During last Thursday's self-defense class we received a surprise visit by our dojo's Shihan, he focused on muscle memory as an integral part in defending oneself on the streets. He highlighted techniques that could be altered to give you more time to get away or to secure yourself a safer position. He discussed the importance of becoming comfortable with the feeling of being kicked or punched in this classroom situation. He revealed that in most dangerous situations people are unable to respond appropriately due to shock; if you are familiar with the feelings that come about from a physical confrontation you will be able to react and create a safer situation for yourself.
When class ended, Sensei asked me to speak with Shihan about my 'Year of Dragon' and see if he could shed any light on why I was hitting a wall during my training. We spoke at length about my juicing, diet improvements, exercise challenge, and my training for the C25K; he was proud that I had taken my health into my own hands but felt I was pushing too hard. His blunt and honest advice was refreshing. "You are too big to be running right now. Why are you doing SO much, you are going to stress your heart out of your chest." After learning what my end goals were and discussing the hurdles I was encountering he came up with a 21 day challenge just for me.
"You must move every day, eat only good foods...good foods do not come from places that have drive-thru windows. I want you to drink wheatgrass everyday, walk 1 mile every day, work with your arm weights, allow yourself bad foods every once in a while, and do hard workouts (in addition to the daily mile) 3 days a week".
I am 5 days into his 21 day challenge, Amazingly I have been able to keep the wheatgrass down. I have more energy and I am able to rest better at night, it is hard to get up early every morning but I promised him 21 days and I refuse to not meet such an easy challenge with all I've got. Sixteen days to go!