Personal stuff and notes.
"Power walking is better than sex."
You've just landed on a blog post where I'll introduce you to the absolute META of fitness exercises. The top of the heap. The cream of the crop. The safest, most efficient, life-changing workout you've never heard of.
It's true what they say: "Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated".
Find out how the simple act of walking with hand weights can greatly benefit your physical and mental health (with video tutorials by yours truly!)
I bet you never considered walking something worth contemplating.
Walking is what humans evolved to do over the span of hundreds of thousands of years. It's the most optimized type of movement the human body can do. Walking, just as standing upright, are so important for survival, we can do them without any conscious thought: our brains actually developed separate areas, specialized at maintaining our sense of balance, Cerebellum being the prime example. That is how important walking is.
However, "unconscious" control over walking is mostly possible only when no extra load is present on the body. That's because the added weight usually noticeably changes the center of gravity of the combined system.
The good news is that the body and the brain are highly pliable and adaptable. If we keep walking with something moderately heavy regularly, over time we'll get more used to such movement, whereas letting go of the load would make previous weight-free movement easier.
So… If we walk all the time… What if we deliberately introduce challenge to this very activity with the goal of making ordinary walking effortless, and improve our fitness along the way?
That's the idea I'd like to share with you, along with the expected results and explanations, in the hopes that you'll find this activity as compelling and inspiring as I did.
Just... A handful of reps to go... C'mon…
A-a-and, there! Phew, that was an intense workout indeed!
Wait a minute... Wasn't there something I was working on?..
Oh, right! The blog post!
It took a while to finish this post.
I was planning to publish it exactly a year past the previous one with the goal of showcasing what kind of progress one might expect over a similar timespan doing 2-3 Ring Fit workouts a week. As I still play the game and the numbers keep changing, let's pretend it's still March 2021 — the month I took all screenshots and videos for this post — and use those as reference.
⭐⭐⭐ NEW: Don't miss my new article on Power Walking With Weights! It's a great way to level up your fitness results even further! ⭐⭐⭐
Ahem... Where Was I?
Well, 2020 sure was a year of... Interesting events, news and developments. As for me, it was also a year of getting back in shape thanks to a very special and exciting video game titled Ring Fit Adventure.
Join me today, as I share my experience with the game, the console, go though some of the personal mile-stones, and provide several tips and tricks along the way. Hopefully, by the end you'll be able to tell how exactly this product had improved the quality of my life and maybe consider doing the same.
Evgeniy Kozlov, the guy who did an amazing job creating most of the environment art assets for "Run and Rock-it Kristie", surprised me yesterday by sharing progress on his own sculpting studies. Imagine my delight when the first character he fully sculpted, textured and rigged ended up being Kristie, re-imagined in 3D!
Check her out!
Modeling, sculpting, texturing, rigging and rendering were all done in Blender.
When I mentioned I was working on a Design Document for a third person semi-open world game to a good friend of mine several months ago, he immediately asked me whether I had played The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild or Super Mario: Odyssey. Naturally, not being a Nintendo Switch owner, I had no such experience. "Get the console!" — he replied immediately — "You gotta check out what those Zelda and Mario games have to offer in the way of game mechanics and overall flow."
"Yeah, right..." — Was my instant reply — "Getting an overpriced piece of hardware powered by a microwave-grade Tegra X1 SoC with games that cost a fortune each? I'll pass."
And with that, I returned to working on the DD and various side-projects and forgot the conversation ever happened.
🎮 Click/tap here to skip my Unity rant and go straight to the Ring Fit Adventure review.
By mid-February the DD was about 70% done and I considered installing a brand new version of the Unity Engine to start prototyping the basic ideas. I might dedicate a whole post to what I had to go through trying to install and use the latest version of the Unity Editor, but will keep it short for now:
In the following video Paul shines a light on the issue of the overall collapse of the Western society. If you're not afraid to see the truth and feel like there's more to life than binge-drinking, uncontrolled sexual promiscuity and relentless consumerism, please do check it out and share with those you care about.
