Hey all.

Well, I totally rock. I did it again … the whole 3 minutes running thing. Too cool for school.

And I wanted to let you guys know that I’m off to upstate New York for the holiday, so I won’t be around for a while. Boo. But on the upside, I’m going to a little farm, so I’ll be able to run down some country roads. I’m packing my running shoes and heading off into the real world.

Happy Turkey Day to everybody. Much love.

I did it! Oh my god, I am the most amazing person that has ever walked the face of the planet! Not only did I run for 3 straight minutes once, but I also did it a second time! Who knew I was capable of such things?

You know what this means, right? This means my cardiovascular strength is improving in leaps and bounds. Rock on!

Now let’s see if I can do it again tomorrow…

Well alrighty then. Today is the day when my running increases to 3 minutes. It goes 90 second run, 90 second walk, 3 minute run, 3 minute walk … repeated twice. I’m half nervous and half excited. The person who I used to be would have just not gone to the gym today and instead sat around the house feeling bad about not going but also unable to avoid dreading the effort it would take to run for 3 minutes. No longer.

Which reminds me. I was reading Chris’ blog the other day and I couldn’t help feeling a bit embarassed. See, I think that I’ve been one of those people for a very long time … a kind of person who only puts out the absolutely necessary effort and leaves the rest up to fate. I’ve always been more interested in taking the short route than the long route, more interested in being lazy than being hardworking, more interested in complaining about it than actually acting. And this is something about myself that I really want to change. I don’t want to just bitch about the fact that I want to lose another 15 pounds and don’t seem to be able to. Well duh, of course I’m not losing it, I’m still sitting around and eating a metric assload of chocolate every day! I don’t want to go to the gym and only do the things that I know how to do. Instead I want to go and try out something new every day until I’ve got the entire place mastered. I don’t want to avoid going to the gym just because I know it’s going to be a hard day for me today. I want to go and revel in the effort it takes. I mean shit, this journey isn’t about ease, is it? It’s about learning to love every second of all the hard work it takes. It’s about making your body into something completely different. It’s about being better.

Shape magazine, to which I subscribe, has these little cardboard exercise cards that come in every edition. I always save them and then don’t do anything with them. I think I’m going to put them in my gym bag and actually start using them. Seems like a waste otherwise … I’m sure there are good exercises on there which would be great for me. And who cares if my time at the gym is drastically increased? If I’ve got the time, why not spend 3 hours a day there, right?

I need to find a way to get a personal trainer. A friend of mine joined a gym recently which gave her a free three session personal training package. So much more useful than my one session which was a total freakin’ bust. I just feel like having a personal trainer would drive me in the right directions. I would be able to learn new things and have someone explain to me the right ways to do things so that I don’t hurt myself. For instance, I’ve been thinking that I really want to get into free-weights, but I don’t know how to do any of it and it’s SO easy to hurt yourself. Hmmm … maybe I’ll just wait until I get to the MIT gym. I think it’s significantly cheaper there.

I also wanted to say thank you to all of you for your wonderful support. It’s nice knowing that there are people out there who understand why the situation was so difficult for me. Being nonconfrontational pretty much sucks. Yet another thing for me to work on. All this work I have to do is completely exhausting.

And here’s my exercise info for the weekend:

Sat: no running, no gym. 30-40 minutes skating.

Sun: 30 minutes on treadmill, 30 minutes on weights, 10 minutes stretching.

Yesterday was a day of firsts for me, one of which was among the hardest things I’ve ever done in my life.

In my “Skills and Dynamics of Therapeutic Relationships” class we were talking yesterday about assertiveness. My teacher brought up a subject which I had spoken to her about … the fact that the people in our class tend to be really chit-chatty in our science classes and that it drives me insane. And hey, guess what, I’m not an assertive person, so the idea of turning around and asking anyone to please be quiet sends me into a complete panic. So she brought the subject up with our class, not using me as her example or anything, but just letting people know that this was a problem. And a huge discussion erupted, with tempers raised and people acting up. And I, for one of the first times in my life, managed to express to everyone there how angry it made me when people around me talk. I told them that I’m not an audio learner, so that in order for me to even hear what the teacher says I need it to be virtually silent. I told them that the program that we’re taking isn’t cheap, and that under no circumstances am I paying to hear about how their weekend was. I told them that it really, truly, makes me livid to have to deal with it. The entire time my palms were sweating, my heart was pounding, and I was shaking to the point of barely being able to hold on to myself.

