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Fitness Fav on Friday | Inspiration

I can’t believe it’s nearing the end of July already. Where did all the time go?! This marks the last of this month’s Fitness Fridays.

This week’s theme is on where (or what) we draw our inspiration from.

My first two years of undergrad were frighteningly unhealthy, mostly because of my course load (let’s just say that I had enough units to graduate by the end of my second year) and the fact that I didn’t know any better. Granted, I’m sure it could’ve been worse. I ate healthily (usually), but in large quantities. (Alright, fine. This really hasn’t changed too much. ._.) I didn’t drink alcohol, but I didn’t exercise very often. My second year was the worst. I was slaving through organic chemistry and very heavily questioning my life choices. A typical day consisted of many, many cups of green tea, Nature Valley Oats n’ Honey granola bars throughout the day (I consumed over 500 that academic year. I am unfortunately not exaggerating.), and some sort of hopefully healthy-ish dinner. To this day, I can’t eat those granola bars anymore because it reminds me of ochem.

If you’ve ever happened upon the “fitness” section of my frighteningly long “About” page (forgive me; I love to write), you’d know that once upon a time, I made the glorious decision to change my major from Biological Sciences to Exercise Biology. It was easily one of the best decisions of my life, and those last two years of undergrad still remain as some of the best times of my life.

I absolutely fell in love with the major, and also had a little more freedom with my schedule, so before I knew it, on top of the Tahitian + hula dancing I was already doing, I was also taking kickboxing classes, abs/back conditioning, archery, tumbling, learning to lift weights, running…I tried it all and loved most of it (I really did try with long-distance running, but my apparent lack of type I muscle fibers just makes weightlifting so much more appealing). One of my most recent pipe dreams would be to be able to compete for WBFF, but given the amount of time and dedication it would take (coupled with the current road I’m taking), I don’t think it’d be a viable option. :[

I love the way lifting weights/exercise makes me feel, and it’s great to set state records and be awesome and all that. I will admit that I draw part of my inspiration from my dreams of badassery…but what matters more to me goes beyond that.

I want to lead by example. My hope is to go into family medicine (possibly sub-specializing in sports medicine) and to really be able to show my patients what I mean when I counsel them on incorporating exercise into their life, or tell them to start or maintain a healthier diet. I’d like to be able to give them concrete examples and tailor it to their individual needs. (I basically did this throughout the last two years, even though all my patients were fake.) I learn best by doing, so the past two years of medical school were really difficult for me. Matters were not helped by the fact that we were the guinea pig class to the new curriculum, but what matters is that we made it through. (I like to refer to our class as the “spirited survivors.”)

I’m always the first to admit that I am definitely not a genius (nowhere close :[ ). I got to where I am today because of my persistence and determination. I hope that continues to pull me forward, but for now, LEMME BASK IN THE GLORY OF NEVER HAVING TO TAKE THIS MONSTROSITY AGAIN. <3

I get to start my clinical rotations and start seeing real patients on Monday! Words cannot express how ecstatic I am right now. :]

This marks the last of Fitness Fav on Friday–go check out jvkom next week for a Feature Friday!

JVKom Chronicles
Also, starting next week, I’m really excited to announce that I’ve teamed up with several other ladies from Girls Gone Sporty for a Foodie Friday linkup! Each week will be a separate theme, so feel free to join in! :D More details will be up later on this/next week!

Mid Year Review | Start, Stop, Keep

July’s PDBA blog hop theme is a mid-year review on what’s been going on in our lives, whether it be from a personal, business, or poler’s viewpoint. I’m going with personal because my poling has become so sporadic. :[ Darn life for getting in the way. (I’m still devising a way to sneak my pole up 2 flights of stairs without anyone in my complex noticing it. ._.)

  • Start: being more proactive, studying every day, working out regularly
  • Stop: negative self-talk (I noticed how gifted I was at this during my 1.5-month long study hibernation; it’s horrible) + making excuses for myself/other people
  • Keep: on truckin’ (+ in touch with + maintain relationships with family/friends, volunteering, and venturing out of my comfort zone)!

There’s been a lot that’s happened over the past 6 months, although there’s really just one thing on my mind right now. Remember my 1.5-ish-month long study hibernation that pretty much sucked all the life and joy away from me?


I officially get to call myself a third-year medical student, which means I’m finally permitted to re-join the land of the living/interact with human beings again. I’m one step closer to finally becoming a physician, and I am absolutely overjoyed. <3 I can’t wait to start my rotations!

Here are highlights from the first half of this year!

January: Coping mechanism for the polar vortex

February: Raising money at the International Festival so PAX could bring more supplies/medications to the DR (see next month).

March: Volunteering in the Dominican Republic (we managed to raise >$5000 to buy supplies/meds to bring over!)

