Evaluating My Spartan Score

So I was practically top 25%, and almost 20%, in all categories.  If I look at the time, it’s not that good.  I don’t know exactly what happened during the race, but the obviously made it to be very difficult for attaining a good time.  I think I completed my Spartan Sprint last year in Thailand in a much better time than this, and I kinda walked the entire time!

So, how can I go about getting better? This is the best because I know where I am and where I want to be.

If you ask me, “where do you wanna be?”

Top 5%.  That’s always been a goal.  However, the terrain and everything could be so difficult to hit that mark.

I’ve gotten much stronger.  Again, I was passing so many people buy and didn’t have any stress on my body.  I’ve woken up this morning and it doesn’t even feel like I did the race yesterday.  No soreness or anything.  However, it didn’t reflect the time.  Might I say that I had to wait about 30 minutes total throughout all the obstacles, especially the one where we had to go through a creek and into a river.

I’m on a Spartan group on an app and I told everyone some vital information.

Cardio! Cardio! Cardio! There needs to be a lot of focus on cardio because that’s all part of the race.  One of the racers said, “I didn’t think I needed cardio.”  He failed miserably.  Another one said he did cardio everyday but it didn’t prepare him for the amount of hills the race had.  This is the super scary part about doing races in places like Malaysia.  They use hills and terrain to JACK YOU UP — EFFECTIVELY.

Having a very strong core can get you through most upper-body exercises.  One girl had me bust out in laughing by saying, “man, I did all that just to climb two feet over and fall.”  I laughed, but with her, not at her.  I then showed my strength by using the circles on the black-plastered wall and went all the way across with ease.  How? Strong core and utilizing it rather than using my upper-body.  It does revolve around technique, but your core is the foundation of it ALL.

Upper body, of course, is essential.  I’ve done lots of building up all areas the top and it proved to be extremely vital.

So, now in preparation for my Super, which is double the distance of the sprint, I’m going to do a lot of core building, strength on top, and tons of cardio.

 

Spartan Race: Seminyih, Malaysia…ACHIEVED! But……

WHAT. A. RACE.

Where should I begin? Let’s me take you from the beginning so I can provide some flow.

I arrived maybe around 9:15 to the station KTM – Kajang station.  This was nearest to the super rural area the where the race was being held.  From there, Ubers was stacked all around me.  I pressed it and got an immediate message – my uber was right across the street.  HOW CONVENIENT! He was a funny guy, asking me why I don’t have a girlfriend in Thailand.

Told him the truth. You guys know that story. LOL

There was a logjam about 2km outside the race area, so I had him pull over and I walked it from there.  Enthusiasts, not as many as I thought there would be, were making their way to registration.  Loads of tents and little shops were stacked within the area, giving my hope that this venue would be 1000 times better than the last at Putrajaya Heights last July.  It exceeded my expectations — and THEN SOME.  The registration line was about 10 minutes compared to 1.5 hours last time.  Bag drop was convenient with a bunch of smiley faces and women asking me how the race was (of course after) and there was a lot of area and merchandise around.

I was probably the 3rd wave of the Open.  There were a ton of people behind me, all whom were enthusiastic.  Some were first timers and others were returning.  You had people from Brunei, Hong Kong, Singapore, China and other places all around.  When the race started, it was all running, mostly uphill (as Malaysia mostly does) and then were the rocks.  That’s right.  The first obstacle, aside from the walls and things we had to jump through, under, and over, was the nastiest of them all.  This is where the fun began because the comedians started coming out in force.  Being on an obstacle course enables you to speak freely amongst your fellow samaritans who are going through the same pain.

