Monday, May 31, 2010

Day 17: Feeling Strong after so Long

Hey all,

After the PCP finished in August, I kept right along with my exercise and diet until February 1st. On that day,I did a workout at Patrick's studio to support some new PCPers and then when I got home my body just cried out "Tired!". After that day, while I maintained a balanced diet and my weight, I just couldn't get myself outside to workout again. My body had had enough.

That's why it's nice to be on the KFB. I'm back in the rhythm again. I needed a kick start back into the world of exercise. Now, after a first week of grumbling, I'm back in the swing of things. I look forward to my jumprope, my push-ups, even my side crunches.

Let's hope the positive energy keeps flowing.

I should also mention I've been pretty tired lately. I get my 6-8 hours, but they don't seem to quite put me back to 100%. Also, I've got muscle pain in the upper-back of my legs from the leg swings. Boy, was I stiff this morning when I did those.

More tomorrow,


Sunday, May 30, 2010

Day 16: The Diet

Hey all,

Patrick has given us our custom diets for the PCP, and I find myself rather pleased as it is not so different from how I eat now.

While I have had some processed food here and there (no Doritoes though!) and carbs at night since the PCP, the majority of my meals follow the concept of eating like a prince in the morning, a king in the afternoon, and a pauper at night. With the exception of weekeneds and holidays, my work week dinners have been little more than yogurt and salads. I get home pretty late from work so a big dinner just won't do. I save my "dinner" for my morning meal.

One of the lessons of the PCP really stuck with me--the idea that food is energy. In the usual three meals a day attitude, we take in so much energy at our evening meal and them we don't use it--(e.g.we sit and watch TV). So, what does all that food become? Fat of course. I'm oversimplifying perhaps, but you get the idea. I've been able to successfully maintain my post PCP weight thanks to adhering to this truth.

I'm also quite pleased milk is so prominent on my diet this time around. I never gave it up after the PCP and it has become one of my not-so-guilty little pleasures.

More tomorrow,


Saturday, May 29, 2010

Day 15: The Sands of Time

Hey all,

I live in Japan, remember.

Last night, my wife and I went to see Prince or Persia: The Sands of Time. In the movie, a prince discovers a dagger which can rewind time. The movie is based on a video game which I played for ten minutes on the Playstation 2 and alot longer on the PC years ago. As it was a video game movie, I went in with low expectations, and I'm pleased to say I really enjoyed it. Having also seen the newest version of Clash of the Titans, I felt Prince of Persia was better from a character standpoint.

But, I digress. The main reason I bring this up is because after the movie my wife asked me the question that inevitably comes up after any time travel movie. "If you could go back in time and change something, what would it be?" Now, being a sci-fi fan and having seen Time travel movies before, I used to always have an answer to this question. But, for the first time, I didn't.

As sci-fi has shown us, if you change even one little thing in the past, you endanger the present as it exixts. And, for me that means endangering meeting my wife and having my son--the two most important moments in my life. And, of course, these moments woud not have happened if all the moments before them hadn't happened the way they did. So, for the first time in my life, I realize I would not change a thing. I suppose if I had to be picky, I'd go back over my son's life and double check that I didn't do anything to mess him up, but that's all. My life, I would leave be.

This conclusion has larger implications on my outlook on life than one might imagine because it means that everything I regret from my past or any grudges I'm still holding against people who hurt me in the past have been placed in a new perspective. Without them happening as they did, I would not be where I am now or who I am now.

Are there things I wish I could change? Yes, but not in the altering time sense of things. I've made my choices.

So, to all who have hurt me in the past, I forgive you. And, for all the stupid things I've done in my life, I forgive myself. For, without these things, terrible as they might be, I would not be what I am or have what I have now. This realization has taken alot of weight of my shoulders and made me feel wiser in the process.

Pretty deep effect for a video game movie to trigger, but there it is.

More tomorrow,


Friday, May 28, 2010

Day 14: Reading and Stretching

Hey all,

Today, I took Patrick's advice and read a book while doing my Wide Angle Forward Bend. It made the exercise alot more fun and the time fly by. I put the book at the length of my reach so as not to interfere with the stretch and instead help maintain it. The book was a big one by the way--an A4 size hard cover graphic novel. This way, I could see the words from far away.

