Musing Moment 109: What I Am

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strong

That is Google’s definition of the word strong.

I fit this definition.

Because I fit this definition the next logical step is to accept the fact that I AM strong.

It IS ok for me to accept this aspect of myself. It is ok to be stronger than others. It is also ok to be weaker than others.

Accepting my strength does not make me better or worse than anyone else. It does not make me unfeminine.  It does not make me arrogant or conceded.

Being strong is simply a part of what makes me, me.

My goal is not to be strong. Being strong is a byproduct of being true to myself and that’s ok.

I am Jennifer Conley, daughter of Susan Conley, and I am spiritually, emotionally, and physically strong.

 


 

fitness

This is Google’s definition of the word fitness.

I fit this definition.

Because I fit this definition the next logical step is to accept the fact that I AM fit.

I get sick less often and I recover faster when I do. I am less tired and sore after physically demanding activities.

I am more fit than I was in my past. I am more fit than some people, less fit than others, but that does not mean I myself, in this moment, am not already fit.

This is another aspect of myself which is ok for me to acknowledge and accept. Recognizing this as a truth about myself does not make me egotistical or narcissistic.

I can let go of the nebulous goal I’ve had for years. I no longer want to “be” healthy. I AM healthy, and it’s ok for me to want to maintain and improve upon my level of fitness. Much like the term strength, wanting to improve something doesn’t mean I am not already that thing. I am fit and being fit is now a byproduct of being true to myself.

I am Jennifer Conley, daughter of Susan Conley, and I am fit. I am healthy; spiritually, emotionally, and physically.

 


 

Time for Some Goals

 


 

I have affirmed for myself that I am strong and fit, so now comes the part where I figure out what I want my foci to be and why I’m still dissatisfied with myself even though I consciously know I have drastically improved.

Firstly, I have determined there are things I do not want.

I do not want to be a certain size. I do not want to be a certain weight. I do not want to be “buff” or “one of the guys”.

I want to be myself and I want to be human.

Cool. Those seem easy enough to fulfill, right? Go me for setting the bar super high. : D

All joking aside, I have determined there are three things, in particular, I would like to focus on.

I want to improve my cardiac endurance, I want to be more agile, and I want to be more flexible.

 


 

Cardiac Endurance

I will complete the Spartan race in December.

This is now my immediate goal.

I want to prove to myself that I’m able to do it, regardless of if I run the whole course or not. I want to show myself that I’ve improved and that I can keep reaching higher and higher. All it takes is time and determination; dedication.

My reward for completing the Spartan course will be new compression gear. New shirts and shorts; my birthday gifts to myself.

I will begin running twice a week to improve my cardiac endurance.

My next goal will be running the Warrior Dash in February. I will run the whole course. My reward for the Warrior Dash will be new Vibrams and flipflops.

In April, April 4th specifically, I will go to my sensei and express my interest in being a fighter. This will give me two months to reflect on my journey and solidify my next courses of action.

This admission to my sensei will begin the next phase of whatever I decide my life to be.

 

Agile

Agility is the speed and strength at which a motion can be performed.

Being agile will help make me a better fighter and give me an edge against bigger, more muscle-bound opponents. I can improve my agility by incorporating plyometrics into my workouts. I can quantifiably measure my agility by tracking how high I can jump, how quickly I am able to complete sets along with how many repetitions I complete during a set.

My current goal for measuring my agility is jumping the red box at the gym. I am already at blue, a step above both gray and green.

My reward for jumping the red box will be new boxing gloves.

 

Flexibility

While being agile is more connected to speed, flexibility is more concerned with the range of motion one can attain during an action.

This is something I feel I have largely neglected since mom’s death. I can feel how my hamstrings and hip flexors are tight, how sometimes it’s hard to keep my knees from bending while I stretch. My range of motion is not what it used to be and I can feel that difference within myself; that limitation.

I will incorporate yoga back into my routines. I will attend a yoga class once a week.

My goal for measuring my flexibility in my hips, hamstrings, back, and shoulders is to hold a complete and properly executed “Standing Bow Pose” for 10 seconds.

At this moment I do not have a reward for this goal.

 


 

So, why so dissatisfied?

 


 

I’m not really unhappy with myself. I don’t look in the mirror and berate myself and say unnice adjectives inside of my head like I’m my own bully. But there is a level of “not quite there yet” within myself that I don’t like.

I don’t have the body I “want” to have and so I haven’t really accepted the improvements I’ve made even though I appreciate them and consciously recognize that they are there.

