2019 year at a glance

the recap of the past 365 days could easily be all negative, but instead of going down the rabbit hole of saying everything that went wrong, i also want to recap on all the things that went right. sure, my ankle injury cost me nine months of the year to diagnosis, but it didn’t stop me from carrying out the things i can still do. weightlifting was a big plus this year for i joined apex and dove back into olympic lifting. i got pretty good progress despite the many physical road blocks; a seventeen kilo improvement and making the yellow plates for a personal best. in the mere two months i was introduced to clean and jerk techniques, i’m happy to be just shy of the blue plates. tricking has caused me the most grief. there were so many flips and tricks i wanted to land, but couldn’t mostly because my injuries didn’t allow me to do things i should be able to. i’ll have to accept the fact there’ll be some specific moves i’ll never be able to do again, forever. i had a serious debate inside telling me to quit because everyone has given up on me, even me. at one point i had a deadline in mind to land one of the three moves i’ve been working on. low and behold, i did not land one, but i’m urged to give it a little more time because i’m really close. taekwondo became really stressful having to train a new set of teaching staff. i never once thought i’d test for my fourth degree, especially not with the ankle i was on. sports aside, i also traveled to europe, met some new people, got rid of toxic ones, changed departments and tried new things. i had some very low moments throughout this year where i really wanted to give up, but i kept my head up as hard as it was. i told myself because i never have up, 2020 will be the year for me where everything will fall into place and it’s my year to shine

optimizing 2020

2019 presented me with some of the biggest and scariest obstacles thus far. i am relieved this difficult year is drawing to a close and can now look forward to the turn of the decade. what i had endured this year far exceeds anything i could’ve imagined. my world changed drastically since the thudding landing of a roundoff back tuck attempt that went undetected. it was confirmed nine months later that it was a fully ruptured ankle ligament and the future of my many hobbies are on the line. though operating far below one hundred percent, i did manage some accomplishments that made me proud. i picked up one of my old hobbies at the start of the year – olympic weightlifting. from struggling to snatch twenty-eight kilos when i first started training at apex, to ending the year strong with a personal record of forty five kilos. just as i thought i was done with all my taekwondo tests, i somehow got persuaded and tested for my fourth dan. it was rather a risky thing to do given my ankle condition, but of course it wasn’t something i told many about. one bright spot in tricking was getting comfortable with my back tucks, and even tried two different variations. frankly speaking, i’m disappointed with the lack of progress in my other moves and scared to find out if i can even kick. i have at some point considered quitting if one of the three new moves doesn’t happen within a given deadline. there was no shortage of injuries throughout this calendar year which also affected taekwondo, hockey, dodgeball, softball and tennis. my skillset at work has had notable growth, but not to be overshadowed by the stressed that comes with it simply because of the toxic people. removing the toxicity has led me to grow my friends circle within other departments

with the new decade approaching, there’s really no place for injuries in 2020; i’m going to try my hardest to deal with the ankle problem while staying as healthy as i possibly can. i expect to get my fitness back and work my hardest to grind through whatever it takes to be the best version of myself. the next three hundred and sixty five days will be all about bigger goals, greater happiness, less pain, stronger relationships and being more focused for everything i’ve ever wanted

  • stay healthy and injury-free #gethealthystayhealthy
  • training consistency #fitgoals
  • eat well #eatsmart
  • accept myself for who i am #selfcare
  • love my family #familymatters
  • reconnect with friends #friendscircle
  • relationship goals #relationship goals
  • finance and budgeting #budgetlife
  • travel the world #roamtheplanet
  • career advancement #careerdevelopment
  • setting my priorities #prioritiesincheck
  • new skills and new knowledge #foreverlearning

2020 is my year to conquer and i’m going to become the strongest version of myself

short of expectation

i’ve been really down, stressed and frustrated as of late. on the surface, i always appear fine because i do a really good job containing all my emotions and keeping it together. so it felt stranger there were multiple times when i just couldn’t keep it together inside. i feel the frustration has been eating me alive so i decided to open up part of my story

all my life, i’ve been an underachiever, always falling short of everyone’s expectations. i can’t remember the last time i felt like i succeeded and made someone proud

in highschool, i was always living in the shadow of my brother who would get ninety nine percent in math, if not one hundred. as an asian kid, getting an A in math was never enough. i rewrote my provincial because it was not an A of respectable calibre. i get it, i’m nowhere near smart; i don’t get straight A’s like most asian parents wish for. i graduated and went straight into post secondary as expected. in university, my path was basically chosen for me based on process of elimination of what my parents didn’t want me to be. they got it all mapped out for me – i applied for environment design program, an honors program meant for architecture. i graduated from that and was expected to be an architect, but i failed to get into the masters program which accepts forty eight students out of the four hundred odd applicants

