Author: The Wonderful Miss Dai
I didn’t realize it has been 5 years since I started to train at Prime. As cliche as it is, time does fly. It feels like yesterday when I read an article about Prime on the website of Shanghai Family, I made a mental note that it might just be the thing for me, as I never felt comfortable in big box gym. Five years on, many things in my life have changed, I am still training at Prime Fenyang, with Frank, just like the very first session.
It was on a workday afternoon, between meetings I wanted something to take my mind off. Prime Fenyang was just 10-minute walk away from my office. Min greeted me with her signature smile behind the counter, before sent me off to Frank. In hindsight it was probably the gentlest session over the years, but that’s definitely not how I felt back then. After few questions Frank put me to work, first several exercises to test my fitness level, followed by moves with intensity I instantly regretted for not holding back few minutes earlier. For the first time that 30-minute seemed long, very long… The walk back to office took me twice the time. I was exhausted.
It is still unclear to me why exactly I went back to Prime for more “torture”, it might be the imminent arrival of summer, or the aspiration to have Gwyneth Paltrow’s abs. After a couple of months I could see the shape of muscles around my shoulders and back, there’s nothing more motivating. Frank soon discovered I am not a fan of routine exercises, I got bored easily, so he suggested me to give boxing a try. Boxing wasn’t as “fashionable” as it is nowadays, nevertheless, I thought it’s no harm to try. Today I’m on my second pair of gloves and constantly thinking how I can move faster…
What I learnt from Prime is not only just how to throw punches, over the years I realized a couple of things would be applicable to life too:
1. It’s all about priority. You can always find time to exercise, the question is how much you want it. If you feel other things are more important, then you will never find time for it. During my travels I saw dads fast walking with babies on the back and dogs on leash. If you still haven’t finished new year resolutions from years go, you are not as resolute as you thought, because if you really want it, you will find a way.
2. It’s all about efficiency. Before Prime, I was under the impression that you have to live in a gym to look like Madonna or Kate Hudson, but Prime’s 30-minute gig was just as effective as pouring hours in a training facility if not more effective, unless you really know what you are doing. Time is not the only criteria for value, think right process for desired results.
3. It’s all about expertise. This is self-explanatory, without expertise, the 30-min session would be a waste of time, space, and effort. It worked because of the know-how. In addition, for a fitness studio, knowing how to teach is just as important as knowing how to train. I wouldn’t still be here if I didn’t find Frank’s advices useful and executable. Therefore, do not be afraid of asking for help when it’s not your main field (or even if it’s your main field), you don’t have to invest valuable time in reinventing the wheels, with the wheels perfected by the experts, you could go much further in less the time.
It’s hard to pin down my proudest achievement with Prime, I was pleased to win the monthly challenge this March, but whenever my body enabled me to take full advantage of what life has on offer I feel pretty good about it too, be it an arduous mountain hike, a complicated task requires focus and concentration, or simply being less accident prone – because of improved coordination and agility.
For people like me suffer from serious commitment issues, it’s almost out of my depth to think about fitness goal for the next 5 years, but I’d be very happy if I keep the same form and endurance level as I have today.
Thank you Prime for this opportunity to reflect, I had 5 great years, not only I got stronger and faster physically, but also with a healthier mind by witnessing growth of the others – Min is now a popular trainer, and Frank has become a Master Trainer for a while. I am inspired by their achievement, seeing them growing and developing reminds me all efforts will for sure pay off.
Happy anniversary Prime, looking forward to another great 5 years.
A piece of reflections from work.
Getting back to writing is not something on my new year resolutions list. But it has been on my mind for a while. With the completion of my recent study, and the beginning of the long-over-due home renovation project, I finally ran out of excuses for further procrastination.
The last post on this site was in September 2014… four and half years ago… It felt like an ancient time… when iPhone 6 was just released, when Ebola Virus was seeming unbeatable.. and George Clooney was just married to gorgeous Amal Alamuddin.
In the past four and half years, I traveled half the world, moved on from a relationship, shifted career path, and worked my way hard to get another degree. Lots stories I could have shared, zero had I done, as if nothing happened in my life.
Laziness – that’s what happened.
If there’s one thing I’ve learnt over the last fifty odd months, it’s that the first blow is indeed half the battle. Although it guarantees nothing more than a slight chance of winning, it grants hope – at least there’s hope.
They always say life takes away edges, the longer you live, the mellower you are. I used to think it was just resignation to time. The truth is, after a while, through either first-hand or second-hand experiences, you realize all the “cliché” life advice you heard were indeed true, and you are no exception, eventually you would make peace with yourself (or life), that’s when calmness replaces rage, objectivity prevails over whinges.
Here I am, accepting the fact that I am undeniably ordinary – no traces would be left if I don’t make them myself. No development would be made if I don’t make effort myself. Time fleets, regardless. I have two options – making the blow, or take the blow.