Like, dude, seriously, I have guns now. And not just nerf guns. Actual bicep definition and yes, it’s as sexy as it sounds.

So what gives? If I like the changes I see then why am I “not ok”?

After researching and looking up the definition to different terms like I was back in middle school or something, I think I’ve figured it out.

I want to be leaner than I currently am. I want to have a different body composition.

The good news?

Becoming leaner is something that is inevitable for me. Like strength and fitness, becoming lean is and will continue to be a byproduct of being true to myself. Nothing needs to be changed or added for me to reach this next “nebulous goal”.

I am leaner than I was six months ago. I am leaner than I was when mom died a year and a half ago. I am leaner than I was four years ago. The dissatisfaction I feel with my body is largely due to the pressers of society and my own mental image of what I “should” look like.

The best thing to do is to not become discouraged that I am not “there” yet. I need to be patient with myself. I need to keep in mind that rest days are important and that there is such a thing as pushing too hard. I need to stay the course and not get frustrated. I want to get “there”, but I want to get “there” in a healthy and safe way. Becoming leaner will come in time. It’s already drastically improved and will continue to do so all on its own.

I’m not sure if becoming leaner counts as a goal. I don’t think it does and I’m ok with that. This isn’t meant to be a goal, more a realization of why I feel dissatisfied with myself. That dissatisfaction is uncalled for on my part. I should remember how far I have come rather than focusing on what society thinks I should be.

I am doing well and this aspect of myself, my body composition, will continue to improve and change as I keep myself focused on my goals and commitments.

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Daily Post 041: Not Much To Report

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As the title says, there’s not much to report today, which is good because it’s already 9 pm.

I slept most of today. Normally I would feel like a slacker for that, but surprisingly I’m ok with it. All my meal prep was done. I did laundry so I have clean clothes for the remainder of the week. Nothing else really “needed” to be done, so instead, I caught up on resting.

I did go to spin class today. The Shefit bras are still living up to my expectations. I could tell my body was tired from kickboxing because I was putting more weight on the handlebars of the bike. I’m glad I stayed for the whole class, and I feel like I did well. I guess this is more of an awareness that I am only a human who does need time to recover.

I met a woman in the locker room who commented on my purple hair. It led to a really awesome conversation and left me feeling connected with the world. Hopefully, we see each other again at some point.

L created a “workout” calendar for me. Too bad I don’t know what my work schedule is so I can’t promise to actually adhere to that particular calendar. I already have an idea of what I want to do anyway, so I’m most likely an annoying client in some regards. I appreciated her taking the time to create something for me. It gives us a starting point that can always be modified as needed.

She’s going out of town for a few weeks which is another reason she wanted me to have the calendar. L created a couple of workouts she wants me to do while she’s away. I think I’m going to swap some of the excersies out for tire flipping and box jumping. Those are fun and things I am comfortable doing on my own.

Tomorrow is an early day. I’m not going to start off at the gym. I’m going to try to sleep more and go straight to work instead. Depending on how I feel afterward I might go to the gym to row, maybe run. Sitting in the sauna would be nice. I do think it will need to be a lighter day, especially if work is intense. Well, really, regardless of what work is like. I’ve done three intense days in a row and I have plans for kayaking Saturday and a body conditioning class with my brother on Sunday. I  need a break or  I won’t be able to survive the weekend.

My blacksmith and I have tentative plans to see each other tomorrow night. I hope it works out. We had to cancel our plans Wednesday night. I guess his work is being annoying.

I still don’t know my schedule for next week. That’s a bit frustrating. With luck they will let me know tomorrow otherwise I won’t know when to come in…

I still need to ask to have Saturday off. I know that will put me short a few hours but I would rather be short and go kayaking with Big Bad before starting my first official week out of training.

Other than that, I figured out the issue with the gym payment. Since Warren and I are on the same account they were billing him for both his membership and my membership. When I checked in before the spin class I added my card to the account so there shouldn’t be further issues. I also spent about an hour talking to a friend / former student. That’s the main reason for being a bit behind tonight, but I had that phone call scheduled for about a week, so really I did it to myself.

Anyway, since that’s all the excitement of today I’m going to finish my tea and shower so I can try to get about 5ish hours of sleep.

Daily Post 040: Yes

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Ok…

So…

I didn’t get up at 2 am and go to the gym like I had planned.

