Friday, December 17, 2010


I haven't written about my workouts in quite a while, but I must say that they have been going well. For the most part I'm pleased with the progress that I have made. I mean, there's no doubt that I've still got a long way to go, but still, I'm sticking to the program and trying my best.

One of the things that has really helped me stay motivated has been surrounding myself with positive people who either have the same goals as I do or at least have a good idea of what I'm going through/will have to go through to achieve the goals I want to achieve. Some of the people that inspire me are not at my gym, or even in the same country, but yet, their stories of success and their positive attitudes have inspired me. There are a few people that have particularly made an impact on my life:

I think it all started with D. D may have started as my RPM trainer, but somehow he evolved into something more than that. He was around at a point of time in my life when I needed motivation the most, and he provided it before I even realized what I needed. He believed in me more than I believed in myself and was always positive, always encouraging. To this day, he always greets me with a smile and encourages me to do my best. He shows me that he's proud of what I've achieved and continues to believe in me. I can't even express how much that means to me.

KD is someone else that has been amazing. She's such a strong, positive, and cheerful woman. I admire her strength and stamina. As a trainer, I find her to be inspirational and always full of encouragement. Its her well-balanced attitude towards exercise that particularly moves me. She works hard and pushes you to work hard. At the same time, I believe that she promotes having a healthy balance in life. She loves teaching her fitness classes and it shows. You can't help but to smile (at least on the inside) with the sweat dripping off your body as you give your all into a street brawl move (my personal favorite), and you can't help but feel a sense of accomplishment as you perform kick after kick and punch after punch - exhausted to the bone ... and I know it's because she genuinely believes in each one of her students and gives her all to the class. She's made a massive difference in my life.

Although this person is not a trainer, I have to say that JH also played a huge part in inspiring me to work hard. I've seen him work hard. He really puts his all into whatever he does - whether it's running, lifting weights, swimming, or sweating it out in RPM class. Seeing him so dedicated and motivated has inspired me beyond belief. I mean, when you look at trainers, you know you're dealing with someone who has professionally trained and worked towards being where they are now ... it's very different from seeing someone who is actually in the process of doing the work of getting healthy and fit. Seeing JH work hard has truly been inspirational.

One more person that has really made a difference to my drive and focus in trying to get healthy has been KO. She lives in NYC and recently started doing triathalons. Before she attemped her first triathalon, she didn't even know how to swim -- but she deicded to learn, then went on to train, and finally started competing. I think one of the most inspiring and wonderful things about KO is the constant smile she has on her face as she's biking and running (and I'm assuming even while she's swimming!!). She makes it look enjoyable (and easy!). It's that confidence and enjoyment that I find to be a great motivation.

I think these four people have really made an impact in my life. There are, of course, others who have played a role. JR has been encouraging me and giving me advice for years. MC has also been a new addition to my life - I find her strength to be amazing. S, A, and H are other members of the gym who have been encouraging and supportive of my efforts.

They've all truly made a difference in my life.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

That time of year

It's that time of the semester again - y'know, that time when the students stop turning up to class, or the ones that do turn up to class end up tapping their fingers impatiently and keep staring at the clock - just itching to get out of there.

Part of me doesn't blame them. I know that they've got other subjects to worry about and things they find more important than English class ... plus the material this semester is just not that engaging, and there's only so much that I can do to make to 'exciting.' Still, it always frustrates me when I come in to a class of just 8 students (when there should be 25) and realize that they are not at all interested in being there. I know it's not personal, but that doesn't make it any less disheartening.

I wouldn't mind as much if I believed that the students were indeed prepared for their final tasks of the semester, but the truth is, the ones who seem to need the most help/guidance are the ones who don't seem to show up to class. Are they frustrated? Are they afraid of failing? Do they feel shy about admitting their struggle to do well? I don't know what it is, but I have found - semester after semester - that there are just some students who are difficult to reach.

Oh well, there are only a few weeks left. Winter break will be here soon.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010


What is it about people who share their personal health information? I'm not talking about 'simple' health information like 'I've got a headache' or 'I haven't been feeling well for the past few days' or 'I've got a terrible stomach ache.'


I'm talking about a no-holds-barred account of the most intimate (gross) details about their health condition.

I don't get it. It's not like the person is my best friend who might give me a more detailed account about how s/he is feeling. No. It's usually somebody I know from a distance - a colleage at work, someone who goes to my gym, or a person who I haven't seen in a few months (even years)! Do these people not have a self-censor? Do they not realize that 1) the information they are sharing is very personal or 2) the information they are sharing is unbelievably gross and sickening?! Did they even think for a moment that this is something that I (or anyone) would not want to hear? How is that a boundary that becomes blurred?

Numerous examples of these encounters are going through my mind, but they're so disturbing that I can't bring myself to write them out explicitly. So I'll just leave you to wonder ...