It all began with a cereal bar.

I had brought one to show my teacher Raz, in hopes of him saying “Okay, this isn’t so bad,” and approving of my diet of mostly eating twenty or so of them.

Yeah, I’m really smart, but my skills in persuading others mean I can also delude myself.

So, Raz has me sit down next to him on the heavy bag to talk while he looks at the ingredients. Seeing the rather frustrated expression, I had this terrible sinking feeling he didn’t exactly approve.

Wow. I’m so smart. If only I was that smart about my eating choices. He was very professional about it, but yeah, he had found my lack of nutrition disturbing.

It wasn’t the first time he had made a comment. He’s always been sharp with me on this issue, but this time, he said something that cut me to the bone. He slowly looked up at me with this exasperated and disappointed expression. “This stuff is shit. I invested too much in you for this all to go to waste.”

I wanted the mat to swallow me in shame. Sadly, the mat didn’t oblige.

It was true. In the twenty months of my Krav journey, Raz has gone above and beyond to help me. When I came in, I was a train wreck and he saw my potential. Every step, every hurdle, he gave of himself and helped me along the way. He gave so much of himself to help me, every step of the way. Zuko had his uncle Iroh, Arthur had Merlin, Robin has Batman and I had him.

Yes, I earned his help. I work very hard, I am consistent and committed, and I have invested a lot in return, but it wasn’t enough. I was all in, besides for the one place that needed my attention the most. He deserved 100% focus, and he needed me to stop undermining him.

Yes, undermining. He was giving of himself, but by not eating right, I was sabotaging his hard work. I work with him for 10 and a half hours a week, (plus 2 more with his colleague Carlos) which means he had was contributing 90 minutes to the day. 1350 minutes were mine to either augment or diminish. My diet was destroying the work and here was where I needed to start pulling more of my own weight, quite literally.

For the first time, I truly understood the problem I had and was ready to confront my demons. My choices weren’t just hurting me, they were actively in opposition to the goals I was setting.

I have a dream that one day, despite all my limitations, I’d get my lofty G5 rank.

At first, it felt like a pipe dream, I didn’t feel I had the talent. Raz assured me I did have everything I needed to achieve my goal, but only if I was willing to completely and consistently commit to it. He would be there to guide me but he couldn’t walk this arduous path for me. I had to be willing to pay the price for progress.

Carbs or Krav.

All of this hard work and help would be nullified unless I started stepping up my own efforts. I was inspired by him. He gave so much to me, he believed so much that I could rise to his challenge and surpass it. I would not let his precious gift (the most precious gift, time) be wasted.

I was in.

I went out, bought a scale and started one of the toughest journeys of my life.

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I miss you so much.

Writer, lawyer, Kravist, friend

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