Making it my job
I stayed a night there on my latest Japan bike tour. It was a great surprise, as I did not even know it existed (my original plan was changed at the last minute when a local told me that the route I wanted to take only went to the top of the mountain, but there was no road on the other side. This caused me to take a detour which passed by, to my delight, this little town deep in the mountains.
I camped there for the night, after a day of unexpected climbing, thinking that in the morning I would get up and cruise down into Nagano. It wasn't until I visited the "onsen Museum" in Kusatsu that I saw a 3D sculpture of the area and realized I had to climb another thousand meters or so to the top of a volcano.
That was a great day.
As for the night in Kusatsu, it was raining when I arrived, and I didn't see anyplace sheltered to put up the tent so I decided to handle it after I had taken a long bath and a few hours resting in the most famous onsen (also the most expensive at 600 yen - there are several free baths in the town, but while they are great for soaking, there is no place to wash up with soap, and more important for me at that time, no comfortable room to rest in as I eat dinner, drink a beer and read a book.)
My plan B was to sneak back to the onesen after it had closed and put up my tent under one of the roof overhangs. Luckily the people at the front desk were able to show me how to get to a park with a covered picnic table. Of course, the picnic table does not move, and the roof only covers the table, so I ended up putting my tent on top of the table.
Around 2 am I was awaken by a polite but forceful "sumimasen!". It turns out that the neighbors had called the police alerting them of a freak who puts his tent on a picnic table in a park. The police, however, were very friendly and understanding. I explained that it was because of the rain, but I can move if they want. They said no, that would be too "kawaisou" (means "poor", as in "poor Kevin has to sleep in the rain".) They said that as long as I promise to leave early in the morning, they would explain to the complainant that I am a nice gaijin - which explains why my tent is in the park, since, as they told me, Japanese people only camp in campgrounds.
So I had a good night, and finally, after years of touring Japan and sleeping in parks, parking lots, temples, and graveyards, I have had my first run-in with the law.
I have never really thought seriously about being an actor - although in grade-school I was far-and-away the best actor, which pretty much guaranteed that I would not get to be "God", but rather had to settle for "Moses" because he had the most lines and was the "main" character. I still remember some of the lines.
Since then though, I have never really thought about being an actor. Until, that is, when I see Brad Pitt or some other actor with a ripped (but not too pumped) body and think "I could look like that too - if it was my job". I have often fantasized at how great it would be to be able to spend guilt-free hours running and training every day.
For most of us, working out is something that has to be done in our "free time". For some reason we dedicate the vast majority of our waking hours to someone else's dreams, and focusing on the health of our employer's company. We then try to focus on our own health, and make all of our own dreams come true in the few hours left over. Of course, if we have a spouse, partner, or kids, spending time with them tends to becomes second priority to our employer's goals, and the dreams and health may get pushed further back on the priority list.
While I have been making a huge effort these past few years to focus on my own dreams (and it is and effort - it's much harder than just living the status quo), my efforts at taking care of myself physically, and meeting my own physical expectations and urges to be fit, still falls more to the wayside than I would like.
Much of it is because, although I enjoy running, weight-training, and now yoga, doing these things usually seems to be a purely "luxury" act - i.e. only for personal pleasure, not really contributing to the success (which includes financial) of the "big dream". As such, working out every day makes me feel better physically, but even when I don't have a 9-6 job, the mental stress of knowing that that time spent doesn't work toward a financial goal prevents me from spending more time, or enjoying the time I do spend as much as I could. Thus the jealousy toward actors who *have* to work out and train as a *part* of their job.
Well, all of that is changing, and I am loving it.
No, I am not becoming a model, and actor, or even a porn star. But my "big dream" does require a higher degree of physical fitness than does web-development or sustainability consulting. As a new adviser / marketing guru / potential partner, and (even better) willing investor mentioned, a key difference between making the dream a regular dream and a WOW dream (my words, not his), is my image. I gotta come across as a god, a superman-like-being who knows and can do anything related to the dream (above and beyond the physical requirements).
For the past two months I have focused on creating a lot of guilt-free free time for myself to work on the dream, and have been taking advantage of it by working out 2-4 hours each day (a little less on weekends), doing yoga, running, weight-training, and biking. I feel great physically, and want to do more. Still, I was not free from the "guilt" of working on myself when I could have been working on "the big dream". I could not *enjoy* the workout time to its fullest.
Today, however, my workout was long and guilt-free. I think I even worked out harder now that I have a larger goal than just "to make me feel good and healthy" (which doesn't require as heavy of a workout). I wish that my own health was enough to motivate me, but sometimes I guess we gotta see the $green$ as well.