Archive for January 7th, 2011


As I promised, here’s the first half of my review for stage one (partial 2009 through 2010) of my Becoming Layla efforts.

Obviously, trying to be like an action hero as cool as Layla was SO NOT EASY.  It took guts.  It took brains.  It took money and a whole lot of SILLY STUFF.  In the end I did okay, but I coulda done better.

BEST SET OF CLASSES I TOOK:

Hands down, parkour.  Ten two-hour classes working out with buff young men and teenage boys pushed my middle-aged body to its limits.  After every class, I could barely walk out of the gym.  My thighs had never known such agony.  But parkour taught me to go for major jumps and tumbles and how to bounce off walls and hand-walk along pipes and other necessary action tricks.  It also made me realize that up until this point in my life I had NOT been physically pushing myself as much as I should’ve been.  Now I know better and push myself.

WORST SET OF CLASSES I TOOK:

You know the answer to this one, don’t you?  *!!@&$* Aikido.  In my beginner class a spineless, ball-less, sniveling lying coward of a black belt severely injured me and later refused to admit it.  For insurance purposes I can’t say much more at present.  But at least I got some insightful comments about Aikido from my fellow writer Robert Read, whose wife has a black belt in it.  Clearly she goes to a much better martial arts school far from the one I went to.

MOST UNEXPECTED EXPERIENCE

FREEZING during my virgin skydive.  Who knew that upon jumping out of a plane my reaction would be “HOLY SHIT IT’S SO COLD I CAN’T BREATHE!”  Next time I skydive, it’s gonna be in hot Hawaii.

MOST ANTICLIMACTIC EXPERIENCE

Paragliding.  It was peaceful.  It was smooth.  It meant floating lazily above the earth on the warm air while my instructor did most of the work.  And as I floated I realized that if I had $5,000 to spare (dream on!) I would absolutely take up the sport.  Yet another reason to become a successful writer.

Anyway, those were the physical extremes of the first stage of my Layla plan.  I’ll review the rest of my experiences next time.

Have a great weekend.