At this time, this is when I knew I had gotten much strong since last September.  Carrying the bucket of rocks up the hill didn’t present me with a problem.  In fact, I was zooming past everyone else who seemed gassed and out of breath — 2km in?! I was screaming motivational things while hearing the echo of “aroo” deep in the forests and even nearby.  Directly following that was the rope climb.  I finally climbed up that bad boy; however, I freaked out when I was coming down and I zoomed down the rope, gripping it with my fingers and feeling fire tear apart my thumb on my left hand and my ring finger on my right, leaving a blister on one hand and two layers of skin on the rope from…..me.  This was beyond painful for about 1km.  After that, the river, which was SUEPR FUN.  There were women saying, “I HAVE A PLAN TO CATCH!”  People were laughing and just having fun at that point.  Being in a shaded, sketchy, peculiar area between two sides of a mountain, trekking through currents puts the “omg” into what Spartan should be about.

From there on out, there weren’t any noticeable or stand-outish things that came about — just more laughs and weird obstacles.  I am now 3/3 in the javelin toss, hitting my target and cheering for myself.  There were some GORGEOUS women nearby saying, “goodjob!” Another one, who must’ve been from Eastern Europe and on the same team of the 10 that were standing around, asked me “tips?”  I didn’t know what she was saying, but when I realized it, I was flabbergasted and helped two of the ladies — unsuccessfully.  This definitely had to be the funnest Spartan or any race in general.  It tips the Tough Mudder in Melbourne, Australia 3 years ago and tops the Tough Mudder in Mesa, Arizona from last year.

Towards the end, there was a Malaysian guy who was running by himself…pushing himself.  I decided to run beside him; and both him and I met up with an Indian guy.  The three of us started running alongside some other foreigners and funny Ukrainians before getting to a difficult part of the course — the end!  This mashed a bunch of obstacles together: backstroking 75 meters, another river with a current, monkey bell swings, and a few others.  When I finished, I saw a gorgeous shirt and medal waiting for me.  That was definitely a 10km beast of a race.  That wasn’t 7km….and they had Super/Beast obstacles within it, too.  The Spartan Sprint last year in Chon Buri, Thailand was a cake walk compared to this.

So, showers, chats with so many people, figuring out my next step with the trifecta and everything in ensued.  Now came the most difficult challenge of my life.

Because this race was tucked away in a jungle plantation, I wasn’t too nervous about finding a taxi until after a race.  There were taxis, also known as extortionists (and way worse than Thai taxis), sitting outside the grounds.  However, they were all taken because they had customers inside.  I never thought about that because I knew taxis were a ripoff.  I saw one taxi driver, and later saw him at my hotel.  That story will follow.

No Ubers, no grabs, no nothing! I was left walking….about 5km, hoping either someone would help take me to a town or a taxi would come.  I would’ve paid anything at any given time to get the hell out of there.  Some people pulled over, but not for me.  Next thing I know I see a car, coming towards me, flash its lights and I said, “OMG! SAVED!”  My man Anson, who is down below in the photo, probably saved me from dying.  That’s no exaggeration, either.

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All in all, he sent me all the way to an LRT line.  After 15 minutes, this particular line wrapped around KL and I saw Berjaya Times Square, just across the street from where my hotel was.  Instead of continuing on, I got off, talked to the guy, and I was able to exit the station and walk to my hotel.

Oh, and guess who was there? That f***er that denied me a ride to begin with.  Get this.  From the KTM Kajang to the race grounds was about 23 ringits, which equates to about 7 USD.  Kinda expensive in Thailand.  However, this guy told me someone AT MY HOTEL went to the race, too! The bad part? The taxi charged him 400 ringits there and back, equivalent to more than 100$ USD!  Could you believe that?! That’s why I NEVER TAKE TAXIS in KL and haven’t in almost five years.  They’re cheats beyond belief.

I needed to tell all of you that in case you travel here.

And with that beings said, a couple more blogs are coming up about my time and future races, so stay tuned and a podcast is here for your appetite!

Flights/Hotels/Spartan Tickets Booked – Training Commenced

To give everyone a nice little update on the upcoming trip to Malaysia, I’m EXCITED!

I haven’t left the country since Maldives last year.  Does anyone know how long it’s been?! Although I’ve now left a very forgettable neighborhood, the “fun and hobbies” portion of the wheel of life has taken a massive hit.  I now have a lot of free time to focus on my projects, but I’m still missing out on a key piece of my happiness.

