The Goruck Challenge

Last weekend I did the Goruck Challenge. It was a grueling 7 hour endurance challenge (advertised as a 4-5 hour challenge…ha!), modeled after special forces training, that beat us down both physically, and mentally. The challenge was spawned from the desire to test the quality of the rucksacks. Oh yeah, did I mention we had to carry bricks throughout the challenge? 2 bricks for anyone under 140lbs, 4 for anyone over. I guess I’m piggybacking on this bandwagon a little bit. This one is definitely a little more low key than most of the challenges out there like the Spartan Race, Mud Run, etc.

I woke up at 5:30a, and caravanned with a friend to San Francisco where we met up with the rest of our group, and 96 weary eyed Rucktards who were ready to embrace the suck with us. By 7a, the challenge started. We just happened to be put in with 2 Cadres who didn’t want to make it easy on us. I was okay with that. Nothing good comes easy, right? Apparently we had to go through a lot more than many other GRL classes.

We started off in a large field doing a ton of PT because we kept messing up. This included pushups, situps, flutter kicks, army crawling, fireman carries, “the tunnel of love”, and more. After that first hour, I swear I was thinking I wasn’t going to make it. I think the challenge hurt way more than it should have, partially because I was still sore from Softball the night before. Go figure, I thought I would be fine…but I was wrong!

Goruck Light Class 115 - Pushups

Goruck Light Class 115 - Kristin Tran Fireman Carry

Along the way we found rocks, logs, and people to act as “casualties”. Needless to say, we had to carry them throughout our 7-10 mile journey.

Goruck Light Class 115 - Log Carry Goruck Light Class 115 - Log Carry

Anyways we trekked around SF hitting 3 different beaches, and getting submerged in icy, cold water. Overall, the mental aspect kicked my ass the most. Being wet, and freezing for 7 hours was no joke. Especially when I absolutely hate being cold in the first place.

Goruck Light Class 115 - Golden Gate Goruck Light Class 115 - Flutter Kicks

I love team challenges. There’s something special about going through hell with a bunch of strangers, and coming out with friends at the end.

A couple of quotes I really liked were:

“Suffer in silence.” When people bitch and moan, it brings the mood and energy down. We’re all suffering, so what gives you the right to vocalize it? Just swallow your pain, and push forward. You’ll look like less of a wuss, and more like a badass.

“Light doesn’t mean easy…and a light is not always a light.” When people read “light” they think that its easy. Holy crap that wasn’t the case. So branding it as “Goruck Light” is MISLEADING AS HELL!

I would definitely recommend this challenge if you’re ready to put your body through a beating.

Overall, this event was good livin’ at its best. Just look at how happy I was to finish! Congrats GRL Class 115 🙂

Goruck Light Class 115

Goruck Light Class 115

What Happens When You Crave Adventure?

You go out and find it! You see, when you crave something such as adventure…your mind may be tricking you saying that its really not very easy to satisfy. I mean…its not like you can buy adventure like you can buying a carton of ice cream…right? WRONG –kinda.

Sometimes I have the luxury of working from home. As I groggily walked over to cook my usual breakfast I thought to myself, “Shit, today is a beautiful day…I wish I could be outside.” That feeling was so strong that I just had to get out. And I’m SO glad I did. I’ve always though that its the simple pleasures in life that make it enjoyable. “Why should I go to the lake on a weekday? I have a ton of work…” Why, why, why? I’ve been going on so many adventures is because when get the itch to do something, I ask myself, “Why, not?!” I want to have the courage to be happy, everyday.

So I geared up, and ran out the door with my trusty ruck (Inside were 2 bricks + water), camera, and a soy latte. And I explored. Longest…lunch break…ever ;).

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Life’s been quite hectic for me recently. One side of me is thinking that I need to chill out…but the other side is challenging me if I’ve ever regretted going out instead of staying in? The answer to that is…never :). So here’s to truly going out there and making each day count. Even the random ones where the spontaneous itch is too strong to control. ESPECIALLY those times.

Conversations with My Little Brother

Now that I’ve finally upgraded to a “smart phone”, I can take screen shots of conversations. Bahaha >=] It was such a shame that I couldn’t do this before. But fear not, I can document them now!

