Category Archives: Fitness

BLINK FITNESS


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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


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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.

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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


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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


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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

Updated Aspects (Training)


Shanna comic

The other half of this blog is here entitled Updated Aspect (Life) if interested.

Lately I’ve been having trouble getting into the gym to get in more cardio work.  Lifting has never been a problem once I enter the gym with my mind in the zone, scowl and broad shoulders.  Still, the emphasis is cardio because I have a lot of weight to lose by my standards.  This bad habit started when my ankle broke and when I isolated myself from the world.  I tried going back to the gym to be the fitness buff I was, but nothing was the same.  It was me against trauma, coming to terms with mental illness and recovering from the worst year of my life.

Nevertheless I needed to feel a rush; I needed to balance out the chemicals in my brain somehow.  I wanted to feel alive again.  I wanted to feel my body in motion, so I learned pretty quickly how to workout at home.  I looked at the upsides of home workouts:  not being bothered by anyone or anything.  Working out at home was safe and therefore it became my retreat.  I never thought I’d make fitness at home my full-time job.  I never thought I would pay a subscription to stream videos.  I also never thought I’d canceled a gym membership after being a gym-goer for 13 years.

Of course a month and a half later my headspace was in a much better place after I canceled the gym membership, but it still took a year and a half for me to get back into the gym a few times a week.  Still, a dilemma hovered big as an elephant – getting to the gym on a regular basis seem to be a problem.  This is also something I’ve never had before.  I started feeling like one of those average people.  I’ve never felt gym ordinary before.  I’ve always been the one to rise above the starting point.  Again, nothing is the same.  I’m in no rush to lose weight, which is very unlike me.  I used to drop 8lbs in a month, month after month like I was going to compete somewhere on stage.  Not this time.

The bright side is when I do go to the gym my adrenaline takes over and I forget about the time or when’s the last time I ate or what else I have to do after I stroll out the gym at midnight.  I don’t stop until I have nothing more in the tank – my usual – and I thank God that’s still the same to this day.  My mind-muscle connection is even more in depth, which I find both absurd and incredible.  I’m starting to believe for the first time in my life that less can actually be more.

I’ve changed my training style again.  I used to move around heavy weight all the time.  I toned it down.  I used to do a lot of volume.  I can’t say I toned that down.  Right now I’m focused on basic exercises (not unique ones) and variations of the basics.  I like working with my bodyweight.  I leave the isolated movements and core training for Ballet Beautiful and other Ballet-inspired workouts.  I do tons of unilateral sets since my accident – I still feel an imbalance within my body.  I do pump out high reps; mostly because I was always a 5-10 rep woman.  But how will my body react long-term when the switch has been/is 20 reps and over?  I also do strength-training at home in circuit-training fashion at least 2 times a s week.  Also, twerking which is a fun way to do cardio at home.

I notice other things I don’t do anymore in the gym I used to do is scout out who I wanted to compete with for poundages or on cardio machines.  At this moment, I don’t have the urge to compete with anyone anymore because I’m in my own groove and free in my own zone.  This is both good and bad.  Good because fuck everybody else in the gym – I’m here for me yet bad because you can always get extra drive and push yourself further when you and the stranger are knowingly competing with one another.

So, what about this gym ordinary thing?  I’ve been giving thought to what I have to do to make sure I get into the gym at least 2-3 times a week every month.  I shouldn’t be comparing myself to the 5-6 times a week of cardio I used to do especially because I’m not feeling it.  At the moment, I don’t want to live in the gym like I used to.  I want to perform more than the minimum, but live out of the gym.  But, what can I do differently?  What did I used to do before to get in the gym multiple times a week for hours at a time?

Well, for one I didn’t make excuses.  Two, I always made sure to established good work ethic every single time I stepped foot in any gym.  Three I would think about the professional fitness enthusiasts and how busy their lives are and just how they make time to get their cardio in multiples times a week.  If they could do it, so could I.  Four, I need to create a set routine, one I can’t easily get out of and also with at least 3-4 back up plans just like I used to do.

However, I think I kept this long enough.  Also, I’m open to suggestions.  Please don’t say running, jogging or walking because I’ll cut you with my ankle bone.  Walking still hurts me and this is one of the main reasons I go to the gym to do cardio because I can sit on a machine (bike) and burn calories away with minimal pain.

Happy training!

-Pennington

ballet-inspired: core


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The other half of me: Link here! Thank you for reading. 🙂

-Pennington

Individuality of One


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I don’t want to teach.  I don’t want a leech.  I don’t want you hanging over my head like a gorgeous chandelier.  I don’t want you knowing anything about my severe bipolar gears.  I don’t want your arm wrapped around mine.  I don’t pine when impermanence is exorbitant and stands like an almighty saint on my shrine.

I don’t want every moment to be bursting of sunrays.  I don’t want to use you for every essay.  I don’t want your breath around me twenty-four hours a day.  I don’t want any part of your happiness or your pity party or blame.  I don’t want to share our pains and heavy existential hurricanes.  I don’t want to be the “ex” to your exclaim.

I’m not into pacts by blood or marriages and certificates.  I’m not into the mothering and the smothering of willingness.  I’m not into decreasing my space into a tiny box to suit anyone or anything because I am ubiquitous.  I’m not into cuddles that make a person feel connected to humanity.  I’m not into systems manufacturing normality.  I’m not into turning a blind eye to lesser insanities.

I’m not into him and hers and the chest of drawers.  I’m not into sacrificing my time and energy for you and yours.  I’m not into folklore when trying to coexist has been known to set across great wars.  I’m not into careless tongues that mouth everything undone. I’m not into romantic love and the drug it promises only once you dare to plunge.  I’m not into the togetherness of us, but the individuality of one.

Pennington

The World As I See It from Ballet-Inspired Training


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In weightlifting it’s about contractions with the muscles.  Examples are:  Tightening, squeezing, static holding and rarely locking out the arms.

In Ballet, it’s about the extension.  Example:  Locking out to a degree; lengthening, reaching; stretching outwards with the body long through the neck, arms, through the knees and ankles.

In weightlifting it’s about how many calluses you build on your hand – it’s a sign of respect and work ethics.  In Ballet, it’s about how you carry your grace through your hands and how you group your fingers together in poise.

In weightlifting it’s about strapping your wrists tight for the most important lifts.  In ballet, it’s about keeping the wrists flexible and allowing the wrist to go limp while you have graceful curvature of the fingers.

In weightlifting it’s about never rounding your back.  In Ballet, it’s about rounding your back.

In weightlifting it’s about arching the back.  In Ballet, it’s about the tailbone being tucked underneath for straight back alignment and not what textbook fitness call “happy cat.”

In weightlifting it’s about engaging your core.  In Ballet, it’s about pulling “inward” through the center.

In weightlifting it’s about static stretching.  In Ballet, it’s about a combination of stretching from dynamic and ballistic, while searching for angles that work best for you in stretching even if seems like you’re coming out of alignment within a single stretch (evidently with the know-how of not hurting yourself).

In weightlifting it’s about muscles being timed and under tension.  In Ballet, it’s about moving your body as effortlessly as possible allowing the body to move freely with zero muscle tension.

In weightlifting it’s about muscle bellies.  In Ballet, it’s about body lines.

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Of course whether I explained things correctly or not isn’t what this entry’s about since these are my experiences and how I personally perceive them to be.

I hope you found my observations to be as interesting as I found it interesting to reflect.

Happy Training!

-Pennington