Saturday, August 13, 2016

Musical journey (73)

Before my monthly musical post, here's a little update. Ision and I have both made up our minds that we're going to stay put in Melbourne and not relocate especially since we've just moved into our new apartment. This decision led me to commit the most painful act of turning down several interviews for jobs that require a move to Sydney. It was a really difficult decision because I know how tough the job market is for engineers like me at the moment. However looking on the bright side, it means that despite the depressed climate, I'm able to land interviews so I'm in a not-too-bad situation after all.

When it comes to employment versus my boo, there's really no comparison and boo always trumps everything. I seriously didn't know what I was thinking when I was contemplating a long-distance relationship (as stated in my last musical post)! Now that my job search has narrowed down to Melbourne, the time spent daily on job sites have dropped significantly and this jives well with my busy schedule now that I've returned to working full-time in the Melbourne office. But how long will this last? That's the 64-million dollar question fuelling my urge to get another more stable job. There are also rumours floating around that there will soon be a massive pay cut of 30 - 40% in my current company. How can anyone remaining in it not start to look elsewhere in the face of ever-increasing cost of living? I guess I just have to continue embracing this instability with no end to this in sight.



Alright, the update is over and it's now on to this month's musical post. As you all know I explore a lot of themes in my compositions but there’s usually a common thread across all these themes. I like to create a contrast or conflict in my songs because I think it produces a fuller and more interesting story and this month’s creation of mine is no different.

Many see Paris as the uber-romantic place and yearn to be there with someone they’re in love with. There must however be thousands of heartbroken people walking the city streets alone every night and I feel that there should be a song representing them. The contrast between their extreme desolation and Paris being the city of romance makes good song-writing fodder. In the song I’m sharing today, the protagonist drags his heavy feet along the maze-like Paris alleys at night and ends up at the Eiffel Tower. Too tired and drained to carry on, he spends the night under the cold metallic giant as he cries himself to sleep.

Cliché it might be but aren’t pop songs supposed to be? This is also one of the pieces written back when I started my song-writing journey so you have to pardon its amateurish aspects. Other than that, do give it a listen while sparing a thought for the lonely hearts out there in your city tonight.



[巴黎一夜]

词 / 曲 : 锦泉
 

一个人沦落到   遥远的国度
体验到从没那么冷的浪漫之都
铁塔下只有我一个露宿
只剩下泪水来温暖似冰的孤独


一个人拖着   千斤重的脚步
看到了另外一个浪漫之都
铁塔下只有我一个人哭
只有那冷冷的回音知道我心中的苦


看看这   寂寞的浪漫之都
可怜的月儿照不亮我内心阴暗之处


看看我   我的前方一片模糊
蒙娜丽莎也在哭




[One Night in Paris]

Here I am alone in a distant land
Experiencing the city of romance that has never been this cold
Sleeping by myself under the Tower
Left only with tears to warm the frigid isolation

Dragging my heavy feet alone
I see this city of romance from another perspective
Crying by myself under the Tower
Letting out a quiet echo, the only thing who knows my pain

Look at this lonely city of romance
The pitiful moon tonight fails to light the darkest recesses of my heart

Look at my future, so blurry and directionless
Even Mona Lisa is weeping


Sunday, July 31, 2016

Pink dot virgin no more (part 2)


Here is part two of my series on my first-ever Pink Dot (part one is here).


The drag queens were all out in full force that day and I knew I had to take a picture with each and every one of them. I've always wondered why are most drag queens so tall and overpowering (and that is even before they start unleashing their quick and oft-acidic wit). Why aren't there more petite and soft-spoken drag queens?


Here's another in drag and this time with a Japanese flavour. They must have found it hard to source for their pretty pink costumes for the event. Thankfully I know I look horrendous in drag otherwise I'd be stressing over my getup as well. I'm lucky in the sense that I'm more fabulous when I'm in barely nothing at all, which is the perfect look for a person as lazy as me.


There were performances from local artistes as well as speeches and presentations on the stage throughout the event. After being away from Singapore for so long, I knew none of those acts which was totally fine with me since most of my time was spent at the community stalls section. I was stationed topless in front of my friend's booth for a social group called MOVE Community and in the process helped attract lots of traffic to it which really put my abs to good use. Needless to say I loved all the attention of course!


