25 October 2016

Oly, RomWod, TRX Rip, DmC, what?!

OK, so if the title made sense to you, you are clearly a fitness freak and keep up with all the latest trends available. Now the issue is this, I've started giving romwod.com a spin and so far I like it. If you've ever tried it, you'll know it's nothing more than short Yin Yoga sessions. So why are people paying like US$14/month for this?! Well the same reason you would pay Spotify premium vs. the free version. Because it makes life better/easier/nicer. I've signed up for a 7-day trial and so far after day 3, I'm liking this idea that everyday I have a short mobility workout waiting me to complete. I take 20 minutes out of my day and do it, feel good and move on.

So why am I talking about this? Because for the last few years, I have had the privilege of having Steve Maxwell's Encyclopedia of Mobility, which to be honest, is a killer set of videos that really works on mobility on a whole new level. Every time I do the exercises, I feel great and I tell myself "I need to make this a daily routine". I even cut it down to 5 - 10 minutes a day only doing one session at a time.

So why is it that I had such a hard time keeping up with Steve Maxwell's videos vs the RomWod videos? It basically comes down to SSDD. Same shit different day. What I find is that with everything in life, even if something works and works so well, eventually you get bored of it or it becomes routine and is hard to keep up without either the conditioning or the reward factor. Conditioning like I have to stretch after my workouts. If I don't even if it isn't the case, I feel tighter and stiffer. Part of this could be physical and the other part is psychological. However, after a while, even following The Ultimate Yogi, which is also kick ass, it all boils down to the freshness factor. I guess just the idea that something new is awaiting you daily is exciting enough for you to want to not only check it out but do it because now you don't want to skip a stone in your path (which works nicely in my dontbreakthechain.com thing I do, thanks Jerry Seinfeld)

Now, has it helped me? It's hard to say. I mean I read a lot of reviews and people are praising how they have opened up with the daily romwod exercises, but take away the branding and compare it to my combo of workouts and stretches/rolling/massages and I can't really say if it's beneficial. I'll be honest, I went to the gym today to work on my Olympic lifts and I was performing very well, so well I went to join a TRX Rip Circuit class afterwards and still wasn't lying on the floor dead. Did I just get fitter? It could be too many factors but what I can say is that the romwod idea wins only because of the freshness factor. Nothing's stopping me from going to youtube and following random channels with yin yoga sessions that give me something new, but in the case of romwod, it's structured.

And then it dawned on me, I have become one of those people that have hit a point in his life, he's willing to pay for someone/something to tell me what to do. What the hell?

And all the years of never understanding why people would pay so much money for vacations that involved tour guides, for wedding planners, for assistants made sense to me. At some point, you've done what you do enough that you don't want to do it anymore, you still need to get it done, but you don't need to do it yourself. Interestingly, I'm hitting that point in my life, perhaps I've done it so much that I feel my time is more suited for other things. So instead of spending 10 minutes to think of some new mobility exercises to excite me, I'd rather pay someone to do that thinking for me, so I could use those 10 minutes to do something else that I enjoy more.

Speaking of not using your brain, I recently started playing Devil May Cry, perfect button bashing gaming and 15 hours later of gameplay I finished it. Fantastic game, totally perfect for times when you're just so tired of working and want to do something other than watch a movie or comedy.
Thanks to that, I have now re-ignited my gaming addiction, which as much as makes me feel guilty at times, is a pleasant thing to have because at times when I want to switch my brain off but can't or don't want to because of that guilty feeling, a game is able to drain away hours of my life, just enough for me to subconsciously re-boot. Heck, it even works on my eye hand coordination skills, so for all you know, I might be improving on my Olympic lifting because my brain to hand connection has improved?

Either way, hopefully in the next 10 days I won't break the chain, I will improve on all aspects of my life and I will have finished another game in my steam library.

15 October 2016

Good mornin' Vietnam

Well hello there. I'm currently in Vietnam on board a cruise ship snuggled in the corner of my room in the crew cabins taking care of my to do list as I await the show manager to call me back to see if I have to perform tonight or tomorrow.

