|Stubborn Mentality (A gift from my Deadlift)|

arms and shoulder icon1

A crack in my back!

A little while ago, I’d hurt my back while sumo deadlifting at the gym.

The thing is, I know it’s essential to warm up! The only downside is the fact that I have no patience to raise my heart rate when there’s a room full of sweaty and smelly men staring at me while I lift.

Yes, I’ve become a lot more comfortable being in the weights room with a room full of gawking eyes. However, it doesn’t mean I enjoy it! In other words, I’ve come to accept vulture culture for what it is.

Picture this:

It’s a Tuesday night, and you’re a 5ft 5in female walking into the weights room after a draining day at work receiving plenty of backlash from angry people.

It’s leg day (it’s always leg day).
You glance at the three squat racks. Full.
Ugh. You were going to bench after anyway.
You glance at the bench press area. Full.

Ah! The platform is free! You say to yourself, “well then, I guess it’s deadlift day!”

Like PacMan avoiding the ghosts, you strategically manoeuvre across the field to get yourself set up. Quick! Let’s just get this over and done with!

It’s hot.
It’s sweaty.
It’s one of those days.

You just want to be in bed with a hot water bottle,
a tasteful mug of hot chocolate, and a good book!

You skip your usual warm up routine because of the amount heat transferring from body to body in this overpacked room.

You didn’t warm up enough and you’re adding too many plates too quickly. You blame the guy in front for taking the 20kg blue plate for his squat. You’re in a foul mood today, aren’t ya?!

50kg, 70kg, 80kg, 90kg. /click/… 90kg. 90kg. 90kg. 90KG!

I’d felt the initial click throughout the left side of my back and thigh, and despite foreseeing the dulling pain I’d be setting myself up for for the rest of the week, I was adamant on finishing my set of 5×5! I was stubborn, and I’d felt the effects throughout the week.

Although this meant that I wasn’t able to squat or deadlift throughout the remainder of my training week,  it did allow me to focus on improving my upper body strength!

Considering that my list of goals for December consists of a lot of upper body training, my focus on my arms and chest has been subpar. Throughout the remainder of my training week, I’d placed more emphasis on my shoulders and chest, and I have most definitely seen results.

The silver lining of hurting my back is that deadlifting had gifted me with meeting my target goal. Therefore, I am happy to announce that despite being unable to squat or deadlift, I have met my target of 60kg decline bench!

front arm muscle2

Don’t forget to tell yourself: “I AM STRONG.”

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|ROAD TO: TOMORROWLAND 2017 – The Aftermovie|

Live Today, Love Tomorrow, Unite Forever

This year, I was lucky enough to be part of Tomorrowland 2017.

The Official Aftermovie (below) has recently been released, and I am currently flooded with nostalgia.

As explained in my previous post, I wasn’t initially interested in Tomorrowland. Yes, the idea of going to an EDM festival abroad for a few days was exciting, but if I were to have invested in any festival, I would have chosen to attend either Coachella or Burning Man in America (both of which are still on my bucket list!)

Boy was I wrong.
Tomorrowland 2017 was absolutely amazing.
To sum it up, it’s like Disneyland for adults: Alice in Wonderland meets EDM.

While words cannot describe just how magical it is when you surround yourself in the world of Tomorrow, the Aftermovie does give a glimpse of what you’d expect both at the festival and within the Dreamville campsite. In lieu of the amazing lineup and acts, what I want to talk about in this post today is my experience with behind the spectacle:

The theme
The attention to detail is absolutely impeccable. In the recent years, Tomorrowland has introduced a different theme that has been implemented throughout the course of the weekend. This year, they had focused on the theme Amicorum Spectaculum, in layman’s term: a circus theme. While the sets included glimpses of circus acts throughout the mainstage to add a touch of Amicorum Spectaculum, what had enticed my attention was the not-specific-to-EDM circus acts that had been spread across the map of the campsite. Instead, it was ‘hush-hush’ acts that had stitched the theme in place to create a spectacular experience.