I did, however, work for 12 hours and then do another two hours of kickboxing. Yes. I am a badass. And extremely tired. And I have a spin class tomorrow with my trainer. I’m crying on the inside just a little.

One thing I do have to say is, “Holy shit, Shefit sports bras are amazing!”

Seriously, hands down, THE BEST sports bra I have ever worn.

They’re pretty much the only reason I did any sort of workout today. I ordered the bras a few days ago. So firstly, I have to say awesome turn around time.

I was feeling like a slacker for not going to the gym like I said I would. Integrity was on the line. I had to do something. So I decided to try on one of the bras and go to kickboxing.

Just… seriously, I’m almost speechless with how fantastic they are.

There’s a pretty wide band at the bottom so you don’t have the annoying “roll up” that some bras have, and the band is adjustable so you can customize how tight it is around your chest. The straps are also adjustable and you can change the straps from H-back to X-back. The zipper locks and has a flap of material so you don’t have to worry about the zipper catching on your shirt or digging into your skin. Because the straps are adjustable, you have control over how much “strap down power” the bra has. There are cups built into the bra so you can still have form rather than feeling like your chest is being crushed into your ribs.

It felt like wearing fucking battle armor under my compression gear.

A-maz-ing.

Right Brain: Oh don’t mind me… I’m just here for light cardio… AND CRUSHING MY WORKOUT INTO OBLIVION BEFORE ACHIEVING TOTAL WORLD DOMINATION!

I don’t think I can gush enough over this sports bra. It held up extremely well. It didn’t even feel like I had one on, to be honest. It was so comfortable that I didn’t notice it. My chest stayed still and out of the way without feeling crushed. Now that I think about it, I didn’t get overly warm either, so the material breaths pretty well on top of all of the other awesomeness this bra has.

I can’t wait to test them out at the dojo with jiujitsu. They held up fantastically for kickboxing. Now we need to test them out with grappling.

They’re on the expensive side, but, in my opinion, they are very worth the money and live up to the hype they have. I’m thoroughly pleased with this investment and I know I’ll be buying more in the future.

I actually pushed myself pretty hard at kickboxing today. I stayed for core which I normally skip out on. Afterward, there was a technique class, so I stayed for that, too.

I’m happy with what I did, with my effort. That’s two days “hard” since I had conditioning at the gym yesterday. I forgot to wear my Fitbit to work so I don’t know how many steps I did, but I do know the only time I sat down today was when I was on break.

Warren and I ended up going out to eat when I got home. I got a rice bowl with steak, carrots, zucchini and two eggs. Sooooo good, and worth it. I earned every carb in that bowl. No regrets.

Work is going well. I talked to my supervisor about having Monday nights / Tuesday mornings to be with Big Bad. He seemed pretty sure that it wouldn’t be an issue. He said on Mondays I can be scheduled as one of the openers, or at least one of the first people to come in so I’ll be one of the first ones to leave.

I haven’t meditated very much about becoming certified. To be honest I haven’t meditated in a while about anything. I’ve been focusing on surviving, but I think it’s time to do some tidying up in regards to my spirit and mind.

Since I’m on the topic of working out I guess I can focus on that for now.

Work isn’t going to make getting to the gym or dojo easy. I’m not going to know when my work days end. I’m going to be tired some / most days. I’m not going to want to do much on my days off.

I can’t let any of that stop me.

If I’m serious about keeping the gym and dojo in my life then I have to make time for them and I have to find routines that work for me. Part of that may include learning how to sleep after working out. In regards to the dojo, the classes happen later in the evening. I’m normally amped after a workout.

With how tired I am from the two hours of kickboxing, maybe what I need to do is stay for multiple classes at the dojo so when I get home I’m tired enough to pass out until I need to be up for work.

My gym trainer, we’ll call her L, wants to increase the intensity of our sessions.

L wants me to do at least two days at the gym, two days at the dojo, and then an active recovery day, in addition to working my job.

I think I’m ok with that. I think I want to do three days at the dojo and two at the gym.

I know that’s a lot. It’s where I want to be. If I can’t hack it yet, then I’ll keep working at it until I can. The days I go to the dojo I’m going to do two hours at a minimum to see if that wears me out enough to sleep.

I miss sparring. I miss my dojo family.

L made me realize that I wasn’t really owning my goals or intentions anymore. It feels like she’s given me a call to action.

She wants me to increase what I’m doing.

Do I want to increase what I’m doing?

