Greetings Kenzai Krew! Phew, what a crazy couple of weeks we've had. Let me get all caught up here, starting from mid-December.
December 2015 100km running challenge- COMPLETE! 100km in 19 runs. Next year will do it in 18 runs, the year after in 17, all the way until 2024 when I'll finish the decade challenge with 10 10k's in 10 days. After that I'm never going to run again.
On December 28th Kazue, Juri and I moved permanently to San Francisco. Take the amount of work and stress of a usual move and triple it to understand the joy of international moving. As Kenzai buddy Jeff (https://kenzai.me/geoffrey/blog) said, you're basically breaking up with a country. Vacating house, leaving school, clearing out bank accounts, credit cards, pensions, health insurance, alien registration, re-entry permits, you have to get it all done before getting on that plane. So you're exhausted from those two weeks of moving hell and then CONGRATULATIONS you're now in a new country, jet-lagged, and having to deal with all of those same problems from the other direction.
That was a tough couple of weeks. Definitely took its toll on my body and the waistline. Amazing how a modern human will come out of a grueling, stressful situation fatter than before, due to the unlimited availability of rich food and drinks. Not the way nature intended it to work at all!
The good news; the Kenzai San Francisco office is IN BUSINESS! We've got a nice spot in the Financial District where myself, Brett (https://kenzai.me/brettk/blog), Jessica (https://kenzai.me/jessica/blog) and Jordan (https://kenzai.me/jordanb/blog) are working to build Kenzai and coordinate activities across our worldwide offices. The amount of work to do is staggering, but we've got a great global team that's going to make it happen. More programs, more features, better training techniques, and a growing movement of people who are sick of fads and gimmicks and ready to get real.
The office, as you can see from the photo above, is pretty drab right now. Anyone have some ideas to make it cool and bring out that Kenzai spirit?
Last fall all of the work that went into this move was so daunting that I bowed out of Kenzai Body 2. I've never bailed on a program before and it was a teachable moment. There are times in life you really just have to mindfully make the choice that your fitness isn't going to be your top priority for a while. Those of you who have trained through an international move, hats off!
But that means I owe you all and myself a Kenzai Body 2! So Day 1 is in 12 hours! It's strange being on the west coast and one of the last timezones to start.
This will be a great year for my little family (Kazue and Juri) and my BIG family (All the thousands on team Kenzai). Now that we've filled some of the gaps in our staffing, my goal is to turn my attention back to where it should be, creating new content, interacting with the community, and spreading the word about what we do.
Happy New Year everyone, let's run strong and lean in 2016!
Hope everyone's having a great December, here's some updates from my end!
• This year, like last year, I'm doing a simple challenge; run 100km in December, before December 20th. That means at least a 5k a day, every day, for 20 days. This year Kenzai developer David is joining me! Here on Dec 8th I'm slightly ahead of the game with 38km down. Will post about it again when the 100th kilo is under my belt.
• This Sunday we're doing an experiment, and hosting a live hangout that's open to the community. One of the best things about Kenzai is that from top to bottom things are run by real people, without taking automated shortcuts. This hangout is a great time to meet some of these great people. There are two sessions, one for Asia afternoon (http://tinyurl.com/htuxf46) and one for the US afternoon (http://tinyurl.com/ou5lzjg). Drop by!
• We'll also be starting the 2015 12 Days of Kenzai challenge. It's going to be a fun one! If you didn't see last year's, here's a link to the first video in the series, you can watch as many as you like from there. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kYVokm7fAmY)
• I want to get a photo of as many Kenzai members as possible giving a new year's "Cheers" raising a glass of their favorite drink. So as you're celebrating in the next few weeks snap a selfie and send it to Jessica or our Facebook page. We'll put them all into a collage. Send photos by Dec. 24th please!
• Will have some big news in the next 3 or 4 weeks, so stay tuned!
I've been having a great time giving COMPLETES to the first batch of Kenzai Run graduates. Lots of inspiring people and stories which you should check out if you see them pass by on the "all" stream. I just couldn't help myself, I joined in on the final run fun and lay down a 13k today, pictured above. As you can see I'm not fast, I certainly don't look cool doing it (judging from the glimpses of myself I see in shiny buildings along the way), but my form is pretty good (I think) and there's nothing better for de-stressing. Plus, the day after a big run I've usually got a bit more creative juice in me.
