Archives for posts with tag: Push ups

Hello Interdwellers!

I’ve been thinking and reading a lot, lately, about different approaches to being happy in life. It seems like it would be awfully easy to proceed down a particular path, because that’s just what people do, or because you won’t be successful otherwise. But if in the end you’re not happy, then what was it all for? With that in mind, I’ve been searching for people’s ideas about how to lead a happy life. What I like the most, so far, is Leo Babuta’s sites, and, in which he advocates for a number of things: working towards goals, simplicity, family, exercise, and mindfulness. He advises, each day, setting out three (or four, or two) Most Important Tasks (MIT’s), at least one of which is moving you closer to a longer-term goal, and completing those above all other things in your day.

I like this.

By following it, every day could have a sense of purpose. So long as those things were completed, at the end of each day you can legitimately say, “I’m one step closer to achieving something important to me.” A good first step in this, then, would be knowing what’s important to you. So, I made a list of long-term goals for myself. The criteria I used for these was: a) it could not simply require a single large effort, b) it had to be reasonably specific (e.g. “travel” would not be specific enough), and c) it had to be something that I would feel a sense of accomplishment for completing (while I would love to go skydiving, I wouldn’t feel that much accomplishment. The plane and parachute are doing most of the work). Thus, without further adieu, here’s

Jared’s Long-Term Goals
(in no particular order, or organization)

  • Become an early riser
  • Design and build a puzzle-box
  • Learn to sing
  • Compete in the Iron-Man Triathlon
  • 100 perfect push ups in 100 seconds
  • Learn to play piano
  • Meditate more seriously
  • Achieve full front and (both) side splits
  • Start a non-profit organization
  • Learn to play the violin
  • 50 perfect, dead-hang pull ups
  • Learn to draw
  • Complete the Spartan Death Race
  • Start an (eventually successful) small business
  • Write and publish a novel

Clearly, many of these goals will take years of work, but by breaking them down over the course of my life, and using some strategies for maintaining focus and motivation, I think that they are more than doable (except possibly 50 dead-hang pull ups. I get tired just looking at that).

Since I don’t particularly want a mid-life crisis, and barring any serious extensions to our lifespan, I would like to complete all of these by the time I’m 40, which gives me 20 years. Since I’m at the point where gains in my physical aptitude will get more difficult over time, I should be working towards my physical goals first, along with anything that will take the longest time. So then, over the next 10 years, I’d like to work towards:

Jared’s 10-Year Goals
(in no particular order, or organization)

  • Compete in the Iron-Man Triathlon
  • 100 perfect push ups in 100 seconds
  • Achieve full front and (both) side splits
  • 50 perfect, dead-hang pull ups
  • Complete the Spartan Death Race
  • Start an (eventually successful) small business
  • Start a non-profit organization
  • Learn to play piano
  • Learn to play the violin
  • Become an early riser
  • Meditate more seriously

Since I’m still in school, and depending on the direction I take regarding Masters or PhD studies, could be for upwards of 7 years, and since I want to maintain a balanced lifestyle, I should be working towards my physical goals now, along with school, and saving my non-physical goals for afterwards. As well, since competing in the Iron-Man is part of my plan for progressing to the Spartan Death Race, I can exclude that from further entries. Thus, we have:

Jared’s 5-Year Goals
(in no particular order, or organization)

  • 100 perfect push ups in 100 seconds
  • Achieve full front and (both) side splits
  • 50 perfect, dead-hang pull ups
  • Complete the Spartan Death Race
  • Meditate more seriously
  • Become an early riser

Now we have something to work with.

For achieving 100 perfect push ups in 100 seconds, I’ll start off by following, with the modification that every time it says “push up” I’ll replace it with “perfect push up.” Once I’m able to do 100 push ups (6 weeks by their estimate; 10 weeks seems more likely), I’ll develop a plan for increasing my pace.

For achieving 50 perfect, dead-hang pull ups, I’ll develop a similar progression, possibly using Brett Stewart’s “7 Weeks to 50 Pull Ups.”

For achieving splits,

As far as meditating more seriously goes, I’m going to begin meditating 5 minutes before and after my workouts, gradually increasing to 10, and 15 minutes (I find it surprisingly difficult to sit and not do).

For becoming an early riser, I’m going to simply do all of these exercises early in the morning. If every week, I can get up 15 minutes earlier, until I’m comfortable getting up at 5:00, then I’ll be satisfied with my early-rising.

Finally, working towards the Spartan Death Race. My progression, in general will be:

  1. Tough Mudder
  2. marathon
  3. Spartan beast
  4. triathlon
  5. Ironman
  6. Spartan Death Race

probably repeating everything done before as I work towards the next level. The way that I prepare will largely depend on which stage I’m at. Since I’m currently “getting ready” (working 10 hour days and not exercising) for the Tough Mudder, my performance on that will also partially determine my preparation for the marathon. With the exception of the Ironman race, completion will be satisfactory for moving on to the next step. For the Ironman, I’m setting that I have to be in the top 25% of finishers to move on to the Death Race, otherwise I repeat the Ironman.

As a side note, since I’m currently working 10 hour days, and next term I don’t have classes before 11:00, I’m probably going to hold off on starting these until September. Possibly bad idea? Yes. Better than burning out one week in? Also yes.

So. That’s that then. I’m sure this won’t be the last post I write on these goals, but until then,




Hello, very interested reader!

