Ain’t No Easy Way

thesurrey46
For the last week, I’ve been staring at this page of the British Heart Foundation’s website. Right now I can do approximately 20 miles in an hour, but that’s on a static bike with no distractions and nobody else to worry about falling into. If it is just me, everything is fine. If there is anybody else then a lot of other stuff comes into play, and I panic.

I think it is time to bite the bullet and just do what I know has to be done to save my own soul.

This morning came the scheduled realisation that I cannot fix everything. Yes, I absolutely should continue to try making a difference, however, and it is the opportunity with this sponsored ride to do just that. I effectively ‘buy’ a place on the ride by giving £50 and then promising I can raise £300 minus Gift Aid. This should not be a stretch all told, and it is a very worthy charity that grabs the money… except I realise now what the problem is. I’d want to ride for a mental health charity instead. I should go investigate if that is a possibility, and if it is then go apply to someone whom I feel happier getting my money.

Yet again, this whole thing boils down to principle, and not simply taking the easy road to a solution.

donttouch.gif

I know why I woke up like this. Last night, someone whom I follow made a comment about feeling left out on Social media, which linked in with a discussion I had in the Real World with my husband. Life is not about you expecting people to include you, or assuming that because you’re feeling unwell others should treat you differently. Sure, there can be sympathy and accommodation, but at some point feeling sorry for yourself will become detrimental. The best thing I did for myself yesterday wasn’t sit on a sofa and work my way through TV shows, it was getting myself on a bike and challenging my own concepts of self worth and dependence. Your experiences (of course) will vary but for me? If I allow complacency to dictate my actions, good work simply evaporates.

It is high time I grasped that change is constant and often vital at even my lowest ebb.

In the end, I do what I feel is right to move forward. This is not a popularity contest, or a means to become a better person. If you judge people simply by the way they respond to you via Twitter or Facebook? You will eventually be on a hiding to nothing. I need to spend less time worrying about what people think, and more time getting on with making a career for myself, because nobody else is going to do that except me. If principles matter, then it is time to stick by them and move forward.

If I want this enough, I just have to get on with it.

Warm Sound

I have an infection. It is quite possibly viral, sitting in throat and lymph nodes. I am often guilty of overthinking illness, and in previous years would have dismissed all forms of exercise until I knew things were ‘better.’ Yesterday, I did a session of PT and the most productive hour on a bike I can remember since I started using Zwift.

Exercise is now becoming relaxation: once upon a time, I would have slept through yesterday. Now, I’ll freely admit this is will what will happen (but only for a while) after I’ve finished writing here today. I needed yesterday as proof that I am physically in a better place than was previously the case. Having proved this to myself I can relax. All of this is, I now realise, as much a test of stamina and endurance as anything else. The numbers exist as evidence to other people that I’m doing the work. After that, the only person I’m really doing all this shit for is myself.

040118

I’m also finding drawing my three panel cartoon surprisingly fruitful. There’s a plan in place for the first month or so, leading up to February 1st which is Time to Talk day. I’m planning to spend some time visualising what Depression looks like to me. This is a fairly ambitious plan for someone with no real skills (as yet) in that department but aiming big’s worked in the past. I mean, what’s the worst that can happen?

If I need to be reminded how much has changed since this time last year, I’m currently on a three week uninterrupted exercise streak. It won’t be the end of the World either if that finishes today. Life now is about understanding that even with obstacles to health, you can remain so with enough enthusiasm.

There is certainly motivation to spare at present.

Pure Comedy

I heard this song for the first time yesterday. The last time a piece of music affected me this deeply? 1978. I was 12 years old, and at the start of a journey that was never satisfactorily concluded.

Today, I know I’m back on the right road.

I’ve done nothing in the last couple of weeks other than plan a complex, internet-based future for myself. It is only a smaller part of a larger whole, in effect: exercise and self-improvement all happen away from a screen, and long may this continue. I realise that to succeed I need to put myself about far more than is currently the case and that is going to happen. Not today, or by the end of this week, but when January comes to a close I will have stuff to show and progress to capitalise on. By hard work and persistence, so will come reward and peace. I can change the World, and I have.

