Thursday, June 2, 2011

Like many things, it looks rather harmless.

Part of the creative process seems to always include trying to figure yourself out. Balancing the needs of work and the pursuit of creative impulses with an attempt at mental, emotional and physical well-being. Now I'll probably be mental for the rest of my life but it seems like physical health is obtainable. Or should be. And part of that seems to be finding ways to challenge yourself to do things that seem crazy, and quite possibly, impossible.

I felt that way some time ago while taking Capoeira classes. Every night seemed to require feats of hope-killing physicality well beyond reason. But the feeling of accomplishment and pride that resulted from getting through it all was tremendous. Even if a move was done poorly it was still done, which was more than expected at the time.

That feeling has once again returned. This time in the form of running stairs. Lots of stairs. Capoeira was always fun. Even when it was grueling the music and history of it all combined with the fluidity and grace of the movements would just pull you right along. The stairs? None of that really. It's just a steady crushing physical grind. That said, it still provides the same sense of accomplishment for barely surviving.

The first attempt involved pain, vomit, and a week of walking funny. Yesterday was the second attempt. It went better. Still rough, but vomit free. It starts with running up and down these stairs four times. Specifically, we go down four and up three ending at the bottom. This is followed by a jog, mostly uphill, to a park for an unpleasant array of ab-work. Then another jog to the base of the stairs and the fourth and final run for the top.

The amazing part is that yesterday in the park, before and during the ab stuff, I started running through some Capoeira. A bit of ginga, some kicks, handstands and cartwheels. It was striking to find comfort in something that once seemed impossible. Don't get me wrong, I'm still no good at it. But that isn't the point. The point is that the impossible has become a sanctuary of sorts from the next seemingly impossible goal. This seems to be a metaphor for life. If so, make sure to find yourselves some decent challenges.

Heaping praise and gratitude to Mestre Senna and all my friends from ABCapoeira, as well as Aaron H for your collective patience and encouragement.

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