So the deal was I got on board today, received my welcome letter and it said I'll be performing tomorrow night. Awesome, tomorrow's the last night of the cruise which means I get to do my act, then they have the "Goodbye from the crew" segment where they invite people from different departments on board to say goodbye to the guests. Very cool to be the closing show of this trip.

I go out, indulge in some totally unnecessary feeding at their buffet, come back slightly regretting it and thinking "well I can go to the gym tonight" only to receive a call from the stage manager that the performers for tonight's show are having some technical problems and I need to be on stand by to perform. Eeek! I hate being on edge like this, not because I don't want to perform, but it's like "So? Yes? No?" and I suddenly feel shackled because I don't want to move forward with anything until I have this resolved.
I intended on taking advantage of the peace of the cruise while everyone else in out in town till tonight to slip in a bit of yoga and stretch out, but now it's like "...so do I shave? Or shower?" Hopefully before the end of this blog entry, I'll know. They said they'll inform me by 5pm and it's 4:59pm so fingers crossed (I'm leaning on wanting to perform tomorrow mostly because that was the original plan).

Otherwise, things have been good hectic recently, but now that I'm on the cruise ship, I'll be locking myself down and getting my work done since I don't really want to walk around much this time (it's only for 2 days and it's a smaller cruise), so other than the gym, the buffet and the stage, I'll probably be snuggled up in the corner in my room.

On my way here, I watched a documentary about eSports, it's so fascinating learning about these pro gamers and how they "practice", kind of makes me realize that even in comedy, it's really kind of weird how we practice at open mic nights or at real shows, throwing in new ideas just to test the waters. I love how it's so ab-normal in a way, because I'd hate to be in my room all day cranking out joke after joke, reciting it in front of a mirror until it's perfect.

OK 5pm, no sign yet. Well I did want to spend some time meditating on this cruise and hey guess what, this is perfect practice for my patience.

Anyhoo, just wanted to check in see how things are. The last few days have been up and down really so these 2 days on the ship will do me good (not my waistline though).

Oh, my olympic lifting has improved. Still struggling on dipping fast with the snatches, but cleans are going well, my body is properly coordinated. Snatch. You need to behave.

10 October 2016

This blog be 9.5 years old ya'll! (WTF!?)

Woah, so this major blog entry is like 2 months late and this blog is now 9.5 years old. O. m. G.! WTF!?

So much has happened in the last 6 months. On a cool note, I finally hit my 10% body fat target I've had for a while and I'm back to good ol' Olympic lifting training. I'm writing this with a slight injured left wrist, I think from just too much weight while I was doing overhead squats (by the way, I'm over-head squatting 38kg x 6 reps easily now. Yes, I know, that's no big deal, but it's a record for me, to do that properly).

Also, I've learned the art of the hand stand and man it's all about the wrists I see, being tight, being a stick and controlling your hand stand with your wrists. Man that'll take a while for me to master but still it's very cool stuff and I aim to practice it all the time. I'm definitely way stronger already. I've currently got the clean, snatch, splits learned but need to not only practice it but get it into my muscle memory so I'm focusing on the over all technique rather than still trying to walk myself through it. As for the hand stand, I've got the concept down, now it's strength.

Also, I'm working on my vertical jump and right now I've been re-doing my whole walking/legs technique where I use more of my gluteals to walk and explode from. It's annoying because turns out all along I've been using my legs but not much butt so my explosion isn't as powerful as it should/could be....getting there.

I've also moved to a new place with my mom which is a big step for us and now it's down to the last 12 months before I finally buy a place. Renting sucks mostly because I feel so limited. Like every nail in the wall feels like "do I really want this?" to the point it's de-motivating. Especially now when I'm like "OMG I could do this this that that!" The cool thing is I get so much sunlight now I don't even turn on my lights until it's super dark outside. It's super quiet and I've started to minimize everything I had. I really do like minimalism, it's awesome.

