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A Confessional

Life here can be somewhat isolated and lonely at times. The normal interests, such as drinking, clubbing and general bar hopping, are alien to me now. Sure, when Im with friends I get fucked up and comatose, but when Im on my own, which is 95% of the time, consuming alcohol only serves to leave me sluggish and vulnerable, the last thing I want or need.

Surfing is obviously a popular pastime, given that Hawaii is known globally for its practice and origins. The beaches, coated in rich, intense sunlight, are picturesque and inviting, as are the bountiful women sporting naught but thongs and pasties that seem to populate them nearly exclusively. Unfortunately, my ridiculous sun allergy, which also contributes to one of my many nicknames, The Broken Mexican, eradicates any hope of lounging on the sands for more than a few minutes.

This leaves me in quite the conundrum. Incapable of participating in the local activities, comfortably anyway, because my stubborn ass still does, I find myself pigeonholed into a relatively hermetic existence, and I'd be lying if I said I didn't prefer it. My friends obviate the need for most social interaction, and luckily Ive always been skilled at turning strangers into companions with relative ease. This place is paradise, there's no doubt or speculation regarding that fact. But even earthly Eden can grow dull and listless, leaving me wistful and longing for my hometown. Take the island, but leave me the Bay and Suisun marshlands.

Lately, my nights have been filled with marathon workout sessions. Taking inspiration from Olympic Weightlifting and its adherents, particularly in the 70's and 80's, the advent of the colossal and undefeatable Bulgarian regime, I perform triples in the Diamond HSPU. With each session my nose inches closer to the deck, towards my own personal inverted Nirvana, the culmination of years of dedicated training and ardent devotion to the Art of Calisthenics. I no longer count the number of sets I perform, though intuition tells me that the reps Ive accomplished reach North of 50. I recall nights spent in Denny' s, Taco Bell and Mel's, food either untouched entirely or haphazardly scavenged and picked at, regaling myself with tales of Pat Casey's endless dipping routines, sometimes lasting as long as 4 hours. His reward for such monastic focus? A 600 pound bench press, drug free, along with the distinction of being the first ever to accomplish the titanic feat. Using these fantasies as fuel, I spurn fatigue and ridicule weakness, pursuing a long held goal visible only to me.

I harbor trepidation, seeded in my mind by vermin masquerading as a Brother, that I am wasting my time here. Ive been on a few hikes, yet my zest for them ever only flickered, never combusting to gargantuan heights like the rest of the people I know. I prefer the solitude and stillness of a coffeeshop, the sublime beauty of the North Shore at dusk, or the metropolitan grandeur of Waikiki come nightfall. If this declares me an outlier, so be it. Loner. Outcast. Rebel. All terms applied to my idols. I have spacious boots to fill.

My spasming has become more controllable, less spontaneous. Im increasingly aware of it consciously, and though it can grow somewhat bothersome when my temper flares or my stress is elevated, I can confidently say Ive tamed it to a greater degree. It's long been a point of contention and the source of many fights over the past 14 years, when it began to surface, but, as it seems to have relocated chiefly to my arms and shoulders, it is bearable, and in fact a blessing in some backwards ways. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Rich Piana both extolled the benefits of flexing your arms to the point of crippling cramping after every workout to force nourishing blood into the blasted muscles. Greater definition, bolder vascularity and increased size are the rewards of the activity.  Every thorn in your side is attached to a blooming rose. So be it.

I love that flip flops are considered both business and casual wear on this island. Ive been in downtown Honolulu during the daily lunch rush and witnessed men walking around, darting between cars while cradling briefcases and fondling smartphones, clad in dark grey chinos and blue blazers, topped off with the latest offerings from Island Sandals. The entire vibe meshes well with my laidback sensibilities, though I mainly trade out the flip flops for my white Nike Air Force One Maxes. Say what you want, chortle if you dare, but Ive fallen in love with the damn things. Cargo shorts and sleeveless cut offs complete my typical tropical garb. Reading old blog entries from Seduce With Style has rekindled a long dormant interest and fascination with fashion and the prevailing masculine archetypes. Check them out.

A new friend who happens to be from Sacramento opened my eyes to the world of Muay Thai. I'd been pursuing Iron Palm and Iron Fist training for awhile as a way to augment my ferocity in combat should the need arise on the street, and in doing so I was reacquainted with the comparative weakness of the fist when contested against the palm heel and rabbit punch, aka the fleshy, formidable outer edge of the closed hand. Muay Thai practitioners punch, of course, but also utilize their elbows to attack, as well as their feet, shins and knees. The entire art is based around using every avenue available to bludgeon your opponent into incontinence. As per my fellow Northern Californian, "Technique plays a small part in Muay Thai. It's basically 90% conditioning". The primal strength of the art, as well as its universal adaptability, appeals to me on an intuitive level. Definitely going to study it in depth.

These posts may seem mercurial and unsteady when it comes to content. That's because they lack singular focus or point, they are all flow. Consider this my journaling. At times, when life is chaotic and I cant find my North Star, leaving me cursed to wander and unable to reorient myself, all I can do is workout and write. Those are my yin and yang, the twin beats of my forlorn heart. We all have these life supporting activities keeping us afloat in torrential waters. They are your blades. Sharpen them.

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