I started writing a book this year. The process I am using, is to start each chapter as a blog I will eventually share here, and then expand that into a book format. I haven't shared much at all yet, mostly because a lot of what I have written so far is documenting research and experimentation.
I am sharing this part today because many readers probably find themselves in a place I was (am) when I started writing this. [Spoiler Alert - it's a place you don't want to be ]
Embracing Zenkai Power
You may be thinking, what the fuck is Zenkai Power? OK, for all of you pretending to be too cool for ultra violent Japanese cartoons the term comes from a show called "Dragon Ball Z".
The term Zenkai (全快) literally means "Full Recovery". On the show the hero's power increases substantially after recovering from injuries.
If all of this is far too nerdy for your mind to process, Kelly Sayre (founder of The Diamond Arrow Group) describes the same idea this way.
Ever since the Popeye cartoons I watched when I was a kid the idea of coming back stronger after being beaten down has always resonated with me.
That idea has served as inspiration when I needed it.
Dragon Ball Z is also known for "Scouters" a device that is able to determine someone's "Power Level" or an estimation of that person's physical capability.
In December of 2012 I was looking at the fitness portion of military.com and came across the Spec Ops fitness challenge. Click HERE to check it out
I could exceed all of the minimum standards….except run 5 miles in 40 minutes. At the time I had to bust my ass to run one 8 minute mile, much less five of them in a row.
That did not sit well with me. I was not at the "Power Level" I felt I should be
So I decided that I was going to beat the Spec Ops fitness challenge. In order to achieve that I developed Batman by 40, and it worked! I was very proud of myself. I was on top of the world.
Arthritis makes it hurt too much to run and I can no longer do the Batman by 40 program without limping.
OK, brush it off, with a little trial and error I found new approach. Don't call it a come back, I'm stronger than before.
The School Resource Officer gig that I enjoyed and allowed me time to maintain the new training program was no longer an option for me.
OK, no big deal I've been here before. Rearrange a thing or two. Replace walking with rowing. Make sure rolling is part of every Jujitsu class. Don't call it a come back, I'm fitter than before.
Blood Clot. I'm not supposed to roll or take hard falls.
OK, scary but temporary just need to be on medication until that clot dissolves. Don't call it a come ba... are you fucking kidding me?!
Dog Bite. You can kiss all that progress you've made good bye because you ain't doing shit for a month.
That is where this blog started. I got knocked down again and was figuring out how to get back up.
The reason I am sharing it now is because many of us are in that same place.
Corona. You can kiss all that progress you've made good bye because you ain't doing shit for a month...or two...or three.
Corona has knocked us all down...what are you going to do about it? How do we get back up?
We don't have access to performance enhancing spinach like Popeye nor do we have alien genetics like Goku.
We don't have access to the gyms, and dojos and many of the things we have grown to depend upon to maintain and increase our "Power Level" (and our mental health)
So, what do we have? PREP TIME!
When I was recovering from the dog bites the most difficult part was the waiting. For many of us the physical outlet of training is also a coping strategy to deal with stress.
Fretting about what I could not do only added to that stress.
So I focused on what I could do. I could plan. I could revise what I would do, when I could do things again. Planning was doing something, and doing something felt way better than doing nothing.
"An arrow can only be shot by pulling it backward. When life is dragging you back with difficulties, it means it's going to launch you into something great. So just focus and keep aiming."
Focus on what you can do and aim at what you want to achieve.
That is what the book, and the next several blogs is going to be about. Embracing Zenkai Power, finding a way to come back stronger.
When you are down, when you are getting up off your knees it sucks. However, it sucks less if you remember that no one in all of history achieved their potential on the easy path. Everyone worth a damn was where you are now or worse, and came out better because of it.
It all starts with two questions:
- Fit for what?
- Compared to who?
The Budo Blog will return with...Fit For What?
Until then - train hard, train smart, be safe.