Renfield Kuroda

Renfield Kuroda

Kenzai Member
Business Development
dramatic

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 restructuring...no 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 attend...as 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?


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!
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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...


That was Not The Plan

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.

So...it'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!


TMI

And no I will NOT provide a photo.
(For the meek at heart, stop reading now. Not you Sharm!)

I shaved my pubes.

With electric hair clippers.
They do a great job on my balding head.
They do a NOT GREAT job on my most sensitive nether regions.

Snagging, hair pulling.
Supple skin caught in the blades and bloodied.
Sensitive nerve endings given thoroughly unpleasant abuse.

And OMG the ITCHING as the shorn hair fights its way back to full fruition.

So, on the list of Things to Never Do Again, I have a new top priority!

WHY did I do this, you ask? Well, for starters I thought it would make me a faster swimmer...? Yeah that logic doesn't really hold, does it?
Also curious how much weight in hair I could lose (answer: not enough to be statistically significant)
And finally I was curious about the resulting aesthetic (tldr: nope.)


swimmingly

Back in the swim groove. Henry and staff continue to try and drown me but I ain't having none of it!
My first lesson back after a month off was brutal; huffing and puffing.
Last night though I felt surprisingly good! Did a quick warm up 100, then 8x25 kick drills, 16x25 arm drills, 2x100 on 3 minute cycles, 4x50 on 1m30s cycles, then 6x25 all-out sprints on 1 minute cycles, and cooled down with a 50 walk and a couple backstrokes.
Managed to not drown and actually felt OK on the 100s; not GOOD or anything but I could do two on 3 minute cycles and I'm not dead yet so I think it's working?
The goal is to be able to do 1000, aka 40 x25 without stopping...seems EVENTUALLY doable, but still bloody far away.
Meanwhile Fat Australian Dad in the pool just non-stop laps starting before my lesson, all the way through it, and still going when I'm done an hour later. I mean I get that he's buoyant and all, but damn that dude has SOME kind of fitness going on if he can just knock out, what 2k non-stop? With a HUGE gut?!
Life is no fair, kids.


So much for The Plan.
Monday I was back in the gym for the first time in forever. Did some overhead presses: Heavy! Failed at 3x5. Did some 20kg weighted chin-ups: Heavy! Failed at 3x5.
Failure is ok. Haven't done in a while, and got fatter and soft, so that was expected.

Tuesday was supposed to start swimming...but the pool was closed and actually starts Thursday.
So instead of swimming: EAT ALL THE FOODS.

Wednesday up at 5:30am to hit the gy-...nah screw this sleeping in for another hour. Woke up STILL full from dinner. Not a good sign.
So that was a wash.

Thursday: SWIMMING! Yes! Turned into a private lesson since no one else showed up and OMG I got wrecked. Amazing how at my advanced age I immediately slide backwards in ability and functionality when I skip activity for a month. Sigh.

Came home FAMISHED and killed all the awesome leftovers including a huge tupperware of grandpa's broccoli. Love me some of them mini green trees.

Friday up at 5:27am to hit the gy-....nah screw thi--NO GODDAMNIT GET UP.
GET.
UP.
(But...it's cold out there...and so warm and soft in here...)
GET.
UP.
(But)
GET.
MOTHER.
FUCKING.
UP.
AND.
OUT!

...

Fine. FINE. FINE! Geesh...don't have to be such a tool about it...

In the gym, benching more than body weight (77kg); managed 3x4 not 3x5 but still OK; haven't benched in forever.
20kg weighted chins missed 3x5 again but meh, it's heavy and I'm tired and at least I showed up!

Weighed in at 74kg -- higher than my last year finish of 71kg, but still the six-pack isn't completely obscured by the fat layers and I am up and at it again so we shall see.

Also my flagpole isn't too bad and will get better, so onwards and upwards!
2018: https://www.instagram.com/p/BsFOyF4I-cH/
2015: https://www.instagram.com/p/2K8pfZupv6/


man with a plan

"Everyone has a plan until they get hit" -- M. Tyson, philanthropist and thespian

So here is my plan: be fatter.
Seems simple, eh?
But I will fixate way less on the visible six-pack this year, and way MORE on the performance under the barbell.

I am focusing on moving iron because I really like it; it works for me, it is simple, I have the tools readily available, and it is time efficient.

