Tag Archives: Confidence

Accommodating Self


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I have a new vision of how I want my body to look.

Ever since my life changed dramatically I no longer want to associate with the past as if it were a great friend.  I have this fresh sense of self-worth and self-love.  I have a profound sense of fresh freedom.  I have a new perspective on respect.  I have a thirst for renewal on every level in my life.  I have redefine friends, attitudes, perspectives, logic, love and even training.

I’m not sure what lays in front of me in the life of training, but I know I’ve been a weightlifter for over a decade.  I need something new or different because I’m new and I’m different now.   It’s nothing for me to lift and pyramid heavy weight upon heavier weight until I’m completely exhausted.  I know what it’s like to live for the iron therapy and the iron discipline, iron mind, iron heart and iron blood.

I know very well about this weightlifting life.  I also know that before things changed for me I had a hard time obtaining motivation and I struggled with finding love, rekindling the passion and pleasure in weightlifting back in 2013-2014.  I wonder if this was a sign of where I am to be now.

I know ever since the frightful ankle accident everything has changed, including my training and my body.  I found motivation very hard to come by and suffered for months in a state of blank.  I learned to accept that this accident was a traumatic experience for me.  I still have moments where I relive the accident or the feelings associated from the most difficult time of my life.

I didn’t know what to do or who to turn to during this difficult time because no one was going through the same thing as me.  There wasn’t anyone who could understand what I was going through – except the forum I found where people broke their ankles, spoke about their thoughts on surgery (before and after) and what could we possibly do to return to normal as we recovered.  So I did what I usually do – I turned inward – even though I felt drowned by life and all its multifaceted oceans.

It took me a long time to get used to the idea of being immobile.  The physical life as I knew it was washed away immediately.  I no longer had weightlifting therapy as a crutch.  I no longer showered like normal people.  I no longer cooked.  I gave all my independence to others because I didn’t have a choice to a lot of the times.  In the beginning I was drugged from pain medication.  I remembered taking less pain medication than what was prescribed because I didn’t want to get addicted in any way, so in order to keep the pain at bay I slept like a bear.  This accident was very hard on my mind, on my body and on my spirit.

Then I had to get used to being mobile.  During this time I didn’t recognize myself.  I was wearing sweat pants all fall and winter because it was the only thing that got pass my big cast.   Since I was depressed, and all the physical activities were taken away suddenly – I needed comfort along with something that brought me instant intense pleasure.  Consequently, I drowned myself in every food delight possible, even foods I used to turn my back on I added onto my daily menu.  It was no surprise that I gained 30lbs in a matter of 7 months.

Naturally I said, “Wow you really need to get yourself back into the gym and hit it super hard!”  I noticed since January of 2015 I had a pattern of working out at home:  Two weeks on and two weeks off.  I incorporated all kinds of low-impact workouts including boxing and Pilates – basically anything I could do at home that didn’t hurt my ankle further.  But now it was time for me to grow a bigger pair of tits and hit the gym once again.  I thought I was ready.

But when I entered the gym I felt extremely uncomfortable.  I saw tons of fit people and realized I wasn’t around their level anymore.  I wore oversized hoodies, shirts and sweat pants because I felt extremely fat (for my standards).  I wasn’t the same weightlifter or person I used to be at the gym.  I had this strange amount of pressure every single time I went back into the gym and kept comparing myself on who I used to be.  I kept asking myself, “How am I going to be back to who I was?”

The idea of starting many things from scratch just kept bringing my motivation down.  I didn’t feel inspired on any level.  I didn’t have the right kind of mindset.  I wasn’t flexible in my approach.  I’ve never gone through this before.  I was used to being the one everyone relied on to give them motivation.  I was the one who relied on nobody but me for inspiration.  So now that I was good at failing myself, my confidence shrank rapidly until it became nonexistent.  Rather than realize I should’ve started slow and build up a slow confidence within – I tried forcing myself to like the gym.

I tried to motivate myself in all the ways that used to work for me regarding the gym (fit life and weightlifting).  Did it work?  No.  Mostly because the motivation that used to work for me before wouldn’t work for me now.  I wasn’t getting it.  When I continued to lag, I just figured I needed to get into the gym as many times as possible and the rest will all just fix itself.  So I tried to force myself to do 2 workouts twice a day 5 times a week, and even included newbie training buddies to make things easier.  And I still wasn’t motivated.  If anything, it made things worse.  I gave it a month and a half.  Then I decided very carefully to break up with the gym (which I made an entry about already here).

The good news is I found something new and different to accommodate the new and different me.  To be continued.

P.S.

Part 2 of this post will also be on Training Life.

-Pennington

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Appearances Lead To Narrow Thinking


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I sit here drinking my Psyllium Husk and my mind comes to life as any old night bird does with the usual nocturnal attention and I’m coming out to say don’t we all own stupid thoughts?  There are many moments where I’m not proud, more so, than I am when it comes to views particularly of the narrow-minded kind.

