Tag Archives: discipline

Animal Flow


Animal-Flow3.jpg

I have too much muscle for me not to put it to use.

I guess, just because I’ve been challenging myself without dumbbells and barbells doesn’t mean I can’t challenge myself in other ways.  My body craves movement.  It craves to feel blood swirling and pumping, to feel its skin get tight when performing.  My muscles crave dynamism and action.  I knew I had to think of something fast that would allow my body and I to be challenged and fulfilled.  Eventually, I came across Animal Flow or Primal Movement.

In the past I’ve done some animal-type movements but added them to workout programs when I wanted something a little different.  A few weeks ago, I decided I want Animal Flow or Ground-based movements to be the center of my attention, along with Yoga and mobility work for my continual internal and external healing.  Which reminds me, I remember getting used to ground-based movements when I was doing a lot of Ballet Beautiful and Barre work.  Half of the exercises were on the mat making it more challenging than the weightlifting I’ve already became accustomed to for over a decade.

I think subconsciously my body deeply craved ground-based workouts again, even though I was very scared (and still am) of letting go the religion of weightlifting.  Maybe not forever, but for the moment.  And so far, I’m right!  My body craves this kind of expression.  Over the past few years, I’ve come to enjoy moving my body in different ways.  I seek out more flow-type workouts that are super challenging and therefore allow me to concentrate in ways I usually don’t.

I want mindfulness, new movement patterns and new folds in my brain.  In a way, only now can I see how one-dimensional many of my movements were when I was weightlifting.  In the process, I’ve gotten better at writing a more balanced workout program.  I feel like I didn’t have a choice, but I’m not complaining.  I get better with time.  In distancing myself from what I normally do, I’m giving myself permission to see things differently, which in turn allows me to continue being open, so I can crave different things.  I love going on and learning from new journeys.  What I find interesting about practicing Animal Flow is I must work my way up, which makes it harder for me to overtrain even if (when) I want to.

I’ve had too many up’s and down’s with motivation due to chronic pain, stress and health issues that I can’t always say it’s been easy for me to be discipline 4-5 times a week every week regarding fitness over the past few years.  But what has helped me is going back to how much I love to move, how good I feel when my body is pumped, how blessed I am to have all my limbs, how nice it is to set goals and to stubbornly meet the goals and drive further for extra goals.

I’ve had conversations of giving up my love for fitness as well as conversations about why we (my different shades of personalities) should continue it.  I’ll never forget a coworker of mine when I asked her one day, “Do you want to train with me on my break?”  She said, “Why not?  You’re the trainer.”  That day we trained together and during, she said to me, “You love training!  I never see you so happy, so big with your smile until you train.”  And the thing is I never realized how happy I was when I move, exercise and put my body through intense work.  I was solely training to train.

Last night, I was elated!  I was walking on clouds, super high on endorphins.  I couldn’t get enough.  I did a move called The Underswitch.  I’ll link the move at the bottom of this entry with an article about AF.  It’s basically being in a crab walk position and rotating your entire body until you’re in a bear crawl/beast position.  Granted, it was my first time doing this move.  However, sometimes I have a bad habit underestimating myself and my physical strength.  I thought the underswitch would be harder to do because I weigh 223lbs.  Mentally, I felt like I shouldn’t have been able to do it, but physically I can do it.  I made sure to perform it a few times on the left and right, so I know it’s not a fluke.  And I had so much fun!  I couldn’t stop smiling!  There are few things in life that make me happy in this barbaric world.

I’m happy I’ve been practicing for weeks with Bear Crawl or Beast Holds.  I’ve been picking up one limb at a time and shifting my weight while being hovered a few inches off the floor just like in the video above.  I’m also practicing traveling or walking forwards and backwards also with the Bear Crawl and Crab positions, which are harder for me because I’m not the best when it comes to coordination.  Still, I think I found something I can put my body, mind, spirit and soul to use.

Have you guys done any Animal Flow?

– Pennington

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The Vanishing


I haven’t been in the best state of mind.  Lately, I’ve been trying to adopt different approaches such as talking gentler to myself.  My therapist says, “Try coddling yourself as you would do a young child that you actually like.”

