Tuesday, 30 April 2013
Why I Do Not Regret Signing Up for a Gym Membership

Gym memberships can be quite controversial if you think about it. Those who do have memberships are often seen as excessively vain who have a lot of extra money to spend. 'Going to the gym' is something that people in the corporate world say, or perhaps housewives whose husbands have deep pockets. It wasn't something that I believed in, just something that I thought was glamorous.

So it's been six to eight weeks since I started being a regular at a gym, and I must say that while I was sceptical at the beginning, I'm really warming up to the idea of it. In fact, I now do see my gym membership as a key element in my life, and it would take quite a bit for me to be able to give it up. Here's why.

1) Finally cross it off new year's resolutions list
For the past couple of years, 'getting fit' has been a part of my new year's resolutions. I'm sure many people had this on your list, too- but not many of us actually act on it. This year, I made a mental note to myself to embrace a more spontaneous and carefree approach to life, and so just jumped into the deep end and signed up for the membership. I've been keeping tabs on how often I go, too, and I can definitely say that if I continue at this rate for the rest of the year (which I think I will, since I'm liking the gym quite a lot!) 'getting fit' can definitely be crossed off the list.

2) Whole body workout
I used to scoff at the idea of a gym membership. I could run at the park, I could play sports, I could workout at home- why would I need a gym membership for? But as I've come to realise, a gym membership is really more than a run at the park. You see, when you run, you work out just a few parts of your body and neglect the rest. I definitely am glad that my entire body gets a workout. Arms, shoulders, back, legs, no part is spared. Plus, there's a personal trainer to teach me routines that would bring me closer to my fitness goals (although I did pay for that one too).

3) Feel healthier
I'm not gonna lie- being more in tune with the fitness industry sucks you in a little. The whole eating salads, small meals several times a day, balanced nutrition, that kinda stuff that many people might not pay attention to. So this year, I've also cut down a lot on instant noodles, canned and instant soups (and other foods), my favourite potato chips, and fast food. Although I do give in to temptation at times, I have to say that I actually rarely eat those things now. And because I'm exercising more and being more active, I do feel healthier, given that the number of times that I actually exercised over the last couple of years was so little, and now that I've stepped it up a notch I do feel that I can slowly get back to my pre-migration fitness, and probably exceed that too.

Taken after going to the gym
4) Boosts confidence
And finally, my favourite reason- the results of this constant fitness regime has boosted my confidence quite a bit. As you all know, I'm a scrawny kid and have had to endure so many people telling me I need to eat more (difference is, eating more does not equal weight gain... or muscle). You would also know that I can be quite a narcissist. But despite my status as a bony mass of a human, you have to admit that being checked out feels amazing. And this has definitely happened to me at the gym. Not just in the actual gym floor, but in the locker room as well, which makes me feel even better knowing that guys are checking me out. I must look pretty good!

I am absolutely grateful that I made this decision to take my fitness into my own hands and not just lament my lack of stamina or endurance. So the next time I see you, don't be surprised if the first thing that comes into your mind is 'damn he looks good'! (I would post a half naked picture of myself but I wouldn't wanna peer pressure you into doing the same)
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Saturday, 20 April 2013
The Valley and the Peak

Over the last month while I was away from this blog, I was keeping myself busy with working and going to the gym and other things that meant that updating this space wasn't on the top of my list of things to do. During that time, I have had time to also reflect on my current life and where it's headed.

To be perfectly honest, I have wondered, what am I to do if I don't land a career? Will I be stuck forever doing menial jobs? As a student, I've honestly never thought about this- the prospect of unemployment. To me, it was something unthinkable, as if I would land a job the moment I graduate, as if getting a foot in the door isn't that tough. Back then unemployment was a vague concept that I didn't fully grasp even though I knew full well what it meant.

And I think this is something that many students do not see just yet. We seem to enter university, with hopes of gaining knowledge and changing the world, or maybe just to get a job. But what happens after graduation? What happens after the gown is returned or stashed in the back of a closet, what happens after the ceremonial hat toss is completed? What happens then? And what happens when our dreams of stepping out into the corporate world immediately after graduation doesn't shape up?

I have mentioned previously that I would try to stick it out. And I do mean it. I do understand that job prospects might shrink and my chances may decrease over time, but I have to believe in myself and the choice that I'm making. Plus, taking time off to fully assess where my life is headed and what I want to do with it, as well as doing things that I enjoy, such as travelling, would allow me to make up for lost time with experiences that others may not have. Technically speaking, anyway.

I do know that opportunities come and go, and that sometimes things don't always go as planned, but we should just seize the moment and go with the flow. So while I recognise that I may not be in an ideal position career-wise, this is also my opportunity to do other things, such as chasing my dreams and acquiring new skills. Through my interactions recently I realised that I do need more skills- I have basically next to nothing when it comes to life skills. I don't sing, dance or play any musical instruments. I hate cooking. I love technology but am not a technician, nor am I interested in being one.

These skills are not just hobbies, I do think that they are value-adds when it comes to tough times like unemployment because then you know that you have something else to offer. While chatting up a recent connection of mine, I saw that this could be a unique time for me to try to fulfil one of my dreams (kind of, anyway) of owning a business. Unfortunately, all I have to offer is writing, so at the moment it does seem like I do not have much going for me. I am considering learning new things, but at the moment, I do feel that it is better to play to my strengths.

But fret not! This seed has only just been planted in my head and I have time to think about how should I move forward with this. Writing is a tough industry so I'm not too sure how I would start a business on this, but I would absolutely love to own a business of my own that I can count on for income... and if it turns out to be successful then maybe that will be my career, who knows what's gonna happen? But if you have any ideas, I'd like to hear them!
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