Archive | July 2012

My Drug: Fitness

Its been a little over a year since my ankle fracture.  As many of you know, it was nearly 6 months after the surgery until I could place my full weight on it.  By this time, and to no surprise, I gained a lot of weight and lost a lot of muscle, especially  in my right leg.

Although the timing was coincidental, by late December I felt that I was ready to start working out and eating healthier to get my weight back down.  I wanted to get back to 180 lbs., a weight I haven’t seen since pre-2008.

When I returned back to Seattle, I wanted to track my progress through pictures.

 

To make a long story short, over the next 6 months this was my plan:

This was my second time implementing the slow carb diet, and here it is:

  1. Avoid “white” carbs
  2. Eat the same few meals over and over again
  3. Don’t drink calories
  4. Take one day off per week

for more details, go here.

I wasn’t 100% true to the diet, but for the most part I did follow the rules.  However, I did work out constantly, almost 4-5 days a week for months!  Looking at weight is a bad metric to measure success, but since I can’t calculate % body fat it’s the only metric I can use aside from how I look and feel.  Today, I now weigh 184 lbs.

Although I lost a good amount of weight, I still feel limited because of my ankle.    Traditionally, my legs are the strongest part of my body.  However, I have a difficult time doing “explosive” workouts such as sprints, box jumps, etc.  Due to this, my cardio and leg strength/endurance isn’t where I’d like.

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MBA 510: Retreat, part 2

Friday, Day 1

Woke up to thunder and rain Friday morning, “Great, just great” I said to myself.  We’ve been having some decent weather the last few weeks and when I want it most, it goes back to grey, wet, and windy.  Either way, I was excited to go on this retreat.

At 12pm, I met up with 3 classmates to make the drive to Bastyr University in Kenmore.  Bastyr is an institution that specializes in science-based natural medicine, and was the first accredited naturopathic school in 1989.  The campus rests on 51 acres along the woodlands of Lake Washington.

Even before any of the activities started, I easily found a sense of calm and relaxation here.  After playing a few SAGs (Stupid Ass Games) to get us loose, we were allowed to move into our “dorms”.

I’m not sure about you, but this was the nicest dorm I’ve ever stayed in.  The dorms were also  green-built, LEED-registered and ADA-compliant.

Kitchen and Living Area

Bedroom

And just like dorming back in undergrad, I figured having a roommate would only make the experience better.  (Lars, sorry if my snoring kept you up!).

Trust Walk

Our first major activity was a trust walk. Half the group was blindfolded and the other half had to guide them through the forest.  Rules:  ZERO TALKING, but touching is allowed.

The trail was windy, had random inclines and declines, obstructions, and even a small river.  Being the first group to lead the blind, I decided to steer my person from behind by placing my hands on his shoulders and pointing him in the proper direction.  I NEVER lost contact with him.  When we came to inclines, declines, and obstructions I would stop him and slowly guide his feet to where it needed to be with hopes he would catch on.  When we approached logs that we needed to climb over, I placed his hand on the log to make him aware that he needed to lift his entire leg.

After 20-30 minutes of walking, it was my turn to be blind folded.  The person guiding me placed his arm around my shoulder and walked parallel with me.  I really liked this approach since I had high sense of reassurance that he was with me at all times and felt very secure if I were to fall or slip.  My guide utilized sounds by stomping on the ground when we came up to obstacles to alert me.  After we successful navigated each obstacle he patted my chest twice to tell me “good job.”

Reflection:  Although I thought my technique of “steering” was ok, it wasn’t the best.  Looking back, I was just pushing him rather than walking with him or even leading.  Sometimes I couldn’t even see around him (since he was taller and had very broad shoulders), and at time I missed rocks and stumps, but thankfully he was talking small nimble steps.

I feel the technique used on me when I was blindfold was ideal.  My guide was standing right next to me, arm around my shoulder.  Rather than being behind me and “trucking” me through it, it felt as if he wanted to be equal with me, trying to place himself as a mirror of me in a way.  Although I do not require positive reinforcement, it was nice to be told “good job” every time we managed to overcome something.  Lastly, the arm around my shoulder at all times gave me reassurance that he was with me every step of the way, literally.  It also gave him great support if I were to misstep.

The Number Game

We were divided into three groups.  Our objective was to have each team member step on a range of numbers, in an increasing order, that were placed in a circle 15-20  yards from us.

Teams looking out towards the field trying to see how many numbers there are.

Framework:  We were three divisions working for the same company.  Our goal was the get the lowest time to beat a “foreign” time.

Rules:  Run to the circle, one team member can be in the circle at a time, each team member must step on at least one number, and all numbers must be stepped on in increasing order.

What made this tricky is the numbers were in scattered randomly in the circle, there were missing numbers between 0-31, some were written as “31-5” (31 minus 5), and we could only see the numbers when we ran from the start line to the circle (so basically going in blind).

Team #1/Seattle around the circle counting what numbers are present and their location.

Our team’s strategy were to take two numbers each and position yourself so you can run through them in a straight line.  Person #1 would have the first two numbers, person #2 would have the next two, and so on.  By sheer luck, the rotation ended on me, meaning our time stopped once I sprinted back towards the start line.