I’m up with the moon throughout the month and down in the soil all the other times.  Occasionally, I wake up passive and on other days I wake up aggressive as fuck.  I’ve come to terms with my mood disorder.  It’s behavioral, it’s learned, it runs in the family.  A few years ago, I’ve become aware of many effects and suspected my actions may or may not have been completely me.  Things have gotten to the point where even the most basic functions of existence do not seem basic anymore.

I lost who I was.  I think this is the way it goes, right?  Aging.  I’m not sure who I am anymore, aside from a maturing woman who’s both lovely and extreme.  I must admit loudly how I’ve been working on how to manage my mood swings for years and for a good part of my life, exercise and writing have kept a slight handle on the swings, but every day the things that used to work then haven’t been working now.  I’m puzzled.

So, I’m older and in some ways, I absolutely adore it and in other ways, I don’t think I enjoy it because the short-term memory keeps failing me.  It dissolves.  I think because there’s something in the water, something in the air, you know, there are things in our food we can’t pronounce, and that shit doesn’t allow our minds, bodies or spirit to function at an elevated level.  It’s like people hit a certain age and they flatline.  I feel there’s so much working against me in general, and this goes back to how I’m not in the best state of mind.

Over the years my discipline and motivation have taken a dive, so much so, it frightens me.  There are plenty of details in between, some you guys know and others I won’t bother getting into at this time.  Still, I’ve been trying to find my new normal concerning everyday life.  I’m going back to the basics on everything and am currently on a search to reestablish some things I used to love about myself, that now feels like the vanishing of a short-term memory.

I feel like there’s a sport psychology book calling my name out there somewhere.

-Pennington

Fanboy


SheHulk_COVER_IN_LIVIN_COLOR_by_BroHawk

I feel kind of bad when I push compliments off to the side by men who love women who body sculpt, bodybuild or weight-lift.  Sometimes it feels like a defense mechanism to my strong hatred towards men.  But it is what it is and it goes something like this.

It usually starts the same way, with an inbox message and a quotation mark smile, “You look great” and goes on to say “I always loved your arms, pec and back.  You’ve been getting leaner without losing size and that’s great!”  This should all be a good thing, right?  It’s awesome to hear!  It’s nice that there are people (actual strangers!) who have been following my training journey and I’m forever grateful.  But I’m not going to lie and say I don’t have a problem with certain underlying issues.  I guess I have trouble accepting the type of person and not so much the male gender in this case?

On one hand this guy we’ll call Han could stare at my photos all day for some reasons known but more reasons unknown yet rarely asks me questions about my life and when he does ask me, it shows he’s not interested in me per say.  He’s another person who’s more into the fantasy of who he believes I am than who I am in reality.  And generally I don’t respect people who don’t respect to learn anything about my life.

The second thing about this guy is just how he thinks lifting and gaining muscle comes easy for me.  He boasts about me and my body as if he couldn’t be doing the same or more.  When I ask him, “Why do you think it’s difficult to gain muscle?”  He says, “Well, it requires a lot of work, lifting heavy day in and day out and eating right.”  So he admits to the truth and I appreciate it and he has courage, but I bet he doesn’t realize how poorly he appears to someone like me.

He asks, “Do you think it’s easy to gain muscle?”  I said, “At first I didn’t think it was easy to gain muscle.  But now I know what it takes, so no, I believe anyone could do it and gain muscle.  It’s like you said it takes a lot of dedication and discipline.”  He goes on to say, “Yeah, I think that’s the difference.  Some people can do the hard work and be dedicated but for some it’s too much.  It’s one of the main reasons why I’m such a big fan of yours because you make it all look easy.”

Now don’t get me wrong, I adore anyone who adores me and would worship me at the drop of a dime.  But what I’m saying is it’s hard to respect someone like this as a person, probably because I’m judgmental or an asshole?  And I’m aware it’s my problem and not theirs.  As a result, I guess it comes easy to shoo away the compliment than hold it to a higher regard because I like someone who gives a shit about my life and believes in working out hard “physically-speaking” as oppose to being a bystander and idling watching, being fine and dandy settling just to be a fan.

