What a year. Massive highs, with deep lows. I began 2017 with an injured back (mid-January) due to my own stupidity. This developed into a never-ending excuse for not returning to the gym that continued into late summertime. It wasn’t until I started college that I finally got my shit together and snapped out of my funk. At the beginning of the year, I had begun to see I wasn’t going to make it through to becoming a manager with Starbucks like I had hoped. With little going for me in terms of work experience I knew I had to make a change. I applied for school in February and without receiving any notice of acceptance quit my job in mid-March. I worked some landscaping and pizza delivery until finally receiving my acceptance letter April 8th. I think April really is my month. In April 2015 I made a leap of faith and moved to Kelowna and then two years later I’m officially returning to school; something I would have never dreamed of prior to 2017. Over the following months I worked six days a week in order to earn as much money as possible going into the school year. These were dark days of work, get high, sleep, repeat. This was my first of two “relapse” periods in 2017. The second happening early October. While I successfully stayed away from hard drugs for the second consecutive year (massive improvement) I fell back into habitually smoking. However, over the past two months I’ve re-wrote my consumption habits. I don’t drink more than the odd social drink, and don’t smoke more than a couples times a week. I’m back in the gym 5+ days a week, with purpose, and achieved four A+ grades and one C in my first semester back. Throw in developing a best friend out of an unlikely scenario and 2017 is possibly the best year I’ve ever had. It was far from perfect and there were many times, and blog posts, where I was frustrated with myself for taking a step backward. But that’s the beauty of it. I’ve made so many steps forward recently that to take a step backward pains me. In previous years all my steps were backward and I wouldn’t even flinch. I want the best grades possible, I want the best body possible, I want the best health possible, I want to be the best uncle possible, I want the best year possible. There will be headaches, there will be missteps, but there will undoubtedly be success. 2018 get ready. I’m gonna make you my bitch.
Holy Shit. I cannot believe it’s December 15th already. As I sit here listening to the new G-Eazy album, The Beautiful and Damned, I can’t help but reflect on the insanity that was the past few months. Insanity might be a strong word as I did very little (interesting things). Study, lift, eat, sleep, repeat. Pepper in some volleyball, gaming, and work and boom: it’s mid-December. I naively thought returning to school this semester would slow life down due to me never really enjoying it. Boy was I wrong. Three nights of volleyball, two days of work a week, and a six-day workout program had me running around more these past few months than ever before.
I played on three different teams this season, one is still going as we are in the ‘B’ final next week while the other two have wrapped up. I’ve learned a few things this season including what my body can and can’t handle. Squatting ~2.5 days a week (we’ll get to that) and three days a week of volleyball was too much. At least once a week my knees would have a dull uncomfortable, hot feeling. An early sign of multiple things including arthritis. Whether this is actually what’s happening or simply a case of internet diagnosis I’m not sure. However, I’m taking steps towards avoiding this issue by combining my favorite and best players from each of my three teams into one for next season. We all are on the same page, having fun and competing at the highest level we can. It’ll be a great change from our middling teams this season that just didn’t mesh the way we had all hoped. Of course that means I’m leaving some friends behind to find and create their own teams but that’s just how it goes sometimes.
Exactly two months ago I regained the focus I once had in the gym. Back to counting calories, back to being committed to my bulk. The one difference this time is programming. I’m following a high-frequency powerbuilding program from Kizen. Kizen is the culmination of the talented Bart Kwan (Barbell Brigade), Silent Mike, and Omar Isuf (fellow Canadian). All three of these guys have a regular YouTube presence combined with different levels of competitive powerlifting experience; both as coaches and competitors. This program allows me to focus on both my goals: adding weight to my compound lifts and pack on muscle, through periodization style training. Three days a week are bodybuilding movements with appropriate rep ranges while every other day is heavily focussed on the big three lifts. Each lift has a primary day, while the other two take a backseat. I have never squatted, deadlifted and benchpressed all in one day before, never mind adding in a second supplementary exercise like pause squats on the squat focused days. I also have never used RPE (rate of perceived exertion) or % of my 1 rep max before this program and so far it has pushed me in ways I never pushed myself. In two months I have gained 10 pounds and have a new outlook on bulking. In the past, the only reason I failed was myself. Okay, obviously but hear me out. I would go on forum after forum, reading about how these guys gained 20 pounds in ‘X’ amount of time, compare my progress seeing it wasn’t up to par and get discouraged. This time around I have a much more clear objective, simply to increase mass. I do not care how slow or fast it happens as long as the general trend is up. This has allowed me to have a much better focus on my workouts and less on the scale.
