Tag Archives: determination

A Different Day: Forty Floors is a Different View

And this is why I’ve been telling myself fitness would be the key to changing mindsets, etc.

Hello, there.

Yesterday’s post is h-e-a-v-y, because “depression” always is. Asshats leaving comments about “crying a river” don’t help others admit they’re depressed.

There’s a big difference between the depression I’ve been in lately and ones that cripple other people so much that suicide seems like a solution. I’m not even close to that.

So I can say, yeah, I’m depressed, but at least I’m able to motivate myself to try to effect change in my life.

Luckily, I sort of agreed with the inconsiderately-worded-but-kinda-well-meaning comments that said stuff like “stop whining”, “shut up,” and “just do it.”

And I have been doing that. When I work out, my attitude is always that I can totally do what I’ve set out to do. I don’t stop early or unperform. I totally commit.

I also know it takes 5 days a week, and now I’m meeting that, too. My attitude has been, “One of these days, this shit’s gonna click.”

But there comes a point when you just get frustrated. I’d been trying to work out a back problem before I got sick, then there’s the long break-in period, so I guess I just hit the “FUCK, CAN WE MOVE ON NOW?” breaking point this week.

Writing that post yesterday kinda felt like my darkest-before-dawn, hit-bottom-so-the-bounce-is-better moments.

Going there can be invaluable, man. And this time, it was.

I published that heavy shit, took a deep breath, got my workout gear on, went to a highrise in the area, and, doing sets of up-down-up-down in its 15 floors, did the 40-floor stairclimbing exercise I’ve been wanting to be strong enough to do for a long time, and I did it faster than I used to do 25 (total: 19 minutes!).

Today? I’m stiff and stuff, but I don’t “hurt.”

Big difference between stiff, tense, inflamed, and actual pain. I LIKE the day-after “ooh, I feel that one!” feeling. I don’t like pain. The day-after normal-stiffness is actually awesome, because I always eat better, since I’m conscious of the work I did to get that feeling, and I need that added consciousness so I can have success. Being an emotional eater, though, if it’s PAIN, I don’t react the same way, diet-wise. It’s weird, but there you go.

So, this is the first time I have that — the combination of pride and no heavy price getting paid the day after.

And maybe it’s a little more sucky tomorrow, since day two often is, but my day-afters have been kinda pretty shitty before now.

This is pretty awesome. It’s not home-free, but it’s better, and those stairs were a THREE-YEAR GOAL. Couldn’t do it with my back injury, not for the longest time, and I always hated doing them but knew they were effective.

So. Yes.

Yay.

I hated writing yesterday’s post, hate having it up there, but I think I’m gonna leave it. Sometimes ‘fessing up about the steaming pile of shit you feel like you’re in is the best way of climbing the hell out of it, too.

40 floors, motherfuckers.

Methinks I might finally be turning the page on the oh-so-painful break-in phase. That’s exciting. I do want to have the ass-kicking experience that comes from intense exercise. Once you get capable of doing it, it’s a real adrenaline surge to get into it. That’s what I’ve been longing for, not this fucking “ugh, this sucks but I know I can do it once I get past this, so let’s do it right” mind-over-matter crap I’ve been having to dial up.

So, to the unpublished commenter: Bite me. Yeah, I “train”. I complain because I *try* to leave it on the floor every time. I don’t phone this shit in. Most of my problems come from overtraining.

Mostly because I’ve done it before and I know I have it in me.

I want this, and I want it badly. This was that moment of “ah, finally”. And I know I’ll feel worse tomorrow — but I’ll be doing everything I can to avoid that today, by being smart.

This was the start I’ve been waiting for. It won’t be all smooth sailing here on out, but it’s still gonna be sailing. Sitting at the dock sucks, man!

Yep. I’ve had this moment before. This feeling I have now came once at the start of a very awesome and empowering journey. Yes, I bitch, but I keep plodding through all the crap, whatever it takes to get it done, and when I do cardio, I give it 100%, and endure the stupid pain that comes after.

Because when you finally have THAT moment, that “oh, I’m gonna be able to do this!” moment, it’s a really great thing.

And I think I’ve had that moment. I’m glad I gave into the dark side, plodded through how I was REALLY feeling about things, and decided to achieve one of my really long-held goals.

The first time I ever did that staircase?

I quit at 10 floors (220 steps). Stopped for breath on floors 3 and 7. I hurt for FOUR DAYS. I couldn’t get out of bed the next day without whimpering. Had to see the Rolling Stones in their last Vancouver gig here, and walking all the stairs at the stadium (nosebleeds!) nearly KILLED me. I was 270 pounds then.

So, you know. Yeah. Today, THIS feels good. This is how exercise should feel.

I wasn’t just jumping into the stairs, either — I’ve done them a few times lately, but only 20 floors. I figured the gruelling lunges that Nik Yamanaka’s had me doing lately had broken my thighs in and it might be the best time to try it.

Moral of the story is, I think it’s fine to give in to the “fuck, this sucks, it’s so hard” feeling as long as I take the time to remember why it was so important to start the process, and keep trying for success.

I was wrong about why I wanted to get fit.

I forgot why I wanted to get fit. Why did I? Because I was scared of returning to a life of pain, because my back injury had been recurring. I was scared of the depression that came with.

In the end, I guess confronting that fear in my writing yesterday sort of brought me full-circle on my journey, and being the GENIUS THAT I AM and doing the stairclimbing immediately AFTER that journey?

Yeah, I get the Nobel Prize for Awesome on that decision.

“Go there, go to the dark place, but get the fuck out,” that should be every writer’s mantra.

Anyhow.

Couldn’t leave yesterday’s words hanging without opening the door on a new and better chapter.

