Ailina Harris: The embodiment of abuse.

 

As you’ve read in Achilla The Strong(and if you haven’t, click here), Ailina Harris is abusive to everyone around her, but she always manages to walk away without suffering any consequences until Achilla Johnson stands up to her. This clip will give you an idea of why that happens.

 

People responded properly the first time. What happened the second time?

I’ve witnessed men verbally/physically abusing women and even rushed out of my apartment to aid a woman was in danger of abuse. Usually, someone stepped in before I got there (as they should) and offered the woman supportwith a quick response time. As an RA in college and a bouncer in Chicago, I’ve also had to break up couples where the woman was the aggressor. When other people got involved, they said she was “drunk and emotional” or told me and my coworker to “Mind our own business.” I’ve even had women strike me, or threaten to do so, with no provocation. Anyone who saw this happen just laughed. I subsequently swore to never pursue a relationship with those women, or anyone like them, again. Instead, I did the research, learned some of the signs and created Ailina Harris; the epitome of toxicity as a parent and partner. You’ll see more of her destructive behavior in Angel of War. Be warned, it isn’t pretty.  Abuse never is.

 


Seriously?

Abuse is about control, and when someone seeks to control you, they’ll use any means to obtain it. Complete and utter domination is the abuser’s goal and he/she will stop at nothing until you totally subjugate yourself or he/she realizes you’re not worth the hassle and searches for a new victim. That’s not a personality trait that is reserved for one gender, and there are many signs of an abusive personality. Though no one is psychic or flawless at reading people, there is research out there to help you know when to walk away before it’s too late. Ladies and gentlemen, protect yourselves at all times. Nobody deserves this kind of treatment.

Stop the abuse.

No Apologies,

G. Miller

True Strength: How will Achilla Johnson discover hers?

 

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How hard will Achilla hit in Angel of War? It all depends on how strong she will become.

Strength is a relative term. Some people equate strength with how much weight you can lift. Others, how many push-ups you can perform. Still others, how hard you can punch or how far you can throw.  You always hear people use the word strong as a positive trait, one that every athlete should achieve. Yet there isn’t a set definition of what true strength really means.  It’s an amorphous attribute that changes based on every individual’s specific goals.


Had these two stepped into a bodybuilding competition, the outcome might have been different.

Popular opinion tells us that the strongest men and women in the world lift weights and gain bulk, but there are many arenas where that is not true. You can strength train with or without weights, and bulk is not the only indicator of power. I once went three years without touching a weight. All I did was calisthenics, and it brought positive results. Still, one guy constantly encouraged me to lift weights again. He specifically said, “Come on. You have to deadlift.” However, whenever we played basketball together, he was unable to move me out of position without throwing his body at me( sacrificing his balance and any chance at making a good play), nor was he able to back me down in the post. If we both walked into a weight room , he would’ve bested me no problem. In a physical game of basketball, I stood my ground and often won our battles for position. He might have been surprised, but I wasn’t. As someone who grew up with a slight frame, I was accustomed to guys assuming they could dominate me and failing, much to their chagrin.  After a while, other ball players compared my defense to Dennis Rodman because I was able to disrupt larger players with body positioning, footwork, and a firm stance.  I understood at an early age that people tended to confuse size with strength and assumed that lifting weights was the only way to gain power. They never expected a thin person to stand up to them as well as I did.


Dennis Rodman’s career revolved around making life hard for larger players. 

The best athletes in history were very muscular and strong in their primes, but they were not massive. Michael Jordan weighed no more than 215 pounds at his best(not very heavy for someone 6’6”). He was thin, but powerful enough to move players twice his size out of his way. He  would not have won a bodybuilding competition, but he had no equal on the court.  Retired players commented on how strong Michael Jordan was despite his slight frame.  It was the one part of his game that shocked people the most.


Case in point.


If you don’t think this is powerful, you know nothing about basketball.

The same could be said for Jordan’s successor, Kobe Bryant. He had a similar body to Michael Jordan throughout his career, and he also held his own against larger players. Both Bryant and Jordan hit the weight room, but they didn’t lift for size and they likely couldn’t out-lift professional bodybuilders. All of their conditioning was geared toward the functional strength necessary to succeed on the court. You’ve seen the results.


These are not the dunks of a weakling.

