The following is a series of short blogs that I posted on my old wushu-related website in October 2000. I compiled them together here for context and ease-of-reading.
Six years in California and one week to Nationals
October 3, 2000
Well, tomorrow is a red-letter day in my life. Well .. the 6 year anniversary of it, I guess. 6 years ago tomorrow I arrived in San Francisco to carve out a new chapter in my life. Little did I know then where moving here would take me. Wushu … Jet Li’s site … and all the other stuff. Pretty crazy, really.
But more important than that is the National tournament this Saturday! Hopefully I’ll be ready for it and can do well. Just two events for me. … which should be plenty. I’m glad I’m moved so that’s one less thing to worry about. My phone line gets hooked up on Friday and hopefully I’ll be able to get some cable TV or DSL in there too. That would sure be nice. But at least I’ll be able to dial up from home to an ISP, which is better than nothing.
I’m looking forward to the changes in my new home. They’re thinking about putting in a shower downstairs, and a new wall and ceiling too. I might recommend getting some new insulated windows downstairs too .. there’s quite the draft coming in … good thing I’m warm blooded.
Tonight is wushu … so I gots to run!
2 Workouts until Nationals
October 4, 2000
Wow … it was just 12 hours ago when I was posting up my last entry. Its’ 6:45 in the morning right now, and needless to say I’m the only one in the office. I had to come in early today to post up some breaking news on the Jet site. You can read about it here, but basically Jet’s project The Green Hornet is being postponed and he’s going to work on a new one called The One about a cop who has to fight his evil double from a parallel world. That actually sounds pretty cool to me, but I guess we’ll wait and see.
Last night’s workout was pretty brutal. Well … brutal for me, at least. After each full set my teacher made me do a bunch of leg lifts. It took every ounce of energy I had to do them … but I did them! So I’m pretty happy about that. I did my nan quan form twice and half of my broadsword form. I just need to keep it up on Thursday and then competition on Saturday should be okay. As long as I can keep it strong throughout my set.
Anyway, I’m tired and have work to do, so I’ll have to talk to y’all later (yup .. both of you).
Oh .. and be sure to check out the new pictures I put up in the gallery.
Good luck to competitors at US Nationals!
October 5, 2000
So, today was my last class. I did a full set of all my competition forms and basically took it easy. Don’t want to kill myself two days before competition. I think I’m in good shape to at least finish my forms. Will they be any good? Well … I guess that’s up to the judges, but I’ll do my best either way.
Right now I’m packing and doing laundry in preparation for my trip. George was kind enough to lend out his home for me and a few other folks from the Berkeley area so I’ll be crashing there and lending my snoring to the ambient sounds of his parent’s house.
I don’t know … I have more to write when I was thinking about writing in here but now I can’t think of anything. I did put up a few pictures in the gallery though so you can look at those. There is one set from the Arizona tournament, one set from Beaver’s going-away party and one set from the SCWA Summer Picnic.
I guess that’s it. Good luck to everyone who’s going! I’m sure the competition will be great fun! I’m looking forward to Saturday evening when all my events will be over and I can just relax! Unless we’re asked to do that demo thing that we might be asked to do. In which case … I’ll relax after that.
One thing though … ever since I made the decision to not work so much on wushu.net I’ve felt like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders somewhat. I didn’t realize what a stress-causer that site was until I stopped doing it. hehehe .. that’ll teach me, I guess. It’s all a matter of focus and balance.
A nice guy from the east coast wrote me an e-mail expressing his own frustrations and stress-factor in life, so it’s nice to know I’m not alone. He subscribed to the Buddhist philosophy that “life is pain” or “life sucks” to help comfort him. I used to think that life was inherently full of yuckiness and that it was our mission as human beings to overcome the negative forces and acquire our virtues in spite of them. But now I think I subscribe more to the philosophy of “life is life and it’s experiences are neither good or bad, but simply there for us to absorb and learn from”. Hmmm … I’m starting to sound like Jet. I think I’ve been working on his site too long.
More tales of knee injuries
October 12, 2000
Looks like I’ve joined the ranks of the foolish. I went to workout at Cal Wushu tonight and hurt my knee. I could have guessed it would happen. I worked my quads and hamstrings on weights this morning … they were already a bit worked. And then I aggrevated it when we were doing nan quan at Cal. Actually, I didn’t aggrevate it. I injured it. Again.
I suppose I’m actually pretty fortunate. (Huh? What do you mean, Mark?) Well, for one thing it’s a good thing I injured myself this week instead of last week. I was able to compete at Nationals and do fairly well and wouldn’t have been able to had Old Man Knee-Problem come knocking on my door a mere 5 days before.
And on another note, it means that I can take a rest. I suppose if I need to take a rest and don’t my body finds ways to force it upon me. So now I can work on some conditioning, endurance and some weights to strengthen my muscles.
And finally, it’s not a terrible injury like the original. I mean .. it’s basically the same one … but I think it’s fixable. Nothing some good old accupuncture needles can’t fix over time.
Oh .. and last but not least, it’s a good test of patience. Something we could all do with a hearty helping of from time to time.
I still plan to train in the off-season. I’ll go to the gym tomorrow morning just like usual. I just plan to take a break from wushu though. I’ll go help out at Wushu West with the beginners … maybe drop by Cal Wushu once in a little while (more often than I have) to help with some nan quan pointers (as if I have any to give .. sigh.) and all-in-all just enjoy life as usual.
That’s why we do wushu anyway, right? So that we can enjoy life more? Sometimes I think some of us forget that. (Unless of course, your reason for doing wushu is so that life can become more difficult, in which case … umm … I have nothing helpful to say to you.)
Politics vs. Positives
October 17, 2000
Sometimes the wushu world can be pretty frustrating. It almost makes you want to stop doing wushu sometimes. I know of some other people that have felt that way too.
Wushu is great and all, but there are times when I think the people involved and the politics going on are just too distressing to deal with. Seems like there are two options when faced with a situation like that. You either (a) work to improve the situation and try to be pro-active about it or (b) decide that the situation isn’t improve-able and decide to train outside the social and political circles that surround this sport. Basically .. become a wushu hermit.
Like I was writing about earlier, ultimately you have to search within yourself and try to figure out why you’re doing this in the first place. For me, I’m at a bit of a question mark (no pun intended). On one hand I enjoy doing wushu and have made some really good friends, but on the other hand some of the conduct of people in the wushu community really just bites the big one. Can you have one without the other? Can I enjoy wushu and my wushu friends and not pay attention to the wider circle of silliness out there?
Part of me thinks it’s possible. And another part of me thinks that if you’re involved in the sport then you should participate in all it’s aspects and try to work towards it’s greater development and acceptance. But the cost of that involvement is that you have to deal with all sorts of crap out there. To be involved or not to be involved. That is the question.
For now I guess it’s somewhat moot since my knee area is injured and I can’t really train right now.
I think this is probably normal. Sometimes people’s interests go through phases. Right now mine is at a bit of a low. I’ll just play it by ear and see what happens. Hopefully I won’t have to wait too long to figure out what I want to do.
I had some other stuff I wanted to write but I’m tired and should probably go sleep.