becoming infinite

always learning. always growing. always lifting heavy things.


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9 weeks out – finding the drive.

today was the first day of a new, 4-week training block. i really enjoyed the last one, and i feel like my back and shoulders gained some strength and size. since it was a four day split i also enjoyed a little more flexibility with my three off days – i rock-climbed a few times, did some metcons, and once or twice just grabbed a platform after work and did some hang cleans to work on power and speed (my elbows, and really everything, are the opposite of speedy).

this past week didn’t go quite according to program. the girl i’m very much in love with and i called it quits; i’ve been sad as hell about it. it was the strangest, most loving break-up i’ve ever experienced, but i’m still so sad that it’s hard to move sometimes. and on monday i had to have a little surprise oral surgery, which led to more melting down because (a) i hate the dentist ANYWAY, (b) i wanted my mom, and (c) i now have a big-ass hole where my molar used to be.

so with all of that on my mind, i had a hard time hitting it in the gym with my normal energy. plus, my training partner and i haven’t been able to coordinate schedules all week so we both flew solo monday and wednesday.

but nothing is ever perfect. training schedules can’t be followed 100%, all the time. meal plans can’t be followed 100%, all of the time. i got in there and put in work, even on the day when i was still bleeding from aforementioned big-ass hole in my mouth or the day where i laid in pigeon bawling while i was doing my post-lift mobility.

but today i hit my projected squat opener for two triples. so there’s that.

 


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untouched.

I haven’t held your hand in eight months and the human skin replenishes every twenty-seven days. You’ve never touched this skin and I don’t think you ever will.
the day i decided to stop contacting you, i put a post-it on my wall and started keeping a tally.
for months i had known that the only time we talked was when i reached out first. and even though i told myself one, three, sixteen times to just stop, the centripetal pull back to you was too much.
my tally is at 25 days now. five neat sets of hash marks on a bright pink post-it.
it’s like an advent calendar. only instead of getting a piece of chocolate every day, i get a little piece of my self-worth back.
it doesn’t feel good, knowing you’re somebody’s option. knowing that when somebody can’t make it through dinner without texting their friends back yet takes two days to respond to you, what they’re really saying is “you are unimportant.” i let it eat away at me, let myself wonder if i could change it – maybe if i was extra thoughtful and extra funny and extra cute you would think i was worth it.
but there is none of that now, none of that any more. in just two days i will be a wholly new person on the outside from the day i started my tally. in two days you wouldn’t recognize me. i wear my new skin like i wear my new heart: softly and gently but with steel underneath.
in two days i will molt and i will take down this stupid pink post-it because if 27 days is enough time to grow a new skin it is surely enough time to dispatch of the last layer of my heart you will have ever touched.


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post-trip post.

i got back to lexington this morning (5am flights – do not recommend). i’m exhausted, physically and mentally.

it was wonderful to see my uncles and their friends whom i met when i was down for new years, but my grandmother isn’t well and it breaks my heart. there’s not a whole lot i can think of to say outside of that.

grief presents itself to us in many different ways. my mom’s death was so sudden – one minute we were e-mailing back and forth about the weather and the dog; the next, she was gone – and it hit me like a freight train. but this…this is something wholly different, and painful and heartwrenching in new ways.

i don’t have a whole lot to say. i go back to work tomorrow – 630am spin class, 730am yoga. going to do some light squats, non-BB chest (benching with coach on friday), and some dippy accessory work.

and then i’m going to go to starbucks and write down every memory of my grandmother i can grasp, before they slip away like smoke.


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becoming That Girl.

after seeing countless “chick flicks” and reading scores of young adult, coming of age-type books as a pre-teen and adolescent, it seemed like it was some sort of twisted rite of passage: get heart broken, spend an entire weekend in your pajamas crying and eating haagen-dazs and swiss rolls, emerge from your cocoon on monday (much to the relief of your friends and family) with a new lease on life – one fueled by either a fuming desire for revenge or a never-say-die attitude that the best is yet to come so there.

* * *

it’s an otherwise ordinary tuesday night. when i finished my pint of phish food – did i really eat that quickly? are these smaller than they used to be? – i found myself torn between getting more ice cream or searching for the sharp things i thought i had fallen out of love with some eight and a half years ago. i absently rub behind my left ear and ruminate on the tattoo i have had for over two years but have never seen, an infinity symbol we got together when i was home on spring break during my first year of grad school. if we were IMing as we got ready for bed it was always a race to see who could manage to type “<3 x ∞” and then log off before the other could respond and have the last word, so to speak.

love times infinity.

the tattoo is forever, at least.

when i was younger, watching those movies with my friends at sleepovers filled with popcorn and teen and cosmogirl quizzes (“is your crush into you??” “what’s your lipstick personality?!”), i was always left slightly baffled. i could not for the life of me imagine myself becoming a 48-hour hermit with precariously high sugar levels over some guy. but then two things happened: (1) i got it through my thick skull that i did not, in fact, have the remotest interest in guys; and (2) i fell in love.

and then i got my heart broken.