TRAVELING!

Well, I’m back! Malindo Airlines (praying everything goes well because I’ve heard horror stories), a gorgeous hotel (PARKROYAL) in KLCC, and an easy way to get to the race.  This trip should go perfectly.

This trip also marks the breaking of the chains and shackles I’ve had for so long.  So grateful for everything, but it’s time for the new life to begin.  Officially on a tourist visa and really not sure what’s going to happen or what to expect next.

Nevermind all that though.  This is about the Spartan Race, an appetizer leading up to the main dish in May (Spartan Super).  It’s really funny because I’m between a rock and a hard place at the moment.  I’m trying to figure out who to go with.  I promised a friend last year I would go with him, but after he brought along one of his friends who failed to run more than 1km, I really don’t want to “walk.”  If I want to walk, I’ll walk at home or on a treadmill.  All the training and everything leading up to the Spartan was based on cardio.  If someone failed to prepare cardio, the most important aspect of the race, disaster will happen (and did at that point).

If I go with some others, there will be a group of 20.  I know within the group of 20….at least half of them won’t be doing cardio.  Therefore, I’ll have to walk for 13-15km, which would take AGES! So this is the big problem with doing the Spartan Super.  I can hurry up and find a friend (somehow) to go with who’s a beast, but it’s difficult.

Nonetheless, this Malaysia Spartan is going to be a battle for me, just because I’m going to try and finish it as fast as possible (record time) and see if I can compete in the competitive or elite next time.

Training

I’ve been busting ass (not that way) in the gym.  Over the last couple of weeks (including Friday – a day I ran 10km and did a one-hour class later in the evening), I’ve gotten my body back! This is what I LOVE! Looking like a damn Greek God! More importantly, I ran 10km (felt very odd at the end) without any issues.  I went to the gym to buy a protein shake, up to the Skytrain, and felt perfectly fine (unlike my earlier years where I felt like hell).  I’m doing a series of different movements, body weight exercises, and developing strength in my legs.

With Spartan, cardio and upper-body are the most important parts.  The first Spartan I did last year sucked.  My upper-body was…….weak.  However, the second Spartan I did, I couldn’t believe how much my strength increased.  Cardio in KL (last July) was amazing, but overall upper-body was sub-average.  Second Spartan I did….completely crushed it.  Now with having the experience….here’s my workout regimen on a weekly basis.

Monday – Class: Lab Leaner + Kettlebell Strength

Tuesday – Cardio (bike and treadmill) in the morning

Wednesday (City Run – 10km)

Thursday (upper-body on my own)

Friday – Class: Lab Stronger

Saturday and Sunday – Rest days or core work.

This is just for the 7km race.  After April 15th, my workouts will get much more difficult leading up to the Super after my birthday in May.

Stay tuned for more!

Wheel of Life: Merry Christmas! The Most Successful Year of My Life!

MERRY CHRISTMAS to ABSOLUTELY EVERYONE AROUND THE WORLD!

Yes, did it in caps because it’s a big deal.

Guys and gals, Christmas is celebrated in some cultures as a religious holiday, but I celebrate it as a day to live, love, and laugh.  I don’t go to church, nor do I have a religion.  My religion is universal (like the universe) unity.  I try to spread as much love into the atmosphere as possible…..so for those of you with different customs, cultures, creed and other things, don’t let people say to you, “you can’t celebrate Christmas because it’s a Christian holiday.”  No, it’s a holiday at the end of the year whereas you can look back and enjoy how much you’ve progressed.

This year has been a year of change, progression, obstacles, and unbelievable rewards.  If I talk about countries I’ve traveled to, it’s been the biggest success in my life.  Personal development has definitely been the best EVER.  Career, although with the current blockage going on for the next couple of weeks, has been on the rise.  How so? Because life doesn’t revolve just around a primary job.  My podcast, YouTube, speaking, writing, etc., has gone up significantly.  Better yet, let me just break down each one by category.

