On running, emotions and talking to people


The Olympics are over. Finally. For a whole week — maybe more? — I was watching it, discussing it, hearing all the takes surrounding Eileen Gu and Beverley Zhu and the “fun stuff” that goes with it. Interesting times we live in, for sure, with geopolitical topics floating over our collective heads.

On the fitness front, I’ve been more consistent in my running routine. It’s hard some days getting out of bed for those morning runs. What I tell myself is that 100% of the time, the aftermath of forcing oneself to run is a good outcome. Afterwards, I feel energized and happy to be alive.

I’m pleased with my overall mileage; I had already reached 20% of my 2021 total by the end of January. It helps that I’ve been relatively injury- and soreness-free — knock on wood! — and that the weather is favorable. Doing leg and core strengthening exercises has helped, as has the lovely climate.

I generally enjoy running more when I plan for upcoming races. Unfortunately, it’s been hard to find a full marathon (42 km) event in China that makes logistical sense for me. I’m already putting in half-marathon (20+ km) distance sessions during weekly runs, so half-marathon races don’t have the same appeal. Here’s hoping something materializes, although I’m not at the point of desperation yet.

On the emotional front, REAL breakthroughs in my thinking and processing of events. The Chinese New Year was a good time to collect my thoughts, think about my emotional response to things — both at work and in life — and generally practice gratitude.

I’ve thought a lot about my triggers and peeling back the onion. Attempting to answer questions like, “Why am I angry right now? Why am I happy?”

Nothing that isn’t outside the realm of common sense, of course. Still, it’s nice to get back to basics. It also helps that I read (and re-read) some books during this recent period that reinforce the fragility and shortness of life.

Books are like music and movies; they resonate when there is an emotional bridge from the material to our hearts. Sometimes a book feels a complete dud, but that could be because we’re not ready for it at a certain stage in our lives. If you’re ever stagnating on a book, move on and consider coming back to it a few months, or even years, later.

If we are to be on this planet for a short time and we don’t know what could happen to us tomorrow, then it’s important to: (1) not fret over a LOT of things; (2) treasure the moments in front of us.

Yeah, yeah…easier said than done, right?

My biggest worry in all this philosophizing is the following: I’m scared of regressing and feeling like I’ve failed somehow. Basically, taking one step forward only to go two steps back.

I have to stop the urge to be so hard on myself. It’s just human nature to self-doubt. Got to fight it and live the best way I can.

The other reason I haven’t been writing as much is because I’ve been getting out there and talking to people. Catching up with friends whom I’ve not spoken to for some time. Last week, I met up with a friend that I lost touch with six years ago. I even messaged my old boss.

If you don’t go out and interact, nothing will happen. Nothing can happen. It’s that simple.

“Talking to people” includes one of my favorite activities, podcasting. I’ve recently had the privilege of recording some podcasts with some great people, and if you’ve read this far, hopefully you’ll enjoy some of me in extended form 🙂

[Audio] The BingKing podcast. Was interviewed by my buddy Arthur King in Shanghai. We shoot the shit about Magic, modern friendships, the art of interviewing, and changing one’s mind.

[Video] #FTSInTheZoom with James Hsu. Interviewed by long-time Vancouver friend Lawrence Yang about a multitude of topics and got pretty darn close to peak cancellation moment. Just kidding. Cancellation moments aren’t real. Right? Right? (P.S. FTS = “fuck the silos.” Great name.)

[Audio] Humans of Magic with Olivia Gobert-Hicks. Some have told me that this is my best interview episode yet. If it is, then Olivia deserves ALL the credit. She rocks and is a total bad-ass. If you’re even slightly into Magic or Commander, then I think you’ll dig this conversation.

How are things going? Would love to hear from you.


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