I always take the opportunity when given the moment to act like a kid again. Yesterday was the most enjoyable day I have had so far in China because I was given the opportunity to run around like a feral child. I got to expel some pent-up energy! Our group learned martial arts from a Wushu master. Our teacher had actually majored in Wushu martial arts at Zhejiang University and has won many martial arts championships allover China. Passing this woman on the street, one would not know of her strength. I was maybe a foot taller than her and she was tossing me around like a ragdoll. And for some reason, she kept choosing me as the practice dummy. Needless to say, I am quite sore the morning after.

I learned how to apprehend people, defensive strategies against attacks, and meditative Tai Chi. Punching, chopping, and kicking the target pad were my most favorite activities by far. I love to hit things; I love the sound it makes when I make contact. I talked with another student from UIC about my love for hitting things and being loud. He brought up a good point that releasing pent-up energy through hitting and punching is good for people, as long as you aren’t hitting another person! He mentioned wrecking-ball operators having the best job satisfaction ratings because they constantly get to release energy via demolishing buildings – I believe it! When I worked as a carpenter, I loved to destroy things and make a racket. The physical activity in carpentry must have released some feel-good chemicals into my brain. I miss trying to hammer a nail in two swings! I miss sledging stakes into the ground! I miss it all!

After the Wushu lesson, the master actually complimented my form and punches. She asked if I had practiced any martial arts before and I replied, “No, but I did spend most of my childhood fending myself from my two older brothers.”

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