Saturday, May 23, 2015

The Great Wall (of China) Half Marathon -- Arriving In China [part 1]

I was so excited to go back to China! I was also excited to run a race, especially since it took place on the Great Wall of China. Having my family come along and see the country of the people I love was exciting in itself. So having all of these take place together was a bit euphoric.

And then there was the touring part of the trip. I'll admit, before arriving in China I was already dreading the buses and tours we had planned ahead. I general don't like touring, but I had already been to all of the places our tour would be taking us.

A few pictures of me taken oven the past few years at some of the sites we visited during our trip.

I guess I didn't realize how much fun it would be to see my siblings and their reactions to things that my mind had already digested. Seeing China through their eyes, even if I was stuck on a tour bus, ended up being a total blast and I absolutely loved the hilarious commentary coming from them.

I knew people were going to stare at us. :)
Here we just arrived at our hotel and this was our very first elevator ride.
Chinese people LOVE it when we give attention to them and/or their children. They are quick to shove their babies in front of our cameras.

I was a bit concerned at the possibility of our hotel being less than par. I've stayed in some pretty dank hotels while in China, and this was my siblings' first time leaving the Western world, so I was relieved when our rooms ended up being really nice.

When exposed to Chinese culture my family was anything but an ugly American, instead they were highly interested and amused by everything surrounding us. They loved it and that made me really happy.

I'll save race day for the next post, but here is Christy getting a massage just after the race. I love her face.

We have 400+ gigabytes of footage and photos, so sifting through all of them has been taking forever.

My sisters are also bloggers, with Jolie also creating some videos of our experience in China, so my motivation to blog isn't all that great. So here are the links to my sister's blogs.

Christy's first blog post about China (1 of pending-amount)

Jolie's first blog post about China (1 of pending-amount)

Sunday, May 3, 2015

A Flat Period of Life

Wow, my posting on this blog has definitely become a bit sparse. Back in college I would look for things to do while on my short study breaks, and blogging was something I could do from anywhere since I always had a backpack on, so I blogged a lot.

Now I don't have homework, and it's amazing.

And for those interested, I do vlog a bit for a different blog. Here's my latest video:

So what do I do with all of my time now that I'm not a student? I shall list a few activities:

  • Write & record music - I'm always writing music. It's my way of expressing myself. I'll write a song, record it, produce it, and then never let anyone hear it. It's probably for the better.
My little bro crashed here a few nights and recorded a song he wrote.

  • Running - I'm told it's good for you. I love running, but would I love it as much without the ability to listen to music? I hope I never find out. There have been a few instances where I've run without music, but these instances were short distances, never breaching 5 kilometers.

    Running is my time to think, vent, and motivate/inspire myself to act. Just being outside can do those things per se, and the variety of scenery is refreshing. 

  • Meeting people - I've been utilizing and it's pretty cool. I tend to "meet up" with running groups. There are some other groups that like to meet up at restaurants which is also fun.

  • Make a game for Android and iOS - Nozomi and I are back at it, we're going to finish our game. We're using a different framework this time (libGDX) which has greatly simplified the entire process and made our game more robust. This has been where most of my time has been invested as of late.

    Nozomi and I made a 3D game for a project while we were attending BYU. We actually had a lot of fun with it and did more than was required just because we enjoyed the entire process so much. The game was very humble, but considering it was just one project during a fast tracked summer term I think we did alright lol!
The game Nozomi and I made while at BYU.

Really, this past month was pretty uneventful and might be described as dull, which makes me think of this quote I discovered years ago:

"During that drive it was brought forcibly to me that the seeming flat periods of life give us a blessed chance to reflect upon what is past as well as to be readied for some rather stirring climbs ahead. Instead of grumbling and murmuring, we should be consolidating and reflecting, which would not happen if life were an uninterrupted sequence of fantastic scenery, confrontive events, or exhilarating conversation."

"Patience" By Elder Neal A. Maxwell Of the Presidency of the First Quorum of the Seventy

I have had some time to stop, think, and reassess certain things in my life, and it's been a good thing.

Here are some coworkers I regularly go to lunch with. They're Asian. Are you surprised?
Last weekend I was sick with a throat something or other. I didn't go running once, though I did stop by a certain LGBT Mormon conference put on by All Arizona. I arrived late and stayed for maybe 30 minutes. I didn't feel well at all, and knew that if I stayed I'd probably talk to a lot of people, so I went home and slept for the next two days.

As I mentioned I've been running again, and it's been amazing. Running is pretty much the highlight of my day.
Notice the nice ramping-up of miles? December was when my gallbladder was removed, so no running then. Thereafter I slowly eased back into running so as to avoid injury. Not running far is so hard for me to do. I'd run 100 miles everyday if my body let me.

Here's my running data for the year so far (data pulled from Garmin Connect):

Aside from my family, I know you (the reader) don't care about my running. You should try it! It will be terrible at first, but eventually you'll love it.

Well, I'm going to eat something, go for a nice Sunday walk, and then probably watch Toy Story or something. Have fun running :)