Fighters are another prime example of amorphous strength. Muhammad Ali’s conditioning consisted of running, boxing, and calisthenics. In his prime, he weighed 215 pounds, but he moved like he weighed 40 pounds less. He went against his era’s conventional wisdom of how a heavyweight boxer should fight; opting to out maneuver his opponent instead of brawling with him. As a result, he was the best heavyweight boxer to enter the ring, and he didn’t get there by having the best bench press or gaining the most bulk.   He achieved greatness with the kind of timing, accuracy, agility, and explosiveness that was unexpected for a boxer in his weight class.


It didn’t matter if you were bigger or stronger than him. Ali always came to win.

The best example is Bruce Lee. He practiced Wing Chun for years before he picked up weight-lifting, and he only tailored his weight training toward his advancement as a martial artist. As a result, he never weighed more than 165 pounds. When someone showed him a bodybuilder with huge muscles, he once said, “Yeah, he’s big, but is he powerful? Can he use that muscle effectively?” The answer was yes. That man was very effective in his field, but he would’ve been foolish to engage Lee in a fight.  Bruce Lee had a slight frame, but he possessed a masterful technique and frightening power that martial artists still talk about to this day.


Timing, speed, and power. Bruce Lee had all of these essential elements in spades.

This is not to disparage weight-lifting(I combine weights and calisthenics myself) or the desire to gain muscle mass if that’s your goal, but we all have to realize what strength means to us as individuals and work toward it. If you are a bodybuilder, then keep lifting for the physique you want. If you’re a martial artist, practice until no one can beat you. If you’re a basketball player, train your body until you become the baller you’ve always dreamed you can be.  Strength may be physically ambiguous, but every strong person possesses the same strong mind. They are all willing to push themselves to achieve their own definition of true strength.


Ronda Rousey weighs 135 pounds, but no one doubts her strength and will to win.

Some of the greatest fictional heroes possess this mentality.  However, their definition of strength differs depending on their goals.  Wonder Woman is not as massive as a real life female bodybuilder. In fact, she’s often smaller than her opponents, but she’s a genius in combat who seldom loses.  With her skill and intellect, she takes down opponents who would frighten men twice her size. For that reason, she is the best melee fighter in the Justice League and she uses her abilities to combat evil.


Skill beats brute strength every time, and Wonder Woman is quite skilled.

The same could be said for characters like Kakashi Hatake, Son Goku, and many others. The heroes who inspire Achilla Johnson’s positive attributes share her deceptive strength. Much like Achilla, who weighs no more than 120 pounds in Achilla The Strong, they don’t possess a lot of mass. Still, they have unbelievable power.  They can move mountains while looking like mole hills to the untrained eye, and  that makes their very bodies a method of misdirection in themselves.


Goku never confused mass with effectiveness in a fight.


Kakashi and Obito are no bigger than the average Joe. Their blows on the other hand…

Achilla Johnson will grind for the pinnacle of her true strength, and in‪ Angel of War, you will see the fruits of her labor.  She will fight like she has never fought before. She will achieve feats that will blow you away.  Just don’t expect her to look or train like anyone but herself. One man’s strong can be another woman’s weak. It all depends on what you strive to achieve.  Achilla Johnson’s goal will become clear in Angel of War. Will she achieve it? You’ll have to read to find out. Until then, best of luck achieving yours.

 

Stay strong, my friends.

No Apologies,
G. Miller

The Pain of Loss: Will Achilla become a hero or a vigilante?

Did the pain of loss transform Trunks or awaken his true self?

As you’ve already seen in Achilla The Strong(and if you haven’t, click here), Achilla Johnson doesn’t grow up in a nurturing home. The love and affection that should come freely from a parent are only earned through blood, sweat, and tears during her formative years. More often than not, Achilla’s suffering goes unrewarded as she strives to meet Ailina Harris’ standards for her.  When Achilla moves into the Johnson household, she encounters a nurturing environment, and it shocks her at first.  Achilla never learns the value of love until she experiences it first-hand, and she finds that it is one of the biggest unfilled holes of her childhood. After living in a loving home, she is willing to fight for it; even against a formidable opponent like Ailina(read Achilla The Strong to find out who wins). That’s how love works. Whether it’s the love of a parent, a child, or a partner, once you have it, you’ll fight to protect it. You’ll draw strength that you didn’t know you had to ward off anyone who threatens  it. If you want to see a mother’s anger, endanger her child. If you want to see a peace-loving man blow up in a fit of rage, threaten his wife.  If you want to see Achilla take on a superhuman opponent with the strength of a bull elephant in musk, just watch what happens when Ailina threatens her new family.  When cornered, love is a ferocious foe, and someone will hurt you to protect who or what they cherish. They’ll even risk death to protect the object of their admiration.

