Tag Archives: Foo Fighters

New Morning Walk

For what seems like the first time in ages I managed to get up and force myself out for a walk this morning.  It was a 5am start and a short walk of just 8.6 miles in just a little over 2 hours.

My calf muscle injuries of last year seem to have cleared up, I can still feel them being a little stiff, but the muscle tears that I had are no way near as painful as they were 18 months ago.  I wan’t as fast as I used to be, but it was worth it.

And although the sun rise was early this morning, I just managed to get to the lake as it came up.

Sunrise 21/5 no 1

Sunrise 21/5 no 1

Sunrise 21/5 no 2

Sunrise 21/5 no 2

Sunrise 21/5 no 3

Sunrise 21/5 no 3

Sunrise 21/5 no 4

Sunrise 21/5 no 4

Sunrise 21/5 no 5

Sunrise 21/5 no 5

Sunrise 21/5 no 6

Sunrise 21/5 no 6

Hopefully this is the start of a regular routine, just like it used to be, not just another false start.  I feel I am going to ache in the morning, but hopefully I can get five miles in before work!!!

WALK by FOO FIGHTERS
A million miles away
Your signal in the distance
To whom it may concern
I think I lost my way
Getting good at starting over
Every time that I return

I’m learning to walk again
I believe I’ve waited long enough
Where do I begin?
I’m learning to talk again
Can’t you see I’ve waited long enough?
Where do I begin?

Do you remember the days
We built these paper mountains
And sat and watched them burn?
I think I found my place
Can’t you feel it growing stronger?
Little conquerors

I’m learning to walk again
I believe I’ve waited long enough
Where do I begin?
I’m learning to talk again
I believe I’ve waited long enough
Where do I begin?

Now
For the very first time
Don’t you pay no mind?
Set me free again
You keep alive a moment at a time
But still inside a whisper to a riot
To sacrifice but knowing to survive
The first decline another state of mind
I’m on my knees, I’m praying for a sign
Forever, whenever
I never wanna die
I never wanna die
I never wanna die
I’m on my knees
I never wanna die
I’m dancing on my grave
I’m running through the fire
Forever, whatever
I never wanna die
I never wanna leave
I’ll never say goodbye
Forever, whatever
Forever, whatever

I’m learning to walk again
I believe I’ve waited long enough
Where do I begin?
I’m learning to talk again
Can’t you see I’ve waited long enough?
Where do I begin?

I’m learning to walk again
I believe I’ve waited long enough
I’m learning to talk again
Can’t you see I’ve waited long enough?

 

Karate And Me – Part 3 – Journey To Black Belt

KARATE AND ME

PART 3 – JOURNEY TO BLACK BELT

1983 was a tough year, at the beginning of the year passed my 3rd Kyu, which is the first brown belt of three brown belts, now the real training began, most people recognise that brown belt is the belt before black, so once you make it to the first brown belt, the kata you learn is generally the one you then use for your black belt, the grading syllabus is generally the same, it the technical detail that must improve each time.  I passed all these gradings and by the end of the year had received my 1st Kyu, next step was black belt, a minimum of six months training and preparation.  Early that year Alan had started a club in Lincoln, it ran on Friday nights and then eventually Wednesday nights too, I began to travel with Alan on Friday nights to Lincoln, at first it was only me that wanted to go, eventually others higher grades came with us too.  By the time I passed my 1st Kyu I was training five times a week and it was hard training, Alan pushed us hard, he wanted us to succeed, he was hard but fair, always fair.

One thing he didn’t stand for was any kind of bullying, he wouldn’t have anyone taking liberties with other students, higher grades were to be fair and work with the lower grades and not be hard on them, push them, but not use them as canon fodder, he was keen on that.  One thing he wouldn’t stand for is anyone laughing at other students, he would get the different grades up to do their kata in groups, if one of them went wrong and any other student sat down laughed at them, he would get them up straight away, he would sit everyone down and make the student who laughed do their kata, whilst encouraging everyone else to laugh at them.  I was a victim of this once, I never did it again, I guess if I did that now, I would be pulled over the coals for it, but back in the early 1980’s it wasn’t so frowned upon, as I said once you had got caught, you never did it again and as higher grades, we sort of began to police and school the other students, make sure none of them fell foul of the rules and made the same mistakes as we had done.

