Today (a Saturday) I recorded the first of seven podcast interviews my publicist booked for the month of April. I’ve written several articles said publicist has pitched to online media, and I have more items on my to-do list. There’s an essay contest I want to enter (but I have to write the essay first), and in my dining room I have a box of books that I’m slowly figuring out how to divvy up among family, friends, and business associates.
But, it can also mean exciting things are on the way. Continue reading “Spring Sprint”
Spoiler alert: my upcoming memoir is about mental illness as much as it is about training for my black belt.
I mean, you probably got the gist from the title, but I thought I’d go ahead and spell it out.
This is the most difficult post I’ve ever written, and I know once it’s published and shared I will be questioning my choice. I’ve tried several times to write this under different themes and different titles for the last several years, and until now I’ve never had the courage to click the “publish” button.
On January 7, nearly six months to the day I tore my ACL, I practiced jumping. I still can’t fully extend my leg and still walk with a slight limp, but by God, I was jumping.
It. Was. Terrifying.
Continue reading “Jumping (Cautiously) Into 2021: Staying Focused on What Matters”
“One step at a time, one day at a time, it will all work out.”
This is something a mentor…er, friend….er…you know what, I’ll just be honest–This is something my therapist, whom I saw for seven years, used to say to me. You’ll meet my therapist “Ramona” in my upcoming memoir, Kicking and Screaming: a Memoir of Madness and Martial Arts. For now I’d like to reflect on her comforting words.
Continue reading “Taking Life One Step at a Time”
I come from a family of creators who enjoy challenging hobbies. My dad is a painter who is especially skilled in oils and portraiture, and he was a competitive swimmer in high school and college. My mom likes doing difficult and complex knitting patterns. My brother is a professional musician.
I hit stuff.
Kidding aside, any martial artist knows they have to put in hours and years to hone their craft. It’s not a matter of mindlessly parroting or mimicking motions their Sensei or Sabumnim does. You have to develop both the mental and physical intelligence required to perform and improve upon your martial art. You have to understand why you do certain things.
The other day during a text exchange with my mom and brother, my brother said he was learning the classically-influenced 1970s pop song “MacArthur Park,” and was doing some “woodshedding.”
Ten months and twenty-three days into what has been the most bizarre year of my and probably everyone else’s lifetime, I finally felt a deep, comfortable, settling sense of normalcy, if only for a few minutes.
My moment came when I was doing “bungee walks.”
A month and two days following my ACL reconstruction surgery, I had a follow-up appointment with my orthopedic surgeon. Two weeks earlier I’d seen one of his assistants to have my sutures and bandages removed and to get a play-by-play, complete with three pages of color photos, of the surgery.
I was hoping for some good news after a month of hard work at home and in physical therapy. I’d been cranky and depressed for the past week because a nasty case of topical dermatitis flared up around my incisions. The incisions themselves are fine, but the skin around it was red, itchy, and full of little bumps that give my skin the appearance and feel of a very tightly inflated (i.e., one Tom Brady might allegedly avoid) football.
After Americans united for the collective experience of watching “Tiger King,” we all retreated to our own private means of surviving everything 2020 kept (and keeps) throwing at us.
My coping mechanism has been binge-watching “Kitchen Nightmares” and more recently “Hell’s Kitchen” with world-renowned chef and restauranteur Gordon Ramsay.
I love Gordon Ramsay, and I am also terrified of him. For some strange reason, watching him scream at people over scallops, risotto, and raw chicken is so comforting and enjoyable in these dystopian times.
Continue reading “Gordon Ramsay Is My Spiritual Writing Guide”
Although my dojang has officially opened, they’re still offering thirty minute virtual classes throughout the week. Saturday morning I did a virtual black belt class in my home. After some warm-ups and a few forms (although I had much less space, Keumgang felt better in bare feet than in those damn taekwondo shoes), my instructor said we were going to work on kicking. Okay cool.
Great, fine, I like jump kicks. I’ve done plenty of them.