A little background on my relationship with my bro. We go on a ton of food adventures, and usually when we’re together, we just eat the whole town. Like so:

Broski

Cupcakes

He just transferred to UCD, living the big boy life. We occasionally call/webcam each other, but during the week when he’s in school, and I’m at work, we text. Here are some convos we had recently:

Convos with Alan: Bagel Massacre

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Convos with Alan: Food Insomnia

Convos with Alan: Food Insomnia

We’re so silly. Thanks for always finding a way to make me laugh Aran. Happy hump day!

Pick Yourself Up

Apparently its my 1 year blog anniversary today. 🙂 I know I’ve been a bit AWOL.

Yenow, I was going to post a rant a few days ago. Life was pretty sucky. I was in a mini rut. Lasted a 2-3 weeks or so until I finally snapped out of it. Or AM I out of it? I don’t know. However, I DO know that I feel better…so that should mean something :).

I was on vacation for the past 2 weeksish…went to Hawaii and crossed off some ’13 bucket list items 🙂 Got some sun, and it was a lot of fun. But whenever I’m 1. Not swamped with work 2. Not hanging out with friends, I start to think…a lot. Andddd this year definitely had a couple rough patches. This year’s wrap up in a few months is going to be crazy intense. My grandma, as well as one of my friends passed away and its been taking a big toll on my heart. I now understand how people feel when they say they’ve lost someone close to them. But life isn’t about holding on to something that you once loved, its making new experiences and memories with those who are here, now. Yeah- I’ve been telling myself that for the past few months, but its so much easier said than done. I’m not really one to talk about my feelings much, so its a lot easier to type things out. I guess everyone needs a place to vent, and this blog has helped me quite a bit. You guys-the readers have also really helped out a lot. 

I’m trying to think of something useful for those who are going through a RUT as well. If you all have any wise words, I would love to hear them. 

I think first and foremost, mourning is a must. Trying to stay “strong” doesn’t mean not letting yourself go and to just cry every once in a while. Let it out. A lot of life is hurtful, its okay to let the tears flow. 

Let those around you know what you’re going through. There are plenty of shoulders willing to catch your tears if you’re willing to open yourself up. I’m one to lag on this step. Lag quite a damn bit. I mean 99% of the time, I’m either happy or hungry! So its just as odd for me to express my feelings as it is for the person listening to me (I think). I don’t think they know how to respond when I go “deep zen mode”, and I’m very unpredictable when it comes to wanting to open up. Its just like dancing for me. I’m either in the mood or I’m not. If I’m not in the mood, I’m not gonna dance.

Exercise. Damnit, if you feel like eating a whole pint of ice cream, you go eat that pint of ice cream. However, you definitely have to work it off. Just like the quote in Legally Blonde, “Exercise gives you endorphins, endorphins make you happy…happy people just don’t shoot their husbands.” Trust me. Exercise will make you feel better, and you won’t have to fight the urge to kill your husband. Its the best way to take out your frustrations.

You need to pick yourself up, and move on. Always remember the good times you’ve had with the ones that have passed, but don’t forget that you have a life to live. One that the people who are no longer with us would want you to live to the fullest. So follow your dreams. I now have another dream developing. I’ve already lost two people I loved very much to Cancer. Both fighters. Both that had an influence in my life. I’m going to start with the Liver Walk this weekend, and then on to bigger things that will make a difference for families that haven’t lost their loved ones yet. 

Last, but not least, appreciate the good things in your every day life. You only have one life to live. Despite losing two loved ones, there were nine more reasons to smile. My cousin’s dog had NINE puppies! 🙂 Any wise words, funny internet memes/vids, cute pictures would be greatly appreciated at this time!

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Life is Short, Don’t Throw it Away

I’ve been meaning to finish this post for a while, I have about 30 posts in the backburner that are partially finished. I’m sad that the motivation comes from a tragic event.

Yesterday The other day I attended my first funeral for a friend. She was young, lighthearted, determined…and just a truly amazing person. Someone who, despite being sick, didn’t let that define who she was. Never. Always strong, and never making excuses. From the first time I met her, until this day, I’ve always thought very highly of her.

