Thursday, January 24, 2013

Appearance Vs. Ability

About a week and a half has gone by since my last post. Early on in that period, my grandma did pass away as predicted. I really appreciated having the FMK venue, where I could talk about this experience and explore a few associated thoughts…

In addition to this family matter, I’ve been on the road, and very busy prepping and delivering my start of semester lectures. Again, if it weren’t for the dawn wushu sessions – in the park or hotel room – I’d be far more overcome with stress

As regards training, I’ve been focusing primarily on improving my performance of the TKD-inspired form. Though it’s slow going, I’m making progress…

Also, I picked up a pair of hexagonal dumbbells, which I’m keeping at my college office while home, and taking with me to my hotels when on the road. The upper body workouts that all of you in Chicago have been featured in lately are great guides for various quick routines with the dumbbells that I can draw from

I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned it, but my younger brother is a professional body builder.  As part of his work for his sponsors (ON Nutrition), he’s starting to host these workout events on Facebook. His first one is the Abs Challenge, where he’s having participants start at 40 full-range sit-ups per morning, and then move up by 15 per week over six weeks. He’s offering small prizes for the participant who demonstrates – by before and after photos – the greatest transformation. Though I’m totally disinterested in the prizes (supplements), I decided that I would play the game as a means of connecting more with my brother. Plus, I know a few others who are going to do it, including my first kung fu sifu, the guy who trained me from the age of twelve to eighteen. Yet though the actual game hasn’t commenced yet, I’m already kind of regretting my agreement to play. It’s nice that this is a challenge where nobody’s going to get hurt, and that it might even help motivate some people to increase their health. But at the same time, it’s the underlying values that I’m struggling with. And this is something I’ve long known about my brother, and what makes him a good body builder… what he cares most about is the surface impression, the appearance. When we were kids, and I used to drive this giant boat of an Oldsmobile, he’d want me to roll the window down and drive by the side of our school really slow, so he could dive into the back seat and lay on the floor without being seen. The car was too surface ugly. But it had eight cylinders, and I’ll tell you it rocked as far as power goes. Didn’t matter. And I can see it’s kind of the same with this Abs Challenge. The greatest visual transformation of the stomach is what’s going to be rewarded, regardless of what that stomach can actually accomplish. I hope I don’t seriously regret accepting his invitation to play. I will probably be posting more ab-training videos as this challenge unwinds. I’ll probably have a philosia video or two to post in reflection

Anyway… it’s late here, so I need to hit the sack. Just didn’t want to let another day pass without taking care of my overdue update

1 comment:

  1. Thanks a lot of the update, I really enjoyed the read and learned more about you. I'm sorry to hear about your loss and I'm interested to see how the ab challenge will work out for you, keep us updated!


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