growing up, sports was something i loved dearly and what came to me naturally. i excelled in swimming, so much that two instructors granted me to skip two levels. i went on to take all lifeguarding courses before i had to wait until i was sixteen. i didn’t pick it back up when i turned sixteen which made my parents outraged. i went on to hear about it for the next six years. my parents enrolled me in skating and i did well to skip the ‘red’ level which was the first level. i didn’t enjoy skating much so i never continued onto figure skating. i was on the tennis court as a ball girl ever since i could remember. soon after, my parents enrolled me into lessons at indoor tennis facility where i played a few tournaments. at the crossroad where players started specializing and turning pro, my parents asked if i wanted a coach. i turned it down because i didn’t think i could be one in a million that turns into a tennis star. i also played basketball at starting in elementary school. i would play all recess and lunch forgo-ing eating, but my parents forbid me to join any school teams. i finally convinced them to let me in highschool and made the team from grade eight to ten. however, it came to an abrupt halt after three severe ankle sprains had me on crutches and one major career-ending knee injury. my doctor did not allow me to take PE in grade eleven. i worked hard at physio and was cleared for PE twelve and tennis team, but still not able to return to competitive basketball

taekwondo had it’s ups and downs but it did shine at some point. i started as a white belt thinking i’d have some fun one summer. one summer became many summers. in the early stages as a yellow-green belt, i would half-ass thinking matching the green belts’ level was adequate. it turns out it wasn’t; my instructor wasn’t having any of that and lectured me on how it was unacceptable not to be practicing up to my fullest potential. that next promotion test, i was the second student in school history to skip a belt level. i started competing and that changed everything. i became an instructor, a coach and eventually the branch head instructor. though there’s glory, there’s also a lot of burden and stress behind the scenes. from white to black, there’s been many bumps and bruises, breaking my foot three times enroute to my third dan today. two years ago, i thought i could handle hanging up my competition uniform, but i was wrong. deep down, i know that i didn’t experience and accomplish all that i wanted to in order to say i have no regrets. i carry a lot weight being in the position i am in today and i feel no matter how much i put in, it is never enough. being in the position that i am, i feel obligated to continue onto my fourth. if i don’t grow, how will my students grow? how will i keep my dreams alive?

tricking is something i picked up partially because i have the aspirations to compete again, but also because i liked it. though i’m neither talented nor daring enough like some others, i still try to do what i can. i have moves i need in order to have any hopes of competing again, along with a list of tricks i want to learn just for the sake of it, but progress has been slowed by my foot and the various injuries i live with. i tried to stay patient all this time, but my patience has a limit and i’m afraid it’s running low. i’ve been extremely frustrated recently because i still have to hold off on things i really need and time is ticking. little do people know, i often beat myself up when i don’t get something that is seemingly so easy for somebody else. with any ‘bad’ training session that felt unproductive, i’d lay in bed thinking it over all night long. i know i’m not a natural at this, but i’m hoping my hard work pays off. until i know the severity of my foot injury, i’ll still be pushing hard – even if it means being on one foot. i’m no stranger to pushing the limits. if there’s one thing i do well, it’s disobeying commands, pushing through pain and playing through all sorts of injuries; it’s something i’m known for and that likely won’t change. my physio, chiro and kinesiologists knows me well enough that very little will stop me

i started lifting weights for rehab purposes, but soon grew to love it as something that compliments my sports and enhances my performance. i picked up olympic lifting four years ago only because i saw a trainer working out and thought it looked cool. for a couple years, i would always stay within my comfort zone just enough for maintenance. for that reason, i plateaued lifting the same amount of weight and wasn’t making the weight my kinesiologist expected. i remember disappointing him every time he checked on my progress, be it squats, deadlifts, bench, rows, pullups. it wasn’t until the beginning of this year i got serious about it and got into an olympic lifting specific program to improve my technique. through the program, my technique improved significantly and my strength really took off. only recently, i made a couple personal bests, but even those numbers are not quite the numbers that’s expected out of me. if i can one day exceed any of those expectations, i wouldn’t rule out a future competition

it’s really been a lot of back and forth with constant struggles. i know for a fact that my mom is disappointed i have yet to settle for someone. i’m disappointing them because it seems like i have no urgency to get into another relationship after being removed from one. maybe the previous brought bad experiences and many disappointments and the last thing i want is to get into one that will not make me happy. coming as a joke or not, it bothers me every time i’m being badgered or questioned about my choice; i’m more than positive of my answer and i need not to prove it to anyone. i can only apologize for the disappointment that it hasn’t happened yet, all i know is it’ll happen when the time is right and i meet the man of my dreams