At the end of the discussion the teacher says, “Now, is there anybody in this room who, because of this conversation, doesn’t feel safe?” I raised my hand. It honestly didn’t have anything to do with not feeling safe with the other people in the room. It was just that expressing my anger makes me not feel safe in general. So one of the girls in our class said, “I don’t understand how anybody wouldn’t feel safe. I mean, we’re on the massage tables mostly naked with each other every day.” I pulled my pounding heart out of my throat and responded, “I would rather, in a million years, be completely naked and standing in front of this room than do what I just did and express …” And that was as far as I could get. I burst into tears and went running from the room. I think the only person in the room who really understood just exactly what had just happened was my dear Ms. L.

And here it is. I would rather run around naked in front of my entire school, get on 50 airplanes, or have a turantula crawl around on me than try to express anger. I would rather do just about anything than let someone in on that particular emotion. Truth be told, I don’t even know where this hatred of my own anger came from, but it’s there. I somehow don’t think it’s appropriate for me to be assertive or to express my emotions (other than happiness and sadness … those I’m damn good at expressing). I hate this about myself and it’s something that I’m working really hard on changing. So I believe that what I did yesterday is commonly referred to as a breakthrough.

Basically, that was a long badly-written story that I’m sure nobody except for me actually cares about, but it made a giant impact on my life. You can’t imagine the balls it took for me to express myself in that particular way.

Oh yeah, the other first … When I got home last night, after having a complete breakdown in front of my entire class, I was too upset and too riled up to just sit around and eat dinner. So I put on my running outfit and went down to the river, where I jogged back and forth for a little while. It was hard to run outside! But oooooh, running on dirt feels freakin’ amazing. And it actually made me feel infinitely better.

-30 minutes of run/walk, including warm-up and cool-down.

-30 minutes of weights.

-10 minutes of stretching.

Unsure as to whether or not I’m going to skate today. I think it would be nice, but there’s also a whole bunch of other stuff that I need to do. Hmmm…decisions, decisions.

On a good note, the running is getting easier and easier. I feel like I’m holding my upper body very tense the entire time I’m running, but I’ve been working on shaking out and letting go. It’s hard though. Next week I’m moving up to running for 3 minutes at a stretch. I know that all you real runners out there are laughing at me and I honestly don’t care. Right now running for 3 minutes at a time is unbelievably daunting, but I know that when the moment comes, I’ll be able to do it.

It’s amazing how much faith and love I have for my body these days.

-Ran/walked for another 26 minutes plus warm-up, cool-down time.

-Stairmaster for 10 minutes. God, I hate that thing, but I know it’s good for my ass.

-Stretching for 10 minutes.

Didn’t go skating, didn’t do anything else. Not the best workout day that I’ve ever done, but at least I did it, right? That is the important part.

A note: my morning schedule is very set in stone for the most part. I wake up, make myself a cup of tea, sit in front of the computer (browsing all your blogs) until the tea is gone, and then I go to the gym. I don’t ever eat until I get home from working out, I just find that’s what works best for me. But this morning I woke up and was famished, so before going to the gym I ate an energy bar. BIG MISTAKE. As soon as I started running I got a side cramp and it didn’t go away until I got off the treadmill. Believe me, I did all the breathing tricks I know of. I guess I just need to stick to my regular schedule. Tea doesn’t seem to disturb me at all, but the food obviously did. Oh well … yet another lesson learned.

Alrighty … day one of ACCOUNTABILITY.

Ran/walked for 26 minutes (plus five minute warm-up and five minute cool down). Did two whole miles today.

Weights for half an hour: legs, shoulders, back.

Skated in circles for a good 40 minutes until my feet hurt so much that I had to stop. Right now I’m working on cross-overs and getting more generally comfortable on the skates. What I want is to be a damn good skater by the time I join the team next year, if I can join it at all.

I need a new plan, because what I’m doing now isn’t working. I need some serious structure. I need to be held accountable, because I certainly don’t seem to be able to do that for myself. So I think I’m going to start posting my exercise here every day. Which means that if I don’t post, I didn’t do anything. Makes me somewhat more accountable, right?

I’ve been thinking about going to the gym every morning and then going over to MIT for the general skate they have from 12-1. I feel like if I’m enjoying skating this much right now that I really should be doing it at every possible opportunity. And besides, even if I’m just skating around in a circle for an hour, I’m burning a couple extra hundred calories. So gym for running/weights/etc. and then skating for an hour. That means my exercise regime is going to start at 10-ish and not be over until 1. Honestly, sounds good.