Career – 9.5

I think the majority of this came at around May when I began to rebel against the primary “job.”  I felt that the job had gone stagnant.  It was the same thing happening over and over.  Same bs wage while the upper folks make hundreds of thousands/millions of baht….so then I got a phone call.  That “thing” was accepted, that lead to two projects, that’s leading to two massive projects in back-to-back months (February).  Just get this – everyone.  If I hadn’t accept that job on the weekend, I wouldn’t have gotten all these opportunities to begin with.  That moment they told me they had someone of power….I hurried to say, “ok.”  I accepted it, and I had to battle with this lose-ended, primary job (pretty much finished) to keep it.  That lead to three massive projects throughout the year that lead me to million baht earners.

Enough with that.  Podcast? I think over 100 countries listened to me worldwide.  YouTube? So many countries tune into my videos around the world.  Book? Twitter? Instagram? Interviewing people all over America? CHECKS ALL AROUND!

Hobbies & Fun – 8.5

It wasn’t even the Tough Mudder, Spartan Race (2x), and going to Maldives that made this an 8.5, but it was more of the decision that I made just a few weeks ago, cancelling a morning class to be around entrepreneurs and great people. I’ve been neglecting “fun” in my diet for so long.  I would work 9 hours on Saturday and Sunday, but ultimately make the same wage for the last four years? I mean I had no idea I can work two hours in Bangkok and make the same wage in 2 there compared to 9 in the outskirts.  So, now that my time is free(ing) up, and now that I’m preparing for my new life, I’m definitely going to incorporate “fun” into my life next year on a routine basis.  Now, does that mean going out? Nope. I hate going out unless it’s a business meeting and socializing to make connections.  I’m talking about meeting likeminded people and having time to myself and for my my projects.  No more 8-11 hour days on garbage wages.  It’s time for 2-4 hour days and have the rest of the day to do big things.  Nonetheless, It’s beginning to happen!

Wealth – 9.5

Look, I was able to to go back to America, travel to Sedona, layovers in Korea, Singapore and Japan, Maldives, Malaysia, do two Spartan races while staying at the Sheraton for the first time in my life.  These are massive accomplishments; and with all of with being stated, I still have the most saved up at the end of the year at any point in my life.

Yes, Crypto currency is what I’m going to start looking into to top off the year (so I have extra money on the side), but the wealth will come when I start looking.  Well, that has come and gone.  Why?  I realized that I can get paid 450% more per hour working in Bangkok then my current job.  I want to make more money in less time.  If I can work two-hours a day, amassing a total of a nine-hour work day at my present job, it’s time to go!

Big ideas, projects, jobs, and places to grow is coming up!

Personal Development – 9.5

Dale Carnegie’s ‘How To Stop Worrying & Start Living’ helped the HELL out of me this year.  I’m going to tell you why.  If I think about the current job situation going on – the company having a ‘secret santa’ without me, although they employ some of the most malicious teachers….what’s the worse that can happen? They fire me, and then my work permit automatically cancels and I can begin the new life at the beginning of the year.  That worse case scenario is a golden case scenario.

Physical Environment – 9.0

Because I was able to take the risk of be ostricized at my present workplace, I was rewarded with three massive projects, two unique students, and the teaching of millionaires.  This is what made my physical environment skyrocket.  The things that happened the way they did were suppose to happen.  Because they did, I decided to move to a very gorgeous area of Bangkok.  If I can just sit here and close my eyes, envisioning how it would be spending Christmas at my old condo, I would be depressed.  Same neighborhood, same people, same lifestyle.  Enough was enough…and now I just went running down these gorgeous streets where everyone was smiling.  It’s out there, people.  You just have to search for it.

Health – 8.5

Tough Mudder in Phoenix, Spartan Super in Malaysia, Spartan Sprint in Chon Buri, Thailand.  My body has transformed, I workout at the best gym ever and I’m around a supporting cast of people, and now that I’m living in my new place, I cook more often because I have an AMAZING kitchen.