This may be the most gratifying statement I’ve ever said but I actually enjoyed school. Crazy. Even though this was easily the hardest I’ve ever worked, being able to somewhat enjoy the countless hours of homework and studying makes it all that much easier. I’ve received my final marks for 3/5 of my courses and am extremely pleased with the results of my work. A great endcap to a couple courses was a handshake with two of my professors. That may seem like an odd thing to value, however, that one on one recognition of a job well done just confirms I’m on the right path. Don’t get me wrong, I understand it’s only my first of eight semesters and I have a long way to go but as someone who was damn near failing my first treck into post-secondary education, it’s a fantastic start.
I would love to say I’m going to be having more regular posts going forward, and for the next 15 days (winter break), that would probably be true. However, with my crazy schedule, writing (non-school related) has very clearly taken a backseat to other priorities. With two nights less of volleyball and one less day of work next semester, there is the potential for more content, but we’ll have to wait and see. I still love writing and am even looking into taking journalism courses as most of my electives, but school has a stranglehold on my time. I would also love to listen to new music for hours on end each day too, alas adulting.
It seems like just yesterday that my friends and I drank four to five times a week. Your tolerance goes through the roof when you’re “force fed” alcohol that often and it can be difficult for me to remove myself from that tolerance I once had. Two years has passed since then and I’ve really toned down my alcohol consumption, including a little over six months of not drinking at all. As such the past month has been an interesting return to form. Other than getting into a bar fight nearly a month ago, Saturday night was a hefty reminder of my lack of resilience to alcohol. Thankfully I was in my own home surrounded by those who I care most about so I was comfortably uncomfortable. For myself when I’m that far gone I tend to connect with music that much more, similar to going through an emotional trauma. Even though physically I was in tatters, mentally I was rediscovering myself. Thus there was a slew of tracks that night, and the painful morning after that brought up a range of emotion. I was considering making a Take a Minute volume out of this but seen as most of these are already very, very well known we’ll leave it as is.
The song that stuck out most is one some of my friends disgraced for being so old: Dum Dee Dum by Keys N Krates. This song has many layers of meaning for me and thus regardless of how old it may be I will always have a special place for it in my heart. Having just seen Keys N Krates with David and my new friend Jacob the previous weekend, reliving the magic of it performed live is something special. I think there’s a point where things shift from acquaintances to friends in every friendship and in my mind getting wild to this with Jacob is that point. Parliament Funk and PLUR Police by Knife Party are a couple more of the feel good vibes I received throughout the night. Knife Party has been a staple in my life, though I’m yet to see them live, and the way their music produces energy in me is incredible. I don’t listen to much Drake lately, not that I haven’t tried, I just don’t seem to enjoy his flow. However with the amount of times I’ve heard One Dance at clubs it really just embodies a feeling of letting go and being free within me. Alternatively I Feel It Coming has some lyrics that really fuck me up. I’m a fairly closed off person and the material in that track really can make me face that head on. There’s so many great tracks on The Weeknd’s newest album that I could literally list off most of them for inducing different emotions but I’ll leave it at two. The second being Secrets. Between the killer beat and amazing vocals on display this track has been on repeat all day. Alright. Time for some Eminem rapid fire. Just Lose It, Without Me, The Real Slim Shady, and Shake That all take me back to my teen angst days. Almost Famous, W.T.P., and Won’t Back Down got me right fired up, well as much as somebody who could pass out at any moment can get fired up. Cinderella Man and Lose Yourself created a feeling of hopefulness for the future and finally Rap God always reminds me of Conner. I guess that’s because he loved it from day one and I did not. I came around eventually though. Love you bud. Travis Scott’s goosebumps is my favorite chill beat since Antidote, another Travis Scott track. I can’t say I listen to much of his music outside of these two songs but both give me a nice mellow vibe. Speaking of mellow Imagine Dragons-Believer, though not necessarily a laid back beat, reminds me of all the times I used to smoke listening to Radioactive. Whenever I wanted to shut off the world Radioactive would be my go to. The majority of my smoking days are all but behind me yet whenever I hear Imagine Dragons I’m transported back to those high school days. Then there was my hangover music and who better to serenade away a headache than Justin Timberlake. My love for JT is mainly thanks to my older brother Justin who I actually called JT for a fair portion of my life. Why? Perhaps because I love them both equally. In all seriousness though Justin Timberlake was a cornerstone of my musical taste. My Love is still probably one of my favorite songs ever. Then there’s Like I Love You, Rock Your Body, Cry Me a River, and Señorita all off his Justified album that are classics. I wish I lived in a world where I could search ‘Justin’ on Spotify and have Timberlake be the top artist but alas, Bieber. Anyway that’s a look into how comforting music is for me, even when wasted my mind is constantly making connections. Not connections with my friends however, they could barely get two words out of me passed about 10pm. Life of the party over here.
