Monday, April 29, 2013

When will society get past their hang ups?

Sometimes I wonder why I even bother. People see what they want to see, rather than taking a moment to actually get to know you, they make assumptions. My recent shopping excursion is no exception. I am a 42 year old woman, with short hair styled in a slight mohawk, with tattoos. I also happen to be more muscular than most women my age due to the heavy lifting I was doing. Having to return a defective product to a retailer that shall remain nameless, I made my way to the customer service counter, only to have a woman stare at me up and down and proceed to tell me I can go to the other register because "they are going to be a while" to which I politely reply "there is a line there as well, and I don't mind waiting my turn". Again, all I receive is the up and down. I then am able to explain why I am returning the item, only to be hassled because the receipt doesn't match what the computer is saying, which can only mean one thing, I am trying to pull a fast one on them apparently. I then try to explain why there is a discrepancy, only to be treated with disdain. It all got taken care of, but it pissed me off. My husband and I just dropped a shit ton of money for new furniture at their home store only a month ago, where is it written that a person with tattoos doesn't have money to spend? I could understand if I was perpetuating some sort of stereotype, but, I wasn't and I never do. My reasons for my ink are for me alone, not to draw some random person into a conversation about how deep I am because I have them, or for the person who's job is to sell me something to question me or make me feel like I don't belong there. When will society get past their hang ups? Because honestly, the more small minded people I come into contact with, the more I can understand why people become anti social.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Switching from strength to fat loss....

I have been doing some sort of sport since I was 12. I started with softball, played volleyball then moved on to tennis. When I turned 18, I joined US Swim and Fitness, and no, they are no longer around, that's how long ago it was.  I followed the trends: aerobics, step aerobics, weight machines etc. It wasn't until I started working at a club that I really started incorporating  free weights and getting serious about lifting. Of course, as a woman, I was reminded of the hype: we shouldn't lift heavy because we would look like a man, it's not feminine to see muscles on a lady, we shouldn't grunt or sweat, whatever the hell that's supposed to mean. I bucked those trends. I trained in the weight area with the boys, I grew stronger, and no, I didn't end up looking like a man. After a while though, I lost focus. It was no longer fun to train, so, I mindlessly went to the gym with no goal, and slowly over the years, I gained weight. I finally got fed up, and started focusing on fat loss. I mean, what woman doesn't want to be a size 2 right? Well, I started losing the weight, but, again, started to lose focus, until I took up powerlifting. This gave me goals to shoot for. It didn't matter if you had a little extra junk in the trunk, this was a strength sport, not zumba or some silly boot camp gym class. So, I forged ahead, set some records, got stronger and hurt myself. I took a step back, tried to rehab, but only until recently did I realize I really didn't enjoy it anymore, so, I decided to switch gears, time to lose the extra bulk I put on. Now, how do I do that? I feel like I am taking a step backwards in a way, mostly because my ego is having a hard time believing that doing circuit training with minimal rest would be that hard. Yeah bro, keep thinking like that. The truth is, switching gears is a lot harder than I thought it would be. Sure, I am doing higher reps, with lower weight, but, shouldn't I be able to squat more than 100 lbs? I'm not an idiot, I realize strength training is very different from endurance training, but it's still hard to wrap my little brain around that. The other side is that with powerlifting, you have three lifts, so, your training focuses on those, and maybe a little ancillary as well, but, little to know cardio, and rest is key, so going from that to more lifts, less weight, cardio and minimal rest is a challenge, plus trying to figure out what lifts to do adds to the confusion. I suppose I could just order P90x and go that route, but, again, I've done the fads before, and while they work for some, this chick is not about to make that call. Maybe it's time to cut myself some slack, realize that this is a new learning curve, and I should just focus on enjoying training again, because really wasn't that the point in the first place?

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Some people need a hobby....

In this day and age, everyone is an expert, at least in their own minds. Whether it be professionally or personally, some people really seem to think they do know everything, until they open their mouths, then it becomes obvious: they don't know shit. I don't claim to be an expert in anything, my job, my training or even my relationship, so when people ask me for advice concerning any of those topics, I usually preface that I am no expert or it's only my opinion. I tend to get a bit pissed off though when someone asks me for advice, which I then give, and their reply is "WRONG" followed by "When you get a moment, check out my Facebook page and you can see what I majored in". Honestly, you ask me about massage, you ask me about stretching etc and when I reply, you throw your Kineasolgy degree in my face? If you are the expert, why are you trolling for answers? To make yourself look good? Because if that's the case, you seriously need a new hobby. I am tired of people that are antagonistic for the sake of being antagonistic. I have enough shit going on that I really don't have time to get into  battles with small minded people that have nothing better to do. If you want to be an expert, go do it with your buddies at the lame ass gym you train at, the ones that are never honest with you on your lifts, the ones that make you feel safe because you are afraid of other people's opinions and advice. Because seriously, you may have a degree, but that doesn't make you an expert in anything, just a douche bag that likes to throw it around....and one who needs a new hobby to keep that little brain of yours occupied and off Facebook.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Creating our own illusions for the outside world...