For instance, I’d ventured into a hidden-away grove featuring actors posing in theatrical stances reminiscent to circus acts in the 19th century (think American Horror Story: Freak Show). Everywhere I’d turned I would catch something that would have been considered out of this world in the early 19th century: the strong man, the bearded lady, the tattooed creature! Almost every act you could think of! The guest appearances were spectacular to say the least, and the depth they place into creating such an amazing performance was glorious to the eye. 10/10. Full points! circus act

The cleanliness
Oh man, the cleanliness of the facilities is something to brag about! Unlike the scene of British festivals such as Reading, Glastonbury and Creamfields, the grass fields in the camping section were decked with wooden floorboards to form a neater, cleaner and safer experience. Not to mention the porta-loos! Many-a-time, I had received Snapchat replies from friends asking why I was messaging them while in the cubicle… in all honesty, the cleanliness of the toilet transported you into the safest and freshest cubicle one would dream of from a camping festival.

In addition,  there were specific bins in recycling points at every corner (both within the campsite and the festival itself), and recycling kits handed over to you everywhere you turned! To further prevent unnecessary littering, there were an enormous amount of cleaners floating around the site picking up every speck of litter. Superb attentiveness towards the environment. 10/10!

recycle kit tml

Photo credit: Tomorrowland

The food stalls
Prior to going to Tomorrowland, I’d joked with my friend that the main reason that I was going was for the food. In other words, I’d already had in mind that it was going to experience a 4 day food festival. Despite (half) joking about this, the food venue did not disappoint. From your standard beef burger to the finest hipster-acai bowl – you name it, they had the taste of the world at Tomorrowland!

The only downfall was that the smoothie stall was never open in the evening after a tiring day of raving. Every night, the stroll back from the festival grounds to the camp site had me craving for a delicious and refreshing (albeit, overpriced) smoothie or sorbet to quench my thirst. Unfortunately, while the hotdog stands, kebab stores, and pizza queues remained opened for the boozed-junkies, the juice refreshments were nowhere to be seen. However, that’s a personal opinion and preference.

On a further note,  the currency exchange rate of €1 = 0.65Pearls becomes a blur in the midst of the cashless service festival. I quite often forgot that a 7 Pearl smoothie amounted to €4.55… Nonetheless, I would commit to paying for the overpriced smoothie any day. Believe me, it was most possibly The freshest squeezed mango, orange and banana juice smoothie of my life. 10/10 recommendation.

TML Food stores

Photo credit (top): Tomorrowland Aftermovie

The three main aspects that I have touched on today only give a glimpse of how spectacular the show was. If anyone is interested in knowing more about my experience, let me know in the comment section below! Alternatively,  you can contact me privately here.

I definitely intend on revisiting Tomorrowland within the next few years. Until then:
Live Today, Love Tomorrow, Unite Forever

 

|79p: A Sucker for Sales|

cactus sale

I’m weak.

For those who are unaware of my compulsive addiction to plants, you can read my previous plant-related posts here:

Plant VS Huewinn

Now for those of you who know me personally, you’d know that I have an unjustifiable obsession with shopping predominantly in the SALE! section. For example, I often find myself filling my online shopping cart with unnecessary items with the intent of meeting the minimum ‘FREE DELIVERY’ quota.

From clothes to food, in-store to online… you name it! I’m just gravitated towards sales and reductions.

My most recent purchase has been no exception, and I shall shamelessly introduce you to this unfortunate soul:

cactus front

I was instantly pulled in by its beauty within the garden section of the supermarket, and when I’d noticed the reduced price… there was just no turning back. I’d resisted placing the £2.50 beauty back in its original rack, but when the store attendant informed me that it was to be even further reduced, I’d realised that there really would be no turning back now.

Oh no… not with it being 79p.

 

 

cactus macro

Ah, how original. Another cactus that will fall to its demise within a few months.