So the plan is:
Mon and Fri: Overhead Press & Weighted Chin-ups or Bench Press & Weighted Chin-ups
Wed: Squats and Deadlifts
Tue & Thur: swimming lessons

Looking to get OHP up to bodyweight, bench to 1.25x bodyweight, and squats and deadlifts as high as they will go. Also once the weighted chins get up to like easy 3 sets of 5 with 20kg, maybe I will switch to something more fun like muscle ups. Also want to nail a big old flagpole for like 10 seconds, both sides.

Also want to eat more dark chocolate.

On the Torture Myself for Fun side, in March there is a GORUCK Tough and Light, and then in October there will be a Heavy (24 hours) that I will attempt, so swimming + lifting heavy + regular Saturday training with the team is the simple formula for the duration, throwing in whatever random new Kenzai programs we can come up with.

Up and after it folks!


All the bonenkai (year-end parties) and I ain't even guilty.
Had a strong year; feeling fit and looking good and haven't murdered any of my children (yet) so it's all winning.
Taking the rest of the year off to eat and get fat and go to Disneyland (OMG Y?!) and then start afresh in January.

The plan for 2019 is: lift heavy things and get THICC.
Specifically: Mon bench and weighted chin-ups, Wed squats and deadlifts, Fri overhead press and weighted chin-ups. Tue and Thu swimming lessons again.
Weekends are for training for events and goofing off and eating chocolate.
Diet will be FEED THE MUSCLES so protein powder and eggs and I am less concerned about the six-pack and more focused on pressing body weight overhead and drastically increasing my bench to say...100 kilos? Lol, we'll see.
Maybe through in a Run around spring-time because...I hate running?

Happy New Year!


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I AM THE SERENEST! 
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Like the Onion article "Monk Gloats Over Yoga Championship", I am now so Mind Enabled that I am capable of levitating my entire body with the power of my mind alone.
This mystical state of self levitation I have enabled via meta-cognating on the real state of my true self.
I have dropped all illusion and can Truly See Everything As It Is.

Also, I am really good at sitting on a pillow in the corner and silently wondering "when is the damn bell gonna ring...?"

If you want to achieve a similar state of Total Conscious Oneness With The Universe, I highly recommend Kenzai Mind!


"Meanwhile, the percentage who practice meditation increased from 4.1% in 2012 to 14.2% in 2017. An explosion of mindfulness and meditation startups—from Headspace to Calm to Aura—have been Wall Street and Silicon Valley sweethearts, pulling in round upon round of successful investments. The practice itself has been touted as a secret sauce by many high-profile celebrities, athletes, and business people."

https://qz.com/quartzy/1465459/meditation-is-the-fastest-growing-wellness-activity-in-the-us/


modern and ancient

Patrick made a good comment about flying and jet lag: "our modern transportation is so outside of what nature ever intended that we basically break our brains when we do it".
So, I broke my brain again.
Flight back from New York to Tokyo left JFK at 5pm on Saturday and landed at HND at 9pm Sunday. 13+ hours in the air.
Now, total FirstWorldProblems I know but I got the upgrade to First Class. Which DOES NOT SUCK. Huge seat / bed, pajamas, epic food and service...and yet I am still in a flying metal tube for more than half a day, flying across the international dateline and feeling generally wrecked.
Did not manage to get much "done" -- watched a weird period Chinese movie and another action-comedy Hong Kong flick, read a bunch of sci-fi on my kindle, ate too much caloric-laden comfort carbs, got a few hours sleep...

Then again it really made me think about what "doing" stuff means. First Class so the wifi is free, but that doesn't make it any slower. I updated a few photos on Instagram and hit the 100mb limit real quick. Then I switched to just checking emails and news via Reddit and Twitter, and again every time there was a photo or video it would slow to a crawl...but I get really into reading my book and reminded myself that my brain is way better at creating images from words than it is from distilling words from images. That is, I am better at (and prefer to) read something and imagine how it is than see something and try to figure out what is going on...
Maybe that is a sign of my age? I would rather READ the news than WATCH the news.

From a zen perspective, there isn't much difference between words and video. One is an attempt at describing something, and the recreation in my head will NEVER match the "actual" event itself. The other is a single perspective view; only seen from a given angle, at a given time, not capturing anything. So no better than words; a video isn't any closer to what "really" happened than a description is.
Then again even when I experience something "live" I am still interpreting it and judging it and classifying / naming it...I did just sit there, not exactly meditating, but totally zoned out, staring at the blank screen and listening to the hum of the airplane, and for a moment I was completely without judgement or anything, I was just THERE...and then the attendant saw me staring into space, unmoving, and immediately offered me a hot towel and some champagne. Back to reality...?


End of Week 2

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