Graduation Post ... with some unfinished business GRADUATION POST
Team Camelot, you all have been amazing teammates. Thank you so much for all the support and encouragement during these past six weeks. You really helped get this dude through a grueling program. Most importantly, congratulations to all of you for kicking some major arse during this program, and to Matt for being a great trainer. I'm in awe of, and inspired by, the progress that you've all made, a true testament to your dedication to your own well-being. I really hope to get a chance to train with you again.
As for me, I just finished banging out Day 39's workout. Three more to go before I can close the books on this one. I'll get them done over the next few days. So far, though, I feel like I made good progress toward my relatively simple goals for this program. I feel fitter, more knowledgeable and confident about training with kettlebells and, as a bonus, I've managed to lose 3kgs. Not bad! However, while I enjoyed the training, I have a special dislike in my heart for the Windmill. I give it my best shot each time, but it's so difficult to move my body in that manner. I must sound like a squealing pig to the others in the gym.
After doing Bells 1 and 2 back to back, my plan is to take a short break for the rest of the summer. The family has a bunch of travel plans over the next few weeks, so it's a good time to relax a bit. I've also got personal plans to do some serious indulging during our travels. I've earned it, right?! For my next program, I'm currently eyeing Iron, which starts in early September. I think I should be ready to get back on the Kenzai horse by then.
Hope to see you all again soon! Enjoy the rest of your summers.
Just finished Day 37. I have to say, man o'man, 4 days of Bells swinging in a row has me feeling VERY beat up. S.O.R.E. The body is very much looking forward to active recovery tomorrow.
On a related note, as I get through each workout this week, my apprehension about the secret Day 42 workout increases.
Other than my father, my mentor growing up was my Uncle George. He was a high school science teacher with whom I spent a lot of time and from whom I learned a lot of life skills, including personal finance (investing in stocks and mutual funds, and clipping coupons!). We played and watched sports all the time. I hung out at his house with my cousins and was always treated like one of the family. He was always generous with his time and energy. I've taken a lot from my Uncle George into my adulthood.
Kenzai Home away from Home:
I still feel like it's early in my Kenzai journey, so I'm still trying to find my Kenzai equilibrium when life circumstances aren't exactly perfect. When I'm home (i.e., not traveling), it's fairly easy for me to stick to the diet and workout regimen. I usually plan out the week's food during the weekend before. When I'm traveling however, my Kenzai home can get all wonky. If I'm lucky enough to be staying at a hotel with a decent gym, I usually get my workouts in first thing in the morning (which I never do when I'm home). The diet side is usually touch and go, depending on where I am and whether the schedule is jam packed with client or family-related meetings and activities. I try to be as good as possible, but there is always some leakage in the diet when I'm on a trip. All of this is to say, I haven't yet found a Kenzai Home away from Home, really. The journey continues...
My Greatest Quality:
This one is difficult. Maybe it's a cultural thing; maybe it's a personality trait. Whatever it is, I don't like talking about myself. However, if I had to choose one quality to put out there, I'd say that it's my ability to cut through the noise and focus on the task at hand, especially when it comes to problem solving. I don't really stress out, which I think baffles my wife. I have a firm belief that stress is counterproductive and clouds the ability to get things done. I just seem to be able to block out that part of the brain that puts out the stress beacon. I am also an eternal optimist. I believe that you can't achieve good results if you don't think positively. This combination leads me to always believe that there's a solution to every problem.
Back in HK and back in the gym. It felt great to get back on the Bells horse after a few days away. As expected, I couldn't swing any Bells on my trip, but managed to get in a couple of outdoor runs. I figured a bit of cardio was better than nothing! I'm looking forward to finishing up strong!
Question - Just making sure I'm seeing it right, but there's no day 42 workout, right?
