In London, I asked the hotel receptionist (it’s a guy, you know you thought of a gender) about directions. He began telling me about a H58 bus and what not, and I stopped him. “Which way? I’m going to run there…on foot.” He snickered and looked at me like I was nuts. Same reaction I get in the U.S. for running. What? Mofos don’t run anymore? People do. In the U.S. they run, in London I saw them running. In India, only on my way to Mangalore airport I was inspired by an Indian woman who did more than run. She walked on the edge of the road in nutty traffic from the direction of the airport. I don’t know really where she came from or where she was going, but she was neatly dressed with a dignified look on her face.
Watching her, I quickly thought back to one year in high school. I remember kids puzzled, some laughing asking me “Why were you pushing a shopping cart down the road all by yourself?” Till this day, I think it was the most sensible response and reason. It was the same year I began working out to begin competing as a bodybuilder. In my world, I need no cars if I have my legs. In my world, I need no money if I have valuable friendship and family. In my world, I’m not lost if a destination exists. In this world there are few visitors to come by, but, the ones who do always motivate me.
Last night, at 1:30am (London time) I decided to walk to the London Heathrow airport for action and internet wifi. The scene was dead but I stayed until 5:30am. Before I left, I began thinking, “There is always a solution. Never panic.” I have lived by this and it has become my motto. It’s far from perfected. The discussion in my head was mainly for internalizing my own belief. The walk to the airport may seem odd to people, but I get there in 10-15min. JFK and La Guardia airports would do well to get a walking lane TOO! What’s 15min. or even 20min.?
In a Florida high school where everyone drives, I told my peers, “I had to carry a 30lbs dumbbell home.” Honestly, it may have been 25lbs. Anyway, I pushed the cart from the mall and traveled maybe 2-5 miles home. I can’t remember the mileage, but I couldn’t wait for my family to drop what they were doing just to drive me. It was a bit difficult, but, I was also trying something more difficult and more amazing. Three years later, I was a teen finalist in NABBA and I wasn’t even entirely focused on that one sport.
The woman who I saw walking down the hill from Mangalore airport only days ago, she inspired me. Just by walking. And, I’ll reuse this story in a few days from now to discuss veganism and exercise and anything I feel my mind needs to share with people who will hear me. The woman: She was walking amongst cars screeching around the corner feverishly trying to make departures, with NO sidewalk, nothing but peril and still more miles to go as there was nothing but space between civilization and that Mangalore airport. No joy, but no fear either written on her face. I took time to notice her impression, albeit, I could not tell you one piece of fabric she wore, but I know she was not unkept. When I felt fear for her and saw her lack of caution I knew ‘whatever has to get done was done that day, by her.’
As for me and my run, it was the best day in London so far. I found an apple tree…you know I took some apples, about nine. I took pictures on my run. I saw the biggest snail I ever saw, sadly that was after I mistakenly killed one. I put it off the road along with some of his/her buddies so they’d be safer. Goats! I saw three goats that seemed to belong to no one. Ok, don’t believe me. It’s the UK, you know. They belonged to no one. Also, I found an adapter to UK’s outlet and some veggies and other food I could actually afford. I would have missed half of this precious experience on a bus or in a car. And of course, I would not be more prepared for my fight at the end of this month when I return to the ring in the States.
Last night, when I was at the Heathrow’s airport (I know, I spend too much time near planes) I thought about how to convey to people how to problem solve and how fighters muster up courage and even win when things look bleak at first. Imagine playing an adventurous video game like Super Mario Bros or Metroid. After breaking the game, you buy another one and then after several more attempts and different tactics you finally beat a very difficult level. You eventually lose again of course. You were still in shock from the win. However, when you arrived at the difficult level again that has caused you pain and money you used the same exact tactic for the same exact level. Voila! You beat it with ease. Your mind then takes that victory and expands your strategic GAME plan to beat the future levels. Not with the same exact approach, but with an almost hybrid-approach to creating another winning solution.
Once you know that the harder levels are conquerable and even easier once mastered you’ll only want more challenges in life to expand your mental and physical capacity. You need nothing in your pocket, no vehicle, and no direction but your own. Build yourself.
Oooohhh…check out my cool pics from today (10/3/13...London)! J
|They did not want to play. One did act photogenic though.|
|Even in London with an exchange, it's cheaper than U.S.!|