How to Do Anything at All in Life

The Urban Ninja

Note: I originally wrote this in July 2010, 5 years ago, but never posted it. Five years! That’s crazy. Obviously a lot has changed since then, and I wish that I’d posted this waaay back then. But the point I was trying to make still holds true, even more now, since it’s like I was writing for myself. My future self. It’s like a time machine, but in reverse. Crazy, man.

Last weekend at American Rendezvous 2k10, I met another participant named Ozzi Quintero from Hawaii (originally from Venezuela). This guy was probably the most hardcore guy at the event, is responsible for Hawaii Parkour (aka HIpk), and has some videos on youtube. I was quite impressed with Ozzi’s abilities, (one of which includes a handstand initiated from a standing position without kicking himself up). He’s also got a well-built physique.

In short, Ozzi is awesome. But he wasn’t born awesome, he had to work for it. He had to work his ass off to develop the stability, balance, physique, etc. that makes him a great traceur. He has been in the proverbial trenches, spending time in the weight room, performing exercises to develop balance, quadrupedal movement, etc., and the awesomeness shows through as a result.

I’d like to be like Ozzi, but I wasn’t born with his genetics, so I can’t. It’s too bad.

Oh, wait — yes, I too can be awesome. And I will.

You Can Do It

One thing I hate is to hear someone say “man I wish I were… (thinner, richer, whatever..er)”, or “I want _____ more than anything in the world”, and then do nothing at all about it, nothing to improve his/her situation.

That person is lying to everyone, and probably most importantly, lying to (him|her)self. The fact is, if you really want something, you’ll find a way to make it happen.

Want to be thinner? Change your damn diet and start exercising. For me, becoming a vegan, getting serious about lifting weights and starting Parkour all at about the same time have completely changed my life. I’m not saying anyone should follow any particular diet or lifestyle, but eating McDonald’s, Sonic and even Subway (gasp!) ain’t gonna cut it if you’re fat and want to lose weight. In fact, you’ll probably have to stop eating out. Also, if you consume a lot of beer on weekends, that will have to go as well. It may seem like a drastic change, and indeed it is, but…

“No one will ever change until the pain of staying the same becomes greater than the pain of change.”
— Jack Daniels

Want to be richer? Start researching how to be richer. Google it, click on some links. Follow links on those pages to other pages. Read the right books.

Wanna learn to play the guitar? Go to a music store, buy a basic guitar, and inquire about lessons. Even if the store doesn’t give lessons, they can point you to someone who can.

Or maybe you’d like to learn a new language? Take a look at Benny, he’s learned 7 and he’s still not finished. Go buy a book on your language of choice. Take classes at school/college/university. Ask a friend to help (nicely!). Check out the (free) resources on the net: check out livemocha.com or ielanguages.com.

But know that whatever it is you want to do, it’s not going to fall into your lap. Because…

“Nothing in this life that’s worth having comes easy.”
— Dr. Kelso

Make It Happen – Today

Much like Ozzi in the example above, you’ve got to put in the effort if you want to reach your goals. But if you really want to do it, you will. I promise. 😉

With the power of the internet, pretty much the entire knowledge of the world is at our fingertips. The old excuse “I don’t know how” is no longer valid.

So please, stop lying to me, everyone else, and above all, yourself. If you really want to do something, just go do it.

All the good things you want to do in your life have to be started in the next few hours, days or weeks. — Tom DeMarco

If you get nothing else out of this, please, take action on something today — whatever it is you want to do, no matter how big it is. Because if you don’t, you may never get around to it.

Stop merely living, start surviving. Go. Be. Do epic shit.

Photo by Tyson Cecka

Change is Good

Ok, I’m lazy as hell. That’s a good quality for a programmer, but not so good for other things. This was originally supposed to be published on 25 Oct 2010, exactly. So that’s when I’m going to set the publish date, even though it’s now 6 Nov 2010. Screw it.

Change is inevitable. Nothing ever stays the same. Change can either be for good or for bad, but it will always be.
— paraphrased from Coach Gothard (i think)

That photo is me 1 year ago at Mornington Crescent Tube Station.
the author, one year ago

This is me 3 weeks ago.
the author 3 week ago

I don’t even look like the same person. Lost 60 lbs since a year ago. Most of it within the last 6 months.

I could go on about non-tangible things like “belief” and “persistence” which have allowed me to change my life, but the truth is, it’s not that complicated:

1. I went vegan late March of this year (2010) – this is probably 80% of the change.
2. I also started working out consistently – this is another 15%.
3. I started Parkour – this is about 4.8%.
4. New sweet specs – this accounts for the final 0.2%.

Now, a word about Parkour: it rocks hard. Harder than rocks themselves, actually, which is pretty hard by any standard of measurement. It’s a physical activity that’s difficult to categorize. It’s not simply an activity, but a lifestyle (sort of how veganism isn’t just a diet, but also a lifestyle). But Parkour is a hardcore warrior lifestyle. An all-around physical and (more importantly) mental fitness. It’s not about flips and tricks (that’s called Freerunning), but efficiency. Efficiency of movement, of purpose. Always maintain the flow. Don’t stop the flow.

I don’t really know where I was going with this.

I’m in Quebec City, Canada right now. Which is a change from Bentonville, Arkansas, which is where I was one month ago. Anyway, the end.

Also, a happy birthday to my nephew James who turns 16 today. He won’t read this, probably ever, but that’s ok.

American Rendezvous 2k10

I just returned home yesterday afternoon from 3 days of intense Parkour training event in Columbus, Ohio. The event was American Rendezvous 2010, presented by the Parkour Horizons group.

The instructors came from both Parkour Generations and three of the Yamakasi, also current members of Majestic Force.

Just a side note, as a result, my DCI tracker will be missing entries for a few days, due to the fact that it was a bit difficult to get them in during the event.

Honestly, this is some of the best training one could possibly receive and I highly recommend to anyone interested in Parkour that they train with members of Parkour Generations and Majestic Force if possible.

More than just physical training, I feel like I now know how to train myself and understand much more about Parkour as an art form and a lifestyle as opposed to simply a sport.

currently listening to: El Corazón del Guerrero por Tierra Santa