tough guy

Surviving the Tough Guy 2013 Challenge

One of my five reasons for coming back to London in January was for an event called Tough Guy. I explained why I thought it was a good idea to come back for it in one of my travel reflection posts.

Not much longer than a day in the country and I was on the M6 motorway driving up to Wolverhampton in the car with my buddy, reminiscing about the past years competition and how the weather might play a big part in this years event. You see, whilst on the surface Tough Guy is an event that looks very much like a physical challenge, only past competitors realise that it’s actually more of a mental challenge.

The course will test almost every fear you have and most definitely your patience. Here’s brief YouTube video of some of this years competitors.

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5 Reasons Why I’m Flying Home to London

After 5 months on the road, I’m flying back to London on 25th January. Coming home at this time, albeit temporarily, was in my plans.

Leading up to heading home, I’ve been asked if I’m looking forward to it.

In truth, I am. Not because I “miss it” as such. I don’t feel I need my own space back, a wardrobe full of clothes or a currency I don’t have to do math with. I’ll enjoy having any of these things, but I still consider them as luxuries rather than necessities.

These are the 5 reasons why I’m actually looking forward to it:

Yearly Tough Guy Pilgrimage
Planning My Next Steps
Catching up with Friends and Family
Examining London Life Again but Through a Different Lens
Build up of Small but Important ‘Maintenance’ Things

 

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Learning About Yourself

When I told people that I’m going to China to spend 2 months in a kung fu school, most people would imagine a purely physical experience. They assume that you’ll learn to fight, perhaps learn a few party tricks, overcome pain barriers and finally come back wanting to wear a kung fu suit every day.
For me, one of the important aspects of my time here, was to learn more about myself. I wasn’t quite sure how that would happen here, but a leap of faith told me that it would. The gut feeling was that the most traditional teachings of something extremely deep was the key.
Now, coming to the end of my time here at the school, I look back and feel that I’ve learned a lot about myself. It’s by no means the answer to everything, but a big step in terms of understanding. The process feels like noticing, questioning and peeling back layers in my thought process one by one, exposing important truths underneath. It’s difficult to put a price on it, certainly at this stage.
In this post, I explain how I think the time here has allowed me to do this, what I’ve learned and why I think it’s important. […]

Changes After A Week Of The New Schedule

After blogging about my frustrations and realisations last week, It appears in the week just gone, much has changed.

So what’s changed exactly?

I’ve religiously stuck to my own new mind/body/soul workout schedule
The day-to-day training from the school has become more physically demanding
I’ve made some progress in learning to meditate
I can be understood more with my mandarin
My outlook on the art here has widened

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I Don’t Miss Home, But I Miss My Washing Machine

<< Blog updates should come more frequently, because I found an easy source of wifi here at the school. However, like the rest of the Chinese population, I don’t have access to Facebook >>

Since the wet weather over the weekend, it’s brightened up in Dengfeng. But not just the weather, more of the techniques and teachings are coming together now.

Firstly, after I looked up numbers in Mandarin, I realised that the thing the kids were shouting in the morning were in fact numbers, i.e. they were doing a headcount. Knowing the numbers up to 10 is good enough for the row I’m in. I ended up surprising the guy after me in the line by shouting “Ba” (8). After “dropping him in it” and making him shout the wrong number, I think we’re still friends though.

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