Exercise Routine! Part 3: Tasty Ideas

And without further ado, let me present to you the final part of this short series!

The 10 minutes

Have you ever felt like a session of exercise is just going to be too hard to get through? Well, I have. And in fact, today is one of these days. My body is worn from all the traveling about, and my mind’s been duly exercised throughout the day. I just want to head home and sleep.

But there is one trick to get you looking forward to the exercise even when you don’t. I present to you: the 10 minutes.

All you have to do is set a timer on your phone, clock, or watch, and let it tick down to 10 minutes. When the time is up, you can go do anything you want. But before that happens, you must promise to get off your couch and move your body! Do whatever you want, do what you feels fun. Just make sure that you move, and very importantly as highlighted in part 2, accompany this move session with a deliberate practice to feel your body. It might take a bit more brain juice than you are used to, but it is only for 10 minutes.

Plus, you’ll reap the benefits immediately. Sometimes the workload for the day divorces our minds from our bodies, and this short period of time helps you reconnect to your primal, sensual, physical parts. You might actually begin to feel more relaxed than when you first started.

And slowly as you move your body, you might feel that you want to do more with this new momentum generated by the first 10 minutes. Go ahead then – it may even become the most productive workout session of the week yet!

Lifting Randomness

For those of you bored stiff of lifting plain ol’ dumbbells like me, there’s good news – there are many ways to keep your upper body pumping while challenging your arms to adapt to new shapes and weights.

The solution is to set down your dumbbells, and embrace all the random physical things around you. Yes, literally embrace them! Put your arms around the dinner chair and lift it up. Grab hold on the ends of the legs, and behold – more leverage! Grapple on the edge of the sofa and lift it slightly. Carry the side table and do pumping squats with it. The possibilities are quite endless.

When we lift dumbbells or barbells, we isolate specific muscle movements and train them repetitively. That is very effective for body sculpting, but not particularly so for a functional workout! If you want your arms to be relevantly functional, you need to keep forging new connections with how your body reacts with the randomly-shaped, not always ideal-for-carrying objects in the world. It is in fact, as much a brain workout as it is a physical one. You don’t want your mind to slouch in a corner while you train your biceps, so find a way to work those muscles while keeping your brain awake.

One way that works for me is to aim for a specific degree of muscle ache on any part of my body that I’m looking to train, and use non-standard weights like parts of my drumset, the piano chair, or even weighted discs unmounted from adjustable dumb bells, to attain that goal of muscle ache through whatever movements feel natural at the time.

If the weight is too light, sometimes that could mean that I ought to change object, or it could also mean that I could change my grip on the object (like holding the legs of the chair) to increase the load. Sometimes, it could mean that I could offset the lightness by doing more reps, although technically this would train endurance rather than strength; yet both are important and a mind-engaging workout like this should demand active balancing during the spontaneity of the workout. The reason why this works is because ache often correlates to growth; so as long as you are sensitive to not tipping over to the other end of injurious pain you should be doing good!

Movement Complexities

The modern gym-goer is conditioned to think in nicely structured, cleanly defined pigeonholes of compartmentalized movement. “Do tricep extentions for tricep strength! Do squats for leg power! Do high reps low weights for endurance!” And that is really quite the fundamental base of knowledge for every cause-and-effect believing exercise buff. In fact, those with more experience and expertise have a whole host of “moves” that are geared towards specific muscle groups, right down to the modification of each exercise for the particular purpose of the week.

And all that knowledge is really quite splendid. It saves time, allows you to move these building blocks of ideas around to arrange custom-made routines.

But there is one thing that it often misses, and that’s the avid cross-fertilization of specific movements across muscle groups. The average gym-goer tends to build up reps and/or weights over time, and that’s often the effect of settling into a too-comfortable pothole of linear growth and unchallenging, mindless repetition. To help offset this tendency towards mindlessness, I’d suggest an active reconstitution of the moves that you usually do, and combine it with some other movements.

For instance, the pumping squats listed above. That’s essentially a combination of carrying something heavy above your head, squating, and pumping it as you stand up. The reason why it’s such a favourite is because it is easy to do, yet challenging to do properly – you need to pay attention to the co-ordination of the pump up and squat so that you match the bottom and tips of your leg and arm movements together. No longer is this a plain ol’ exertion exercise, it also demands that you pay close attention to the speed of your limb movement relative to each other, with that added load to boot!

