Category Archives: Weightlifting

The Theme Is Being Gentler


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I cancelled my gym membership and felt relieved.

The first reason why I decided to cancel my gym membership is because I don’t use it anymore.  I thought joining a gym closer to home would be convenient, but it wasn’t.  I became one of those people I used to talk shit about – paying monthly and not showing up.  I decided to stop wasting money and put hundreds back in my pocket.

The second reason why I cancelled is because I don’t weightlift as heavy as I used to.  This was the purpose of my gym membership; to play with all the hammer strength machines, barbells and dumbbells until I abused and depleted myself.  Now, I can’t step into the gym without lifting heavy.  I can no longer control myself, so I don’t go.

I have developed too many muscle imbalances and there are parts of my body that are asymmetrical (according to me).  Aside from my muscles who enjoy living their life in a state of contraction, they’re holding onto emotional and physical trauma.  The tension I carry must be release from within.

Every time I lift weights, my nags escalate until it’s full-blown inflammation.  It affects me in such a way where my body keeps instructing me to listen.  Over the years, I have decreased the load, given cardio strength a try and included circuit training with lighter dumbbells/barbells only to go for heavier weights eventually.  Therefore, continuing the hurt.

And, my body goals and nature has changed.
Nevertheless, I’ve been heeding the advice of my body.

Slowly, listening.

And I’ve been listening in time to lead me to the third reason why I decided to cancel my gym membership.  For the past few months, I’ve been seeing a physical therapist for pelvic floor dysfunction.  This dysfunction coupled with my fibroid issue and stress incontinence has pretty much ruined a good part of my life that I’ll leave for another entry probably.  Because of these newly found issues, it behooves me to learn how to be gentle with myself in every regard possible.

It’s quite interesting, over the course of the last few years, the theme of my life seems to be about being gentler to myself.  My therapist has also helped me to solidify the idea of furthering my compassion for myself.  I must be gentle in how I speak to myself, in how I respond to myself, in how I regulate my emotions, in how I treat myself, in how I exercise.

It all points to being gentler and I’m actually refreshed because of it.

– Pennington

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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