Homesick

I’ve been living in Taiwan for 10 years and I’ve been back only briefly to visit relatives.

Recently I’ve planned a trip to Toronto solely to train in martial arts. Why? Because I haven’t found a better teacher anywhere in Asia. That might sound like hubris or blindness but it isn’t. I’m older now, and the fact is that the relationships I have formed in the past have a certain weight which lends them a trust and reliance which is not easily formed elsewhere. If it helps, consider the limitation mine and not that of those who live here.

As the day approaches when I spend my time in Toronto I have taken up photography as a hobby. As a result I have been looking at other people’s photos online, and as a result have joined some photo groups on Flickr related to Toronto. As I look at these images, memories stir. Biting cold waiting for a streetcar — but not too unmanageable. How life was like back then. Trying to find good work. Training in the park. University life, college life, and life outside of it. It is impossible to say how things would have turned out if I hadn’t gone to Taiwan. I am not sorry I left. It was for the best. Perhaps now that I have finally made my way in life I am allowed to feel homesick. Perhaps that is a benefit. I’m sure it is.

So here I sit, it’s 2 am in Asia right now, and all I can think of is what happens one hundred days from now.

I wish I could tell my teachers how much this trip means to me. It is the cumulation of my whole life. I’m not being melodramatic. It’s not hyperbole. It really is. The emotions behind it run deep, perhaps deeper than even I am aware. But in the end there is no point in talking about it too much. The best and in fact only way to deal with it is to channel it into physical exercise and photography. A while ago, I would have said wei-qi as well. But there are many sacrifices I have had to acknowledge, even though some of them have not yet been made.

If you want something badly enough in life you can have it. The question is what you are willing to give up to get it. Sometimes it is not as bad as you think and you can have your cake and eat it too. But the journey can be painful and tiresome. The way I got to where I am is a lot like that. In the process I had to disregard everything I held dear. And now, here I am, right now, here today, and I have the power to say that it is a new day, a new beginning. This is my secret power which makes me more than any superhero. I have the power to change, not just myself, but all of the people I used to know, and all the places I used to visit. In fact the whole world. So, tomorrow is another day.

Garmin Group “Canada Top Runners” Changes Leaderboard Metrics

This week for the first time, I will fail to win, place or show in the Garmin Groups “Canada Top Runners” and “Downtown Toronto Running”. I have previously reached first place since joining those groups. They have both spontaneously changed to “distance run” which disqualifies me as I have a Vivofit 2 and not a Forerunner or Fenix or whatever their running watch is.

Interestingly enough, prior to my arrival both groups were step tracking groups dominated by the same person (no need to name names). This person was consistently second by a margin of 10% to 20% while I was a member. In any case, the person is now first again and I am at the bottom of their group, so I quit their groups. I can no longer participate on a fair and even playing field, my (entry level) watch only reports step tracking.

I continue to dominate the “Let’s Move Canada”, “Garmin UX Taiwan”, “Vivosmart China” and other groups I am a member of. I am currently first in the 150k Step Challenge this week as well.

Soon I will back down from step diary challenges and devote more time to the splits diary and wuji diary. After I accomplish those goals my long term plans are to ease into a more traditional routine, keeping the same hours but replacing walking and so forth with mainly jibengong, forms and single posture repetitions should come very naturally. I will touch more on this process in a future post on the topic of cross training different systems.

I’m a little disappointed in the way Canada Top Runners and DTR groups have handled my presence, but in the end I was not planning on being long term competitive. Just establishing a baseline amount of training time.