Ren Kuroda

Ren Kuroda

Kenzai Member
Business Development

Did me one of them Spartan races again. A Super so like 14k with 25ish (?) obstacles. Managed to clear 100% of the obstacles and ran MOST of the race. Some unpleasant uphills I walked, and I run slow.
Anyway a good time as always.


Marathon around the Yamanote Line that loops Tokyo. 9h35m. 22 people on the team. Carrying 30lb ruck (sometimes 40; we had an extra couple of dimes we shared).
As always: sucked.


Next week, so in preparation I have been:
* Skipping workouts
* Eating (low salt!) chips
* Staying up too late and not sleeping enough

But it's not all hopeless! Have also been:
* Enjoying the nice weather by biking to and from work alot
* Getting back in the pool
* Pushing my gimp daughter in her wheelchair all over tokyo, especially to and from karaoke
* Not killing my kids, particularly when they wake me up at 4am

Weight is stable at 73 kilos, which is ironically the same weight at which I started kenzai WAY back in the day. Got down to 63kg at my lowest and have been steadily bulking up.
Not sure but guessing probably 15% ish body fat these days, and at 167cm short my healthceck ALWAYS come back with OMG U R FAT DUDE FIX IT!
Doc, I pull 140kg deadlift raw (no belt, no straps, overhand hook grip) so I'm thinking I'm not so out of shape?
We'll see what happens next week.
Also have a few events coming up:
Yamathon tomorrow (after what will definitely be a BIG night tonight for a mates birthday! So probably do 42k around Tokyo with 30lbs in my backpack very VERY hungover and tired), next weekend I fly to Chicago for one day (22 hours flight round trip, 27 hours boots on the ground) for the release of My Secret Thailand Mission, then a few days in Singapore ("work") in mid June, short Spartan Sprint race in July, massive Spartan BEAST in September, and finally a GORUCK Heavy in October.
So it's a year of bodily physical abuse and stressing mental perseverance...


Just a hint of what I was up to:


So...I did this thing. It was crazy hard and fun and involved all kinds of fun craziness, and not a few injuries along the way...but I signed an NDA and can't say anything about it until May 25.

So that's that.

Also golden week staycation in Tokyo BORING AS SIXTH GRADE HEALTH CLASS.


So glamping with a kid in a wheelchair wasn't a total tragedy.
Protip: always go for the extra smores!

Also discovered that one of my twins has an incredibly unhealthy lack of fear of dogs; even when said dog is growling, barking, straining at his leash, and clearly not happy, my genius son approaches for a touch mumbling "Doggie! Doggie!"
Somehow managed to do a DadSave and keep his arm from getting bitten off, but he was just giggling up a storm pointing and shouting "DOGGIE! DOGGIE!"

My son's not so smart. Like father...

Drama 2: Electric Bugaloo

Daughter now sports a "real" cast made of quick-dry fiberglass -- more x-rays next Monday and cast for at least 2 more weeks.
Son is off at ski camp (without his sister obviously).
Twins survived a week off of nursery school with lots of help from grandpa.
Daughter got a new iPhone and she is perfectly happy to sit on the couch for hours on end watching silly vids and chatting with friends.
I deadlifted 135kg x5 and didn't die.
New job assignment next week as we are a Traditional Japanese Bank and must therefore flip-the-table every April 1 and reassign a bunch of people into new departments and roles. Wonder who my new boss will be...?
Will attempt glamping this weekend with the gimp and other kids -- rented a van and driver because there are six of us and a wheelchair, however coming home we will attempt taxis / trains because I am a glutton for punishment.

Also hit the Genius Bar to have a giant dust-bunny / hair-ball extracted from my cell phone charging port and now it charges like a champ once again!


Long time no post.
Much drama.
Huge re-org at work as my bank decides (finally?!) to take monstrous write-offs and get serious about a massive idea who I am even reporting to come April 1.

The GORUCK Tough-Light (endurance) event I had been training for I managed to not a I was preparing to leave for the start, kid knocked over a box holding several large metal poles (for a bike parking tent)...onto my head. Figured attempting an 18 hour endurance event with a possible concussion was a bad idea...

Then my daughter breaks her leg this weekend: spiral fracture of the tibia. Check my Instagram if you want to see some horrid x-rays.
So my workout has been carrying her 30kgs up and down the 3 flights of stairs to our non-elevator'd apartment, and between the toilet and couch and futon...
Rehab yesterday showed her how to use crutches, but she has the upper body strength of a 12 year old girl who lifts nothing heavier than her iPhone, so she is basically useless. And in pain.

