So week two and my life has been distilled down to a few key principles:
1. Eat as much as you can as often as you can
2. Train hard, 6hrs/day are becoming 7-8hrs
3. Rest well
4. Repeat steps 1 - 3!
I feel like a different person, stronger, faster, nimbler and sorer :). I'm ordering two, sometimes three main courses at each meal and then topping it off with desert and a large smoothie. I actually can't keep up with my need for food to the point where I have to really try to eat slowly. Whole plates of food are hoovered down in minutes. I've stopped eating at certain places because they simply can't cook the food fast enough or in sufficient quantities. My friends and family will know this simply isn't James behaviour!
The training is also getting more serious and each session incorporates new puches, kicks, elbows, blocks... We practice light contact sparring regularly. The pace is relentless. Every day I train the equivalent of 1.5 weeks compared to someone practicng 2hrs twice a week back home.
I've also enjoyed the more subtle moments we have. Kru Pedro broke into an impromptu
speech the other day when his Rotweiler, who has a large tumour on its leg, made it bleed from scratching. He spoke of Misery and Pain being everywhere, and yet through a focused mind and learning to deal with the now, we could succeed and overcome it. He never asked for anyones attention and yet the various groups all stopped mid-practice and listened intently. I felt quite moved.
We start and end each session with a prayer, which I've copied at the bottom of this entry. I like its connotations even though I'm not particularly religious. Marco, my instructor leads this prayer and is also referred to as Kru. The name for an instructor and also a sign of respect.
I think these things appeal to me because there's a part of me which believes that too often today, we are in too much of a hurry. We lose sight of the basics which give our lives structure and a sense of place. The thanks before a meal, addressing our elders with respect, etc.
I also went back to the tiger kingdom on Sunday (a welcome day off) to see the cubs. Very cute, but still capable
of a nasty nip if you forget where you are! MUAY SANGHA PRAYER
On this day
This servant would like to express
His most sincere gratitude
For everything that he has received
And for everything that he has not
In this eternally changing Universe
Today this servant will be conscious of
His actions, his speech, his thoughts and his emotions
Choosing always a constructive path for the soul
All being One, teach this servant to live in moderation and harmony
For the good of all
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