Unlock Your Highest Potential

25 Things That Put A Smile On My Face

1. Transforming South Bay Athletic Club, an ordinary health club, into a state-of-the-art Performance Enhancement Center. Moving equipments, rearranging the gym set up, and doing all the repair and renovations is an absolute nightmare – but it’s a small price to pay for making a dream a reality. (I have a new respect for all the architects and all those people who makes the blueprint for building houses. It is certainly harder than just drawing up designs and supervising construction. This job is very stressfull) I’d be the first to admit, I hate changes but I realized there can be no progress without change. That doesn’t mean change is always good. Change can either be good or bad depending on the person/situation. However, change must occur or nothing ever happens.


2. Jon Lester’s story. Jon is a pitcher for the Boston Red Sox. He beat cancer and pitched the clinching game in the 2007 World Series. This year he tossed a no-hitter. Despite all the steroid scandal, it’s nice to hear a “feel good story in baseball”. Jon deserves every bit of success that comes his way.


3. Seeing an average person become remarkable. A lot of hardworking people can fix a car. We can assume they are “good/average” mechanics. What can make this average mechanic remarkable? Doing something extraordinary after the job is all done. Any “average” mechanic would fix the car in a timely manner and return it to the owner promptly. According to the work order Kit received, he was just suppose to change the oil, filter and battery of my car. After Kit completed the task on the work order, he washed my car till it was gleaming in the sun. I’m sure I’m not the only person that got this treatment from him. Knowing his personality he always goes beyond the call of duty at whatever task he is asked to do.


4. Clients unveiling their brand new workout outfits due to weight loss. In a world full of “quick fix” diet and fitness scams its hard to make my clients realize that success in training is a marathon and definitely not a sprint. I want to implant lifestyle changes so I firmly believe that improving just 1% everyday is a great game plan for successful long term changes. I’m always excited on the third week of my clients programs because this is where habits start to form and the initial changes can be noticeably seen. Further down the program when their “fitness dreams” are slowly coming true (i.e. running a 5K, walking a 10K, playing in the park with 3 kids and 2 dogs, making the playoffs, making weight, etc), it’s an amazing feeling to know that I had some influence on reaching that goal. Having a role on enabling people’s dreams to come true is the reason why I have the greatest job in the world.


5. Seeing something breathtaking on a bike ride. Albert Einstein has been quoted to saying “Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving.” I ride my bike to clear my brain and see the beauty of where we live. 


6. Imagining a picture of a Platypus. It’s been said that in order to be irreplaceable one must always be different. Consider the unique features of a platypus: egg-laying, venomous, duck-billed, beaver-tailed, otter-footed mammal, 10 sex chromosomes, can go in land and in water.  Truly this creature, an evolutionary link between a bird, reptile and mammal, is one of a kind and irreplaceable.


7. Having the opportunity to train a kid with autism. Autism is a life-long developmental disability that prevents people from understanding what they see, hear, and otherwise sense. This results in severe problems with social relationships, communication, and behavior. Laila, 10 years old, was integrated full-time into a regular 5th grade classroom despite having behaviors that require significant support. She likes to hit or throw anything in sight when she becomes agitated. Her mom had a growing concern that she will not be able to manage her behavior at a regular school. To help ease anxiety, sensory difficulties and high levels of frustration she was recommended to get Laila involve in some form of vigorous physical activity. This is how our life paths meet. Laila is a visual thinker (thinks in pictures) so exercise and various recreational activities was extremely hard to explain to her. After 6 months of training/teaching/mentoring, Laila graduated from elementary school with a new sense of herself. Not only has she mastered a method of calming down (listening to music and doing yoga) she also develop new confidence within herself that made her rely less on other people (parents, teacher assistant, etc). She might be only ten but she has given me a handful of lessons on life.

·         Everything is hard before it becomes easy. Patience is a virtue so stay dedicated and persistent.

·         Humans tend to work on a problem until they get a good enough solution, not a solution that’s necessarily right (e.g. we invented a keyboard and it leads to carpal tunnel).

·         You can very easily turn a stranger into a friend, a friend into a customer, a customer into a salesperson.