-Pennington

My Life, My Training


stern 2.
A lot of times I train for my mind, probably more so than I train for my body.   I also train for pain.   I train for anger management.   I train to make sure I’m productive.   I train to remain disciplined.   I train to be committed about something because I’m not committed to a lot, besides personal growth, writing, poetry, education, reading and so on.   I train for therapy.   I train for strength and power.   I train to put fear in people when they look at my gigantic arms.   I train for every time I felt weak in childhood.   I train and train like a locomotive.

I used to train for the pump all the freaking time when I first started training back in two-thousand and three.   But this proved more for my ego and less to get me anywhere as far as gains were concerned.   Again, I train more for my mind and anger management than anything else.   I don’t eat good nutrition half of the time (unless I’ve made a conscious decision to do so for a lengthy period) although I would want to be more aesthetic looking at some point or other.   That’s another topic however.

This ties into how, who, what, where and when someone can’t understand why I may take a cup of caffeine to my system and go sixty straight minutes of cardio only to perform sixty straight minutes of weightlifting or more to no end.   They can’t understand why I do this.   They’re too busy assuming I wouldn’t be growing because I have no fuel in my system.   This is a load of bullshit!   Of course one can grow even though you didn’t eat beforehand.   What a load of crock shit!

It’s easier for someone to judge and say, “Oh this person is doing such and such wrong” as if they had all the fucking answers in the world to why you train and how you train and when you should train and whatever the fuck else.   Fuck them!   Half these people have never picked up a dumbbell in their life or know what polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats are.   So a BIG FUCK YOU TO THEM!

I like to push my mind and body to places without food or water or music at times because I don’t want to be comfortable training in only one or two ways.   I don’t want to feel like I need to be on a full stomach in order to lift heavy or collect PR’s or do better rep-wise then the last time I did my routine and jot it down in my book.   Why would anyone want to train comfortable all the time?   How could you not long for an exit out of the comfort zone from time to time or every single time?

Many people don’t know how to mind their fucking business when it comes to you, how you train, what you eat or why you do the things YOU do.   Yet they’re too busy observing everything you do because they wish they could DO what YOU do.

They wish they had the ongoing motivation, passion, desire and the discipline to do everything you’re striving to perform day in and day out.   So whenever you do your own thing or turn your back on conventional methods, believe you me they are there to hunt you down waiting for the chance to lash at you and jump down your throat with how wrong they think you are because they’re a bunch of soft penises.

If you ever come across these unkind people just ignore them.   They don’t do anything to assist except help to make you vent on your fitness blog like me.   I’m very glad I never listened to anyone in my life.   I barely care about other people’s opinions and perceptions of me.   There are plenty of people who couldn’t handle my life or my fucking training.    As long as I know myself, why I do the things I do and am comfortable doing what I’m doing then all is right with me and the world.

They don’t need to exist in your world if you don’t allow them to, but let them continue to observe your life and how you train because there’s no doubt about it they’re making your importance valuable in their world.

-Pennington

Role Model Nonexistent



There has never been a role model needed or called for in my life.  Sometimes I feel it’s unfortunate.  However it has it’s up sides as it has it’s downs.

I don’t look up to anyone other than myself, when it comes to the Training Life,  not only because (due to my high standards, determination, passion, morals and rarity) I’m comfortable in my own skin.  But because I’ve found no matter if a person is of either gender, works harder, shows better dedication, takes the Fit Life more serious than me at any given moment, are a Personal Trainer, Mixed Martial Artist or grand celebrity/athlete they tend to let me down in one way or another. Whether they allowed success or their extreme personality colors to shine too late, dive into an enormous amount of drugs/steroids/alcohol or have lied consistently or have in many regards cheated the system all the while turning the other cheek and selling out, I choose not to acknowledge the idiots of ill-norm bred society.