Another example of complex movements can include carrying an easily grippable weight, and performing unscripted movements based on the pressure it exerts on your muscles. You could experiment with punching motions, swinging around in arcs of varying arm-length, or slow down and speed up the movements to increase and decrease the difficulty where necessary. Sometimes slowing down the arm movement in an extended swing exposes certain muscle instabilities that need to be strengthened – as can seen by muscle trembles despite what you might think is a very light weight and a simple movement. Repeat the movement slowly and try to get that area strengthened up; this is when play can turn into practice!


Finally, you might be quite concerned that if you took all these suggestions to its full extent, you’ll end up with a different exercise routine every session, and it becomes terribly difficult to maintain any semblance of continuity or trackable growth between them. While I’ll argue that the sanctity and focus of each session should be sufficient to bring you back into the mode whereby you can recall past sessions and build on it, I’ll be the first to admit that the wear and tear of each day usually works on our memories as well, and in a state of low energy, past recall becomes a chore to do with sufficient fidelity, if any.

Hence I’ll recommend one more practice to add on to this completely non-exhaustive list of practices: benchmarking.

Pick any exercise or groups of exercises that you think are indicative of how you feel your goals would look like. For instance, you might want to be able to do one-handed pushups, lift heavier weights, or perform a complicated movement. With that as a benchmark, it should guide your smaller exercise decisions. You can still implement all the creative ideas in this post while working specifically towards your goal.

In fact, this serves to sharpen your exercise routines. You may perform creative, non-standard movements that are fun, enlivening, and mildly different every session, but ultimately they are all focused towards strengthening a particular muscle group and all the relevant supporting muscle groups. This prevents stymmied growth caused by scattered focus.

More importantly, it gives you a sense of continuity – even if you’re lifting other objects in a slightly varied manner each time, so long as it activates the necessary muscle group, you know that you’re building towards the same goal, and you look forward to strengthening that core group of muscles each time their relevant training cycles come along.

To find out if you’re improving, you may want to perform a benchmark test once a a week or after each training session depending on how much time it reasonably takes for your muscles to recover after each exercise period. Perform the exercise if possible, and note for any changes, such as more reps or increased staibility. If the movement cannot be fully completed, don’t push it. Either it takes a longer time to do (like a one-handed pushup) or you need more recovery time. If it is the former, then you may want to break down the benchmark into smaller goals that are doable and visable (like assisted one-handed pushups).

A benchmark need not be linearly marked. It is not necessary that you increase in reps or weight each time you do a benchmark test; you may improve in terms of control, or flexibility, and those can be important too. So it’s vital that you expand your goals if it is too constricted, but of course not to the point of crediting growth when there is really none.

With all these tips, I hope your exercise sessions improve in variety and effectiveness!

For a brief introduction to tthis 3 part series, check out this post: Exercise Routine! Part 1
For a list of good reasons to get your body pumpin’, check out this post: Exercise Routine! Part 2


Exercise Routine! Part 2: The Reasons Why I Move My Body


For a greater part of my exercise life (and even now, if I’m honest), the primary motivation was to look good. Not that’s it’s bad in itself; looking good is not only a socially valuable trait, but it also improves your self-esteem. The problem is when that’s your main motivation. Of course, I would not be so quick as to admit that. My mind would be thinking “alright, I’m just doing this for health reasons” but my heart will go “ahhh my shrinking biceps!” and compel a dozen sets of poorly executed bicep curls. So at any given time, if I were really honest, I would be able to notice a bit of contradiction between my personal narrative, and what was really going on in my heart. I would be telling myself that I wanted to be fit, an intrinsic goal, while really I was pursuing an extrinsic, superficial one. I wanted to look good so that I can be well-liked and feel good about myself.

Well, first and foremost, as you would guess, I came to the conclusion that this sort of inner contradiction is extremely problematic. It is absolutely critical that you feel good about yourself before you rely on exercise to help you look better, otherwise it’s just like filling up a bucket with a hole in it; the external can only get you so far.

And so I resolved to get something done about the superficiality of my motivations – what really helped though, was simple awareness. Just knowing that I might have the tendency to let what people think about me get the better of me helps to purify my intentions.

