Monday, May 30, 2011

Workout: May 30 - Jun 5


@ CrossFit Markham
1 Rep Max Deadlift
(Worked up to my 1 RM: 315 lbs)

- Then -

15 min AMRAP
13 Ring Dips
15 KB Swings 55 lbs
18 Clapping Push-ups
21 Butterfly Sit-ups
(2 rounds + 10 Situps)

@ CrossFit Markham
4 Rounds for Time
10 Wall Balls (20 lbs)
15 SDHP (95 lbs)
20 Box Jumps
25 Burpees (Chest to ground)
(Time, 24:23)

@ CrossFit Markham
2-2-2-2-2 Deadlifts 90% 1 RM
(Used 225lbs)

- Then -

4 Rounds
Clean 135 lbs for 1 min (did 135lbs at the beginning of each set, then used 95lbs)
Sledgehammer right side for 1 min
Sledgehammer left side for 1 min
200 m sprint for 1 min
Rest 1 min between rounds
(Feeling: Awesome)

Then for kicks ... washed windows =)
WOD: 21 Windows for Time! LOL

@ CrossFit Markham
5-5-5-5-5 Push Jerk
(95 lbs first three sets, 115lbs last two sets)

- Then -

20 min AMRAP
15 Ball Slams (20 lbs)
10 Pull ups
400 m run
(Did 4 rounds in 15:30)


@ CrossFit Markham
Deadlifts 80% 1RM
(Set 1: 185 lbs, Set 2: 205 lbs, Set 3: 225 lbs)

- Then -

1 Round for Time:
1 km Run (4:07)
30 Handstand Push ups (only did partial push-ups)
1 km Row (3:39)
(Total time: 11:45)

Being Broken by Love and Discovering True Strength

This song has been on (manual) repeat for the past week. My life journey has its ups and downs. The song, Love Break Me, makes a huge impression on me.

I protect my heart with these walls so that I do not get hurt. Instead of strengthening my heart to face my giants, I have guarded it to the point I have been very desensitized. It would be fair to say that I stopped feeling pain.

No pain does not mean no injury. Sometimes there are things that hurt so much that apathy seems to be the best cure. While I am not a doctor (maybe one day), I know that apathy is at best a drug. Being strong does not mean building strong walls, but building a strong heart.

This past week these walls have started crumbling down. My walls built by my pride and hurt have fallen. I have begun to feel again. My emotions have returned.

A man in touch with his emotions. While I feel men should not be given over to their emotion, they should be connected with their emotions. Emotions are powerful and manifest themselves in mysterious ways - in love, in anger, in tenderness, in jealousy, to name a few.

A man capable of ruling over his emotions. Thinking of my own past, I admire such men (and women). I find these people to be truly strong. The book of Proverbs has a verse that I find describes this kind of strength I seek:
"Better a patient person than a warrior, one with self-control than one who takes a city." Proverbs 16:32 (NIV)
What does true strength mean to you?

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Learning to Love

My capacity to love needs to expand.

Love is patient and kind - the opening sentence to the famous definition of love found in the Bible (1 Corinthians 13). In learning to love, often I cannot get past this phrase, since I have a hard enough time being patient and kind.

Love. Protects. Trusts. Selfless. Not easily angered.

What does love have to do with 4-dimensional fitness? Everything. Love is the foundation for true strength. One who loves truly is strong in body, mind, heart, and spirit.

Love takes incredible strength and is not for the fainthearted. It involves self-sacrifice. Love costs. At times, love is a natural outpouring of the heart. Most other times, love is utterly unnatural and seems to require divine intervention.

How do I acquire this love? I am still discovering. As the Bible says, there is no greater love than laying down your own life. Jesus Christ laid down His life. In response, I too need to lay down my life (and whatever defines my life). To stop taking hold of earthly glories and grasp onto the cross. My current journey is in learning to take the abstraction (taking hold of the cross) and live it out in my current reality.

