Learning To Fly

Since I was 12 years old, the driving force in my life, my love, my passion, has been for sport and physical training. It has evolved and grew, and been my main form of expression, my life.

I have ended careers, relationships, slept in the street, traveled all over the world and invested my entirety in the pursuit of physical training.

It has been with me through some of the toughest times in my life, the one thing i could always turn to in my moment of need, the one thing when everything else was falling down round about me I could find peace in, I could find quiet in, I could find love in.

It wasn’t just physical exercise, it was never about getting healthy, getting strong, getting ripped, becoming great at a particular skill set, these were all just side effects.

To me it was always a meditation, when the entire notion of David dropped off, and all that remained was the moment, was the action, it was a spiritual experience.

A few years ago when I had just returned from Australia, I had been carrying an ongoing shoulder injury for a while, it had been getting progressively worse. I began a course of physical therapy and rehab in an attempt to remedy it. Then, all a sudden, my other shoulder completely blew out.

Two days later, both my knees and hip blew out. I had no idea what was going on.

I went to the doctors and they referred me on to various specialist and physiotherapists and began doing a series of blood tests to see if anything was underlying.

In the next few days, I became incredibly ill, having to sleep about 20 hours a day and absolutely exhausted at even the simplest of tasks like tying my shoes.

My body was in constant agony.

At that time I had experienced my fair share of physical pain, training, fighting, injuries, marathon tattoo sessions, had the beat down more than a few times, and I would rather be getting ground and pounded 24 hours a day than have the pain I was experiencing then.

Emotionally I was spiraling fast into an intense depression.

Here I was an athlete whose fitness was almost legendary with anyone I’d ever trained with, pretty much a cripple within a week.

I’ve faced some troubling times in my short life, I’ve watched the person I loved most die, watched the person I respected most fall before my eyes, I’ve had my heart broken numerous times, I’ve had guns shoved in my face, been imprisoned, faced my own death, and a whole host of other challenges, but this, even faced with the very idea of not being able to train, hurt more than anything else.

It was killing me.

The tests form the doctors came back, and I was sent for more and more, yet nothing was revealed, the doctors were completely puzzled and in their utter confusion fell back to their safety net- Take this medication, and that medication.

I wasn’t about to start polluting my already compromised system with chemicals. I’ve never taken medication, and never will.

For the structural issues I began working with physios and was put on waiting lists for to see specialists and MRI scans and the like.

I was left alone in the dark, to find my own way out, the doctors had no answers.

I’d have to go this alone.

This next piece was something wrote about 3 am one morning, unable to sleep, when my pain both physically and emotionally was at its highest. It was both my darkest night, and the turn around in my mind and heart, the breaking of the dawn.

The night is always darkest, right before the dawn.

What is it I want? What is it I want? Or more so, what is it that wants me? What is my mission? Why am i here? What have i to do in this lifetime? For so very long, these questions burned within my soul, i asked them constantly, looking for meaning, for reason. But does knowing the answer- as much as one can ever know the answer in this ever-changing moment- does that bring us happiness?

Over the last few days, four of the people closest to me, have told me they are unhappy with the way their lives are unfolding. They have all the ‘things’ and comforts that society tells us is is success, and more. On the surface of their lives, it may appear like a fairy tale. But still all have voiced, there is no depth to it, they do not know if it is truly what they want in life, or in other words if it is a true expression of their spirit.

Underneath the distractions of their lives, there was an unrelenting calling, a calling, to break the mold, to break free, to follow their own destiny. But the most frightening thing, is to face yourself, not the idea or concept of yourself, but your very being, right here, right now. Facing that silence of ourselves, can be the most frightening thing you will ever do, it is to die before you die, but out of that silence, can rise an inspiration and passion to walk your own path toward your destiny. But does knowing this, does knowing where you want to go and what you want to do, does it bring the happiness we seek? I used to think it would, but now, i do not know.

