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 ;).


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.

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! 🙂


I’ve always been an underdog, ever since I came out of the womb. Its so weird hearing from my mom that I was born premature, in an incubator, weighing in at ~4 lbs. A fighter I was, and a fighter I’ll always be. You see, life is quite funny. When you look back you can look and see who had faith in you, and saw your potential, and those who underestimate you. Sadly, I had to drive myself to do most of the things I love. Support from my parents was never really there. It really sucked, actually. When you’re young you rely a lot on your parents to give you some guidance. But everyone has their story, right? I think I turned out all right for the most part. :p

That brings me to another point. My friend and I were talking about underdogs the other day, and she mentioned that she and I are underdogs in different ways. It makes sense. We’re pretty much young guns in our industry, just trying to do the best we can do with what we’re given. I personally like climbing the ladder. I’m not sure what it is. Something about proving to others I can do it? Possibly. I think its more about gaining the respect of others around me. Respect, unlike power can only be earned by jumping through fire with your peers.

Here’s a vid that I really enjoyed. The Last Pick – Jeremy Lin

Leveling Up!

So I’ve been quite busy recently…you know doing the usual. Remember my post Brave back in early October of last year? Well the new wind finally came, but its not just any “new” wind. Its a damn HURRICANE! Things have been going really, really well for me recently.

“Sometimes when things are falling apart, they may actually be falling into place.”

I have a new job, and reminded everyday that I am surrounded by amazing people. 🙂 This post is a reminder to myself to really appreciate what I have. With a crazy economy and competitive environment, many 20 somethings have struggled so much in find a job. ANY job. I was very, very fortunate to be employed right after college. Aside from that, at the company that I worked for, I was surrounded by positivity and love. I was blessed with coworkers who truly cared for me. (They could possibly be reading this right now ;)) HI GUYS! They set the bar quite high, and though I’m looking forward to the next step in my career, I will never forget the good times I’ve had at that company 🙂

Growing up is not easy, but taking the time to really be appreciative of what you have really helps. 😀

I hope everyone has a great weekend! I’m going to cross off a 2013 bucket list item TODAY! THE COLOR RUN! 🙂

The Fighting Spirit

Tournament Reflections:

I always get extremely nervous when entering any type of competition, or performance. So naturally, the support of friends mean the world to me. Before we get into the deets of the tournament, I just wanted to say that I am SO thankful for those we made the trip to Merced with me, and some who drove alone just to watch me compete. Its those types of gestures that I’ll remember.

I competed in Individual Traditional Kata, Team Kata, and Sparring. I placed 1st in Ind. Kata, 2nd in sparring, and our team placed 1st in our division. I was runner up for Adult Grand Champion for Tradtional Kata. We tied, and we both decided to do show of hands for the winner. I lost to a Gentleman who trained in Shotokan…he had SO MUCH POWER. I would love to learn how to generate more power in my hips! Great person, with a lot of knowledge to share in such a short amount of time.

So…where to start? Overall it was a very humbling experience. Competing with beasts of martial artists tends to have that effect.

Here’s the video for my Ind. Kata and Team Kata. Enjoy! Critiques and feedback are always welcome and appreciated! 🙂

After performing our Team Kata, I was tightening my ankle brace when a mom and a little boy came up to me. His mom congratulated me and said I kicked butt (Aww), and then proceeded to take her seat. The little boy stayed though, and asked what was on my foot. I told him “Ohh, I hurt my ankle a few years ago, its is to help prevent further injury! Be careful when you train, okay?” He responded with an exasperated “OoOoh…” Then, trying to spark some conversation I asked what he trained in, and what he was eating. He said “RICE KRISPY!…be right back, stay here!” He then ran to where is equipment was, and grabbed a bag of Doritos! LOL…and offered it to me! I told him “Oh no no no, its okay! That’s for you to keep your energy up!” The boy insisted I take it. And oh my gosh. He gave me the BIGGEST puppy dog eyes EVER. So…I took his Doritos and he ran off hella happy. Gosh I love kids. They’re so pure in their intentions. 🙂 I always speak about small things that people can do to make someone happy…this was one of those moments. 🙂

“To laugh often and love much; to win the respect of intelligent persons and the affection of children; to earn the approbation of honest citizens and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to give of one’s self; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to have played and laughed with enthusiasm and sung with exultation; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived—this is to have succeeded.”

