Fasting Diary: The Path (Back) to the Warrior
April 10, 2006 11 Comments
I have been fasting for the past six hours and cannot think from the hunger. I am delirious with it and cannot imagine that I will be able to maintain it for a week. My stomach after hearing that Head Division had ruled the start of a fast went into full scale battle mode. It immediately initiated a civil disobedience campaign of sharp unexpected intestinal twistings and loud, rumbling cries of ‘no food, no justice’. The sight of a portly man eating a brie and ham sandwich as I walked by him in search of Miso soup made me hurriedly close my moaning mouth just before a gob of saliva escaped. By tomorrow, the odds are that I will be lying on my couch with harly the strength to use the remote control. But with the ever valiant and dictatorial (to the rest of the body) Head Division on duty, I am sure there shall be orders to the fingers to provide periodic updates to you decadent types with your sandwiches and breads and pies, beers, ice creams, steaks…damn you all!
I used to fast occasionally to try and give my ever-working tummy a rest. Does it not sometimes rankle how cow-like eating is, the endless munching and swallowing, the helplessness of needing to eat or die, the boring predictability? Since I have been in London, the training regime I used to have in New York fell apart. I could not find a dojo that I enjoyed and for the life of me cannot get myself to run consistently in the grey weather. My willpower – or the little there is of it – used to be expressed mainly through goals I set myself in Vee Arnis Jitsu. Not anymore. Now it occasionally pokes its little head from its hiding place to will the writing of bits of my thesis and the occasional short story. The bastard can last for weeks without raising the slightest murmur of protest at my procrastinations. Enough I said to my brother last night, enough of this self-indulgence that has turned my body into the soft, spoilt, library-visiting, tiring, weak lump that I used to hold in contempt (and fear). Back to the lean warrior ready to run all night to besiege and lay to waste a city by day. My brother of course laughed heartily and cruelly; he does not think I will last more than a day.
The goal for the week is to limit myself to light liquids. It is to be Miso soup and its brothy equivalents, water, teas and possibly, very possibly given I have business meetings to attend in the evenings, vodka. (Just got some anonymous advice on eating occassional bits of fiber-filled veggies that I will follow.)
Stay glued to this spot for updates as I attempt a return to the path of right, to reclaiming my body from the forces of laziness and weakness. Back to the world of willed pain to build strength and endurance. Back to the jujitsu throw and to the skinned knuckles of Arnis stick training.
In these days of fear-mongering as argument, I expect that some reader will think to chime in with advice about how unsafe this plan may be. Or even how ‘insensitive’ I am being at a time when there are people actually starving to death. But I will only be listening to those who actually advise me how to get through it as planned. Wish me luck.