At 29.9 Years of Age, My Groin Is SafeMy thirtieth birthday is fast approaching, and I'm feeling a little bit of trepidation about it. I know your thirties are supposed to be so much better than your twenties. But all I can think of at the moment are all the things that movies, television, and magazines have led me to believe I should have done in my twenties.
The fact is, I squandered most of my twenties in Richmond, VA, living in a series of crumbling ghetto establishments, scraping for work and thinking I was an artist. I can take a small amount of comfort in the fact that if I had been living a fabulous lifestyle as a wealthy young rock star in L.A. I would have been too chronically depressed to enjoy it. Licked that little tendency in my twenties, thank God.
One thing that's great about impending age is that I am zooming away from the time in every man's life when he gets hit in the groin the most: high school.
Professional athletes excluded, guys don't really get hit in the nuts after 18. After 18, people understand the cause-and-effect of delivering that kind of blow. A young man doesn't worry so much that he has actually brought crippling pain into someone's world at 18, but he does begin to understand that hitting another guy in the nuts usually means the favor will be returned, with interest.
My friend Danielle was asking me the other day what that felt like. The nearest thing I could come up with was that it was like a week's worth of menstrual cramps compressed into 30-60 minutes.
Not so much for this guy. For this guy, getting kicked in the nuts by a Shaolin monk probably feels like throwing junk mail in the trash, or stopping at a red light -- just a minor task, not pleasant, but hardly the worst part of the day:
This comes from a longer video segment on YouTube, part of an even longer video about the Shaolin practice of Iron Egg training. Thanks again to WFMU for bringing this practice to my attention.