Steeling my Armor

This is a continuation from my first post.

I have always been a fan and practitioner of the martial arts. Back in elementary school, I used to hang out with a neighbor who went to karate school. He would teach me and other boys what he was learning. I didn’t go to karate school myself those days. That was something that my mother couldn’t afford. Later in junior high school, she was sending me and my sisters to music school and art classes. I still hung out with the guys to practice fighting. I was never a bully, or the type of kid to pick a fight. No, I avoided them. I was afraid to fight as kid, but I knew I needed to d something.

Years later, after our mother became ill and died of cancer, while I was graduating high school and going onto college out of state, changing colleges and returning to NYC, and starting flunk out, it was time.

I good friend of my older sister’s came by one day. He was a man who walked with a cane because he had a hip problem. My sister told me that he wanted to take me somewhere. I knew him well-enough so I went along.

We eventually arrived the 5th of 6th floor of a building in downtown Manhattan. It was a Kung-Fu school occupying a floor in an small office building. We sat there and watched the class. It turned that my sister’s friend has been a student here for many years. After the class was over, he asked me what I thought. I answered in a way to try to prove that I had some idea about what was going on (I knew even less that I thought). Then, he said; “So, when are you going join?”. I was kind-of taken aback, although I should have seen that coming. But, I decided to join. I was 19 at the time.

The following Saturday I came to my first class. I ALMOST DIED THROUGH THE BEGINNING EXERCISES! We didn’t even get to the techniques yet. I was sooooooo unfit. I was a really skinny guy. After the class was over, the instructor told that Kung-Fu is NOT for everybody and I should think hard about that before continuing. I almost felt like quitting then and there! But I knew that if I didn’t come the next week, I wouldn’t come back at all. I continued to come every week, religiously, for the next 3 1/2 years. I eventually became a junior instructor before I graduated from college with my Bachelors of Music degree and started touring Europe. Marital Arts has continued to be my most favorite hobby since then.

I am now presently learning Wing Chun Kung Fu. I go train twice a week, work out at home, I’ve changed my diet by eating mostly vegetables, very little to no bread, cut down on alcohol, reduced my smoking habit (mainly by NOT taking them with me everywhere), and drinking a lot more water. I’ve reduced my body fat by about 2% so far (after 2 months), increased my muscle mass slightly, and I’m re-discovering the fighter in me.

Your biggest opponent is yourself, and you have to fight him HARD! He’s NOT an easy prey and he doesn’t give up that easily either. As I steel my body, increasing my health, strengthening my body, I reduce my fear of illness (one of my fears of not being able to conquer my enemy), and increase my confidence in conquering my biggest enemy.

Slowly waking up

Good morning!

I woke up this morning realizing that I fell asleep last night with the light on. I remember I intended to continue reading I received from Amazon yesterday, The Art of Non-Conformity by Chris Guillebeau.

Now, non-conformity is no stranger to me. I am a musician aren’t I? If I wanted to conform to the world, I would have chosen a profession that promised a ton of cash, a nice house, a nice car, a beautiful wife … you get the picture. Funny thing is, I’ve always believed (and still believe) that my profession can still promise me all that. If I wanted to stick to conformity, I would have kept my butt in New York City and not have travelled the world and eventually migrated elsewhere. Funny thing is, I believe, if I had not been in New York City, I wouldn’t be here now.

So, if I’m such a good friend of conformity, why do I need to read on book on it? Well, maybe I’m not non-conformist enough? Maybe I need more ideas on being a non-conformist? Maybe, I just a few more techniques on non-conformity? Maybe, don’t really know what being a non-conformist is? Maybe, I’m really doubting my non-conformity?

A lot of questions!! But I guess that’s partially what it’s about. Questioning everything!

Anyway, after reading a few pages, realizing I needed my reading glasses (yes, my eyes aren’t so fit anymore), drinking my morning latte macchiato (self-made) and bowl of cereal, I needed to start taking action. I thought to myself; “I’ve got so many issues, which one should I tackle first?” Funny enough, it didn’t take me long to figure it out. My upcoming age and my relative dissatisfaction with where I am now in life in comparison to what I had always dreamed about, became the obvious motivator for this blog.

A few things that I promise (I hope) that you won’t have to read in this blog are: 1. Ranting and Raving, 2. Bitching and Whining, 3. Fits of Self-Pity and Regret. I may come up with a few others later. I’m not really a complainer and I don’t really believe in whining. I mean, I am a kind of a macho, but that’s normal guy stuff. Ladies, I still have a sensitive side. After all, I do have 3 daughters! 🙂

Well, what’s my plan so far? I want to, have to, re-invent myself!  Einstein once said (I’m paraphrasing); “You cannot solve a problem with the mind that caused the problem in the first place.” Just like the definition of insanity; Doing the same things over and over again and expecting a different result. It just doesn’t work. So, am I planning a complete overhaul? Not really, but who knows? In any case, it’s a step-by-step, not easy, not painless, but simple process. I’ve started out a couple of months ago by deciding to lose my gut, start exercising, gain a 6-pack, stop smoking (for the umteenth time!) and start talking, i.e. expressing my thoughts and feelings. I know that sounds “touchy-feely” but, that has been ONE of my problems in my relationships so far.