There are 2 notable fitness figures to whom I'm immensely grateful for - Al and his brother Danny Kavadlo. From them I learnt that regardless of one's genetic disposition , the body's underpinnings could be nurtured with compound movements.
Right above the salon was Kinokuniya , Singapore's biggest bookshop. I wanted to explore ways to train my core preferably with my body as resistance . One real skinny book stood out amongst the rest in the fitness department , its title " the naked warrior" by Pavel Tsatsouline suggested something minimalist , something raw. Accordingly I searched for it on Amazon and the recommended book other customers bought was" Pushing the limits!" by Al , it had the cover of half his body in clothes and the other in ink , captured mid air , perhaps a split second into the explosive pushup .
21st April 2014 , I bought " Pushing the limits! " and got to work the day after, documenting them with an iPhone camera and counter-checking it with the photos of Al onscreen. Paying attention to the details I could perceive in my own body.
The day I bought the book was also the time I started emailing Al's brother Danny. He had the physique of a Greek hero and I was determined to make what I would call my own. His advise was to check out the chapters on bridge work and do pull ups. By the 1st of May , I attempted bridge progressions now that my gut had healed and inversions did not pose any potential risks.
13th May I discovered a chin up bar in Holland Village and took my workouts beyond the comforts of my bedroom.
Over the next year , I juggled between practicing my last haircutting exam and the century test of the PCC. The worlds' first calisthenics certification program in NY. Time had to be made for haircut practice after work and calisthenics training , often I did workout from midnight til 1am. I was that obsessed! One great example of how a flaw could be transmuted into strength in the right context.
June 2015, I arrived in NY for the first time , feeling vulnerable for it was dark and rainy the moment I got off in Manhattan , dressed in ultra thin clothes for the summer (swimming trunks in luggage) when it was in fact REALLY cold.
Days later I arrived at the SOHO strength lab , and together we smashed our "firsts" throughout the next 3 days. As of now , one of the major mental tattoos I have imbued deeply into my heart and mind would be the experience of the PCC , in general I have never really felt safe where ever but here there was no threat of the noose on how other perceived the way I perceived myself. It was congruent , the environment set up felt safe emotionally and mentally. We supported each other with the assistance of the trainers. But deep down I knew life was transient , or maybe instead of seeking this , I could recreate it whoever I was with.
I passed the century test and got myself certified as an instructor but a choice had to be made since I passed my haircutting exam a week before. Life had been kind enough to place bumpers on my life's journey, just the right amount to keep me on track and for that I'm blessed.
Carl Jung once wrote " We all walk in shoes too small " , indeed the time was ripe for the new vocatus. Dependence on hearth would too easily tangle with the fear of stepping out into a larger life . Could I not try living the question I not try to live? NO! A letter of resignation was submitted a day after I returned and since then been committed to creating a safe haven for bodies to be restored with calisthenics, meeting them halfway , as Beatrice was to Dante in his masterpiece "La Divina Commedia" , never usurping personal responsibility but guiding.
Thank you for making the time dear reader :)