Tuesday, August 02, 2005

August and everything after...

21 years ago, when I was 11 years old, I woke up on the morning of August 1st, 1984, went to the bathroom as usual, and found blood on my panties for the first time. I had known my period would be coming sooner or later, so I wasn't scared, but it was still kind of unnerving. I called my mother to the bathroom so that she could confirm the situation for me, but my father answered, and I insisted, throught the bathroom door, that I wanted mom. When she came in and assured me that I did indeed have my period, she gave me some maxi pads and told me what to do, and I made her promise not to tell daddy what happened. Of course, she told him anyway, and I was kind of embarrassed, but I got over it (of course, he never said anything to me, but I knew that he knew.) In any case, I was a woman now, right?

Well, it's not like I celebrate the anniversary of my first period every August 1st, it's just that this year it occured to me that my womanhood is officially a "legal adult," if you will, at 21. So here I am now, a 32 years old woman, single, a professional student, a part-time teacher, making it on my own and trying to make myself happy. This is not easy. Especially in the summer, when school is out, and I lose my motivation faster than temps rise. By the time August comes around, it feels as if the summer's over already, and fall is right around the corner even though the weather's still hot. It's an uncomfortable month.

But this year, for me, August will be an extra month in the middle of the year, an appropriate time for transition. I want to use these last four weeks of my summer vacation get myself together, which is why I started this blog. I just added on another kind of exercise to the physical training I started at the beginning of the summer, and I'll be blogging to keep a cyber-diary to track my progress. Details to follow.

This blog will be under construction over the next few weeks as I go about trying to post pictures, complete my profile, read up on how blogs work, etc. Even though I'll be posting entries publically, I can't imagine anyone would find my blog particularily entertaining, interesting, or informative. Yes, it'll be out there for all to read, but really, it's for me to keep a daily diary as a kind of self therapy. I'm at a point in life where I lose patience very easily, and I get frustrated, angry, and fed up with everyone, even my friends. I'm exhausted from talking everything out with people all the time. And I'm sure everyone is exhausted from listening to me rant. Maybe writing it out will be more effective. I'm trying not to get old and cranky, that's really not my nature. I want to fight it.

OK, so here's what I've been doing since school got out at the end of May / beginning of June. Keep in mind--"Baby Steps." I've been working on improving my swimming (which I started last year.) I can now swim a 1/2 mile in under 30 minutes. This is not super fast, but it's not super slow, either. I'd say it's an average pace. I start and end my laps in an easy backstroke to warm up and cool down, and all the laps in between are freestyle. I want to learn how to do a flip-turn, and I plan on eventually taking a some private lessons or joining the masters swim class at the Y to get faster. I hope working on my technique will improve my time.

I also got my bike out of the basement and into the shop to have it tuned up this summer. It had been sitting there for over 7 years! I so really scared of riding in traffic, so I started going out for rides early in the morning a few weeks ago. Last night I went riding while it was still light out; I put on my helmet, and I rode in the street just like a real pro! It was actually fun, and because I only ride on flat trails, it was very doable. I also experimented with changing gears, and I was a lot easier than I thought. The most I've riden in one session is 6 miles in about 45 minutes, and I want to build up to 12 miles by winter.

I've also been strength training to build muscles in my arms since June. They are getting really strong and cut, though I need to get rid of the fat on my upper arms so that the definition is more visible. Yesterday I did 100 repetitions (with very low weights--3 lbs) of a few simple arms excercises: bicep curls, military presses, French presses, pull overs, chest presses, and flies. I want my arms to look fantastic.

I guess I'm a pretty fit person, but there is a lot I can improve on! I am going to start a jogging program bright and early tomorrow morning. It's a "Couch to 5-K" for beginners. I've got the sneakers, I've got the program, and now I have to get out there and do it! In two months time, I will be able to jog a three mile course without killing myself.

I guess I need to remind myself (and inform my readers, if there are any), that I am 5 feet 7 inches tall and that I weigh 222 lbs. There I said it. I am a big girl. No one believes that I'm 222 because I'm pretty toned and I carry my weight well, but I am what I am. I hope to lose at least 20 pounds by the fall. I am trying really hard with all the exercise and I'm also trying to watch what I eat. The jogging should certainly help. And as of yesterday, I am also training (with a coach!) at a local boxing school.

Getting into a bathing suit in public and taking a swim test so that I could take a rowing class last summer was a challenge. So was the actual rowing class. And the swimming / diving lessons that came after. Then getting out on my bike was a hurdle. Needless to say, I am more than just a little self conscious. Though getting into the ring last night wasn't as hard as it would have been if I never had swum or riden before, it was still a surreal experience.

In fact, I couldn't help but giggle a little, and the coach did not appreciate it, I can tell you that! Luckily, my friend Kelly was with me, and we did what he asked us to do! We worked on taking a balanced stance, punching a little, ducking, bobbing, weaving, jumping around. IT WAS HARD WORK!!! I was sweating like crazy and I turned beet red within minutes. An boy, am I sore today. Especially my poor knees. But I am going to get into shape come hell or high water. I don't know if I'll ever actually fight, but I want to get to the point where I can make that choice if I want to. I will explain more about the training I'll be going through in the next few weeks in upcoming blogs. And there are a lot of colorful characters at the ring, too, and I'll be telling you about them, too!

I also am going to get back into yoga starting this Saturday (I think--I have to check my bank account first.) This will be a good way for me to stretch out and relax after all the hard work from during the week. By my 33rd birthday, I want to look and feel like a fighter (a zen-ed out fighter babe!) It can be done, and it will be done, yeah, yeah!

Well, I feel better already! I'm off to the pool in a few, and then i've got a lot of school work to get done for tomorrow.

A. Sugar