The slow drip of cash into my Paypal account is testament to this, that people are slowly but surely prepared to take a chance on the unknown girl with the dirty white hair and a gobby attitude. A promise was made yesterday to be more tolerant and understanding of those with whom I don’t agree, but that doesn’t give the world carte blanche to piss on my fireworks without a comeback. Stupidity remains just that, you don’t get a free pass because somehow your opinion’s acceptable to a bunch of like minded strangers. Like the words of the song say:

Oh comedy
Their illusions they have no choice but to believe
Their horizons that just forever recede
And how’s this for irony:
Their idea of being free
Is a prison of beliefs
That they never ever have to leave

spidersenses.gif

2018 is already my year, and it’s only Day Two. I know this not because I’m an arrogant, feisty woman who’ll use your balls for target practice. Men, not all women are out to get you (you know this, right?) or want to have sex with you (sorry, get over yourselves.) If we can get past those two (seeming) intractable obstructions and just treat each other as human beings? It will all get considerably easier down the line. Maybe this is the year that both sexes release minds from disparate anxieties and expectations, allowing everybody to start working on the stuff that really matters, like fixing the complete disaster area we’re making the Planet via our thoughtless actions.

Strap in lovelies, things are about to get considerably more awesome.

Run for Home

header75

There has been experimentation over the last couple of weeks with the best food for me to scoff the night before I exercise, and the pasta and meatballs for dinner yesterday may be the sweet spot hit for optimal energy and stamina. I have also gone back to protein bars after some time in the snack wilderness, because a girl has to obtain some enjoyment on days when brain and body are struggling. Once we get into December there needs to be more making of healthy snackage and less reliance on the pre-packaged, because really I don’t need to pay somebody else to do this for me.

pizza

I’m starting to run more. Today, even with legs complaining after Monday’s PT (was having trouble walking yesterday which is how bad it was) I am feeling as if doing more miles is attainable. I’m starting small: running 1km blocks with rests in between, which I’ll then knit together as my stamina improves. I don’t run very fast: that’s the goal after the distance is surmounted. As an asthmatic it has always been the lungs that have held me back: however, this is no longer an issue and my breathing works better than it ever has. As with everything else, you just have to learn what works best for you, stop worrying about it and do the thing.

guywithaplan

This is all great training for bike events like Eroica next year, but a fantastic way to get my body progressively leaner. I’ve not weighed myself at all for a while, because the scales became a bit of an addiction that needed sorting. This is part of the process of knowing that what matters more is how I feel. Monday’s pain comes from having to readjust my squat position slightly as entire body is now shifting in stance and gait. That comes from the hernia repair, that after twelve years plus of not having strength in my stomach everything isn’t just properly connected but is functioning as it should. It also helps greatly that a combination of massage and upper body strength means the aches and pains that were occasionally blighting me are largely gone (which is also in part thanks to gallbladder removal.)

The only remaining niggles are around elbows and knees, but the ‘new’ squat will address one and I have physio exercises to help deal with the other.

yeahkeenanandkel

It’s been six months since I had surgery, and this is the start of a seriously awesome part of my life. I fully intend to make as much use as possible of the time I have available, to continue this process of evolution on a personal scale.

Waiting for the Great Leap Forwards

header62

Last week’s emotional breakdown was triggered by a few things. Weight was one of them, with the realisation that I’ve been trying to lose the same fifteen pounds of weight for over a year. I needed some rationalisation of what exactly is going on inside my body, and have turned to science for the answers. I am genuinely staggered by what I have found.

181017

This is my latest weigh in using the impedance scale at my Gym. It passes a small electrical current through my body, and as different types of matter return differing electrical impulses, I can see what I am made of. The 1kg of extra weight there is, I can tell from the scales, all water, so there is nothing there to be concerned with. Everything else is telling me that I am, like it or not, most efficient at converting fat to muscle. The fat that isn’t muscle remains stubbornly unburnt/unused, and this will be because of the sweet tooth that I keep falling back on when stuff gets tough, and on Sunday was banished to at least Christmas.

It is time to make my body work in a way it seems frankly unable to entertain.

181017_2

The plan is simple: maintain the calorie count as it stands, but remove as much sugar as possible from my diet: no more honey in tea and the ‘healthy’ snacks which still contain sugar enough to promote my body to burn them before I attack my fat ‘reserves.’ That doesn’t mean fruit sugars (still having the pomegranate with breakfast) because that is part of the important fuel required by my body. This is removing all the superfluous shit that I felt I’d deserved by working hard but was crippling progress. That also means not taking a take away at the weekend and cutting out all the stuff I know is a hindrance until this weight can finally shift. The last 72 hours shows that the water weight is being nibbled away at: it will be the next 10 days that are key. I promised myself not to obsess about weight but now I want this excess gone for good.

It has become a means of showing myself that self-control and hard work is more than a reward.

