His body felt like it had been hit by several freight trains simultaneously. He knew it was cliché but every muscle in his body ached. He moved like the Tin-man short a few squeezes of his oil can.
Today, he experienced hard Qi Gong for the first time. The practice is centred upon strengthening and hardening the outer part of the body. He had struck sand bags over and over, practiced combinations on wooden poles and even managed to break his first brick (and possibly his hand in the process). He chuckled to himself at the end of the day knowing that he was surely at his maximum level of soreness.
Bjorn is a Danish student at the academy. It has become apparent he matches Forde when it comes to being the centre of attention. It was interesting to watch him vying for others attention, particularly the Shifu’s who he respected most.
He would constantly do tasks for their approval, including extra repetitions to prove his worth. This behaviour annoyed Andrew until he realised why. It was a reflection of his own behaviour, albeit to a more subtle degree. He too hoped others noticed the hard work he put in.
Having been commended by the young Shifu following a session, Andrew was met with disappointment when he wasn’t singled out for his efforts for the sessions which followed. Why, Andrew thought, is it so important to receive approval from others, particularly those we don’t know and like?
Is it a consequence of a childhood where commendations were abundant, like a dog that receives a treat even after the most mundane actions? Perhaps it’s centred on a lack of self-worth. If one doesn’t feel they’re valuable than they hope others will provide validation that they are in fact good enough.
The day finished with dumplings for dinner. Andrew inhaled 30 with ease. That’s 20 too many, Andrew thought in hindsight. As he drifted off into a dumpling-induced sleep he told himself he would make a concerted effort to do things for himself, not to prove worth but to develop the skill at hand or complete the task for the sake of it. What he does has no bearing on his self-worth, nor does he need the words of others to make him feel a certain way.