Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Transportation is cool :)

I went to school for transportation and currently work in the field. If you're thinking about pursuing a career in transportation, or want to know more about the field, here's a cool video I found that shows why I enjoy working in transportation.

Food for thought

I seem to make the same mistakes again and again, especially when it comes to food.

Breakfast this morning was 3 eggs and some fruit. So far so good.

I got into work, downed a coffee and bought a banana muffin. I didn't really need the muffin, but enjoyed it anyways (a little oily though).

I had little to eat after and lots to do. I find I'm more productive in a semi-fasted state. Then .... lunch came. I ate my lunch I brought from home. So far so good. Then a couple hours later I bought lunch from the caf: stuffed turkey breast, potatoes, vegetables, bread pudding, and pop.

Two big mistakes:
- The second lunch: I definitely didn't need the extra calories.
- The processed sugar (bread pudding and pop): Big sugar spike = huge drop in mental clarity.

Small goals:
- Eat less, and skip meals / low-cal snacking--especially when I'm just sitting at the desk all day
- Avoid processed food: let's start with the pop, juice, and desserts (noooo!)

Monday, July 30, 2012

Not Afraid

Reflections on Research
Last .... last week, I took part in a research conference. It reminded me of how much I enjoyed academia; and gave me a refreshing perspective on the challenges of modelling travel behaviour. I had the week "off", which meant that I bounced between work and the conference, enjoying the best of both worlds. The only downside is the lack of sleep leading to my trip to Montreal that weekend, with the dragonboat team.

Dragonboat @ Montreal

Montreal was a lot of fun! Smoked meat, camraderie, the excitement of dragonboating, and good laughs. And I had a chance to experience some of Montreal's exciting night life. I even entertained the thought of moving there. Even scarier, I even thought about paddling in the upcoming year. I know, crazy, eh?

Battling Bronchitis
The past week I've been fighting a cough. It would hinder my running, and any other physical activity. I thought I just had a bad cough, so I got some cold/flu meds and got plenty of sleep. A week later, the cough persisted. I later learned that I should stop taking the cold/flu meds after 3-5 days if the cough doesn't stop, because chances are, I have a bacterial infection. Turns out I have bronchitis and got amoxicillin, a semi-synthetic antibiotic. Good thing I went to the doctor. If I kept taking the cold/flu meds, there would be a chance of developing pneumonia. Sometimes, coughs shouldn't be suppressed, especially if it's productive (i.e. getting rid of bad stuff).

WOD - Not Afraid
The idea of being "not afraid" permeates every part of my life. I am often afraid to try, to speak up, to give my best, being afraid to fail. I need to be not afraid to go there

Hang clean & split jerk
135 lbs x 2 (5 sets)
165 lbs x 2 (failed first attempt, completed last set of 2)

185 lbs x 5
225 lbs x 5 (3 sets)
-- 225 lbs was a "need to go there" weight for me. I didn't want to squat 225 lbs, but I knew I had to. Squats I never fun before, but feel so good after. 

Random Fun :)
- Handstands
- Kipping pull-ups (max reps: 17 ... goal was 20 by the end of March 2012 ... just a little behind)

Monday, July 16, 2012

WOD 2012.07.16

Sunday Reflections

This past Sunday, our pastor preached from Psalm 119:121-128. Here are a few things that stood out to me:

1. The weight of God's promises--you can take it to the bank
2. His mercies are new every morning
3. You know how well you are doing as a servant when you are treated like one--boom
4. We need to love His Word, and hate sin--the reverse seems easier


I gave a presentation today at a conference in Toronto. While the presentation generally went well, I know I definitely need to work on public speaking--Toastmasters?


I wasn't able to complete the entire workout, and ended up doing some random stuff. As I was hanging in the gym, it suddenly hit me that I have an attitude problem--yes, took long enough, I know. This arrogance. Sense of entitlement. Quick temper. Things that irritate me when I see in others. Painfully obvious in my life. I need to replace these with humility, patience, and perseverance.

4 x 3 Hang Squat Snatch @ 105 lbs (and some lighter working sets, and some failed sets)

"(power) Elizabeth"
Power cleans @ 135 lbs
Ring dips

I wasn't planning on doing this, but I saw Chris do this in around 3 mins. So I figured I'd give it a try. 20+ mins later .... yea. Weak, I know. But now I'm less weak.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Your Great Name

This song speaks of the greatness of God's name, and how His name alone has great power. As I was listening to this song on my way to work, I thought about why I still do the things I should stop, and why I don't do the things I should do. Just thinking about the greatness of God's name seemed to bring clarity to all this ... even if just for a temporary moment in time.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Spartan Beast Ottawa

Adventure in Lac Ste-Marie

How did you celebrate the Canada Day long weekend? My brothers and I decided to go skiing at Mont Ste-Marie ... without skis. More precisely, we spent our Saturday climbing up and down ski hills as part of the Spartan Beast Ottawa, which was in Lac Ste-Marie, about an hour north of Ottawa.

Pre-Race Excitement
As we finished checking in, we arrived on the patio of the chalet and were greeted by epic music, among them being the song by Vangelis, "1492: Conquest of Paradise", which we thought was super epic because of this clip.

We were just minutes from the start, excited and nervous about this run. While the race was advertised as a 20 km course, the announcer surprised us by informing us the course was at least 25 km.

My brothers look ahead, undaunted by the hill. Little did we know that we would climb all the way to the top ... and back down ... 6 times. And the top wasn't even in sight. Nevertheless, we were energetic and excited.

The First Hill
We finally made our way to the very top. We heard we'd have to do this "only" 3 times from one of the participants. However, this is us, about to head down, and just finding out that we'd have to do this 5 more times. Oh ... and you can't see the bottom of the hill in this photo--that's just partway down.

Before heading down, we had our photo taken by a fellow Spartan.

Fellow Spartans
After our 2nd ... or 3rd hill (we started to lose count), we found ourselves in a seemingly endless trail. We came across a 7-time Spartan finisher. We would end up pushing each other for much of the race.

Last Hill
This last hill definitely came as a surprise to us. When we found out we had to climb this last hill, we were shocked. We thought we finished all the big hills (according to a medic on the course). At least it wouldn't be as bad as the beginning, we were told. Well, here we are, gazing at the breathtaking scenery, with our breaths taken away by the grueling climb. Even though we thought we would be at the top, we soon discovered this was only halfway. Sometimes, looking back on how far you've come helps you press forward to finish what you've started.

Post-Race Dinner
The race took us a little over 8 hours. We were among the last finishers, but we finished! The volunteers were packing up, and the sun was setting. We had little interest in post-race photos and celebrations. We wanted to get back to Ottawa to meet up with the rest of the crew. So here we are, hanging with a friend who lives in Ottawa, eating to our heart's content!

Slow Fade

I heard this song on the radio and it definitely struck a chord within me. Small decisions made over the course of time can lead to seemingly unthinkable results. The song talks about how little choices, such as a fleeting glance or lustful thought, snowballed into relational disaster. "People never crumble in a day. Daddys never crumble in a day. Families never crumble in a day." As disheartening as this may be, there is hope in this truth: seemingly insurmountable obstacles can be overcome by making small choices in the same direction over a long period of time. So even if you someone who's crumbled through making poor decisions, you can also rebuild ... one brick at a time.