Drag queens come in all shapes and sizes and it's events like Pink Dot when we can all be ourselves. For me it's putting my best assets in full public display and making all my time spent in the gym worthwhile. I got a lot of compliments that afternoon and no one can ever get too many of them.


Although it was drizzling slightly at times which meant that the weather wasn't that oppressive, it must still have been uncomfortably stuffy in that costume so I really admired the effort. Fortunately I wore sandals and so the muddy ground from the rain didn't bother me a single bit. I was too busy taking pictures and letting others take pictures of me. Behind me was the stall promoting the annual IndigNation event a.k.a. Singapore's Pride season. There were a large number of stalls with various causes and there were also some that gave out free popcorn and cotton candy which added further cheer to the carnival atmosphere.


This was taken in front of the stall I was stationed at and these were the folks from the MOVE Community social group with their placards. I contacted my friend who runs this group (third from the left) and asked if I could hang out at the stall as I didn't want to be at Pink Dot alone and he was more than happy for that to happen. I did wander away and walked around the jam-packed park once in a while to soak in the atmosphere and to let more people admire my body. I can't help not being an attention-whore when I have the body I have!


This is the moment before we were told to raise our placards to form a pink dot. The air was electrifying and thick with fervent intensity and was the best moment of the day. To prepare for the climactic moment that's Pink Dot's never-changing hallmark, we had to be herded into the area of the park where "protesting" is allowed (i.e. something foreigners couldn't do without breaking the law). Such is the environment the LGBT community has to survive in daily and is one of the main reasons why I left my homeland for good in 2008.


This was the spectacular result of the pink dot formation that can only be fully-appreciated from up high. Pink Dot attendance has grown exponentially which has resulted in numbers exceeding the location's capacity for a few years now and hence the organisers have stopped counting the number of attendees this year. The pink dot has now become a pink mass but that's something no one will complain about.


This is my favourite shot of the day and was my Facebook cover photo for many days after Pink Dot. As soon as I posed for my phone camera (held by an onlooker) to get this shot, a lot of reporters from various media outlets also started snapping and that was why this shot appeared in many news articles. Being able to attend Pink Dot this year was awesome and having my picture get so much exposure is the icing on the cake.


I have attended New York's Pride and Sydney's Mardi Gras so I've seen it all and although Pink Dot is much milder in comparison, one must be reminded that being able to hold such a massive event in a country as discriminatory towards the LGBT community as Singapore is already an enormous feat. Hence I'm glad I made this trip especially for it. Now I can tell myself and others I've been part of this major Asian gay event as an out, loud and proud gay Singaporean. For those who have never been to one, it's highly recommended!

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Pink dot virgin no more (part 1)

Pink Dot started in Singapore after I left the country for good and since then I've always not been able to attend this major annual event in the Asian gay calendar due to work and poor timing. With the end of my stint in Papua New Guinea, the stars were aligned and I finally had the chance to go. I was hoping for a night event like the previous few years but I heard from the organisers that it was easier to enforce the no-foreigner rule in the day. You see, foreigners are not allowed to protest whilst locals can only do so in a specific location (Hong Lim Park in Chinatown). People who are against the Pink Dot movement often make lots of trouble for the organisers by pointing out breaches to this rule to the police and so the only way to solve this problem is to hold the event when there's daylight. Despite this Pink Dot has been held successfully annually since 2009 and in the next two posts (second post is here), I shall share with you how much fun I had during this year's event.


There's always a symbolic gesture for Pink Dot participants that not only represents the conscious protest they're partaking in, it also creates the pink dot formation that's an awesome sight to behold from up high. This year we had to write messages on placards and I went with an extremely optimistic one. Although I know the legalisation of gay marriage will never happen in Singapore during my lifetime, I still wish my Singaporean friends could have this basic human right which my husband and I enjoy (albeit under British and not Australian law). The positive message must of course be conveyed by a positive image and so I had to go topless which was also perfect for the hot and humid weather. Any excuse to show my hard-earned muscles right?