More tomorrow,


Thursday, May 27, 2010

Day 13: Anytime, Anywhere and the D.D.T.

Hey all,

Once again I have to say, I really enjoy the fact I can spread my workout all over my day. I finshed everything in the morning today, but, again, it was not in order nor were the exercises all one after another. The sets were uninterupted, however. This approach to fitness has broadened my mind in terms of where exercise can take place and when. Also, it has relieved alot of the strees I was feeling in the first week of the program because i don't have to fit my whole workout into one time slot.

Yesterday, I went to Patrick's studio for a workout, and I found out how to do the down dog twist. People, if your having trouble, don't just leave your questions on the blog. Send your questions directly to Patrick. You get answers more quickly. I thought about posting a video I found that kind of illustrates how to do the down dog twist, but better to leave it to the man in charge as I don't wish to mislead anyone. Communicate with Patrick, people, communicate! I kniw because we've been through the PCP, we sometimes think we know everything, but there is always something more we can learn from the master.

Down Dog Twist. D.D.T. Heh. Remember this?

More tomorrow,


Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Day 12: Ultra Combos

Hey all,

Today I'll be heading over to Patrick's studio for a workout with another member of the KFB will be there as well. However, that combined with work will leave me with no time for the blog, so I thought I'd get this blog entry out of the way.

In his latest e-mail, Patrick talked about how doing something over and over again thousands of times will make you better at it. This made me think about my jump rope and how I use to be terrible when using it. Now, after jumpng rope every day for months back on the PCP, I've gone from poor to score. I can't do a bunch of tricks, but I can run while jumping which gives me a better cardio workout while jumping. I can also jump on one foot for a while and then switch to the other. These are things I'd thought I'd never do on jump rope day 1. It really is amazing how the body and mind will improve at something given the chance.

Patrick also offered us a video to illustrate his point. We'll I'd like to offer a video in reply. I'm sure if we all practice these moves often enough, we'll get great at them. Pick one, maybe get a friend to help, and get started today. And remember to make that cool wooshing sound before executing each move. Double click for Youtube and a better view. Enjoy!

More tomorrow,


Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Day 11: Organized Chaos

Hey all,

Today's workout is complete, but it was all over the place. Part was in the early morning while my son slept. Part was in the mid morning after breakfast, and the rest was done just after I took my son to meet his school bus. I went through the sets of each given exercise without interuption, but the time between exercises varied. Also, most of the workout was inside, while only two exercises were outside. Thus was definitely not one A to B workout like I always did on the PCP.

I tried to do the the Down Dog Twist, but no dice. Patrick will have to show me how to do that one when I go to his studio tomorrow.

On the upside, I've been standing close to a wall when I do my side leg swings. I only touch the wall when I lose my balance and need a quick reset. It was a real time saver and made me enjoy the exercise more.
More tomorrow,

Monday, May 24, 2010

Day 10: Chugging along

Hey all,

My diet is proceeding well. No carbs at night, and no processed foods save the white rice we have around my house. I'd get brown, but I'd be seriously rocking the boat with my Japanese family, so I let this one pass. To paraphrase Bruce Lee: Sometimes you have to go with the flow.

I split my workout today. I did my Flexibility and Strength outisde from 5:00 - 6:00 A.M. this morning, and did my Agility in my bedroom thirty minutes later while my son slept and my wife was working downstairs.

I will be breaking things up again in the future, but truth be told I prefer getting my workout done and not have it hang over my head for the rest of the day, even parts of it.

More tomorrow,


Day 9: I was wrong.

Hey all,

It's not impatience that working me over. It's simply time. I thought it was me (and it is still probably a little bit me), but the reality is my window for fitness is alot smaller. When I was on the PCP, my wife wasn't working so I could do the PCP while she looked after my son. However, with my wife back to work my old 6:00 - 7:30 A.M. workout window is shut tight. Now, I have to workout either in the morning before everyone gets up 4:30 - 6:00 A.M. or between 9:30 and 10:30 before I race off to work. This is not the complete picture, but you get the idea. Right now, with my balance being so poor, I loose alot of this time trying to get through the side leg swing sets. I had to give up my meditation today so I could have a shower and make my train to work.

