Tag Archives: Injuries

Everything


Now that I have my dumbbells and E-Z Bar put off to the corner of the apartment, I’ve been focusing on other things like cardio (biking), twerking, walking with nature, flexibility and mobility work.  My physical therapist has even whispered restorative yoga and has recommended some DVD’s specifically for pelvic floor dysfunction that involves yoga.  So, you know where that’s taking me.

Now I’m not the biggest fan of cardio, but I’m a fan of being healthy enough.  To make biking for miles fun at the apartment, I blast tunes on my S1-Pro Bose!  The music gives me goosebumps and sometimes I can feel the bass deep in my heart as I drown out everyone else’s music in the building.  Sometimes I like multiple sessions spreading them from morning, afternoon or night.  And when I’m in a carefree mood, I’ll ride the bike without undies because that’s something I could never do at the gym!

Some people underestimate the work it takes to twerk.  It’s a hell of a workout!  Plus, it’s something that gets my heart racing quicker than I can shake my ass, probably.  I’m not supposed to squat, lunge or do crunches, according to my physical therapist, but what she doesn’t know won’t hurt her, even though it may hurt me.  The main move of the twerk is a squat!  Still though, there are so many damn drills from standing, to bending over, to squatting on your toes, to performing movements on the wall or floor.  It’s great!

I remember when I first started twerking my body didn’t have the best muscle memory.  It felt like the first time I tried to dumbbell chest press; massively awkward and almost impossible.  I remember being self-conscious trying to chest press, more so than twerking.  Now, my ass has graduated!  It has a mind of its own and moves on its own freewill.  The only thing I need is a nickname for my twerking persona.

So, it took me a long time to be more flexible, but I got somewhere.  I stretched more of my lower body than I do my upper body because one day I want to be able to do the split.  Flexibility always reminds me of mobility work, so I do them both.  I used to think warmups, flexibility and mobility stuff were a waste of time, but that’s only because 1.  I can be kind of idiotic and 2.  because I was young and could get away without doing those things, so I thought.  I’m older now and my body is not having that shit anymore.  I must warm up and get all my juices flowing before I can dive into any kind of training just like foreplay before the climax.

Well, I’m new to restorative yoga.  I hope to practice it to the point where I turn into an airplane and levitate above the masses and hope to write about the journey of my new elevation.  So far, it’s weird to me.  At least, the process of being gentle as well as the process of consciously relaxing.  It’s eye-opening.  For the longest time, I lifted aggressively at the gym.  And to my amazement, I’ve never considered myself to be aggressive, even when others pointed and RAWR at me.  But by doing restorative yoga, I can see now how hostile, and often, how destructive I was.  Shit!  I have the injuries as proof.

Learning how to relax is something I needed in my life but didn’t know I needed in my life.  Isn’t that how it often is?  You never know what you need because you’re usually fixated on wanting something else that it overshadows what you actually NEED!  Anyhow, it’s taken me a long time to come around and relax for my overall well-being.  To be honest, the idea of being gentle to myself is/was pretty darn foreign, but I’m less guarded to being tender now with newfound appreciation.  This sums up everything!

Here’s an article to the introduction of restorative yoga if you’re curious.

Try it sometime.

Pennington

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Shifting the Brainwashing


o shifting the brainwashing
I am absolutely elated!  I’m joyful and in high spirits training speaking (and yes I’m talking about Ballet Beautiful).  I never thought anything other than weightlifting could bring me to a place where I’m both happy and full of plenty endorphins.  For thirteen years I’ve devoted lots of time, effort, tears, injuries, strains, tears and more into the lifestyle of weightlifting.  This has been a part of me like my genetic makeup.  The iron has forever been my best friend when I didn’t have any best friends.

The truth is over the last year or two – I associate a lot of negativity with weightlifting.  There were endless moments where my weightlifting sessions were more about doing my best to fill in my countless voids rather than for the purpose of how I looked or other health related reasons.  I was destroying my body to the ground with force and brainwashing myself with negative words and connotations.

Day in and day out I would break my body.  I used to work hard for hours in the gym doing 60-90 minute cardio sessions and a separate 60-90 minute weightlifting session a day up to 5-6 times a day for many hours.  I bet I could light up Times Square with all the energy I gave to the gym daily.  Sometimes I would split the sessions up and other times I would do it back to back with a protein bar or a shake in the center of the sessions.

The twenty-four hour gym was my haven – it was my alcohol and bar.  I gym hopped from one gym to another especially when the manic nights wouldn’t let me sleep.


This leads me into another subject where I built more brainwashing for my training life mind.  I tell you now that everything is a lesson in disguise if you have the ability to recognize it and flex your self awareness often.  The fitness industry can be a motivating place for some and a disheartening place for others.  The one thing I know however is the fitness industry has a powerful impact on everyone in the world.  I wish I could say I’m immune to it, but I’m not.  Sometimes I get caught up in the strange world.

I like to pride myself on rarely looking up to anyone in the fitness and bodybuilding industry because no one is like me and I’m not like anyone else.  I don’t look up to the pros in the fitness industry because I don’t agree with most of the things they say.  Everything is airbrushed, enhanced and they’re in competition mode selling us lies that come in imagery, supplements and pill bottles.

The thing that gets me the most about these fitness pros is their brainwashing – it is pretty much the same talk and mentality.  They’re like clones of one another with their mantras:  “No pain, no gain” and “Train insane or remain the same.”  Should you train with pain?  It depends on the kind of pain.  Should you train through your pain?  No.  Will these pros tell you that?  No.  But they’ll tell you whatever you want to hear to make you buy the products they themselves are forced to sell.

To my knowledge (and I don’t know of every person in the fitness industry), almost every single coach, IFBB/National Pro and even fitness gurus talk about extreme dieting and extreme training.  One day I viewed a video someone on Twitter linked and was shocked when I saw a powerlifter expressing his extreme viewpoint on why you should work through elbow pain, and if you don’t, then you really don’t want your personal records and so forth.

This is hogwash!

Just because you refuse to bury your body into the ground and you want to live and die for your weightlifting/Powerlifting numbers – doesn’t mean YOU should.  Just because you have a tear in your shoulder/knee and need to beat out your competition as a way to prove to yourself and the whole world YOU can do it – doesn’t mean YOU should DO it.  You should take a step back and really analyze the world and what they’re telling you and what dream they’re selling YOU.

The thing is you need to look at facts aside from asking:  Why are you putting your body through hell?  What are your reasons?  Are they good reasons?  Or are you doing it for your business, for your team or for your country?  Is there something in your life that you’re running away from?  Or is there a void you’re trying to cover?  Or do you simply live for the passion and want to break your body in return for this passion you’re feeling?

To be continued..

-Pennington