Thus, here I am, making the first blow, for a comeback.
A friend of mine nominated me on facebook, I must admit I was relieved to realize the nomination is actually about books… But to me it’s probably as challenging as the other one involves water and ice. So many books have taken me to amazing places, met fascinating people, experienced their times, I shed tears for their joy and pain, I imagined myself lived their lives… Sorry if it sounds melodramatic, when it comes to books, I just can’t help it.
My all-time favourite of English books would be (in no particular order):
– The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris (all 4 books, the whole series) – I absolutely adore Hannibal Lecter.
– To Kill a Mocking Bird by Lee Harper – I would marry Atticus Finch anytime, I would choose him 100 times even if both Atticus and Brad Pete asked me at the same time…
– Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K Jerome – Uncle Podger cracks me up every single time when I’m frustrated at work, for that reason I would recommend it to all my colleagues. .
– Not a Penny More, Not a Penny Less by Jeffrey Archer – an absolute masterpiece of plotting…
– Jane Erye
– The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
Then in the last few years, I enjoyed very much reading the following:
– Pillars of the Earth, and World without End, both by Ken Follet
– A 100-year Old Man Who Climbed Out of a Window by Jonas Jonasson
– The Book Thief by Makus Zusak
– Water for Elephant by Sara Greun (the movie was an utmost disappointment)
– The Memory Keeper’s Daughter by Kim Edwards
– The Kite Runner
– Curious Incidents of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon
– A Whole New World by Daniel H Pink
This summer I picked up a book called ‘The Shortest History of Europe’ by John Hirst. Not my usual subjects but the author made it such an easy yet informative read I would like to recommend to you all.
Now I’ve done my bit, I’m interested in what your list would be.
Have a nice weekend!
I have always been wanting to write about Macau, but I had started few times, deleted few times, and nothing I have produced so far. Thank to this week’s photo challenge, I can finally show you a glimpse of Macau that I love.
You would have seen this before – the Ruins of St Paul’s, it’s on every tourism poster of Macau, it is synonymous with Macau.
In the heart of the old city of Macau stands the great carved stone facade of St. Paul’s, which, with the grand staircase, are all that remain of the first church and colleague of the Jesuits in China. Designed by an Italian Jesuits, with the assistance of Japanese Christian stonemasons, who had fled persecution in Japan, the church was built in the early 17th century. In 1835 a fire destroyed all but the facade, which illustrates the history of Christinanity in Asia and incorporates Bilicial quotations in Chinese and Japanese chrysanthemums as well bronze statues of the missionary saints.
Each day thousands of tourists from all over the world visit this “miracle” survived not only the disastrous fire but the lapse of time as well. I am not quite when this romantic statue was installed in front of the St Paul’s, but I thought it does add a bit of love and romance to this monument of the City’s rich heritage and bright future.
p.s.: Lotus is the flower of Macau
I’m camera shy. Nothing makes me more uncomfortable than posing in front of a camera. This is probably the best I could do for a selfie – the shadow casted on a sand dune, a tiny being in this vast world, leaving a forgettable trace while passing through… I took this photo when I visited Dunhuang in northwest China 3 weeks ago, traveling solo as usual.
This is a rather late entry, however I’m glad I still have the opportunity to share with you what have caught my eye, and mind.
Recently I visited Singapore Biennale – If the World Changed. Among many inspiring exhibits, I found this one suits the theme of the week the best.
The title of the exhibit is ‘Waiting Room’. I am going to quote the visit guide: “Waiting Room echoes the many episodes of ‘waiting’ faced by transgender persons, such as waiting for a family’s acceptance, for the legalization of official personal documents, and for confirmation of and acceptance into regular employment. The installation is constructed to mimic a typical clinic, presenting an all-too-familiar journey in the lives if transgender persons as they undergo various phases of constructive surgery, before what is considered the defining procedure: gender reassignment surgery. The chairs, pamphlets and posters are imprinted with drawings and messages, appealing for public openness and understanding while sharing the complexities of the situations faced by the community.”
Thank you Shieko Reto.
On a whim I went to Jordan early last year, until today I wish I stayed longer. With no doubt Petra was absolute the highlight of the trip, for 3 days I was in the ancient city from dawn to dusk, wandered among temples and shrines, and lost in history and heritage. I can’t remember where exactly I found this little figuring of roman solider, standing between rocks, quietly. I was not sure how long he had been there, and I am not sure if he is still there. If you are visiting Petra in the near future, maybe you will meet him too at a turn of stairs.
Have a good week ahead.
This photo was taken in Sichuan, China. The building complex captured is called ‘shi dian’ – ten palaces. Five units on each side narrowing down to the centre. It’s built in Ming Dynasty of ancient China, the symmetric architecture gives depth of the space and leaves impression of infinity.