Sunday, September 18, 2011


I realize what I've been doing.  And what's more, I know that it almost certainly doesn't affect anyone other than me.

I know that each time I return to post, I pledge that I will write more often and resume the regularity with which I once updated this space.  As often happens, though, life has other plans.  The sporadic timetable that I've been following in recent weeks/months?  It's probably going to be the regular schedule.  I say "probably" because that isn't set in stone.

Here's how it breaks down:  I bartend two nights a week (if you're ever in Minneapolis come to Republic for a pint or four); I'm working for two different attorneys (one estate planner and one military defense guy) to do odds-and-ends projects for money (because as it turns out, that's important); I train at least four times a week; I have a job on the horizon (federal clerkship for January through August, '12) that will demand attention and therefore time; and my wife is currently incubating our first.  So strangely, blogging time has not returned as I expected.  Instead, I find myself wondering where a lot of my time went.  Add to that the fact that our attendance is or has been expected at eleven weddings this calendar year, and it makes sense why I have started and abandoned this individual post at least three times before this one.

I just finished re-reading two of my favorite books, AMERICAN GODS and FIGHT CLUB.  AMERICAN GODS is great and makes me wish I was more connected to the tribal myths of my heritage.  I didn't live in a house where we left milk out for the piskies and leprechauns, where we sacrificed to the gods of winter and spring, where we reveled in tales of tricksters and hid from the valued a good con.  But I kind of want to raise my child in one.

FIGHT CLUB is different entirely.  I can't tell whether it's cliche for someone my age to enjoy and appreciate that book, either independent of or in conjunction with the film.  But I thoroughly enjoy it every time.  David Fincher did such a good job capturing the voice and tone of the book, but he changed a fundamental part of it.  Well, maybe not changed; he diverted the focus, and I think Tyler Durdens' purpose and motivation is more fully portrayed in the book to the point that too much is left unsaid in the film.  His quest for perfection is lost. The purpose of breaking everything, of hitting bottom, is not only to see what one is truly capable of, but for the perfection of the moment in which the rock-bottomed-out person realizes it.  It is that perfect, fleeting moment--rather than the resulting mayhem--that drives Tyler.  Anyways.  I spend hours upon hours a week thinking about and practicing combat sports, so parts of this book make perfect sense.  You break yourself down so that you can see what lies beneath, so your mettle shows.  Jon Fitch has said that FIGHT CLUB is the reason he got into fighting.  I would be lying if I said it had nothing to do with my interest in combat sports and martial arts.

[insert week-long pause for various reasons]

This afternoon I read THE CAULIFLOWER CHRONICLES.  It's a book about a white belt whose network dumped him shortly after his girlfriend did, so he took the opportunity to spend a semester in Hilo, Hawaii and train at BJ Penn's academy.  It wasn't particularly well-written, but it was still enjoyable to read.  I wanted more to be underneath the surface, but in the end, any story about someone who wants to train as much as I do will find a receptive audience in me.

I've picked up my training a decent bit this last week, and I'm hoping to maintain that pace for the next month.  This weekend I spent drinking beer (a brew review in town, combined with a friend's thirtieth birthday, means that my liver is a little angry with me right now), so I'll be working that off next week and then spending the next few getting down to 175.  Shouldn't be too hard; I walk around somewhere between 177 and 183, so minding my diet and portions should take care of it nicely.  I have another wedding between now and the competition, though, so I need to pay attention.  As far as the training itself has gone, I've had mixed results and personal reactions.  A few guys across town got promoted, and they were due.  I find myself having an internal conflict about how to structure my training so that I get the most out of it.  I need to carve out time for takedowns.  I need to find someone other than my black belt instructor to train with, because as useful as that is, I don't think I'll ever be able to fully implement my gameplan against him, much less get to the point where it's muscle memory.  I do feel a bit snobbish when I read myself bitching about training with a black belt too much, though, so really I don't have any complaints.  Last week I went to class and I was the only one there.  So I spent a half-hour trying to pass Klint's guard.  It's all breaking grips and killing hooks, but implementation is always much harder than conceptualization.

No comments:

Post a Comment