Spartan Race

Did the Spartan race today.  It was a good 12k with plenty of obstacles in between.  There were tons of hills which means a lot of uphill climbs and a lot of downhill sprints.  Supposedly Hobie Call called this the hardest Super Spartan by far from all the ones he’s done in the past.

I don’t think I did particularly bad.  Kept a good pace throughout.  Only problem was on some of the walls we had to climb I ended up cramping one or both calves a couple of times which meant that I was on the ground in pain for a couple of minutes losing precious time.

Overall, I’d say that it was physically more demanding than tough mudder.  But tough mudder was more mentally challenging due mainly to the freezing water I experience in tough mudder.

I will also say that I am so much stronger now since the time I did tough mudder.  In tough mudder I had a bunch of troubles with monkey bars and climbing ropes but now it was a piece of cake.  Upper body strength is definitely coming along!

Next event is possibly Tough Mudder in socal in February.  Let’s see if I can find people to do that one with…

RIP Dr. H

So today I found out that one of my father figures from growing up, Dr. H, died.  When I heard about it I was shocked.  He was pretty old but I had always thought that I would see him atleast one more time.  In fact I’m planning on going to Austin this March and was planning on meeting up with him.  I guess that won’t happen anymore.

For those who don’t know him he was the choirmaster at St. Thomas Choir School, a school I was in from 5th to 8th grade.  But he was way more than just a choirmaster to me.  He was the perfect role model for us kids back then.  The most incredibly kind person you would have ever meet.  How he did it in a job as stressful as his was I would never know.  He made each of us kids feel special with a different nickname and song for each of us.  Besides this, he was a musical genius no doubt about it, but he is so humble you would never ever know it.  His humbleness and kindness is something I see myself still trying to emulate today.

One memory sticks out to me from those choir school days.  At one point the choir was going to this European tour later in the year and I needed to know whether I was going or not.  I had to ask because I was a weird case in that I was kind of in the choir and kind of not (it’s a long story).  So I asked him after one of our rehearsals and he said that unfortunately I would not be able to go.  I was like ok and went to my next class.  During my next class though Dr. H came up to our classroom and asked to talk to me.  And this was weird because Dr. H NEVER goes up to the classrooms.  There’s just no reason for him to.  Anyway, he talked to me personally one on one in the library about the situation and why I wouldn’t be able to go.  Then right there I suddenly felt the huge disappointment I was keeping inside from not being able to go on tour.  How Dr. H so this and took the unbelievable step of coming up to my classroom and talking to me about something he understood was important to me still moves me today.  Long story short, somehow, I don’t know if it was through Dr. H’s influence or not I was able to go on the tour in the end.

So today when I heard of his death I am just so so sad and devastated.  The fact that I never got to see him again one more time may be something I regret for a long long time.  I was able to friend him and his wife a few months ago and I did express to them how much they have influenced my life for the better.  Thank you Dr. H and rest in peace.

New Year’s Resolutions

Before I get to this year’s resolutions let’s go through last year’s resolutions and see how I did…

  • Be more sociable.  I did this okay.  I will say that I have definitely gotten a lot more comfortable being around people and in social situations.  B.
  • Meet new people.  Meh, I didn’t do this one very good.  Ok, maybe it wasn’t that bad but I think I would’ve liked to do much better.  B-.
  • Explore places.  I give myself a mediocre grade on this one.  I did explore amsterdam and also started exploring SF recently.  Otherwise, not else much.  B+.
  • Cook more.  Heh, okay so recently I’ve been doing this a little better since I started doing paleo.  But overall, C.
  • Work hard at NVIDIA.  So I changed teams and now I’m on a project where I feel like I’m doing much better and getting work done.  B.
  • Get in better shape.  Okay so this is one where I can confidently say I’ve improved on :).  A.

I guess overall that gives me GPA of 3.0.  Yuck!  But again new year’s resolutions are tricky since your goals change as you go through the year.  Let’s do this year’s resolutions…

  • Meet new people!  Yeah, I’m keeping this one as I think it’s very important.
  • Become more comfortable/confident with myself.  I feel like throughout the past year I’ve been slowly becoming more confident and independent with myself.  I’ve been trying to rid myself of my inhibitions and dumb “bullshitedness” and in the end just be myself for who I am.
  • Move to another country by the end of the year.  Yeah, I really really want to do this.  Hopefully I can make it happen.
  • Stop being so consumeristic.  I personally think we have a consumerism problem in this country.  But on a personal level I think in the end buying more shit in the end doesn’t make you anymore happy.  Actually, I feel like material possessions in the end can take over your life.  It’s not about money or possessions people…
  • Start learning new things again.  It’s easy after college and with a job to stop trying to learn new things.  I want to start reading a bunch and also take classes again.

Ok, that’s all I’ll write for now.  I can think of so much more but I think I’ll keep it to these five.  Gimme a year and we’ll see how I do 😛

Getting lost hiking

So took it easy today and went on a hike with the family on one of the nearby mountains in NJ. It was close to dark so about half way my family started going down. Me, being the overachiever, wanted to get to the top and said I would meet them up later.