The dress code for the event is anything pink and so I searched high and low for the smallest pair of hot pink shorts I could find. These mini wings and the feather boa I used as an accent (seen in the previous picture) were all from the Chingay parade I marched in topless back in 2010 (as documented in this post). That Chingay effort was billed as the first gay "contingent" to ever marched in the event (even though there were only two of us). Do you think I wore my pink ensemble well?


So many people came to take pictures with me that day and I joked on Facebook that I should have charged a little something for every snap and I'd be rich. Although it's a gay event, I was the only completely topless guy there. This not only proves that Singapore is indeed a conservative country, it tells me that the reasons why I left Singapore back in 2008 are all still valid. Perhaps there were just no one with my body who was as daring to show off like me. That second line of reasoning works well with me too. Hehe.


People from all walks of life attend Pink Dot and the 2016 event was no different. In this fight for equality what we need are straight and religious allies to show that sexuality and religion are no justification for bigotry and ignorance.


This is me with one of the Pink Dot organisers and my dear friend (who marched with me in that Chingay parade). I never fail to catch up with him whenever I go back home. That being said, maybe Pink Dot wasn't the best place to catch up as he was kept very busy on that day. Fortunately we already had a good long chat days before in another meeting.


Here is another friend (on my left) whom I haven't met for a number of years now. He was originally from Melbourne as well and now lives in Singapore with his partner (beside him in the picture). If you think I look especially lean here that's because I am. I always get more shredded when I'm back in Singapore because of how much walking I do and the how much I perspire in the tropical weather (which makes water-retention close to impossible).


Apart from meeting up with old friends, I made some new ones as well and here is one of them. I just love his bright pink hair! He also had make-up on and he told me that was to prepare for the many pictures that would be taken of him on that day.


The biggest progress for Pink Dot this year was the big increase in the number of corporate sponsors from 10 to 18 with Bloomberg was one of them. Naturally the conservative anti-gay camp voiced their concern purporting that foreign entities should not be interfering in domestic affairs. The government who always panders to these naysayers gave a predictably knee-jerk response to appease them by saying that these companies are not allowed to sponsor Pink Dot next year. This problem will not go away as long as these pesky and vocal religious nuts who are in the minority give us a break to actually get to know their own religion better and get that vile hate out of their system.


If you want to see more of me topless at Pink Dot, stay tuned for my next post in a week's time!

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Musical journey (72)

The first half of 2016 has passed us by and it looks like the next half is going to be a challenging one for me trying to figure out what my next move is in my continued search for something that can pay the bills. Although there is intermittent non-full time work coming in (which I've expected), the situation I'm in right now is still far from ideal. Fortunately Ision and I have finished moving into our new apartment in Hawthorn and the rent I have to pay him has dropped quite a bit which makes bill-paying less stressful. That being said I now have my husband as a landlord and it's interesting to find out if that changes the relationship dynamics in any way.

Now that we are almost fully-settled in I can continue focussing on securing more work by applying for jobs online, building and maintaining a wide LinkedIn network and extending my feelers to their maximum length whenever I am in the Melbourne office. I hate to beg for work (or for anything!) but I have to and have been doing that (in a professional way of course). However it's not all bad news as I'm having a job interview over the phone next week (after 35 job applications no less!). This job requires a relocation to Sydney and Ision is not too keen on that on many fronts so I guess I'll just go ahead with the interview and cross bridges when I encounter them. It's a promotion though if I do get it so the job is not totally unattractive even though it's only for a five-year project.

In the meantime I have to get used to commuting to work again now that we no longer live in the city. Hawthorn is a nice suburb though and I'm sure we'll enjoy it as much as the city now that we've fully explored our new neighbourhood. This is the fifth place I've lived in since I moved to Australia (the first one with a balcony) and to be honest we're both quite sick of moving. Fortunately we'll not be doing that for a long time. We've just finished cleaning up the old apartment and are returning its keys next week which will provide us with the much-needed closure of this old chapter in our lives. I'll post more updates when they become available.

OK, whingeing and updating are now over and now it's on to this month's musical post which features a cover of Owl City’s “Take to the Sky” (one of my favourite animation soundtracks). This singer does this genre perfectly as evident in the lyrics and tune which when combined brings out the magical wonder of the story so well. However all his songs do sound similar and he can do much better by diversifying his style. I'm curious though as to whether or not there is any relationship between the movie and the name adopted by this singer. Anyway this up-tempo piece is my musical offering for the month and I hope you like it.


