Tag Archive | Inspiration

Headaches Be Gone!

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I thought I would start this week’s blog post about something that all went down – a few weeks back – at my place of business: The story starts in the bathroom – I swear this is not where you might think it’s going – where my friend and I were leaving. This particular bathroom has two doors when you exit: the first door leads out to a garbage can, on the side of the little walkway area. As my friend and I were laughing about something, I ended up sneezing and took a napkin to blow my nose. As I was bent over – throwing the napkin out – the second door opened up abruptly. I had no time to react when the door slammed right into the top part of my head. The person – that ended up hitting me by accident – was a fellow co-worker of mine. He was highly apologetic – about the whole situation – but I told him not to worry about it whatsoever. I made a little joke about how I get hit harder in my Kung-Fu classes so it was nothing to worry about.

Initially – right after the boom heard around the world took place – I didn’t feel too much pain in my head region. That all changed – a few hours later – when I felt a throbbing sensation on the top part of my head. I told my friend – that witnessed the whole thing – that my head was starting to kill me. He followed up by reassuring me that I was hit particularly hard, so it came as no surprise to him that it was hurting.  Luckily, the headache only lasted the rest of that day and that was it – for the time being.

So, fast forward a few weeks later and all of the sudden – the headaches were back in full force; the pain lasted for three days straight. It became so unbearable that I couldn’t do several of my daily activities: my martial arts training, write/blog, sleep or function properly, and I couldn’t even practice my musical instruments. I started to get a little worried that I ended up taking some headache medicine. I’m not a big fan of taking pills – and I can usually get rid of these issues in a more natural way – but the pain was so intense that I had no other option but to take the pill. The pain subsided a little bit but I wanted the pain to go away completely.

After the third day, I had enough and went right back to my tai chi/qigong/meditation training.  I envisioned all this healing energy working through my whole head area: after about twenty minutes, the constant pain had totally dissipated. That is what is so amazing about this kind of training: it has helped me heal different ailments in my body on more than one occasion. Even if you aren’t involved in this form of training, you can still “focus” on certain areas to eventually try and heal them. I know mainstream medicine doesn’t push these kinds of techniques but next time you have some type of blockage, try focusing on the specific area and see what happens. It doesn’t cost anything and you’re not putting any harmful chemicals in your body – like many drugs and pills unfortunately have in them. 

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Who would have thought “BARNEY” wasn’t just a big, purple dinosaur?

I took my first surfing lesson, this past summer, and learned a very important lesson my first time out; surfing is NOT, I repeat, NOT , that easy of an activity. When I first got to the beach, the instructor had me do some light stretching to get the body ready for the journey ahead.  He then had me do some “popping up” drills, on the sand, to get me used to getting up when a wave started to approach. After about a half an hour, we set out for the ocean. I thought I wouldn’t be that intimidated, about what was to come, but I actually was.

There were five specific surfer films that, at least in my mind, that made surfing look somewhat easy to master: Point break, Soul Surfer, Big Wednesday, North Shore, and Blue Crush. Not so much that it’s an easy feat to accomplish but more so that it wouldn’t take that long to pick up. I’ve seen Point Break, a million times it seems, and I thought Keanu Reeves character (Jonny Utah) picked up surfing quite quickly. I said to myself if Keanu can do it, then the sky is the limit for me as well:)

I was under the impression that I would pick it up in a years’ time, no more than that. Again, I was highly mistaken and I realized the first minute I put the board in the water, and started walking out there, that this was going to be a lot harder than I initially thought.

There was even an art to how you positioned yourself on the board; I just thought you just jump right on the thing and start paddling like no tomorrow. That wasn’t the case at all and I started telling myself this thing, they refer to as surfing, will be a lifelong type of an adventure. The funny thing was that I truly didn’t care at all; every time I slipped off the board, I had a huge smile on my face and got right back on. I was just having fun being out there in the water and I was getting a GREAT workout, as a result.