And yeah, recently a lot has happened in my life, a lot of positivity and my mood has definitely improved a lot. I guess maybe it's because things are falling into place a lot more now, like I said, it's like after all that time of planting seeds, and watching the fruits start, I'm noticing a few fruits on the tree and now, every now and then, I can treat myself to them without worrying about running out :)

So yeah, the last 6 months has been a total change in a lot of aspects which makes me wonder what the next  6 months will bring. I'm still listening to Bill Burr's podcast and loving it and started Joe Rogan's as well. Oh I got Spawn 1 - 100 on Comixology which means I got a tonne to read, not to mention a line of things to watch on netflix as well as audiobooks to go through. Basically, I literally had a "when bored do this" list or "when don't know what to do, do this" list :P

Interesting eh? Well that's how things should be. Oh, and where I stay now, it's near the hiking trail I used to go to when I first started this blog. Oddly, now that I'm closer to it, I am less inclined to trek up that trail. Ahaha oh proximity, you weird concept you.

28 September 2016

To invoice or not to invoice....

...that is the question. You know I've recently been getting a lot of "gigs" and "work" that has been so...er...how should I put it, unorthodox because they've either involved me putting together something on a very short notice, or simply an add-on to an ongoing project which makes me wonder "so, do I invoice this separately? Or is this part of a big project and just increase the cost on the current invoice?"

This brings me back to the recurring question I get from people looking to start their own business. "How do you find people to hire you so you can invoice them?"

Many people ask me that thinking I'll have some roadmap to success or formula that explains how I work but the truth it, it boils down to one simple item -- is starting your own thing really right for you?

Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love the fact that I work for myself and every day depends on how hard I want to push myself. Sure there are days when I want to be sleeping in bed but I have to rush a deadline and wonder "really? This is self-employment?" but when the next morning comes and I am not stuck in rush hour, it all makes sense.

So when people ask me about finding that dream job, or starting something on your own, I take them a step back and ask them to question the characteristics of the job they want. For example, for me, I knew there were a few things:
  • Don't want to wake up before 9am (so that means if I worked in McDonald's it'd be the night shift)
  • Don't want to be told what to do (so either hire me as the boss, or be the boss)
  • Don't want to compete with others on holidays (ie. I hate rush hour jams)
  • Don't want to have to blame anyone else (ie. my success is mine, and in the same way, my failure is all my fault)
So when you put it that way, my job openings increase and I'm not longer limited what is available but rather what fits my criteria. So the above could apply to a lot of jobs, I could be a bus driver since I could work afternoon/night shifts, I just have to get on the bus and drive. I could also be a comedian or a web designer, which is where I ended up being.

So ultimately I tell people it's not so much about what job, but what characteristics of the job you want. And before you know it, you'll be invoicing people all over the place. Heck, even when I was searching for different invoice tools, it took me quite a while since it wasn't about what features does this one have, but more like what features do I have, and who can give me that?

Happy 10 days and happy invoicing in them!

23 August 2016

Intergalactic, radioactive, radioactive, intergalactic.

Yep, so I'm listening to Beastie Boys' Intergalactic and man that song never gets old or tiring. I still remember hearing that song for the first time, I immediately took every dollar I had saved, counted them up and realized I didn't have enough money to buy the album. I then resorted to radio station phone-in games and eventualy won myself an EP or demo CD or something. Eventually after saving up even more, I got the full album and that, my friends, was my first taste of Beastie Boys and some hardcore DJ scratching work.

So helllo, how are things!? I'm currently in Hiroshima having managed to only squeeze in one Japanese meal (killer Japanese curry) before I board the cruise ship and float above the ocean for the next 4 days. Man, after taking a 26,000 yen taxi ride last time from the port to the hotel, I tried my best to figure out how to get to the port from the airport hotel Im at this time but noopppeeee, not only did the cruise decide to dock at another port, I just couldn't figure out how to get there and resorted to a taxi yet again.

So the last few days have been great, I got to experience and announce for IMPI World Series 4, my summer comedy workshop had it's big "end of class performance" which was killer! For these guys who've only been at it for 2 months and 2 open mics later, they did a fantastic job with 7 out of 9 getting an average of 3 - 4 laughs per minute! I was sooooo proud, like a proud parent ahahah...