April: My unintentional half-move into the cat shelter that later became an official move

May: Snuck back to CA for a week to half-live at Twirly Girls and see my family/friends before disappearing into the catacombs forever

June: My life as a basement dweller

Fitness Fav on Friday (Places)

This week’s linkup is on our favorite places to get in our fitness, so here’s one of my favorite places ever!

My favorite gym in the world is the ARC (Activities & Recreation Center) back at Davis. I was massively spoiled there and no other gym I’ve ever been to since then has not compared. I also love being outside. If I could move a squat rack outside (and perhaps a giant truck tire!) to work out, it’d be awesome. :D!

Fridays have apparently become my time to provide life updates, so…I’ve moved, yet again. I’ve lived in …8(?) places since 2007. ._. This apartment complex is quite possibly the nicest place I’ve ever lived in. It’s also the most expensive, even with the $45/month discount my friend managed to get for me, but if I keep pinching pennies like nobody’s business, I should be okay.

I got to Kentucky on Sunday evening. As it is, I’m only about 1/3 of the way moved in because my Tetris-ing skills unfortunately have not transcended to unearthly levels. I’m currently leeching wireless from a network called, “get your own” (yepyep, very fitting), but hopefully by August, I’ll be done! I’m hoping I can share internet with Hira, and also may or may not have left a somewhat creeper-y message on my neighbor’s door. (…It was to ask if we could split the wifi bill if it didn’t work with Hira.) The creeper-y part is because I don’t actually know my neighbor, but…does it make it any better if he’s also a student, but a year above me?

Minimalist living. Mike found out I didn’t have a bed and loaned me his extra for the week (he’s returning it on the weekend).

Orientation was throughout this week. We had a wholeeee ton of information thrown at us on Monday, but I’m super grateful that we’re in this region. Our dean and site coordinator really seem like they care about us. :D

Our first ice-breaker involved “2 Truths & a Lie,” which I always find kinda fun. :D For people who know me, the lie is pretty easy to detect.

  1. I’ve been living at a cat shelter for the past 2 months.
  2. My favorite subject in high school was biology.
  3. I hold a state powerlifting record.

None of my non-friends suspected that bio was not one of my favorite subjects in high school. (English, journalism and treble ensemble!!!)

We got fed lunch and there was enough left, so I got dinner too!

We had a couple team-building exercises. One of them involved using the 6 pipecleaners we were given to create “something medically-related,” but we were only allowed to use our non-dominant hands. Our group immediately opted to make Borrelia burgdorferi.

It’s beautiful!

Most of the other teams made stethoscopes, and her dean has dubbed our class as the least creative group she’s had thus far. (Noooo! :'( ) Past classes have made an ambulance, a wheelchair, a bunch of teeth with braces…etc. She said she liked our Lyme disease creation though, but she can’t display it in the case or it’ll get smushed.

JVKom Chronicles

Fitness Fav on Friday (Fuel)

This week’s Fitness Favorites is on our favorite fuel (food, supplements, hydration, recovery, etc.)! This week, I’m pairing it with this week’s Spill It, Sundays theme because the themes overlap! …This is also because I’m currently in CA and eating the world, saving the world (aka replaying Chrono Trigger) and spending time with my friends/family, so I’ve been kinda absent from the blogging world, despite my earlier ambitions to switch my blog to self-hosted during my luxuriously long summer vacation (5 days).

The airport I usually fly out of has an on-time departure rate of ~3%, so this is me chillin’ in the VIP lounge.

Just kidding. There is no VIP lounge at that airport. I’m hanging out in my friend’s office and we parked two chairs together to make me a “bed.” My pillow is composed of a towel covering a giant plastic bag of a bunch of plastic bags. Yepyep. High-rollin’. (It was really, really comfortable, actually. I slipped into a coma for a couple hours.)

don’tjudgeus. This is due in part to the fact that my brother and I have been doing super hardcore workouts and end up in all sorts of soreness, so moving is an issue.

A somewhat frightening Asian market find. I really hope they mean ginkgo seeds…?

My favorite way to start the day in the summer (hooray for warm weather!!!) is usually with a smoothie of some kind.

Basic Green Smoothie

As far as supplements go, I like Cytosport 100% Whey Protein (Chocolate) because it’s pretty inexpensive (as far as protein powder goes), especially when you get it from Costco!

Chocolate Raspberry Protein Smoothie

For hydration, I adore coconut water.