After spending the past 24 hours thinking about it, yes. I do. I want to feel like I’m doing things with intention rather than just haphazardly hoping things work in my favor. I want to have a plan and to know what I’m doing and for what reasons.

I’m going to the gym to build muscle and work on agility. And to chill in the sauna because those things are amazing. One day I’ll break down and get a swim suit so I can hang out in the jacuzzi. I’m allowed to have slightly skewed priorities…

I’m going to the dojo to find myself. Like all those months ago when I found my answer for “Why I’m doing this”.

I train because mom died. That’s my reason.

I train because it hurts.

I train because it makes me face moments where I want to give up. It makes me confront those feelings of being lost and alone and outmatched. I train because it helps me find myself through all of the pain and anger I still have. I train because at the end of it all I can cry away all of the anguish and scream in my car and be left with a calmness that I haven’t been able to find anywhere else.

I train because it helps me survive my grief.

I don’t want to give that up. I want to keep working on belting up and getting better. I want to prove to myself that I can do it. I want to be a fighter because I can. Because I don’t want to be a victim. Because I want to be strong physically as well as emotionally and spiritually.

Do I want to increase my intensity?

Yes.

I think I lost sight of that for a little while. Maybe that’s understandable with starting a new job and focusing on passing my certification and not getting fired. I do seem to have this addiction to food that my body won’t let me give up…

I’m feeling more secure in regards to my career, so now I can come back to this area.

My physical self. My inner self. My warrior self.

I need this physical aspect in my life. It’s become part of me over these past four years, even more so in this past year since mom died. It’s how I cope. It’s how I show myself that it will be ok.

I think that’s worth investing into. I’m not going to give myself shit for spending money on new workout gear that I needed. I’ve had that voice nagging in the back of my head since bought my shirts, shorts, and bras. No longer. If I’m serious about my intentions to train then I need to have gear that fits properly, and, ideally, that I want to wear.

I might actually get two more sets so I don’t have to constantly do laundry. I’m going to give it a few weeks and see how having three sets works for me.

I’m going to keep moving forward. That’s basically what I feel L said to me. “I want you to keep moving forward. Is that something you want?”

Yes.

Yes. I want to keep moving forward.

So now that that’s decided and confirmed in my head the only thing really left to do is to do it.

 

rest dy

Daily Post 039: At Least I Got This In

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I just got done having a wonderful dinner with Nicole. Breakfast for dinner can never be a bad thing.

We chatted for about two hours which is why I’m late getting to this, which is going to be why I’m late getting to bed, but I’m not backing out of the gym at 2 am. I’m going to go even if it sucks.

Before I go off on a tangent with that…

I passed my certification test on Monday. Woo. Three of my classmates failed but they get another shot at it. We may try to do a study group. It depends on when they get scheduled for the retake.

This is my final week of training. Tomorrow I get to sign up for my days since the new schedule is being created. Here’s hoping I get Tuesdays off like I want.

Big Bad and I had a fantastic evening together last night.

I went out and got something sexy to wear. It’s odd. I’ve never been able to fit into things like what I got yesterday. I was always too big. So when I found an outfit I liked I had mixed feelings about it only being available in a 3x. On one hand, it’s awesome that I fit into XLs now. On the other hand, I really wanted that outfit…

I don’t want to go back to being how I was. I like how I feel stronger and healthier. I’m still not where I want to be, but I liked the way I looked in the mirror. I liked being able to try on different things and actually feeling sexy and attractive. This is still my body, but it’s changed so much in the past months, over the past year. It still has a foreign feel to it sometimes. It’s like I have to learn how to be a smaller, stronger me.

Sexy time started pretty much as soon as the door was closed. I enjoyed it and we’ll leave it detached and objective like that otherwise I’m likely to write six pages about how mindblowing and amazing it was. I would say not getting to spend much time together factored into it, but the sex has always been intense with Big Bad so I’m not sure how much of a factor it really was.

I enjoyed the cuddles afterward. I loved how he pulled me close on his own accord. I loved finally being able to hear his heartbeat again. I loved being surrounded by his warmth and scent and hearing his breathing deepen as he fell asleep. I loved being woken up by his alarm and snuggling into his side of the bed when he got up this morning. Most of all I loved being woken up a few hours later to a breakfast of bagels and coffee where we got to talk about some of the things that have happened in our lives during the past weeks.

It was absolutely amazing and everything I was hoping it would be. I feel so much more connected and grounded. I’m tired at the moment, but it’s not a suffocation feeling I’ve been fighting for weeks.