…and then an entire goddamn year went by.

and now – what? now i’m sad? now i find myself fetal in my bed watching my train wreck of an adult life play behind shuttered eyelids as my fingertips count the train tracks written in my arms when i was 14, 18, 21? why now?

the movies don’t show this part, they don’t let you in on how, while you’re absentmindedly yet somehow also manically devouring that ice cream you’re also wondering if your landlord will just write off the rest of your lease in the event that you disappear, or if your father will somehow be saddled with that on top of the realization that the only remaining piece of his immediate family has also checked out. as your spoon hits the bottom of the carton you remember how, just a few weeks ago while you were shopping for boric acid you looked up one shelf at home depot and saw a display of utility knives and were pleased that you were no longer lulled to the display, that you could barely remember how it felt to slide the blade out – click click click – and hold it in the curve of your fingers, weighing all the power it held.

you silently curse yourself for owning nothing sharper than a butter knife. you curse again that you care.

no, those teeny-bopper novellas don’t also tell you that while you can pretend to bounce back all you want, the pain you swallowed initially will eat at you like a cancer, until finally, a year later, you look down and realize that it has come back around to devour you whole.

and none of those insipid story lines will tell you the most important and terrifying thing of all: that you will look around and realize that somewhere along the line, you stopped giving a shit.

and while this is not the stuff of blockbuster mega-hits, this is the stuff of real life: ice cream doesn’t cure jack shit, there are no second chances, and the only thing you can “get over” in a weekend is a fucking hangover.

i’m too exhausted to end this eloquently. and that, too, is the stuff of real life.


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just friends. (draft. and it needs a title.)

i wonder how we can be just friends.
how i can nonchalantly ask you
how your day was
(but only every other thursday
because anything more would be excessive)
and pretend i don’t remember us
curled like two commas,
my mouth on your shoulder,
your hips melting into my belly.

i don’t know how to delete the sound of our voices
hushed
as baby names passed through our lips.
ailey. ainsley. emma. jo.
we rolled each one around in our mouths like pearls,
small and round and smooth and deliciously foreign.

so forgive me, love,
that i cannot un-etch your name from my heart,
that i cannot forget the smell of your hair
or the taste of your teeth.
i cannot be a good friend – i cannot
be just friends –
until i am stricken with amnesia
and may no longer remember the way
you mumble in your sleep
or how we fell into Savasana
with our pinkies linked,
our hearts seeping through our fingertips.

i cannot be just your friend
because you will never be just mine.
you were my breath and my bones and the spaces between my words
and i cannot make you
into something you’re not.


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disoriented.

i woke up this morning having no clue about…anything. really. i didn’t know what day it was (not terribly atypical), what month or year it was, where i was (i have been living in this house since july…get it together, jenn), or even what in the hell i was doing/what i was waking up for. i looked around for a good thirty seconds to find the door and shuffled my way there, hoping i would know which way to turn when i got outside of it.

the only thing i kept muttering to myself was “my name is jenn. my mom’s dead.”

flashback twelve years: i started having “gap” seizures my junior year of high school. i would phase out, be completely disoriented while i was seizing (i use that term lightly – there were never any tremors involved, just cognitive blackout), and then when it was over and i phased back in, i would have to re-figure where i was, what had happened, who i was with, etc.

my friends and family learned that, since i was still physically completely functional and “normal”-looking when i seized, a big warning sign that i was under was me turning to them, sometimes in the middle of a sentence, and saying, ‘what day is it?’

as i phased back in, to ground myself i would always work from the background forward. i would start with the year: ‘it’s 2001..’ then the month, the day, where i was…eventually my fog would clear and i would be just as i had been before the seizure, only just having lost a few minutes of my day.

that was exactly how i felt this morning. only as i tried to ground myself, figure out where i was and how i got there, i grabbed on to the two things most salient in my life: my name, and the fact that my mom is gone. it took an unusually long time to fully understand where i was, what day it was, what i had planned to do this morning, etc…i think it’s just the stress of the semester causing brain fritzs. but it’s interesting – when in a pinch, the things we grab on to to “define” ourselves.

“my name is jenn. my mom’s dead.” where do i go from there?


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that awkward moment…

…when somebody who i don’t know personally, but who  knew my mom, comments on a post i left on my mom’s wall a few weeks ago. i had left a wall post saying that i would be flying home for thanksgiving soon, and that i would miss having her there. one of the responses i got was how i “shouldn’t miss her” because she’ll be there in spirit, and how she loved me “from the moment i was conceived.”

really? because i’m pretty sure i was adopted. and that my mom miscarried twice and then could no longer have children. and so they got me instead. when i was three months old. so that whole conception thing…yea nah.

that’s for starters.

but more importantly: i shouldn‘t miss her?? and then another comment i got straight-up asked me WHY i thought she wasn’t going to be there. um…because she’s not? because she died ten months ago? call me a literalist, but when i think about wanting somebody to “be here” i mean physically. here. in the same room. alive.

i appreciate that somebody was trying to make me feel better or comfort me, really i do. but i’m getting damn sick of this “don’t be sad! you have an angel watching over you!” bullshit. i don’t want an angel, dammit, i want my mother back. here. alive.

and i’m going to be sad, and i’m going to miss her. i don’t know why that is shocking to people. i don’t find comfort in the idea that she’s “watching over me.” not right now. maybe in a year, or even a few months. but not right now.

…i wrote this on the back of my syllabus during class wednesday night.