Coconut Acai Bowl

Come join in on Fitness Fav Fridays! :]

JVKom Chronicles
The Big Man's World

Fitness Fav on Friday (Gear)

Happy July 4th, everyone! :]

Tomorrow is my d-day the day I’ve spent the last almost-1.5 months studying for! If we want to get all technical, I’ve been studying for this exam since I started med school, because it pretty much encompasses everything I learned over the past two years (and much, much more ._.). I’m sincerely hoping that it goes well, and I would very much appreciate all the positive thoughts/energy/prayers anyone would like to send my way! If there were a way to cash in karma, I’d be all in for tomorrow. It’s kinda a big deal. ._. All my limbs crossed! Then I get to go home for about 5 days to remind my family/friends that I still exist, and have not in fact disappeared off the face of the planet!

On an entirely different note, July launches off a new Friday linkup over at Jen’s and this week’s topic is on our favorite fitness gear!

I whipped up a super-awesome collage on MS paint! (My specialty.)

  • Apparel
    By the time I’m out of medical school, I’ll be in roughly a quarter of a million dollars worth of debt (this includes my grad school loans too). Said debt is assuming that I continue to keep my annual living expenses under $10k/year, because we are #2 (there’s no bitterness about the discrepancy between in-state and out-of-state; NONE AT ALL). Suffice to say, I love finding great deals and my workout clothes are primarily composed of free shirts that I get from volunteering, and on sale from Old Navy’s “Active” line (aka the clothes I would live in at all times if it were socially acceptable to do so). My favorite tops are their $3-5 rib-knit tanks, and my favorite bottoms are their slim boot-cut yoga pants.My favorite jacket is from Costco. :D It’s light but warm, super comfortable, flattering, has thumbholes (twas the first jacket I ever owned with thumbholes! :O ), and I am super-regretting not buying one in each of the colors they had to offer. (As far as I know, Costco doesn’t offer them anymore. I may try to snag em’ off ebay at some point.)

    I don’t take very many pictures of things other than food, but here’s me in said jacket! (I’m the one on the left.)

    I’ve already talked about my favorite shoes in a previous post, so in an effort to not beat a dead horse, click the link if you want to hear more about those! :]

  • LiquidGrip & iTac2 (for powerlifting/pole dancing)
    I discovered the existence of the awesomeness that is LiquidGrip at my first national powerlifting competition last year. One of the things I love most about these competitions (yep, all two that I’ve been to >_> ) is that everyone is so encouraging and willing to help. One of the ladies there found out that I was there all alone–no coach, no friends…(etc.), so she offered to take pictures/videos for me so I could see how I was doing/could improve. She also gave me some LiquidGrip to try out before I did my deadlifts. Twas a glorious find. I don’t use anything (e.g. straps, gloves, belt) with any of my regular lifting, but this helped a whole lot. It’s reminiscent of the chalk I used to use back in high school gymnastics, except it’s not messy, and I pretty much never need to re-chalk. A little goes a long way, but since it’s me we’re talking about here, I only really use this for competitions or attempting-to-break-PR’s-days. ._. I suspect this would be equally as helpful for grip in pole, but I’ve mainly been using iTac2, so…I’ll report back when I’ve moved into my new apartment and my pole is no longer hiding in the basement!
    On the subject of iTac2, I use this exclusively on my thighs and/or knees when I need extra grip for tricks/holds. (It’s a little too grippy/powerful for my hands, so I’d pretty much never be able to do any spins without getting stuck and looking even less graceful than usual.) This is especially helpful because I can’t usually get to a studio anymore (two times out of the year :[ ). I love the Platinum Stage poles at Bel’s studio, but the portable one I own is, quite unfortunately, super slippery. :[ I’m not sure if it’s an issue with the weather or the humidity, but it’s never been this difficult to stay on, and as such, this makes being able to practice anything infinitely more difficult. Fortunately, iTac2 does usually help to remedy this!
  • Polar FT4 HR Monitor
    This is for back when I actually used to run (3.5+ years ago?), but this heart rate monitor (and running with friends) is largely how I motivated myself to train for my first/only race/run. My goal at the time was to finish the half-marathon without dying, so in that regard, I did rather swimmingly! The Polar FT4 HR monitor is very, very simple to use. I mulled over a ton of different ones and read a good number of reviews and comparisons before I finally decided on this one. I really liked having something to keep track of how hard I was working, so to speak. I’ve only ever used it for running, because taking it to pole class didn’t work out so well. (I was scared I’d break the monitor during a caterpillar mishap [or some other such accident].) I haven’t used in the past couple years because I stopped running, the battery in the watch finally gave out, and I’ve been busy with higher education and repeatedly moving across the country (sigh). Once I unearth all the pieces necessary and fix it up, maybe it’ll get me to start running once more? At the very least, I’d like to start doing intervals again!

That’s all I’ve got! :]

What would be on your list for favorite fitness gear?

Come join in on Fitness Fav Fridays! :]

JVKom Chronicles
(Also, while I’m still on the subject of fitness, there’s a @MoveHappy challenge going on for the month of July with different prizes each week! :] More information can be found below!
Better With Veggies