Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Feelings, They are for Everybody

As I have mentioned before, by falling off my bike, I injured my hip by landing on it while heroically maneuvering (with cat-like reflexes) Bucephalus (my bike) to prevent serious bodily harm to an idiot pedestrian who wasn´t watching where he was going. I pretty much sacrificed 3 days of limping for his 3 years of hospital checkups and rehabilitation AFTER he awakens from a year-long coma. You would think that I would get an award for my heroics; however, I was less than pleased to receive this insensitive email from an anonymous friend (we´ll just use a generic-sounding name to identify her, say first name Emily last name Chang).

"ahahahaha, I can't stop laughing at your hip story, ahahahaha, you sound like an 80 year old. and you're training for ironman? dude, man up. ahaha."

This reminds me of when people say, "Let me get you a straw so you can suck it up, Marine!" or "You´re a Marine aka a robot, you don´t feel pain!" The fact of the matter is, that though we may be superhuman, the super part is only a prefix, we´re still human and we do feel pain. So Marines, Ironpeople (being politically correct here) and Care Bears alike, we all have feelings that need to be taken into account. I hope all who read this takes this lesson to heart and helps spread the love rather than the hate (which I was recently confronted with).

PS - I promise it´d make me feel better if you donated to my fundraiser for which I am updating this blog. To read more about it click here.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Lost in Translation

I was talking in Spanish to my coworker, David, and his friend, Ismael, and I told them that I went clubbing more or less every weekend while living in New York. They misunderstood me and thought that I went to STRIP CLUBS every weekend. I´m not sure if I went up or down in their books after they found out the truth, but I concluded that I need to improve my Spanish.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Ecuador Picture Update

It´s been a while since I`ve given people at home a peek into what I`ve been up to in this beautiful country. Please see below for an update.

I attended a traditional performance by people from Loja, a city in Ecuador at the nicest theater in the country.

This is a picture of the performers, I know it´s kind of blurry (and by kind of I mean really) but it gives you an idea.

This is a picture of my new wingman. We´re being really sly while checking a girl out to our right (he´s pointing at her with his left trigger finger).

I also went to the national game against Chile in which we won 1-0.

Nobody can accuse me of being a fair-weather fan since I sat in the rain for nearly 3 hours while watching and cheering for the good guys!

This past weekend, I made the trip to Quilotoa where we hiked around the rim of the volcano for 5 hours (not fun, though beautiful).

With regards to training, it is no joke. The level of oxygen here will humble anybody at first. 3 days after I got here, I ran for a short distance and I have never felt so horribly after a run in my life. It was also probably at half speed of what I usually run. In addition, I am out for the next few days because I injured my hip. I was biking to work today and a stupid pedestrian didn´t watch where he was going and I took a fall on my hip.

This is a picture of me and my bike, Bucephalus, who is true to his name and a mighty steed indeed. I obtained the rainbow scarf at the Loja show. The rainbow does not mean what it means in the States. Rather, it represents the indigenous peoples of Ecuador. Since I´m pretty much indigenous now, I thought it would be a great safety measure while biking in the busy streets of Quito. Obviously it didn´t do its job since Idioto Numero Uno couldn´t see it.

My swim workouts have been a little uncomfortable. I was abruptly stopped when I tried to go swimming in my normal trunks because they were not allowed. They told me that I had to buy one of their smaller, tighter pairs and since I was so determined to go swimming that day, I obliged. Let´s just say I´m a little more streamlined when I swim these days...

Until next time...

Monday, October 20, 2008

Fundamental Issue Regarding America

I was recently watching a movie in which there was an underdog hero who trains very hard to reach a certain goal. This movie got me thinking. If there were more than a 5 minute segment of the hero´s workout regimen (inspirational music and all) that accurately portrayed the acute pain on the days after a workout, the strict discipline in performing mundane drills and tasks, the huge time commitment and all the other sacrifices necessary to reach the level of success, that we´d have to see products like this on our shelves?

We are better than this America!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

My First Week in Ecuador - A Pictorial

Here´s a pictorial of my first week in my new country. I am amazed at a number of things such as how beautiful it is, how nice its people are, the diversity of it´s climates and at how few stares I am getting on the streets because I´m a gringo (maybe because the people are so nice).

One of the first things you notice on the flight into Quito is how close to the ground you are as you land. The airport is literally in the middle of the city and there are buildings right up until the runway. It´s a little unnerving if you didn´t know this (I didn´t know it but I wasn´t unnerved simply because I have nerves of steel and nothing scares me). This is a picture of an airplane from my street.

Of course, since Ecuador is a Spanish-speaking country, I´ve been spending some time studying the new language in my free time.

As with any new culture and environment, there are many new things to get used to, such as how dogs are above humans on the food chain.

Along the way, I´ve become a die-hard fan of Liga, the 2nd best soccer team in the world (after the South Korean National Team of course). This is a picture of my friend Pablo and me at the Liga/Boca (crappy Argentine team) game.

For my first weekend, I was invited to Cotopaxi National Park. We made camp at a place called Hacienda San Agustin de Callo (a not too shabby place).

A view of the courtyard from my room.

The first thing we did was to go on a hike to an area that had a great view of Cotopaxi.

Here, I´ve made it pretty clear where exactly Cotopaxi is located. Should you need further assistance, please click here.

While on the hike, we ran into some strange characters. See if you can figure out who the ass is (hint: the ass is looking at the non-ass).

Also along the way, I got so hungry that I couldn´t contain myself. I wasn´t sure if the berry was safe to eat, but at least the guide seemed to approve.

After the hike and some mountain biking, we went back to the hacienda to enjoy some nice scenery.

The next day, we went horsebackriding through a scenic route.

After the ride (and some urging and convincing), I consented to take up some Ultimate Fighting, Ecuadorian-style. Let´s just say only one of us made it out alive.

In my downtime I spent my time reading some books. I´ve taken a liking to Ayn Rand so on the first night I read The Fountainhead and then towards the end of the trip, Atlas Shrugged.

I only hope that the rest of my stay in Ecuador is as fun and as extraordinary as the past week has been.

I am updating this blog in order to raise awareness for my fundraiser¨"Race for the Fallen." Please visit the following link to support and read about why I am supporting this cause. Thank you.

Jericho Project - Race for the Fallen