Another thing that might help is to consider the cost of unhealthy motivations. Whenever my exercise is driven by a fear that I’m going to get out of shape and people won’t like me anymore, I tend to get mildly abusive of my body; I push it too hard, and ignore warning signs. I won’t be able to tell where the healthy threshold of pain is, mostly because the pain of self-rejection becomes greater than the physical pain of abusive exercise.

And that’s a terrible place to be in. Well, to be honest, we can use this fear-and-pain drive to get us off our butts quite effectively, however, to persist in it for too long is tantamount to self-destruction!

The main principle though, as I realized over time, is to simply be loving to yourself, and the proper actions will follow. Remember that there is absolutely no real change until that change comes from a strong, grounded, and stable source within – self-love. If this resembles your journey, you’ll realize too that exercising out of intrinsic desire will feel incredibly different from exercising out of that extrinsic anxiety-push that we are all too familiar with.

Without further ado though, let me get to some examples of healthy motivations that still drive me today. Not all of them are intrinsic reasons, as you’ll see, but they all arise from self-care and genuine love.

The Instrumental reason

Firstly, function! The modern office worker’s job doesn’t call for much exercise, and as a student, I don’t exactly have to do much of any heavy lifting either. So all the more is it necessary to keep up deliberately practice, especially if you want to maintain a viable level of functional movement. If I let myself loose and get all lazy, when I do need my muscles for some heavy lifting, well, it’s just not going to come out at a moment’s notice.

Furthermore, the standard fundamentals like aerobic fitness are always useful. Even as a student, I find myself walking and standing quite a bit – unfit joints and poorly coordinated limb muscles are just not going to cut it. If you enjoy playing a sport, that’s even better. You’ll need your body in good shape to have even more fun on the field. For me, while I haven’t indulged in sports for a bit, I still play music, and certain standard of muscular dexterity is required.

Whatever the case, function is a good reason for you to get your body moving! Exercises that build up your physical capacities for functional purposes will not overstretch your body, and it should not be too taxing on your joints and muscles. In fact, too much stress will lead to injury, and that’s just contrary to building a fit and functional body.

The Intrinsic reason

But well, as some of you might say, “that’s still all instrumental and non-primary. Am I supposed to move my body just because I want to achieve that?” That’s a question I asked myself too, especially on days when exercise just felt so dry.

The answer came one evening when I decided to abandon that session’s silly routine and do what feels right instead. And I learned on that very evening, that I wanted to move my body because it feels good. Yes, let me repeat that. I wanted to move my body because it feels good.

When was the last time you exercised, and during (not after!) the exercise, you actually thought to yourself – this feels really good! Has it been too long? That could be a problem then! Because if it doesn’t feel good, then why are we even doing it?

Of course there are all the instrumental reasons above, and those are good for revving ourselves up when the usual dopamine reward circuitry ain’t working right, but asides from that, there’s got to be an intrinsic reason every now and then, and this is as intrinsic as it gets: you move your body because it feels good.

So next time you start your exercise routine, play around a bit more and feel your body. Be present. Be thoroughly, magnificently, and completely present. Sometimes, just paying attention to the sensations of your own body is sufficient to put that necessary bit of pleasure into your pain.

Learn what feels good, what doesn’t and move instinctively – regain the pleasure of your own body! Moving because it feels good will structurally define the kind of exercises you do engage in. You will trim down on the standard, brainless exercise repetitions, and begin to include more complex, spontaneous, and fun movements into your routine.

Passion for growth

Finally, I’d say that one other reason which keeps me going every week is definitely that nice feeling you get when you notice how slowly, but surely, you’re getting stronger and stronger, more and more flexible, and gradually fitter too!  Growth creates a snowball effect that makes you want to come back for more. Plus, chasing growth transforms the way you do your exercise; you don’t want to exert so little that there is no growth, nor too much, injuring your body in the process.

The key to getting that sweet spot is in the inverted U-shape. Now, what’s this swanky U-shape thing that Reuben’s talking about? The upside-down U-shape is a symbol of effectiveness as we scale up the pain threshold.

[For those who are interested in the mildly technical explanation:

Imagine pain/effort on the horizontal x-axis, and effectiveness/growth on the vertical y-axis. Now place an inverted U-shape on the graph. Notice how past a certain point at the tip, more effort and pain results in negative negative returns? While not the perfect model, this represent injuries and undue muscle damage caused by over-strain.]