In May 1983 I took part in my first National Championships, I was only just a brown belt and for the first time came up in a category with black belts, we didn’t have a junior black belt in the club at that point, that wouldn’t happen until later that year, I think the youngest black belt in the club at that point was about fifteen and he had quit training a year or so before.  I think Alan fudged the entry forms somewhat, to be fair it was common practice among all the Club Instructors to be liberal with ages on entry forms, the minimum age for fighting was 10 years, I was nine and not ten until seven months later, but I was entered in the fighting.  I wasn’t sure what to expect at this level and when I was called up for the first round against a black belt, I decided to just get stuck in.  I’m not sure either of us had much technique, more just youthful exuberance, somehow I won that fight, against a black belt, I was over the moon and my Dad who was watching was too.  I lost my second fight against another black belt, but that didn’t matter, I had beaten a black belt and that was my medal, together with the bruises and black eye I collected along the way.  I remember that competition well, the fighting especially, it was at Crystal Palace and we were on one of the mats on the balcony, which was a first because usually the kids were downstairs in one of the tiny gyms, there would be hundreds of kids squashed into these small rooms.  I think the kata was downstairs, I don’t remember anything about that really other than I lost in the first round, my one victory in the fighting was enough to make my day.

There was still a matter of two gradings to pass before attempting my black belt, thankfully I got through those okay, I don’t think I blitzed them, but I did enough to pass.  By this time I was training five times a week, every week, three times at my home club in Newark and twice at our sister club in Lincoln, it was hard training, but good, always good.

My first attempt at Black Belt came in April 1984, it was up in York and my first time training at one of these courses, never mind attempting to grade.  I remember training at Lincoln the night before and everything was a mess.  I couldn’t remember half the katas I needed, not that I didn’t know them, any other night I wouldn’t have had a problem, maybe it was nerves or apprehension for the next day, but I couldn’t get them right, half way through one of them I remember just having a complete memory blank, I just didn’t know what came next, to this day, I’ve never again had that problem, but that Friday night, I was lost.

The next day was the black belt grading in York, it wasn’t at some grand leisure centre, it was in the sports hall at Imphal Barracks, Fulford in York.  It was basic to say the least, just one large hall, small changing rooms and no refreshment facilities.  Hundreds of people came to train and over a hundred were there to take their grading, so it was a little cramped.

Five people from my club were grading that day, including me, I don’t remember much about the training and very little from my grading.  I do remember the free fighting, I really enjoyed that, the lad I fought went on to become National Champion a couple of years later, but that day I gave as good as I got.  Unfortunately though I failed everything but the fighting, the gradings are split into three parts, basics, kata and fighting, the basics pretty much count for most of the grading, if you fail that, you fail everything.  To pass you have to pass all three, if you fail kata or kumite, you still fail, but next time you only have to retake those elements, fail the basics you retake everything, fail two out of three, you retake everything also.

So I had failed and therefore had to redo the whole grading again.  In truth, I was just ten years old, still pretty young, but also it’s a requirement that there is a minimum of six months between passing the last brown belt and attempting black belt, I was a couple of weeks short of that, my instructor put me and another couple of students in regardless of this requirement, he later stated you would have to be exceptional to pass if you fell foul of this rule.

Three out of the five of us passed that day, Stuart an adult member of our Lincoln club, Darren who was a couple of years older than me and always been a couple of grades ahead, he had already failed once, but passed on this occasion, then there was Trudy, she had come through in the same group as me, but she was good, very good.

It was a bit of knock back to fail, it’s hard when good friends have passed, you want to be happy for them, but at the same time, your world has fell apart.  After that I stopped doing the extra training sessions at Lincoln for a while, I guess it knocked my enthusiasm somewhat, I trained hard when I trained, I just didn’t train as much.

In hindsight, that was wrong, looking back if I wasn’t good enough to pass when I was training five times a week, how was I going to be good enough to pass if I was only doing three.  Well the proof came just three months after that grading.

My second attempt came at Lincoln in July 1984, in truth the training didn’t go that well, the instructor picked me up on a number of things and it seemed to blow my confidence.  The outcome was the same as before, I failed the kata and basics, but passed the fighting.  I think I actually did better the first time around, I can’t put my finger on what went wrong, I simply was nowhere near good enough, now I had to wait another three months before I could try again, one thing was for sure, it was back to training five times a week.

BEST OF YOU by FOO FIGHTERS
I’ve got another confession to make
I’m your fool
Everyone’s got their chains to break
Holdin’ you

Were you born to resist or be abused?
Is someone getting the best, the best, the best, the best of you?
Is someone getting the best, the best, the best, the best of you?

