That time I threw my scale at the wall

I disappeared for a bit, but only because I’ve been incredibly busy! The last few weeks have been full of work, working out, and as much time spent with friends and family as possible. In some cases, the best way for me to work through things is alone; after all, I’m someone who craves solitude. But, recently, getting out and doing things has really helped me to feel satisfied at the end of the day. Now that I’m really committed to getting in the best shape I can, my evenings are full of burpees, fast feet, sprints, V-ups, and the dreaded pull up bar. I have never, and I mean ever, been able to do a pull up. I don’t know if I’m alone here, but in all my active years, those muscles were never ones I worked on often. But, lucky for me, one of the instructors I really like (his classes are always upbeat, he’s full of energy, and his classes don’t murder my knees) always tries to incorporate pull ups.

This hasn't happened yet but I'm expecting it.

This hasn’t happened yet but I’m expecting it.

How strange, to feel trepidation at something as silly as a pull up bar. Before pull ups, it was push ups. Before that, sprints. But the more I work at something, regardless of how challenging, the more I look forward to the challenge. I think I should probably add mountain climbers and squat jacks to that list. Another trainer that I really enjoy loves to combine those and it makes my poor knees cry. But all this pain and growth has played a vital role in finding and better understanding myself. Who honestly enjoys admitting their shortcomings? Not me. But I have to.

I don’t have great knees, thanks in part to my own stupidity. I dislocated my knee in college one night at like 4:30 in the morning. My leg gave out, completely out of the blue, and I found myself laying on ice in starburst-worthy pain. I looked down, saw my right kneecap sitting at a 90 degree angle from where it belongs, and promptly shoved it all the way back into place. That was the first time I’ve actually been in such acute pain I almost threw up. I then got to drive my car across the parking lot to the first open spot available (I forget why I was all the way up at the full front…something stupid I’m sure) using my left foot, and limped across the entire parking lot screaming bloody murder and leaning on cars. I then hopped up two flights of stairs, wrapped my knee in sweaters and raised it on a pillow, and fell asleep. I called my mom the next morning to let her know what I ‘thought’ happened…like what else do you call the definite dislocation of your knee? After being completely appalled that I hadn’t sought medical attention yet, she drove up and drove me to the hospital, where I’m pretty sure they tortured me, then prescribed me Vicodin and a leg stabilizer. Thanks, hospital. Being the smart person I am, I worked on my healing knee as a server, using painkillers to make it bearable. I do think, to some extent, working on it has helped it from swelling and rebuilt strength more quickly, but I

These are just the injury pictures I had on Facebook. Clearly, I'm not a careful person.

These are just the injury pictures I had on Facebook. Clearly, I’m not a careful person.

definitely notice that my knees respond to high impact body work a lot more quickly.

Other than that, I managed to get thrown from a four wheeler in the middle of the woods directly onto my back two years ago. How I didn’t break my back/neck/smash my head against a tree/crack my head open/etc. is an honest-to-god miracle. The two guy friends I was with, one being my old roommate, thought for a few seconds that I had died. Did I ever seek medical attention? Of course not. What did I do? Get up, ride back to the campsite (aka my roommate’s backyard), take some ibuprofen, and continue to drink and camp with friends. I then went on vacation for a week, during which I didn’t have full range of motion and mysterious swelling in various places on my back. Common sense all around.

Lastly, last summer, in the wake of a break up, I was running a lot to help get me out of my own head and managed to do something to my lower back/right hip that causes me chronic pain and my hip popping out of place for no reason. Out of nowhere, during a run, I felt something, I don’t know, pull or change, and had pain that radiates from my sciatica ever since. I’ve mentioned before that I saw a doctor for it and he came up with a brilliant conclusion (basically that it was all in my head and I’m a big ol’ baby). All in all, I haven’t taken great care of my body from an impact standpoint. Before my injuries, I had 12 years of swimming, four years of tennis, 7 years of ballet, a year of gymnastics, 8 years of

My body's response to more than 5 SF classes a week.

My body’s response to more than 5 SF classes a week.

cheerleading, and one very sad attempt at track under my belt. My body has straight up had it with my bullshit at this point. So, this means that even though I’d like to go to SoldierFit classes 86 times a week, I have to limit it to 3-5, depending on the impact level of the classes that week. Otherwise my body will most definitely cry foul and I can only assume throw itself into a 300-esque pit.

