Today was the August Moon celebration at my Kung Fu school. The holiday is one of three biggest holidays on the Chinese calendar and from what I hear, August Moon is the second biggest holiday right behind Chinese New Year. I’m honestly not really sure what the third holiday is. Sorry. August Moon was the perfect time to have a party at the school and what kind of party does a Kung Fu school throw? A Kung Fu demonstration party! This was the first time I participated in a demonstration. For the first two years I practiced Kung Fu, I never came to the school on weekends and that is precisely when all of the holiday celebrations/demonstrations occurred. The school is in NYC and while it’s convenient for me to get there after work, this works against me on weekends since I live one hour away on Long Island.
Then something miraculous happened. I failed a promotion test this Spring. Horribly. I wasn’t where I was supposed to be and Sifu said “thou shalt not pass.” As a result, I made some personal sacrifices and began coming in on weekends in addition to actually making all of my weekly classes (instead of signing up for a full schedule and coming when I felt like it). Well, the difference is, as they say in Wrestling, hours on the mat. In my case it was a hardwood floor. Over the summer it was hot and I never sweated as much as I did this summer. Training for the demo was hard. I was going to class four to five times a week. There was always this looming threat of being cut from the demo team. All of my faults were highlighted… daily. All of my “previous background” in martial arts were dragging me down; I had years of bad habits that stuck with me. But then something funny happened. Hard work seemed to be paying off. I was making some progress. The true definition of Kung Fu is not “Chinese martial art” but “the skill attained over a long period of time with much effort,” or something like that.
All of the time I spend in the Mo Gwoon comes at a cost. One day when my mother was over my daughter told her, “Daddy’s is never home.” That’s heartbreaking. All I can say about that is when I am home, I’m home. And while it’s nice to be a dad who’s home all of the time and spending every second of my children’s lives watching them do everything, it’s also nice showing them what it takes to accomplish something in your life. So while I’m not there, I’m still showing them how to live their lives and pursue their dreams. I need to walk this road carefully and I’m mindful to remain absolutely relevant in the lives of my wife and my children. When I am home, I make a point to spend time with each of them. Even when I find some quiet time and I want to do some coding or some writing (I’m in the flow baby!), I always stop what I’m doing and attend to them if they come by to talk. Thanks Harry Chapin.
My family came to see me today which was awesome. My friend John and his son James came and that was double-awesome. I did two forms today, one open hand and one with a bo staff and me and the team I was on did well. I’m not amazing by any means, but I felt like I met the [temporary] bar set for this day. That was fulfilling.