Doctor Strange and I walk into a bar.¹ The bartender says, “What’ll it be?” Strange says, “Away with your riddling existential questions! Barkeep, bring me a Sazerac if you please!” I hate it when Strange tries to crack wise, so I shake my head and ask for a cup of coffee. The bartender looks at me and says, “What, no lame jokes or smart aleck remarks like your friend the Sorcerer Supreme over here?” I smile broadly and and say, “Nope, he’s the comic. I’m the real thing.”
But seriously folks, I am kind of the real thing (what can I say? Strange and I, we both struggle with our egos a little bit). Let me explain.
- Strange and I grew up together. He was born in the 60s and so was I — his birthplace is Strange Tales #110, mine is Richmond, VA.
- While the cocky, self-involved Stephen Strange was strutting through the world as a brilliant surgeon, I was being a successful young professional climbing the corporate ladder.
- A car accident with lingering injuries sent Strange around the globe searching for a cure. A health scare, a failed marriage and a moment of clarity while sitting in traffic jam caused me to go in search of a cure for my weight problem and selfish attitude.
- He ended up spending years studying the martial and mystic arts in Kamar-Taj where he ultimately experienced a spiritual awakening. I ended up spending years practicing a multitude of martial arts and religions, which ultimately led to my spiritual awakening.
- He accepted the mantle of Sorcerer Supreme. I founded a new martial art.
- He’s got a new movie out now, and I have a new book coming out next year.
- Strange wants to save the world and so do I.
If you want to be the real life equivalent of Doctor Strange, practice Cabal Fang martial arts.
By the way, if you haven’t seen the new Doctor Strange movie, it’s well worth watching. I’d give it a B+. Criticisms: The magic and horror elements of the comics were too downplayed. Magic largely took the form of conjured weapons and fighting enhancements — where were his cool phrases like “By the hoary hosts of Hoggoth!” and where were the Vishanti? — and Dormammu failed to terrify. Things I liked: Good overall message, solid story, strong acting performances, best special effects in recent memory, good screen translation of inter-dimensional “strangeness” of the comics, Wong was a bad-ass, Mordo was complex, and Tilda Swinton surprised me with a great, modern update of the Ancient One.
Without further ado, here’s the Cabal Fang Workout of the Week.
Cabal Fang Workout of the Week #29
- 10-minute Half Pyramid. Set countdown timer for 10 minutes and climb a pyramid of Zombie Squats, Crunches, Uneven Push-ups (one hand on a Yoga block, brick, bench, etc.), and Jackknifes until the bell rings (1 of each, 2 of each, 3, 4, etc.). You probaby won’t, but try to make 9 sets, which would be 45 of each.
- Cover 1 mile AFAYC.
- Life Review Meditation.² Set countdown timer for 10 minutes, assume your chosen meditative posture and regulate your breath (inhale 8-10 seconds, hesitate 4-5, exhale 8-10 seconds, hesitate 4-5). Starting with the present moment, review your actions like an outside observer. Every time you exhale go a little further back in time, bit by bit. Look for “sticky spots” — things that make you feel sad, embarrassed, awkward or uncertain — and poke around them until you desensitize enough to move on without feeling like you copped out. When the bell rings, come back to present day and record what you learned in your training log or journal.
† This particular one had doors. As many of you know, some bars don’t.
² This is the meditation I did yesterday for this week’s WOOTW. In a “strange” twist of fate or coincidence, imagine my surprise when I went to see the Doctor Strange movie last night and time travel figured prominently in the story. Is that “strange” or what?!?!