So Tough Monkey… and why now?
This has become almost a mission for me now. I started this journey several years ago in search of a way to teach martial arts again without compromising my time with my family while running a martial arts school. If you are new to the martial arts world, classes and businesses generally operate during the evening hours as that is when most people have time to attend classes… after work.
Life changed for me at the birth of my son. I cannot say exactly or put it into words, but it definitely changed, and I knew I now had a little person who depended on me. We had selected the monkey theme for our new baby – we had opted not to learn the gender before birth. I didn’t care, either. We just wanted a healthy baby like most families, I imagine. I’ll be honest, though, having a boy made me very proud – mainly because I am familiar with what boys go through. A girl would have been utterly foreign to me. Heck, ask my wife; girls still completely confound me, haha.
So that’s where the monkey theme started. I also really enjoyed challenging myself and crawling in the woods and dirt. I had taken part in an obstacle course race called Spartan Race and another called Mud Hero. There was another that, in my mind, was the pinnacle of those races (maybe it still is) called Tough Mudder. It was on my bucket list. With obstacles designed by Ex-British special forces and names like "Anaconda," "Artic Enema," and one that just stuck with me… "Funky Monkey." It was a crazy greased monkey bar obstacle over water. Now they have a 2.0 version, and it is even wilder.
Martial arts, for me, has always been about pushing boundaries and mind over matter. Doing hard things and fighting through your brain screaming to run or stop and developing mental toughness and a strong will to keep going and succeed. I guess that’s how I reached a 6th-degree black belt when so many others stopped far earlier in the journey, many not even reaching black belt...
Part 2 is coming soon of this three-part article...
Chief Monkey - Tough Monkey Nation www.toughmonkey.ca
PS - Remember... You're TOUGHER than you think!