Reflection:  Even though all the teams “worked” for the same company, we were very reluctant to work with each other.  We would win this challenge if any group’s time was lower than the “foreign” time, however, many felt as if we were competing against each other.  By physically separating us into groups, but not saying we can only talk to our groups, tends to force individuals to only converse to those in close proximity to them, or in this case, our group.

Deep Lounging

We were told after all of our activities, we’d have a period of “deep lounging” or aka drink, eat, and relax!  Rules were beer and wine only, apparently hards were allowed but someone/some people got out of control.

 

 

Prior to coming here, we were told that all meals were going to be vegan.  With that said, we had to two people bring their grill and a ton of meat!

Leadership Skills & Team Development Retreat, part 1

Summer school coupled with working near full-time has been quite an experience.  Thankfully, I have a short “break” this weekend.  For my MBA 510 class, we will be taking a 3 day/2night retreat to Kenmore, WA to participate in OEBT, Outdoor Experimental Based Training.

I am extremely excited for this retreat, it’s always nice to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city and “unplug” for a bit.  With that said, I will NOT be bringing my laptop with me.  I’ve been told that we’ll be staying in a brand new dorm, its been nearly 6 years since I’ve slept in a dorm!  But what I’m looking forward to the most is connecting with my classmates and interacting with them through physical and mental challenges over the weekend.

I plan on taking a lot of picture and then posting them up in part 2.  But  for now, I’ll leave you with what I’ll be taking

DIY: Wall Photo String

Sorry guys, I’ve been pretty busy with school and work lately (actually, right now too).  But, much like the start of this blog, I’ve been wanting to do this “do it yourself” project for my apartment.

What you Need:

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You can find the twine, clothespins, and push pins probably at any local drug store.  I was too lazy to walk and wanted to take advantage of my free 2nd day air shipping through Amazon Prime.

I didn’t really measure the length of the twine, just went with a length that looked good.  I suggest hanging a maximum of 4-5 photos.

ImageYou may have to adjust how much arch you want depending how many photos you clip on and how you space them.  Other than that, it’s pretty simple and cheap wall decor!

Review: Cherry Street Coffee House, Capitol Hill

My first review on my blog!

Since the completion of SU’s newest apartment style dorm, The Douglas, nearly all ground level store fronts have been vacant except for a yoga studio and a corner with a sign saying “Cherry Street Coffee House Coming Soon.”

Can there be too much coffee?  NO.  Starbucks, Stumptown, Cafe Vita…the more the merrier!

Cherry Street Coffee House has been gracing Seattle with its presence since 1997 with their Seattle University/Capitol Hill location being their 7th location.

Now onto the thing that matters most to me, THE COFFEE!  Usually when we walk into Starbucks or Stumptown, we are presented with a plethora of coffees from all over the world.  Dark, medium, light, and with flavor profiles so complex they would give wine a run for its money.  Sometimes too many choices can be paralyzing to a non-coffee “enthusiast”.

Going against what seems to be the normal business plan of a large selection of coffees, CSHS offers just a SINGLE blend of coffee with origins from “Central and South America, with a touch of Papa New Guinea for balance.”

What I really like about this place are the (near) floor to ceiling windows that allow for a lot of natural light.  On sunny days, it’s great…but that can be said about anywhere in Seattle when it’s sunny.

It seems like many Seattle food/drink establishments are utilizing this decor with wood.  As you can see, there is a lot of use of raw wood from counters, seats, walls, and tables.

Although this place is called a “coffee house”, it seems to be more of a simple breakfast/sandwich spot that happens to serve coffee.  See the menu:

Side note:  Due to the larger tables, this place would make a great study spot.  However, there are only three tables throughout that can accommodate power outlets.  Lastly, they close at 9pm, just a little too early for late night study sessions.

Check out my yelp review here

Independence Day 2012

Clear skies and warm weather, two ingredients for a fun filled 4th of July celebration.

My day started of at El Norte Lounge, located in Lake City, for a private family and friends BBQ.

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One the menu?  6 hour slow roasted pork butt was the main attraction.

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Edwardo, the owner of El Norte, pulled out all the stops for this occasion.  2 beers on tap, margaritas, hurricane, and watermelon soju were virtually of unlimited quantities.  Add that to a plethora of Mexican and Hawaiian food=one good BBQ!

After being comatose from all that food and sun, a few friends and I decided to fight the crowds and catch the fireworks show held at Lake Union/Gas Works Park.  We managed to find an opening just east of the show that overlooked I-5.

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Sidetrack thought:  What I absolutely love about summers in Seattle is that even at 10pm, there is still light out!  I feel so much more productive throughout the day if there’s sun.

Next is the first 10 minutes of a 25 minute show that cost $150,000!  Nothing like watching other people’s money burn, literally.

Mariners

I wish we had every Wednesday off.  With that being said, that opens my Tuesday night to go out.  My buddy called me and said he scored some free tickets to watch the Mariners play the Orioles tonight, I jumped it immediately.  Sadly, this is my FIRST game of the season that I’ll be attending, better late than never, right?

I had no idea were the seats were, I actually didn’t care., I was pretty happy to just go.  But to my surprise we were 15 rows above 3rd base dugout!  The view was awesome

at bat, Ichiro Suzuiki!

The Mariners made the game interesting by tying it up late, but then lost it to a single HR in the top of the 9th and were unable to recover in the bottom.  It’s ok, cause we had garlic fries 😀