Which leads to my point (finally, right?): I threw my scale the other day. Not away. Like, at a wall. After losing a disturbing amount quickly thanks to my break up and inability to eat during tumultuous times, I was shocked when it stayed stubbornly at the same weight for not one, not two, but THREE WHOLE WEEKS. Am I fully aware that this is likely due to muscle building and have I measured myself instead? Yes. I’m not an idiot, I know how the body works. But sometimes you just want the numbers to reflect it, weird as that sounds. And treating your scale like a frisbee, as momentarily gratifying as it was, doesn’t actually solve my problem. I’m sure it’s all a part of society, we’re taught that we aren’t healthy unless our weight is a certain number (I feel like women always try to round it to 120 pounds as being that ‘number’ they try to attain…even as a size 2 I was still 125 so I have no foggy notion why this is).

Caaarbs. Carby carby carbs.

Caaarbs. Carby carby carbs.

It’s really hard not to get impatient. I want the strength, endurance, and super fabulous body right now. Of course I do. But that’s not how it works, and the only way I’ll see results is if I keep going in a way that won’t cause my body to start self-flagellation. Will the results be as quick as they have been for others? Of course not. My body is different and, frankly, I love carbohydrates. I’m still craving pretzels like no other for reasons I’m still not fully aware of. I eat gluten (GASP). Once recently, I even put bacon down my feeding hole.

Okay, stop really quick. Feeding hole is disgusting and I apologize for that. Ew, Alyssa.

Otherwise, life has been pretty decent. I ran my first 5k two weekends ago. By ran, I mean jogged half and walked half because HAHAHA I can’t run 3.some miles nonstop yet. It was the Glo Run in Carlisle, PA and it was an absolute blast. My endurance definitely has increased though; another troop I take a lot of classes with told me last week that he’d seen a big change in my endurance already and I almost hugged him. I feel different, energy-wise and physically. My legs are normally where I see changes first and already they’re becoming pure muscle. I have muscles whose names I don’t know that are showing up to the party and helping me rock out the tire flips and 8 zillion squats. I find myself pushing to get just one more push up in before we change stations, even when my muscles are burning and that lazy part of my brain is saying, “He’s counting down from 3, you can stop…stop…ALYSSA JUST STOP MOVING.” It’s a good feeling. I mean, it hurts, but it’s good.

Nicki (left), Taylor (right), and me (where else) at the lake on the Fourth of July.

Nicki (left), Taylor (right), and me (where else) at the lake on the Fourth of July.

Last weekend was the Fourth of July (for anyone living under a rock since the Roman times, who has no concept of the calendar we use today) and it was a lot of fun. Last summer, my friends threw a party at their house and I had to sit through watching my ex and his new girlfriend be super in love for several hours. I had a good time, but nothing can put a damper on that like your ex-manthing’s new girlfriend talking to you about giving him fellatio. Let me tell you. This year, we all have kind of moved up and on our separate ways. I spent the morning/afternoon sitting by the lake at Cunningham Falls, lazily hooping and eating veggie chips. It was absolutely beautiful outside. We moved our party elsewhere around 3pm, due to the need for grilling and poolside nonsense. So, my group of friends and I traversed back to my friend Nicki’s house to grill and blow water out of pool noodles like 6 year olds. And it was just as hilarious as when we were six. Eventually, we toddled off downtown to watch the fireworks (which were astoundingly better than last year), then home to bed. Because even though pool noodles are hilarious, we all are usually asleep by 11 because…adulthood.

I have to note before I end this post that I typed it up yesterday and didn’t finish it until today because, you know, work and stuff, but I went to class yesterday and we practiced running backwards.

We practiced running backwards.

I AM TURNING INTO A SUPERHUMAN…with the hamstrings of a demigod. I also stepped back on the scale today and almost threw it again so I’m thinking it might be time to put it far away in a dark corner where I can’t get on it. I’m going to try and write more in depth about my experience running my first 5k, which is why I didn’t delve too much into it here. To some people, running a 5k is nothing. It’s three miles. But for me, this was about three years of “Oh I think I should” in the making before it actually happened. It deserves its own blog post with its own incredibly inappropriate gifs.

