It’s that time of year when most people are looking back on the previous 12 months and taking stock of what they did well and what they could have done better. This thought exercise naturally leads to thinking about how they will do things differently in 2018.
I became a father for the first time in January 2017 and a significant part of this year has been about learning how to be a good father and how my wife and I can best manage our relationship with this new dynamic in our lives. But at the same time, it was vital that I didn’t neglect any of the other priorities in my life.
Before my child was born, I would hear from friends and acquaintances on a daily basis the following things,
“Wait until she is born, you won’t have time to train as much as you do anymore.”
“You don’t know tired until you have a child in your home.”
“You will put on so much weight; you won’t have time to eat healthily”
“Your businesses will suffer, you won’t have the energy to focus on them.”
Anybody that knows me knows I loathe excuses and I make a conscious effort to eliminate them from my life. I always make it clear to my student’s when I feel they are making excuses and being lazy. As a Kung Fu instructor, it is essential that I lead by example. I never expect my students to do something that I haven’t done or am not doing myself. So I made a plan with my wife that I will make 2017 the year that I become the fittest and strongest I have ever been.
I will detail in a future blog post, exactly what I did to achieve this but for this blog post it is important to note the following:
Weight: 80 KG
Body Fat: 22%
Body Fat 15%
The weight and fat loss was purely from controlling my food intake and training daily. My training changed, and the exercises became more challenging as I became stronger and fitter. I trained with larger and heavier weapons and even had some custom made in China that fitted my specifications. I incorporated HIIT workouts and regularly did 10-mile runs as a warm up before Kung Fu training. This culminated in running a half - marathon on my last training session of 2017.
Due to the way I was training and the insights I was getting into what worked and what didn’t. My Kung Fu classes also changed. I incorporated what worked into my student’s training sessions and got rid of exercises that didn’t work. As a result, my students who trained regularly also lost a lot of weight and started seeing more positive changes in their health and fitness. (The above picture is of three of my regular training students, Matt, James and Lewis, after a tough first 20 minutes of the class)
For me, 2018 will be about continuing adapting and evolving my training and by extension the training my students do in my classes, making them better Kung Fu practitioners and healthier and happier people. I also look forward to the challenges and joys having a toddler in the home will bring!
My advice to you is, take stock of 2017 and decide what you will do to make 2018 about becoming a better version of yourself. Come out of your comfort zone and eliminate excuses and reasons why you can’t. As the old saying goes, "When there's a will, there's a way."
If you are interested in learning a graceful and deadly martial art while becoming fitter, stronger and healthier than you have ever been. I am offering a free trial class during January for anybody who wants to give Tiger Crane Combination Kung Fu and Suang Yang Tai Chi a go, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org to book your trial class.
Let me help you find the best version of yourself in 2018.
Shkar Sharif is the head instructor at Tiger Crane Kung Fu in London. Any other questions, ask!