Thursday, November 22, 2007

Living in Mecca

Over the past few days, actually past few weeks, I've been reflecting on how to make improvements in my lifestyle... trying to see where I can make changes that will raise my quality of life and allow me to do more with less effort.

And this week, I realized that I'm barking up the wrong tree.

Speaking with Rannoch Donald, RKC, the head of Kettlebells Scotland, and with Guros John Spezzano, Mike Wise, and Jeff Imada, some of the senior instructors at the Inosanto Academy, I came to truly appreciate that I'm living in Mecca... so to speak. With all the resources that I have within arm's reach here and all the work that I've done to be able to access those resources, I'm a fool for every minute that I don't spend working diligently to be able to make the most of my opportunities. I see Pavel Tsatsouline, train with James Lin and Dan Inosanto, and have access to some of the best & brightest in every field that I've chosen to investigate or excel in almost every week.

While there are certain aspects of my lifestyle that I'm not thrilled about, particularly that my wife & son spend most of their week at least 45 minutes away (without traffic) because my wife's going through her residency, there's a silver lining to that cloud. While I've been more preoccupied lately with wanting to spend more time with my baby boy, I also realize that if we were to be living under the same roof right now, I wouldn't have the time to study, train, and do the kind of concentrated self-improvement that I'm focusing more on now.

To that end, I've decided to set a new goal or two for myself.

1. By 2007's end, to be able to press the 70 pounder again with my left hand, and to make the most of EVERY day in training with KBs in a grease the groove format,

2. To get the most out of my martial arts training opportunities- Inosanto JKD/Kali/Muay Thai/Silat, Roy Harris BJJ & Grappling, James Lin's Combat Shuai-Chiao, Harry Wong's Wang Shi-qing Yang style small frame form, and Gee Yung's Fut Ga & lion dance, as well as Krabi Krabong, etc.,

3. To make a bigger, better contribution to the 3 fields of endeavor that I'm involved with - martial arts, kettlebells, and medicine,

and 4. To stop thinking about what life is like on the other, "greener" side, and live more powerfully on my this side of the hill.

To live in Mecca, one has to recognize the gifts that God lays out before them. Instead of griping about how we wish we had other things or other resources, let's all make the most of ourselves with what we do have and show our appreciation for others that way.


Rannoch Donald said...

Cool post Mark. We all need to stop and take stock, appreciate what we have.

Sounds like you've got plans for 2008! Somewhere amongst all that we are getting you over here!



Unknown said...

There's a lot on the table, especially in terms of potential travel for 2008, my friend... But I'm up for the challenge!

San Jose and St. Paul/Minneapolis are confirmed, we're waiting on the UK dates, Brazil is a possibility, and I might head back east to do some KB workshops there as well.

I'm going to make the most of my time with teaching since I don't get to see my family that often. When we're all living under the same roof, I'll make the most of my time by being with them.