2009-01-10

Becoming Batman

I had planned to introduce our first knot today but thought instead maybe I would reintroduce the Building Batman blog.

The question is this: To what extent can an everyday person develop the skills obtained by the dark detective, Batman? That is the underlying motif of the Batman, isn't it? Given enough determination any person, not inheriantly an hero or a superpowered knight, can conquer the greatest monsters in the dark scary world we live in.

With the release of the second Nolan film, I noticed a lot of talk on forums about the kind of workout that might be required by Batman (not to mention the kind of workout routine used by Christian Bale in preparing for the film) and more general discussions (online and in print) about the possibility of an actual person achieving the kind of skills held by Bruce Wayne.

Last October, I began this blog and started learning skills. Though it's self-evident that I will never be as good as Bruce Wayne at anything, I will introduce myself to a wide variety of activities. Each of these activities will undoubtably profit me in the future and many will be just plain fun to learn. My goal is to become a better, more competent person (rather than say become a valiant vigilante with a valid vendette to vanquish villainy [take that V]).

So far I have begun training my left hand to do everyday activities. Although, I may never become truly ambidextrous, I am far more comfortable writing, drinking, using keys and really just getting by without my strong hand. I still practice this quite often.

I also learned to throw a boomerang. Where developing ambidextrity is a frustrating exercise in perserverance, throwing a boomerang came surprisingly easily. They are a fun hobby and I expect I will enjoy it forever. I'd recommend them as a great (and easy) way to have fun.

Next I removed substances in my diet which are addictive and potentially harmful to my body. After a month of abstaining from caffeine, alcohol and nicitine, I have now loosened my fast. The important thing for me was to demonstrate to myself that I was not so thuroughly addicted that withdrawl symptoms would hamper me. Furthermore, I found that coffee(in moderation) can have many positive results as can red wine.

I have started a small exercise routine to develope my upper body strength. When I began doing push-ups, I did 100 every day. A month later, I have quadroupled that to 400 push-ups daily.

I have memorized a small set of knots which continues to grow. I'll post my drafts and loose instructions starting tomorrow.

I've also begun learning to pick-locks. This one is slow going and it will most likely be a while until I can tell you much about that. All the while I have been dropping Batman news and other odds-and-ends as I find them interesting.

So that's the idea. Along the right hand column you can see a proposed list of skills which I will get to. If anyone has ideas I have not included or suggestions or can offer help of any sort, I'd love to hear from you. You can email me or leave a comment.

I hope that you will enjoy reading this blog as I enjoy making it.

5 comments:

when is evil cool? said...

a friend of mine gave me a boomerang once as a gift and it's been on a shelf cleaning dust. i live nyc and where could you throw it? maybe in the spring i'll dust that bad boy off and find an empty parking lot somewhere.

i think this mission of yours is an awesome idea. really! back in the day my friend needed to make his left arm as strong as his right for basketball (detrarity for dribbling passing etc) he wore a sling (like you do when you break your arm) on his right from the second he woke up until just before bed for two weeks. it forces you to do everything with your left. give a shot. worked for him.

and whatever emergency driving is please be careful.

Bruce said...

The sling is a really good idea. I think I'll give that a try sometime. Not next week but maybe in February.

You really do need a lot of space to throw boomerangs. I used to do it on a baseball diamond (past the mound not right at the fence since the boomerang may often go past you if the wind is right). My favourite place to throw is in a football field near my house. The problem is, it's usually being used. The only problem I could see with an big empty parking lot (very empty) is that the concrete will be rough on the edges of the boomerang - if you beat it up enough it won't fly the same.

I found an old decorative boomerang over the holidays and I'm dying to see if I can make it return. The aerofoil is cut right so it should...

Bruce said...

If you were good enough with a boomerang - I mean like super confident - you could throw it on a roof. I can usually get it to return with in say a five yard radius but it's flight path is huge. That being said one mistake and you boomerang is toast... maybe not such a good idea.

Jay1 said...

I'm buying a boomerang today. also, how did you quit smoking? i need all the help i can get.

Bruce said...

I didn't smoke seriously to begin with so it wasn't a problem but it just so happens that I had a friend quitting at exactly the same time. For him the best thing for nicotine was the patch. They jack you up on more nicotine then you get from cigarettes. The whole point of that is so that you can break the habit before you start dealing with the addiction.
Almost every smoker is orally fixated. You will probably need something to stick in your mouth. I know it may sound stupid but get another bad habit that can take it`s place. Start chewing gum or your fingers or a piece of grass, ANYTHING. Any bad habit is better than smoking.

The other habitual thing is to keep taking smoke breaks. People who are used to taking a short break every now and again need to. You`ll go nuts if you don`t then you`ll blame it one smoking when it isn`t directly a side effect of quitting. Wander over to a coffee shop and buy the most expensive drink on the menu if you want - you`ll have the money once you`ve stopped buying smokes.

About the patches: screw buying the patches that reduce the amount of nicotine - just start cutting small chunks off. They charge you the same amount no matter what the dose, which means you can make one pack last twice as long once you have cut your nicotine intake in half.

The other thing is don`t rush it. As far as I understand it there is nothing physically harmful about nicotine. So if you don`t think you can drop the dose: Don`t. Wait it out and do it when you think you are ready. Technically speaking you can stay on the patch your entire life without any physical consequences.

I hope you can quit. If you do you will probably look back on beating it as one of the greatest things you`ve ever done. I know both my parents do.

Oh ya! One last thing. There must be no compromise. As soon as a cigarette touches your mouth, your battle has become so much harder. DON`T COMPROMISE FOR ANYTHING.