As we were saying our goodbyes this morning we made tentative plans for kayaking and pizza dinner on Saturday. Even if we don’t do kayaking I’m pretty sure we’ll spend one of the evenings together this weekend.

I spent most of the day enjoying my time off since I didn’t have to go into work. I got all of my meal prep done over the course of the day, but that was about it as far as chores go.

I went to the gym for my training session. I was supposed to have it Monday but opted to sleep more instead since I didn’t want to be exhausted for my test. I didn’t sleep much Sunday night which was lame.

My trainer wants to increase the intensity of my workouts since she feels I can handle it. I guess flipping  175-pound tires isn’t intense enough… She also wants me to keep coming to her spin classes along with doing at least two days at the dojo each week. That’s four days on. She wants me to do the fifth day of lighter, more recovery based, cardio. Yoga is another potential option.

But yeah… five days…

I guess that brings me to what I really want to write about but don’t really have time to at the moment.

I need to reaffirm my dedication to my fitness goals and to the dojo. Work isn’t going to make anything easy. I knew that going in. So now that things are settling down and I’ll have my schedule for the next month and a half, I need to find a routine or pattern for my workouts.

I spent Friday and Sunday buying new gear since all of my stuff was too big. It wasn’t something I wanted to do. I’m supposed to be saving money and getting my credit card paid off before October. However, when you start chaffing on your breasts because your tops don’t fit properly anymore it’s sort of hard to justify not spending the money.

Don’t spend the money and cause myself literal bodily harm, or spend the money and keep doing the things that bring my fulfillment…

I have new compression shorts and shirts. I’m waiting for sports bras to come in. They should be here tomorrow. I’m trying the SheFit bras since they seem to have pretty awesome reviews and will adjust with me as my size continues to change.

I also want to get a pair of fingerless boxing gloves from Venum. Maybe that can be my reward for passing my exam. The new gear was for dropping 10% in body fat. Gloves for kicking ass these past two months of training for work and passing my test.

There’s more to write about. A lot more. There’s more to meditate on, too, but at least I wrote something tonight. I’m happy with getting through as much as I have. Hopefully, I’m able to sleep well enough to get to the gym in the morning.

Daily Post 037: Unknowingly Reaching Goals

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Today has been a good day. I got through most of my to-do list.

I woke up. Always a plus. I actually woke up at 2 am since that’s my “normal” wake up time for work. Since today was my day off though I had no issues rolling back over and sleeping until 7 am. Once I got up I showered then went downstairs for breakfast and coffee.

I started the day by tackling something I’ve been avoiding; calling Verizon. Yes. That wonderful company that actually finally got my phone promotion figured out. I called them today to get Zane’s line closed out. So all of that is done. He’s officially off of my phone plan. I did have to finish paying off his phone, but you know, I don’t care anymore. He’s out of my life. I’m off the apartment lease. I have no ties to him any longer. It’s an accomplishment for my “Year of Stability”. Which I guess I should really iron out what I want to accomplish before next April 4th…

While I was on the phone with Verizon I inquired about my employer discount which I submitted over a month ago. I guess it got denied but that’s because they were looking at the wrong company. The lady I spoke with wrote some notes on my file and sent it up to be reviewed. I’m not sure if anything will come from it, but it was an extremely pleasant experience compared to the three previous times I’ve had to call Verizon. I’m looking forward to seeing the drastic drop in my phone bill next month.

From there I kept the day rolling by cleaning the bathroom. There was purple dye everywhere from Saturday.

Oh. Sunday Big Bad and I went to a concert in Tampa. That was super fun and I’m glad we both agreed to go to it rather than backing out like we had thought about doing earlier in the week.

But yeah… back to today…

I met up with one of my classmates at IHOP for coffee and a study session. It was fantastic being able to talk one on one with her. We never seem to get time to connect during class anymore. Everyone else jumps into our conversations. It’s mildly annoying, but it gave us a reason to meet outside of class so I guess in a way it worked out well. We got to talk about our experience in our own clinics and how we’re feeling overall with our training. It was a good experience and kept the day going well.

After studying I went to the dojo for my training session with MG. It was pretty good. I felt like I gave more than I have in my previous sessions. Maybe that’s not the right way of saying. I felt like I had more to give. I was able to do better because I felt better. I know I’m still sad. I know that there’s still a weight that I’m walking around with inside my chest, but I’m handling it better. I didn’t go to the point of failure and sitting here in front of my computer looking back at my session I know I could have given more, but I’m content with what I did. It was a good sweat and I can feel the mild soreness in my legs and back.