And for those of you who are curious about my ring announcer side, you can check out a video of the last (And best) fight of the night: https://www.facebook.com/studioone.com.hk/videos/1753657424922558/

Please excuse my mad-man yelling and trust me, the audience was loud that night...you're only hearing the mix from my mic (and you can imagine how loud the audience was if you can hear some of it reach my mic!), but man it happens to me every time, after fight nights, I have a hard time winding down from the adrenaline and I slept at 4am...but the cool thing is it was super smooth.

And speaking of super smooth, I am having some of the smoothest weeks of my life, other than the usual "stresses", things have been going pretty well for me, to the point I'm getting suspicious with the "this is too good to be true" feeling....but oh well, maybe staring at the ocean for an hour will help.
Enjoy land for the next 10 days!

09 August 2016

Da wha in da where?

Oh man August, you are brutal. But I love it. Well, it finally happened, after 6 or 7 or 8 years of working in the summer heat. I have finally come of age where I can no longer tolerate it (or no longer find the reason to tolerate it) and have become one of the many earth-shattering people who live in an air conditioned room and work there. The good news is, no birds are killed since they're all long gone and the better news is, now that I'm working with this, I'm super duper focused. Also, spotify has decided to add a "Gaming" genre with game OST's which is awesome, I just wish they'd get the Quake and Doom sound tracks, that would make life easier (even though I have the audio files... )

So things have been crazy as usual but nowadays, I'm learning to appreciate things like allowing myself to enjoy for a change. I'm also learning to draw the line better in other word, realizing that sometimes even though I can, I shouldn't. Like, work never stops and sometimes you just have to realize that and do what you want instead. I know it's easier said than done (boy do I  know that) but hey, it's a start.

Oh I've also been working on my hand-stand and after 2 lessons, I get the concepts, very cool and I'm getting there. I still need the wall but after I realized that it's all about using your hands to control yourself while keeping the rest of your body stiff as a stick, it's just a matter of practicing all the time. The cool thing is now that I get it, it's way more fun and I understand the direction I have to head. 1 more class and I'm on my own with practice and hopefully by September I'll get back to my olympic lifting sessions. Been a while but I've been working hard on strengthening my shoulders, scapula and opening up my torso.

Speaking of opening up, I recently was invited to be a guest speaker at a teenage center and it was so much fun because I got to talk with younger people and hear about what they're thinking and the struggles they're facing, man I so remember when I was in their shoes. And it's good to be able to share with them what I've gone through and am still going through so they realize it's not a matter of "oh but he's different". The cool thing is I felt young, the bad thing is I felt old at the same time. While everyone was all Pokemon-Go this and that, I was like "man, it's hard to even keep up with facebook" ahahah... oh man, it's just a matter of time before I become the grumpy old man I feel I almost already am.

Anyway, here's to a fantastic next 10 days. The year is shaping up to be a kick ass year, so much has changed, so much has improved and I can only hope that so much more goodness happens.

OK I know, I know, think positive. Well right now, thanks to yesterday being leg day (and having a good workout), my legs are sore and I am totally dreading walking up the slope home. 1st world problems suck.

24 July 2016

Comedy Central just happened

Well. I hit a milestone in my life and comedy career. I was one of the comedians hand-picked by Comedy Central Asia to represent the region in their first ever Asia-production called Stand Up Asia. It was a blast, I got to meet my comedy family from around Asia and basically represent good ol' Hong Kong.

I've finally had a chance to sit down and "rest" after a week-long of shows and gigs and work and a lot of lack of sleep. So I'm writing this half-zombie half-human.

Well the cool thing is, this coming week my schedule isn't packed but I have a lot to get done, so I'm looking forward to getting enough sleep (me lack of sleep is the 2nd biggest killer to my productivity).

Anyway, it's going to be a crazy next 10 days but once I get through it, I'm going to get to enjoy a whole new point in my life and then a few weeks later I get to board a cruise ship for gigs and well, buffet's the ocean and ...buffets again.

Did I tell you that I'm literally sore everywhere because I worked out 2 days in a row with absolutely no foam rolling or stretching after and oh my god, I can feel it. I can feel it bad.

Hopefully tonight's sleep will fix things up :)

Well rather than me randomly rambling, going to end this entry here and get on with my stuff before I call it an early night and crash head first into my pillow.

Happy 10 days ahead and looking forward to what the 2nd half of this year has in store for me!