-Ralph Waldo Emmerson

A little off topic: It makes me proud that I could overcome different obstacles in my path. One of my friends laughed at me the other day when I jammed my finger playing bball. I told her that I don’t get injured, and when I get hurt, I see them as mere inconveniences. 😉 And like any inconvenience, you have to move on, because there’s nothing you can do about it, anyway!

The feedback from this weekend was positive, so I think that its safe to say, I am improving. 🙂 Its one thing when you put your heart and soul into training, but when others notice it as well, you feel that you’re invincible, and on top of the world! But now, its time to train even harder than before. Can’t wait until the next Tournament. Until then, FIGHT ON! 🙂

I know you guys were waiting for it…pictures! Enjoy 😉

Photographs by Scotty Asai & Stephanie Louie

The Pursuit of Fulfillment

So as some of you might have noticed, I have been quite busy lately! Just trying to get my life together. These past few weeks have been a series of huge ups (and not necessarily downs), and serious reflection. At times, its easier to keep busy, rather than to contemplate about life ;). This post is going to be a bit of a tangent, so bear with me…I have a lot going on and I want to release it!

I have high standards. But damn my friends have a ridiculous amount of faith in me, which results in at times,what it feels like, infeasable results. However, its a refreshing to know that they believe in me, and my abilities. Though its a bit overwhelming, I feel good when they do push me. Ohh the pressure to excel. I’m just scared that I won’t meet their expectations. Again, this goes back to my post about overbearing feelings: The War Zone. On one hand I want to continue proving them right, by pushing myself, and on the other hand, I just want to show that I struggle as well, even if its in a different way. SOMETIMES ALL I WANT IS A HUG! …and none of those crappy side hugs, I only befriend people who give real, teddy bear-like hugs.

Sometimes life is like a tide. Extremely overwhelming, and full of emotion. But at the end of the day, its how you interpret the situation. Did it come in and destroy, or has it given you the opportunity to rebuild yourself, even stronger? Did it give you the strength reach out your hand to help another, when you wouldn’t have done so previously?

As I was training the other day one of my buddies said “Life is a series of failures.” Part of me agreed, but I cringed at the word failure. So, being the damn optimist that I am, I challenged him. But, I couldn’t really give a good answer on what my definition of success is. He proceeded with:

“What, are you comfortable with your desk job??”

It kind of offended me a tiny bit, at first. How dare he say that when he knows I’m always trying to better myself! There’s more to life than just work! Hahaha. Anyways, I’ll probably never be truly content, but some people may be perfectly fine/blessed with having a desk job. What if I were one of those people? I would be even more offended! Of course all this occurred to me in the shower…after the fact…as always :p So, what DO I define as success?

For me, the definition of success varies among different individuals.

I believe that success is being the strongest version of yourself as possible. And I believe that success is shaping your life for the betterment of society, always sacrificing yourself to help others. I want to have the ability to enter into someone’s life at any given moment, and touch them in a positive way. Whether only for a moment, or befriending them for their entire life.

I am only 24 years young, I haven’t even begun to grasp the struggles and responsibilities that many have to bear. The importance of caring for a child. The struggles of scrounging for every penny to pay for a mortgage. The horribly crippling feeling of losing someone you love. The quest of happiness and success is a long and never ending road. But I do know, at least for me, that happiness comes in the simplest of forms. Pure feelings, and human emotion. In other words, that warm, fuzzy feeling. 😉

I’m uncertain about how to go about the next phases of my life…all I know is I have to keep moving forward. Which is, many times, the hardest part.

What have you all been up to lately? My fellow Martial Arts enthusiasts, athletes, and optimists? Do you have any wise words of wisdom for me through these times?