my life has been far from a walk in the park and it’s been a rough stretch that’s consumed more of me than it should have. all my life i’ve been use to people being hard on me, pushing me and trying to bring the best out of me, and that’s okay because i can handle it. lately, it strikes me that i have more often than not fallen short of expectations. i’ve failed many people that had any hopes for me and i’m deeply saddened to have failed in so many regards. it seems i can’t ace any test given to me, but i can only promise i’ll keep trying. i know for a fact i’m not a person that settles for any less than what i want. believe me, no one is as harsh as i am on myself. in the meantime i’m just trying to keep it together

hustling 2019

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2018 was demanding for it was intertwined with many accomplishments and disappointments that brought forth many mixed emotions. i can’t deny i had stretched myself too thin more times than i’d like, and the year had flown by before i knew it. i was overloaded at work where i experienced many influxes of workload; but through that, i had earned my stripes and established myself as a lead. outside of work, my play was also action-packed. i took a step back from taekwondo, but have the intention to step back in once my tricks and flips are ready. i wouldn’t say i had a particularly healthy year; not having escaped the injuries – this time being my shoulder. i lost sight of my fitness at times, but still kept it within reason. with all the successes and setbacks of the past twelve months, i had a lot of take backs knowing i had grown and proved that i could handle myself in uncomfortable situations. looking ahead, 2019 will be a year of hustle where i’ll be chasing some pretty ambitious goals i had set for myself. again, i expect myself to continue grinding and hustling for everything i’ve always wanted. i’m committed to investing the next three hundred and sixty five days to become the best version of myself

i experienced the best and worst of days in 2018, but nothing i couldn’t overcome. the darkest moments stung and the brightest moments shone, but above all, i managed to stay afloat. as 2018 departs, i’m looking ahead and expecting a lot out of myself in 2019

  • get healthy and stay injury-free #gethealthystayhealthy
  • consistent training #leanmachine
  • proper eating #eatsmart
  • love myself for who i am #selfcare
  • love my family #familymatters
  • reconnect with friends #circleoffriends
  • savings and assets #budgetlife
  • explore and travel the world #roamtheplanet
  • more me time for what sets my heart on fire #metimemovement
  • career advancement #careerdevelopment
  • step back onto the mat #roadtonationals
  • setting my priorities #prioritiesincheck
  • learn or take up new skills and knowledge #foreverlearning

i’m ready to make some gains and get the best out of what 2019 has in store. it’ll be one heck of a ride as i’m on a mission to find my strong

singapore 2018

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the seventeen-day hong kong and singapore trip was pretty good but also came with some hard realization. it was an eventful two and a half weeks full of relatives, eating, walking, relaxing, chilling and exercising. with my parents, we explored the many places of singapore with exceptional architecture and delicious foods. i thought i would gain a lot of weight being in asia with endless eating, but that was not the case since i kept my exercise level up. i met up with old friends who took me on a wild tour to see the ins and outs of what hong kong is about. the main purpose of this trip was to visit my two grandmas. they are getting up there in age and it’s important for me to see them as often as time permits. spending time with them during this trip made me learn the brutal reality of health and aging. both of them had their mobility restrictions. my heart felt sour knowing i can’t help them out of this brutality even with the vast amount of experience, knowledge and education. all i can do is be by their side and spend time with them. with that said, i could see my grandmas’ face glow when i take them out for lunch, or even simply pay them an afternoon visit. regardless of what was said, it was good to spend time traveling with my parents; i don’t get that much anymore. that’s a wrap for my 2018 asia trip. i’ll be back soon enough

massive golden ears hike

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a september hike at golden ears park to close off this year’s hiking season. getting lost was basically the adventure of the day. what was suppose to be a sub ten kilometre hike turned into an over twenty-five kilometres. we were quick to comment how well marked the trail was, but somehow we accidentally went off into unmarked territory. we hiked through mosses, climbed over fallen tree stumps and crossed rivers. i was very intrigued by the orange fungi atop the trees, but didn’t dare take any home for i was warned there’s a lot of poisonous mushrooms out there. an hour an a half drive back home and i was exhausted. i definitely got my exercise and step count in today. at the end of it all, what was most important was i made it back in time to clean up for a wedding reception