In all fairness, it was for 79p!
It was reduced from £5 to less than £1!
That’s almost 85% off its original price!
You’d be a sucker to say no!

For now, I am absolutely smitten over my new plant.

cactus inner camera

It was beautiful! It was wonderful! It was 79p!

 

|Trap Nation Territory|

sept venus

Raindrops, drop tops!

Note: The name of the venus fly trap has gone through a variety of names, and it will probably continue to change its name until I see fit!

A little while ago I bought a Venus Fly Trap plant from the garden centre. If you haven’t already read the previous post about my running history of potted plant misfortunes, you can back track to this post to catch up on it here.

Are you back? So as you now know, my relationship with plants is not something I can gloat about.

Over water them. Under water them.
Too much sunlight. Not enough sunlight.
Not big enough plant pot. Too big of a plant pot.

The bottom line is, I suck at keeping my plants alive.

venus

Note: apologies for the early photos… I guess I should have taken it into consideration that Snapchat quality is atrocious

Until now! It’s been two months since I’ve taken BT (Baby Trap. Yes, I originally named it BTthe telecom company) home with me, and I’m proud to say that BT has multiplied ferociously into a nation! Dare I say it… A Trap Nation! (Yes, taking inspiration from the Soundcloud account, I have since changed its name to Trap Nation)

During the first couple of weeks nurturing BT, I was quickly engrossed by the needle-like claws for its mouth. I’d constantly fill the dish with bottled water to ensure that it was well fed. On rainy days, I’d collect the rain water and ration the drops for extra nutrition. As days passed by, BT grew stronger and quickly expanded into Trap Nation.

Clawing for my attention, the stem that initially took the lime light was the outstretched individual that overhung the plant pot. It wasn’t surrounded by moss like its siblings… it rebelled. It wasn’t even in tip top condition! It was droopy, broken, and ugly in a beautiful sort of way.

trap sketch 1

Rebellious Drooper Trooper

trap sketch 2

Overhanging from the pot, along with a cut on the outer base of its mouth

I have since re-potted my plant as it was growing in such a ferocious manner that its original home couldn’t even contain it, and I expect it to be re-homed into a larger pot in the near future.

sept trap nation update portrait

Until then, eat well and live happy!

|WORD SPLURGE: Sometimes you suck!|

you suck

You suck!

Note: word splurge – instant posts drafted & scrambled together with incoherent words

As I sit here flicking through the hardcopy of my Moleskine Sketch Journal, I nitpick at the pages that weren’t able to meet my standards.

The thing is, I’m not always going to be able to draw, sketch or doodle something that I deem as ‘good enough’. I know that! However, it doesn’t mean I won’t continue to beat myself up about the wasted time and wallow in embarrassment for a minute or two.

There has been several times where I have made attempts at reviving the ‘ugly’ pieces of drawing… only end up either looking worse than before, or just a big ball of sludge on the page.

Sometimes, you just have to give it up and let the page be.

Here’s a post dedicated to the two that have not made the cut, the defects, the uglies, the inadequate ones:

YS rope fall

Somehow, this one ended up looking like a down-in-the-dumps male with a (dare I say it) rad mohawk, tender-looking chicken thighs and garden-root legs – all the while reaching out for his detached arm that’s flailing about in mid air.

I’m going to be very honest here. I can’t even read what I wrote above the mohawk. However, here’s the gist of the drawing:

When you get pushed to the ground, you get straight back up and carry on!

 

YS tin can

At first, I liked it, and then I didn’t like it so much… and so when I went back to it after a few days (and a few more time after that), I ended up hating the piece.

In all fairness, whenever I revisited it, I was in the same state of mind: Hopelessness. Expanding on this point, sometimes people feel as if everything that they’re saying to the other person isn’t being translated in the same way they had  wanted it to. In other words, a communication error. 

Sometimes you just suck at drawing, Huewinn.
But that’s okay.

 

|Progression & Goals|

boiling frog sketch

I refuse to be a frog in a boiling pot!

