Tag Archives: mental

Accommodating Self (Part 2)


BB fitness
The best decision I made was breaking up with the gym.

I did a ton of reflecting.  In general I have no problem working out at home, but I just never knew I’d feel more comfortable working out at home around the clock as much as I do.  Training at home has allowed me to take the pressure off mentally as I can’t compare myself against who I used to be.. way back when.  Aside from less self-demands I can’t ego lift at home like I can ego-lift at the gym.  It does suck I can’t feed off people’s energy in the gym, but the focus is deep having to feed off my own energy.  It’s been about 4 months since I’ve been strength-training at home and I must say it’s been beneficial for me mentally, emotionally, physically, financially and spiritually.

Here are a few reasons why I enjoy training at home nowadays aside from the little I just mentioned:  I can be myself.   I don’t have to smile, be polite, and pretend I’m in a good mood or have small conversation when I don’t want to.  I can workout whenever I want without time restraints or gym holidays getting in the way.  I can focus 110% on my form, on my breathing and zero in on the way I feel mentally or emotionally.   I have to push myself differently and get extra creative making home workout programs so they are super effective and exhausting because that’s what I enjoy.

Also I don’t have to feel uncomfortable or awkward trying to hide my extra fat in huge hoodies and sweat pants.  I can rock a spaghetti-strap tank top and spandex and I wouldn’t secretly judge myself in front of others and make the awkwardness awkward and obvious to those who may or may not judge me at the gym.  (Judgement-free zone only happens at home and not at Planet Fitness.)  I don’t have an aversion at home, but I do have one outside – where I secretly believe people can tell if I previously hurt my ankle or not.  (Yes, it’s mental.)  Also I don’t have to spend over $112.00 on Metro Card money to travel to the gym and back home.

Then there’s the other obvious like I don’t have to wait for machines during peak time.   I compete with myself, build my confidence and track record rather than pressure myself to compete with the person I used to be in the gym while being at the gym.   On a really good note, with at-home workouts, I can do laundry at the same time I train.  And as an introvert – I do enjoy my time alone.

New inspiration?  Now over the past month and a half I’ve been newly inspired by Ballet Beautiful.  I owe it to BB for re-motivating me again.  I can do any of their workouts at home and spread it out among the day (on top of my weight training) for minutes at a time multiple times a day and night.  The exercises, technique and workouts themselves are extremely challenging and work very well!  Ballet Beautiful approach comes off more about quality than quantity and the workouts itself are about strength, power, flexibility, balance, technique and grace in a totally different way.

BBStrengthI absolutely swear by Ballet Beautiful and I haven’t been doing it very long at all.  In the past I’ve written about how I enjoy the extremes of both bodybuilding and ballet as I find them both to be very similar in terms of disciplinary action, strength, beauty, aestheticism, athleticism and art.  I love them both.  And I feel like I want to embrace them both and see where they lead me to.  For the good month of August I fell in love with Ballet Beautiful for countless reasons aside from what I perceive ballet to be – graceful.  One reason why I love Ballet Beautiful is because of the minimalist style.  Two is because the exercises and stretches involved are complex, detailed and difficult.  Third reason is BB has increased my motivation by 100%!

All this time, I was searching for something.  Strangely – and out the blue – I fell in some kind of dear love for Ballet that started around 2009.  But, I didn’t know something totally different from weightlifting would give me the “wow” factor and innovative inspiration I needed.  In ballet, there’s a quiet and classical tone set, as well as an elegant breathtaking history, same as Bodybuilding for me.  There’s art, power, focus and balance in every single ballet movement which I find irresistible.

Of course, a few times a week I will continue to devote time and effort to strength-training, but it was Ballet Beautiful that took me to another place mentally, emotionally and physically.  It’s because I can start fresh and it’s because I’m not bound to the past decade and associations of weightlifting.  Recently I started to realize how my training has been changing in ways I’m not fully understanding yet.  It seems weightlifting doesn’t have the same flavor for me – maybe because I associate the past decade with weightlifting?

I’m a new person now.
And I want my training to reflect this as well.

BBQuickTip-ReEnvision-final-revHere’s what I know now:  I have a new vision for my body.  I don’t want my old body back because I don’t go backwards.  I want a more symmetrical and streamlined look.  I want to be more refined.  I want to be less soft.  I want to be less bulky.  I want less of the comfort I’ve had with my body in the past.  I want new strengths.  I want new exercises.  I want new challenges.  I want new posture.  I want new everything!

I will continue to focus on smaller muscles because all the bigger muscles on my body are well-developed.  I will continue to work on the tiny details in every single muscle.  I will continue to use my first love – dumbbells and barbells no more than twice a week and no less than one.  Weightlifting will always have a home in my heart, but what I want now and what motivates me now is vastly different.  I’m going to enjoy shifting.

And who knows what it might bring?

P.S.

One of my current goals is to go to the gym twice a week for extra cardio purposes.  I have an initial 30lbs to lose.  I’ve already dropped 7lbs in 2 weeks.  It’s game on.