Family & Friends – 4

This category took a massive hit.  From a best friend completely disappearing on me after cancelling my trip, to two individuals who I thought were developing friends vanishing.  What to do in the new year? In the podcast. 

Romantic Relationships – X

Although I did have a couple of opportunities this year to make something happened, it ultimately failed on me.  Funny stories in the podcast down below!

 

Podcast

Napoleon Hill – Failure – Introduction of My Physical Failure

Let me paint this picture of this life-turning night at Palo Verde High School back in May of 2005.

I was a 300m intermediate-hurdler who was favored to at least make it to the Sunrise Regional Championships.  I remember I failed miserably at the 110HH – not intentionally, but because I was more focused on the ‘endurance’ run that was approaching the next day.  So, here I am sitting on what feels like a frosty field for 10-20 minutes.  Before the race began, I did a fair amount of stretching to keep loose.  However, all athletes were forced to keep seated in the inside of the field until the 800m race had finished – which seemed like for AGES.

Boom, here we go.  Approached the blocks, glanced at the heavy crowd on-hand and I recall glancing at just two random Filipinos, making eye-contact with them.  It just seemed like at the moment, it was time to do WORK!

“Runners on your block!”

I did my usual jump-crunch and backed into my blocks, waiting calmly for the gun to go off and unleash hell.

“SET”

…………

“SHOT FIRED”

I’m flying out the blocks in tenacity so I can get ahead quickly and pace myself.  This track’s 300m race starts in the first curve rather than the back straightaway, which was very odd.  It didn’t throw me off, but I just remember getting to the first and last curve before I felt my legs tighten up on me.  Not to the point that I pulled my hamstrings, but it felt like I had 2-20KG cinder blogs on both shoulders.  The other athletes zoomed by me and I saw my hopes of making finals dwindle before my very eyes.

I finished, fell to the ground, and wept like a baby.  I staggered walking across the field in utter devastation and seeing some of my teammates looking at me with no reaction.  The hardest part was going to my coach and apologizing to him.  Other athletes from my team who were heavily favored to reach the Class 4A State Championship Race also didn’t qualify.  It was a night of misery.

Or was it?

Podcast 

Spartan Race: Melbourne, Australia – Hurricane Heat – Signed Up!

Yes, indeed! I’ll be making landfall back in my ‘second home’ of a country called Australia this upcoming February to kick-off the 2018 Spartan festivities – beginning with a Hurricane Heat.

What the hell is a Hurricane Heat?

Something tells me that this is going to be the competition of a lifetime.  No “gorilla” hills like Melbourne’s Tough Mudder back in 2015.  No desert terrain from last April’s Half Tough Mudder, and no “gateway to heaven” signs like the one’s imposed on Bali’s course.

This is going to be a log carrying, sandbag dragging, tire pushing hell.  I love the fact that I continue to test my body and push it beyond it’s limits.  I guess this is just the sheer beauty of working out; and if you got an unbelievable sickening work ethic topped with discipline, why not?  You have one life.

Ultra Beast, 12HH, agoge and death race are probably out of the question.  I’m not climbing 100 meter high ice blocks and running on frigid ice.  I won’t be going up and down the Great Wall of China anytime soon…..but an Ultra Beast could possibly be in the discussion come 2019.  However, let’s just get back to the agoge.

“Arsenio, did you say the “Great Wall of China?”

I can’t imagine operating 60 hours without any sleep like this.  Some of the participants weren’t even given medals, and that’s got to hurt the most.  I think these types of races are for people that are looking to relinquish any demons from the past.  Tough Mudder was the first one that got me into the game.  Tough Mudder propelled me past a very ugly first two years in Thailand.  The next races that followed Tough Mudder, to Spartan, to me doing unbelievable classes that push my body to the limit every Monday and Thursday…..this is what life is all about.

Podcast

Spartan Race Looming Large!

This will be the first ever Spartan Race in Chon Buri, Thailand and I’m not even worried.  For the most part, there’s a huge underestimation of the race happening within my mind that will sneak up on me.

