The world grieves at the passing of its greatest talents. Seeing one of your heroes leave forever is painful, but is the way of the world. This is hard for a child to understand, still innocent and unacquainted with the stench of death. The first one is hard. Worse is losing the ultimate hero and your future simultaneously.
As a boy, there was one thing I wanted to be when I grew up. It was the only option, and I had time for little else. Each waking moment was spent in preparation for my destiny, studying for the day when I would finally take my place alongside the master.
The day I’d become a student of Bruce Lee.
Every day was Bruce Lee movies, orange juice, and hard work. The discipline was incredible for a child. I achieved the full splits and became a master of the Nunchaku by the age of 4.
Monday through Friday, prepare for eventual Bruce Lee-hood. Saturday morning, cartoons. Then more training. Sunday, watch every Bruce movie back to back before going to bed. This refreshed me for the new week, kept me up to date with the work that had to be done.
My skill and technique sharpened over time, and I memorized every one of Bruce’s fight scenes. I needed to be challenged.
“Hey dad. When is Bruce’s next movie coming out?” I asked, hungry for new material.
“Uhm, Bruce doesn’t make movies anymore. He died.” the words struck my heart, and an unfamiliar pain spread through my chest. The tears poured and washed away the innocence from my soul. The next couple of months flashed by like a montage of loneliness and binge candy eating. My life was over.
And it really was. Twenty five years later and I still haven’t recovered.
I remember rolling my eyes when I found out Santa wasn’t real, long since jaded to such colossal disappointments. I peaked at age four, and have yet to find anything to recapture the passion and drive from my glory days.
Motivation for me is something to type into Youtube, a video to pass the time before I join Bruce Lee on the other side and finally fulfill my enormous potential and destiny. Until then, I’m nothing more than the former future Bruce Lee.