An easy exertion has very little pain, but also sends just as little signals to your body to grow. While it may not be that effective for growth, this level of hurt is good for warm-up. Right now you’re at the side of the inverted U, and it’s pretty easy to ramp up the effort to get up to near the curve at the top.

Once you reach that curve though, things start to get quite painful. When you stretch, do push ups, lift weights, or any other kind of exertion you’ll notice this growing sense of resistance. Your muscles protest, and your mind must push through the pain if you want to continue exerting. This is good pain.

Pushing harder will get you near to the peak of that U shape pain scale, and that is ideally, where you want to get your body to, and spend as much time in as possible during your exercise.

The trick though, is to push as close to the tip of the U as possible, without crossing the peak to the other side. At the other side, further pain is destructive. You may start hurting your joints, nerves and pulling muscles – not exactly productive to your goals. So when you reach the point past the tip, resist the temptation to “work it out” harder; it’s counter-productive. Slowly de-exert your muscles if necessary, and stop. Get ready for the next set instead!

How do you know when the pain becomes bad pain? Well, for this, you’d really need to be physically aware of your body while performing the exercise, which is a simple thing that we too often neglect once the routine sets in. Pain that comes in a manner that feels biting, scraping, grinding, incisive, and tearing -or any other way that feels destructive- is likely to be bad pain.

But that U-peak is quite an elusive zone to keep within; every bit of focus you can channel into bodily awareness while pursuing that ideal will be necessary. Plus, another good reason for exercising is really to help expand your ability to feel your own body too.

Realistically, you’ll find out that quite a bit of time spent on exercise is on warming your body up to the start of the pain-curve and beyond. Once you do reach the tip, it is fairly tiring to sustain. Hence, every exercise session has a limited period of U-peaks. Centering your routines around a selected number of U-peaks is one way to structure your exercises, something I’ll go a bit more into in part III of this short series.

Ultimately though, this is just a cultural tool to help you conceptualize your exercise and pay attention to your body in new ways. Discover your own U-peaks and don’t be too obsessed with “hitting the spot” immediately – everybody learns better with a bit of exploration first!

Check out Part 1 of this 3 part series here: Exercise Routines!: Part 1
Check out Part 2 of this 3 part series here: Exercise Routines!: Part 3

Digging up Old Writings (or How to Stay on Track with Your Low-Carb Diet Regime!)

I once wrote a fitness article for someone who requested it, but did not reply after. Since all good things should be shared and not wasted, here it is for free!