Malaysia Was A Rude Awakening

I thought the Spartan Super in Kuala Lumpur was going to be relatively easy.  Even halfway through the course, my legs were sound and I didn’t have any tension in my upper back.  However, things got pretty difficult when I had to carry a bucket of rocks for almost a quarter mile – leaving my back in a good amount of pain.  I had to also carry a sandbag over my head into a ravine and all the way back up.  By the end of the race, my knees were buckling on the outside and it was difficult for me to go down anything.  I recall coming across the 3rd to last obstacle and seeing another contestant who had given up on doing burpees.

Towards the end, it was just pain.  It being in Kuala Lumpur probably didn’t help because there wasn’t a sense of comradery and fellowship between everyone running.  Everyone either just looked out for themselves, or their group.  There was no cheering each other on and no speaking to one another.

Thailand – I’m Just Praying To Any Entity In The Universe

That prayer is simply hoping that everyone will work together to achieve the goal, just like Tough Mudder.  This is what separates Tough Mudder from Spartan, too.  In Bali, Melbourne, and Phoenix (three different continents), everyone worked together to battle it out to the finish.  Australia, towards the very end, people just wanted to finish.  America, given the fact that we’re just so warm-hearted (lol), reeled everyone in, regardless if you knew them or not.  I recall helping an older lady over a Berlin Wall with her daughter and son on the other side.  It doesn’t matter who you are and what background you’re from…..

……The goal is to develop a sense of fulfilment, heart, and help one another.  That’s what this race is predicated on.

So, for those Thais who will read this throughout the course of the week, do something for someone without being told to do it!

Vacation: Malaysia Airlines, Sheraton Hotel, Spartan Race & Amazing People All Around!

What a trip!

I can’t emphasize enough that doing my podcast recently on self-control helped me out tremendously upon flying here to KL.

2.5 Hour Delay!

Honestly, there was absolutely nothing I can do about it.  Who knows what the story was (although someone said something about a plane being in a hanger somewhere at KLIA1 at Kuala Lumpur International Airport).  2.5 hours camping out at the gate after security – was brutal….but I was able to finish a good amount of blogs and communicate with folks.

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More Delays!

Once we arrived, it seemed as if the biggest cruiseline in the world docked at the airport and unloaded all their passengers to clear customs and immigration.  45 minutes in the line with people from I-Dont-Know-What-Country looking at me and making comments about me in their language.  YAWN! At the same time, I was nervous about someone taking my luggage, given the fact it had been sitting there 45 minutes.  Nonetheless, I had to be one of the very first of my flight to get through the extensive lines before rushing to the conveyor belt – only to find that my luggage WAS STILL THERE! *Hands to the sky*

Sheraton Hotel = True 5 Star Hotel

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The check-in, service, elevators, unbelievable breakfast buffet, stunning food, state-of-the-art facilities, wonderful steam room, comfortable bed, desk in the room, tub, shower, meticulous room service, shoe shine service…..not sure if I should keep going? Sheraton was exceptional.  I have to say that checking in and having them hold a crazy deposit on your debit/credit before charging you a full amount after is extremely excessive.  There has to be another way around it.

Uber and the MegaMall

This was my first time ever taking an Uber, and man, what a success! He picked me up right at the train station and took me to my destination in a hurry.  The second Uber was even better because he was very attentive and interested in my life, just as the reception at the Spa/Massage on the 5th floor was (minus the pushy-trying-to-sell-you-stuff method). Uber is the next wave of getting around, and it’s much safer, especially in a country like Thailand because taxi drivers have the worst rep of them all.

Mid-Valley MegaMall had tons of shops; however, I had to take a train and walk for 25 minutes to get there.  Oh, I should’ve taken an Uber. LOL.

The Spartan Super – the good, the bad, the ugly, the ‘COMMON, MAN!’