However, I now believe all this will be a thing of the past because Patrick said today we can break up our workouts into different periods of the day. At least, that's how I interpreted the e-mail. So, now, I'm going to do my stretches and strength before I go to work, and saw my agility for my breaks at work or, if push comes to shove, the evening.

Monday and Tuesday are my tightest days. So they will require the most division of my workout. However, I should be able to keep it in a solid block on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. We'll see how it goes.

And now, a little hello to Jeremiah, E, Shelby, Pey, Heather, and Jessica. They are all members with me in the newly formed Group Tiger!

Let's support each other and the other groups the best we can. Good luck to us all.

Tiger Uppercut!

More tomorrow,


Saturday, May 22, 2010

Day 8: I'm Probably going to get in Trouble for This, but...

Hey all,

I did my flexibility exercises first and follwed them with my agility exercises. There, I said it. I know we are supposed to do the agility exercises second, and the flexibility third, but I found because my impatience builds to quite a peak at the end of my workout, I was not giving the stretches or the agility the attention they deserve.

Knowing my stretches were done well and out of the way first (even before jump rope), calmed me. I went into my agility exercise still with enough patience to give them focus. Finally, when I rolled into Strength, where I finally did my jump rope, I put all my impatience into it and busted through each set with intesity, but breaks only long enough to catch my breath.

And, just so you all know, I did my Meditation as the absolutely last exercise.

I thought about going into a huge justification speech for my choices today, but I'll just wait and see what Patrick says. He can set me straight if I need to be, but let me tell you, things went much smoother mentally today. I'm going to go into detail about the nature of my impatience in a future blog entry this week.

Also, today was my first taste of muscle failure. I could only get through two sets of Side Leg Swings, and I only managed one push up on the final set of ten.

Well Patrick, let me have it. Did I do good or bad?

Friday, May 21, 2010

Day 7: Thoughts on my First Week.

Hey all,

I've completed my first week on the KFB and right now it's coming across the same way a brussel sprout does to a five year old kid. I'm not very fond of it, but I eat it anyway because (my inner parent says) its good for me.

Is this the fault of the program? No way. Rather, I see it as a benifit of the program. During the PCP, I faced alot of bad habits and character flaws I formed over the years and helped me conquer them--well most of them--heh. But now, the Kung Fu body has exposed a whole new set of bad habits and flaws in my character and forced me to face them.

Currently, The Kung-fu body:

Tries my patience (revelas my impatience).

Makes me question its application to everyday life (I need more health wisdom).

Makes my feel snarky (exposes my immaturity).

Brings pain to muscles the PCP did not. (Shows physical weakness I didn't know I had and make me stare my posture problem right in the face).

I guarantee I'm going to whine an complain like that five year old I mentioned above for a while more, but I'm going to see this through because I know the person I will be at the end of the journey will be a far better one than I am now. Don't ever mistake my whining for resignation!

And now, for a complete non-sequitur. Today is Pac-Man's 30th birthday!

More tomorrow,


Thursday, May 20, 2010

Day 6: Got It Done, Fighter Legacy!

Hey all,

I woke up just after five this morning, so I decided to get outside and get to it. Again, I gave up my breaks and hustled towards each set. Now, before you judge me to harshly, this is something Patrick has had me do in the past when I'm working out at his studio, "Com'on. No breaks. Let's go." Intensity is your friend.

The side leg sweeps continue to be a challenge in terms of balance. The flexibility stretches vary in difficulty not only with type, but with which side I do them on. My left side is way more stretchy compared to my right. Anyone care to comment on that?

Now, since I got my workout out of the way early today, I have time for some fun. So, here, the best Street Fighter film incarnation. Too bad it's only three minutes but the interview below suggests a possibly bright cinematic future. Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you STREET FIGHTER: LEGACY and an interesting after interview.

Note: my blog is a little thin to house the videos in question, so double click on them to watch them on YouTube!