Also one of the twins had his hernia surgery cancelled for the third time (always sick) and at this point the doctor was like "we're done, try another hospital" -- I don't even know how that works but like...aren't you the one who recommended the surgery in the first place AND the one who keeps cancelling? Like when is a two-year old NOT sick?

At least I have managed to keep swimming fairly regularly, and will hit the gym tomorrow to get in some much needed lifting-of-the-heavy-things...

And the weather is finally Springy! Everyone suffering from hayfever but mine doesn't actually kick in until the summer so I am good (for now.)

This weekend some (mellow-ish) events around Ingress Darsana Anomaly in Tokyo (if you don't know, don't bother googling as it won't help explain, and if you do know: "Resist! Tokyo Will Be Blue!") and then a potentially fun and exciting thing in April and who the hell knows what else is coming in this hurricane called life-with-too-many-kids?

Tweening already?

So...daughter is 12 and already channeling her inner teen. She will graduate from elementary school and start junior high April 1.

Her expectations:
* contact lenses
* new iPhone with cellular contract
* more allowance
* later bed-time
* her own "room" (aka space in the shared bedroom that is hers exclusively, as blocked off by a movable closet)

Mom's expectations:
* wake , get ready, out the door, and to school on time, every day
* do all homework
* wash, hang/dry, fold, and put in closet own laundry
* go to extra-curricular activities on time
* don't lie
* go to bed at a reasonable time
* be generally useful in the house, especially with your three brothers

Daughter's assessment: 90% compliance
Wife' assessment: 10% compliance

Closing this gap in understanding/performance is a challenge, and one in which I am utterly unwilling to participate.
Like the 3 other boys, I stand by the sidelines, head down eyes front.

I confronted daughter once (on wife's request) and explained to her (again) the Only Two Rules in our house:
1. Do your job.
2. Treat people the way you want to be treated.

The corollary to #1 is "you do your job, I do mine." In other words, if you cannot bother to do your laundry and go to school on time, I cannot bother to buy you an iPhone.
The implication of #2 is, you CAN choose to act like a bitch because you think everyone else treats you badly...or you can take ownership of your own attitude, and approach every conversation with tact, humility, decorum, and politeness. Even when they do not.

Luckily (for me) and sadly (for her), I have a crystal ball:
Daught was late to school this morning (stayed up late screwing around on her phone, didn't leave the house until 8:25 and was in no particular rush, and I know this because wife texted me as much.) and so, her dreams of a new iPhone means that I will buy a new iPhone 8s...and replace my current phone with it, since she sure as hell isn't getting it!

If having a teenage daughter means she is going to get WORSE, I need to start drinking more. ALOT. More.

ENOUGH already!

Non-flu twin gets ear infection...ok at least it's not the flu...? Actually flu is "better" -- be sick, take drugs, kill flu, be better.
Ear infection? Snotty nose and stuffy head and the drips into the throat, causes a cough, fever drags on for days...poor little guy. Poor mom. Poor me.
And then daughter has a tummy ache...stomach flu?! No, just a "cold" in her gut, whatever that is. I also kinda chalk it up to "being 12, about to graduate from elementary school in a few weeks, zero motivation".
Don't we ALL feel that way...

On the flip side: swam 2k.
50m (two 25m laps) x 40. Freestyle x4, kicks x 1, repeat 8x.
Did not actually think I could do it, but I did. AND dare I say; wasn't so bad? Managed to kinda find my rhythm somewhere deep into the back 1k, and got a nice long stroke going on with a good breathing pace and it felt pretty good! Win!

Oh right, yeah that is how I justify the fact that...for Grandma's birthday daughter and wife purchased a bunch of Cinnabons. Now, I only had a SMALL one, but still...

Training and nutrition fails across the board. Topped off with lovely Father Daughter dance on the weekend at which I observed Fish master his diet with appropriate self-control, whilst daughter and I assaulted the ice cream bar like it was the final ISIS stronghold in Afghanistan. BTW daughter (12) spent nearly the entire time on her phone...and proclaimed the dance a fantastic success and insisted we attend again next year...?

At least we had some brutal training on the weekend; all night-rucking followed immediately by early morning training. Event in 3 weeks, we are not ready. Will still be cold weather, too. Gonna suck so good...

Started this week better: Sunday night sushi bento dinner, warm bath and early to bed, Monday morning wake up to RunKeeper notifying me that Fish has just completed his zero-dark-thirty run, hit the gym for some modest success on overhead press and weighted chin-ups, 20 minutes of staring out the window as the sun rises, then a crisp bike ride to work and a healthy-ish brekkie at my desk consisting of: one chikin-kare-pan (steamed bun filled with what is supposedly Indian chicken curry), huge banana, egg-salad sandwich, protein shake, big old slab of chicken breast with herbs.
Got a spare banana and some eggs in reserve, ready for snacking, and a plan of ways to waste time in the office (mainly catching up on Kenzai blogs.)

