Tag Archives: Swish Pattern

House of Receding Horrors

I remember when I was a kid there was an amusement park I would go to. It wasn’t a huge amusement park like Disneyland or anything, it was one of those small, local ones that some cities have near beaches. They had a few rides that were ok, if you were a kid. Sometimes I wonder how those places can get insurance with all the questionable people they have working there. I don’t think I remember ever seeing somebody working there that seemed like a person you see working someplace else, like at the grocery store or your local coffee shop or something. The kind of person that gets to know you and what you buy or order or whatever.

If you’ve ever seen a person like this outside of their your normal meeting place it’s always kind of weird. You either don’t recognize them, and wonder where you know them from, or you recognize them, but you both feel kind of awkward because you are away from your normal comfortable meeting place. Maybe I’m paranoid, but sometimes the thought strikes and makes me wonder if all those times they are being friendly is because of their job or not.

One thing about this amusement park always scared me. It was the haunted house. I had only been inside twice when I was a kid, and both times scared the crap out of me. I only went in because my friends and I all dared each other. Of course I didn’t let on how scared I was, and I suppose my friends were all the same, to some extent. But I can’t forget how scared I was both times. The place was dark, you couldn’t see where you were going, it had this weird smell like an old doctors office that hadn’t been cleaned in a while, and there were these weird sounds that you couldn’t really tell where they were coming from. It seemed like no matter which way you were facing, the sounds seemed like they were behind you and getting closer by the second. I couldn’t get out of there quick enough. Probably the thing that terrified me the most was at one point I almost panicked, and had to leave, but I couldn’t find where the exit was. There were no exit lights anywhere, and all I could hear were those sounds like some old lady breathing right behind me, and everywhere I turned seemed to be a dead end. I almost fainted from shock.

One time used to hang out in this bookstore once a week, and it only took the people a couple weeks to realize that I ordered the same thing every week. Pretty soon when they saw me, whoever it was, they would just smile and say “large iced tea?” right away with raised eyebrows just to make sure. I remember seeing one of the girls that worked there in a total different environment, and before any of those uncertain feelings or questions came up, she said “large iced tea!” with a smile, instead of this time, saying it like a question, she said it like a statement of recognition. It took care of all my concerns in one fell swoop.

I visited my friend a couple weeks ago that lived in the town where they had that amusement park. I was sure that it would be torn down and replaced by affordable housing or something, but it was still there. Just for fun my friend and I went to that haunted house, and I’ll admit I was a bit nervous going in, but boy was I surprised. It smelled like some incense you buy at a car wash, and the sound they had piped through was completely laughable. It sounded like some old woman who had been smoking for too long, but it was on this crappy loop that lasted only about four seconds, and kept repeating. There was an obvious gap when the tape repeated itself, which gave it an odd cartoonish feeling. And even though the exits weren’t marked where they normally would, because they had to have them noted by law, they had decided them to write them on the ground. So all you had to do was look down and see where the arrows were pointing to leave. The exit was never more than a few steps away. I couldn’t this pitiful haunted house had caused me so much fear earlier. I guess that’s what happens when you let your imagination run away with you.

Train Your Brain for a Fight

I used to have a friend that was a boxer. He wasn’t a professional or anything, he belonged to a boxing club, and he went to sparring practice a couple times a week. Once a month or so, they would have several boxing matches. There were about twenty or so members, and the first Sunday of every month they would have several fights that members of the community, as well as friends and family of the boxers could come and watch. They fights were only two or three rounds, and they wore that thick protective gear. None of them were serious enough about it more than just thinking of it as a hobby and a very very good form of exercise.

I don’t know if you’ve ever boxed before, or if you’ve ever trained before, but training to box, even if you never step inside of the ring against an opponent can be an incredibly thorough workout. When I was in high school I was on the wrestling team, and those workouts were murder. It’s no wonder that boxers and other fighters are in incredibly good shape. I think one of the main reasons that training for fighting of any sport is not so popular is not because it is not effective, but it is incredibly intense. If you train as if you are going to fight, then you will get the best workout you can imagine. Sometimes It’s a good idea to train for something even if you aren’t going to do the actual thing you are training for.
Some people practice public speaking and public debating, not because they ever intend to run for political office, but because simply practicing these skills can make you incredibly confident in your communication. And when you can become incredibly assured in these areas, they will undoubtedly bleed over into other areas of your life.

My friend had one main problem when he boxed. He had only been in one fight in his life, back when he was in fourth grade. It wasn’t even a fight. He said him and some guy he really didn’t know were talking, and then they started insulting each other, and the guy just suddenly hit him in the side of the face, with a left hook. Not too many fourth graders are skilled in the defensive arts, so my friend naturally was completely caught off guard. So when he used to box, he always had a deep fear of getting caught by a left hook. He said that his boxing coach did a really cool experiment with him.

He asked him to think of what makes him feel the most invincible in the ring. What feeling, what pictures he saw in his head when he felt like he could beat anybody. He thought about, and he felt really good when he landed a very strong right jab against his opponents jaw one time. He was able to do this because his opponent had lowered his left arm momentarily, and my friend felt a sudden rush of excitement, and snuck in a quick right jab, that connected so well, they decided to call off the fight.

So what this coach did, was he made two videotapes. One was of some opponent about to land a left hook, just like the one that hit my friend in fourth grade. He made another video of an opponent dropping his left hand, and opening up his face for a right jab. He then spliced these two videos together, in about a three second movie. There was one quick one of the opponents winding up for the left hook, and then it switched to a slow motion video of the same guy dropping his left arm.

My friend said he watched this three-minute video about ten times, and after he was finished, and interesting thing happened. Whenever he was in a fight after that, and something caused him to remember the left hook, he immediately got the feelings of super confidence and invincibility he felt from when he landed the right jab. He said that he fought a lot better after that.

I guess when you brain is giving you information, you can choose to accept it, or make a habit of changing it into something else that is more resourceful and useful. After all, it only took my friend a few minutes to re train his thinking from fear and defensiveness to confidence and power. How many ways could you apply this?