I can’t count the many times I’ve been let down by people in general. I know this is Life. But it still fucking SUCKS! I used to look up to Chyna! There was no one like her in the world to me. She had all the muscle, mental toughness, a tenacious domination aura with a no holds bar intimidation factor.  She wrestled with men, won the Intercontinental Championship, was the only female to get in the Royal Rumble due to her strong will and fearless determination. I adored her  when she started out as a Bodyguard on WWE. I adored her before she slimmed down. I adored her before she got plastic surgery to look more feminine. I even supported her when she posed in Playboy twice (though I didn’t agree with the decision at first..maybe, ever?). I watched the 1st season of Celebrity Rehab for Chyna. I was and am still very loyal to Chyna, thought I don’t know her personally (yet ;)). And in the end, it seems as if, she was just as fragile as most people in the world. Nothing wrong with this, except I didn’t think she would fall so high from the burly ninth wonder tower from which she stood.

I was looking for role models in the Bodybuilding/Figure World at one point…

I first came on board to the Fitness Life once I started working for a gym. (Before that I was working out for a little while, learning trials and errors.) Mostly, in hopes, of meeting Bodybuilders and Figure Competitors. And, far and few in between, whenever I saw one I would ask for tips on training or nutrition from the people I thought had it all, striations, the grainy appearance on their muscles, being a lean-mean-fat-burning machine! I would admire the few male/female Figure/Bodybuilders I’ve seen in New York.

I would compliment them on their discipline and physique. Some would take it well. Maybe 1 out of 5 would remain in the stage of being humble, forever devoted to fans and such. Some appreciated the fact that I knew, love and desired to learn more about the sport. Some were stuck-up bitches (and pricks!) that firmly believed they owned each step they walked on Earth!! Others thought that since I was being open and honest about admiring the Bodybuilders/Figure physiques, that, somewhere deep inside I must be a Lesbian.

During this time I notice quite quickly that most of these folks weren’t trying, weren’t open and didn’t give a fuck to be a role model to me or any other young person that came along. I’d established this at exactly the time I would ask most Bodybuilders questions to which they wouldn’t give me the time or day to answer: about wrist-wrapping, what’s the easiest way to perform a chin-up on your own, what do I have to do to be muscular, was low reps/heavy weight the answer, what would it take to be striated, lean, be a fucking work of art, a fucking machine, what supplements should I take, is it true women have a greater hassle trying to lose weight and gain muscle? Pretty much, almost every single one of them shut me down!

Why?

For wasting their time!? For not paying for their time!? For not making an appointment for a fitness assessment!? For them not wanting to help period!?  You know greedy fucks!

This in itself led me more than ever to being my own role-model and my own trainer full-time. I would set out to acquire my own techniques to build muscles, read up on whatever I could get my hands on, test everything, work with different trainers and gain new ground and perspective, wellness and health. This taught me a valuable lesson: In the end I’ am all I have. I’ am all alone.

I’ll say this.. in the present and future, people will ask me for my help (people have already) and some people will even be where I once was… But the difference with me is, though I may not agree with (humanity at all times), with what he said/she said, what the bible says, what the magazine states, what society breeds and though I may not personally like the person I’m helping, I’ll assist them because I know its tough!!

I will lead them to find a way and tell them there are multiple ways to get to your goals.  And there are always going to be hurdles along the way testing your will to make you doubt yourself just to see if it’s what you desire so much. I’ll take them on if they’re serious (and by serious) I don’t mean they have to pay me in order for them to receive valuable and vital information THAT I busted my ass to research, than try on myself as the guinea pig! All I expect from those who ask me now (and in the future as I get better) is for them to take the journey of training and health serious.

For them to be humble and gracious.. for them to be thankful, and intuitive.. for them to realize how important it is to learn self-control, to give way to self-discipline, to rely on yourself through the positive and darkest times, to conquer their fears, to be an individual, to be ahead of the game with their heart and eye on the prize. To understand thoroughly, that the Training Life, working for your Ultimate Physique isn’t only special because you can flaunt your body when the time comes (if one chooses), but it’s special because it’s an extension of identifying yourself, the good and all the ugly..working out the kinks by spiritual means.. It’s all about the fill of potential one offers.. But it’s a Lifestyle, a hand in marriage, a full life long commitment.

A lifestyle of serious business..
Learning to love yourself, while being your own role-model.

Pennington