The woman who grabs this fleeing driver had a child in the backseat.

So what happens when you take that love away? What if the attacker succeeds in harming, or even killing that parent, child, or partner? In response, the protagonist takes one of two paths; justice or revenge.  With characters like Bruce Wayne, you see a man hell-bent on bringing every criminal to justice. He becomes the Batman whose one rule is to never kill. Frank Castle seeks to protect civilians at all costs. He becomes the Punisher who will shoot a criminal in the head without batting an eye, along with anyone else who stands in his way. Frank Castle is no stranger to violence, so the leap to killing for his cause isn’t exactly a large one. Still, the pain of loss made him colder than before, and that’s what it does to most protagonists.

Not exactly a friendly chat.

Son Goku is a more extreme example than The Punisher.  Goku is a masterful martial artist with unimaginable strength, but he’s a peaceful man in DragonBall Z. Sure, he loves to fight almost to the point of addiction, but he stops short of killing his enemies unless it is absolutely necessary. That all stops when he faces Frieza. When Frieza pushes him too far, Goku’s noble nature gives way to a blood lust unbecoming of a peace-loving hero.  Goku’s rage transforms him into a Super Saiyan. It also turns him into a different person altogether; the kind of relentless, enraged warrior necessary to take down a sadistic sociopath like Frieza.

Is that Goku talking?

The pain of loss gives Goku an exponential power boost, but it also temporarily erodes his moral character. In his thirst for blood, Goku loses all reason and even disregards the people he’s always fought to protect.  All he cares about is punishing his enemy in the most humiliating and painful way possible. Nothing else matters. No one else matters. Revenge is everything. Goku’s mindset proves that pain is often irrational, and so is the fury that follows.

Rage causes Goku to make one of the worst decisions in Anime history.

However, the pain of loss doesn’t always trigger a metamorphosis from peace-lover to murderer. Sometimes, it  unlocks the gate to a rage kept in check by a moral code or an exterior influence that holds the character accountable. Wonder Woman, Achilla’s main inspiration, is an example of someone who never had a problem vanquishing her enemies, but she held back for the sake of the Justice League. When she perceives that Superman dies in battle, she stops caring about her vow to not kill.  She requires an exterior influence( The Flash) to remind her of their team’s mission and values. Despite her desire for vengeance, she takes the path that Superman would’ve wanted in honor of her fallen comrade.

You don’t mess with Wonder Woman’s friends.

So what happens when Wonder Woman doesn’t have a team? What if Wonder Woman never has the support of a Justice League that shares a common belief to preserve a life before extinguishing it, even if it is one filled with evil?  What happens when no one is there to curb you when rage grips your heart and won’t let go until you do what it commands? What if the only solution you see is to kill the transgressor, and there is no one there to tell you otherwise; or at least no one you can trust to understand how you feel?

This speech means nothing unless it comes from someone who can relate.

The key to taking the path justice lies in the protagonist’s support system.  It takes mentors and friends to instill wisdom and clarity to someone blinded with hatred, and sometimes the best way to prevent the explosion of rage is to provide a listening ear or a shoulder to cry on. A support system doesn’t make your loss any easier. It’s still a heavy burden, but it becomes manageable when someone helps you lift it. Carrying that pain on your own is too much to bear, but when you have support, you won’t have to.  Nobody ever should.

Loss is never easy, but it’s even harder to handle alone.

Mourning is not meant to be a one person job, but for many it often is. Some people don’t have that support system and are forced to live with the loss the only way they know how.  That is often where revenge comes into play, and it can consume your life until nothing else matters.  Characters who live a life filled with bitterness and vengeance are often solitary creatures. Those who cope well  with loss do so because they have someone they can lean on. They are a stark contrast to each other on the outside, but they share the same emotions.  The main difference between them is in the opportunity to be vulnerable and heal. Without that, they will spend the rest of their lives wounded.

For how long do you think Vegeta held these tears back while carrying his pain alone?

I’ll give you small sneak preview into Angel of War. Achilla Johnson will suffer the pain of loss, but who will be there to help her carry the burden? Will there be anyone who will know how she feels that can steer her on the right path? Or will she live a life of bitterness, rage, and solitude? Will she become a hero for justice or a vigilante for revenge? You’ll have to read Angel of War to find out, but this much is true.

How Achilla decides to carry her burden will change her life forever.

I hope you’re ready, my friends.

No Apologies,

G. Miller