Are you gone and onto someone new?
I needed somewhere to hang my head
Without your noose
You gave me something that I didn’t have
But had no use
I was too weak to give in
Too strong to lose
My heart is under arrest again
But I break loose
My head is giving me life or death
But I can’t choose
I swear I’ll never give in
I refuse

Is someone getting the best, the best, the best, the best of you?
Is someone getting the best, the best, the best, the best of you?
Has someone taken your faith?
Its real, the pain you feel
You trust, you must
Confess
Is someone getting the best, the best, the best, the best of you?
Oh…

Oh…Oh…Oh…Oh…

Has someone taken your faith?
Its real, the pain you feel
The life, the love you’d die to heal
The hope that starts the broken hearts
You trust, you must
Confess

Is someone getting the best, the best, the best, the best of you?
Is someone getting the best, the best, the best, the best of you?

I’ve got another confession my friend
I’m no fool
I’m getting tired of starting again
Somewhere new

Were you born to resist or be abused?
I swear I’ll never give in
I refuse

Is someone getting the best, the best, the best, the best of you?
Is someone getting the best, the best, the best, the best of you?
Has someone taken your faith?
Its real, the pain you feel
You trust, you must
Confess
Is someone getting the best, the best, the best, the best of you?
Oh…

The Best Silverware?

Last night I had this thought about alcohol addiction and came to the conclusion that mine was a bit like this…

It’s was like one of those proud mother’s, who keeps the best cutlery and plates shut away in a cupboard, rarely used, the family uses the cheap stuff, they never get to see the best family silver, it’s put away in the back of the cupboard, not seeing the light of day.

Then there comes the visitors, so the mother takes it all out of the cupboard, she doesn’t want people to see or use the cheap stuff, because that’s how people will judge her, it’s all about impression, making it look like everything is good.  So then they all eat off the best plates, with the good silver knives and forks.

But when everyone has gone, it’s washed and put back away in the darkness of the cupboard, not to be used again until there is the need to once again put on a show for everyone.

I was certainly like that, I wasn’t bothered what I was doing here at home and really what the family saw of me, but I never let anyone else see that.  When it came to people coming around or going out, I would polish the silver and create my good impression, then when all was clear, I hid the best of me in the darkness, behind the closed doors.

But the sad thing is, I guess this isn’t just limited to alcoholism or maybe any other addiction, I think at times I still do this, at times I’m still content to hide the best of me, only bringing that out when I’m in company, obviously nowhere near as bad as I was, but definitely at times I’m still hiding the best.

Not only do I see that in me, but I see that in other’s around me, only bringing out the best silver when others are around.

But I guess we are all guilty of that from time to time!

BEST OF YOU by FOO FIGHTERS
I’ve got another confession to make
I’m your fool
Everyone’s got their chains to break
Holdin’ you

Were you born to resist or be abused?
Is someone getting the best, the best, the best, the best of you?
Is someone getting the best, the best, the best, the best of you?

Are you gone and onto someone new?
I needed somewhere to hang my head
Without your noose
You gave me something that I didn’t have
But had no use
I was too weak to give in
Too strong to lose
My heart is under arrest again
But I break loose
My head is giving me life or death
But I can’t choose
I swear I’ll never give in
I refuse

Is someone getting the best, the best, the best, the best of you?
Is someone getting the best, the best, the best, the best of you?
Has someone taken your faith?
Its real, the pain you feel
You trust, you must
Confess
Is someone getting the best, the best, the best, the best of you?
Oh…

Oh…Oh…Oh…Oh…

Has someone taken your faith?
Its real, the pain you feel
The life, the love you’d die to heal
The hope that starts the broken hearts
You trust, you must
Confess

Is someone getting the best, the best, the best, the best of you?
Is someone getting the best, the best, the best, the best of you?

I’ve got another confession my friend
I’m no fool
I’m getting tired of starting again
Somewhere new

Were you born to resist or be abused?
I swear I’ll never give in
I refuse

Is someone getting the best, the best, the best, the best of you?
Is someone getting the best, the best, the best, the best of you?
Has someone taken your faith?
Its real, the pain you feel
You trust, you must
Confess
Is someone getting the best, the best, the best, the best of you?
Oh…

Learning To Walk Again

Daily Prompt – These Boots Were Made For Walking

It was around this time last year, when the family were all away and I was alone in this house that I started getting out of the house, putting the headphones in and just walking.  Back then it didn’t matter where I walked or how far I walked, it was about beating demons and instead of being enclosed within this four walls fighting them, it was so much easier to get out and just walk away from them, put some Christian music in my ears and spent some time working things out in my head rather than getting lost in my mind.

I walked in the morning and then again in the evening, anywhere, up the hill, around the industrial estate, around town, anywhere but stay in alone.  I walked at pace then, but not as quick as I do now, but depending on the song that came on and it’s pace depended on how fast I would walk.  I would progressively walk longer, starting at a five or six mile walk and onto the 13 mile route that would become my regular weekend walk.