So life is picking up. On the ex front, my body decided it would be a super good idea to start having out of the blue, vivid dreams about him. Like happy ones. I woke up crying one morning because I hadn’t thought about all of those memories in a while – trying to forget, I guess. I’ve had a few others, sporadically, since then and I’m really hoping they stop because they’re creating way too many feelings I don’t want to have anymore. Loving someone who actually used the sentence, “Regardless of my feelings about you, I have to at least see if it can work with ____,”  is only asking for more pain. I also know that I can’t force myself to not love him anymore. Love and betrayal aren’t mutually exclusive. And I’m a person who finds it really difficult to fall in love, but when I do, it’s with all of me.

So pulling myself back out of that is going to take more time than I’d like it to. And for now, I’m going to accept that I still love him and use it to my advantage rather than as an excuse to wallow. I’ll continue to try and send only positive thoughts his way, and use it as a learning experience. If I’ve learned one thing (okay, I’ve learned a lot of things), it’s that I have changed. I’m not the person I was two or three years ago. I don’t have the same low self-esteem I had then. I found my loyalty, fidelity, and, honestly, maternal instincts I didn’t think I had. Somewhere in the last six months, I found my biological clock and now I feel like the crocodile in Peter Pan. I don’t know, that’s a whole other conversation for a different post. Anyway, only three more days until I’m on a plane to Oregon! There will be so much picture-sharing, I almost feel guilty already.

But not.

– a.

West Coast here I commmee!

West Coast here I commmee!

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Staying committed

Ha, those two words can hold a heavy burden on some people, depending greatly on the subject at hand. In this particular case, it’s staying committed to myself. The past almost two months now (since the turmoil of break up/back together/break up/why won’t you mail me my shit for the love of god) have been, to be completely cliche, a roller coaster. For a little while, I struggled to find any lasting satisfaction or contentment throughout my day. Certain things would make me feel better, but I didn’t really feel good. Thankfully, blessedly, my commitment to self-joy has brought me sufficiently out of the dark place all people go during a break up and my days are mostly joyful now, with moments of sadness. I read a fabulous quote last night from (you guessed it) Tumblr: ” Before I met him, I would dance in the shower. When he was in my life, I would think about showering with him. After he left, I would sit on the ground in the shower and cry. When I got over him, I showered so quickly there was no time for dancing, fantasies or tears. Someone can invade the smallest parts of your life, you won’t even realize it until you dance in the shower again and wonder why you ever stopped.”

Sorry man whose name completely eludes me, I still struggle with the word "no" sometimes.

Sorry man whose name completely eludes me, I still struggle with the word “no” sometimes.

What a perfect way to describe a break up. And desperately true. I’m still in the part where there isn’t time for dancing in the shower – but at least I’ve stopped thinking of him washing the conditioner out of my hair for me. And other inevitable things that happen when showering with your significant other. Speaking of said other things, I have to say that I’ve noticed a stark increase in exboyfriends/lovers/casual sex partners/people I’ve literally never looked at that way/asshole misogynistic strangers reaching out to me. Now, while I am fully aware that rebounding is something that happens and inevitably there will be someone “after”, I have never been a big rebounder. Honestly. After a break up, especially one that wasn’t mutual, the last thing I want is someone else shoving his tongue in or around my mouth (in some cases, mostly around – ew). Don’t get me wrong, attention when I’m feeling down is fabulous. Yes, tell me I’m pretty. All day. Go ahead I encourage the fuck out of that. But, telling me that you messed up with me and/or wish you had done things differently? Drop it, man (x10). I don’t know if I’m alone in this, but when I move on from someone, I fully move on. When I make the decision to walk away, fully drop the rope, I am gone and I don’t look back. Not emotionally, anyway. And, on a mildly related note, I really need to apologize to the guy who I convinced to wait for me upstairs when I didn’t know how to say, “JK no, you’re really good looking and clearly intelligent but I’m an emotional mess,” and then ran out of the house. But I knew that trying to use sex or anything like it to try to make myself feel better wouldn’t fix anything and it certainly wouldn’t make me feel any more chipper.

Peeta is just as confused as me.

Peeta is just as confused as me.

