Being comfortable in uncomfortable positions

Life lessons with yours truly…

This headline is not invented by me, nor would I claim so, but it was swirling around in my head in recent years. Over and over again. Not to credit someone wrongly, but I think the first time I heard something to that degree was when I felt really uncomfortable.

I was lying on my back and a dude twice as old as me, a police man as it later turns out, both of us sweaty, he also twice my weight at least, sat on top of me. I wonder what goes through your head, but we were dressed, it was a hot summer in Munich and maybe twenty people did the same. We were ‘rolling’ (and your thoughts probably still run wild) or sparring on the ground how they called it some Martial Arts.

So not only was I uncomfortable there, I also felt for the first half year after finishing my studies that maybe working in recruiting and being expected to work long hours in a new city that was there to be explored and having no time for it at all was, not great. So this was in the back of my head too, but not at that moment.

That moment was physically uncomfortable, there was a lot of weight on me, it was hard to breathe, I tried to bridge out, but with weight on my midsection and belly that didn’t help. My legs were flailing trying to sweep his legs, but they were comfortably tugged in and then I heard the trainer say: ‘you gotta become comfortable in uncomfortable positions or make your way out of it’ or something to that degree.

It didn’t dawn on me right away, it took hours, it took repetitions, it took finding meaning for that phrase and what I make out of it weeks, months, maybe years. Now that is a bit of a mantra, it is a part of me.

Sometimes I call people weak (jokingly). I don’t mean that they are weak, I mean they are usually complaining about something that can’t be changed at that point in time and with their might. Instead they should just try to become comfortable.

Of course I don’t always do that and I am not a preacher nor am I always correct in that regard, but it works really well for me.

You are on your way to a place and it starts to rain, there is no umbrella, there is no way of getting one in time and you get just as wet running to the next shelter from the rain as if you were walking to your destination? Walk! Smile, walk, look up into the sky and continue, you get wet one way or the other and you get to were you want to go. Be comfortable. Don’t be weak. Be a Samurai or do you think they would run from the rain?

Your water boiler/-heater doesn’t work and the repairman comes tomorrow? Take a cold shower. Enjoy it, you probably can’t fix it and that stuff is insanely good for you. Read it here. Also note that the headline made it’s way into this article and I sound like a smart ass typing this in here, using it, but I swear this showed up on my newsfeed and it couldn’t fit better in this post, that I was planning since Friday.

It’s annoying to wait for the elevator from the 19th floor down? Take the stairs. It’s fun, you can think, you get steps in and it’s more comfortable to me than waiting three elevators and getting angry about your own politeness. That might just be me though!

Maybe you are having a tough day at work. You might as well get comfortable and I don’t mean lazy or slacking off, changing it and work your way out of it. Working your way out of it like you would when being pinned down by a stronger/heavier opponent and get stronger/wiser/more knowledgeable. Maybe just by learning a thing or two.

I still remember how the situation in Munich turned around. I moved, I planned to get back to Shanghai, I was super uncomfortable but I was in a position to change that. Soon after I got a job offer, a visa and booked a ticket back to China. I had not much, but I felt great. It was not a cozy situation sharing a room (yes, a room – in a bunkbed) and having plan C when the account balance drops to a one-way-ticket-back-to-Germany was the spikes on the bottom of the pit that I choose to climb. It went only up from there in the grand theme of things.

So here is an article with just one link. An article that I write with ‘Explosions in the Sky’ in the background (that is a post-rock band), after a cold shower, mid-movember in an apartment that my girlfriend and I made comfortable, because we can. One article with something that means a lot to me.

Today I could probably get out from under this dude, maybe because I am heavier, maybe because I am fitter, maybe because I got a little bit more comfortable with being uncomfortable.




Nothing about Trump.


So here is the conversation I had with the friendly cashier in the alldays (a tidbit of information about the ‘convenient’ store market) down in our building, after I came home from work:

Ayi (convenient store employee/Aunty): Ah! Hello, you just finished work?

Me: Nah, haven’t eaten yet, but will soon. (I misheard and was too fast.) Oh, sorry, yes, just finished work.

Ayi: I just warmed up the dinner I brought from home.

Me: That is great. Smart! 

Ayi: Yes, cheaper than eating outside and no diarrhoea! (She is not wrong for the most part.)

I giggled inside, nodded, grinned and walked off.

It’s those little things I enjoy about China. The casual mentioning of bodily functions to a stranger. Just the slightly odd things that happen, that make this house a home…

Baopals has moved office and it’s closer to my home. Even though I loved my work before, I love it even more now. In 2 days from now China will go into a shopping frenzy. It will be 11/11 aka Singles Day. It’s Black Friday on steroids (can’t think of a German equivalent – maybe the introduction of a new VW Golf, but nah).

Things are great, the balcony garden is green and chillies starting to turn red, hopefully before it gets way to cold. I have lost 6 kilogram with not drinking beer from Monday to Thursday (and a little bit of more conscious eating). I climbed 60 floors today (decided to make that a thing on Wednesdays taking the stairs to the 19th floor, the other floors are 4 times to my walk-up building to get to the 6th floor and random stairs). I randomly did push-ups when I felt a bit cold (20 each time) and I try not to throw fits of rage while biking, which is easy, as now it’s just half the way with half (or less than half, as it is a quiet’ish (if that is a thing in Shanghai) the ride along a river with less idiots. Yes, people here drive like idiots, it’s nothing new, I won’t change that, but I point out (with shouting at them) that they put both parties, me and them, in danger. I also did a mini clothing purge.

So yeah. I saw Dr. Strange. Another really good Marvel movie with a under-utilised villain (Mads Mikkelsen is such a great Hannibal and actor throughout, there should have been more of him), the best visuals in a Marvel movie so far, a good (and for me unexpected) amount of comedy and a strange twist (really, that is how and why that one character switches sides?). It’s up there in the top 5 I would say of the MCU movies, top being Winter Soldier and Civil War.

On the TV show side I have caught up with The Flash (honest trailers was never more on point): consistently good, Arrow (pretty much ‘Batman – The TV Show’ minus Batman with Green Arrow): back to season 2 greatness almost, Black Mirror (the best, darkest, most terrifying and sometimes reality predicting British TV show): with the best, most positive episode ever and possibly the greatest hour of television in my life (San Junipero – that is the name of the episode, I won’t give more away), Westworld: currently best show with naked man, woman, violence, brain and visuals, Fresh Off The Boat: great, I love, love, love the kids (especially Evan and Emery) and most of Charlie Brooker‘s Screenwipe: because TV and that man is an inspiration (can’t wait for this years wipe!I lied. There is some Trump in the last link.