I started to settle into a routine, each morning I would wake at about 5am, get up and walk 4 miles, come home shower and walk the other mile and a quarter to work, I began to average about 60 miles a week and an average speed of 4.7 mph, that continued through to the end of the year and into this year, whether it was clear weather, rain, sleet, wind and even heavy snow, I would get up, no excuses, the alarm would sound I would just rise, dress and walk, whether I felt up to it or not I would just walk.

One morning I walked over 27 miles without stopping, I just went for it, when I got home I checked the times of the most recent London Marathon, I was amazed that over 4000 people ran the marathon distance slower than I had walked it!

In the first six months that I was on this routine I missed just a few mornings, I walked pretty much every morning, the few mornings I missed, the day that followed just didn’t seem right, it didn’t seem like were quite going my way, I’m not sure what it was exactly, but those day just didn’t seem to go well, they weren’t disasters by any means, just not as good.

Predominantly through that period I started my walk in darkness and walked into the daylight, sometimes as I passed by street lamps they would switch off, it felt like I was Professor Dumbledore with his gadget putting the lights out as I go.  I would carry my camera and record some of the most wonderful sunrises I’ve ever seen.  I spent so much of the years previously hidden behind closed curtains, some days not even seeing the sun at all, then to see every sunrise was just special, it meant something to me and represented what I was doing in my life, walking out of the darkness of my past in to the light of my future.

Then the first of March arrived, I was off work and after a brief walk I paused to sit by the lake, intending to walk further after I had watched the sunrise, then before 7am my phone rang, my Mum told me my Nan had died and my world fell apart there and then.  I stumbled home in tears and from that day it’s not been quite the same.

Over the next few weeks walking was an on and off thing, I was struggling with my Nan’s death, right up until the funeral and days I didn’t feel like it, I didn’t walk, I just went back to sleep for a little longer, by the time I got over that my other Nan died and although I didn’t initially struggle with that loss as badly at first, I did after the funeral, a bit of a reversal, but once again walking became intermittent and good and bad days continued.

By the end of May I was doing so many extra hours at work and other things that something had to give, I was exhausted, when I woke, I didn’t question myself, I just turned over and went back to sleep awaiting a second alarm, I got out odd mornings, but few and far between, since then it’s become gradually less and less that I get out, up to the point that I haven’t walked now in over three weeks and just haven’t been the same.

Had I been still walking, would I have struggled so much this last week, last year I got out and did something about it, this year I sat deep within my own self pity, the balance of my life just doesn’t seem right at the moment and the one thing that has changed is the walking.

I do my best thinking when I’m walking, I listen to my music and worship along to it, especially when I’m alone along the cycle track where no one except the rabbits can hear me, I speak with God when I walk, I hand over all my problems when I’m walking and that just isn’t happening at the moment.

Something is just not he same and I desperately want to get back to my routine, that feeling that when the alarm goes off, there no thought, just action, that old feeling of jumping up and getting out, enjoying every sunrise and not worrying about the sound of wind and rain, just walking, just getting that balance of life right.

I miss seeing the sunrise and I want to get back to witnessing moments like this again.

Light Up The Sky

Light Up The Sky

This Monday I fully intend to start with the old routine of walking once again, to fight that urge to turn over, to just get up, change and get out, to see if I get some of that old balance back, that old spring in the step and walk right back into that light.

WALK by THE FOO FIGHTERS
A million miles away
Your signal in the distance
To whom it may concern
I think I lost my way
Getting good at starting over
Every time that I

I’m learning to walk again
I believe I’ve waited long enough
Where do I begin?
I’m learning to talk again
Can’t you see I’ve waited long enough?
Where do I begin?

Do you remember the days
We built these paper mountains
And sat and watched them burn?
I think I found my place
Can’t you feel it growing stronger?
Little conquerors

I’m learning to walk again
I believe I’ve waited long enough
Where do I begin?
I’m learning to talk again
I believe I’ve waited long enough
Where do I begin?

Now
For the very first time
Don’t you pay no mind?
Set me free again
You keep alive a moment at a time
But still inside a whisper to a riot
To sacrifice but knowing to survive
The first decline another state of mind
I’m on my knees, I’m praying for a sign
Forever, whenever
I never wanna die
I never wanna die
I never wanna die
I’m on my knees
I never wanna die
I’m dancing on my grave
I’m running through the fire
Forever, whatever
I never wanna die
I never wanna leave
I’ll never say goodbye
Forever, whatever
Forever, whatever

I’m learning to walk again
I believe I’ve waited long enough
Where do I begin?
I’m learning to talk again
Can’t you see I’ve waited long enough?
Where do I begin?

I’m learning to walk again
I believe I’ve waited long enough
I’m learning to talk again
Can’t you see I’ve waited long enough?