Note: You can read about ‘The Boiled Frog Syndrome’ here.

As expressed in a previous post, my progression with this blog has been stagnating. I know, I know, a post should come natural to the writer – I mean, I can write and post as much as I want, but if it has no direction or meaning to it, it becomes pointless. But I want to make a habit of updating my blog at least once a week… it’s not even too much to ask for! It’s just me being plain lazy.

So here’s a list of my goals that I intend will achieve by the beginning of next year:

WEBSITE

 

GYM
Note: considering how I’ve already cleared all of my 1RM goals, these are more of a guideline/optimistic goal-setter for myself

  • 90kg squat
  • 120kg deadlift
  • 60kg decline bench
  • 50kg flat bench
  • 40kg overhead press
  • Be able to do a proper one handed press up
  • Be able to do a proper hand stand push up
  • Clear 5 REAL chin ups
  • Be able to hold a head stand
  • Be able to do a wall split
  • Hit a goal of 17-18% body fat percentage

 

SELF
Note: my progression list for self development is a bit too personal to be uploaded onto social media

  • Learn French. Seriously learn it!
  • Read more! Read a variety! (linking to blog hop)
  • Get my freelance design ‘career’ up and running (or at least begin to post things to gain traction)
  • Draw more: have something new in my moleskine each week

 

boiling frog

Don’t forget to take a leap!

|STORYTIME: Hacked account! pt.2 – eBay|

CLICK HERE!

One time, my eBay account was hacked. 

|STORYTIME: Hacked account! pt.1 – Amazon| can be read here!

In reference to my most recent encounter with hacking, frauds and online shopping, a previous experience had come to mind – this time with tractors and boats.

Back when I was 13 or 14 years old, I’d received an email from a dummy eBay email account requesting to reset my eBay password due to recent suspicious activities on my account.

The easily-deceived youth in me didn’t take too much notice of the email, and I’d quite happily clicked the link on the email, which redirected me to a replica eBay site to create a new password for my account. I happily followed the instructions to change my password and had quickly forgotten about the email. Not thinking much of it, I had continued to waste my evening scrolling through the internet on the then-popular myspace site.

Fast forward a couple days:

My email account had been bombarded with eBay messages from users asking about the condition of the red tractor that I was supposedly selling. Confused by the countless amount of emails, I’d scrolled through my account to query the questions.

/click/

red tractor

Oh f*ck.

I mess up one time! One time! I stupidly followed a link to change my password, and the next thing I see?! I see a red tractor being sold on my account for a very enviable price of £1,000-£2,000!

One time!

“The photos look great! Please could you tell me the size of the engine?”

“What model is this?”

“How long have you had this for?”

“What’s the condition like?”

One time!

I clicked my way through my eBay account to find that I’d supposedly posted another vehicle auction for a boat! A boat!

boating

…. one time!

A tractor and a boat!

One time!

Confused and scared of the consequences, I’d quickly sifted through each and every comment and query from users who were interested in buying either of the two items, and wrote in the most Huewinn-esque way (i.e. CAPSLOCK and the overuse of exclamation marks).

“I DID NOT POST THIS. SOMEONE HAS HACKED MY ACCOUNT!!!
PLEASE DO NOT BID THIS. I’M NOT SELLING THIS ITEM!
I DO NOT HAVE A BOAT!!!!!

“I DID NOT POST THIS. SOMEONE HAS HACKED MY ACCOUNT!!!
PLEASE DO NOT BID THIS. I’M NOT SELLING THIS ITEM!
I DO NOT HAVE A TRACTOR!!!!!

I’d located the number to eBay’s customer service department and had swiftly called the team to help rectify this mistake. The problem was solved in a matter of minutes, and the two auctions had been removed from the site.

Moral of the story? Be very careful of what you click on your emails. One minute you could be changing your password. The next minute, your eBay account will probably post unconventional vehicles at a bargain deal. 

Good luck, and be cautious of what you click on your emails!
#clickbait