I love that my kids want to imitate me and try things that I do. For me personally, having children makes me want to be better and do better. I had tried some basic martial arts training with my daughter a few years ago, but now that she’s a bit older it’s a lot easier. For a few months my daughter has been practicing off and on some martial movements and principles, and last night I got to show her what she could actually do with what she’s learned. And what can she do? Well, she put me on the floor. Face first. It was pretty funny. I just love that she’s becoming my little wushu warrior and we’re all having a good time together.
My son was trying a bit of the White Crane Kung Fu himself, but he wouldn’t hold still long enough for me to take a picture, but he did while he was trying out my bow. I’ve loved archery for years and my kiddos are starting to like it as well. I’m a bit of a purist and a snob when it comes to archery, and I loathe compound bows. I think they’re silly. The bow in the picture is a mongolian bow that I purchased from Horsebows.com. These are made by Hungarian bowyer Kassai Lajos. These are NOT decorative pieces. Well, I will say that they are gorgeous bows so you could hang it on the wall, but these aren’t cheap, and they’re battle ready. Suffice it to say, these aren’t toys.
I talk about the bow a little because I’ve mentioned that exercise isn’t my favorite, and it’s hard to motivate myself. One of the workarounds I have developed for myself is that of finding activities that I love to do that have a physical component to them, such as martial arts and archery. The above bow has a draw weight of around 50 lbs. Might not seem like a lot, but it doesn’t have pulleys to give you a more perfect draw, nor does it have a fancy grip or sights, and with this bow you must utilize all these other accessory muscles to keep things stable. So I’ve been exercising with it, repetitively performing all common bow related body movements. It works many of your arm, shoulder, and back muscles, as well as your abs, pecs, intercostals, and lats. I was messing with it a few weeks ago and my lats hurt so bad a few days later I felt like I could barely move.
Many years ago in my early 20’s I had attempted to meditate, but with little success. There’s a million variations on meditation, and yet something so simple can be so very elusive if you aren’t in the right spot mentally, or you don’t have a good teacher.
My first real lessons in meditation were from some Buddhist Monks I had been spending time with. My initial instruction was rather interesting in that the monks I was with had taken a vow of silence. I was just telling a patient yesterday that you’d be surprised how much you can say with no spoken words at all. Just by following their example and their hand gestures and facial expressions, I learned everything I needed to know.
I sat for VERY long periods of time in silence. Not uttering a word, mainly because no one else was talking either. I was far away from civilization. I had no worries. No concerns. I would mindlessly stare at tiny candle flames, and let my mind go as I sat by flowing waters. I would stare at a tree just to ponder its existence. I let go of my worldly desires, and slipped into the space that most would say is nothing, or limbo, only to find one of the most incredible calms I’ve ever had. And the lovely thing was that I got to do it over again. And again…and again.
For years meditation was something I valued highly. Not at the expense of anything or everything, but as an essential tool of my life. I unfortunately let myself get out of the habit because when I found Jesus and became a Christian, I mistakenly listened to comments from those in the Church that felt meditation and Yoga were bad, and would invite a demon or the devil into my mind. When I realized they were wrong and being a bit silly, I tried meditation again, but I was unsuccessful. Why, I don’t know. This time around though, I seem to be able to do it like I used to. Weird.
What’s even more fun about it now is that I can teach meditation and its merits to my children and show them how they can seek detachment, a calm mind, and control over oneself. My daughter was even curious what I was doing so I gave her some basic instruction and she meditated for 10 minutes! She would’ve done it more, but she started getting drowsy, which was good because it was her bedtime.
So here’s what I accomplished today:
- 25 minutes meditation
- 35 minutes unstructured exercise(teaching my babies Kung Fu)
- 15 bicep curls(each arm)
I did 2 other arm and shoulder weight lifting exercises(10 reps each arm, each exercise), but I don’t know what the name of them is, so I can’t write it down yet.
A bit of wisdom I’d like to share…
I know for my plan in all of this I have times listed. Again, this is the end destination for me. Right now though if I purpose for myself to do certain exercises, apart from the time involved, one of my basic goals is to just be able to move my body in the manner that I want to do it. 50 pushups is fifty pushups, at least from the view that if you actually did them. Now, doing 50 pushups spread throughout the day is NOT the same as doing 50 pushups in a 2 minute period, but if you keep at it, you’ll be able to do better, and do more. The lesson here is progress, not perfection.
Keep at it! Don’t give up!