I Killed an Animal

It was a chicken. The first warm-blooded life I had taken directly.

It wasn’t for fun (and it certainly wasn’t fun). It was for nourishment…and for a much-needed education. As much as we would like to forget, and have been allowed to forget, via the modern industrialized food chain, we are all bound to nature as participants in the eternal cycle of life and death. We all have the blood of animals on our hands. Vegetarians and vegans not excepted.

So for the first time in my life, 

I took personal responsibility for taking a life,

an act necessary for the continuation of our own life. Continue reading

What Do All “Dieters” Have In Common?

(Photo: Kevin Cheng)

Paleo. Vegan. Vegetarian. Fruitarian. Local. Raw. Organic. Macrobiotic. Mediterranean. Low-fat. Low-carb. Slow-carb. High-protein. Gluten-free. Intermittent fasting. Warrior diet. Six small meals. Gallon of Milk A Day.

What do all “dieters” have in common? They all have chosen to depart from conventional eating habits, in hopes of finding something better. It could be for themselves, their family, their community, humanity at large, and/or the environment. Let’s begin by acknowledging this fact, and respect that they make efforts to do better.

It must be said, though, that often times, the assumptions we hold about a diet are completely wrong. As with anything else, an open yet critical mind must be kept.

Becoming a State Champion Powerlifter, part 3: Lessons and What’s Next

On February 11, 2012, I competed in my first powerlifting meet and became a state champion and current record holder in my division. This is a 3-part series on my adventures in powerlifting from Feb 2009 – Feb 2012. The first post talks about how I got into the sport. The second post covers more details on training and the day of the meet. The third post is on lessons learned and what’s next.

Lesson 8. Find synergies. (Photo: Ryan Chang)

The cool thing about these lessons is that they have carryover into all other parts of life. I’ll keep it short, but each one can probably be a post all by itself. Continue reading

On Convincing People to Try Barefoot

My friend Andrew Rademacher of Leming Footwear asked on his company’s facebook page:

Have you managed to convert anyone to minimalism? Or have you just been met with a wall of rejection? It seems like everyone anti-minimalism goes to a convention together because every reasoning always ends up with “We were not meant to run on hard surfaces.”

My reply:

I’m counting 9 people total that I’ve gotten to go minimalist. The common denominator among these 9 is that, while skeptical, they were all willing to just take off their shoes and give it a shot. If someone isn’t even willing to give it a shot and see for themselves, I don’t bother trying anymore. No amount of evidence nor reasoning from me would convince them otherwise.

Final note…100% of the people who were willing to give it a shot are now minimalist walkers/runners.

This is probably true of most unordinary and extraordinary things.