Sunday, April 18, 2010

Bored at work.

Well, we're in April 18th... time is ticking by slowly yet quickly at the same time. Funny how it does that, isn't it? Many things that are far away always approach so quickly... like parents seeing their kids grow up or time until someone achieves a college degree. Yet things always go slowly when they're present in the moment... like waiting at the doctors office, or for me... waiting for the time I can finally go home from work.

It's another day, another dollar here... but I should be thankful to even have a job. Let alone work full time, let alone still how I'm being paid well enough to sustain myself and save up for my upcoming tryouts.

It's been a busy day, which is good. Busier than usual, probably due to all of the fog lingering around the last couple days, as well as this morning. But that's the fun part... the knowledge you're entire city is engulfed in a cloud. So, now that the fun is gone, people are starting to realize that the snow is gone, the rain is here... and it's time to start working on the gardens. Woo hoo.

It's finally time for me to get to work as well, since the snow is finally gone for good. I've been waiting since winter kicked in last year to work on the miniature version of my Salmon Ladder. Ever since I had to move my large version out from my friends house, I've been thinking of ways to trim it down to fit in my apartment. I have been working on the base, but it's finally time to start constructing the side-pillars that hold the rungs. Can't wait to get started. :)

I have been thinking of more ideas to populate my ANW2 entry video as well. I want to prove that I've been working hard in the off season. Now winter may be my "lazy-time", as it really demoralizes me and makes me not care for much of anything, but there's nothing like a good tournament and great friendships to get me revved up and ready to go. Too bad I've lost time training, but that's how it's always been.

The main focus of my video that I want to make, is that I *never* make the same mistake twice. I failed on the obstacle that I never figured I'd fail... The jumping spider. Although I had the blessing and the help from a guy I admire heavily, something went wrong with the shoes he suggested, and I wasn't able to walk between the walls, causing a fail. It still tears me up watching the video... and it's not going to happen this time.

I instantly returned the shoes the day after I flew back last year, and bought some new shoes that happened to be all the rage during the last competition. For the many people that used them, they stuck like glue between the walls, which is what I naturally am hoping for this tryout. But buying shoes can't be the only thing I do to change my training... it would show I didn't learn anything.

I've been running more as-of-late, trying to get myself back to a point where I run a mile faster than I could have last tryout. I have some catching up to do with my old self, as well as my buddy Brian Kretsch, but I am confident I can do it. Well, I have to do it.

Also, I want to work on form and posture between the walls. I see many competitors simply fly through the walls, and although they have been working on that for a while, I don't have that luxury. Most of the walls I can practice between are the wrong size or are a different material that makes it hard to stick to, such a concrete. You'd figure that Vibram FiveFingers would stick well to that, being the rubber they are, but I'm not. I still wonder if it's my form. Either way... I really can't wait to fly out to L.A. and practice on David's course, and truly learn.

To practice my leg strength, I've been doing a few different things. I occasionally practice the Legs and Back video of P90X, occasionally attempt One-Legged Squats, and occasionally prop myself between the painted walls of my apartment (Which are too short for me to climb vertically) and do squats between the walls. I look like an idiot attempting all of these, which keeps me from wanting to continue... but I need to suck it up and just do it. Hopefully I can look ok enough soon to add it to my entry video.

You probably are thinking "Wow, that's a lot of overkill for just one obstacle...", and you'd be right. But it was *painful* to be the only one among my friends to not make it to the semi-finals round last year. And it was even more painful to fail an obstacle I was confident I would destroy, and blew off completely. I practiced it quite a bit back in the Springs, and even put a little bit of it in my entry video. I literally took the Rope Swing with more consideration than the Spider Walk, and why not... I was only one of four people who failed the stupid thing.

But as others will (hopefully) tell you, is that when it comes to preparing, I can't prepare enough. I may not train as hard as I should, but I will always over-analyze an obstacle to death. There's always an easier way to defeat an obstacle... and it pains me to watch someone casually attempt something, and then fail due to not properly studying the opponent they wish to face. Yet... it pains me even more to see someone not care about it whatsoever, and then demolish it.

But... I've been training. Not just physically, but mentally. Which brings me to the next point of today's blog.

A few days ago, on Friday night, I headed over to Ruselis' Gymnastics center like I have been for the last couple months. I go to work on flips, other basic physical fun things, and record myself doing them to add to my video. But something happened that normally never happens... there was a girl there.

Now, call me odd... call me whatever you want. But she was... different. WAY different. She was cute, did well on the balance beam, but most importantly... she was overflowing with confidence and a positive attitude. In this age, where people are losing their jobs, relationships are being cut off due to petty reasons, and people find problems and error with everything... this girl and her attitude was remarkable. It absolutely floored me. It still does.

She asked me, among other things, what I could do on a balance beam. I laughed at first, telling her nothing. Then she asked me if I had ever done a cartwheel on one. I laughed a bit more, telling her I couldn't.

That's when she started doing what surprised me. She said "Of course you can. You just haven't tried yet."

Within 15 minutes, she had me doing cartwheels on a practice balance beam. And I have it recorded, for you nay-sayers.

As a matter of fact, I've been doing my best since Friday night to keep that incredible positive energy going. Yet, it's been hard. Managers at work who are only interested in keeping their bonus high, which requires denying customers of policies plastered all over the walls, and undercutting employee breaks so more things can get done, all while cutting hours to... once again... boost their bonuses. Then there are the customers we bend over backward to help, who would rather blast us with double barreled shotguns before turning to face us, smile and say hello while we greet them.

Life makes it hard to keep a positive attitude. Smiling and being happy instantly degrades people's opinion of you. If you grumble and despair through life, then life is pointless and life goals are not worth achieving. But if you do your absolute best to keep a smile on and enjoy the most out of every moment on this earth, you're instantly labeled as a moron. I wish life wasn't like this. Call me crazy... but I just wish everyone would be happy, and celebrate in the happiness of others. Why is this so hard... Everyone wants a pain-free life, but no-one is willing to help everyone else achieve it. It's teamwork people...

Which brings me back to the girl. Hopefully you see why, out of knowing her one hour of my life... I've pretty much fallen hard for her. I love her attitude. Her personality toward life is astounding. Now sure, maybe she was just having a good day, and she isn't like that. But that's just life talking, trying to bring me down. And I pray that's not the case.

I hope I see her again next week. And until then, I *will* be working on my positive attitude, my ANW2 entry video and my training.


  1. Way to go, my friend :) And thanks for writing this, since I definitely needed some motivation as well recently :P

  2. Good post. As an ANW newbie hoping to compete this year, what were the shoes that everybody loved for the Spider Wall last year? Of all the obstacles that's the one I'm most nervous about.

  3. Well, Matt... not gonna lie. The spider walk is an intimidating obstacle.

    Walls can have different textures and surfaces, which makes it hard to grip to.

    Just ask... well... me. It was my downfall during ANW last year.

  4. Yeah, with my size (6'4" and 225 lbs) and relative ankle inflexibility, the spider walk makes me pretty worried. I've seen some guys compete in "ninja slippers" in the people like them or those Vibram Five Finger shoes for the task? Thanks for the advice.

  5. I'd say it was cultural... almost. In general, Americans used Vibrams, while those in Japan would usually use the Tabi boots.

    But like I said... Almost. Yuuji used Blue Camo KSO Vibram Fingers. Enough said.

  6. Thanks Chris, I appreciate it.

    Now go find that girl ;-) I love gymnast chicks! She's right, optimistic people definitely outperform pessimists, and live happier lives. It takes work, but if you can gear your mind that way you'll find life much richer and more enjoyable.