As I lie awake, sleepless in the night, there is no confusion about what I wish to do, it as clear as the moon on this cloudless night. It is a single arrow, going straight towards its target. I have no fear of death, I’ve walked in the land of the dead and know it is only love, there is nothing to fear. If i die when I’m 30 or a 130 it makes no difference to me, I’m ready to go at a moments notice. I don’t mind what ups and down happen on the surface of my life, i don’t mind if i land my dream job, if never reach my goals, if I fail in the eyes of the world, If i have nothing, I don’t mind, for i have everything i can ever have. I don’t mind if I ever fall in love again, for i already love everyone, every persons eyes i look into i feel oneness, and feel love.

The only thing that I mind is being able to live my life with vibrant health and vitality and express fully here and now in this physical world. To feel my body move, to run in the sand, to climb the mountain, to swim in the sea, without these things i feel stuck between two worlds.

Between the physical world and the unmanifested. I smile to the world, enjoying the interactions with others, and giving all the love i can, needing nothing in return. But in the silence of the night i scream, a silent scream nobody else can ever hear. I scream straight to the source of all things, that if i cannot express here and now in this physical body, then take me now. I don’t care if it all ends tonight, but don’t leave me hanging between worlds, Like an angel with broken wings, I cannot fly home and i can give light here on earth. Barred from the gates of heaven and unable to express the love, the fire and the light that burns inside me, burns me up.

Sometimes in the night, I pray I can just go home, sometimes when driving in the car, i dream of collision, and my own breaking free. If i could only start again, i think, start fresh ,new born into the world again, wings intact, what could i do? But the fact I’m still here, means its not my time to start again, i can never start again, I can only realize everything is just beginning, right here, right now. But what do you do when the very thing you feel most inspired to do, feels like the only thing you cant? When your wings are broken, do you keep trying to fly? 

Maybe, the most important thing is that trying, no matter what happens, even if it leads to your own death. Maybe freedom is the only truth, and freedom is in action, right here, right now. Why is it i feel my life should express in certain way? Is it my ego? Have i created some self that i think i must be? Is it a mask? Am I trying to live up to this idea of David  the athlete? 

And so maybe after all, knowing what you want to express, feeling inspired to walk some path, or feeling completely lost and not knowing what the hell you want to express and where your inspiration lies, maybe it matters not. Its not the knowing or unknowing that causes us suffering. Its wanting things to be different than they are right now, its being here and wanting to be there. and maybe just being in the here and now, with the confusion, the clouds will part and action will be apparent. Maybe its being here with the fire burning inside and again and again, no matter how long it takes, no matter how badly broken you think you are, just trying to fly. No matter how many times you fall, just getting back up, keep going, keep walking. The very trying is the doing, is the expression, its what lets your light shine.

So, what happened next?

I have my own theories about what was affecting me but through my own research and experimentation I managed to reverse the illness.

My energy returned, in fact, it became greater than it ever was.

The constant pain was gone, leaving a feeling of lightness and vitality.

All this I did through manipulation of diet, and other healing modalities.

I asked myself why did i suffer so much emotionally at the beginning of this?

I realize i was attached to the idea of myself as an athlete, as someone with great strength and flexibility. I had already faced death of my physical being and was at complete peace with that, but i had to learn to die to my notion of myself whilst i lived.

Does that mean i gave up my athletic pursuits and dreams?

Hell no!

It means i stopped believing i had to be a certain way to be expressing that.

The expression I love so much is movement of my body, about expressing the warriors spirit. All the rehab stuff was doing, and would have to continue to do along this path, is the expressing, walking this path, no matter what, no matter how many times i get knocked down, no matter how much pain i go through, no matter how bad it gets, is the warriors spirit expressing.

It’s not about winning, its not about succeeding, its not about achieving some state of imagined perfection, but about doing, right here, right now, even if that means doing nothing.

It’s about never, ever, giving up on your path, no matter what. Its about finding the courage to continue on, no matter what happens.

This IS your expression!

A warrior is not about perfection or victory or invulnerability. He’s about absolute vulnerability- Socrates

What matters is not how hard you need to push yourself or how much others think what you have done is great or tough, or how much physical strength you have, but rather how much heart and love you bring to what you do.

A warrior does not give up what he loves, he finds the love in what he does – Socrates

The adventure awaits….


**This is a republished post from my old site Brutal Training – Europe**

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