8. The “truth” setting me free. I didn’t make a complete stop in a stop sign in Sunnyvale, CA. A motorcycled cop pulled me over. He asked “Do you know why I pulled you over?” I said “I rolled over the stop sign. I assumed it was safe since there was no other car anywhere in sight. I shouldn’t have done it. Stop signs are there for a reason and I should have abide by it.” He handed me my license and registration and said “Cops on motorcycle do not respond to emergencies. We write traffic tickets all day. I write about 40-50 tickets a day. Consider yourself lucky. Drive carefully.” I said thank you, shook his hand and let out a big sigh of relief.


9. Walking in a room full of my clothes and seeing that everything is organized by color and type. Workout clothes are folded neatly on one corner, “going out” clothes are hanged along with matching jackets and accessories, pants are neatly stacked and ironed in another corner, shorts are placed in three separate bins…. Being a Virgo is both a blessing and a curse. I am meticulously organize and pay way too much attention to details.  I also believe this is what sets me apart from most fitness professionals. I pay an immense amount of attention to every single factor that can help you reach your health and fitness goal.


10-14. Watching Borat, Rudy, Mary Poppins, Say Anything, Super Bad. For me, watching movies is a great way to learn about different people, their culture and characteristics .… NOT!  It’s a mindless activity that I do to keep me sane in this crazy world.  


15. SF 2008 ING Bay to Breakers.

Race Facts

Race Start Time: 8 AM

Winners Time: ~30 min  (who cares?)

Time we started walking: 915 am

Time we finish* the race: 140ish pm

(*technically, we didn’t finish the race, last 2 miles of course closed after 12pm)

Best Costume :The Fallopian Swim Team

Best Float: Human Powered Beer Seesaw Pump


16. Answering a health and fitness related question. I have an underlying passion - a drive - to not only truly elevate fitness professionals to the same level of respect as doctors and lawyers -- but to raise the standards of information that we are giving to the general public.


17. A person that does not make “excuses”. Adam Bender, an 8 year old, plays baseball, soccer and football – on one leg. He lost his left leg to cancer at age 1. Adam doesn’t like the way prosthesis slows him down and insist on not using a wheelchair. His dad claims he pops out of bed at 60 mph and doesn’t quit until he drops at the end of the day.  


18. Food… To be more specific…Three sunny-side-up eggs, avocado slices on a buttered 12 Grain bread, hot Seattle’s Best medium roast coffee …… P and J triple-decker sandwich (Oatnut bread): crunchy peanut butter on the first layer, real strawberries and banana in the middle, grape jelly on the last layer…… Beef stroganoff over rice, yellow cake with chocolate frosting, and ice cold diet coke…… the way to my heart is through my stomach.


19-24. Witnessing Manu Ginobli, Kat Osterman’s, Cung Le, Natalie Coughlin, Blaine Wilson and Richard Hamilton perform in their respective sports. Manu Ginobli can split any defense and make an awkward looking shot look easy. Just ask any member of the US Dream Team. Kat Osterman fast ball has been clocked at 68 mph. Did I mention she’s 6’2” (188cm)? If you’re a fan of MMA, you can appreciate the elegance and power of one of Cung Le’s devastating spinning kicks. Cung F@(%ING Le!!! Here’s one for my people (half Filipina and half Caucasian)… Natalie Coughlin can swim effortlessly in 100m freestyle or backstroke. I can barely swim in a 3ft deep pool. Using the gymnastic rings, can you extend both arms straight out from your body and hold yourself up in the air for at least 30 seconds? Blaine Wilson can! This move is called the iron cross or Crucifix and it is my goal this year to be able to execute it. Richard “RIP” Hamilton, armed with arguably the best mid-range shoot, is always running defenders through screens and finding ways to score. He is a perpetual offense and on the FT line a solid evidence of the effects of “repetition and habits” (roll the ball, dribble 5x, big exhale, one hard dribble to the right, bend down, elevate, follow through… repeat).     


25. Working in a summer youth camp. It doesn’t matter if my day is super stressful or busy. It doesn’t matter how much things went wrong that day. A day with a bunch of high spirited kids always makes everything right.