Oh hey there, fancy seeing you here. It’s been a while but I’m back; back in black. Well actually I’m wearing blue right now… My disappearance from writing was by design, I’ve had some big changes lately and needed to choose both the timing and my words carefully. Yesterday was my last day at Starbucks. It’s bittersweet. I enjoyed my time there, I learned how to deal with people from all different walks of life, how to be a good leader (some might disagree), but more importantly found out more about myself than I ever expected to. The connections I made with our customers is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. I had multiple people tell me how proud of me they are for pursuing my passions while business owners head hunted me for positions within their own company. I was shocked with the reception I received both when transferring stores and now when leaving. However, there were some glaring issues that couldn’t be ignored which led to my departure. The person they wanted me to be, and the person I am are two very different people. As I continued to pursue the next steps towards a promotion to assistant manager these gaps in values became more and more clear. As a younger fellow I watched my father pour his soul into a company which he successfully managed a branch of for the majority of his life, only to be pushed out during the tail end of his career there. He was a ‘for the people’ style manager, while they wanted a by the books, statistical, manager. He pushed back for a few years, insisting he was the same man who was praised for his success only a few years removed. Unfortunately, when head office gets an idea of what they (think they) need there is no changing their minds. During those last few years I witnessed him return home unhappy, stressed, and at a loss of what to do. He put up with that to provide for my mother, sister, and I. While I want to make it clear I was nowhere near to being in the same situation, witnessing this time of his life gave me a little foresight as to what I could expect if I continued on. Therefore I walked away. I think it’s a great company that does great work for their customers, employees, and communities, it’s just not for me; and that’s okay.
So you may be wondering what’s next, but unfortunately at this time I have nothing to share. I hate to say I’m doing this, this, and this when they are in the embryonic stages and then none of them pan out. For now my focus is going to be on nutrition, writing, and streaming. When there’s news I will be sure to share, but for now I’m taking a much needed break to clear my head and create a plan of attack. That’s all for now.
90% of North American adults consume some form of caffeine on a daily basis, making this legal, psychoactive substance the world’s most widely used drug. -Neil Majithia of Virginia Commonwealth University
It’s 9:20 am and I’m slowly getting my ass out of bed. I’m scheduled to lift with Gary at 10, luckily we both seem to struggle waking up so a quick confirmation text and we’re both on schedule for 10:30. I walk into the kitchen, turn on my espresso machine and make myself a cup of coffee while force feeding myself a banana, pink lady apple, and half of a protein shake. I’m such a zombie in the morning that my first cup of the day (approx. 60-75mg of caffeine) is just enough to get me into a normal state of wakefulness. By the time I finish my light breakfast it’s time to get going so I quickly whip up my pre-workout, grab my half finished shake and head out. Gary’s already warming up by the time I arrive and so I begin to do the same. About half way through my mobility work I consume one and a half scoops of Beyond Yourself PreSet pre-workout (approx. 300mg of caffeine). I feel ready to attack the weights along with a slight tingling in my ears due to the Beta-Alanine but am by no means jittery or agitated. The day continues on and I brew another cup of coffee of similar strength and begin to brainstorm ideas for writing. Later, roughly 7:15 pm, right before volleyball I will most likely consume a 250ml can of Red Rain (80mg of caffeine). This will bring my daily total consumption to 500-530 mg of caffeine. That’s roughly 100mg above the recommended daily intake of 400mg. However, this total is actually down from my average daily intake just three or four years ago. During this time my intake was closer to 1000mg per day due to the intense pre-workout I was taking, more on that later.