After my last rep of sled work, MG and I talked about competitions. It’s something that I’ve been kicking around in my head. I don’t know if I want to do it or not. I don’t know what it would mean to me if I did. It’s something I would have to meditate on, but talking to MG about it gives me an idea of what it’s like on the female side of things. I don’t know where it will go, but we’ll see I suppose. I think it’s something I would want to try at least once just to see what it’s like.

Once I was done at the dojo I met with a former coworker who I haven’t seen in over a year. I got to talk to her about everything that’s gone on in my life and she got to tell me about hers. The main event being her recent resignation from the school. There was a lot that went into her situation, much like my decision to leave. I’m happy for her. I think this is a positive change and I can tell she’s happier already even though it’s only been two weeks.

I came home after lunch. I showered and started a load of laundry so I can have clean scrubs for work. I actually found out the scrubs I ordered through work came in, so I’ll get my official scrubs tomorrow. There’s a whole story behind that, but it’s not what I want to reflect on at the moment.

I want to reflect on something else.

I found out last Monday that I’m down another 10% in body fat. I started out at 47%. In November I found out I was down in the low 30s. Last Monday, since I was doing my first training session at the new gym, I got all of my measurements done which include body fat percentage.

I’m at 23%.

I’m 3% away from the goal I’ve had in my head for three or four years.

I had no idea I was so close. The scale hasn’t changed since November. I’m still at 240 pounds. I’ve been 240 for a while. I was actually down to 230 and then went back up, which was extremely frustrating because I was still going down in mass. Everything was fitting better but here’s the scale telling me the opposite of what I want.

I know muscle weighs more than fat. I know that I don’t care about the numbers on the scale anymore, but because of that I haven’t had a way to measure or track any of my progress other than the times I’ve gone down in shirt and pant size.

So when I was told, “Oh, by the way, that goal you thought you would never reach… yeah, you’re pretty much there,” I didn’t really know how to handle it.

I know my body has been changing and that it’s continuing to change. I know I sit differently. I walk differently. I feel “different” and yet the same. It’s odd. In some ways, I feel like a foreigner inside of myself. This body is new, I don’t know how to interact with it. I find I sometimes look at myself as if I’m a stranger.

I’m still introverted. I’m still the socially awkward me. I’m still the person who would rather not be the center of attention. Yet, I can flip a 175-pound tire all the way down the track and back like it’s nothing. It’s fun. I felt like a fucking badass doing it because I am a fucking badass now. I’m looking forward to running my Spartan Sprint in December and my Warrior Dash in February.

I’m looking forward to proving to myself that I can do those things.

I don’t really know what else to say in regards to this knowledge, this fact. I’ve worked hard over the years. I’ve fallen off track and gotten back on. I didn’t really focus on my goal. I didn’t try to reach it. There were plenty of times where I was directionless and purposeless, especially during this past year with mom’s death. There were countless times where I didn’t care about anything. I didn’t have goals and I felt like telling the world to go fuck itself because nothing mattered in the face of my grief.

And yet in the past six to seven months, I’ve taken out another 10%. It makes me wonder what would have happened if I had seriously tried. If I hadn’t been sick for what amounted to a month. If I hadn’t traveled as much. If I had stayed and trained the way I had originally thought I would.

It makes me wonder where I’ll end up now that I’m focusing more on muscle building rather than just sparring for the fun of it. Now that I have plans and people guiding me and keeping things structured.

I think I want to aim for 12%.

I think next year I would actually like to compete in jiujitsu and Muay Thai. Just because I can. Just like with my races, to prove to myself that I can do it.

If I can drop 35% then I can do anything. Another 11%. That’s it. I’m already over halfway there.

It’s a weird feeling. It’s inspiring. It’s surprising. It’s an open feeling which leaves me feeling vulnerable. I’m not going to let that stop me, though. I’m going to keep going to the dojo and doing my training. I’m going to keep going kayaking and biking and doing yoga. I’m going to keep doing the things that make me feel good because that’s what’s led to this change.

I’m going to try not to think about my goal or to obsess over reaching it. I’m going to keep my head down and keep working. I’ll get to the end once I get there.

I’m going to wait three months. Even if my measurements are taken before then, I don’t want to know them. I want to wait until the beginning of November to compare to my measurements now.