It feels good though. To feel good again, I mean. To have days where I don’t run across something that reminds me of all the good in the relationship – because I don’t need reminded of that right now at all. Just like I don’t need to know how he’s doing, or if he’s happy, or any of the above. After bothering him for three, count it, three weeks for the rest of my things (trying all different tactics, mind you), I finally just told him to keep it last weekend. Said it was the last text I was sending. I’m appalled by the childish behavior, that he’s so scared to even see me when I offered to just pick them up because it’s like $20 to ship anything anymore. Mind you, of course he responded to that text (but not to the cut and dry “please mail me my things, let me know if you need my address” one, idontevenknowyouguys) and gave some excuse and then asked for my address but still the whole process? Ugh. And her mother trolling my Facebook page to “see if I said anything mean about her?” For Pete’s sake. I was willing to put up with the sitting outside and watching the house to see if I was over, mildly suicidal ideations, drunkenly showing up at his house, social media stalking, etc (btw, all of these are classic signs of an actual stalker, FYI) while I was in the relationship, now I’m not and I would very much like left alone. Was it actually her mother? I have no foggy notion; she used to use her mother’s Facebook to stalk us beforehand. Do I want to continue to think about it? No. Truly, I want left alone. I need to recommit to myself and myself alone. I don’t want any more relationship garbage, or long lost loves flying back into my life, or any of it. If this was a book, I’m finished reading it. I’d like to put it down now and not have it be like that book about creatures from Harry Potter.

So, all of that fun nonsense aside, I’m really pushing myself to be even better than I was before November. I signed up for a 5K, have been trying to help and reach out to as many friends as possible (this is symbiotic – I also don’t love being alone), have been really trying to keep improving at work, and joined a gym. And I’m really excited about this gym. Like, typing about it keeps making my eyebrows do this jumpy “are you excited cause I am” thing that kind of freaks me out because I can’t help it. Anyway, it’s called Soldierfit and it’s abso-fucking-lutely bloody-fucking-tastically amazeballs. I can’t believe I just wrote those last three words. It’s a program that’s based around military boot camp drills – but they offer so much more. MMA classes, yoga, kids classes, a regular gym, etc. My friend got into it a few months back and is already working there as a trainer because she’s a. awesome, b. a beast, and c. toootally gets the whole “reinvesting in yourself after a breakup” thing. So I left my old gym and joined Soldierfit and already love it. It’s not just a gym, it’s a family. Everyone is so nice, there’s so much camaraderie, and you can bet your ass that all of the trainers are good looking. Like, do another box jump for me unnng, good looking. That’s some serious motivation right there.

After the break up, I stopped eating and lost almost 15 pounds. I was happy to lose it but not in the way that I did. Once I started eating, I gained about five back. That’s about normal and didn’t really bother me, but I really miss how I felt when I was actually in shape. And I’ve been waxing on about that for years now, which is, at this point, stupid. I know what I have to do to get actual abs back. I know what I have to do to run an 8 minute mile (I’m clearly not a sprinter or anything along those lines, definitely a plodder). This was my very enthusiastic way of finally doing it. And oh dear god, everything is sore. My life is sore. I am so sore. Soreness 4 lyfe. It’ll improve and I’ll get stronger, and for now this pain is a good reminder of why I shouldn’t quit. And man, these functional fitness workouts are awesome. Slamming a mallet into a tire, heaving sandbags (really heavy ones), whipping a 10 pound ball at the wall like a shot put – I love it. I love all of it. Indian runs will likely be the death of me, but I love it. I’m so exhausted afterward, and nauseous, but it feels so good to know that I did it. I’m doing something. And it makes me feel good. Good for me, not good for anyone else. If I look great in a bikini and can be eye candy for others, that’s fine too, but I want to be able to climb ropes and army crawl through mud, flip tires, and do back flips. God, it really feels good to be active again. It feels really really good to start feeling like me again. I’m just starting, but it feels so good.

It’s funny, last year around this time, I’d written a post wherein I’d used a .gif to describe my love life. It was, still apt and perfectly chosen from Bridesmaids, when she raises her champagne glass, looking begrudging. I feel a little differently this time.

No really guys, I got this.

No really guys, I got this.

Fitness assessment tonight before class. I’ll try and post the results.

– a.

In all its glory

Sometimes I stand bowlegged when I hoop. It's normal.

Sometimes I stand bowlegged when I hoop. It’s normal.

