Disclaimer: Although nothing in this post is sexual, it contains details of my life, banter and conversations that happen within a self-described 24/7 D/s dynamic and is aimed at normalising and providing acceptance of those of us who choose to live this way. For further reading on my decision not to provide an adult content disclaimer on my non-sexual posts, please see my post “LGBTQ+K: A Case For “Kinky” As A Sexuality“. Thank you.
On Monday, I did something that I never imagined myself doing, certainly not in a long time: I started a cardio workout. Twenty minutes a day, I told myself, I’d lose weight, feel great and it would pay off. I wouldn’t see immediate gains, but slowly and gradually I would see change, slowly and gradually I would see an improvement.
Because of my disabilities, I have to be a little bit select about what exercises I do. Because of my chronic pain condition, contact sports and weights are generally off, so too are gymnastics and, unfortunately because of the pain in my foot, trampolining. I’ve known for a long time that I’ve needed to do something about my health, but what? How? And where?
Gyms for me are off-limits for financial reasons, and so to are most fitness plans. Even walking and running, which many people take for granted, was too contact-ey for me and my foot and knee, and my much-loved woods is a danger zone for a young, solo female. Swimming is a good option, but my nearest pool is ten minutes away by bus. For a month, with a bus pass on top, getting fit would set me back £185 ($228) per month on fitness alone. It doesn’t sound like a lot, but £165 each month is quite a chunk of money for a disabled person who doesn’t receive any help with her rent, tax or utilities.
No, whatever I did had to be low-cost, high efficiency and something that I could do alone.
Muscle toning with a pilates ball or a step is good and fun, but I really needed the cardio element as well. Conditioning is great, but I really needed something to get the heart pumping. I know, I know what many of my readers will think of when I talk about getting the heart pumping, but I mean really pumping – and for a good twenty minutes or so!
My first decision was to try a cardio workout from Youtube, using the Chromecast on the back of the lounge TV. There was no denying that it was fun and it definitely did get my heart pumping, but some of the moves became a touch difficult for someone with cerebellar ataxia. Stand on one leg and pump outwards? Standing on one leg for me is challenging in itself!
After a good fifteen minutes, I had to stop the video. My heart rate was definitely up, but going full throttle for fifteen minutes straight nearly broke me. It was fun, I realised, I could actually come to like cardio workouts! I just needed to adapt it a little bit.
Yesterday, I didn’t go for the video. Instead of the video, I decided to do my own thing, find a 90’s workout playlist and just march and find my own movements. As long as I moved, I told myself, it qualified.
I definitely built up a sweat, but did it qualify as a workout? I was curious. A quick search and I learned that apparently, yes, it does. That was me then, 90’s music and a good, vigorous march!
Day three has been a compromise of two ten-minute workouts with, hopefully, a little bit of yoga this evening. I’ve tried yoga before and didn’t really get on with it, but I want to make tonight a more gentle, mind-cleansing routine. Even just ten minutes, I’ve decided, and maybe some weights for while I’m cleaning the home – that should have me back on track in no time.
My other added little bit of smugness comes in knowing that my neighbour is working out and trying to become a gym buff, but knowing that he is also mad at a few people and trying to do it to show them that he is better without them. For me, this is a personal goal, this is about being able to play with my family without getting out of breath and being able to clean the home without needing to take breaks to sit down. For me, this is about looking better and having more energy, it’s not about proving myself to anyone.
Though, there may just be a little bit, after all.
Not so long ago, my neighbour took to telling me several times that I’m “not his cup of tea”, and that’s fine, he’s not mine either. While I have nothing against him having an opinion, I do object to him casting his opinion onto me when it’s not welcome. Not finding me attractive doesn’t bother me (because there are already plenty of others who do), what does matter to me is the fact that he thinks saying things like this, to anyone, is okay.
But what if, one day, I were to become his cup of tea?
What if I were to get fitter, and to talk fitness, which is his cup of tea? What if I was to become slimmer, prettier, dress better, feel more confident and, nay say, even start sunbathing in a bikini? What if I was physically fitter and I maintained my can-do attitude, the attitude that he so loves in some women?
What if, essentially, in a few years time, he had his dream girl living right beneath him? And what then, when he’s not her cup of tea?
What if she prefers a man with a kind heart, a good sense of humour and a “Dad bod”? What if she thinks muscly guys are actually unattractive? What if she has tonnes of free time and energy and a relaxed, jovial and care-free disposition, all while he’s so obsessed with his physique?
Wouldn’t that just destroy him?
A wise woman once said “if you can’t handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don’t deserve me at my best” and such is most certainly the case. I will always remember the lies that he told me, I will always remember the unwelcome put downs that he gave me and I will always remember the way he tried to bully and manipulate me into doing what he wanted. He called me yesterday for some help and no sooner than he started another of his wearisome diatribes, I told him that I had to go. I told him that this time, I was busy.
He, essentially, picked on the wrong girl.
Life will always treat you the way that you treat others, and if you are kind, life will be kind to you. I am not a vile person and I will never turn a person in need away, but if you treat me with bitterness and contempt, I will do exactly the same to you. In the end, it is always those who don’t care for others who find themselves sad and alone. The very reason that I started this blog wasn’t even about me. It was all about you, my beloved readers, and how I can help you.
Over the past few days, one of my biggest frustrations has been my blog. It’s good, but good is not good enough, it needs to be better.
Out of curiosity, I wondered :how long it takes a blog to be successful: 6 months? About six months is the answer, and I’ve been running mine for two years.
Secondly, I wondered how many page views per day a blogger needs to be considered a successful blogger.
About 100,000 views, and I average typically just 1-2% of that.
Make no mistake, the fact that I average 1-2% per month is humbling in itself because I know that there are dozens of other bloggers out there who are lucky to even see 0.01%, but for me, my blog is like my job, and if my blog is going to be like my job, then it needs to be a little bit more of a success. I’m obviously doing something right, but I need to be doing what I do right, better.
Second to that, I installed the most recommended plugins on the Successful Blogger scene: Google Analytics and Yoast SEO. It’s been a lot to learn and I still have a lot to do, but one day, I’ll be up there.
I’ve kept my plugins simple because I think that was what crashed them last time. I had a lot of things, and a lot of things that I didn’t really understand. Some worked, others didn’t, some I think kept crashing and conflicting. Whatever did or didn’t work, today is about keeping my blog, perhaps, the way my blog was meant to be: Simple, sleek and informative for my readers.
And free of bloody pop-ups.