Thursday, June 30, 2016

No more

No more missing boo for a month and going through the pain of leaving him every month.

No more hugging my substitute-boo i.e. my bolster every night and saying “night night boo”, “I love you” and “I miss you” to it.

No more being in a constant unsettled state of countdown.

No more having to endure small talk with people you don’t like and have no common interests with 24/7.

No more being made to feel anti-social by sitting at one corner of the mess just because I don’t like to play the political game via socialising.

No more withdrawing into my shell and feeling depressed for not fitting in.

No more omnipresent body odour everywhere you go.

No more talking to people who really don’t understand you completely.

No more dealing with lazy and extremely-overpaid people who are just there to do the bare minimum while cruising through their pre-retirement work journey.

No more working on a project that is on the lowest priority list of everyone required to help you complete it.

No more work given to you with no clear directions.

No more feeling like a second-class citizen which happens every time you get seconded to a client’s site.

No more lack of phone communication with boo because of having not a phone assigned to me.

No more having to carry all your stuff with you from site to site like a nomad.

No more having to untangle your laptop wires every morning.

No more stocking of bananas collected over lunch as a snack between meals due to the fixed meal times and having the bananas go bad.

No more unstable Internet, phone network and TV reception.

No more room equipment that does not work.

No more risking your life by talking chartered flights on poorly-maintained (and smelly) aircrafts.


Yes, that is why I am so happy to not have to fly back to Papua New Guinea last week and forever.

That being said, I will miss the food and the fact that you don’t need to cook and clean, not to mention the higher pay with zero commute to work and the ability to take short holidays during the four-week break while earning free frequent-flyer points. The bottom line is we all have to eat and pay the bills so we have no choice but to put up with a job that we all don’t like. If the job market wasn’t that miserable I would have gladly chosen a 9 to 5 job over the fly-in/fly-out roster any day but the depressed climate makes a beggar of us all.

What is the future installed for me? Will I be able to get back to being an engineer? Do I have no choice but to change my career path? Seeing how bad the Australian job market is currently, I think it is time for some drastic changes. Is this going to be a crisis or the best opportunity in my life? Watch this space, OK?

In the meantime Ision and I have just gotten the keys to our new apartment and we'll be moving some time next week. With us no longer renting, we no longer face the risk of being forced to move when the owner wants to sell the unit which means that at least one uncertainty will be removed from our lives. This relocation is also timely as it keeps me busy otherwise staying at home these days with no work will drive me crazy (out of anxiety, not boredom). My next entry will be posted from our new place and I’m so looking forward to settling into it!

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Musical journey (71)

I’m sure all of you would have known by now the senseless mass shooting that took place a few days ago in Pulse, a gay club in Orlando Florida where 49 were killed. Investigations into the gunman’s motives are still underway with the plot thickening as time passes. Regardless of whether he supported the so-called Islamic State or his internalised homophobia for being unable to accept his own homosexuality that pushed him to commit this horrendous killing, the root cause of this tragedy remains the same and it applies to hate crimes and human right abuses against the LGBT community all over the world.

Admittedly the issues around gun control played a part in this mayhem but it’s the ignorance, hate and bigotry against us that’s fuelling this violence. More often than not at the core of this deep-seated homophobia is religion, or rather their warped version of religion. If you think the gun control problem in the States is a tough nut to crack, the problem of wrongly-interpreted religion propagating hate is unfortunately far more difficult (I daresay impossible) to solve. Recently a Singaporean man made a post on social media threatening to open fire on gays which made it evident that one can just as easily unleash hate of the same degree with a few taps on the keyboard as the pull of a trigger.

However no solutions will be offered in this post because the aim of this entry is to remember the lives lost in Orlando and to celebrate the fortitude and resolve we have in the LGBT community that has been further strengthened by this event. Although there’s no simple solution to this problem, there were still plenty of things people tried to do to help them make sense of it all. Some chose to hold or attend vigils while others partied extra hard to show the haters that they could.