Growing up in a household where coffee was an every day staple for my parents it’s easy to see how that tradition carried over. I began consuming about 1-2 energy drinks a day in highschool. Usually one before football or basketball practice and then one later at night to stay awake and ‘study’. There’s no doubt my consumption effected my quality of sleep and probably still does today. Like any drug the effects start to diminish and so your intake starts to increase. By the time I was in University my intake was at an all time high. I would take a double scoop of pre-workout called 1MR which contained 300mg of caffeine per scoop. The first few times in the gym my face literally felt like it was melting. The scary part is that feeling eventually went away with continued use. This brand of pre-workout used to actually brag and advertise that one scoop of their formula was equivalent to three scoops of their competitors; they weren’t lying. I don’t know if some health board came down on them hard or they had lawsuits or what happened but they’ve now gone through two changes to their formula to tone it down and now refer to it as 1MR Vortex. Crazy it even still exists to be honest. Eventually I realized that what I was doing was going to lead me to a very early death or at the very least major health problems. Over the passed few months I’ve taken days completely off from caffeine and haven’t had that bad of a withdrawal. I drink a little more water to combat my light headache but other than that and being tired obviously I’m usually not bad at all. I think I’m lucky there.
I’ve often thought what the world would look like if caffeine was wrongly outlawed in the place of marijuana back in the 1920’s. Society would look very different today, for better or for worse. I don’t like to say it but I’m more productive with caffeine in my system than without, I think anyone who regularly consumes it would agree. Which, if Neil’s study is correct, happens to be a staggering majority of us. Although I don’t recommend consuming anywhere near the amount I tend to, in moderation it’s fantastic. It can improve mood, boost metabolism, and obviously increase wakefulness. But let’s be realistic you’ve had it before, everybody has. I just ruined some staunchly anti-drug persons’ night. “I’ve never consumed any drugs in my life!” Right. Keep on keeping on, you bloody drug addict you.
Before we jump into this I’ve got a bit of a disclaimer. Though I’ve never claimed to be child friendly, and never will, this post is going to be a little more towards the NSFW side. I use colorful language in my writing because I try and write as if I’m having a regular conversation with you. Sure I use some bigger words than I’d ever actually vocalize and I actually tone down the swearing but that’s the tone I’m always going for. So if you’re offended by foul language or don’t want to read a particularly douchey perspective this is your chance to dip out now.
Yesterday as I was near complete my heavy back and bicep day a member of the opposite sex decided it was a good idea to do some half ass romanian deadlifts right beside me. Now to me there are two types of people in the gym, those there for themselves and those who are not. The ladder can easily be identified; ego lifting, showing off, and re-routing your entire routine to follow someone. All three of these go hand in hand but have some differences. When she have could performed the exercise (with awful form) that just happens to show off her cleavage anywhere else because the gym is empty aside from us and two other guys, I assume she’s not there for herself. Now unfortunately for this nice lady I’m past trying to hit on girls at the gym, it was the reason I started going to the gym so I am by no means writing this from some high horse, I’ve been there done that. So I ignored her ass, or more accurately cleavage, finished my set and left. Now if you’re sitting there rolling your eyes like this dude is fucking pathetic, it’s about to get worse. However, if you’re the type of person who’s shaking their head wondering why I didn’t pursue this lovely lady, this is for you. This interaction reminded me of how ironic life is. Two years ago, when all I wanted was to be noticed by girls I was ignored and avoided. However, now that I have grown up (just a touch) and am working for myself I have the odd interaction similar to yesterday’s. Oh well, they say bodybuilding is an extremely selfish sport and it’s true. Other than a minor slip up recently I haven’t been trying to date at all. Unless you both are in love with the sport it can be difficult to both carve out time for each other and more importantly connect on life aspirations and goals. Nonetheless, I have come up with a few ideas that if you are trying to date, can possibly help you along the way. Having been single for a little over three years I am extremely qualified for this position of dating guru; you’re in good hands.
First off, guys stop working out beside and following that cute girl you’ve been eying for weeks. It’s counter intuitive to the way your brain works I know, you want her to notice you. Unfortunately she does notice you, notices that you’re a huge creep that won’t leave her the fuck alone. You know your younger sibling that used to follow you around and annoy the shit out of you? You’re that annoying sibling! ‘But I don’t have any siblings.’ That actually explains itself, you’re doomed you attention seeking asshole. