Freedom

There is still the occasional twinge, and my glutes are struggling to cope with the concept of lifting weights whilst on a balance board, but yesterday afternoon it worked. I was fully planning to cycle until at about 6pm my body decided that nope, you’re done for today. Having learnt to listen when such messages get passed along it was an early night in bed where, sure enough, the cause of my back issue finally righted itself without assistance. That means I’m up with my husband (who’s gone for a road cycle at high speeds) to catch up with the backlog of posting and then get some more miles in the legs.

If you’ll excuse me, there’s a lot to do.

The Last Time

The truth, such as it is, remains different for everybody, until you reach the point where grey has been completely eradicated. Then, entering the realm of the unavoidable, come the yes/no answers. Are you my father? Will this kill me? Are you an idiot? On days like today, when I’m not 100% awake and it is impossible to properly function without a drug as support (endorphins or caffeine, nothing else) that I normally end up going backwards. However, today is going to be different, because I will take Mr Ledger’s advice. Sometimes it is not about removing yourself from a difficult situation in order to function and move forward. Occasionally, staying is the only option, especially when it becomes clear that you’re not the problem.

The problem, at least for me, is that the notion of entitlement in various areas of society is now so glaringly obvious as to be funny. Indignation of the airbrushing of a Christian festival from a commercially-sponsored event, splashed over my feed, increasingly juxtaposed with real issues that should, in the mind of the poster, be taking precedent. Everybody’s ability to arbitrate and pass judgement on everything has been elevated to an art form, but with so many disparate voices, you simply stop listening. It’s like the situation that transpires every time a game I know people play introduces ANYTHING that takes more than a notional definition of ‘effort’ to complete. There’s no ‘skill’ any more, its all about gear and time. The truth, I’m beginning to grasp, doesn’t matter. The right answer becomes an irrelevance. For the sake of a quiet life and my own desires, winning fails to count as achievement. I don’t need validation any more, and the more it becomes the benchmark for perceived ability, the less I desire any part of the process.

On the days where what matters above achievement is simply progress, you won’t explain to some people that their viewpoint is actually harmful. In some cases you shouldn’t either, because that stands the chance of putting the more vulnerable back weeks, possibly further. That used to be the moment when I’d just stop checking feeds and be elsewhere, but as I discovered at the weekend, my skin is hardening in the right places, and today is the moment to make my point. A lot of the time, you’re not ever the problem. The stupid people, amazing as it might sound for many reasons, have no idea they’re causing the damage to begin with. You don’t have to measure this on a strict IQ score either: I’m watching some very smart people becomes incredibly stupid for the sake of media attention. In fact, if I didn’t know better, I’d say a lot of these people don’t really care about anything except a very warped notion of significance.

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This therefore is your daily reminder that The Internet does not accurately represent reality. People who don’t look past their own perceptions are often less than reliable as objective barometers. Arguing over religion never ends well, and I maintain the people with real skill in this world are the ones who don’t complain about everything they don’t like. Today’s truth is simple: you are enough, even on days when you think that’s the biggest lie going. Looking past the crap, rhetoric and obsession is hard, but there are times when making yourself do just that are utterly worthwhile, for the larger understanding that ultimately gives.

Sometimes, a crap day is worth the effort.

Beautiful Noise

When I started my PT journey back in May of this year, I couldn’t do a single push up. I wasn’t capable of a pull up. This morning, I proved to myself that both of those things aren’t simply possible now but academic. Even if my own mental self image doesn’t really detect the notion of change, the proof is now inescapable. I’m still struggling with breathing, and that might take longer to deal with. However, this morning’s one hour session was a triumph. However, I’ve tweaked a glute (right arse cheek) and tomorrow is already going to be painful. NO MATTER HOWEVER. We will get through it, and there will be more work to improve. This is the first time in a  while I’ve felt the notion of progress and consistency, and even though I may be knackered later, it is so worth it.

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For the record:

Number of push ups now possible without getting exhausted = 36. Technique = GREAT
Number of ‘assisted’ pull ups = 18. Technique = ALSO GREAT

I also beat my PB for 250 metres on the Rowing machine, kept going on the stepper whilst my lungs effectively burst and was able to not embarrass myself in front of the rest of the PT staff.

There will now be a celebratory extra protein bar whilst I make a quick trip around the Conservatory with my shirt over my head :D

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Let’s see if we can make some more progress in the week :D

That Joke isn’t Funny Anymore

Dear @DailyMailUK,

I don’t read your newspaper, but my parents do, and I’m sure they’d have garnered much amusement this morning at your (quite blatant) April Fool’s Joke that Olivia Coleman will be the next James Bond. Please note that I have no desire to promote any more click-throughs of this story by giving you even one from my tiny, insignificant backwater site, but I did get out the green text especially for you, because it seemed quite apposite. I realise, with a sense of disbelief and dread, I have become the very indignant, mouthy dissenter that used to be laughed at in my youth when they complained about some ‘modern’ thing that would ruin society and everything it stood for. In this case, it is the presumption that that this most British of institutions could consider a woman at its helm.

I know why you think this is funny, and for such a large proportion of your readership it will undoubtedly be just that. You don’t destroy the sanctity of a British staple just because times are changing. That’s why this country needs to leave Europe with all swiftness, after all: we’re an island, bastion in the World sea of stupidity and violence that is so much better if things never change and everyone just pretends this is the 1950’s. Nothing good ever came of giving women the vote or allowing people to be openly homosexual: that’s what you do behind closed doors where nobody talks about it. I hate to break it to you, but there’s always been that radical in the village. You can burn them as a witch or enslave them or spend your life finding ways to keep them out of power or downtrodden, but without these people you’d all be dead now. The human race would be buried, consigned to history, and there’d be another species walking the Earth (probably cats if I think about it) because without the indignant voice and the free speakers and the revolutionaries?

There is no progress.

The man who split the Catholic Church was a revolutionary. That bloke who suggested the Earth wasn’t flat, he was too. MEN did all this, not women. Men began to grasp and understand the World around them as being something more than just themselves. I’m in no way suggesting that women are exempt from the problem in this equation, because we’re not. I’m looking at blokes here, those who thought it would be clever to make this gag to begin with. You’ll respect your Mum and bend over backwards to keep her happy and safe and you’ll love your wife but as soon as anyone suggests that you want a woman in charge then someone decides that what matters most is how they look and what they wear and whether their skin care routine is as important as their choice of breakfast food AND JUST STOP IT. Having a woman Bond is obviously not how the author envisaged his world in the 50’s. I wonder, if Fleming had written Bond now, how would that change his outlook? You guys with the 50 year old backwards facing attitudes on everything don’t grasp the basic issue here: it isn’t about times changing. It is about you changing with the times.

Personally, as a woman, I’d rather have Idris Elba as Bond, but as I find Ms Coleman very attractive both physically and mentally, I’m not that fussed. I’d also be quite happy with an openly homosexual 007, but that’s going to mean that the ‘Bond Girl’ role will need some extensive reconsideration. My point here is simple: what you consider a joke is actually a quite savage indictment of the world we now live in, and how institutions such as yourselves dictate the pace of change. Of course, you don’t want that, because you’ll be partying like it’s 1959 right up until this country sinks slowly into the rising waters from the polar ice caps melting due to Global warming that was never your fault to begin with.

I’ve never felt the need to write a letter to a newspaper before, because there was never a moment up to this point where I read something that was just so utterly and monumentally stupid. Of course, I could be wrong. Maybe that bad photoshopping’s meant to be post-ironic, and those quotes about emotion behind the hard shell are genuine. Perhaps I’m the fool here, that could become so indignant about something that clearly is a shoe in in this modern world where you can have female US Presidential candidates and political leaders. The thing is, I know that on the day when I should be enjoying the happiness and sheer joy of bonkers news stories, I became what I fear most on the Internet. I have evolved into the reactionary, knee-jerk idiot who is the perfect audience for what passes for news on your Website.

Congratulations on what is probably the best subversive conversion technique I’ve ever seen. If this is how the the older generation recruit their converts? I want nothing to do with ageism or your stupid rhetoric now, or at any point in the future. If you’ll excuse me I’m off to reinvent myself and forget that I ever wanted to be a grown up.

– Name Withheld
49, Mother of Two.