I don’t think I’ll be a blue belt in jiujitsu by November. I think I’m ok with that even though that was a goal I had. I’m content with still being part of the dojo. I don’t mind being a white belt still. I’m focusing on doing well at my job and not slacking on my health goals. I can focus on belting up after I’m through my work training and have a few months of experience working on my own.

One goal at a time. My main goal right now; get through training.

I’ll reevaluate my goals in three weeks since that’s all I have left. >.<

I think I’m doing pretty alright. I think by the end of three weeks I’ll be ok and less terrified of the thought of being out of training.

Daily Post 034: Promise Kept

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I cried today.

It was another day that I completed everything on my to-do list.

I’ve pushed really hard the past two days. I don’t know if I’m proud of that or not. I know normally I would be. I still hurt and so it’s hard to feel past, see past, the pain.

Work started off well. I’m getting faster at setting up the machines. A lot of the machines were failing their alarm tests this morning. Two of the machines in my section had to be taken off the floor because we couldn’t get them working properly. It made everything so much more chaotic and slightly overwhelming. Add to that the fact that today I cannulated two patients (stabbed them with needles so their dialysis treatment could be initiated).

Hopefully, my jokes about stabbing people with needles aren’t offensive. I don’t mean for them to be.

But yeah, two machines are gone, and I’m having to perform an invasive procedure on people who know I’m new, oh, and by the way, my clinic trainer AND my company trainer are both there watching me to make sure if I fuck up it will be wonderfully recorded.

It was a lot today. I held it together. I did really well. And after it was over and I had clocked out and I was driving home I completely broke down because I couldn’t call mom and tell her about my day.

I couldn’t talk about how it was overwhelming and I survived. I couldn’t tell her how I was able to cannulate Chef on my first try even though my trainer still has issues with his access sometimes. I couldn’t get a hug. I couldn’t go home. I couldn’t have any of the reassurance that I’ve been used to for 27 years of my life.

I talked to her again. I told her I was sorry for not listening to her couponing stories as often as I should have and how I miss them. Even now I’m crying.

Instead of going home and giving in to the sadness I kept taking care of the chores I wanted to do. I was mostly on auto-pilot. Detached from the world around me, floating in it but not really interacting or experiencing it. I was ok with that.

I found out about my contact with the boxing gym. Because I put a hold on my account for the first three months I was going to the dojo my contract has been extended until October. Lame. I was hoping to end that in July since I’m not going there much. I could have used that money to go towards my training with MG.

I did talk to her about finances, though. Since I’m not doing classes at the dojo due to my work schedule we’re going to use my membership payment to go towards the personal training sessions. So it all works out nicely.

Verizon finally figured out my phone discount. Tomorrow I’m going to call and finally cancel Zane’s line. That will save me about $50 a month on my phone bill.

Mom’s pension finally closed out. I sent Jason the money I owed him from that. One obligation taken care of. Three more to go at least as far as payback goes.

I went to the dojo and did yoga today. I saw another one of my dojo buddies while I was there.

Both him and James commented on how I’ve lost weight. I know I have. I can still see new lines and contours in my form. I’ve stopped thinking about it. Maybe it’s apathy due to my grief. The fact that I’m losing weight doesn’t do anything to my emotional state. It’s a neutral fact. It is. It exists. I don’t know what else to write about it.

I know the two tattoos I’m going to be getting. I need Photoshop to make the files. Well.. want. Not need, but still. It would be easier than doing it by hand.

I don’t know what else to write. I’m tired. I slept deeply last night though I didn’t sleep long enough. I think I’m going to have the same issue tonight. It’s already almost 10 pm and I wake up at 3 am.

I feel like this is another moment in my life where I’m transforming, changing, morphing into the person I’m supposed to become. I don’t know why I feel like that. I don’t know why it feels like I’m supposed to feel this pain.

I guess it’s because this is me moving forward. I know this is something I need to do. It hurts. It sucks. I don’t want to do it. Each step forward feels like I’m moving further away from that moment in time. That moment where I was a younger more naive version of myself, protected by the safety of mom when she was still alive. A different me. I don’t want to use the term weaker because I was strong even then. Less battle hardened maybe. Less tried.

I wish I could hug my younger self. I wish my now self could have a hug, too. I wish when I cried I wasn’t alone and yet, even as I type that I know I would try to pull myself together if someone were around me.

I wish I wasn’t so complicated.