After an hour and a half of a lesson, my surf teacher asked me if I wanted to try and catch a “wave.”  My response was an emphatic, YESS. He had gotten me to face the board towards the beach shore. We had waited for a few minutes until he gave me the green light to start paddling like crazy; that is exactly what I ended up doing. First time, I got up half way and fell immediately. Second time, I stood myself up and jumped right off into the water; I think I was just ecstatic enough to have just got up. Third time, I not only got myself up but I also rode the wave for a few seconds; it was an absolutely exhilarating feeling that started to run through me.

I’ve been back out several times after and I’m definitely considered a “kook” and a “barney.” Those are terms for beginning surfers. When I first heard the term, “barney,” I was waiting for some guy to be riding the wave in a purple wetsuit to resemble BARNEY, the purple dinosaur that loves each and every person equally. I was totally wrong; now that I know what it means, I have a long way to mastering this art form and I’m ready for the ride.

If you ever thought about surfing, I would highly recommend giving it a whirl.  If you’re a fan of Family Guy, the Rides-a-Ten-Speed-Everywhere-Guy will definitely say that it’s a great way to stay in shape:) Have a great weekend; until next time….

New “Life” Resolution…

I just want to start off by wishing everyone a happy new year; hope you had a great time with your family and friends. I got to thinking, a few days back, of certain things I could improve about myself for the coming year. After I wrote a list out, of things I want to accomplish, I started to realize I want to do things differently this time around. I didn’t want to just go gung-ho for the first month and then slowly fall off track, like I’ve always done each year prior. I wanted to, not only keep on track with my goals, but I also wanted to maintain that focus for the rest of my days here.

The things, I wanted most to improve on, were mainly my overall health and eating habits. So, what I did differently this time around was write down all the things I need to work on. After I was done with my list, I made a copy of it and hung it up in my room.The premise for that approach is that I will be reminded daily on the goals I set for myself. I came up with about twenty goals that I feel need some vast improvement on my part. The other decision I came to was at any time I feel I need to add something to the improvement list; I will just go ahead and do that.

In other words, if I feel I need to work on something, and I figure this out in May or June, I won’t wait until the following year to write that down as a resolution; it will be added to my list on that exact day. I’ve just gotten to the point that I need to stay focused no matter what time, day, week or month it is. In turn, I know there might be some bumps in the road but like Rocky Balboa said, “Why do we fall? So we can get back up.” Thanks to the words of wisdom by Sylvester Stallone, I will approach every single day like that going forward. The most important thing is if I do go off course for a day, I will immediately jump back the next day like nothing happened. In the past, if went off my diet for a day or two, it might take me a week to get back on track; no more of that on my watch :))

I WILL STAY FOCUSED…I WILL STAY FOCUSED…I WILL STAY FOCUSED.

It’s definitely getting HOT in here…

Driving around most major towns, you will come across a wide array of signs, buildings and advertisements.  There was one place that stuck out in my mind; this place is called “HOT”BIKRAM YOGA. Over the years, I must have passed by this building a million times without even batting an eye. I’m starting to think the reason I became more aware of this particular yoga spot was because of my martial arts training. I’m also starting to think that because I already had the tai chi, kung-fu, qigong, meditation; there really wasn’t any valid reason for me to pay any extra money if I didn’t have to.  Not only would it have been an added expense, to sign up for classes, but I wouldn’t have the time to dedicate myself to it either.

I was getting the complete package, so to speak, with my martial arts training already. I had somewhat of an idea of the basic premise of what yoga was all about…stretching. I           already stretch, before any kind of workout, to get the muscles all warmed up. My thinking was why would I go there to stretch even more than I already do? When I thought about that question, I remembered something very valuable that my martial arts instructors told me; my techniques are getting better but I’m still lacking in the overall flexibility department. To be successful in any martial art training, you need to be flexible and limber and I needed that added boost.

So, I got to thinking and I decided to take my first “hot” yoga class, at the place I passed by for the past ten years or so. I went on a Saturday morning and I luckily had a friend that was willing to try it out with me. When we got inside of the place, we were told that one class was ten dollars; which included a mat, water and a towel. We took our shoes off and walked right into the “HOT” room, where the class was going to take place. I do not lie when I tell you that the room felt like going right from Antarctica, the outside, to the Sahara Desert, the inside, within a matter of seconds. I’ve been to Florida in August, at its hottest level, and never felt anything quite like the heat that was developing in the room.