Life is short. What you do everyday, and who you spend your time with determines the legacy you leave behind.

This post is dedicated to Maivian Le, who left her mark from July 27th, 1993 – July 12, 2013, onwards. During her ceremony, many people shared how she touched them. She really was a miracle baby. Not just because she had a second chance at life, but because she lived life to the fullest. She touched everyone she met with her smile, and leaving us with loving memories of how she came into our hearts. Maiv made me think of what makes life enjoyable.

Here’s a list of things I try follow every day. Though every since I heard the news, I was just sad, the incident reminded me that life is precious. Don’t let it slip away as this tends to happen to us every now and then.

Don’t take others for granted. Throughout my life, I’ve definitely had my share of loving friends and family. I’ve had people go out of their way to help me succeed. I will never, ever for get who helped me. One of the stories shared today made me think a lot about my current relationships. Maivian’s neighbor said that he used to visit her every time he came back from college. As usual, he visited her a few months back when he came back. At this time Maiv just fought cancer and was a-ok. Everyone thought she was fine, including her neighbor. When he was leaving that day she asked him to come visit her everyday because she was lonely. Sadly, he did not…and just a short month later, she passed away. Similar to Maiv’s neighbor, I’ve private messaged her many times to set up dates to meet up. She lived a couple of hours away, so it was a bit hard to plan. Being a young working professional my day mostly consists of going to work, working out, eating, and, a couple times a week, hanging out with friends/fam when I’m not too tired. Anything outside of an hour drive was just “too long”. Excuses, excuses. Some people who I’ve told this to did say it was okay because at least I tried to plan out time to visit (because lets be honest a lot of people are too lazy to plan), and still got to speak with her through messages/video chat/etc. But really, that’s just not enough sometimes. Spend time with loved ones. Tell them you love and appreciate them, because you may not get the chance to later.

Forgive yourself, but don’t forget your mistakes. Everyone makes mistakes. Don’t be too hard on yourself when it happens. But also don’t make it an excuse to do stupid things. Making mistakes is part of life, but knowingly making mistakes is one of the dumbest things you can do. Maivian wasn’t afraid to take, nor give constructive criticism. Its all about the growing process. In my conversations with her, we spoke often of criticism, and what it meant to us. And we both came to the conclusion that we both appreciate it when someone gives constructive criticism, no matter what age. As I mentioned before, I respect Maivian a lot…as a person, and as a martial artist. It is rare to see two people give constructive criticism to each other without having a superiority complex. I STILL feel like sometimes I have to step “down” so people don’t get cray. I have concluded that others will always underestimate me, even my closest friends and ex teammates. Maiv often had the same issues, despite being 1. awesome  and 2. completely capable of her leadership roles. We had a mutual understanding of a problem that a lot of people don’t comprehend. This situation loops back to my Modestly Confident blog post.

Find what you’re passionate about. Maiv was passionate about her art(s), family, and friends. This truly showed. Find it and DO IT. Even if you don’t make a career out of it, while you’re doing that activity you should feel completely comfortable with yourself. You should be in the zone. If you don’t know what that means, you probably haven’t found it yet. For me, very similar to Maiv (She was referred to as Kristin 2.0, afterall. I’m happy to even be compared to her.), I’m passionate about building relationships with family and friends, food, and being a well rounded athlete. I say athlete because I just love sports, including martial arts, and maintaining top fitness in general.

Take things one step at a time. Work piling up? Half the time we are afraid of what’s to come instead of just doing it. This pertains to just about any challenge. How to get good at Bball? One drill, one shot, one game at a time. There are NO shortcuts. In her short time, with us, Maiv managed to fight Biliary Atresia, Cancer, earned her 3rd degree black belt in Funokoshi Shotokan, served as drum major of her middle school, as well as high school, served in the ROTC program, and was a key demo team member in the Martial Arts Club at UC Merced. That’s not including building lasting relationships with her friends and family. Yeah. All that in 20 years. No excuses for the rest of us.

Build healthy relationships. You only have time for people who make positive influence in your life. Forget the people who make it miserable. There will always be people who go out of their way to make you feel insignificant, and you know what? Only YOU have the right to make yourself feel that way. Fill your time with people who love you, and make you laugh. A light heart shows through your smile.