BTW, weighed in at 74.2 kilos this morning, and not to brag or anything but given the photo evidence I am thinking we are not doing such a bad job of putting on muscle and keeping fat in check. So remember kids it isn't about the numbers on the scale! What's important is: how good do you look naked?
Gotta stay Kenzentivised!

well then

Solid past week of lifting and swimming and eating.
Three-day weekend of snow and activity: lots of playing with wooden trains and hanging laundry indoors, then walks out and about the neighborhood when the snow cleared but the air still freezing cold, shopping and video games in Shibuya...and now half my twins have type A flu.'s only a matter of time? Really hoping my flu shot holds the line...this last gasp of winter before spring is really sucking. Warmer is better thanks!

Hit the gym x3 and swimming x2, biking to work and back every day (granted it's a power-assisted rental city-bike but it beats the train!) including the cold cold rain last night (aka not fun).
Diet is...oh come on who am I kidding? I snacked on a banana. And some chocolate-covered raspberries.
I had a self-packed lunch of wife's famous salmon-stew and cucumber rice. And a side of nan with curry.
I ate some amazing fruit smoothies. And a bag of chocolate/nut/pretzels trailmix-y kinda thing.

The sugary and salty snacks are there. The carbs are high. The movement is great and the sleep is acceptable.
Weight yoyo's between 73 and 75, depending on timing of weighing vs eating/pooping/drinking water/exercising.

More importantly my photos look fine, I feel good, and I am slowly but surely getting a bit stronger:
Nailed 3 sets of 5 squats at 117.5kg and pulled two 135kg deadlifts. Still can't press bodyweight overhead more than a couple times, nor can I bench it consistently, and I cannot get 3x5 chinups with a 20kg weight but I am slowly creeping towards it; today hit 4,3,3 so will push for 5,3,3 or maybe 4,4,3 next week.
And in swimming we did endless sets of 50s (two 25m laps, up-and-back with a kick-flip off the far wall) whereas a few months ago I could barely string together several 25s without gasping. I mean I was properly gassed no doubt, but we did like over 1.5km of nothing but 50s in a hour. Not bad for a guy who started taking lessons all of 4 months ago!

Continues to be damn cold in Tokyo; the last winter push before spring starts poking around in a few weeks (I hope.) March, April, and May are busy with various events: traditional Big Org Charge at work on April 1, in which I will likely end up in a slightly different department / role, and then a bunch of events including a GORUCK tough/light, a major Ingress Anomaly, and a Spartan Super race...

weak week

A list of things that throw wrenches into the spanner-works of a perfect week:
1. Wife gets the flu

And that is pretty much all it takes.
Wife called in the evening when I was literally about the jump into the pool and start my swim lesson: "feel like death get home"
She was wrecked and I suspected the flu since it is making the rounds in Japan (5 people out from work last week, many kids at school, too.)
Demanded she go get tested the next day and sure enough the flu it was, Type A.
So I skipped some workouts and stuff to help take care of my four needy kids. Grandma made a weekend appearance which was quite helpful but still I ended up doing way more dadding than I am usually comfortable with (aka "any at all").
Took the twins for a couple of massive walks over the weekend, 12k and 15k, and managed to get back into the groove as well as kick off training with the team.
This weekend was brutal "buddy" training, so we did stuff like pair up and crank out a few hundred push-ups, squats, flutter-kicks, overhead presses, etc...good times. And tiring.

And then this weekend took The Big Two (kids that is) down to the local Aeon shopping mall (kinda like Target? Or Walmart but nowhere near as trashy?) to get new bikes.
We took the bus there, picked out two bikes, realized we could trade in the Old & Busted for the New Hotness, so we took the bus back home, got on our bikes and rode the 6ish klicks back to Aeon. Up and over The Big Hill.
Kids were whinging and whining the whole time. No pity for them.
Traded in the bikes, hit the arcade for a bit, and then headed back on our new rides.
Smooth and fast, but still the kids whinged and whined so half-way up the hill I just abandoned them by seeing what my sore and tired legs could do. Apparently, quite a bit.
Son managed to catch up with me a couple klicks away at a red light, huffing hard and bright red cheeks.
Daughter wasn't having any of it and took her sweet time, showing up about 10 minutes after we got home.

Both of them were tired and grumbling. Good; you are weak and slow and now you know it, so next time get off the couch and make the effort, lazy bones. Also they don't realize but now that we all have perfectly serviceable bikes and have proven our ability to ride for over an hour round-trip, we are basically never taking a motor vehicle again. Suckers!

End of Week 2





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