difference in her position.  The first medication she prescribed was called Lamictal.  The interesting or unnerving thing about this medication is it’s actually considered an anti-epileptic (anticonvulsant) drug, if you can believe it.

This nutty psychiatrist prescribed Lamictal to me based on my bipolar disorder (to delay the episodes) and because she believed I could use additional assistance for weight loss.  In any case, I was determined to give this a shot, so I took it with dedication for 3 months.  Naturally, during the course, I went through many side effects and even if they lasted a mere day I wrote them all down.  It was 2 decades almost exactly since I’ve taken any medication.  Here’s how my brain and body reacted:

General sensation of always being sick
General weakness
Fatigue (Extreme)
Sluggishness
Flu like symptoms
Unbalanced (Clumsiness, loss of balance control)
Forgetfulness (like experiencing memory loss)
Emotional Lability
Body Aches
Tender Breasts
Back pain
Nausea
Loss of appetite
Headaches
Stomach pain (Cramps)
Extra menstrual pain
Indigestion/Heartburn
Taste alteration (Either food taste better or disgusting)
Sweat increase
Sneezing
Nosebleeds
Ringing of ears
Itchiness
Insomnia
Body sacs (like Folliculitis)
Frequent urination
Diarrhea
Constipation/Bloody Stool
Can’t remember dreams

At first all the side effects above were consistent for the first 2 weeks.  Then after the 2 weeks were up many of the side effects began to taper off as my body started to adjust without flu-like symptoms.  However, these are the side effects that remained on a regular basis:  An overwhelming desire to eat more Carbs than usual, extra Perspiration (even if I sat/stood still) and Headaches, Headaches, Headaches.  But WAIT!  There’s more.

In the beginning the one side effect that bothered me the most was the drowsiness; the feeling of perpetual sleepiness and overall weakness.  Every day I was completely exhausted.  During this sensible time, I was fighting with myself and wondering once again where my workout motivation disappeared to?  Lamictal exhausted my entire system where for an entire month I couldn’t even get a single workout in.

The most prominent side effect (for me) that I can’t even explain, (but I’m sure somewhere there’s a terminology for it) tampered with who I am as a person.  I’m not stupid enough to NOT believe changing or altering your brain/body’s chemistry wouldn’t affect your personality because it most certainly does.  To me, this is one of the scariest things about taking a psychiatric pill, aside from consciously knowing you’re putting something extremely foreign in your body.

Lamictal affected one of the most personal parts of who I am – I could no longer write.  I had zero desire for it.  I felt like an entirely different person because of this.   All my life I’ve written for school, tried my hand at screenplays, poetry, short stories and as you know blogging.  So I’m like how could this be?  No desire to write.

This was changing me in ways I wasn’t even ready for and I was doing my best to be objective about it.  I would try sitting down at the table, hand caressing pen to paper, so I can come up with a single sentence and nothing would come out.  It’s like the thought process couldn’t process a single thought.  It’s like words meant nothing to me anymore and neither did the desire to express myself.

I felt severely inept and like I didn’t have any emotional response when it came to writing which blew my fucking mind!  What kind of sorcery was this?  This was when I decided I didn’t want to be on Lamictal anymore.  It was a shock to my system that my brain and body reacted rather extreme.

So when I expressed to the nutty psychiatrist that Lamictal has changed me to the point where I don’t feel like myself anymore and I can’t even write anymore which is something I love doing, she says nonchalantly, “I never heard of this.  This doesn’t seem possible.  Let’s try something else.”

To be continued.

-Pennington

Other Entries


Hello.

These are some of the latest entries I’ve written on the other half of my blog.  One is pretty new and two are older work.  I keep thinking I can’t move forward until I feel in some way I can move in a chronological fashion because this is the way I’ve always worked when it comes to blogging and writing in general.  But now I’m up in the air, trying to remain open.

I apologize to everyone who comes over to check up on things around here.  I’m sorry for disappearing.  I’d be lying if I say I don’t write every day because I do and that I haven’t created new blogs because I have (they’re not fitness related).  All in all I’m going to do my best to come over here and create newer entries even if it means I have to go backwards and post the past first.

I believe, over the course of time, I’ve gotten used to hiding.  Hiding from everyone and everything in the world.  Isolation has made me a private person.  This is something I’ve been struggling with lately.  How much should I share on my newer blogs?  I don’t know.  I always write from the heart because really that’s all I know how to do.  So, here are a few pieces of me for you to click on.  Hope you enjoy.

1. Crossfit Weekend

2. The Reminder

3. Open Canvas 2

Thanks for reading!

-Pennington