My name is Jared Windover, and I’m currently training in Goju Ryu Karate, and as a part of my black belt preparation I’ll be maintaining this blog to document my progress. I suppose we’ll begin with some more background:

  • 19 years old
  • Live just south of Cambridge, Ontario
  • Studying Mathematics at the University of Waterloo
  • Currently on a Co-op term, working at the IESO in mississauga
  • Karate-ka (practicioners of karate) at Black Belt Schools in Cambridge under Sensei Paul Simoes

I began training in Kempo style Karate when I was 9, at Dynamic Arts in Cambridge under Sensei Allan Lachapelle. I trained there for 6 years achieving a black belt in Kempo Karate, and a black belt in Nunchaku-do. For several reasons I stopped training, and only practiced independently up until May of this year when I sought out a school to resume training at. I contacted Black Belt Schools to try out a class, arrived, and found that several of the students and parents looked very familiar. It turned out that when Sensei Allan stopped teaching, after several instructors, Sensei Paul took on Dynamic Arts, changed the name and moved the location, and by pure chance I arrived back where I’d started. Well, not quite. I actually arrived several pegs below where I’d left. I was the only one there for the adult class that night, so Sensei Paul began taking me through a warm up. I got about 15 minutes in before I ran to the bathroom to puke. I still maintain it was because of the burger I ate earlier… But alas, I went home, somewhat defeated, with the goal of coming back to try a second class and see if I could maintain my constitution. This I did, and after speaking to several of the parents who knew me from Dynamic Arts, Sensei Paul offered to give me a larger role in the club, learning to teach the children’s classes as well as training in my own classes. Thus began the path I am currently on.

Black Belt schools has 4 terms per year, with a belt grading after each of them. The next term will be ending in December with the grading happening in either December or early January. I have from this point until then to prepare for my black belt grading. For those of you unfamiliar with Karate, when you begin training you receive a white belt. As you progress you begin getting coloured belts, sometimes with striped gradations in between solid coloured belts, collectively called Kyu belts. This progresses to either a brown belt or junior black belt or black belt candidate belt, or through some combination of those. At this point (essentially the point I’m at) the student has a period (3 months, 6 months, a year, sometimes more) to prepare for their black belt grading. Kyu belt gradings are usually a test of technique and skills appropriate for that belt level, possibly with a small physical component. Black belt gradings are a punishment. You have managed to get to a high enough level of technique and ability that you are now ready to begin seriously training, and that was very bad of you, and if we have anything to say about it, you won’t make that mistake again. You see, a black belt grading is for most people the most physically demanding thing they will ever do. To this date my grading at Dynamic Arts holds that title. It was 5 hours of repeating techniques at the highest level of your ability, interspersed with physical requirements (x number of push ups in 30 seconds, situps in 30 seconds, etc) finishing by having us karate-ka, used to point sparring with light contact, going full contact with Sensei Allan’s kickboxers. It was hell.

And I’m getting ready to do it again.

The requirements for my preparatory period are as follows:

  1. Maintain a weekly blog (this)
  2. 100 3 minute rounds of sparring
  3. 1000 rounds of a single kata (I’ve chosen Seipai)
  4. 10 000 Push ups
  5. 10 000 Sit ups
  6. 100 km jogging
  7. 20 minutes of meditation per day
  8. 500 acts of kindness
  9. Identify and interview a “living hero”
  10. Write a 1000 word essay entitled “What Karate Means to Me”
  11. Make and submit a training video to Hyper Martial Arts
  12. Wild Card

That wild card makes me nervous. It’s an element that my Sensei may add in at any time and it can be anything at all.

So, daily, I have:

  1. 140 Push ups
  2. 140 Sit ups
  3. 14 rounds of Seipai
  4. 20 minutes of meditation
  5. 10 acts of kindness

and weekly, I have:

  1. 10 km jogging
  2. 10 rounds of sparring
  3. update blog

which while continuing my normal training (at least 2 nights per week, and saturdays) along with working an hour from where I live is going to add up to a somewhat busy schedule.

Anyways, for this week (Oct 12th- Oct 16th):


  • Received grading requirements


  • 140 Push ups
  • 140 Sit ups
  • 14 rounds of Sei Pai
  • 6 rounds of sparring
  • 20 minutes meditation (10 in the morning, 10 at night)


  • 140 Push ups
  • 140 Sit ups
  • 14 rounds of Sei pai
  • 20 minutes meditation (10 in the morning, 10 at night)


  • Saturday I made the mistake of thinking I could fit having a life in, and did only 35 Push ups while in class
  • 4 rounds of sparring
  • 10 minutes meditation (morning)


Sunday I paid the price for my mistake, as I had to catch up…

  • 245 Push ups
  • 280 Sit ups
  • 28 rounds of Seipai
  • 10 minutes meditation (night)
  • 10 km jogging

So for Week 1 I did 560 Push ups, 560 Sit ups, 56 rounds of Seipai, 60 minutes of meditation (low by 20 minutes which I’ll hopefully catch up today), and 10 km jogging. I also updated my blog once… or will have once this is posted.

I need to start looking for acts of kindness in my day, as I’m down 50 now (not a great way to start). As well I need to start my hunt for a hero, start composing my essay and begin training the different tricks at Hyper Martial Arts. Considering my biggest trick is a butterfly 540, I’ve got some work to do there as well.

Until next week, cheers!

P.S. my daily and weekly numbers are inflated as I’d like to do the same number of things per day, have nice numbers, and I’m content doing more than is required. It’s not just bad math. Really. It’s not.