Addicted

Exactly one year ago I had just started the first part of the GIC, and in exactly one week I’ll be heading for the Combat & Fighting Instructor Course. I have been looking forward to this course even before I became an instructor, so in some ways I’m even more stoked than I was before the GIC. Now in retrospect, I regret not blogging during the KIC and the CMIC. They were both amazing courses and we had lots of fun. Therefore I will be blogging during the entire CFIC.

I don’t really have much more to say about that right now, but I’m guessing that the course will prove to be quite the muse. So onto something a little more personal; addiction. Now, it’s not what you think. But for the majority of my adult life, I’ve been a consumer of snus [prononuced: snoos], a smokeless tobacco product. It’s a moist powder (sometimes in small pouches) that you place under your top lip. You don’t burn it and you don’t need to spit when you use it. The reports are more or less conclusive in that it’s a better choice than smoking. They are however inconclusive in how your health is affected in general by it. The manufacturers have been trying to get the warning label removed from their products, but have failed so far. The vast difference though, between snus and cigarettes, is that a box of snus contains approximately nicotine equivalent to somewhere between 40-70 cigarettes. The numbers vary between different brands of course. But snus contains a lot more nicotine that cigarettes. It’s by no means something healthy and it’s highly addictive. Highly. Addictive. Partly due to the high levels of nicotine. But also because of the convenience to consume. You don’t need to step outside or even get up from your seat to use it. You’re not bothering anyone, so you can use it whenever. 

This also means that quitting snus is physically harder than quitting cigarettes. It takes approximately 72 hours for the nicotine to leave your body. So you endure three days, your body should be clear of any nicotine residue and you should be home safe, right? Wrong. The first three days are a nightmare. The nicotine rush is closely connected to your dopamine levels. Which means that when you “pop one”, you’re actually creating a link between that feeling and happiness. So when you’re off the juice for three days, you’re basically sending yourself into a micro-depression. I’d usually go through a box and a half every day. Basically, from the moment I woke up till I went to bed, I had one under my lip. So I went from that, to zero, null, nilch, nought, nada, in just one hour. Now the smart thing would have been to perhaps, have one just before bed and then stop in the morning. As in, not have a morning snus and go from there. But I decided to quit midday, three days before going back to work from the summer holidays. In hindsight, not my smartest move. But it’s now been five days since I quit and I can honestly say that I’m feeling a lot better. I’m not craving it anymore, even though I miss it at certain times during the day. 

All in all, I’m glad that I’m officially snus-free. Partly because of the health aspects, but mostly because of the addiction itself. No addiction is good for you. No addiction. Not training, not food, not love, not this, not that. Addiction means that you’ve given away control over your life to someone or something else. Why would you want that? Why would you not want to be the captain of your own ship? I’m finally free from the toxic addiction that controlled every waking minute and hour of my life for the past years. Stay strong.

Finite

I know I said that the next post was going to be about the KMG Summer Camp. Unfortunately I received some pretty horrible news during the third day of camp that a friend of mine is in the final stages of pancreatic cancer. The doctors have given him no more than a couple of weeks. The prognosis for early stage pancreatic cancer survival the first year is 20% and the survival rate for five years is 6%. At this stage, they’re basically just making his final time here on earth more comfortable. This friend of mine is quite special to me and will leave this earth leaving his prints in all our hearts. However for me, he will leave much more than that. When I was in quite a bad place in my life, I wanted a substitute for the pain I was feeling. Long story short, I have a big scarification on the right side of my torso that says “tough times don’t last, tough people do”. As some of you may have noticed, that is the name of this blog and the name of the company that I started a couple of years ago. Providing mental and physical coaching to those in need. 

So why am I writing about all this? Because cancer is a fucked up disease and needs to be wiped out from the face of the earth. Unfortunately for us, pharmaceutical companies benefit more from treating diseases than curing them. Since I have reached over 1000 readers, I want to ask you to find a trustworthy non-profit organization in your country that isn’t controlled by big pharma or the likes of them. That are actually trying to cure cancer and not just get richer by keeping people sick. Donate some money. Whatever you can spare. Maybe it will help someone’s life in the future.

I guess this is my way of saying goodbye to you, brother. I will always carry the scars that helped me through my tough times. See you on the other side.

Prelude: Who, What, Why?

Before I start on the “who”, I advise you to head over to the About page to read about the “why” and “what” of this blog.

As to who I am: I’m a 28 year old guy from Gothenburg, Sweden. I’m a partner at my firm and I work as a trusted advisor in IT and management. I’m also a certified personal trainer, a certified nutrition counselor and an NLP Practitioner.

I started doing martial arts about sixteen years ago and have made my way through everything from Capoeira, Wing Chun, Escrima to Kickboxing, Muay Thai and MMA. I never really felt at home in any of the previous styles I studied. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve loved every moment of training and learning from all my instructors, but it never really felt like “me”. I’ve never been much for competitive sports or striking for points. So in 2005 when I found Krav Maga, I knew right away that the style of training, the way it was taught and the principles of the style were a perfect match for me.

So here I am, ten years later, only days away from attending the first part of three of the KMG Krav Maga General Instructor Course. Stay tuned for daily updates and welcome to my journey.