What are your experiences with love? I would love to hear your stories!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Workout: May 23-29, 2011


@ CrossFit Markham
1 Rep Max (1-1-1-1-1)
Back Squat (215lbs for first 2 sets, 185lbs for last 3)
Shoulder Press (115 lbs)

- Then -

20 min AMRAP
5 Chest to Bar
10 Wall ball shots (20 lbs, 10 ft target)
15 Kettle bell swings (55 lbs)
(Rounds: 8 rounds + 3 Chest to Bar)

@ Hart House (U of T)
10x10 Deadlifts 135lbs

@ CrossFit Markham
3-3-3-3-3-3 Push Press 85% 1RM
(Used 115 lbs)


1 Round for Time:
50 Pull-Ups
100 KB Swings (Used 55lbs - Rx)
100 Double Unders
50 Overhead Squats (Used 65lbs, Rx: 95lbs)
(Time: 24:15)

Rest / Recovery


Rest / Recovery

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Learning from Paul's letter to the Romans

Recently, I have been taking more time to read the Bible. I came across the Book of Romans and developed a new intrigue. Instead of just seeing it as a book, I saw the Romans. A great ancient civilization. I thought back to my marathon in Rome and of Italy. I opened the book with a renewed interest.

Today I read from the second chapter of this book. There were two things that made an impression on me:

1. Winning Hearts

The end of verse 4 reads "God's kindness is intended to lead you to repentance". That blows my mind! He wants us to repent - to turn from our sins and turn to Him. And instead of ordering us or forcing us against our own volition, he woos us. Some may take His kindness for granted, but others receive this kindness in gratitude and change.

Applying this to my own life, I think about the many times I want things a certain way ... in particular with people. For now, I have found the most effective way to change someone is to inspire them to change and not coerce them to do this (I make an exception for the dragonboat team I coach :P). In winning arguments, many of us lose the person in the process. Winning the person's heart is arguably more important than winning an argument.

2. Glory, Honor, and Immortality!

I think verse 7 is just epic. "To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life." My blood (metaphorically) boils when I hear these words: glory, honor, and immortality.

If you take a running race as an analogy, "glory, honor, and immortality" is a pretty epic finish line! And "eternal life" is a pretty sweet medal! Pursuing glory, honor, and immortality for an entire lifetime takes persistence - like any endurance event.

Whatever the goal is, the key to finishing well is staying power. And to remain committed to a cause with your whole being for a lifetime. Living with excellence and "being the best you can be", as my friend James commented in a previous post.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

What is your passion?

What is the secret to passion?

John Maxwell offers the following answer:
  1. I am gifted at what I do
  2. What I do makes a difference
  3. When I do what I was made to do, I feel most alive
What is your passion? For me, this is something I am still discovering my God-given passions. Presently, the following are what comes to mind:
  • Medicine: this is an unexplainable longing, likely from upbringing. I get excited hearing about medicine or when I come across medical texts ... whether I am passionate enough to sit down and study for hours is not yet known
  • Kids: smile-inducing. I had so much fun volunteering at Sick Kids last year.
  • Coaching: helping others realize their full potential. I have the opportunity to work as an assistant coach for the Iron Dragons and I absolutely love it! The team is fun :) And I enjoy helping others develop as better athletes and individuals
  • Relationships: working towards redeeming relationships - ultimately between us and God, but also, interpersonal relationships as a whole. I am fascinated about human relationships and feel that we humans are wired for relationships.
  • Running & Coffee: enjoying life and pure pleasure! Life at its finest!
  • Transportation: complex and intricate system, challenging problems that have a direct impact on the welfare of society, with the potential to improve a community's quality of life, health, and connectiveness
  • Total Fitness: Of course, hence this blog. I am passionate about being fit as a whole person and not just in one area of your life. I enjoy pushing my body to its limits. Expanding my heart as I learn to love others. Enriching my mind through research and reading. And nourishing my soul through my faith in Jesus Christ.
What are you passionate about? I would love to hear about your stories!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Workout: May 16-22


@ CrossFit Markham
3 sets of 10 Pistol Squats on each leg


20 min AMRAP

10 Toes to bar
10 lateral Plyo jumps 12"
10 Clapping Push-ups
10 Strict Chin Ups
10 Front to Back Plyo jumps 12"
(Score: 3 Rounds + 8 Toes to bar)