This week has been one interruption after another. Work stuff had me buried on Day 31, so couldn't get my workout in that day meaning the rest of the week got pushed back. Did Days 31 and 32 one day late, but I am now on a family trip in Taipei. Staying at an Airbnb, which doesn't have any workout facilities. Given our daily schedule this weekend and lack of gym access, it looks like I won't be able to get in Days 33 and 34 this weekend. I'm mindful of trying to stick as close as possible to Kompliance, but the diet definitely won't be close to what I was able to do when at home. I'll try to get some cardio in a couple of these days. By the time I get home, I think I'll be behind schedule by about 3 or 4 days. I think I'll need to take a cue from Nate, i.e., finishing up the program some time during the week following graduation. I'd rather get in all the workouts on a delayed basis than miss them entirely. A bit disappointed, but still determined!
I managed to catch some sort of bug this weekend. I'm not really sure what it is, as I don't have a fever or other really strong symptoms other than a marked increase in lethargy, a loss of appetite and what feels like a decrease in body temperature (I feel colder generally). I took Day 28 off and most of Day 29, pretty much sleeping the whole time. I think I feel better now, but only marginally. Nevertheless, after my latest nap, I felt like I had enough in the tank to try to bang out the Day 29 workout. I just tried to take it easier on the weight. Managed to get through it, which felt good. My wife thinks I'm crazy for not resting more; maybe she's right. Now I just want to sleep again. Hope to feel better in the morning! Zzzz.....
Good luck to everyone in Week 5!
Dang! I think Day 26 was by far the hardest workout I've ever done on Kenzai. It took me more than an hour to get through it. While I've generally been a hot mess after workouts in Bells 1 and the first 3 weeks of Bells 2, this week has definitely kicked it up several notches. I was using weights that were comfortable earlier in the program, but they just got too heavy for me after the first cycle. I felt like I burned through all my power reserves in that first cycle and had to reach deep down (and dial back on the weights) in order to get through the next two cycles. Soooo tough.
While not easy by any means, Day 27 felt like a reprieve from yesterday's madness (though my triceps were trembling by the third cycle).
On the diet front, my meals and snacks during the daytime have been Kompliant, but I've had two birthday parties the last couple of evenings, so that's were I've fallen off the Kompliant wagon. I did my best to limit the damage through portion control (and only having two glasses of wine). Hey, they're supposed to be happy events, right?
Fortunately, the negative thoughts from yesterday didn't carry over to today. But today's workout was no joke. While I think yesterday was a matter of me just feeling a little weaker or lower on energy than usual, today I felt like the upper limits of my cardio and overall fitness level were really tested. I felt stronger from an energy and power perspective, but I was really gasping for air after most exercises. I needed to steal a few seconds rest (by few, I mean probably 20-30 secs) every now and then in order not to pass out. I was literally seeing stars.
Whose idea was it to pair the Alternating v-sit with the Legs in the air sit-up? I feel like they were hitting the same muscles back-to-back. My abs were BURNING at the end of each cycle. Was able to crank out the max reps in both exercises in the first cycle (using a 12kg bell), but was barely able to get through the minimum reps for the Legs in the air sit-up in the other 2 cycles. Dang, that was difficult.
Looking forward to active recovery tomorrow!
Day 23 was on point, both diet and exercise-wise.
I read today's lesson right before my workout. I found it to be an odd story about an ultramarathoner to whom I couldn't relate at all. I don't really like running (though I have a greater understanding and appreciation of it after Kenzai Run), and totally can't imagine running days on end straight. Seriously?!?! I didn't think too much of the story as I was getting into today's workout. Then, for some reason, around halfway through, I started to constantly think about the story, but not in the way that the story was intended to motivate us. Instead, since the story was trying to tell us to not give up, my contrarian nature instead veered the exact other way - toward wanting to give up! I really started having a harder time getting through the rest of the workout after the thoughts started popping up in my head! I couldn't tell if it was simply a low energy day, so the workout felt harder, or whether the reverse psychology from the story subconsciously affected my motivation. In any case, it was an odd feeling, one I had never encountered before during my Kenzai journey.
I made it through the workout, struggling a bit in the latter half of cycle 3 in particular. I was a complete mess at the end, totally collapsing on the floor immediately upon the plank's 40 second buzzer going off. It took me a little while to gather myself and get up.