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The Good

Met the most wonderful muslim who had the hazel(est) of eyes that I have ever seen.  OMG! She was awesome….later, met a a cluster of Malaysians from all types of backgrounds who were just incredibly personable and charismatic.  Also, met a South African who I had a wonderful pleasure of talking to at KL Sentral before going in different directions (and who also did the race).  Ahhh…just wonderful.  Nexus International School is WONDERFUL! Perhaps a new place for employment in the future? The students there were splendid in both the English Language and in regards to their personalities.  Doors are wide open for a relocation!

The Bad

Stood outside for 1.5 hours to get into the venue.  That was a complete discombobulation on Spartan Malaysia’s side, given the fact they held registration in a very confined area.  YIKES! Starting heats were backlogged up to an hour.

The Ugly

The comradery and cooperation I’ve seen at other Tough Mudder events worldwide just wasn’t there.  It was difficult getting through the race when you had only yourself and others just minding their own business.

The ‘Common, man!”

Water, water, water! By the time the afternoon rolled around, the water supply was diminishing like crazy.  This apparently was a problem the last time the event was held in the same location.  Yes, I understand it’s a lot, but you have months to prepare a good amount of water that needed to be used for all spartans post-race.

Oh, can I mention the cooperation again? Come on, man! Honestly, indigenous Malaysians didn’t have a problem, but I do have to state the obvious whereas Chinese Malaysians, Chinese Singaporeans, or mainland Chinese (the most obvious) people just stay within their own circles.  Like NO ONE matters but only them.  I just don’t understand the “Chinese” culture, but perhaps someone can help me understand….because I’m at a loss of words with that.  However, I know the Spartan Spring that’s approaching in Thailand is going to be comical beyond belief.  These people will trample each other. LOL!!

Achieved!

Focusing on the grand of achievements, what a difficult race! Carrying a bucket of rocks 600meters and sandbags over your shoulders before trekking into a gorge was unbelievably strenuous – and I thought it was a bit over-the-top.  Hey, I get it, it’s a competition, but being a competitive event and borderline insanity should have a very fine line in between. In summary, this was the most brutal event I’ve ever endured in my lifetime. It was only 13km! I know what parts of my body I should work on going forward when the absolute BEAST comes up on October 8th.  I’m still contemplating doing it, though.  If I do, I’m going to allow myself two days rest and leave on a Tuesday rather than a Monday.  Carrying luggage after having a vicious deep-tissue massage AFTER the most difficult race in my life is a NO F*** NO!

And now, as I write this blog at the airport, I’m deeply saddened for leaving KL.  That same feeling I had when I left wondrous Bali – heading back to doomsday.  It’s hard, but opportunities are still there in Thailand.  When opportunities run dry, I’m heading for the hills – the luscious green hills of Malaysia.

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Can You Physically Prepare For Sufferfests?

What is a sufferfest? This is basically  your household Spartan Races (although they’re much funner), Tough Mudders (notable obstacles: Arctic Enema & Electro Shock Therapy); and then there are the upper echelon sufferfests.  I’m talking about the marathons, ironmans, ultra-marathons, anything that involves you pushing yourself, like Amelia Boone does, to the absolute limit.

Amelia Boone quoted, “I love pushing my body to the point whereas I’m suffering.”

A gentleman at a restaurant in Sedona, Arizona saw my shirt and asked me about Tough Mudder.  However, unbeknownst to fitness, he made claims like, “why would people even do that?”

As some of you know, one of my greatest failures in life happened back in 2005 – Southern Nevada Sunrise Regional Track & Field Championships where I was suppose to finish in the top 2; conversely, I fell apart 125 meters into my 300m intermediate hurdle race and finished dead last.  This failure right here is music to my ears and I keep it with me everyday like a little girl keeps that teddybear by her side when she retires at night.

When I’m getting ready to give up on a Tough Mudder Course, or any workout in general, that point of suffering arises.  That moment when I crossed the finish line, collapsed, and wept at the Regional Championships.  That point of absolute defeat drives me everyday of my life, and it’s not in a bad way, either.  This greatest defeat has carried me more than 50,000 miles across the world since then and I’ve become the success I am today because of it.

