Tag Archives: endorphins

Animal Flow


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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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Different Now


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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

DOMS & Addiction Stirrings



Emotional pain is an addiction.

When I think of this fact,  my mind goes into a line I read somewhere, “When a person is continuously stress by emotional pain, there are subtle changes in the body that creates a dependency on stress-related chemistry.”

Is the key word in this line: Dependency or Chemistry?
Or did you find another?

This reminds me of other crying out forms of fixations like depression, food, sex, porn, drugs, alcohol, exercise, justification of the Self and giving way to Ego.  Everything’s an addiction if you wish it to be.  And in my life I’ve went through different types of addictions.  But physical affliction in some form has always been treasured in my beating heart.  Where my mind would crave a razor to skin, my fist to fracture a wall or pills to induce an attention whore suicide:  LOOK AT ME!  I know what it’s like to want to rob your life away because cleaning up your existence in a blink of a rep feels like sweet freedom is right on the other side.

Oh, wait, you  never thought like this? 😉
Well then.  Excuse me.

DOMS feels like a dangerous phenomenon to me.  One I absolutely am obsessed to play with in the pits of violent fire.  I’m completely in love with the euphoria from an endorphins rush.  I’m addicted to the pain I can cause within my muscle bellies and dare I say it?  Sadly my joints.  It’s beyond the rising blood of a bold pump or the voluminous cells and formidable twitching of slow or haste fibers.  I take great pride in the immense pleasure or brutal tenderness of muscle soreness.  At this point in the game, I work like a crazy horse to build a forceful, grinding teeth, overloading rich sore stimulus.  I’m thirsty to hurt!

I’ve yet to grasp the full scope of excitement and arousal levels.  Or even why I hide my smile behind a hood or distract myself by biting down on my bottom lip (something new) in public as if I’m keeping a harassing secret?  All I know is I want no end and I always pine for the beginning, for the straightforward permanence of destruction.  To me, it’s dark, crazy beautiful and downright disgusting!  With a bundle of these emotions and forces I’m drawn deeply in an entanglement of glory, devotion of pain, sufferer of pleasure.

Now, if you’re thinking what I’m thinking on:  BDSM?   To best honest, I’ve never dabbled in nothing more but the occasional whipping, candle wax drippings, tying hands/feet with rope, which was typically seen coming (this doesn’t count, right?).   But nothing where I’m submitting to a partner as a master while I howl at the moon because nipple clamps are about to make me bleed and beatings leave me paralyzed in humiliation.

Mostly because I don’t necessarily enjoy the thought of men abusing me with domination.  I like the Illusion of Control just as much as the next person.  However now I’m wondering if perhaps I must enter an unfamiliar territory in order to understand the different doors within that may be locked?  Maybe this will lead to clues as to where this premeditated arousal affliction to muscle soreness comes from despite the emotional pain on the surface?

Perhaps I’m performing small acts of Light Bondage, Slight Discipline and Sadomasochism without truly giving it conscious thought?  I do enjoy a hard tightening of the grip around my wrists to the point of turning the skin around white as circulation begins to trip itself out and cut blood.  Or the insistence pressure of weight pinning my body down on a cushion of sorts or against a wall.  Or even when my legs, hips or shoulders are being used for thrusting/leverage purposes.  Still my definitive preference is the act of sensual love making.  Pardon me.  *nervous laughter*  I digress.

There are things I’ve yet to discover about myself.  But the growing need for poking, prodding, stretching, tensing, flexing, lengthening, contracting, massaging and drilling my sore muscles as I become invincibly aroused is obsessive compulsive for longer than what I could remember.  Only difference is now I embraced the pain and addiction a good deal.

To end this, there are some folks who believe I train for muscle endurance and  this couldn’t be further from the truth.  Things seem one way always when they really are screaming another.  I train with moderate weights and high reps or collectively with exercise combinations to build extreme muscle soreness.  With sustaining injuries and injuries forever waiting to happen I could only go so heavy all the time.

And this is where I stop. 🙂

-Penn