The Healing Journey Project

Renewal and Transformation Through Kung Fu

Progress Journal

Faith and Balance

Posted by Robert Bibeau on January 11, 2011 at 3:23 PM

Several months ago, I was preparing a blog post on how Kung Fu has becoming something of a Religion to me now. I capitalize the word to demonstrate the elevated status of a Religion as opposed to something that is simply done or practiced “religiously.” I had originally intended to title that post Faith and Fervor. The idea was simple enough. I had been practicing my Kung Fu with all the fervor of a religious zealot and – or so it seemed at the time – and I began to experience far more than just the simple joy of doing something I loved. I began to feel a peace that I don’t think I have known in a very long time, if ever. The Healing Journey Project had indeed transformed me, not only my physical capabilities and attributes in the vain aspects of raw endurance and power or physique, but also in terms of my self confidence – professionally and personally – my mental faculty, and my ability to cope with outside stressors.


As this transformation was at its initial apex, I was feeling fantastic. Soon, I began to slip away from some of the things that were making the Project so successful. One key attribute in that regard was the blog. For those who have followed – and those who haven’t can always peruse the blog to see – there were some very late nights attempting to maintain the blog. Initially I began to feel that a good night’s rest would aid me in getting up on time the following morning to really set the tone. This was in fact a good decision on occasion. It however became an easy way out of remaining disciplined about my very own project. More than that, it was the beginning of a very slippery slope into not maintaining the website.


The feeling was something akin to having an important paper due near the end of the semester. You know it won’t really take that long to read a few books, put your thoughts together, draft your paper, make a few corrections and turn it in early and get a great grade. But you’d rather “hang out with your friends” and tell yourself “ehh, I’ve got time.” Before you know it, the due date has passed and you’ve run out of leniency on not being docked points for it being late. Now it’s the end of the semester and you need to buy some cliff’s notes, find a few good points that you hope won’t be recognized as Wikipedia garbage, and buy a pound of coffee just to get yourself through an all nighter. Turns out, it is expensive being lazy. Ultimately I knew the website was beginning to slip.


As the recognition that if the site truly failed, the project would fail too grew, I made several attempts to bolster my efforts relative to the site. In truth the recognition only occurred because I realized that I had begun fasting less frequently on Monday’s. The next step was a gradual reduction in my morning and daily workouts. Then I even would be late to class or even miss it altogether. Now none of these efforts were occurring because I simply didn’t care or because I just decided I didn’t want to do them. On the contrary, it was because, at the time it seemed, that there were outside influences intruding on my time for those activities. I will get into what I feel is the truth in that regard momentarily. For now, suffice it to say that due to my own perception of shortcomings (call it Catholic guilt) I felt great misgiving’s on the hypocrisy of writing a post entitled “Faith and Fervor.”


There was a flaw with my perception that outside influences were preventing my ability to engage in the positive behaviors that had yielded such success. That flaw is simple, the model I had built this on had several integral components fall out of place. I stated in the intro as I discuss the Recovery Triad that at anytime my recovery, my health and my life are “a delicate house of cards.” my whole life was falling apart, I was getting to work later, I was getting to bed later, it was becoming more difficult to manage my own personal affairs than it had been since I began the Project. But it wasn’t because the Recovery Triad failed; it was that I had failed to keep it functioning. In fact, if anything this at least for me, proves that my model works quite well. During the move out of my old house, into the home that we bought, I was able to work out relatively little. I felt that the heavy work of moving would carry me through until the move was over. In truth, the work I had put into my Kung Fu before buying the house carried me through the whole move.


When I was finally able to return to class I found that while my skills and strength had atrophied, they had not done so quite as drastically as I had anticipated. This renewed my faith in what I had set out to do. Not in respect that I had “lost my faith” in the Project but in the respect that it rejuvenated my spirit to get back to those positive habits that had yielded such great fruits.


I realized that when Sifu and I started the Healing Journey Projected, I had enjoyed some very powerful spirit bolstering events, and that I was in a place where I had a relative degree of organization in my life conditions had been right to start the Project. I knew that it was going to take a lot of work to get the project picked back up too and that conditions would be right. I felt that if I simply started blogging again, without the appropriate conditions, I would essentially be writing to no one and selfishly, I had come to enjoy the thought that people were talking inspiration from my words.


I became determined to resurrect this project. I began to train hard on my own and at class when available. I was finding that indeed the house of cards had fallen, but it wasn’t as bad as it could have been. The foundation was still there and I could rebuild. I became determined to rebuild this project and make it stronger than before. I wanted to time it appropriately, It was also important to me that I be able to demonstrate measureable progress. The ability to do that via the metrics may have been shot (which I am analyzing that data anyways for what I have) but I wanted a way to demonstrate “this is what Kung Fu has done for me!” Around the time I began mulling these things over Sifu mentioned to me that I was ready to test for my Orange Sash and that we needed to set a date. It took awhile to lock down an appropriate date but once we did I thought “this is it, this is the event to demonstrate what I have accomplished.”


I wanted there to be some real thought put into this revived Project. I wanted thought put into creating some tools and controls that will help me maintain the site more easily. One of the things that Sifu Mario said when we began this project is that “it must be sustainable.” Some of those tools come in the form of easier methods to update the calendar and thus stay better organized, some come in the form of tech gear like my new iPhone which allows me to update from virtually anywhere in the country. Some of it comes in the form of support from friends and family, the two in the fore are my Wife and my Sifu. (For anyone who thinks my Sifu should come first in that pecking order… No disrespect to Sifu Mario but my Wife bought me a Lungchuan broad sword for Christmas!)


Although the Project faltered a bit, it never failed. Even during the period of time in which I was really struggling, I never got to the low that I suffered just before beginning the Project. Even after all the holiday food and extremely high caloric count of any New Mexican dish served while I was home during the holidays I really didn’t put on much weight. I am at 182 pounds right now, a mere 7 pounds heavier than when I began my move to my new home in October. In recent years I am upwards of 195 and nearing 200 pounds at the end of the holidays, so I am a far sight better than I was at this time last year. (A period in which I do have date indicating that I was 206 pounds being as I had begun to dabble with P-90x)


Ultimately, thanks to some very hard work this past year has been one of the best of my life. I have had something to strive for and I accomplished some things quite well. My personal relationships are better and I feel that this endeavor is doing wonders for me personally and professionally. Nothing compares though to the feeling I get when I practice my Kung Fu outside and I see my son standing with his arms outstretched, bracing his unsure 13 month old body against the sliding glass door watching as I practice or to see him carrying around bare wrapping paper tubes pretending they are his own long staff.


It is true. Faith can always bring you back.

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