@ CrossFit Markham
2x10 Push Press 85% 1RM (Used 105lbs)


5 Rounds for Time of:
10 Wall balls 20lbs
15 Kettlebell swings 55lbs
20 Box jumps
(Time: 12:47)

@ CrossFit Markham
2x10 Box squat 85% 1RM (Used 135lbs)


4 Rounds for Time:
100 double unders
50 sit ups
(Completed 3 rounds + 1 skip :P)


Workout: May 9-15, 2011


@ Toronto for the Toronto GoodLife Marathon
4:30 pace rabbit for the Toronto Marathon (42.2 km)
21km, 2:16:26
42.2km, 4:32:40
Satisfactory performance, with even splits and 1 quick washroom break at the half marathon point

@ Downtown Toronto
Light run, Friendship Run with the Running Room

@ CrossFit Markham
1-1-1-1-1 Max Shoulder Press
1-1-1-1-1 Max Back Squat


10 min AMRAP
20 Pull ups
400m run
(Score: 3 rounds)

@ CrossFit Markham
25 min AMRAP
30 Box jumps
30 Push ups
30 Kettlebell swings 35 lbs (Rx: 55 lbs)
@ Downtown Toronto (Iron Dragons)
4 sets
8 reps bench press 135 lbs
Push ups to failure


@ CrossFit Markham
6 sets, 2 reps
Back squats 85% of 1RM


5 Rounds for Time of:
5 Overhead Squat 95lbs, last set was 65 lbs (Rx: 135lbs)
10 Toes to bar
15 reps dumbbell Hang squat clean 35 lbs (Rx: 40lbs)
20 double unders

@ CrossFit Markham
Push Press


3 Rounds For Time
15 Deadlift 225lbs (Rx: 255lbs)
20 Pullovers 35lbs
400m run
@ Downtown Toronto (Iron Dragons)
~17 km run (5 + 4.5 + 8)


@ CrossFit Markham
Back Squat @ 75% 1RM


21-15-9 reps for time of:
24" box jumps
75 pound Power snatch
Chest-to-bar Pull-ups

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Pumped for the Toronto GoodLife Marathon!

I am as ready as I'll be for the Toronto GoodLife Marathon tomorrow. As you can tell, I have everything laid out. My bib is pinned to my shirt, I have gels pinned to my fuel belt, PowerBar Gel Blasts pinned beneath them, E-load in the pocket, my 4:30 pace bands and my pace bunny shirt, ...

As I was preparing my things, it suddenly dawned on me: the marathon is tomorrow! As fun as this is, I wish my family was doing this with me. Getting ready with me and getting pumped too! I remember Rome and the camaraderie there with Team in Training. And in Niagara Falls and Mississauga with my family. I know for sure I'll feel the community and excitement when I'm there. However, this feeling tells me just how much more I enjoy these adventures when there are people to share it with. While my family won't be there at the race tomorrow, I have other friends running the race too.

I'm a bit worried about the injuries I have going in, especially since I'm a pace bunny. I worked out a bit too much this week ... got carried away :p However, I recall my flight to Rome and how many runners were injured. We can do little to change things now ... we just got to run our race and run it to our best. And as for me, I will run my best and will draw from the energy of the other runners running the 4:30 pace.

My goal tomorrow is to finish the marathon in 4:30 (not slower, not faster), holding a smile the entire way =) ... and if not a visible smile, at least a positive attitude :D

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Lecrae - Take Me As I Am

Recently, I have been busy with my academic commitments and have not had much time to blog. As a brief fitness update:
  • I started going to a CrossFit gym near my place and it is a lot of fun!
  • I will be the 4:30 pace bunny for the Toronto GoodLife Marathon NEXT WEEK!
As the title suggests, I really like the song "Take Me As I Am" by Lecrae. I have listened to it so many times now that I wanted to share this song with whoever is reading this. The song talks about how Jesus takes us as we are, no matter what we have done. This song spoke to me and I hope it will encourage you too!