This heinous act has inspired me to compose which is the way I chose to express how I feel towards it. Pulse is a gay club which I think is a place of significance for many in the community and so what I wrote is what I see as the perfect night out at the club. This is the sexiest English song I’ve written to date and though some might find it cliché as it has all the usual references to hot gyrating men, drugs and sex, this is the scene and message I want to sear into the minds of the haters–we are gay, loud and proud and we are never backing down. Oh, and let this also be the anthem for all of us this Pride month.

Writing this song is what I did in response to what happened in Orlando. What did you do?


[All Night]

Stand before me
Watch me get it on
I'll put on a show
It'll be better than porn

You gotta know my ego's
Not as big as what's below
So tell me
Is it a yes or no

Tick tock tick tock
Time is running out
I'll let you in
So you can't find your own way out
Energy abounds and the music's getting loud
Put your hands on me
And I want you to make me shout

Ay-O-O-Ay-O
Let's do it right
C'mon do me all night
Ay-O-O-Ay-O
Let's get it high
Push it harder all night

Get me wet
Not just with your sweat
Turning me on
You're the hottest fuck I've ever met (had)
Can't get enough
When I'm on my knees and you play so rough
So nasty but that is what I love

A B C D
What comes after that
Just pop it in
I bet you will have no regrets
Arms up so high
And our heartbeats' chasing light
Don't wanna stop
Let's push it up another notch

Ay-O-O-Ay-O
Let's do it right...
Ay-O-O-Ay-O
Let's get it high...

I get higher with every pound
Of my heart's not coming down
Deep inside me you are now
And I'll never let you out

Ay-O-O-Ay-O
Let's do it right
C'mon do me all night
Ay-O-O-Ay-O
Let's get it high
Push it harder all night


Saturday, May 28, 2016

Musical journey (70)

Hello from super hot and humid Singapore! I’ve always wanted to attend Pink Dot ever since its inception but the timing was always not right but this year I finally am here for the big event. I was hoping it to take place at night but it will be held in the day this time. I’m so looking forward to being topless with ultra short shorts! I need to get myself a pink pair as soon as possible!

This month’s musical post is one of my first English compositions penned about 15 to 20 years ago (I am so effing old!). This is also a song not from personal experience (I remember I simply wanted to write about an imaginary love story). Needless to mention it’s a gay love story although you cannot really tell from the sexuality-neutral lyrics. The plot is simple–X cheats on Y and thinks that Y doesn’t know. However Y knew a long time ago but let X slide because of how much he loves him.

As you know I never choose scenes from straight movies for my music clips and this one is no different. Personally I feel that this piece is not easy to sing as its range is stuck at the point where you have to switch back and forth between your real voice and falsetto but I tried my best in the recording. I hope you can hear the sadness in my voice as I tried to sing out the desperation Y feels as X slides further and further away from him.


[Slide]

I hear you call out my name, I started to cry
As I run down the stairs right after our fight
The love I have for you hasn't actually died
But giving you one more chance again, I'm too tired to try

Thinking back how we started, before all the lies
We were meant for each other, things just seemed right
Then he came along, someone you tried to hide
But try as you might you don't know I knew it inside

And I let you have your way, I'm often asked why
'Cos I love you and that is why I let you

Slide, slide past the pain in my heart and I let you
Slide, slide away out of sight with your lies
Every night you're with him, every night that I've cried
And I can do it no more, yet I can't help it but let you

Slide, slide from the grasp of my hand, still I let you
Slide, slide from the mess you left in my life
Make love to me tonight for the very last time
So that your touch in my mind, I can memorize

Slide............

Your touch in my mind, I can memorise


Saturday, May 21, 2016

Work it! (part 6)

Hello from civilisation (i.e. not-Papua New Guinea) once again! I hope you’ve enjoyed my workout series so far but I guess all good things must come to an end and here’s my last post in this series (previous posts can be found here: 1 2 3 4 5 6). In this entry I’ll write about some of my more interesting gym encounters.

I sometimes get compliments from people in the gym and they are mostly for my legs as they’re quite muscular and I do wear very short shorts (and no underwear so I’m always on the verge of flashing myself in the gym!). That in itself is not that interesting but I’ve noticed that Melbournians are much more reserved than Sydney-siders when it comes to dishing out compliments. I think the much higher proportion of gay people in the Sydney gyms I used to frequent (Kings Cross and Oxford Street) might be the most likely reason. We all know that the gym is sometimes referred to as the gay church when in fact we’re all much more religious than most church-goers as we hit the gym more than once a week. It’s literally survival-of-the-fittest in the gay scene so we’re constantly pushing ourselves to worship the various gym equipment (and eye candies in the steam room *wink wink*). 