This has quite possibly been one of the longest work weeks in the history of work weeks. And I used to work 12 days in a row, so that’s actually pretty impressive. Today is (finally!) my evaluation at the financial firm. After 90 days, they’re supposed to give you an evaluation to bring you on as a permanent member and a raise, I believe, usually comes with that. We were all so busy during tax season and the aftermath that it was put off an extra month but it is today! My boss told me it is going to be the evaluation of the century. I’m so pumped. Fingers crossed for a big raise! And last night, I finally mastered leg hooping. This sounds silly but hooping is just one of those hobbies I have that makes me feel good, no matter what’s going on. And it’s a lot easier on the joints than running.

So, after continuing to fight with feelings of anger and resentment, I gave up the fight last night. When I picked up my things last week from my ex, he forgot a few things. Not super important things but things I wanted, plus money (not much) from the beach trip we planned that he’s currently on with his ex. Well, whatever she is. I feel weird saying “wife” because a wife isn’t someone you break up with and get back together with time and time again. Either way, I reached out and tried to confirm a day for me to get those things – he had said after he got back from the trip – and I received nothing. No response. I texted in the evening to basically say “I am literally asking for an ‘okay/not okay’ response here,” and nothing. So, at the end of the night, I told him to just keep it. This isn’t worth the fight anymore. If he wants to diminish me, he can. It shouldn’t, and doesn’t, mean that I am actually diminished. Part of me wants to still fight, because for all my acceptance and working through the steps of grief blathering, I do still love him. Of course I do, love isn’t fickle as all that. I asked a friend when I would stop hoping that things would eventually work out and she said, “When you fully accept what he did to you, that you never deserved any of it, and him using anything you did to excuse his feelings wasn’t right.” I’m not sure if that’s how it will work, because I can completely embrace that what has happened was none of my doing and that the only thing I need to change is my tendency to see men with baggage as attractive. The only thing I wish I had done differently, not that it would have made a difference, is voicing my unhappiness with her boundary issues a long time ago. I was afraid to step on toes because I recognized that I was ‘the girlfriend’ and exes have a possessiveness about them that even when they don’t want the other anymore, they don’t want anyone else to have them either. And it wasn’t brought up all that often, she was rarely mentioned, because she wasn’t important. But, anyway, I need to stop psychoanalyzing all of it because it won’t help me. Bad habits.

Eventually the anger will fade away completely, I will forgive him, and these will be entries about someone, rather than the one. At least I hope the last part will be true. It’s not easy for me to love, having someone hang himself the day after telling you for the first time will do that to you, and feeling that strongly about anyone scares the living shit out of me. It’s probably why I sought out sex-based relationships that put next to zero emphasis on actual love for years. It’s why I messed up the relationship I did have being unfaithful back when I first started college, and why it took celibacy and A LOT of self-focus to find myself again. I read old DeviantART (OMG I KNOW RIGHT) entries from when I was 17-19 and they were terrifying! I quite literally said this: “if i could drink forever, i probably would, because there’s something about that buzz after the disgusting carbonated pisswater that makes me so calm, so together, so “what i want to be” that i want to keep doing it until i’m dizzy, flying all over the deck and laughing.”

I was SEVENTEEN when I wrote that. And I am truly blessed that I am no longer there. My mind is no longer there. It took a really long time to get there, but it was and always will be so worth it. I also saw all of the toxic awfulness that was my on-again-off-again pseudo-relationship with a man who I now, finally, can consider a friend. Six years of back and forth, sex and screaming, drugs and threats. And I wrote about it, and used NAMES. Even then I wrote “I used to think the sun rose and set on him,” until he and I got into a screaming

My co-worker wrote "Super cool to the max!" along the side.

My co-worker wrote “Super cool to the max!” along the side.

battle wherein he threatened to kill me and I threatened to go to the cops. My life used to BE that! And the other night, he and I had an incredibly long conversation about addiction and loving yourself. And it was healthy, good, and productive. I am thankful that we could achieve that. It made me sad when I had made my amends with him back in January, apologizing for all I contributed to negatively, and telling him I couldn’t be a part of his life anymore. I had also written on the site about how hurt I was that he kept dating other

people but sleeping with me and wondering what was wrong with me, why I wasn’t good enough (back in 2009). Picture reading this while sitting at your desk at work. My eyes were doing this dart-y, “what the fuuuuck” thing where I had so much incredulity and so little ability to express it aloud. Again, I am so lucky and thankful that through all of this, past all of it, I learned to love myself and that I was valuable, and he and I finally came to this happy place of friendship. Also, I need to delete my DeviantART. That shit is embarrassing. It’s like Xanga with more emotions…which is possible.