Don’t take yourself too seriously, and just have fun. One thing that I admired about Maivian was how charismatic she was without taking herself too seriously. She gained the respect from everyone around her from being modest. Though soft spoken, she made her opinions known. Never in a way that belittles others, but pushing others up with her. A true role model who was goofy as hell when she wasn’t training, and wasn’t afraid to make fun of herself. This is something I aspire to become.

Happy Birthday. Rest in peace, Em. It was an honor to have met you. You will be missed. ❤

Yours Always,
Chi

FIRE!!!

Got dropped off at 2am.

Suddenly woke up to a blaring SMOKE alarm. I checked the clock. 6am. So still half asleep, I run out to my living room and smell a slightly smokey aroma. Looking around I don’t see anything burning…until I look at my heater. Near the bottom I see it illuminating a yellowish, orangish glow. During this time, the alarm is STILL going off. UGHH. I hate alarms in general. So…after a couple of mins  I start freaking out and run to the faucet to fill a cup of water and throw it on to the heater. No luck. Still glowing orange. At that time I think to myself, shoot. I don’t want my shit to go up in flames…better call the fire department. So…I did. The lady said help was on the way, and that I should get out ASAP.

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You know that question that people always ask…the one that goes “If your house was burning down, which 3 items would you take with you?” Lol I took, my backpack, grabbed both my laptops (My mac and gaming laptop) and my purse (which contained my wallet and camera). I was genuinely scared.

Two policemen came at my door, first. They looked around the apartment and started observing the heater. Nope…no flames…. then comes two firemen, one with an axe, I might add. One of the cops rudely said there was no fire, and a bit too loudly muttered “I’m leaving”. -_-; UGHHH. Then the two firemen took a look and, yet again confirmed there was no fire. But told me its always better to be safe than sorry. Then they taught me how to turn OFF my heater because I never even turned it ON!

So funny because I always thought my apartment was hot…now I know its because the heater was on for at last 4 months. -_-

Moral of the story: Heaters are supposed to have coils that glow orange…so don’t be frightened. And also, its always better to be safe than sorry, even when you look REALLY, really stupid doing so.

Hello again blogging world, long time no talk/see! 🙂

Modestly Confident

What’s the line between modesty and confidence?? I seem to struggle with this quite a bit without realizing it until someone underestimates me. It makes me think about my approach to things that I’m decent at. Can one ever to -too- modest? I think so. I often forget that many people around us don’t judge by actions, but by what they hear. Not by what they see, but what they want to see. Does that make sense? In this respect, I’m probably a crap martial artist who doesn’t believe that black belts mean anything but how much commitment/what the person wants it to mean (to the average person they’ll probably be like “wtf is this girl saying?”). That I really suck at Basketball/can’t dribble/can’t do layups. My drumming needs work because I haven’t played for a while. Oh- and that I can’t really hold my liquor very well because I don’t like feeling full. Wowww, I really am quiteeee an extraordinary being, huh?! Who wouldn’t want some of this?? :p

I’m writing this just to remind myself that its okay to be confident in your ability. I shouldn’t shy away from the things that I’m passionate about. I shouldn’t be afraid to say that I’m (wow this feels really weird to even type this) good at certain things. Strangers, and even friends sometimes forget that I can hold my own. That I’ve grown every single year, and day for that matter. When I sit here a little frustrated about why certain people underestimate my abilities, I can’t help but think that its not their fault for thinking that way. Its what I’m telling them, and the way I’m telling them that forms their opinion of me. I don’t want to just be “nice” in the eyes of my peers.

Though I’m confident enough in myself to brush off what most people think of me, this post will be the first step towards a more confident sounding Kristin. Sometimes you only get one shot, one sentence, or even one look to make a positive impression on someone else. I want to create an energy that can be seen, heard, and felt. I’m not sure if I can ever accomplish that, but I’ve certainly met a hand full of people with such a presence, so I know its possible! …lets aim for a modestly confident Kristin 😉

Hahaha. So what do you think is the line between modesty and confidence? When does one start to sound cocky? I’m really interested in hearing your thoughts! And I also apologize from being MIA, big things are happening in the world of Kristin! 🙂