End result? Well, I can say that going from four years of three-four hours of training a day, four to five times per week to solo training whenever I had an hour to spare a week (if I had the energy for it that is) does very detrimental things to both mind and body. Gained 50 lbs, developed high blood & cholesterol problems, even had a mini stroke (which left no lasting effect save a permanent numbness of the left side of my face, small price to pay). The TIA (transient ischemic attack) has been a severe, but needed wake up call. So now, six months later, I've got my high blood & cholesterol under control and hope to be off meds for good soon; lost 20 lbs (got 30 more to go, but slow and steady wins the race the turtle always says), and more importantly I have found time and energy to again pursue martial arts.
Remembering what we used to be can be the cruelest form of self punishment, or the springboard to achieve higher peaks than we ever thought possible. The trick is not to dwell on how bad we are compared to what we used to be, but how much better could we become if we could harness that fire, that drive that pushed us then to achieve and trudge on no matter how long, no matter how hard. To be honest with ourselves, to see what we lost along the way and find ways to recapture the spirit to make new things happen, rather than blame circumstances. Obligations and responsibilities are a part of life, and it is so easy to put the burden of our failings on them. That is not, however, in accord with the Way. First and foremost, the Way is about being responsible for our own actions and their consequences, for good or ill.
I will post other forms as I film them, comments are welcome and please: be honest. I can say that watching these I find things I like, as well as some that make me cringe; but they are mine, and I will own them as they are. If I do not own up to them, how can I change them? For the only thing that one can ever truly change, is oneself.