Consumerism does not arm one with a profound meaning of existence. Hard work turned humans from crap-flinging apes into what is now called Homo Sapiens Sapiens (no typo there, it's actually double "Sapiens").
The times when people really had to work hard like their ancestors to provide even the basic needs for themselves and their kin are pretty much over. Which means more free time on our hands. Free time is a resource our forbears could only dream about, but the one many of us take for granted and turn to waste. The roturier and degenerate manners are not only prevalent but also promoted by media, corporations and "advertised" in the form of our peers burning their lives in a hopeless search for meaning in the trash-bin of unending consumption.
And with automation taking over more and more areas of labor, this trend will only continue and probably end in a disgraceful global-scale fiasco of the voracious modern consumerist culture.
Behold the Homo Sapiens
David Eagleman is a renowned American neuroscientist and a well-known "brain science guy", who gained widespread popularity following his Emmy-nominated PBS documentary, The Brain with David Eagleman (2015). It's a series I believe everyone should absolutely watch regardless of their interest in science in general. This show raises and answers a lot of questions you may have on how the brain operates (as far as the contemporary science can tell) and how this affects everyone on a daily basis.
I see Mr. Eagleman as a person from the world of "popular science", considering the way he delivers his ideas and discoveries on public and how he presents his views overall.
In the following video he gives a short and effective presentation on how human biology is tightly intertwined with one's personality. It's no secret that people are different. We have extremely contrasting views on various subjects and beliefs. Our personalities, especially, can make or break our ability to make friends, take part in a conversation, develop skills and so on.
But not many are aware that it's not just society, environment and education that take part in forming a pliable, developing mind. It's the body one resides in and carries around that can, and absolutely does affect one's the very decision and adds even more credibility to a well-known proverb:
This brief presentation is a short and sweet bit of information of the topic that might help you take your body seriously as well as think twice before attributing actions of others to pure malice or conscious ill will. The person you know may be either a guest or a hostage to his or her own body and hopefully this talk will give you a basic idea why we are so different at the most fundamental level. Since a tower of cards we call "consciousness" is built upon this very foundation, when the underpinning groundwork is starting to give, the whole building is surely to be affected as well.
I found out about Softimage XSI 8 years ago by accident. While trying to create a simple curved satellite dish mesh in a trial of Maya 2011 I was getting constant crashes, weird mesh behaviors and overall was in shock "how hard it was to 3D". I then turned to the internet in search of answers and... found out, everyone was having problems with Maya. Regardless of what you were doing, it was (and still is) a goddamn mess of a 3D DCC package. Particularly for a hobbyist. And especially after it going subscription-only a couple years ago.
I then started looking for alternatives. Tried Blender... Remember 2011 Blender? Yeah... Let me just say it didn't "click" and the UI as well as the overall flow of production in Blender seemed like something from a parallel Universe. Not the one I wanted to be a part of.
There was Modo and 3ds Max. Modo was kind of weird with its layer-based material creation workflow and was actually not that intuitive to model in (at least for me as a complete noob back then). Max was kind of cool. I remember doing stuff in 3ds Max in college computer class back in the day always finding its interface a bit archaic. I played with it for a while and almost settled, before accidentally discovering a post somewhere on the web talking about about some "XSI" app. There was a screenshot and the author was praising this "XSI" for intuitive UI, ease of modeling and animation as well as a powerful tool-set and even some cool procedural capabilities.
So I tried this "XSI" which turned out to be Autodesk XSI Softimage 2011 and... was instantly hooked! Yes, it didn't have VRAY integration back then, yes, Mental Ray was a pain to work with, but over time other renderers became available: Arnold, Redshift, nowadays there's even "Sycles" - Blender Cycles integraton for Softimage, believe it or not. As well as lots of plug-ins, ICE compounds, built-in dynamics and so on...
I was set.