2011년06월20일, 월요일 오후: how are you? it was a pretty busy weekend. [later] 밤: i’m streching in the training area of the sunnyvale 24 hour fitness super sport. this is my second time here today, my second workout. how much working out is too much?
in a way, i know it’s kind of like i’m trying to burn off all the excess calories from this past weekend, but i do realise that fitness is not simply a matter of calories in and calories out. i totally realise that the kind of exercise / the quality of exercise is a huge factor. after all, that’s why i’ve moved a bit away from elliptical machines, stairmasters, and treadmills and more towards calisthenics (for lack of a better word), weightlifting, and circuit training. this morning, i did spend something like 35 minutes on the adaptive elliptical while watching the end of paranormal activity through the android netflix app on my htc incredible. i found the movie mildly interesting but was quite disappointed with the ending. anyway, even though i like that i can watch movies and youtube videos while on the elliptical machine, i realise that it is not good exercise. i mean, it’s nice to burn some calories, but i know my other exercise methods burn will better help me get fit. i wish i could do more taekwondo. taekwondo always helped me stay in shape in the past.
anyway, i actually am getting more exercise these days than i was, say, last year. as you know, i really got out of shape last year, especially during the summer, much due to my sprained ankle. a big reason i ended up with that sprained ankle was because i was deprived of skateboarding through most of my fourth of july weekend last year and then got overambitious on the monday morning of that three.day weekend. the moral of the story is that you should absolutely never, ever keep me from going skateboarding. it’s bad for my health and bad for everything.
i worry though about how, in a way, skateboarding might contribute to my lack of fitness. i mean, i’ve already pondered about how it might not always be the best exercise, but most people think that it is good exercise. i’m sure one doesn’t burn as many calories per mile through cruising on a skateboard than through running or jogging, but pumping and kickturning around a pool, bowl, or skate park is like down a bunch of squats, so that must be good exercise. i’m sure it is. also, doing lots of jumps on a skateboard must be good exercise. i’m sure it is. even though it might not be as good as some other forms exercise, such as highly engineered fitness routines; i’m sure, in general, most people would have to agree that skateboarding is better exercise than sitting in a chair behind a computer screen and surfing the internet/facebook or blogging.
however, since i feel i am getting more exercise these days and eating healthier these days (as long as eating less carbs and more protein really is the key to a better diet), i am forced to realise that there is obviously a third factor to my struggle to get into shape: stress. i have noticed all too well my elder male relatives pretty much all show the signs of visceral fat due to stress, i.e. even the skinnier guys end up with a bit of a belly when they get older. it’s very consistent. i have tried so hard to fight this pattern, but it’s such a tough battle. here’s a mildly interesting and mildly informative article on about.com about the effect of stress in weight gain: “stress and weight gain: how stress can affect your weight – can stress make you fat?” by elizabeth scott, m.s. work gives me stress, and home life gives me stress. maybe in general, i need to focus more of my time and energy towards getting rid of this stress. i really wish i could.
in case you were surprised that i managed to type/blog a whole paragraph without talking about skateboarding, please allow me to tie it back in: recently, i have been realising how i need to maintain my focus more while trying out tricks while skateboarding. i mentioned that i realised that i tend to lose my focus when i ollie or air out of the medium bowl and haven’t been able to do some of the grab tricks that i used to do. it’s true. moreover, i recently realised that i also freak out when trying lip tricks on the coping of the baby bowl. the moment when i roll up to the coping of the bowl to do a trick, i think my mind kind of freaks out and goes into panic mode for a second. i end up getting so tense. i’ve noticed that it’s hard for me to remember what i did wrong when i screw up a trick because i seem to temporarily black out right as i approach the coping for a trick. yeah, i think my mind just totally freaks out for at least a split second. it’s just like with ollieing or airing out of the bowl, in which case my mind just sort of freaks out and blacks out for at least a split second as i leave the bowl and enter the air. i need to remember to relax in order to focus. if i relax and focus, i’m sure i’ll skate better. moreover, if i relax and focus, i think skateboarding will once again be better exercise.
i’m pretty sure that none of my readers would have the patience to read the following document (especially in its entirety), but i want to post a link to it anyway: “the zen of skateboarding” written by thoai tran sometime in the mid.1990s. i’m sure many young men have tried to pair skateboarding with “eastern”/asian exoticism/mysticism à la teenage mutant ninja turtles or wu.tang clan (after all 1980s skateboard culture was full of asian references); but i think this author, whom appears from his name to be an asian.american, actually does a decent job of pairing skateboarding with traditional asian philosophy, despite a good number of expected grammatical and typographic errors; i.e. i’m not saying i expect these errors from an asian author but rather that many people would expect such errors from a skateboarding author. i feel like i’m often an easy target for accusations of being discriminatory against buddhism. (in other words, people try to accuse me of hatin’ on buddhists.) however, i’d like to say in my defense that i actually do find this article pretty cool, and it does have certain buddhist undertones. i’m not against zen and inner peace, which are thought of as buddhist ideas. i think zen and inner peace are great. i totally understand that much of what i’ve gained in my life and attitude through martial arts came from buddhist roots. i’m all cool with that. i just don’t follow buddhism as a religion. it’s just that i know the one true path to salvation is through belief in jesus as one’s lord and saviour. i think my friend tim fong (the martial arts tim fong) would have something to say about this topic if he were to read this passage. i think it’s interesting how this article kind of likens skateboarding to martial arts. in the past, i have used the term skateboard.do (or skateboard-do) once or twice, right? yes, i did use it once in the past, in this journal entry from back on 2008년04월03일: “skateboard-do, turntable-do.”
anyway, please allow me to get back to my point about stress and fitness. could it be that the because skateboarding is more of a high risk activity, it causes me some anxiety, which turns into stress, which leads to the production of more visceral fat (beer belly)? if so; yeah, i really need to learn to relax more during skateboarding. after all, in taekwondo, we learn that we need to relax while executing our kicks and punches, whether it is during sparring or during 품새 poomsae (traditional forms). more than stress from skateboarding though, what about stress from eating? could it be that more important than eating healthily is not to stress about eating healthily? seriously! couldn’t that be true? seriously; in the past, i know i have had conversations on this idea with my cousin walter and the beautiful kaela hwang. we all agreed that, when you eat something unhealthy, don’t stress about it while you are eating. rather, just enjoy it in the moment and then take care of it later.
last week, while kaela and i were eating lunch at chaat n’ curry’s in sunnyvale, we saw some news program on their tv. (now, this is hardly news; but for some reason the news show felt it was.) we saw some supposedly viral clip of some australian morning talk show host that tried to tell a joke to the dalai lama but somehow totally screwed up the delivery or something, rendering the situation really awkard: “an australian anchor’s attempt to joke with the dalai lama backfires when he makes himself the butt of the joke” from cnn.com. now that i re.watched the clip, i totally see how the host botched the delivery, but some might also wonder if the joke got lost in translation.