This week has been terrible. Last time I was in a capsule hotel when I updated my blog. The following morning I took all my airline-weight-limits exceeding luggage and was able to board the plane. Although I had bought ten extra kilos for my luggage, I still had to resort to lying and smuggling about half of my stuff to the plane. I used to do this a lot, back in the days, when I went to Japan for kendo. I think I’m getting too old for that. Maybe next time I’ll just take the minimum amount of luggage and try to stay within the weight limits.
After arriving safely back to Hong Kong, I’ve been feeling exhausted and dizzy all the time. I also decided to do a life-change and start more healthier life. Before going on a business trip to Taiwan and Japan, I bumped into this personal trainer in Hong Kong. I contacted her and we started chatting and decided that after I get back to Hong Kong, we’ll start to work on losing some kilos. I’ve been about 20kg overweight for so long. I feel tired easily, I’m in bad shape and I’ve been having problems with sleeping and waking up. If working with personal trainer makes any of these three problems better, I think the money invested will be worth it.
This takes us to today’s topic. Yes, I decided to have a topic, instead of writing what have I been doing. Today I want to talk about personal support. Especially paid services. I’m not sure is it a Finnish-thing, but many times when I think of investing money into something, people around me start making up ways to get similar service for free. Very sweet of them, but usually it doesn’t really work.
Let’s take an example of a language learning. Few years ago I tried this service called iTalki (www.italki.com). In short: iTalki matches language learners and teachers/tutors for online (Skype) classes. It’s 1-on-1, so you get all the attention from teacher/tutor. So for about a year and half I was trying to learn Chinese every now and then, but from last fall I decided to become more determined with studying Chinese and Korean and started investing more money in private classes. These classes cost about 10€/hour. Especially with Chinese, many tutors are even cheaper than that.
Anyways, when I would mention about this to my friend, many would answer: “Hey, I have a Chinese friend, you can talk with him/her, don’t have to pay.” A nice gesture, but in the end it doesn’t really work. At least not for me. Having a private tutor is good, since you don’t have to feel embarrassed about speaking, since you don’t really know the person. I’ve tried similar with friends, but I would be really nervous about talking to friends that I usually talk with some other language. Also, many iTalki users contact me in order to have “language partner” relationship where you would purely exchange languages with someone without any charges. Sounds good? Yeah, but doesn’t really work. Tried that with about ten people. I think one or two language partners were helpful, but others either disappeared right away or the communication didn’t last for longer than two days. Or the people were real weirdos from the start. Really, lots of weird people!
I suppose the problem here is the inner motivation. I mean, when I was studying Japanese, it was really fun to write emails to friends in Japan or give them a phone call every now and then. I was highly motivated to improve Japanese, although I didn’t want to take classes or study “properly”. But learning through friends and interaction with people worked well in Japanese. I just haven’t had the same kind of motivation with Chinese or Korean.
Let’s get back to personal support. So I’m paying some people to teach me Chinese and Korean. It works well, since I can decide when the classes are and I get one hour of time to concentrate just in language learning. My teachers/tutors also prepare material and really try to encourage me to study. I think that is worth paying for. I’m just wondering, where does the feeling of not paying for services come from? I think I’ve been feeling similar earlier, but if you really want to improve on something, paying for help is not a bad idea.
This takes me to my latest activities. So I met this personal trainer who wants me to help me start eating better and lose weight. This includes exercising, every week measuring body weight and size and everyday reporting of what I’m eating and when. This is also a service I’m paying for. Personally I’m still on a trial-period, meaning that I will try for few weeks and if there are results, I’ll decide again whether to continue or not.
I haven’t mentioned this to too many people, but again, investing in personal support made people think that I’m putting my money into some magical beans. It’s nice that people start offering help with going jogging together or giving tips what to eat, but so far it hasn’t really helped. In Finland, I had one friend whom I was jogging together. It was fun, but finding suitable time from both schedule was difficult. Now that I’m in Hong Kong, it’s just much easier and efficient to go to some paid exercise rather than starting to look schedule for two weeks from now on what to do with who and where.
All in all, I hope that although I’m investing some money in this new lifestyle, it would at least make me start a better lifestyle, if not give me some results on weight loss or sleeping problems.
Ready for some workout!
Typical lunch. I learned to take off the skin, although it’s delicious.
Well, at this point it’s just wait and see. I also have to prepare for a kendo tournament at the end of this month, so some workout is more than welcome 🙂
Let’s enjoy the last days of Easter and get back to work on Tuesday 🙂