So: [squeak]

There. Door’s opened. It’s a long hallway, though.

Funny how breaking points are so often turning points. What one does next determines which it is.

Bracing Myself For What May Come

Throbbing pain behind my eyes makes writing sort of the last thing I should be doing right now. I can hear the blood coursing in my head in between the droning waves of traffic grinding up the main streets by home.

I close my eyes and nausea swims on top of my belly. Nerves, or just general dis-ease after two days with this headache.

So much got done yesterday — most of my floors, organizing, rearranging, decluttering. Much more needs to occur in the coming weeks for me to have the perfect little home I’ve always wanted but… I’ve never been this close out of the gate, y’know? Feels good. Even as my head pounds and pulses.

I dropped a line to my Mystery Mentor today, all the while going “Gee, what crazy antics in my life. Zoinks! I should write a book about it or something.”

After all this home-fixing-up stuff is done, it’s onto the book in earnest, but not in a “I’m gonna siddown and write eighty-umptillion-schmillion words today!” kind of way — instead, I’m writing me a book proposal.

It’s kinda assbackwardy, truth be told.

You figure out kinda an outline for your book. You pitch it. You go “Holy smokes, this is brilliance, buy my book!” in a way that doesn’t actually say that. Then you send that to agents and hope one goes “Holy smokes, this is brilliance, I must buy this book!” One does, they sign you, you’re hard at work on the book you’ve proposed, and meanwhile the agent goes to publishers and says, “LOOK. BRILLIANCE. Buy this! Publish it!” One does, you get a fat advance, you finish the book, everyone lives happily ever after.

Uh-huh. Or so I wanna believe.

I wrote last week about the Patti Labelle advice for her 30-year-old self, “Believe the hype, baby.” Honestly, I believe that’s been the biggest struggle for me in recent years. Learning to see myself on the inside as other people perceive me to be — and I still ain’t there by a long shot.

And that’s the interesting dilemma I’ll face in the Book Proposal Project: I need to believe.

I need to believe the story I’ve got to tell and sell is better than one that anyone at a party has behind them.

I’ve got to believe my story’s compelling enough to make someone stop in the middle of filling their glass at the office watercooler and say to their coworker, “So this book I’m reading, you should totally go there!”

THAT’S the game you need to believe you bring BEFORE you write a book. If you don’t THINK you’re that compelling, if you don’t BELIEVE your story has that much gravitas, then what the fuck are you doing? Don’t waste MY time, but sure as shit don’t waste yours. A book’s a one, two, five-year commitment, man. It’s not frivolity.

Believing this is where being raised as a Catholic Canadian really hoodwinks a (not as) fat-girl.

  • Who’s better at feeling guilty than a Catholic?
  • Who’s better at being sorry than a Canadian?
  • Who’s better at being insecure than a fat girl?

Oh, hey, now… have I got a book for you!

So, as I sit here with my pounding head in my ever-simplifying home, I realize next week is game on and I start this book proposal. My awareness of its psycho-emotional implications, though, are new.

My understanding that the book proposal itself may turn into a therapy exercise is probably the most important realization I can have. Therapy’s great, but then you gotta stand back like a comedian and point and laugh.

But this is the week the foundation is laid. By removing all my distractions — this pile of papers there, the clutter over here, the floors that need to be cleaned or the crap that needs to be donated — I’m creating a landscape or work environment in which my focus can only be pulled so far away at any given time.

The focus next week is to start the book proposal — but deliberately doing a therapeutic version. I’ll get the bullshit out, then blast it away with my irreverence and self-deprecation. What’s left will probably be a very good fascimile of who I am as a writer.

But I won’t get there if I don’t go through who I am as a person first.

The reality is, my book is about me. Between now and the end of this, I need to believe I — me, myself, girlie-o, chickadee, moi, yours truly — am worth plunking down some $30-40 on in hardcover form. I need to believe I can see YOU sitting in an armchair with a blanket around your legs and a glass of wine in hand, flipping page over page as you can’t wait to read how I got out of that NEXT jam, while ignoring your phonecalls and promising you’ll get to those emails come dawn.

I need to believe that.

And if you want to write a book? You need to believe that, too.

There’s a strange dichotomy in the mind of anyone who needs to have YOU buy a piece of themselves for their livelihood. There’s the legend-in-one’s-own-mind syndrome that butts heads against the reality of almost all of us getting taunted, mocked, or just plain failing at one point or another in our lives.

Insecurities aren’t rare. They don’t all cripple their owners, though.

My insecurities were bigger because I was bigger. I couldn’t fucking hide. I was 277 pounds and size 24. Where the fuck am I gonna go, right? That was only the beginning of the end of where it all came from, the beginning of what I needed to get past in order to tell the story I now think you’ll one day be okay with dropping $29.95 on.

In the meantime, minions?

Unemployment’s giving me the chance to get back into a life I somehow lost for a while — cycling, writing, enjoying my home, living simply, and, yes, even dating. I’m dusting myself off and getting back into dating** after a long time of just being completely disinterested. Do I want “love” right now? [shrug] I dunno. Whatcha got? Right?

We’ll see what the world unfolds. I feel like anything can happen right now, and despite the seemingly negative turn of events losing my job would appear to unleash, I feel very much the opposite — that opportunity is everywhere.

I feel like it’s my time, but the only thing holding me back is finding the path from here to there, and dialing up the courage and resilience it’ll take to keep walking that path long after the bloodied sores and blisters emerge.

Ever read Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist? No? You should. Right now, no matter what I do, there’s a very quiet little air of Maktub* in the back of my mind.

But I still need to do the writing.

*In the book, Coelho explains MAKTUB as meaning “it is written” in Arabic, a sort of idea of fate and determination.

**I’m taking applications. No. Really.