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The other day I came out of the main house to start warming up for training and I had a light bulb moment. It hit me how lucky I am to be here training and spending my time dedicated to Gongfu. Sure, I definitely miss my family and friends, among other features of ‘standard’ life. Like being able to go out to eat at a restaurant, or see a movie with those same people. At the same time I am here with other equally amazing people.  I get to spend time with someone as knowledgeable as Dr. Yang who has probably forgotten more about Gongfu than I know. And as well, my time is spent with his disciples who know a lot too. How many other people really get to do something like this? How have I come to be in this particular path out of all the other ones I could have found my self on? There’s a bit of sacrifice in all things. What do you feel like you sacrifice?

Over the last 5 months being here at the retreat center I feel like I have a new body. I brought a few aches and pains with me last year when I arrived in September. Training every day, all day, gave me some as well. But many of them are slowly disappearing. Injuries from years ago feel different now. I’ve begun to feel muscles I didn’t know I have. I’ve begun to move in ways I didn’t know possible. For example, we do a hip rotation exercise to loosen that area of the body. Initially it felt a bit like bones in a grinder. I thought I was going to tear or break something. But now, NOW, I feel akin to a rhythmic belly dancer who can use a hula hoop to it’s maximum potential….. almost anyway.

My flexibility is still an issue and something I must constantly work on to maintain, maybe more so than anything else. A very considerate woman of about 50 years has been here training and feeding us hungry martial artists. She cooked us a great Chinese New Year dinner (it is the year of the horse) with curry pork chops, stewed beef tendon, Chinese cabbage, and some dessert buns. Another day she did sweet and sour pork tender, shrimp and seaweed, sauteed bell peppers and more. It’s been spoiling us. I mention her because she talked with me about her stretching experience. Everyday after a nice hot shower when the muscles are warm she stretches. After 6 months she’s made considerable gains in her flexibility and leg strength. I’m still young and definitely have time, which she’s proven. But I suggest anyway, for anyone under 25 (when the body is still growing) who has the slightest inkling that they want to be flexible, in the near or far future, have to start stretching NOW! Don’t wait! I wish I had started when I first learned of stretching. Your whole life is connected and you can’t get time back once it’s gone. In some ways I sacrificed that time for other activities which I have less to show for.

On another note, we’ve been hatching a new group of chickens to be egg layers. Here is a shot of the 1st of 3 batches we’ll do.




2 Responses to “Rebuilding”

  1. Pame Says:

    Hola Kyle;
    Es muy interesante leer tu blog cada que tengo tiempo :). Imagino que con tanto entrenamiento ya olvidaste el español : P.
    Bueno tengo una pregunta sobre este último tema del estiramiento. Si por favor puedes darme o darnos por lo menos 5 formas básicas de estiramiento. Gracias y que estés muy bien. Saludos.

    Hi Kyle,
    (In case you cannot read in Spanish anymore :) )
    Your blog is very interesting and I read it every time I have time. I imagine that with all that trainning you are at, you have forgotten Spanish.
    Anyway, I have a question about stretching; if you could give us at least 5 easy stretches.
    Thanks and I hope you are doing well.

    Pd, My English might not be very good but I hope you understand it better than my Spanish :)

  2. TK Says:

    Keep on livin’ and growin’!

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