Daily Post 021: Employed

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I need to write.

Too much has happened not to. I started to write yesterday but I ended up deleting it. It’s the first time I can remember since I’ve started writing that I deleted something I wrote. I don’t like that I did. At the same time, I knew I wasn’t ready to write.

Yesterday was hard. Today was / is hard, too.

I woke up asking myself what’s the point of going to class? What’s the point of doing anything? Even when I was sitting in the Publix parking lot, knowing that I needed to eat since I had just given two hours to the dojo, my only thought was, “Why eat? What’s the point?”

I still hurt. I still don’t have anything that makes the pain easier to bear or less intense. The only thing I know to do is to live through the moment, survive through it. I have a detached level of pride that even with how I felt today that I got up and did the two things I knew I needed to do. Go to class and go to the dojo. I even ate and showered.

I fucking crushed today.

Dude. I even went out and bought more flash cards so I could keep studying for my class. That meant I dealt with people on top of everything else.

Damn straight I’m a MFing bawce.

And my answer for, “What’s the point?” still comes back to mom. Because she died. Because I promised her I would be strong and keep going.

That’s the point. I said I would do it, so I have to. That’s why I made that promise. Because I needed there to be a reason, a point. I gave my word. I have to do it.

In other news, I got a job.

I was super excited about it, and I know I will be again. While I’m in the middle of this wave of grief it’s hard to be anything other than apathetic about anything, so this is mostly going to be an analytical post about the position.

I shadowed Friday morning. That was a bit of a cluster fuck at first. I was told I would shadow someone specific and to be there at 5 am. So I got there at 5 am and was told the person I was supposed to shadow didn’t start work until 8 am.

Yeah…

I ended up shadowing someone else. She was super nice and answered all of my questions and explained a lot of the onboarding process and different things about her clinic specifically.

I had the face to face interview at 2 pm. I felt it went well, but with how I keep having “good” interviews that go nowhere I wasn’t really holding my breath.

I was told I would know by Wednesday if they were going to hire me.

So Monday afternoon I got a call with the job offer.

I start training April 21st. I’m going to be a Patient Care Technician for DaVita. I’m going to do eight weeks of paid training to become a certified clinical hemodialysis technician.

After shadowing, I do feel working at the DaVita clinics is something that I would find fulfillment with. I don’t want to say enjoy, because the reason I’m there is because people are sick, and I don’t think that is something that should be enjoyed. But I do want to help people, and this position allows me to do that. There are all sorts of benefits and opportunities for growth. The company seems to actively invest in its employees.

And there’s the potential to work as many hours as I want once my supervisor is confident in my abilities. So even though the pay is less than what I wanted, though more than I was expecting, pulling in overtime should still allow me to make serious progress on my financial goals once I begin working.

Oh. And I can keep my purple hair. I don’t even have to cover it up.

I am happy, and grateful, that the company is willing to give me this opportunity.

I’ll be able to finish my phlebotomy class before my training begins. I also got an email saying my fingerprints cleared so now I’m waiting for my official test date to become a CNA. I really need to go back and practice all of my procedures so I can pass the clinical.

I guess that’s the biggest thing to talk about. I  have a job. I’ll be able to provide for myself again. I know that’s really big. I know it’s the last hurdle I gave myself for my year of survival. I know that I really am happy and proud of myself for this accomplishment even if I can’t feel those warm feelings right now.

What I do feel is tired.

I feel tired because I stayed for two classes at the dojo. I’m tired because today was a heavy day. I’m tired because I woke up tired.

Things are still as they were. I’m still here. Breathing. Surviving. Life is still progressing forward. I wish that left me with some sort of feeling like I knew what to do, but I don’t. I hurt and all I can do is experience it until I don’t know what. It doesn’t go away. I don’t know what happens. I don’t know how I go back to “normal”, but something happens and the pain isn’t as overwhelming and I’m able to focus on other things.

Right now I can’t. Right now every breath is a reminder that mom is dead. Every breath is an ache in my chest where my chakra is still trying to relearn how to function.

There’s a lot of positive in my life. I can see it. I can acknowledge it. I am not at a point where I can feel it, though. I can’t fully experience it. Not yet at least. I think I’m ok with that. Employment is still off in the future. A month away. Right now mom’s death comes first. I think I need to experience this ache in its entirety first. I don’t want to disrespect this time.

I feel like I need some sort of ritual, some action. I wish there was somewhere I could go. Maybe that’s something I can meditate on.