We are living through a period of great upheaval and uncertainty. Most of us are experiencing feelings of frustration, stress and anxiety which stems from a perceived loss of control. For me, these feelings were the strongest at the outset of this lockdown. Once I more fully embraced my rock, Kung Fu, through routine, they became more manageable.
I was struggling to make the best decisions for my family, the Academy and myself. I spent 14 years creating a life and community that I very much love. With the feeling of having lost it, I realized I was going through the five stages of grief. After a couple weeks of feeling rudderless, with the encouragement of some friends in our industry, I committed to learning how to deliver classes online. This meant determining the best technology to use (pre-lockdown, I thought Zoom was an adjective for travel). This required a financial and educational time investment, and eventually, dedication to a weekly schedule. Once the VWKFA was launched, a weight was lifted and my days started to improve and become increasingly routine.
Each day still has tough moments, but routine is an anchor that keeps me mentally healthy and perhaps in the best physical shape of my life. Disciplining to a daily and weekly routine provides structure, hope and a sense of control.
In determining the best approach for our students while unable to train in person, I felt it was particularly important to create a weekly schedule of online classes resembling the in-person schedule. I quickly realized this was the right path. Our Academy exists to teach the life-changing benefits of training Kung Fu. I genuinely believe we need teachers. We are a wonderfully positive and unique community of students, instructors and families and by attending these weekly classes, we hold us accountable to one another and in turn our health goals.
My daily routine starts with a large glass of water, followed by Wim Hof breathing, push-ups, practicing one of Shifu Yuan’s Qi Gong forms with my daughter, making the bed, eventually cycling to the Academy while listening to a book or podcast, teaching a slate of classes to the best of my ability, then practicing the drums. Of course there are a lot of variables day-to-day (helping the kids with their online schooling, housekeeping, administrative tasks, watching Avatar/Korra with the family, etc.), but by sticking to the aforementioned routine, I feel much better. I keep Sundays as a rest day and break routine, which energizes me to approach the next week with more resolve.
I implore you to plan out your own routine that is in accordance with the goals you have always held for yourself. Include some form of meditation and exercise. The VWKFA will help you – make the first step of committing to join classes regularly and protect this routine. Kung Fu training is about cultivating your sense of discipline; my teacher always said, “the first discipline is to come to class”. It will help foster good habits and break bad ones.
Through this lockdown, I have experienced that having a routine that includes Kung Fu is more important in my life than ever; I am beyond grateful to our community, which keeps me committed to mine as we stay committed to one another.