Another step in a journey of many miles

This is OT from HPC and from Storage. Sort of. The death this past week of Andrew Breitbart, whether you liked him, hated him, or hadn’t a clue who knew of him, again highlighted for me, the need to take time off, for me, every now and then. Just a few hours per week of time to get out and exercise. To burn off frustration from high on the pony scale discussions. Mark caught some of my frustration this morning with a call. Shouldn’t have.

What got to me about Andrew’s death was, it was of natural causes. He was younger than me by a bit. From what I understand, he didn’t take many breaks for himself, to take care of himself.

I try to. In my (wild and misspent) youth, I was into weight lifting. Injuries and graduate school (then life after grad school) prevented me from keeping up with it. Yeah, excuses, I know. I was doing quite well with it at age 23. Now, more than 23 years later, I can’t say quite the same thing. I watched a video of Andy Haman bench 600+ lbs 3 times (starts around 4:00 in the video). At my best, I did 400+ lbs twice. So remove 2 of the big 45 lbs plates from each side. Today … I’d be lucky to be able to do 315 lbs once. But most of my joints hurt too much for this anyway.

So I do much lighter lifting, and I focus more time on Karate. This is what this note is about.

I started karate in college and simply did not keep up with it. A shame, I really should have.

So I resumed it after my daughter started. And I enjoy it. Its a challenge. I have to clear my mind and focus on this. It helps me to relax. It gets me thinking of bio-mechanics (and it helps that my teachers want to challenge us to understand why subtle differences in orientation or force can have so dramatically differing results) as well as many other things. Completely unrelated to HPC and storage.

I’ve been attending tournaments. The first year, didn’t do so well. Last year … very well, took the state circuit championship for old-fart newbies.

This year … this year … First tournament out of the block. And I took the old-fart underbelt grand champion for advanced category (which I shouldn’t have been in, rather in the intermediate, but there might not enough old-farts for intermediate). Didn’t spar (I wanted to, but was advised against it). You want something to clear your mind? Kumite. Really.

And tomorrow night, there is a possibility I’ll be up for a belt promotion to brown belt. If it happens, great, if not, I won’t worry.

My bucket list goal for this is at least 3rd level dan (3rd degree black belt), though I’ll go as high as I can. I have 4 more kata to learn before preparing for shodan (1st degree black belt) test. I’ve been told I need to do some serious cardio/endurance and strength training for this. Some places give a mild test for shodan. This isn’t that place.

Its a challenge. It won’t be easy, and I could fail. But I am having fun trying.

And it is my time. For me. And I was hoping for my daughter as well, but school takes first priority, and she usually works through class time with her homework.

Between this and other physical exercise, this my time away from HPC and storage. I do my best not to give it up. As I mentioned when my wife and I were working our way through cancer, I have plans for her in about 50 years, she needs to be there for. As do I.

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