So the climb to the top wasn’t bad.  On the way down though I got uber lost.  So the trails are marked with these yellow and red squares and at some point I realized I wasn’t following any.  Wooops.  It was actually kind of scary as the sun was going down and I had no clue where I was.  I tried brute forcing my way across unknown territory only to find that this was probably not the smartest idea.  It was getting really steep and I kept on falling on the rocks.  I actually started to panic a bit but then settled.  I figured best thing to do was to backtrack my way back until I found the marks again then go from there.  Fortunately I found it and got back safely :).

Things I learned from this mini adventure:

-Don’t panic!

-Don’t make rash decisions (trying to force my way through).

Yeah, pretty easy lessons but learning from experience showed exactly why they are important.

Goodbye 2011, Hello 2012

So the past year has been quite eventful. Another year of craziness: travelling to new places, trying out new things… I love making lists of things so here’s a list of most significant things to happen in my life this year just from the top of my head:

  • Visited India in January – Crazy ass trip I went with two friends for two weeks.  First time in my life I felt so on my own in a really distant and different land/culture.  Hope to go back some day.
  • Pittsburgh in February for the Steelers Super Bowl – First time back to CMU since graduating but the Steelers lost 🙁
  • Warrior Dash in April – First obstacle race I ran.  Looking back I was in terrible shape compared to now but I thought it was fun 🙂  Had an epic car ride back too which was hilarious.
  • Greek Festival with a hangover Raffy in June – hahaha, so funny.  poor raffy.  I don’t even remember why we drank so much the previous night.
  • Skydiving the 2nd time in June – Totally had a blast the second time.  Went with three other people and had a sick time.
  • Family visits CA in June – Ah the whole fambam together again.  This time us cousins can drive now so we go to great america.  Also Raffy is around.  DA BEST, FAMILY LANG!
  • Walking in the pride parade in June – Pretended to be a Facebook intern and I walked with them in the pride parade.  It was so exhilirating actually being all pumped and walking down a street with tons of people watching.
  • Amsterdam in June – What can I say?  “Do you want to have a sex with me?” and the longest morning of my life.  Sick sick trip.
  • DAS BOOT in July – hahaha, oh man.  Good times.
  • MLG in July – Koreans are way too good and I got to see Boxer!!!  3 days of nonstop starcraft.  Pretty awesome.
  • Monterey in July – Joel asking when we’re going back.  Gilleen getting red.  TONIGHT, TONIGHT…
  • Lollapalooza in August – One of the greatest weekends of my life in all seriousness.  In this trip I lost my phone, wallet, and camera but still it was one of the most epic times of my life.  I saw Coldplay and Eminem, got drenched in rain while jamming to skrillex, saw girls mud wrestling.  But without a doubt the Deadmau5 concert in the end tops of everything as the craziest night ever.  Won’t EVER forget that night.
  • Outside Lands in August – Lol, went to another music festival right after Lollapalooza.  Was super sick and saw so many good bands.
  • Yosemite backpacking in September – 3 day, 2 night trip in the amazing beautiful wilderness.  First time I slept under the stars.
  • Tough Mudder in September – First really tough obstacle race I did.  This one was a nice 12 miler.  The ice cold water though is what was worst about this course.  By the end of it I was so tired.  Had an epic trip though with two of my buddies.
  • Molesting Karl while drunk in bed in September – hahaha, was this in september?  not sure now but I had a good time bwahahaha 🙂
  • 80s Dance TV show in September – OMG how/why did we get interviewed?!  Super scary but looking back it was fun 🙂
  • Paleo in October – I started going Paleo around this time to get in better shape.  Little did I know that I would get so much more into it in a few months.
  • Occupy in October – I started going out to the Occupy rallies and support the 99%.  The craziest was when the SF camp was expecting to be raided by police.  I went down there at 1am and stayed till around 5am.
  • MovNat workshop in December – A really cool course on natural movement of the body.  I still take a lot from that day where we learned things on balancing, climbing, and running.
  • East Coast trip in December – Well this is where I currently am and it’s been a sick trip so far.  I’ve met up with a bunch of old friends I haven’t seen in years and also got to spend a lot of time with some of the coolest people I know, my family.

So yeah, looking back over the year I’d say it’s been a fairly good year.  Did I forget anything?!  Here’s to hoping that next year will be even better!

Times Square on NYE

So for new year’s eve my fam went to times square.  I’ve lived nearby NYC for pretty much my whole life and never yet went to the Times Square party and have only viewed the festivities through video.  So I was kind of psyched to go for the first time.

It turned out to be ridiculously crowded.  We got there at 3pm, a full 9 hours before midnight and we still got stuck at the super back.  And then there was the whole standing around for 9 hours.  The music was okayish.  Surprisingly enough I liked Justien Bieber the best as he did the Beatle’s song Let It Be.  Lady Gaga was there too but I wasn’t too impressed by her.  She did kind of lameish songs.

Somehow though I got through the 9 hours.  I don’t even remember what I did the whole time.  I kind of zoned out and watched the entertainment and thought about lots of things.  In the end, it was pretty cool to be with the crowd during the countdown.  Twas a cool experience but I don’t think I’d want to do it again.