I was hit with a shocker just yesterday, one of my friends informed me that he and his wife were done. It was amicable, but it was over. I knew they were having troubles, but really, this was out of the blue. I suppose when you put on this illusion that everything is okay, it makes it that much harder to see things like this coming. It got me thinking that so many of us walk around creating our own illusions on a daily basis. Either trying to convince others or ourselves that we are fine. It becomes hard to hear things like your friends are getting a divorce, or so and so's spouse cheated on them when all you have seen is that same couple portraying a happy portrait. Now, I'm not suggesting we all start walking around airing our dirty laundry to each other, but what's wrong with letting our guard down with the ones we love? Are we afraid they won't be there for us if they see the "real" person we are? And if that's the case, how can that person really be considered a good friend to begin with? To be honest, my friend confided many times in me the state of his marriage and how rocky it has been. But only a few weeks ago he told me things were resolved. What happened? All I have been seeing are the positive facebook postings, the happy pictures they were tagged in, the "I love yous" and the support. It saddens me to have a friend going through this, especially when I know he doesn't deserve it. It also got me thinking about how fortunate I am to have a hubby that listens, respects and deeply loves me, especially when I am riding the emotional roller coaster. It wasn't and still isn't easy to let my guard down in front of him, but each time I do, I feel that much more at ease with knowing I don't have to put on some kind of show in front of him for fear of him leaving because he may not like the real me...the one that has emotions, emotions that none of us should have to put on a brave face to hide from the ones we love..

Monday, April 22, 2013

Looking for the light switch...

Emotional roller coasters are never fun. By the time they are over you are left feeling so beaten down and exhausted that all you want to do is go to sleep for days. I realize that in life you are going to be faced with tough choices, be surrounded by people that will test you and that there will be days when the only thing that sounds good is laying on the couch watching Pride & Prejudice and eating cookies. Well, maybe the last thing is just me, but the point is, we all go through this. The need to control everything is strong, that you think if you can just have a grasp on this one thing, everything else will be fine. Unfortunately, we can't control things, and believe me, I continue to try, even though I know better. I try to look at the world like a yoga mat, I can only control what is happening within the four corners of my mat, but truth be told, sometimes I really want to roll up my mat and hit the person next to me with it. I know, not very zen of me, but, I should get points for not going through with it, right? As I age, I keep waiting for the light to go off, for some moment of clarity where you realize everything is okay and whatever comes up, you will be able to handle it. Til then, I feel like I am fumbling around looking for the light switch.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

When powerlifting is no longer black and white...

I remember when I first started powerlifting. It was something that had given me goals to shoot for, records to set and a new sense of purpose with my training. I loved that it was black and white: you either made the lift or you didn't. Three whites or reds, it was simple. That was in the beginning. Then you start to see the politics and other bullshit that permeates the sport. I used to think that people that didn't like powerlifters had it all wrong, that deep down we are all there to support and encourage one another, that it is more of an honest sport, if that makes any sense, but truthfully, this sport is packed tight with so many assholes, wannabes and posers it's hard to keep track. At certain meets, it becomes "who you know" in order to skirt the drug testing, whether or not "hitching" on your deadlift is going to get called (even when it's blatant), whether or not your squat depth was enough, and if you bounced the bar off your chest for bench. That isn't what I signed up for. That is not why I busted my ass training. And when all those things start to affect you, it's time to move on. To be honest, it's not just the things I mentioned above that is stopping me from continuing on in this sport, the fact is, it hurts your body after a while, and unfortunately I am not the young spry 25 year old I once was. It takes time to recover, and when you are dreading your training because you are worried about how shitty you will feel the next day, or what injury will continue to plague you, that takes a bit of the joy out of it for me. I want and I need to get back to enjoying training again, and while it may not help me keep state records, at this point I could give a shit. I would rather be able to get out of bed the next morning without taking 4 Advil. To the many people that have continued to flourish in the sport, the ones that take the honest route and have a genuine joy in what they are doing, my hat goes off to you, but for the others that need to pump up on banned substances, wear super suits and give the best blow jobs to their judging buddies, I only salute you with my pretty middle finger. Not that I'm bitter mind you, I'm just not looking at you through rose colored glasses any longer.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Waiting for your real life to begin....