Tomorrow is a new day. Here's hoping today's weird thoughts were a blip,
After missing two workouts last week, I'm looking forward to getting back on track for Week 4.
Day 22 recap: both diet and workout on point
Observations: I was glad to see that the Day 22 workout wasn't overly leg intensive as I am still hoping to fully heal my left thigh. I could still feel a little soreness in the quad muscle when doing the lunge walk and the lunge clean and press, but it was definitely in better shape than a few days earlier. I dialed back on the weight for both lunge exercises in order not to stress the muscle too much. Day 23's workout also doesn't look too taxing on the legs, so I hope that gives me another recovery day for the leg in preparation for Day 24's leg day (yowzah!).
Today's feeling: I'm pretty darn sore all over! Hurts so good!
Hello, Team Camelot! What better time to introduce myself than when we're half way through the program, right? I'm really sorry for the belated post. Life got in the way, but am trying my best to catch up.
1) The Basics: Where you live; What you do for work and/or play.
My family and I live in Hong Kong, been here for the past 15 years. We're originally from the US. I am an international corporate finance lawyer in the day, food addict at night.
I enjoy all kinds of food (variety is the spice of life!), all the usual North American sports (basketball, football, baseball and ice hockey), traveling, movies/television and spending time with my wife and kids (ages 4 and 2).
2) How long have you been around the community and what program(s) have you enjoyed the most?
I tried out KB1 last September at the nudging of my wife and, to my absolute surprise, really enjoyed the whole process (except for the dang jump roping!). I learned a lot about diet and exercise in a non-faddish way and, more importantly, learned many things about myself. I got hooked and then signed up for full membership.
I've taken the 10k Run and Kettlebell 1 courses. My favorite so far was Bells 1. We had a great team spirit during the program, which helped a lot!
3) Do you have any prior kettlebell experience?
Prior to Bells 1, I didn't have any kettlebells experience. I was a bit apprehensive going into it, but quickly got more comfortable. Loving the bells now!
4) Why did you sign up for this program, and do you have any specific goals for yourself?
Bells 2 seemed like a natural next step after just completing Bells 1. I don't have any specific goals other than building on top of the training and learning from Bells 1, and overall continuing on the Kenzai journey that I started last fall. While I constantly find the diet part difficult given my love of food, I enjoy the structure of the daily exercise and the constant challenge of improving myself overall.
5) Anything else you’d like to share with your teammates?
I hate cheese.
Go Team Camelot!
It's been great to be back home, but, man, the jet lag has been really tough! Just sleepy ALL day long, and then not so tired at night. Deadly combination. The upside is that I've got no problem cranking out the workouts in the evening.
As originally planned, I got in the Day 17 workout on Day 19. During the 2nd cycle, though, I felt a bit of a twinge in the inner part of my left thigh. I was able to get through the rest of the workout, but I'm thinking that it might be a mild strain. Though it's not debilitating in any way, I can feel the twinge sometimes during the day. Since I was feeling the twinge, I had to force myself to listen to my body over my brain (which wanted to push forward). I ultimately decided not to push the injury further on the next day, so I decided to skip the Days 18 (which looked leg heavy) and 19 (active recovery) workouts and proceeded with the Day 20 workout on Day 20. I think it turned out to be a good choice as I felt like I was able to rest the leg a bit.
Today (Day 21), I think I may go back and do the active recovery from Day 18 instead and hope for more recovery in the leg before starting Week 4.
It's hot and sticky, but feels good to be home finally! I had a lot of time on the plane to catch up on a few things, one of which is my overdue laughter event blog!