Talking about cruising in the gym, I remember one outrageous time in Singapore when a gym marketer tried to sell me a membership. She asked a series of questions to confirm that I was gay and then get this, she actually said that the showers at that branch were extremely cruisy and that much action took place there! How desperate must she have been to use that as a selling point! Well it’s actually not that surprising given that it was California Fitness, notorious for its hard-sell tactics and crazy promotions to lure people in. In comparison Fitness First is more of a luxury brand in Singapore and free towels and workout clothing are provided (if only the Australian branches offered those too).

One of the strangest things I have not seen yet in a gym toilet is a person taking a selfie. With so many gym selfies online, you’d think that it’d be easy to bump into a selfie-taking person in my 15 years of gymming. I for one do that a lot and am completely unashamed of it especially when the urge to be naked is coupled with being all sexy and horny after a great workout. Oh and I don’t understand why people don’t go completely naked in the steam room. I guess not everyone is as exhibitionistic as me. I wish there was a topless or even nude gym in Melbourne–I would be the first to sign up! I’ve also met celebrities in the Melbourne gym before. In fact I bumped into two within a single visit once - Josh Thomas and a topless Kris Smith in the changing room wearing just a towel around his waist (MAJOR yum!).

I’m glad that I’ve now left Papua New Guinea for good as this means that I finally don’t have to work out in a rundown gym full of cobwebs around machines in a building that does not have air-conditioning which can become a sauna if you exercise after work. However the impending relocation to our new place would mean that I’ll need to explore new gyms as there isn’t a Fitness First nearby. Right now the contenders are Vision, Jetts, Anytime Fitness and Hawthorne Aquatic and Leisure Centre. I’m planning to try all of them out for free before signing up (the Aquatic Centre is just opposite the apartment so I’m leaning towards that currently).

In this series I’ve provided you with some insight into a very important part of my life and hopefully have also given you some motivation to start your fitness journey if you’re looking for some. To conclude, here’s another delicious clip of me flexing. I’ll be heading to Singapore in a few days and I can tell you that’s going to be a break from the freaking Papua New Guinea mess that I urgently need. See you all very soon!


Flexing #2:

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Work it! (part 5)

In this fifth post of my workout series (the rest of the series is here: 1 2 3 4 6) I will share with you some gym tips. I’m not an expert myself but for a person who has 15 years of gym experience, I think I’m somewhat qualified to dole out some workout advice.

First you need to have a reason why you want to work out. This sounds obvious but it’s a very important part of any fitness goal. Once you have a reason, you can always come back to it when you feel unmotivated or too lethargic to stick to your routine. Personally I started going to the gym to pull myself out of low self-esteem when I accepted the superficial fact that gays only like fit and muscular guys. Hence to survive in the gay dating scene (and I was desperate to get attached at that time) I had no choice but to hit the gym and get some muscles. When I started to see results and the compliments rolled in, the motivation to work out grew. It’s important to surround yourself with people who love you and shower you with praises. Like I always say, I’d rather be a narcissist than a self-hater. However the body improvements have plateaued a long time ago and now I’m just repeating the same routine over and over again to maintain what I think is the ideal build for me. I’m a disciplined person but I’m also human (i.e. lazy) so I’m not willing to put in that extra effort to get that minimal improvement. Also I am not too tall so I really shouldn’t get too muscular as being proportioned is very important to me.

Another very important tip when it comes to maintaining motivation is to choose a gym as close to your home as possible, preferably within walking distance. If that’s not possible, choose one that’s on your way to or from work. I prefer to work out before work as that lifts your energy level for the rest of the day. Also you’ll have more flexibility to work longer hours if required and not have to worry about having to go to the gym. The bottom line is you have to give yourself as little reason as possible to not work out. When you’re at the gym, make your routine as varied as possible so that you can choose a different machine or use free weights for instance and still work the same muscle when a particular station is occupied. A varied routine also targets different muscle areas and makes working out less boring. If you’re starting a routine, it’s good to track the weight that you lift and the number of reps you do so that you can make appropriate increases as you get stronger. If you’re trying to lose weight, tracking your weight and body fat percentage regularly is a must. I used to do it daily and some people think that’s over-the-top (I now do it twice a week).

