July 4: Sunday. It brought rain. Lots of it. And it also brought one hell of a migraine. So much for working out; it had looked like I was going to spend a good deal of the day in bed. But Sunday also brought something else. It brought DeQing. And he wanted to train me. So, in the light rain, outside, for a few hours, we trained. And my head just got worse.

But one has to remember a simple fact about China; more specifically, the Shaolin village. And even more specifically, the Temple. There is suffering in China, but there is no pain. I had learned that on all of my previous trips here. You can suffer, and you most probably will, but you can't show pain. That damn stoic attitude of the Chinese which I found so helpful with improving my attitude towards chronic pain just came back to bite me in the ass. There's no complaining that you don't feel good. You just do it. And did it I did. It wasn't fun, but we got some stuff accomplished. In the last two days, we reviewed all of the forms that I knew, and now we were moving on to new territory. Some praying mantis style of fighting. Very low, very precise, very painful. Both for the attackee and especially for the attacker. It was an interesting day.

The afternoon brought a relief from training, and instead of resting, I decided to go climb the mountain to Damo's cave. It was time to renew the vows that I had taken years ago, when Shi De Cheng made me his disciple, and a disciple of the Shaolin Temple. The climb up the 100 meter high mountain in the rain was the usual fun. But seeing the face of the monk inside Damo's cave when he saw the big ugly bald American come in, made it all worth while.

It's Sunday night, and it's still raining. Rain pretty much preempts any kind of martial arts training in the village; that's why all the kids training here look forward to seeing storm clouds come over the horizon. No doubt tomorrow will bring some rain again. No doubt tomorrow will bring DeQing knocking on my door early in the morning again.