So this event happened a few years ago. Being the huge foodie that I am, taking my out-of-town guests to my favorite eateries around Hong Kong is one of my favorite things. This one time, I took a long-time friend visiting from the US to one of my favorite local spots that specializes in what is called typhoon shelter crab - essentially, a deep fried large crab (I forget the exact species) with lots of garlic and spice. This local restaurant is a hole in the wall, so we definitely weren't there for the ambiance. So we ordered the signature crab and a bunch of other dishes. The dishes start coming out, and we start chowing down, but we were still waiting for the crab. Suddenly, a man comes out of the kitchen carrying a large plate of crab. As he emerges, my friend and I both noticed that he appears to be one of the chefs, but he also had this cigarette hanging out of his mouth. He had clearly been smoking the cigarette for a while, but he didn't seem to have cleared any of the ash, as the ash portion hanging off the cigarette was unusually long (longer than the unburned portion of the cigarette!). It was so long that the cigarette ash seemed to be defying gravity. Anyway, he brings the dish over to our table. My friend and I are both staring at the chef, the dish he is holding and the cigarette hanging out of his mouth. We then both turned to look at each other at the exact same time, and then turned back to the chef again, just making sure we are both seeing the same thing. We didn't say a single word to eat other. Our non-verbal communication did all the talking. We immediately burst out laughing as we were thinking exactly the same thing. How was it possible that no cigarette ash fell into our crab dish? Or was cigarette ash one of the secret ingredients that made the dish so tasty? It was so local and so authentic, but we had such a great laugh out of it.
We still talk about that crab scene to this day every time we meet up.
Hey everyone, it's so great to hear how everyone is kicking butt this week. It's so inspiring. Keep it up, Team Camelot!
On my end, I'm currently sitting in an airport lounge in NYC waiting for my flight home to HK. It's been a long trip, and can't wait to get home. Here's a recap of my Week 3 thus far:
- Day 14 - arrived in NYC after 18 hours of traveling. Got in a run on a beautiful morning. Then headed to a one-year old's birthday party, followed shortly thereafter by my mom's 70th birthday party. Great times, but diet was NOT on point on this day.
- Day 15 - traveling again. Unfortunately, due to inclement weather, my flight was delayed multiple times, leaving me stuck at the airport for an extra 4 hours. By the time I arrived at my destination, it was late and I was hungry. I ate a normal-sized dinner, but not Kompliant. It was too late and I was too tired to work out on this day.
- Day 16 - Woke up bright and early and headed down to the hotel gym. To my dismay, no kettlebells at this gym. Instead, I substituted with dumbbells and adjusted as necessary. I did the Day 15 workout since I missed it yesterday. Felt great after the workout. Breakfast and lunch were pretty good, but dinner was a little bigger than planned. Overall, inched closer to Kenzai principles on this day.
- Day 17 - Another early morning at the gym. Did the Day 16 workout. Oh my gosh, that workout totally wrecked me. I was a hot mess afterward. Again, not totally compliant, but at least within the ballpark.
I will be in the air for Day 18, so will miss another day's workout. By the time I get back home to HK, it will be Day 19 and I will have missed two workouts this week. I'm currently thinking that I'll need to skip the active recovery/cardio days this week in order to get back on track by Day 21.
I can't wait to get on the plane, settle into my seat and pass out. I just want to wake up and be home.
For some reason, I seem to be the type of person that people gravitate towards if they're looking for directions. It doesn't matter where I am in the world. So, I get a fair amount of random interactions with strangers on a regular basis. But I wouldn't consider these to be meaningful interactions.
One random interaction stands out in my mind, however. A few years ago, my wife and I were at the Atlanta airport going down an escalator. We heard a scream behind us. It was an elderly gentleman who was in the process of falling with is luggage in one hand. I remember it specifically because he seemed to be falling in slow motion. In any event, he got stuck upside down going down the escalator with his bag laying on top of one of his legs. My wife and I reached the bottom and had to quickly figure out how to help the man and stop him from getting stuck or hurt at the bottom of the escalator. Being the quick thinker in the family, my wife pressed the emergency stop button. I ran up to try to help secure the gentleman. We eventually helped him up and got him (and his luggage) to safety. We offered to help him get medical attention, but he insisted that he was OK and sauntered off. Never saw him again, but it felt really good to help.