sedinery era


i’m utmost shocked the sedin twins have announced retirement today. when the news first appeared on my news feed, my heart sank and i was crying inside. how i wished it was fake news, how i wished it was still april fools. i remember watching the draft pick in 1999, when two baby-faced boys stepped on the stage after brian burke announced his second and third picks consecutively. they took a lot of criticism over the years, but for the longest time they carried the team on their backs. it was evident to see their growth in nhl, as i watched them turn from boys to men. through the eighteen years of sedinery, they invented a brand of telepathic hockey never seen before, and they have the hart, art ross, king clancy and ted lindsay to show for. despite not having won a stanley cup in their nhl days, they had an amazing career in vancouver. the fact they stayed a canuck their whole career says a lot with totals like over two thousand six hundred games played and over two thousand one hundred points. regardless, cup or no cup, they were remarkable players that displayed class and leadership on and off the ice. so often i hear opposing players have insurmountable respect for them, even those on rival teams. i wish they didn’t make this announcement so i can continue to watch them play, but it felt right for them and their families. i’m going to miss their cycles, slap passes, between the legs tip passes, playoff heroics, and most importantly i’m going to miss seeing number twenty-two and thirty-three on the ice. the fact both of them attaining their one thousandth point this season is a very fitting way to end a hockey career. they’ll go down as one of the best twins to have ever played the game. i hope one day they will be inducted into the hockey hall of fame

vdl baker retreat 

rumour has it that the annual vdl baker retreat is described as one of a kind. rumour was bang on as the retreat didn’t disappoint and was nothing short of crazy. the three days spent with these lovely people certainly left many unforgettable memories. lots of stories took place over the weekend, but will be left untold because whatever happens at baker stays at baker. the kardashian cabin was cozy and only made cozier with twelve people in a cabin that regularly sleeps ten. i thought i’d rather go ski at mount baker because i didn’t want so much down time, but i’m glad i didnt. there’s several first moments, like sitting in the outdoor hot tub in the rain, drinking vodka via free pour, eating filipino spaghetti, seeing mountainous plates of bacon, kicking a six foot two guy in the face and walking into a green shop even knowing i’ll absolutely dislike it. i also learned more about myself and those around me. i would never survive in the wilderness because i am incapable of starting a fire, nor would i be able to go three straight days without being connected in some form. i found that some of the biggest hearts are found within the dodgeball exec body cause no matter the situation, we all care and look out for each other like family. i found out that the darker side of people’s past as i’m glad they felt at ease letting me into their inner self. after all, elected to devote my time for eight seasons to be one of these awesome people. to sum it up, it was a weekend of an unhealthy amount of booze and food everywhere, but it was one of the best weekends i’ve had in a long while. this was one of the rare times in the past year where i laughed genuinely; let’s keep the smiles up for the rest of the year

shaping 2018

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2017 was challenging that staggered between many emotions, some happy, some successful, some difficult, some burdensome and some heartbreaking moments. i was struck by my most depressing moments that resulted in bottling up emotions where self destruction happened. underneath the outer shell, was three hundred and sixty five days of constant battle that left many unseen scars. after this three hundred sixty five day battle, i came to realize i had ample growth: grew stronger, became braver, gained experience and expanded my knowledge. the struggles gave me a different perspective in life, the achievements gave me hope to to continue to climb. life is a journey defined by how well one copes after being knocked down. looking forward into the next twelve months, i’ll regroup and pull myself together to find my strong. i’m a fighter and won’t stop short of reaching my goal. as long as i stay strong, keep grinding and never settle for less than my full potential. life is about betterment and i’m committed to being the strongest version of myself

the latter part of 2017 wasn’t the best of days and was a true test of patience. the long drought, the fluctuating health, the seesawing emotions were all big obstacles, but i made sure all loose ends were closed. waving 2017 goodbye knowing 2018 has much more for me in store

  • get back healthy and stay as injury-free as possible
  • consistent training and eating with proper sleep
  • step up my game and take it to the next level
  • setting my priorities and boundaries
  • love myself for who i am, love my family, love my friends
  • stay focused towards advancement
  • attain more designations
  • save up for the numbers game
  • explore and travel the world
  • devote more time on what sets my heart on fire
  • step out of my comfort zone and expand my horizon
  • acknowledge being a workaholic but appreciate the little things

i’m ready to start 2018 off strong and be the stubborn goal digger that i am. just remember the best has yet to come

huffs and bluffs


i can finally check off the top item on my hike wishlist after completing the eagle bluffs. year after year, we go on hikes together and i’m very appreciative we can continue to keep the tradition every summer. we started at the base with a group that deemed themselves as experienced hikers that’s been going all summer long. we humbly said this was our first one of the summer, and that’s no lie. not long into the hike, we left them in the dust. along the way up we stopped at a cabin lake where many people took a dip. at the very top of it all was a beautiful vantage point where we stopped to take photos, eat snacks and rest. just as we were getting up for our return trip, we saw the same group of hikers who dumbfoundedly realized they were massively lapped. we’re not experienced hikers, but we’re speedy; took us roughly four hours to complete the round trip. i still go many hikes on my wishlist and hoping i can cross off a few more next summer