Dexter the Grievance Eater.

Dexter the Grievance Eater.

I ran across this picture of what we would do in the “Positive Affirmation” group that I ran back at the rehab. I only did it a few times because there was always some asshole who had to write inappropriate things on other people’s papers because…misery loves company I guess but I found it and it made me smile. It’s easily over two years old but still, having a group of people who I barely know and act as an authority to (well, attempted to anyway) say such kind things still makes me warm in the tummy area. I enjoyed participating because it felt just as good to give that many compliments as it did to receive them! You know, I’m still struggling with the whole concept of a higher power because I was raised in an agnostic/atheist home and for most of my life, haven’t really invested much into something specific out there. The spectrum has ranged from praying every day to willfully proclaiming that there is no god. At the end of the day, I just don’t know if there is something or someone out there, but it feels like there is. And whatever it is doesn’t need a name or anything like that from me, all I know is that when I talk to it/him/her/whatever, I feel more at peace than I did before. But tangent aside, I am starting to really believe that this higher power, call it god, does put things into your life when you need them sometimes. I went to bed last night a weird mix of emotions and woke up still feeling weird – seeing it, reading the compliments of people I barely knew and never saw again, made me feel really good. Especially the “demi-goddess” affirmation. Like, yes, exactly. I am. Thank you.

While I don’t miss my old job because it was emotionally exhausting, not the career path I wanted to continue down, and horrible pay for a lot of work, I do miss some of the aspects of it. Getting to know people, helping them, seeing human nature at its most raw always kept me…well entertained at least. But in helping others, I learned a lot about myself and gained a lot of confidence I hadn’t had before. I do miss my co-workers though, we always had a blast. And were always mature. I never had a coworker put on a bra and pretend it was a gun holster and I don’t have a video of it on my phone or anything.

I keep feeling tempted to apologize for waxing poetic so frequently about the goings on of my emotional state in regards to my (past) relationship, but I keep remembering what a sweet friend (and former co-worker!) told me last year when I was down in the dumps: “Have you been writing? You always seem like you’re happier when you’re writing. I think it’s really good for you. Don’t worry what anyone thinks. Don’t regret it. You’re entitled to your feelings and the only reason someone would be angry with you is because they caused them and feel guilty.”

I still wear the necklace he bought me for Valentine’s day. Not because I’m sitting over here pining, but because it’s become familiar and comfortable; I have a tendency to grab for it when I’m thinking. It’s better than biting my nails. My friend told me to take it off and I ended quoting the movie, ironically, “The Other Woman” (which he and I went to see after we got back together the first time). Leslie Mann’s character asks Cameron Diaz when she’ll be ready to take off her wedding ring (okay, obviously BIG difference there – it’s just a necklace) and she says that one day, over time, it will just become a piece of metal and the memories attached will fade. And then she’ll be ready to take it off and won’t think about it. And then, annoyingly, like two minutes later she throws it into the ocean in a fit of faux-feminist glory but still. The quote was meaningful. Then I read this article about being the other woman, which I was not in the beginning but somehow ended up in the end, and one thing stuck out so much: “A man who strings you along for days, months, even years? A man who makes you doubt yourself and makes you feel like it’s reasonable to ask you to “wait” for your love to begin? Girl, that ain’t love. Yes, love is patient, but it’s also kind. It’s NOT kind — in fact, it’s downright cruel — to let you put your life on hold until it’s convenient for him to start reciprocating (and don’t hold your breath for that, either).”

He honored my request to not be strung along, and for that I really am grateful. He didn’t expect me to wait for him, and again, for that I’m really grateful. In his clumsy, messed up way, he does care and doesn’t want to hurt me intentionally. Like I said, maybe one day, but not today. And not anytime soon. And until that day does (or doesn’t) come, I have to be the most important person in my life. And that’s what I’m going to keep trying to do.

– a.