March 11th - Not Good Enough

My Dinner Table Today, hopefully the last day my stomach is feeling off.

Evening Thoughts 🍵

Today was a good day, I went to Basics, Forms, and Sanda class then reviewed my Shaolin Tong Bei form for an hour. I also stretched quite a bit extra today to help with the soreness and stiffness that comes after training. It was a harder day though. Basics class was just us drilling the Basic Long Fist Form (初级长拳三路) over and over and over and over until we were all barely standing. Master Peng always finds a new way to train the Basic Form, which is good as this form not only is a good workout but also a constant stretch on your body as your stances have to be low, deep and precise! After the workout I was talking to this 15 year old Chinese kid and he asked me if I was tired. Of course I was and he said something like this:

"That's good, Wushu (Martial Arts) is being tired. You chose this so keep it up. You're only a little bit tired. My most tired was in Henan (a place in China) where I wasn't able to sweat anymore and my piss turned red. That is my most tired, so keep working hard."

That sounds crazy and unhealthy but I understood his message so I stretched some and continued reviewing my basics after having some tea and water.

Some farm fields and a town in the distance, China Countryside

Forms class went similar to how Basics Class went except we were told to make drills out of the most difficult parts of our forms. The Masters Yan and Peng went around looking at each of our forms, correcting and giving us advice on how to make it better. Master Peng corrected me saying I need to be relaxed more so that I can be quicker, I need to move my head more, I need to shout, and a few more specific things on some moves. Even though I'm a bit nervous performing this form for the test, I think they will at least know I've been working hard on it.

Sanda Class focused on left leg kicks today. Low kick, Push Kick and High Kicks. Master Yan kept telling us to react faster when he would shout "Go" or "Kick" but I guess we all were off today. I feel like I put my best effort in as sweat was pouring down my face and my sides were hurting but it wasn't enough. Coincidentally, Master Yan told us a story about the Shaolin Temple (in Henan) where the students and masters train starting at 5am until the evening. He talked about how our classes are shorter and few so if we're not putting 100% of our effort into each class then our progress will be really slow. He also made an emphasis on how those Shaolin Monks are really tired at the end of their days compared to us where we are just a little bit tired. Sound familiar? His overall message was that we should keep pushing ourselves more and more but at the end of it all I feel like the overall message of today was I didn't push myself hard enough... even though during classes I felt like I did.

I wanted to get a better picture of this

Which brings me to an idea that I've had in the back of my mind; going to the Shaolin Temple for a year. Ever since the idea of this Kung Fu Journey started I've been thinking about this being the "end goal" to the journey. One or two years as a real warrior monk of Shaolin just so I know what it is like and it would be a cool piece to my endless adventures. If I'd ever open a school or maybe just train people (like friends or family) then they'd also be sure that what they are learning is "true kung fu". To hear that the effort I'm putting in now isn't enough is a bit demoralizing and a bit eye opening as well. If I want to be the best, I have to train like the best (without the red pee and no sweat though, that's just dangerous).

Of course my plans change often and who knows what the future will bring for me and my daily adventure.

What have you been thinking about lately?

Dream Big, then Chase It.

P.S: Just added another Kung Fu School to my "watch list" for future training plans


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