More to the point, todays run is a great illustration of one of the principles of Kenzai. On this site there are stories from people all over the world, in all kinds of life circumstances, waking up every day and doing their best to rock these workouts, stick to tough diets, and share their experiences with an open heart .You simply can't read and comment on these posts and not feel peppier yourself. All your excuses wither in the sunlight of the community's positivity and "get it done" attitude. When everyone around you is getting it done, you suddenly feel like getting it done.
On today's 13k I thought about all the people who finished their own runs and felt like the wind was at my back. Pretty awesome, and a testament to how cool everyone here is. Thanks to all of you for being my invisible running buddies today!
Phew! That was a crazy couple of months there gang. Haven't been blogging much because huge chunks of my day have been devoted to writing new Kenzai program content, and if you've ever spent anytime writing, you know that at the end of the day the last thing you want to do is pull up yet another blank screen and watch a cursor blinking back at you, demanding more more more!
Out of the woods on the writing new stuff side, can get back to weekly lessons, blogs, and can even start taking better care of myself again (what a concept!)
Lots of great stuff coming down the pipeline for Kenzai, we're just getting started!
Oh and that's a picture of a heron I took. He was really patient. I watched him yesterday for a long time.
Got up early to catch the NASA announcement. Seeping brine! Perchlorate salts! What a time to be alive. I was feeling really down and out this week, getting over a nasty virus that made my joints feel like an arthritic 80 year old man, plus a sometimes seemingly unconquerable mountain of work on my desk this month. But flowing water on Mars has turned it all around for me.
Mars, Titan, and Europa. Three places that will get missions sent to them when I'm in my 50s. If nothing else makes me eat right and exercise, it's the wish to be alive, healthy, and with a sharp mind when these missions launch. So brushing off a bad couple of weeks and getting on with things.
Let's have a great week everyone!
Hey, this stuff works! GRADUATION POST
Finished final workout, final photo is up, and a good time was had by all!
I had pretty concrete goals for this reboot. Getting back on track with a 2.5% body fat reduction in preparation for a three month run at 10% body fat before the end of the year. Aug. 17th body fat was 15.4%, and measuring just now I was at 13.2%, so we'll call that close enough. These are all subcutaneous fat percentages by the way, not total body fat percentages. When it comes to aesthetics and fitness subcutaneous is the standard.
Other goal was to get nutrition back on point after a wobbly summer. Definitely feeling that good effect, going to enjoy a few days of less restricted eating, and then back into it with 3 months of Kenzai Body 2.
Workouts were ok. Last week work really piled on so wasn't able to really dive into big workouts like I wanted to, but got the basic exercises done everyday. Diet was on point except for one afternoon when I had a couple of beers in Tokyo.
I wanted to share this beer story, because it's important. A friend of mine from high-school was in town on business. I hadn't seen him for about 15 years. We had lunch and then went out for some beers. Lots of laughter, reminiscences, and good human connection. THAT is the time to break diet and enjoy some drinks and good food. In fact, if you're not able to get off diet for that kind of occasion you're bordering orthorexia and need to reevaluate your priorities.
Sitting at home on a Tuesday night, reading Buzzfeed articles, is NOT the time for a beer. Your average, everyday life should be running clean. Save the special food for the special times. I know you all know this, I guess I'm preaching to the choir!
Thanks for all your great blogs, see you around the Kenzai website! Rebooooooted!
Went to Costco this afternoon. I remember in my teens I'd hit up Costco and ransack the 24 packs of cookies and 12 packs of muffins and eat like a king for a week. There's some deeply rooted thing in my working class American's DNA to gorge on cheap food when the opportunity presents itself. When I was growing up, you'd see people wolfing down food until they were almost sick at the all you can eat buffets, just to "get their money's worth".
Almost two decades of living abroad has shown me so many different ways to approach food. Central Asians portions favor a ton of meat but are light on carbs. Arabs eat with gusto but hardly every over-eat when they're alone. Japanese people wouldn't dream of eating past the point of being full, gluttony is considered gauche, Koreans look like they're eating a ton but the water content of their food is amazingly high, they're mostly eating spicy water!
