It’s been a little while since I’ve written a genuine post, so I think now’s a good time to make one up as I go along.
I hit myself in the face with an arnis stick in training last night. We were practicing stick disarms, and as I pulled the stick from my partner’s grasp, I managed to hit myself in the head. My teeth are a little sore, and my lips a little broken, but hopefully there’s no long-term nerve damage. I also strained my injured wrists, probably from holding on longer than advisable during the disarm drills. Logically I knew it was foolish to risk exacerbating an injury, but I really wanted to teach a junior member how to lock a person’s wrist to make it easier to disarm them. My knuckles are very sore, too, from all the knuckle-based exercises I did because I was unable to flex my wrists into a plank position.
I seem to get quite a lot of injuries from training. Why would any rational human being do that to themselves? you might ask. It’s not particularly practical, it’s quite expensive and I seem to accumulate ridiculous injuries unnecessarily. So why do I do it? My friend recently asked me such a question on camp (which was awesome, by the way. I really missed sleeping in a tent, though Bethwyn didn’t find it too comfortable). I took a while to think about it, and finally responded “Because I love it.” The martial arts are inherently part of me- as Jackie Chan says in “The Karate Kid”, all things are kung fu. Dozens, if not hundreds of times a day, I train. For example, as I was waiting for Beth to try on some clothes today, I used the mirrors in Sportsgirl to practicexingyi stepping/turning. I did taiji when I woke up this morning, as well as feng quan (mountain top boxing) and the tiger crane form. But less formally, when I open a door I pivot my front foot out of the way by turning on the heel, or I shift my weight back to avoid and swing. When I turn off a light switch, I practice my age ko uke. When I open a door, I use my washide to catch it before it swings too widely. As I walk around, I practice twisting, turning, closing and depressing my hands in various ways, just because I enjoy the feeling and beauty of the movement. I might brush my teeth in mabu, or playfully deflect Bethwyn’s pokes with single whip. Practically every physical expression of who I am is through gong fu and my martial arts. And that is why, even on my birthday, there are very few things I would rather be doing than training with the Academy of Traditional Fighting Arts in Bayswater on a Monday night.
My morning ritual has become very undisciplined. As part of my counselling, I am encouraged to write lines every day. I think I’d like to write at greater length on the power of affirmations, but the gist of it is thus. When we are children, we learn certain thoughts in order to help us survive. These thoughts have kept us alive, but may no longer be helpful to us in adulthood. For me, these are thoughts such as “I always have to be doing something productive”, “I cannot waste resources/opportunity”, “I must make sure nobody dislikes me”, “I must help others because they are more important than myself” and other such things. I stress, these thoughts are not wrong, but nor are they helpful to me now. Every day, I spend fifteen minutes writing/reading aloud the following statement: “My future is positive and bright. I am happy, I feel good.” It helps to neutralise the negativity and stress that I have running in my subconscious, and I usually feel much better after even a few minutes of writing. It’s only been a month now, but over time (and as I take on new affirmations), I trust that I will be (more) ready to let go of some of the things that frustrate my ability to be happy.
Skyrim is going awesome, yo. I’ve got about 206 hours of gameplay saved, several hours of which has probably come from loading screens and idle time. I am amazed that I have been so interested for so long, but it is tremendously satisfying to say that I’ve completed every quest in the game that I’ve come across (and that my character would take on). Furthermore, about half of my skills are maxed out at Level 100, and I am probably the strongest mage in the history of Skyrim (including conjuration, not through summoning creatures, but from binding energy into the form of weapons, and enchanting, not through trapping souls, but from releasing them through the disintegration of enchanted objects and soul gems). At last, at last, I am going to continue the main quest line. In my monks robes, with Dawnbreaker across my back and my plain armour in my pack, I shall fulfill my destiny as the Dragonborn.
Well, this is rather less interesting than I thought it will be. Oh well! Toodles.