From the beginning of my fitness journey, I strove to document the process of getting stronger and gunning for the best curves of my life. I needed a way to to talk about what I doing and the highs and lows of the process each week. This blog was a natural answer to my need to write about my physical life but it also was the perfect medium to display all the revealing imagery that was produced from filming my workouts.
I am now in my ninth month in my effort to train six days a week and am writing at this moment my fifty-first article to describe it. If you have been following me for awhile, you will know that 8 weeks ago I was injured while training and have spent the last two months working out while also doing physical therapy. This traumatic event and recovery process has all been an important part of my journey. The setback was huge, but I importantly learned about my body’s ability to heal itself overtime.
This week I am also celebrating that as a result of that therapy and my body’s healing process, I can move all of my toes again! This is a muscular victory and I have to work at it daily. I still cannot feel those toes on the ground and so there is still a neurological hurdle to face which may take more time. But I am enjoying a kind of faith that phase by phase, I will repair myself and regain all of my former movements and capabilities.
If I make a progress check in the mirror for how things are going visually, it can be somewhat challenging to be patient. There is so much that I want to accomplish, realistically it is going to take me years to get to where I want to be in terms of my physical strength and the strong but feminine female figure that I have in mind for myself.
But I now have a faith in that process, too. Not only can I look back at my earlier articles and see how far I have come, I recently had the benefit of asking an expert, someone who knows me well, if they could see a difference. Continue reading “Celebrating 50 articles, my 9th month at the gym AND that I can move my toes again!”
Have you ever lost touch with a really good friend that you once spent numerous hours talking, laughing and exploring life and dreams together? A person that you knew so well that you could predict what they would say or do and it would make you smile even before they did it?
What if that person was you? Continue reading “Slippery Slopes”
It’s been another week of being stretched and prodded at physical therapy and then gingerly navigating my way through Junior’s Gym alone. Recovering from an injury has created a whole new routine in my life of calculating what I am able to do now that I have been physically forced to put my ego aside. Routines can be efficient and effective but this new one feels full of restraint and limitations. Continue reading “between darkness and light”
It’s been ten days since I injured myself gravely and I have been scanning my body daily for signs of improvement. I can see definitive advancement from the first eventful day when I implored Bertina that it was okay to leave me lying on my back on the garage floor and go home. I am not sure how long I ended up staying there, but I do remembering not knowing how I was going to get up. This was a dark day of pain and unknowing. Continue reading “The pleasure of living through the pain.”
I am staring up into the brightness of a single, exposed light bulb that hangs from the ceiling amongst beads of sunshine piercing through holes in the zinc roof like stars in a night sky. What does Miguel do when it rains?, I wonder. Continue reading “Oh, Miguel! What am I going to do? “Reposo, reposo, reposo … y ANIMO!””
Bertina kept the challenges flowing this week with lots of surprises in our fitness itinerary. While wall sits are nothing new, I wasn’t expecting a 35 lbs barbell on my lap to accompany this week’s sit at Junior’s Gym.
The thrill of the moment was when I realized that I could push past the minute and a half that she asked me to complete because I was loving the challenge and felt that I was in a strong position to keep it going. There is something about those weights that sparks a happy chemical reaction, upping the excitement level and my desire to draw out the task for more time. Continue reading “Dear Journal, sometimes I feel like there is this extra weight pressing down on me…”
Happiness matters to me. My health matters to me. I want to feel energized and strong. It’s not youth that I want. It’s more mature than that. My youthful emotions were mercurial. My adult emotions are goals and choices. I choose to feel amazing.
It’s what I want for myself, it’s what in the end, only I can give myself.
My fitness journey began with a physical goal of achieving strength and the figure that I felt better represented who I wanted to be. When I thought about all that I wanted out of my new body and what I supposed it would bring to my life, I didn’t factor in the emotional joy. Continue reading “The happiest days are these.”
It’s Tuesday morning and I am back at Junior’s Gym in beautiful Granada, Nicaragua for a surprise arm workout with Bertina. She’s organized a jam-packed exercise agenda this morning that takes us to each corner of the gym and even out onto the sidewalk. Continue reading “Gotta make it hurt so good! Tuesday’s arm workout in pictures…”
By now you might have noticed that I spend about half of the first hour of any given morning on my hands wrestling with the pure gravity of my own body weight (that is if Bertina hasn’t devised to add on an accessorizing barbell or two).
Sometimes those exercises can be pretty straightforward, but most of the time Bertina will plan something like what is pictured above: perched feet up on a retaining wall for pressure, a leg crunching into my chest, then lifted back up in the air and finally for the coup de grace, a military style push-up (a super Sunday Early Bird Combo Special, not to be confused with a greasy breakfast plate at Denny’s Diner). Continue reading “Serving up the Early Bird Combo Special: my Sunday morning with Bertina!”
Am I going to stay up? Or, give up?
Today, I held a two minute plank in a full-flexed, push-up position. I didn’t hold two minutes because I set out to push my own limits of what I could do. I was tricked into staying up by my yogi, Ronn who is the official timekeeper of everything we do in class.
Of course, there were signs that things were not right. My arms were excessively shaking and I had to deliberately contract my abs to support my frame. I theorized that I had miscounted on the number of diverting Happy Birthday songs that I normally compose to people that motivate me, but everyone had all been sung to and we were still up in the hold.
I looked back over my shoulder at Ronn to see what was up and saw him focused on his breathing, totally concentrating in the effort. I was right at the edge of my ability. I felt that I could choose to collapse on a whim. There was nothing left in me to stay with him.
Oh my gosh, I thought, am I going to stay up or give up?
Continue reading “Remember When We Were Lions”
7:15 am, Sunday, February 25, 2018.
The Garage, Granada, Nicaragua
With the early morning minutes ticking away, I quickly pull the car out of the garage, lay out my weights, exercise mat, water, and jump rope, and then begin to prep my phone to set up the day’s first video of the garage workout. My fitness trainer, Bertina will also film the next 60 minutes of exercises from various angles on her phone and between the two of us we can cover for most of the technological challenges that occur when filming while training.
I shyly learned the practice of recording our workouts from Bertina six months ago when I was new to strength training and unaccustomed to reviewing myself from unflattering angles. Bertina understood why I didn’t want to eye my untrained body full of flaws and weaknesses, but she reminded me of the bigger picture. She advised me to use the imagery to see my body in balance, to not only look for areas that need improvement, but also to where I was winning in my efforts to become stronger.
My body gradually, then drastically improving on film
Continue reading “It’s not (just) about vanity or finding your inner hottie. Filming yourself working out is just smart.”