But only one country could come up with 24 cookies for $8.00. Just one of these cookies could derail all of your progress for a day, and there are 23 just like it, lined up in rows like dutiful soldiers marching in to your body to wreak havoc. This package probably has enough energy density to fuel 2 complete marathons.
This is the beauty of eating clean and being strict (thanks Reboot), there is absolutely nothing appealing about these cookies to me. They don't even occur to me as something to eat. When you can finally break through the fog of industrial food and get to this place, your good diet transforms from something that annoys you to the mast you cling to in the storm.
People in the fog don't understand this, find the description hyperbolic, and write you off as a health nut. But you guys get it, and that's enough for me.
Japan is a nice place, but one of its downsides is the wide variety of fearless, fierce mosquitos that proliferate in the end of summer. There's tiny ones whose bites swell up huge, medium sized ones whose bites go deep, and in October and November, these ones with zebra striped legs who itch like crazy. They buzz in your ears, they prey on you while you sleep, and if you're outside around dusk you're asking for a half dozen bites within a minute.
I got to my jumprope late today, right at mosquito rush hour. But I realized that as long as I kept the rope spinning, and spinning fast, they couldn't get through the parabolic bubble the rope oscillations made around my body. Basically, as long as I kept jumping at speed, I was in a forcefield that the little guys (ladies, actually) couldn't break through.
It was awesome motivation to skip like I've never skipped before! Crunched through some calories, got a great arm and shoulder workout, and survived one more day without contracting Dengue Fever!
Can't believe it's almost 10 pm as I write this, one of those nonstop days. Strange how these full, busy days are actually the best days of your life, you're productive, active, and contributing to the human project, but at the same time you don't even notice them flying by, in fact the reason that they're the best days is because you're too engaged and involved in them to notice that they're happening at all.
This is the paradox of Csikszentmihalyi's Flow state, the times you're most alive you don't notice how alive you are. And you continue on in this way for as many days as you can, until something awful happens and only then do you realize how good you had it. But it's too late.
Life is rough like that.
It became buckets and buckets of soup in my wife's capable hands! Nice mild flavor, good for breakfast when I've got some AMAYW party-time. Took two weeks to eat one squash worth. This week it's going to be squash curry. Will keep you updated!
I usually do my jumprope on a tiny "veranda" (what they call these things in Japan) on the second floor. It's barely big enough to swing a rope, but the rope swings nonetheless. This little balcony faces my daughter's room.
Whenever I tell her I'm going to jump rope she says "can I come?" She doesn't actually do anything, she just sits in her room while I jump, doing her own thing. In this photo you can see her in her bed playing on the ipad.
So when I jump most days I get to watch her do her thing, having her own internal dialogues and curiosities, just being herself. Every once in a while she'll look back at me jumping and give me a thumbs up like I taught her.
Great motivation to keep on jumping and be my healthiest!
Anyone else feeling a bit empty in the evenings? My stomach organ is still compacting down, getting some nice grumblings in bed. But it makes AMAYW breakfast vegetables so awesome.
The single most annoying thing about training is the fact that almost every world culture (at least all the ones I've experienced) emphasizes a big evening meal as one of the key social bonding times of the day. You've really got to buck the trend to stay on diet.
But when you see your fat percentage tumbling it makes it all worth it.
Strong first half of Reboot. 14 workouts up, 14 workouts down. 100 food inputs up, 90ish down, the 10 screw-ups all snacks. Sleep is good, thanks to some unseasonably cold weather in Japan which has spared us from those sweltering nights of a usual August.
Last few days was tired and dogging it bad during the workouts. Fortunately Kenzai has taught me well in these matters and know this all points to my muscle tissue being in a big repair phase. I've been working out with muscle tissue that resembles the half built Death Star, it makes you feel weak but masks a FULLY OPERATIONAL system that's going to come online in 3-5 days.
Keep fighting the good fight Rebel scum!
Have been working from a hotel lounge this week. Around 5 pm they put out a small salad bar and coctails.
I guess they're thinking people have a small bite before going out for a night on the town.
But it was the perfect setup for me to fill out my evening vegetable grams. And for protein I used an egg white which I had palmed from that morning's breakfast spread of hard boiled eggs.
So this tiny salad bar worked for my entire dinner! Thanks hotel dudes!