You also have to be honest with yourself when it comes to your fitness goals. If you know you’re not going to stick to a routine or go to the gym, stop paying your gym membership and end the contract. Having people sign up to a gym membership and then have them not using the gym is one of the key ways gyms make money. Do not delude yourself thinking that somehow you’ll get fitter just by having a gym you can use when you want to. You have to get your ass down and work out for real to see improvements! There are many body-weight exercises you can do without going to a gym and you can also go for a jog outside if you want some cardio. Having a gym membership is not mandatory to get fit. Another way to save money would be to freeze your membership and pay a lower fee every time you’re not going to use the gym for a while. Ever since my Papua New Guinea stints started, I’ve frozen my membership for 23 fortnights and that has saved me almost $800.

What I have mentioned in this post is simply extracted from my personal experience and might not be applicable to you. At the end of the day your fitness journey is something very personal and any advice you read or get from other people should always be taken in with a pinch of salt. Let me conclude by offering another piece of advice. There’s always going to be people in the gym who look better than you and you shouldn’t be comparing yourself with them especially when that makes you feel inferior. Working out in the gym should make you feel better about yourself and not the opposite. Remember that you’re already better than most people if you work out regularly so stop being unfair to yourself.

Now that we’re done with words, we can finally move on to the videos. The two clips in this post feature abs and back. Enjoy!


Back:


Abs:

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Work it! (part 4)

OMFG! I know this is coming but I didn’t expect it to be so soon. Ision has just bought an apartment in Hawthorne and we will be moving into it at the end of next month or so (that is if there are no other competitors that can outbid him)! Now that I am my husband’s rent-paying tenant, will I be given the standard tenant rights I wonder? Jokes aside, it will be a stressful period for me as I will be facing both an impending joblessness and this move into a new place. They say things always happen either not at all or all at once and they are so right. Anyway I will worry about all that when I am back from my Singapore vacation in the first week of June and I will post the latest developments then.

OK, updates over. It’s now time for the next post in my workout series (the other posts are here: 1 2 3 5 6). I am very focussed in the gym and hence I always come across as anti-social when I’m working out (i.e. I can never be someone else’s gym buddy). I know that I should smile more as that’s basic cruising etiquette but like I said before, when I’m on the gym floor I have only one goal and that’s to get my routine done so I can go do other things Yes, you may be surprised to know that I don’t like to go to the gym. Who does?!

As a result of my being super focussed, one of my pet peeves is when I’m asked to spot someone else. In my opinion if you need a spotter, you’re doing it too heavy and I’m not going to subject myself to the risk of injuring you if something goes wrong during spotting. I wouldn’t ask someone to spot for me because I don’t want to put my life in the hands of a complete stranger. Another sign that people might be going too heavy is when they grunt and this is also another major pet peeve of mine. There are some people who just like to grunt to attract attention and they’re not even doing heavy weights! The worst is when females grunt and yes they do. I already hate it when hot men grunt, can you imagine how frustrating it is to hear women do it?

There’s also some rude behaviour that really pisses me off in the gym. For instance I detest people who work out in groups and then chat around a machine, hogging it in the process. If you want to socialise go to a pub because a gym is not the place to do it. Some people also play with their phones in between sets on the machine but nothing is worse than the time when I saw a person reading the newspaper on a machine! Simply outrageous! Another way people are impolite in the gym is when they have body odour. Maintaining basic hygiene is everyone’s duty especially when you’re in a public space. Subjecting people to BO is plain rude. However there’s really no solution to this problem and we just have to execute perfect breath-timing when these smelly people walk past (I am an expert now that I've been in Papua New Guinea for a while).

Well whingeing is not going to solve any of the above problems and I guess these pet peeves will remain forever as long as I can’t afford my own private gym. To thank you guys for putting up with my whining I’m now going to share two short workout videos. These clips feature the chest and biceps, the two major muscle groups everyone must train in order to look impressive in tight-fitting clothes, which I do!


Chest:


Biceps: