Farewell Old Dongguan

Every day the sun rises, falls and life moves on. Hiding away would be a waste, so grab hold of tomorrow’s challenges and call them yesterday’s successes. Do your best, be happy and live, love and sweat forever.

1116_livelovesweatThis is going to be my last piece for this column. I have moved away and it is only fair that the torch is passed on to someone else who is at least equally as capable, if not more.

I’ve lived in Dongguan for a good 12 years and man, have I paid my dues. Till today, I still have very conflicted feelings about this city.

This column started more than a year ago when several editors and I huddled over a small coffee table and tried to conceive an idea that would pop. From that Live. Love. Sweat. was born. We decided it would be raw, honest, light-hearted, but also provoking at times.

While many readers laughed along with me (thank-you-very-much), others ripped my page out and threw it in the trash. To the latter, I only have one thing to say: get that stick out and take a chill pill.

“To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people just exist.” – Oscar Wilde.

I am all about living in the moment. Most negative thoughts concern the past or the future. In the moment when I am savoring molten chocolate pooling on my tongue or shelling out for the latest Louis Vuitton bag, I am truly happy. I am not worrying about something that hasn’t happened yet or may never happen.

All it takes is a conscious decision to relish in whatever one is doing at that present moment. It may be as simple as drinking the perfect cup of tea or taking a much needed vacation away from the screaming kids.

Living in the moment also means my tolerance for poor quality diminishes. Gone are the days of junk food, shopping for cheap furniture and accepting living in a house where if someone takes a shower, there is no hot water for anyone else.

I choose to demand quality everywhere I go, in all aspects of my family and my life.

“But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” Matthew 5:44.

Like Hillary Clinton, I am clearly not an eligible candidate for sainthood.

The good book says to always forgive and to be benevolent and good to your enemies, no matter what they do to you, how they treat you or how they insult you.

I say, why bother?

No matter how hard you try to always do the right thing, some people may simply dislike you. It is useless to try to get them to like you, much less love you. You can be open to reconciliation, but you have no control over whether they will reconcile with you.

So save yourself some heartache and headache, and just cut them off.

As I get older, I have less tolerance or time for bullshit. I save my time and effort for people who would do the same for me. It is often through trials that you see the people worth keeping around in your life.

So, to put it less elegantly than Jesus: if your enemy behaves like an ass towards you, there is no need for you to behave like an ass towards him. Just cut them off totally from your life; delete them from all forms of social media and then go on and live better.

“Sweat cleanses from the inside. It comes from places a shower will never reach.”

-George Sheehan.

Sweat is my cure for everything. Somehow, sweating always manages to ease pain, control my mood swings and even prevent colds from escalating.

During the last two years, it’s been great running Feel The Beat in Dongguan. I have worked harder than ever before in my life and reaped the fruits of my labor. The business was a success and the financial freedom it gave me was liberating. I had a great time traveling and splurging on myself with my very own hard-earned money. It was awesome.

When I told a close friend I was shutting it down for the sake of my children, she actually cried for me. Real tears. She broke down and could not believe I would give it all up. She felt bad for me.

Dear sweet Linda, it’s been great, but I am so ready to move on to bigger and better things. Instead of just teaching regular classes and managing one studio, how about managing an entire fitness program or two? And why limit to Dongguan? How about the rest of China and the entire Asia-Pacific? Sound good? Yeah, I think so, too.

In closing, I would like to thank everyone who enjoyed reading this column and supported me in one way or another. To the editors with whom I have worked—Steve, Carlos and David—thank you all for being so patient with me. To Ziv, I know I am a pain sometimes, but you still love me, anyway. Goodbye. Peace out.