I have never taken the New Year resolution very serious. I suppose I always allowed the view of others’ failures to cheapen the overall idea. It wasn’t until 2013 when I realized I should set a New Year’s resolution for myself. I thought about what it was that I wanted to do and it wasn’t long before I realized my goal.
On December 12th 2012 I had DJ’d my sister Allison’s sixteenth birthday party held at a local fire department. She had recommended a list of songs she wanted and on that list was “LOTS of Beastie Boys”. Seeing as how the Beasties are my favorite music group, she had grown up from birth listening to them and had come to love them also. I also had them on my mind very much as of late ever since the passing of my favorite Beastie Boy Adam “MCA” Yauch on May 4th, 2012. That summer after his passing I had been bitten by a praying mantis while pruning an outdoor potted flower. It made me think of MCA’s lines from “Get It Together” off “Ill Communication” and “Shazam!” off “To The 5 Boroughs”
“Praying Mantis on the court and I can’t be beat
Yo Tip, what’s up with the boots on your feet”
“On the court I go by the name Praying Mantis
got the edge and I’ve got the advantage
if you could see things from my vantage
point then you could better understand this”
Zen “Our Doorway Protector” of 2012
The praying mantis was given the name of “Zen” by my girlfriend E, seeing as how MCA was a Buddhist and the word “zen” being a school of Buddhism. A school of Mahayana Buddhism to be exact, that asserts that enlightenment can be attained through meditation, self-contemplation, and intuition rather than through faith and devotion. Ironically enough, when I arrived at the fire department it had a basketball court in the area our mother had rented for the party and during the night I played basketball with E and my sister Allison to a soundtrack consisting majorly of the Beastie Boys. It reminded me of how much I always enjoyed playing throughout my life, but without the access to a goal I had grown distant to the sport I once loved over the years.
So my decision was a simple one – I would put effort into playing more basketball for 2013. Though E had remarked it wasn’t much of a goal, I disagreed. I waited til the weather warmed up and with my bicycle rode to a nearby park in the springtime. During my childhood it wasn’t anything to spend hours upon hours every day shooting hoops in the backyard on the dirt court connected to the cornfield. Oh, the joys of being a Hoosier. I couldn’t dribble very well on it but I was able to shoot all I wanted. At 29 years of age I found myself running around pouring sweat in no time with the hot sun heating not only me but the concrete underneath too. My feet began to burn and my eyes stung from all the sweat. I no longer felt the endless amount of energy I once did as a youngster but the joy of shooting hoops certainly came back to me. After the first day I felt beat but I continued throughout the summer to revisit the park and work on my shooting, which certainly had some room for improvement.
I set a simple goal, as E had clarified, yet I accomplished it. I didn’t set anything unattainable such as winning a basketball tournament or even participating in one. I just played more basketball which felt rewarding and very much was. Now this year I feel like pushing myself to not only be more strict about my goals but to concentrate on multiple goals. One thing that really had motivated my 2013 goal was my health. I had just turned 29 and had been feeling very unhealthy that year. I was waking up in the morning with difficulty breathing and my joints, from my ankles to my neck through my wrists, had been giving me issues for awhile. I had actually had some hip pains start to affect me too and that was making me feel my condition was completely unacceptable.
I had also recently met a former boxer who was 79 years old and was still in tremendous shape. His ultimate advice to any athlete, whether boxer or not, having had been and being “road work is the most essential”. He didn’t mean construction either but plain old running. Just see Rocky Balboa in his sweats jogging down the road and you can imagine why most wouldn’t want to incorporate it into their routine. With 30 approaching I knew I had to make a change. Only I wasn’t about to put my knees and back through running in my condition. So I started bicycling instead as well as incorporating DDP YOGA into my schedule for increasing my stamina.
I also started to eat healthier and by that I mean I switched to an all organic diet. I cut out all junk food, no eating out or anything processed. I dropped over 40 pounds in the course of this experiment. My breathing improved and my joints quit hurting. So I now have plans to start that “road work” as my body is in much better condition today than it was a year ago. My other plans for 2014 aren’t all new, as some I just want to concentrate on in a more productive or with a more regulated schedule.