Looks are very deceiving and we aren’t supposed to judge the covers of books.  But this doesn’t mean we do what’s practical on a regular basis either.  I see it everyday working in the gym, people buying personal training sessions with the trainer who’s displaying the best body and with the trainer who exudes the most confidence and strength of mind.  And everyone’s guilty of it, sadly including me.  I know better but I’m not immune to being stupid or tragically impractical or human.

I put people with muscles on a high pedestal.  I know one reason is because it’s a reflection upon me.  So I work day in and day out for muscle gains and within the process many ask why I lift?  There have been times where I’ve even changed doctors because they were too busy trying to convince me that cardio wouldn’t continue to injure or inflame my tendons like lifting does.  When in reality I lift because it’s a state of mind.  I lift because it empowers me.  It builds me.  It’s therapy.  It’s love.  It’s home sweet home.  It’s bliss.  It’s being in the present moment.  Lifting involves many different aspects to and for me.  But the main significance of lifting means it’s here to perpetually keep me strong mentally and emotionally.

Now when I see other people with hard-earned muscles or working towards blood, sweat, diet and tears to get those sculpted high-end muscles, I think to myself, “Man they must be really strong mentally and emotionally.”  But many times to my vast disappointment many human beings aren’t either.  Or maybe they’re strong mentally but not emotionally or vice versa.  Yet the truth is everyone has their own personal reasons as to why they lift and are doing anything in their power to increase muscle.

It’s almost as if I want to believe these people are carved from the same mind as me just because lifting is our familiar source.  I make the fatal mistake (and in the process deceive myself) that they’re able to separate feelings from practical thoughts, able to comprehend emotional intelligence and know how to apply it to everyday life and the list unfortunately can go on and on.  See, I strongly want to believe we have this and more in common.

But I’m disillusioned because appearances are misleading, because I live in a superficial culture, because I’m part of that superficial culture, because I’m part narcissistic, because I’m tricking myself, because it’s a reflection upon me and I’m speaking and looking from my perspective because for a thousand and one reasons I have a small brain every so often like tonight.

-Pennington

When You Value Yourself, Nothing Else Matters.



Judgement. 

Don’t you just LOVE this word?  Doesn’t this word conjure feelings of anger? How about happiness?  Or maybe a feeling like building, manipulating or fumbling a case?  Or what about tucking our tails between our chronic trembling legs running down a manhole hiding everything in range of vision while clutching onto our rosary of justification?  I don’t know about you, but when I take off the “m,e, n, t,” I find the word “Judge” to be painfully ugly.

Still, does it stop me from judging?  Or what I call prescreening or filling in what I believe is a profile based on age, skin color, style, gender or education?  Does judging a person make one smarter or stupider?  Does it keep us safe?  Or immobile with our guard?   Or do we find wisdom in it?  Are judgements the same as opinions?  Could the case of the person being judge be faulted by facts?  How much are we allowed to pin on a person when in the end it can all be a matter of perspective?

I’ve been burned once.

And I don’t mean like the one time at band camp during the age of 15 where I came silently into contact with gonorrhea.  I mean, burned as in Cast Away from friends, groups, associates and even work because I believe in stating however careful or blatant the policy I live by:  Honesty.  (For a story greater in detail which is along the topic of this one.  Read here.)  Now for the life of me (and I hate when I say this ->), but I understand and I don’t understand why the next person can’t accept my principles since I enjoy maintaining my codes:  Morals, Loyalty, Friendship and Respect to name a few?

Honesty has allowed me to be confident and clear with who I am in my skin and within my conscious.  Not to be mistaken with who I want or wish to be, presently or approaching.  Cheerlessly, my reliance level isn’t well received by others as they grow hate for my unintentional means of arriving which makes them feel uncomfortable or threaten with their already firing insecurities.  What do you know?  One of the infamous questions I get is:  “How do you do it?”   And it’s simple really.  If you’re honest with yourself and others, your integrity becomes invincible.  All doubts diminish as they’ll light richly with truth because your words and actions are aligned within the universe frequency.

Anything outside of honesty, living by a set of morals and practicing everyday challenges of being self-aware I want nothing to do with.  I have a friend who says, “Penn you have to learn how to accept people.”  But how can I learn to accept people when they don’t agree and welcome themselves first?  So, how will they in turn welcome me?  If the person lies to themselves than this will mean they’ll undoubtedly lie to me.  And why would I want to be involved with such brainlessness?

I never found it scary, nor will I excuse myself from saying the truth.  Promises are flimsy, waiting to be annihilated like the common people.  But, my words alone are my bond.  I want them crimeless, reeking of finesse and raging guts just how I treat my Training.  Rather than being the Average Joe and feeling I’m better off speaking higher than what I can display my character.  I wonder, if these people sincerely believe they can get away with this disgraceful behavior while keeping someone as special as me in their life at the same time?

When you value yourself, nothing else matters.

-Pennington