How to Stay on Track with Your Low-Carb Diet Regime

Suitable for most beginners and popular among fitness veterans, the low carb diet is a clear mainstay of the dieting community. The benefits are easy to see within weeks of starting: tremendous fat loss, greater energy throughout the day, and easily controlled weight in the long run – these are some of the common perks associated with the diet.
From Atkins, to Southbeach, to the Zone, dieters can pick and choose from a huge variety of low-carb diets on the market. Or better still, you can even create your own! The basic principle is to limit carbohydrate intake, which will lower insulin response in your body and in turn trigger longer periods of ketogenesis, the fat burning state that dieters strive to achieve.
If you’ve just started on the diet, you may be greatly motivated by the results achieved in under 2 weeks. Dieters usually report incredible weight loss during this period. However most of it is water weight lost through reduced water retention, which is the natural result of reduced insulin production. To reap the true benefits of this diet, you must be able to stay on it for a long period of time. It’s best if you could turn it into a lifestyle instead of just letting it pass as another temporary phase! But the question for some is: how do we achieve this when our chocolate cravings come around?
1. Use Peer Pressure to Your Advantage
Humans are social creatures. Our private capacity of persistance and perseverance tends to get taxed heavily when we go solo, and compliance over a longer period of time becomes harder and hard if you try to hang on by yourself. The most effective way to achieve your low-carb goals is to find or build a community around the same mission. They can foster a sense of kinship and keep you motivated, or evaluate your failures so that you can get back up on your feet in good shape. Most importantly, they can give you the push you need if you’re being too lazy! When it comes to the grind, never underestimate the power of peer pressure.
2. Avoid Nutritional Extremism
While some hardcore advocates may advise zero carbohydrate intake, this level of nutritional extremism is not beneficial (nor is it recommended!) for the rest of us. We may still want to take in some sugar and carbs in the form of whole fruit and vegetables as they come with the added fibre and vitamin bonus. In fact a total avoidance of carbohydrates could lead to health problems. Stamina tends to drop faster after a period of sustained cardiovascular activity in atheletes who avoid carbs entirely as compared to those who have consumed some. Since this will limit our ability to perform endurance exercises, it is best that we still consume a low amount carbohydrates, preferably foods with low Glycemic Index (GI) such as brown rice, oat brans,  broccoli, and apples.
Another example of nutritional extremism includes to-the-decimal calorie counting for every bit of morsel consumed. Not only is it incredibly time-wasting, but calorie counting alone is hardly as useful as it appears to be. All calories are not the same. We can quickly lose weight while eating an imbalanced diet with a low calorie count, but it will not be beneficial for developing fitness. For the purpose of building health and fitness, keeping track of protein consumed in grams is more effective, as proteins are necessary for muscle building. Making things too difficult for ourselves is the fastest route to discouragement and failure!
3. Cheat Your Way to Success
Cheating hardly ever pays off, but in this case, cheating is essential! The key to long term compliance without plateauing in your fitness level is to allow for weekly binge days. During these binge days, you can eat as much carbs as you want without being too concerned. The purpose is twofold – firstly, to prevent bodily adaptation to low carb intake, which would render your dieting efforts futile, and secondly, to prevent premature failure because of the strictness of the regime. Your natural appetite and a couple of tricks can serve to limit the unhealthy downside of these cheat days.
For instance, try doing a couple of squats or pushups 30 to 45 minutes before and after a cheat meal. These light exercises should last for up to a minute as they serve to redirect the body’s glucose absorption channels from the gut to the muscles instead. If you are planning to load up on a large serving of carbs, do not go thrifty on the lemon juice. Citric juices, preferably freshly squeezed, can go a long way in burning fat as they contain thermogenic properties to boost metabolism. Consuming a spoonful of cinnamon as sweetener for your coffee or tea can also help in that respect.
To conclude, a low-carb diet may be easy to start but difficult to sustain… unless you really, really want to! Since desire is always necessary but never sufficient, do implement the tips given in this article immediately (where possible) and on a regular basis for the best result. Wishing you a lasting success with your fitness goals!
Note: some of the ideas do come from various authors and websites, but I have not kept the list of resources unfortunately. Off my head I can only name Tim Ferriss of the 4-Hour acclaim. If you spot any idea that sounds like it came from you, let me know so that I can acknowledge and thank you!

What My Father Taught Me

Ping Pong Wall

When I was a kid, my life was pretty much like any other young runt. I ate, shat and slept. Occasionally, I would have aspirations and dreams, and these were big things, like beating my father at ping pong.

So one day, my father took me up against a wall and said, “If you really want to be good at ping pong son, first you’ve got to start against the wall.” He gave me a paddle, and a ball, and told me to stand right in front of a wall and keep hitting the ping pong against it.

I’m not going to lie to you. It sucked real bad.

The first time I tried, I could barely keep it going more than twice. Most of the workout involved me running around the house and bending down to pick up the ball. I was on the verge of giving up when my dad said, “Son, you’ve got to keep trying, or you’ll never get there. Aim for 5.”

So I sucked in my flabby belly, and paddled the ball straight at the wall for a good 40 minutes before I got to that goal. Surprisingly, I got a good 7 instead. I felt good about myself, so I went to my father and told him about it. He pet me on my sweaty head and said, “Now go for 10.”

That’s when I learned that it never ends.

But I got hooked to the climb. Each time I tried, I aimed to out-paddle myself. Eventually, I got to 12, and decided to stop for the day. The next day I started again, and got past 20. The next day, I beat 25. Pretty soon I was doing 50 easily. There came a point in time when I could do couple of hundred without thinking. And then I switched to my left hand. Finally for party tricks, I stole my dad’s paddle, grabbed another ping pong and did both hands simultaneously. It took me over a year of course, but needless to say, by then, I beat my father easily enough.

From then on, I never forgot the first lesson I learned as a little paddling runt: keep trying, or you’ll never get there.

