Recant: Mettle Maker #252

RECANT: from Latin recantare, present active infinitive of recanto (“to sing back, reecho, sing again, repeat in singing, recant, recall, revoke, charm back or away”), from re- (“back”) + canto (“to chant, to sing”)

The first fitness post I made on this blog, the pre-cursor of the current “mettle maker” format, went as follows:

Solo Martial Arts Workout 11/13/12:

1/2 pyramid up to 10 reps: Lunge, Jackknife, Jump Squat, Pike (Total of 55 each, 20 minutes).  500 kicks in combos of 2, 3, or 4 (20 minutes).  Stretching (10 minutes).  Contemplation/Meditation (10 minutes).  Total time 1 hour

I often cringe when I re-read old posts.  I look at this one and I think (a) How does it take more than 10 mins to do those calisthenics? (b) Why would anybody want to do 500 kicks in one go? (c) There’s no definitive evidence that stretching is beneficial to a healthy, uninjured person. (d) What was I thinking?

I feel the same way when I read many of my other old posts about politics, corporate America, religion, and so on.  But I refuse to take them down because they’re real.  I said those things.  I will not to try to sanitize my past.  No backsies around here, only keepsies.

Because, despite all my errors, misconceptions, and embarrassing moments, there is a unified refrain: the pursuit of excellence, sense-making, goodness and indomitable spirit.  If I hide my errors I also hide my improvements.  And thus I fail to let the power of the Divine Logos, to which I owe all that I am such as I am, to shine forth from my face.

So I recant in the literal sense of the word.  I sing back, I sing again, I sing forever.  I confess and reveal my sins and thus proclaim the Eternal Truth that reveals itself whenever and wherever its pursuit is dauntless.

recant: Mettle Maker #252

This week we recant and rehab the first training session on this blog.

  • Reheat. Warm-up thoroughly for at at least 8 minutes.  Do 2-3 minutes each of (a) jumping rope or footwork (b) light calisthenics and (c) shadowboxing, forms, light heavy bag work, or 8 minutes of MBF.
  • Repeat.  1/2 pyramid up to 10 reps (55 total) as fast as you can: Lunges, Jackknifes, Jump Squat, Pikes.  This should take about 10 minutes, not 20.
  • Recycle.  Instead of 500 kicks in combos of 2, 3 or 4 in 20 minutes, do 25o vs. air or 150 vs. the heavy bag in combos of 2, 3 or 4.
  • Rerun.  Are you prepared to run to escape or get help in the event of an emergency?  Cover 2 miles as fast as you can.
  • Reflect.   Assume your meditative posture of choice and regulate your breathing to a slow and steady rhythm. Keep your eyes open and fixed.  Do not fidget, wiggle or scratch. Allow your thoughts to calm and your body to relax.  Now review the biggest mistakes and sins of your life — the things that most fill you with the most shame and horror.  Now think about all of the beloved people you have known who were taken from this world before their time.  Ask yourself, “Why is it that God has permitted me to live?  What is my purpose?  How am I going to make amends for my mistakes and denounce my sins — not in my words but in my actions?” There is a word for this: repentance.  Dedicate yourself to this and it will change your life.  By the way, this is a condensed version of the second exercise in the first week of The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius.


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