So here are Roger Malcolm’s 2014 New Year Resolutions:
JAPANESE: I have spent some time teaching myself Japanese since 2010, stemming from two main reasons. First being I am professional-wrestling obsessed, which led to my discovering in 2008 the highest form of the art, residing within the country of Japan, called Puroresu (“purofesshonaru resuringu”). I don’t need to understand Japanese to watch and appreciate the approach to the art itself, as they concentrate on the psychology and a fighter’s spirit and perseverance more than the theatrics known to most American styles. I have a strong dedication to the promotion of New Japan Pro Wrestling. I even traveled to New Jersey, New York City and Philadelphia for NJPW’s “Invasion Tour 2011: Attack on the East Coast” a 3 day tour. I do certainly wish I would have been able to communicate with the wrestlers in their native language. The second reason for my desire to learn being my striving to be a connoisseur of cinema which led me to my discovery of Japanese cinema. It doesn’t bother me to read subtitles, especially not when the stories are as phenomenal as they are, but it sure would be nice and since there is such a great culture of Japanese cinema it seems only appropriate to learn the language.
DDP YOGA: Having watched wrestling since I was 4 years old, I am truly obsessed. There is no overstating it. As a drawback it is always bothersome to hear of the passing of one of your childhood heroes as the wrestling industry has been absolutely vicious on them. Yes, many of them have made bad decisions which led to their demise but that doesn’t change my wish for them to live healthy and happy in this world. For years two guys I had personally feared hearing of their deaths were Jake “The Snake” Roberts and Scott Hall – two guys infamous for their demons and substance abuse. I always wondered why someone that was close to them didn’t reach out to help them, especially in the industry of pro-wrestling, in which exists a brotherhood like no other. Well, as it turns out one man did end up reaching out to the two of them. His name was Diamond Dallas Page, who has a very unique story for a wrestler who didn’t find success in the ring until he was 39. This eventually lead to injuries and the creation of DDP YOGA. Hearing about his form of yoga with the trademark saying “It Ain’t Your Mama’s Yoga” and the countless stories of how he had helped transform the lives of so many, I decided to give it a try. I personally love it. Just watch this short video like I did about Arthur.
FILM: Having started in June of 2012 I wrote my first draft in 30 days, then accomplished the much-more-difficult task of the second draft in the course of six months, finishing it on March 4th, 2013. Don’t bother with the math as I took November and December off mentally. It was my first screenplay I had finished writing after starting nearly 6 others. Only, this script was written with the mindset of actually filming it myself and writing each character to fit the actors participating. After nearly a dozen script readings/rehearsals, I filmed around 25% of the story before having 6 actors decide the task of participating in the film was actually work. Since they didn’t sign up for work but rather just the chance to be in a film, they quit or were somewhat fired. Such things aren’t always as black and white as my choice in cinematography had been. So I now am working on the 3rd draft as I have chosen to drop characters and rewrite instead of recasting. I can and will finish this project as long as I stay focused and committed. I know what the reward has been up to this point and I truly want to feel the success of completing my first film.
ROAD WORK: As the new year comes, so does another season of roller derby. E is a member of the Diesel Dollz out of Columbus, IN. In attempt to improve her conditioning we both have plans to take to the road and increase our stamina. E skates under the name of Morticia At-ems, with the number SK19 (as a tribute to Stephen King). She has been rather successful already in her first season as a Doll, winning an MVP Blocker award in a extremely vicious bout which saw the Dollz decimated by double the score. (The most rewarding aspect being the other team votes for who deserves the MVP awards.) I was extremely proud of her when she won her first award after such a brutal bout. I have no reservations in saying in her first season she absolutely dominated, even selling more tickets to their bouts than anyone. If I was a member of the team, I would be honoured to skate with her as she is the perfect teammate and humble to boot.
WEBSITE: As this article is a great start to this resolution, I plan to contribute more to my site throughout this year as I have seen my readership increase quite significantly over the course of 2013 and wish to only have it continue to grow. I never know what inspiration will come to me to write about next but that is the joy in discovering the hidden voice within oneself. All I ever truly wanted to be was a writer, not necessarily a successful or rich one but just a writer like my hero Thomas Paine. I do indeed strive to achieve a legacy such as his by instilling his principles and ideas into my work to further both his and my own contributions for all of mankind to benefit.