Speed – A Journey to Fitness

I just had a crazy experience yesterday where I tried to break my record for 1.5 miles. For those of you who are more familiar with the Olympic-standard stadium tracks, 1.5 miles is 6 rounds around the track, 1 round being 400 meters long.My history with the track was when I ran my first mile at a pretty young age, say around 9 or 10. I remembered it being long as hell, an activity I had to endure instead of enjoy. Of course, as a kid, my stride was extremely small, so it did seem way longer than it does now. As I grew up, my body had a tendency to grow horizontally because I loved food. Because of that, the track was never my best friend. Even when I did sports with a couple of friends, I was never one of the most athletic. However, I did continue to run the mile, and later on, the mile and a half, every now and then.Finally there came a point in time when I decided that I was going to stop being overweight. It was a very difficult time for me, simply because I couldn’t see the progress no matter how hard I tried. Running was tough because of my weight, and I still had an insatiable appetite, which didn’t help. Over the course of almost a year of on-and-off light cardio and mild, weight training, my body became a little more accustomed to physical stress. Somehow, I suddenly felt the determination to start really becoming fit, and I did sprints, interval training, heavier weight lifting, and daily push-ups. My inspiration worked itself into my diet as well, where I learned to stop overeating too much. Within a few short months, I was able to lose almost 10 kilos. I felt much more confident, and in shape.

However, when I went back to school and got into a busy schedule, I put on the weight again. The graduation exams were so stressful that I almost gained back everything I lost earlier. Thankfully, there was a long period of time between my graduation and my next stage in life, i.e. university. I decided to pick up on the exercise again, and this time, I managed to lose almost 20 kilos of unhealthy weight to get into the “fit” weight range. Most of my old clothes became too baggy, and I was able to wear stuff that I never thought I would. While being overweight no longer became a concern for me, my mind still went back to the track runs I did when I was younger.

So I set a goal for myself. I’ve heard of friends who were able to complete a 1.5 mile run under 9 minutes and 15 seconds. That, to me, was a very fast speed, because at the peak of my fitness, I could only average about 2 minutes a round, which added to a total of 12 minutes for the entire run. To do a run slightly over 9 minutes would mean that each round was completed within 1 minute and 30 seconds! Breaking that down further, it means that you must keep a constant speed of about 16 km/h to succeed. That is insanely fast.

But I decided to train myself to be able to do it. So for starters, I ran about 1 mile twice a week. I had no speed requirements, but I tried to keep it at around 12 km/h to condition myself. Slowly, I pushed it up to 1.5 miles at the same speed, and managed to achieve timings of under 13 minutes. There was a day where I felt very tired, so I decided to run at around 9 to 10 km/h. The thing was, the more I ran, the more I didn’t feel like stopping. I ended up running over 3 miles that day! I realized that I wasn’t so bad at running after all. Still keeping up the running to twice a week, I was able to push the timing down to roughly around 11 minutes on average. My best of yet was still only 10 minutes and 47 seconds.

Just yesterday, I decided to break the record. I pushed myself to run at 14.5 km/h for most of the rounds, and half-way through I almost felt like quitting! It was that difficult. My chest was burning, my abs were aching, and I could hardly feel my legs. But I just kept pushing forward because I knew that I didn’t come so far for nothing. At the final 200 meters, I almost felt numb because of the lactic acid build-up, and I was breathing heavily through my mouth. Still attempting to keep my breathing stable, I carried on. Finally when I was done, I was elated. Because not only did I endure the momentary suffering, but I finally broke my own record: I got a timing of 10 minutes and 25 seconds!

I’d love to celebrate that, but I know better than to rest on my own laurels. I believe after getting this speed, the training game has changed. No longer would it work efficiently for me to keep running 1.5 miles straight. I think I would try for interval training, where I run 1 round (400 meters) within 1 minute and 30 seconds, and then rest (or jog at a slower speed), and repeat the cycle. Slowly I will build up to 2 rounds within 3 minutes, and then 3 rounds within 4 minutes and 30 seconds. Once I can do 3 rounds with rest breaks 3 times in a row, I will go on to putting two and two together, and run the full 1.5 miles within 9 minutes! That’s how it works in theory of course. But it’s nice to have a plan, even if I ditch it halfway for something more effective, and I’d like to see where it takes me.

Now how about you? The idea of running with speed, leaving everything behind, and cutting a trail through the wind is very enervating. Share your stories about running, or your own journey to fitness too! If you don’t have any, you can always start now. Every journey starts with a single step 🙂