What a sufferfest does, like I told a doctor from Cincinnati, Ohio yesterday, is it destroys the mind.  It destroys that habit….the thing that controls your life everyday.  It breaks the comfortability bubble that you’re in everyday.  A Tough Mudder could be anywhere from 10-20km (6-12 miles), but your body is only capable of being trained for the first half of that race.  I learned the hard way in Australia.

My first every Tough Mudder was beyond fun.  People, of all walks of life, were throwing each other over mud hills, laughing and dancing.  At the time, I thought I was at the 15km mark.  However, we reached a sign that first said 10km (halfway through) and then a course that said ‘Gorilla Hills.’  Then the moment followed…..that moment when the mental barrier and the word “quit” was beaming at me.  These ants, which were people, were making their way up these mountainous hills.  I’ve never seen anything quite like them before in my life.  I was thinking about cutting the course, taking a go-cart up the hill, quitting, so many things were going through my mind.  My upper back was in a state of pain, knees buckled, shoes were torn with little pebbles scattered throughout – killing my feet even more.  At this time, everything I ever been through in life, in terms of pain, came before my very eyes.  The suffering I endured throughout Thailand, my family, the trials and tribulations of everything came…..that’s when I stood there and looked at my reflection and said, “if I give up now, it will continue to conquer me.”

After walking….3km past; 4km past, 5km past – next thing I know the Arctic Enema was there and I almost went around.  Nope! Since I’m already suffering, I need to get a reward from it, right? That very day changed my life

These are why suffering fests are important for human beings.  The only way the growth will take place in the most uncomfortable situations is when you’re in the middle of nowhere and quitting is not an option.  The body is completely destroyed after a certain mark, and when the mental part kicks in, you begin to control the mind and tell it what to do.  Once you do that, you can start taking control of your life.

This is why they’re vital.

2.5 Tough Mudders later and a Spartan Race approaching in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, I simply can’t get enough of them.

Gelatin – Is It Good or Bad? America Takes The Affirmative & Thailand Takes The Negative

About a year ago, I was engagement in one of those idle-gossip-conversations at work that involved a teacher spewing rhetoric about factories in Thailand.  At the time I was eating candy that contained Gelatin, an ingredient that’s literally put into candy here and in Germany for some odd reason and the British teacher ERUPTED….

“Omg, you know those are made in factories here in Thailand.  Cow skin and bones is what Gelatin is and it’s put into that mess.”

It wasn’t only him, but other staff members were predisposed to consuming candy that had the infamous “Gelatin” in it.

So, I finally did some research and my oh my, this is why you NEVER listen to the opinions of others and you just have to check it out yourself.

Gelatin is a protein made from the skins and bones of pigs and cows. It’s a common ingredient in a number of products, including: medicine, makeup, vaccines, and food.

Why do people take Gelatin?

Many people with arthritis take Gelatin supplements Gelatin contains collagen. That’s a material in the cartilage that cushions the bones in your joints.

The idea behind this usage is that eating gelatin (with collagen)  will add collagen to your joints. However, that’s probably not true. The collagen in gelatin gets broken down when you eat it. It wouldn’t travel directly to your joints.

Nonetheless, there is some evidence that gelatin could help ease joint pain in people with osteoarthritis.

Then came Amanda Boone.  Amanda Boone, who is the first person to win first at the World’s Toughest Mudder, actually takes hydrolysed Gelatin.  She said in Tim Ferris’ book ‘tools of titans’ why she actually takes it….

“I’ve consumed Gelatin for connective tissue repair in the past.  I’ve never stuck with it long term because Gelatin takes on a seagull poo-like texture when mixed into cold.” – Amelia Boone 

 

“Amelia saved my palate and joints by introducing me to the Great Lakes hydrolyzed version (green label), which blends easily and smoothly.” – Tim Ferris

Amazing results from one of the greatest, ultra athletes in the world and a highly sought after writer/entrepreneur.

Interesting when we just go by the opinions of others and let that dictate what we believe at that specific moment.  However, when you actually check things out and do the research yourself, you have your satori moment.

Podcast – https://www.spreaker.com/episode/10544369