Every once in a while I have these moments of clarity. It's rare, but when they happen, I feel like I can take on anything. My confidence cannot be rocked, my thoughts are positive, I don't take a weird look from a stranger the wrong way, I am not spiraling. It would be great if those moments lasted more than a day. Honestly, I feel like I am limbo half the time waiting for some stupid cloud to lift that will suddenly make it possible to start living real life I know is inside me. Why do we have those moments? Why are they just moments, and not forever? How do you start rebuilding the confidence you somehow lost so long ago? I don't want to be 50 and all of a sudden thing are fine. Living a life in self doubt is not living. Yes, that sounds cheesy, but hey, it fits. I look around me, so many people seeming to be in control of their lives, seemingly happy, and I have to wonder, are they faking it? Is it possible that people actually have their shit together, and I somehow didn't catch that train? And if we were all put on this earth for a purpose, what is mine? To bring lasting sarcastic witty humor to the masses, or to spend countless hours in the bathroom picking apart my flaws and continuing my unhealthy relationship with the scale? Is it possible that not everyone was put on this planet to do great things? That maybe they were put here to make others look good, like window dressing? Honestly, that idea sucks just as bad. I don't want to be the shiny fabric the diamonds are draped upon to bring out their brilliance, I want to be the fucking diamond! Each year I tell myself things are getting better, and financially, that is true, relationship wise, I couldn't be happier, but the self doubt thing is getting old. I just watched a video that Dove put out, basically reminding us that we are our own worse critics, that others see us quite differently, and all I could do is cry. It was pathetic, sitting in front of the computer, coffee in hand, sobbing about an ad regarding self worth, mostly because it really hit home for me. I am my own worse critic, and that needs to stop. The challenge is how to make that happen. Perhaps it involves getting involved in my life, rather than looking at it from the outside and hoping it will all somehow get better. I am the only one that controls that, so, it's time to start living the life I have been wanting to from afar....and before I turn 50.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Hiding then realizing you need to stop being a pussy.

I have, for the most of my many years on this earth, had short hair. yes, a few times, I grew it out, thinking if I did that, I would somehow turn into a supermodel, but then reality hits you: You realize you are only 5 feet tall and not built for the catwalk. During those moments of clarity, I cut my hair. Truth be told, I rock short hair, and not a cute little bob, we're talking full on short, little mohawk. People tell me it fits my personality, short, sassy and cute. I don't see it, but to each his own, right? Anyway, so, as I am now in my 40's I convinced myself, yet again, that I should grow my hair out again. This started a few months ago. Needless to say, it is not long and flowy, more awkward looking, something that really messes with your ego, and the grey really started showing, so yes, I broke down and colored it....ugh, what a mistake. Anyway, I kept convincing myself this was the road I wanted to take, until it hit me this past weekend. The reasons are all wrong. I am trying to hide behind my hair, hide the scar on my cheek from skin cancer, hide the age spots that are starting to take over, hide from the little laugh lines and wrinkles around my eyes. I am in fact hiding from aging, which in turn is creating one giant pussy of a woman. Gone is the girl with confidence, because now she is so fucking wrapped up in other people's opinions of her and her looks, and seriously, I don't know them, so why do I give them so much power? Many people can't and shouldn't have short hair, they look fantastic with long hair, I am not one of those people. I have to accept the fact that I am getting older, a little more greyer, and yes, a little less supple, but I am still a good person, with a wicked sense of humor and can out lift many men, so, time to chop off the hair, leave the fantasies behind and get the confidence flag flying...and to stop being such a pussy.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Aging gracefully....yeah right!

Well, it's been a long fucking time since I have posted. Why? Well, simply put, I got lazy. I also started and continue to wonder if there is any point in blogging, who will read it, who will respond, am I just being narcissistic? As I get older, it amazes and scares me how little I am enjoying it. In this day and age of botox, lipo, celebrity trainers, zone diets and photo shop, it becomes harder and harder to age gracefully. I start to wonder why I do the things I do, is it because I actually enjoy the activity or is it because I am hoping in some small way I have discovered the fountain of youth and all my fears of aging are now over? You try to convince yourself that you will be the "cool" chick, that handles greying hair, a few wrinkles, age spots and drooping boobs, but, it becomes harder and harder to become that chick when you are staring at the face of a photo shopped picture of any celebrity of the same age as yourself, bragging about how "laughing" keeps them toned, how eating a balanced meal and working out is a priority and just breathing deeply and being grateful on a daily basis is what keeps them young. Really? No mention of the celebrity one on one training sessions, personal chefs, nannies, assistants etc. The reality is, comparing ourselves never seems to go away, no matter what age you become, and it's frustrating as hell. There are days I wake up, feeling happy that I was able to get out of bed without wincing at back pain, and then panicking because I wonder how long that good feeling will last. If doing my job is going to throw my back out of whack enough to go to the chiropractor, or if I will have a good training session. Sad really.  I would really just like to regain that fire that I once had. To be that confident woman I once was, before I was being held back by the grey, the wrinkles and the wobbly bits that are getting harder and harder to fix. Will I ever be happy with myself? And at what age does that wisdom set in, 90? Honestly, I really wish they made that pill "Fuckitol" it would be so much easier, this self reflection can be a bit of a downer...