More tomorrow,


Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Day 5: A Better Day Then and a Better Day Now.

Hey all,

Day five was a better day. Still some impatience, but alot more positive energy flowing through me today. Day four was a pretty down day. It was a down day too when I started the PCP last year. I was in so much muscle pain on day four of the PCP, I thought I would never walk right again.

Maybe it is the fact I did all but my J-ropes indside today. Maybe it is because the workout went smooth without anything too techincal to be done. Maybe it is because I spent the last three days of this blog being snarky and finally got the bulk of it out of my system. And, maybe it is because, while I was cleaning today, I found a plush toy my son loves and has been missing for two weeks. I don't know. What I do know is I feel much better today. Okay, it's probably because I found the plush toy. Nothing quite like being a hero to your child to get the positive juices flowing.

One change today. I've decided to stop listening to music during the flexibility portion of the workout and just focus on breathing. I never listen to music during the Meditation (which was better today too), but I found I'm more patient if I just look inward and calm myself while trying to get the positions right on these stretching techniques.

Well, that's all I got.

More tomorrow,


Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Day 4: Questionable Stances, Dizzying Volcanoes, and Doing the Pigeon.

Hey all,

Today's workout was reasonable. I'm still getting used to the positions for each exercise, and it's time consuming. Fortunately, I didn't have to rush off to work today.

The Side Leg Swings still suffer from balance problems, and I tip over after three or four, but I get them done.

The Kung Fu stance left me with question marks over my head bacause I wasn't sure what the benefit was supposed to be. I copied the picture and felt some stretching in my legs. Hmmm, I probably didn't do it right.

The Volcano Stretch, a distant cousin to my arch nemisis the side crunch, made me dizzy. It was a battle to breathe and keep my breakfast down. I know this has to do with inner-ear elements and the fact my body isn't used to the stretching, but that knowledge doesn't change how I felt.

I think I got the Leveraged Twist right, but the Pigeon was a nightmare. I couldn't flatten out and match the picture. So, I ended up doing some twisted version of it.

It also reminded me of this which can't be a good thing:

I find the Meditation semi-relaxing because I have to fight to keep my back straight. I have poor posture you see. I'm supposed to focus on my mind, and I can for maybe the first two minutes, but the remaing three are spent focusing on my back.

Sorry for the negativity, but this program is going into dark places with me. However, they are places that need light,so this is a good thing. What is this blog for if not to vent? All these emotions are part of what I'm going through on this program, right? Most likely this is all just a case of the Week 1 Grumpies as I fit this new program into my life.

Patience, Sean, patience.

More tomorrow,


Day 3: Up with the Sun

Hey All,

I had a sandwhich that didn't agree with me yesterday for lunch, and I ended up with an unhappy stomach, so I went to bed without dinner last night for fear I might not keep anything down. However, the next morning I was up at four A.M. and ready to work out. My stomach wasn't 100%, but the rest of me was, so I got outside and got at it. It was relaxing exercising to the morning sun, if not so comfortable sitting on a jungle gym covered with the morning dew.

To speed things up, I gave up my breaks between sets. After I finished each set, I just waited until I caught my breath (about five seconds) and then started the next set. Now, don't mistake my haste for lack of intesity. I make sure every punch, kick, and stretch counts. I just forgo the breaks in between as much as possible. I'm hastin' not wastin'. I completed my workout in about fifty minutes today.

This 4:00 A. M. (or possibly 5:00 A.M.) rise will likely become the norm for Tuesdays from now on as I have gained an extra class at my school that robs me of my workout time between the time I take my son to meet his school bus and when I go to work. I could workout at night after work I suppose, but I hate that! I like my workout done and overwith before I start the bulk of my day.

Anyway, enough for one day.

More tomorrow,


Sunday, May 16, 2010

Day 2: Patience

Hey all,

I'm feeling good. Who doesn't feel good after a workout? But, I'm also feeling a little snarky.

When I joined the Kung Fu body, I knew it was going to improve my strength, my agility, and my flexibility, although I was not exactly sure in what ways. Of course, this ignorance is part of the fun. However, there are two other things I hope this project improves. My balance and my patience.