And food. Aargh. What to do about food? Now that it’s cold here and winter is really setting in, my body is craving the traditional winter foods. For the last couple of days all I’ve wanted to eat is stuffing and gravy and mashed potatoes. I’ve got to get that shit under control. I have to figure out a way to eat food that’s good for me and that also makes me happy. Somehow those two things have never really meshed in my mind. I guess that’s what I have to figure out how to do … make good food also be happy food.

And, on another note, my gym membership is up in February and I think I’m going to join the MIT gym. It’s got a gorgeous pool and tons of equipment and the skating rink. And A thinks that I might be able to play for the hockey team even if I’m just a member of the gym. Not possible for right now obviously, but I’ve got high hopes for next season.

The truth is that I have nothing to say. I want to say something super important but nothing is coming to mind. There isn’t much super important going on in my head right now, to be honest. It’s all a gigantic jumble. So I’ll just give you a couple of snippets of what’s up there.

Y’all ever heard of Baba Ram Dass? He’s become my guru. In 1976 he wrote a book called “Be Here Now” which became a very influential spiritual guide for many people. He is a wonderful, beautiful, brilliant human being who makes me cry every time I hear him speak or read something he’s written. If you’re interested in him, try to find the documentary about him called “Fierce Grace.” It’s how I originally discovered him (thank you PBS) and worth every second. Anyway. Up until yesterday I guess that I understood the concept “Be Here Now,” but never really knew what it meant. And then yesterday my therapist said to me that I’m too focused on the end result, that the things that are important are the ones that can change my life right now. The end result of that is actually far less important than I seem to think. And for the first time I really understood what “Be Here Now” means. Amazing.

Last night I was watching “Bridget Jones’ Diary” and I became utterly appalled with how Hollywood treats women. Don’t worry, this isn’t a new thing, but it was reinforced for me. Pretty much everybody knows that this is a movie about a “normal” girl, right? Well, in the beginning of the movie she gets herself a new journal and writes in it that she weighs 136 pounds. She then proceeds to spend the entire movie worried about her weight and thinking that she’s fat. 136 pounds? In my mind…not fat. Perhaps not absolutely perfect, but definitely not fat. And good lord, at least when she puts on weight she ends up with giant tits. All I get is huge thighs and ass.

I have an exam in physiology today, so everybody please keep your fingers crossed for me … it’s going to be hard. The great part about this is that I think I should probably be done with it by about 9:30 and I don’t have class again until 12:20. So I’m going to the gym! Honestly, I think that’ll be exactly what I need in order to make me feel good in the middle of the day. It always drives me nuts that I’ve got these miserably long school days (10 hours) with no real chance for being physical at all. Except for the hour that we spent massaging someone in the middle of the day, of course. But that’s less cardiovascular than I want it to be.

And I guess that’s about it. I’ll write more later, when I’ve got more concrete thoughts upstairs. Much love.

J’s up in New Hampshire right now helping his uncle build a barn. He’s out of the house for two full nights, which is actually awesome. It’s giving me a chance to spend some quality time thinking about what’s going on in our relationship. The thing is that there are two distinct sides of me that are warring right now …

There’s the me that’s really, truly convinced I am no longer in love with J. I’ve spent so much time working on not being afraid of losing him that now the idea isn’t even scary. I mean, I think that if we broke up that would suck, and I would be sad, but I would also know that it’s for the best. The future that we planned for ourselves doesn’t seem like it’s going to happen anyway, so it’s not like I’d be losing that. And, truth be told, we’ll be friends after this, even if it does take some time. So what am I losing? A relationship that’s almost completely gone anyway.

And then there’s the me that’s just terrified of losing him. You know I’ve loved him since I was 17? He has meant everything to me for the last eight years of my life. He is pretty much all that I have wanted for a very long time now and not having him would mean the end of a million dreams. It would mean the end of a love that I really do believe is destiny. I’ve always said that we were meant to be together, so how can we not be? And besides, he’s my best friend and if we broke up I would lose that, probably forever. He’s the greatest thing that has ever happened to me and I can’t give that up.

The truth is that I don’t want to continue living my relationship in sheer terror that I’m going to lose him. But it seems that I don’t know any middle ground between that and just not caring anymore. So how do I find that middle ground? Is it already too late? Am I just unwilling to admit that I’ve already made my decision? I don’t know how to find balance here. I can only see the two extremes.

And, totally off the subject, it’s fucking cold here. Currently 36 degrees. My big plan is to hop on my bike right now, go to the gym for some running/weights and then bike over to the MIT skating rink for the 12-1 free skate. Means I’m carrying my damn skates with me, but I can handle that.