Oishi! August 14, 2016

This is more of a plug than a recipe. Not gonna lie. There are no pictures on this one as you likely know what eggs and sausages look like lol

Big difference in today’s breakfast-for-dinner was the type of eggs and sausages. Started off with the eggs, made with egg whites rather than full eggs. Then the sausages. Got these great sausages from Costco. They’re turkey based and are made with feta cheese and spinach inside. Friggin’ tasty, man!! Trying to make different things to because despite my love for chicken and veggies, one can’t live solely on that. It was rather good. 

Osu!!

Doug 

8 Aug – 5..4..3..2..1..BEEP!!

The test…is underway. 

The dreaded opening line that struck fear into the hearts and minds of fat kids in every high school across the country if not the world. Today was day 1 of training my Multi Stage Fitness Test, or as we all knew it growing up, the Beep Test. The reason for it: I not only need to up my cardio game and the Beep Test is great for that, not only improving but showing a steady rate of easily trackable improvement. Second reason, and most importantly, is because a Stage 7 result is required to pass the Physical Readiness Evaluation for Policing. The PREP test. A required component for the Applicant Testing System in order to apply for other law enforcement jobs. 

So I have always sucked at this test. I think my highest result ever was a 5. I’m starting on the treadmill because it won’t let me quit or slow down. It is quite a bit different from running it on pavement but I’ll get to that point soon enough. 

I start today thinking if I can just get a good base number to start with I can improve as I go along. Many many beeps later, I find myself holding on to the edge of the machine, my legs still moving, still trying to hold on and push forward. 

I pass stage 3. I keep pressing  on. I just need to get to a half stage more and I’m at the half way point. Not bad to start. It beeps. Stage 3 and one half. I still have energy. Fuck it. Keep going. 

Another stage goes by. And another. I’m about to die, I think to myself. Fuck it. Keep going. My heart is pounding, my lungs are at least 75% so that ain’t bad…legs are in good shape. Fuck it. Keep going. 

I push past my old record. Getting a little harder to breathe. I hold on to the rails for a bit, my legs still moving. Fuck it. Keep going. 

I hear a beep and a voice. Can’t make out what the tape is saying. Something something half. OK I can make it to the end of this stage. Fuck it. Keep going. Finally I hear it go off again. One last time for the day. Day 1 of many. The first time I’ve trained this test in years and I hear it. I can make out that heavenly voice as clear as day. 

“BEEP! BEEP!!!! Stage…seven.”

Stage seven. The point I have to be at for this test. A goal accomplished. Sorta. Next goal is to do it without holding on for dear life. Then take it to the streets and make it count. I’m excited though. A new record, and a great starting point for my training. 

Remember my friends. When life is pushing you back and giving you the run around, when you feel like giving up…fuck it. Keep going. 

Osu!!

Doug

2016.08.04 Meditative Thoughts

Who am I? What is wrong with me? Why can I not accept myself? What obstacles lay in my path?

As I sit here in my favourite place to meditate I find myself asking these questions as I normally do, trying to unlock the secrets of life buried deep inside of me. I may never truly know the answers to these questions but I thought of at least a way to explain it to myself. A way to show myself what is wrong. 

Along with the obvious mental stresses I go through with work and life, my main issue is with how I see myself. I have always been overweight. From when I was a kid all the way until now. One of my main problems is that sometimes that is all I see. My weight issue. I often let it define me. Cait will tell you that she’s lost count of all the scoldings she’s given me for referring to myself as “a fat guy” and how often I reject the notion of being anything but. Sure I have some good looking qualities. I mean, come on. Dat beard though lol. For the most part though, I see little else. 

Today while perched atop my meditation rock, I looked out upon the mighty sea and the thought came to me. I am this point. This exact location is me. I sit here and the rocks around me represent the troubles I have in accepting myself. Each one is jagged, difficult to stand on and seemingly immovable. They prevent me from being one with the beauty and sheer power of the sea. 

How do I move on then, to be with this sea? How can I release myself and be free of the negativity that I have surrounded myself with over all these years? How can I see myself as more than just “a fat guy” and see myself as the wonderful being that people keep trying to tell me I am?

Well, that’s the thing. These rocks have not always been here. Someone or something, likely the City’s Works department and their machinery, put them here. Can the rocks be removed? Sure they could! That, however would take a great deal of time and strength that I do not and may never possess. So my options are limited. 

I could always just leave the rocks as they are. They can continue to prevent me from achieving that beauty and that strength which lays just outside of my reach. I can continue to look down on myself and continue to really care about what everyone thinks about me. 

Or…I can free myself of that. I could accept my body and it’s flaws, work towards changing myself but realise that while it would be nice, it is not 100% necessary, because those that matter don’t mind. And those that mind don’t matter. 

I can learn to stand and walk on the rocks. 

Everyone has these rocks that they deal with in life. Everyone has barriers to being truly happy. They may be physical or emotional… but everyone has them. Everyone has something that prevents them from being truly happy. 

Happiness is not having the greatest job but in doing your job to the best of your ability and making a difference where you can. Happiness is not having endless finances but in learning to be happy with what you have. Happiness is not driving the fastest car or wearing the fanciest clothes. Happiness is more than a feeling. Happiness is a state of mind where you can accept all that is around you for what it is, understanding what you cannot change and being mindful of the difference. 

For me, I need to accept that happiness is not having the perfect body, but being comfortable in the one you have. 

Search within yourself. Find your happiness. Learn to stand and walk on your rocks. 

Osu!!

Doug

Karate: A Personal Endeavor

So today I went to Karate like I do most Tuesdays. A pattern night. Sweet! A chance to showcase what I know and earn a stripe or two! For those who don’t go to ACMA, you need three stripes in order to qualify for grading. My orange belt is a little naked. Needs some red on it…

We start going through kata, from Shodan to Godan. I noted a few places I could tweak my own kata to be better and to understand the bunkai a little better. Looks great! Kyoshi is looking at me, I’m being my regular stellar self…oh yeah! I’m pumped. Looks great. Feels great. Hooahh!

We come to the end of class. Line up. I see the tape on the table in front of us. Here it comes! Improvement time!! We bow. We turn. We give each other a high five. We…walk out? Wait! No one got anything! Have we not shown how awesome we are? Have we not shown you we understand? What gives? What do we have to do to show you??

I walk out from the dojo and walk towards my car, reflecting on tonight’s lesson. Little did I know I had learned a lesson more valuable than “that is a hand turned this way so you can counter this attack.” No, my reflection taught me more than that. 

What had I learned? Karate comes not from a book or a lesson or a video…your spirit cannot be taught. It must be developed over time. It must grow naturally. Did my pattern look great? Yes. Did my belt have anything to do with that? Does a stripe mean that I am better? No! The fighting spirit inside me tells me that I am better. That my skills are improving and that while I have a great deal to go, watching myself in the mirror, feeling my body execute each movement…that is what symbolizes growth and development. 

What is around ones waist does not measure what is in ones spirit or ones heart. Karate is a life long journey. Sure it’s nice to get kudos for a job well done and to mark your improvement, but at the end of the day, I can look at myself and see that I am better today than I was yesterday. Promotions will come. Put your belt as far out of your mind as you can. It matters not. All that matters is the development of your spirit and that is something you show with how you live your life, not what is around your waist. 

Train hard for the LOVE of Karate, for the love of the life long journey. Do not train for the belt, because a piece of fabric does not define your skill or anything else about you. Your character is a much better demonstration of your skill. Your spirit is a much better demonstration. 

Concentrate on your skills and your spirit. Your belt will naturally change without you even noticing it. 

Osu!!

Doug