Today's first exercise, the side leg swing proved to be a challenge.

Is it something like this?

I lost my balance and had to set my foot down evey two or three swings. And, to be clear, I did the swings as snap kicks while trying to avoid letting my "kicking foot" touch the ground. I don't know if that's right, but that's how it looked to me in the picture. Here's hoping all this swinging straightens me out so I can stand on one foot without almost toppling over someday.

Finally, as I worked out, my time ticked away. I cut all breaks by half and it still took me over an hour to complete the workout. My impatience comes largely because, after the PCP, I cut all my workouts to about thirty minutes. And,of course, there are some other things I would like to do before I head off to work.

Look at him, he's taking bloody forever!

Sigh. I guess I'll just have to try to get up earlier or just be more patient and reprioritize. This program is only three months after all. But all the while, while I worked out today, I kept remembering a scene from the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie where Elizabeth Swan is walking the plank and looking down at the cold water below. Finally, after about two minutes, the first mate, Bo'sun (far left in pic), steps up, shouts "TOO LONG!", and hits the plank so Elizabeth drops into the ocean.
Don't worry. I'll get over it.
More tomorrow,

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Day 1: Let's Begin!

Care to join us in a little kung fu?
Hey all,
Welcome to my second blog and, thanks to Patrick Reynolds founder of the Peak Condition Project, my second journey down the path towards wellness: The Kung Fu Body.
If you would like to read my first blog where I battled tooth and nail in my ultimately successful journey from fat to fit, please go to the link below.
For those of you who wish to miss out on something really cool and entertaining by not bothering with the above link, here's the short version. Last year, I was overweight and suffering from breathing problems. Patrick's Encouragement combined with my own fear and desperation led me to join his Peak Condition Project. At the start of the program I was 98.5 kgs, hated exercise, and about as "in shape" as a fifty-two year old bean-bag chair. At the end of the program I reached 82.6 kg (I actually managed to get down to 79.0 kgs a week after the program was complete) with visible muscles and enough new energy to take on the world. My allergies and all my medications became things of the past as well.
Now, almost a year later, while the frequency of how often I exercise has reduced, my junk food intake has resumed a bit, and my muscles aren't as visible as they were at the end of the program, my biggest concern--my weight--sits at 81.6kg. Yes, still less than when I finished the PCP. And, I'm still faster and stronger than I ever was.
How about that?

So what does this mean for this, my next journey? Well, this will be the first time I've joined a health program where I'm already in pretty good shape. Great shape? No. But pretty good. It also means my motivations are both the same and different. Just as before my primary motivation is my wife and son and friends. Every day I work on this program will hopfully mean more time on this Earth with them. But now, and perhaps most interestingly, I'm doing this because, unlike my old self, I enjoy exercise, and I'm curious as to what changes the Kung FU Body with its Strength, Agility, and Flexibility components will bring to my body. Please understand, this is big for me. Last year, I hated exercising--the sweat, the pain, all of it--did I mention the pain?. If you looked up "lazy" or "Lame excuses not to exercse" in the dictionary, you would have found my picture. Now, I embrace the exercise for the most part (I still hate side crunches) like an old friend. This is especially my once greatest nemisis and now my greatest ally: my jumprope.

So, again, welcome to this blog, and let's get into the fun that was Day 1 of the Kung Fu Body.

I headed out to my park for the first KFB workout which consisted of swings, stances, stretches, punches, and kicks.

The Good...

The exercises were fun and inculded two exercises present in the first week of the PCP. While the list was long, the exercises were not hard. My biggest challenge was overcoming my poor balance while kicking and leg swinging, but that's part of what this program will improve.

Things that made me go hmmm....

I doubt I would have had the courage to do the punches and kicks outside in public if I hadn't already built my "exercise outside" confidence during the PCP.

The exercise list looked like a lot to do and it took an hour compared to the sparse list at the start of the PCP. My trust in Patrick and previous experience made this a small matter for me. However, if I was a newbie, I think I might have felt a bit overwhelmed. The newbie mind always makes things seem bigger and more problematic than they really are.

Well, that's it for Day 1.

See you tomorrow.