Growing up I was always last of my class at the mile. I remember in 5th grade I was literally the last kid to finish. It was so embarrassing and I really thought I would never been able to do anything about it.
I used an inhaler. Picture a really short Asian kid with thick glasses and a bowl haircut and was voted most reserved of my class in the yearbook.
In middle school I was still shy and only until around 7th grade I started opening up and trying new things.
I started doing cross country in 8th grade. I always had a lot of energy because of my diagnosed ADHD. They said when your parents smoke cigarettes you have a much higher chance of developing ADHD compared to kids that do not have parents that smoke.
Anyways, I was always pretty bad at track and cross country. I mean compared to normal people I was good. I started placing near the top of my gym class in the mile but still haven’t broken a 6-minute mile more than once.
I was pretty proud of myself, yay I beat a bunch of people that don’t run every day for 5-7 miles. People always thought us Cross Country people were crazy like why would you run for fun? But I always thought it was a meditative way to just have a good time with friends and didn’t think too much of it.
I remember the football players always made fun of us because most cross country people were skinny and they were always intimidating.
My winter track, spring track, and cross country was nothing specular..I made a lot friends but I was never good enough to make it very far like to states or sectionals or anything.
I definitely enjoyed every minute of it. Bonding, making friends and traveling to different schools/states to compete. I distinctly remember going to Winslow whose track team was pretty much 80% black and 20% Spanish. They were rooting for me and called me Jin. (He is an Asian rapper). That was cool, because I always felt like minorities always supported me and we all supported each other.
When I was in college, I started being more active doing more weight lifting and was exposed to Asians who were actually really athletic and loved to work out a lot. It introduced me to a whole new world. It was awesome to see Pi Delta Psi break through stereotypes and brothers that played varsity football in high school and received scholarships in sports. That was something truly amazing to me.
Endurance sports were my thing, I ended up doing a half marathon without training for it. It really pushed my mental limits because the furthest I had run before that ever was probably 7 or 8 miles so 13.1 miles was very painful or at least the recovery aspect of it. I ended up doing a century which is 100+ miles bike race with a really cheap Walmart bike. That was one of my proudest achievements because I still remember being the last kid in school at the mile. I will probably do more centuries in the future because I actually really like biking and found it relaxing and calming.
I got into Spartan races when it was really popular and I will never forget the hardest race of my life. In Vermont Mt. Killington, it was so crazy doing a 12-hour obstacle race. It was the toughest and most mentally draining event I had ever done in my life. But also one of the most fun and I would love to do it again if other people are interested in doing it with me. I was much lighter back then so I would be able to do most of the obstacles now being almost 15 lbs of muscle heavily.
I have recently started on my CrossFit journey. It’s only been a little been a little over 5 months but I love it and I think I have found my calling. This is the first time where I just feel such accomplishment and something that really challenges and can match my energy level.
People always say I have the most energy they have ever seen in a person. For someone who averages less than 6 hours of sleep a day I would say that is probably true. I still haven’t met many people who can match my energy level in my life.
I am excited to do the JP Morgan corporate challenge with my company at Experian and I am excited to run the Rutgers Half Marathon coming up in less than 10 days. I still haven’t trained for it but I am excited to push my mental capacity to see how well I can do. My strategy is usually hustle and push the last 5 miles really strong.
Anyone looking to try something new physically feel free to reach out to me. I would love to hear about your journey. I am excited because for the first time in my life I do not view myself as a weak Asian male. I find a lot of confidence in my ability to grow getting stronger physically and mentally every day in CrossFit and push my boundaries at one of the most hard core crossfit gyms in the nation at Solace NY.
Let me know if you guy want to come for a trial day. I would love to have more of my friends come join me on this amazing journey.
As I reflect on the days where I was so weak and self-conscious of never being able to gain weight. I have no trouble gaining weight now in a good way but I love it because I know it’s giving me the confidence I need to succeed in business and this amazing journey called life.