After a few minutes of getting used to the transition in temperature, my friend and I started to stretch on our mats before the class officially began. I have to say that I was a little intimidated, initially, because the other students were putting their legs around their head and just lounging. I was lucky if I touched my toes and held it for a second or two. I kept telling myself that this person probably didn’t start out wrapping their legs around their head at first; they were probably in the same boat as my friend and I were when they started out. Like Bill Murray said in, “What About Bob?”, it’s all about taking baby steps!!!

At this point, the class had just begun and the teacher walked in the room. Before I got started in the various poses, I was a little distracted on what the instructor was wearing; he had on beach flip flops and a classic, B.U.M. Equipment tank top. As you can plainly see, it was hard for my friend and I to stay focused while the teacher’s wardrobe choice was actually taking place in real life. After about ten minutes or so, I finally started to focus on what I was there for in the first place. It wasn’t too bad for me, at least initially, because I’m used to hardcore, rigorous training at my martial arts school anyway. The more the class went on, my friend and I looked at each other like we were about to pass out, right on the floor. We kept stopping for sips of water and to get rid of the river of sweat coming down our faces.

After an hour and a half class, it was finally over. The teacher really put on a great class and kept us motivated throughout. No joke, it took about ten minutes for my friend and me to finally get up off the floor from pure exhaustion. I got back home and took a shower and felt very, very, I repeat, very relaxed afterwards. I will now do Hot Yoga from time to time, to get a great workout and most importantly, a quality stretch. It has also helped with my Martials arts training as well and I actually see how flexible I’m becoming, little by little. I definitely suggest anyone and everyone to get out there and checkout your local Yoga spots. You never know, you’re teacher might be wearing similar clothing as my instructor was. That is all the more reason to get out there and do some yoga.

Shaolin Arts

I wrote extensively, throughout my autobiography, about one particular place where my life started to change. My life did change and let me tell you firsthand, it was definitely for the better. The name of this place is Shaolin Kung-fu, located in Holtsville, NY. It has helped me in all avenues of my life that I have been going  there for almost six years now. The other added bonus is that not only are you learning traditional kung-fu but you’re also getting the internal aspects as well. The internal martial arts that we train in are Tai Chi, Qigong and meditation. You’re getting a balance that is isn’t so common with other martial art schools. This school is very close knit as well so there is no internal problems or conflicts going on. Before I started training there, I dabbled with some other schools around Long Island. Going to only about three or four different schools, I noticed that they had certain things in common with one another. Nothing against how the instructors were teaching or anything, it was more how the students were conducting themselves. They were all sectioned off in little groups and it almost seemed cliquey, kind of how high school operates. Everyone is welcoming, friendly and humble with one another so you don’t have to worry about not fitting in at this school.

Now, I would like to go over a little about the head instructor, Shi Gung Gregg Zilb. He has been doing these particular forms of martial arts for over thirty years. That alone should tell you that he has a genuine love and understanding  of what he does. The one thing I picked up about him, right off the bat, was that he wasn’t just trying to take your money and water down the classes. He makes you earn everything by pushing us to our limits. When he is teaching his classes, you can tell the passion he truly has because he is always motivating himself and everyone else to go above and beyond. If you just come down to a class you can see the things he is capable of doing that you might have once thought was humanely impossible but he makes it possible.  He also breaks everything down to show how certain techniques can be utilized in real life or death situations. On the other side of the spectrum, he is very easy to talk to and always welcomes questions. I couldn’t ask for a  better person and instructor to teach me the way to a better life.

I would strongly suggest to come down and at least view a class, or take one, and be open to the possibilities of changing yourself in a positive manner. You can find out more information about him on his website that I listed below;

http://www.shaolinlohan.com/           or stop by,

194 morris ave. bldg2 unit 17, Holtsville, NY 11742 · Get Directions
Phone
1 631.447.7738

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