-Pennington

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A Dark Nyte Episode



How does the night begin without a day?  How am I triggered by a sudden charge of energy hysteria that lashes outwards to emotional outbursts?  How do I allow myself to relax and let go of the tension headache that disguises itself from holding back the cries?

So there was a story earlier of someone who worked with someone who knew this person.  But it didn’t start there and nor does it end here.  There was a mother who bore two sons.  One came out normal and the other had (what doctors or society identifies as) mental problems.  The kid with the mental issues would have trigger attacks and he would break things inside the house claiming he saw evil spirits.  Eventually the mother decided to put him in a mental institution when he was 17.  He stood there until he was 21.

The doctors told his mother that he’s been progressing and he’s now stabilized.  She spoke to her ordinary son about taking him out the institution.  He didn’t welcome the idea and said they should wait a while longer.  Her mental son came out and it was only a week and things seemed to be better.  Than something triggered him and he saw his mother as an evil spirit and bludgeon her to death with a stick.  The other son came home to find his mother dead and his brother watching television as if nothing happen because he went back to his normal.

And than I rambled on to someone tonight and it went like this without edit, without grammar, without thought, just here in its full written evidence:

And stories like that make me wonder, stories that repeat itself, nothing is new under the sun, everything repeating, everything seems like an eternity..

And its all decisions, and all choices and what for?
Is there more?

Even if we make all the right choices, during the time they may have seemed right, but later with consequence you find out they weren’t.

And this bothers me.  So much bothers me.
Living bothers me.  Thinking bothers me.

It’s what I think about that bothers me, not so much the external.  But the internal, like these thoughts.

And that dream I had a week or two ago, about life repeating and it’s all about eternity. And how much I panicked and hated it even when I woke up.

-Pennington

Cardio: Intervals


(Written Yesterday)

It always amazes me when my muscles hit a new level and are quicker to contract altogether and engage thoroughly.  This is the best!  I look forward to this each and every day.  Yesterday early day I woke up blessed and hyped:  Looking to set on a cardio adventure, looking to unleash such an abundance of Ms.Hall’s energy, looking to spread Fitness seeds!  I got to work (gym).. and before commencing my receptionist duties I HIT IT!

Before ever stepping into the acres of gym world, I’m a big believer in mentally preparing oneself to get your mind and attitude right.  I slipped into the right type of workout attire:  A used and beat up Superman Logo on my chest, sleeves cut for tank appearance.  Knee length faded black shorts that are a mix between tight and relax comfort.  (Truthfully, they’ve gotten pretty baggy on me.)  But this makes me love them more!

The next mental preparation candy is no other than rock music on my way on the train with the roaring afternoon crowd in New York City:  Audioslave, Pearl Jam, REM.  These get me on a roll with drums, guitars, lyrics and riffs that give me kicks!

All this mental shit going on you may think I have my cardio regimen for the day, right?  Nah.  I didn’t have no plans on how long cardio would be.  If I were going to perform slow and steady state cardio or intervals.  If I wanted treadmill, stationary bike or elliptical.  I played it by ear.  I had a good and mighty breakfast.  So I was looking forward to burning through the carbs, fruit sugars and veggie sausage.

Being indecisive of which cardio equipment I wanted to use, looking where the pack of cardio hamsters were at first, I decided to lightly jog on a corner treadmill to gain a nice rhythm.  After 10 minutes of my warm up, I turned it up to a moderate pace, jogging for 5 minutes, building up extra momentum, increasing core temperature.  By this time, knowing I can trip and fall, I didn’t hesitate to fumble and play all my Pearl Jam songs.  This band always makes me have a good rush til the end.  Hits my spot and works like a charm!  Hasn’t failed me yet.  So if something’s not broke, don’t fix it. 

After those 5 minutes, I slowed down and power-walked for another 5 minutes.  Then moderate jog for 1 whole minute, then switched to 30 second sprints.  And lord, I felt completely powerful.  There were no signs or recollections of hamster humans on the vast cardio equipment surrounding me.  There was nothing, but my treadmill action, my powerful legs, my abdominals clenching with every footing, my glutes making a slight jiggle, yet being prissy bitches.  I was aligned as usual.  I repeated the 1 minute and 30 second freaklicious bonanza for 5 more delicious interval times only because I haven’t jogged in a hot while and my shins were getting splits.

Then I climbed aboard on the stationary bike and did 8 more intervals, going all out and peddling as quick as I could for the same 30 seconds and rest of 1 minute.  By the last interval my legs were on fire and I gave myself a break and didn’t crank the resistance level all the way up!  After this my legs were fucked up, burnt, beyond fatigued, screaming for mercy though I stopped and caught a 2 minutes light cool down on the bike.  Then I bulldozed to the Personal Trainer’s Lair and sported some mean stretching.

AVG HR 160-184 MAX
Duration: 50 Minutes
Cal: 601

P.S.
Today will be a full rest day before I hit up Legs, Dive Bombers and more cardio for the upcoming week. Summer seems like a long time from now.  But trust me its just around the corner and this is all I’m thinking about.

Pennington