Following dreams: the journey begins

Graffiti for following dreams
Some friendly graffiti in St. Ives

I had a dream about aikido last night.  I like it when that happens.  It’s better than dreaming about a gay experience with a mechanic, at any rate.  I dreamt I was moving too early in response to a punch to the midsection.  I like being able to say this because dreaming about aikido means it’s always on my mind.  If you dream about something, it’s like you’ve thought about it so much that it’s imprinted itself upon your subconscious.  Usually, anyway – gay experiences with mechanics don’t count.

Following dreams: my journey begins now!

I got to have my health assessed again yesterday.  This involves a pretty lady directing you to take your shoes and socks off and stand on a machine that sends micro-electric pulses through your body.  I enjoyed this very much, and apparently I was very good at it as she made noises indicating how impressed she was.  After much nodding and praise she gave me a little yellow card with my stats on it.  But how did my new card compare with last year’s?  I looked at it.

Like many things in life it started with disappointment.  It was my visceral fat (this is the hidden fat that insidiously stresses out your organs, like when David Cameron privatises pieces of the NHS), which had gone from the lowest possible score – 1 – and doubled to become 2.  What a disaster.  I told her it had doubled but she wouldn’t acknowledge the gravity of it.  She told me I shouldn’t even think about trying to lower it.  Hah!  Ok, lady, we’ll see about that.

Aside from my organ fat doubling, everything else was pretty good – my body fat % had decreased to 10.9% and my skeletal muscle increased to 44.1%.  When she read it out she said, “oh my god!”  “What?”, I thought.  I wanted to know.  Then she told me – I had broken into the “very high” classification.  Pow!  Take that, visceral fat!

I attribute my incremental success to my new fitness regimen – martial arts 4 times a week, gym 3 times a week and whole foods whenever I’m not eating ice cream.  With this programme, it’s only a matter of time ’til I’m ripped.  I’ve been gymming it for 3 weeks so far and already I’ve increased my squats by over 15kg.  Just need a few more kgs.  A few more kgs, then girls will throw themselves at me for sure.  They better do as this is Plan C already and it’s a long alphabet.

Following dreams means egregious risks to personal livelihood

For anyone who knows me, this blog represents a new way of expressing myself.  I’ve been reading a great blog on Japan by a cool guy called Ken Seeroi and it’s impressed me so much it caused me many minutes of introspection.  Ken Seeroi’s blog is full of entertainment, yet still hits home with pages of insight into Japanese culture.  “Why can’t my writing be like that?” I complained to myself.  My writing is kinda dry.  Why can’t it be wet like Ken’s?  That’s not right.  What’s that word?  Spirited.  Yeah, why can’t I write with a bit of spirit?

I told Ken I’d buy him a beer if I make it to Japan.  If.  Then came the moment of Zen Crazy.  Now I’ve decided – I’m going to do it.  Go to Japan, that is – beer would kill my skeletal muscle.  Quit my job, spend all my savings and move to a country thousands of miles away.  A country where I can’t speak the language and where the native population are allegedly weirdly racist.  Hmm, it doesn’t sound as good on paper.  Oh well, too late now.

It’s alright though.  Matt Bowen laughs in the face of egregious risks to personal livelihood.  All in the name of following dreams.  Aikido, I mean.  Gay experiences with mechanics don’t count.

Matt Bowen

Matt is a blogger, budoka and software developer. He sold his things, quit his job and moved to Japan to study Japanese and martial arts. Sometimes he writes about it.

8 thoughts on “Following dreams: the journey begins

  1. This is great man! Im glad youre going to Japan its an awesome place. I lived there for years – and plan is to return in 2 years. Ken is the man -I love his blog


      1. Hey man, at first I was an ALT which was fun – but I’m a teacher by trade so I wanted something a bit more hands on. So I worked at an international kindergarten and an adults convo school for a few years – and I took lots of photos and drank lots of shochu!! My girlfriend and I left after the tsunami in 2011 out of fear of radiation – and ran to Spain, then Germany then Australia.

        Now we’re both studying so as soon as we finish we’ll be shooting back to Japan!! I miss living in Koenji – best place in te world man !!

        1. Wow that sounds amazing! I’ve been trying to get my hands on shochu in the UK but even the Japanese restraunts I’ve been to haven’t had it. Looking forward to trying it when I get over there!

          At the present it’s looking like I’ll be moving there in October. Super excited, naturally!

            1. Yeah, definitely Tokyo! My ambition is to practise aikido at the headquarters dojo in Shinjuku. I also want to enrol in a language school to study Japanese while I’m there.

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