This is my new exercise of choice at the Gym: it has the air of looking incredibly simple but, as is the case with most things, is hugely dependant on upper body strength. A year ago I couldn’t even manage to hang. Now, I have the strength to do 12 raises in 30 seconds. It means that pull-ups are not far off, and this was one of the reasons why I began this journey to begin with. I can feel a major move forwards coming, with a lot of the disparate parts of my life coming together. Once this bit of the puzzle is placed?

We’re a long way towards achieving a ton of personal goals.

It’s A Man’s Man’s Man’s World

NaNoWriMo 2017

I’m going to talk today, both here and on the writing site, about my NaNoWriMo choice. The latter gets a more clinical attack on subject matter and motivation but here I feel compelled to discuss an issue that continues to irk, and has made me stop and think about what it is I write and how. My main protagonists in this story are a white man and an Egyptian woman. There’s a really good reason for this: I feel really comfortable writing them.

On many days, I believe I’m a true mixture of both.

There is absolutely no doubt I am completely happy being biologically female, especially now the curse that used to afflict me monthly has gone. I’m at ease with the body I am rebuilding and feel no desire to alter the fundamental construct. However, it would be disingenuous to say I believe I think and act in the way I see a large number of women do. Makeup holds no allure. I do not desire to dress or act in an overtly feminine manner anymore, and the same is true of tending towards masculinity as an alternative. In terms of appearance, androgyny is increasingly appealing. However, my sexual appetite and desires remain unchanged.

fun_conan

There is a part of me that wishes we didn’t need to make specific social groups the enemy, but feminists need white men to hate them and people of colour and ethnicity deserve the right to hate everybody who is white because they’re in charge. I get all this, I really do, the complex social and ethnic strata that now damns and defines every action taken as a writer. Yes, I could make my male protagonist Afro Carribean but I don’t feel comfortable appropriating because no, I sure as fuck don’t have permission. 

My Egyptian woman comes from a time period I know a lot about and (again) feel I can write with a measure of conviction. The key here is confidence, not political correctness or social mirroring. I am very much a product of my age, but the characters that are chosen as my cast need to have believability in the story told. In that regard, supporting characters mirror the ethnicity of the World but are not at its core. There’s a reason for this, as will become clear in the narrative, but for now, I’m happy with why my fictional people are the way they are.

normality

A lot of this is down to simple biology, as this is a story with science at the core. There has been a crucial change however to the sexuality of a number of characters, based on acceptance of what I am becoming as a human being. In many ways, this story has the potential to become hugely autobiographical, if I allow that to happen. However, what matters most is the sanctity of plot and action. I’m not here to make a political statement, simply reflect what I am when writing.

Mostly, last night I stayed up late and stared at my work in progress and found myself thinking ‘somebody will hate this because I made a white man the hero.’ Then came the more significant revelation: whatever happens, someone will be upset. If I spend my life worrying about the reaction of others and don’t simply do what matters most to me, then there will be no progress at all. This is about narrative on my terms, and as a result… we stay with the plan, and I stop stressing.

Whatever I produce will be the best of what I am.

The Man Who Told Everything

header3

I need to make some new headers. Hang on whilst that goes on the To Do List.

Today, I’ll be wibbling about Poetry (a lot) on the Writing blog because it’s now become a part of daily life. I’ve written a ton of stuff, in the vain hope something might get me noticed. After all, if you don’t try, you’ll never know.

Poem 2.jpg

Again, this could end up as an exercise in disappointment. Brits don’t like the hard sell very much, and aggressive marketing often can backfire on itself. The problem for me is not being willing to sell myself over the years, mostly due to the fact it is quite hard to do so. Now, however, I’m learning to be wrong about a lot of things. It’s often a tough task, but this is probably the better means by which decades of bad decision-making and thoughtless outlooks are unwound. There is also the realisation that other people need to be left to make their own mistakes without a continual pronouncement of judgment. Yeah, let people enjoy their stuff. Then, allow them to get it wrong and learn too.

thatischemistry.gif

Sometimes it is important to grasp that order and control only do so much. The happiest medium, it is now apparent, is a balancing act between order and chaos so delicate as to be dangerous. However much the belief exists that a quiet life is a key to unlock true happiness, that is not the case for me. I thrive on the extremes. So, there needs to be a way to do everything, upset nobody and yet still feel the highs and lows of sensation in the same breath. Yeah, it is no wonder I am often fucked by my own ambition and inability. This is hard work mentally, but worth every second.

dontmesswithme

When the vultures are circling, you always need to be ready to come out fighting. Once upon a time, I would have run away. Not anymore.

Now, I’m feisty and ready to engage.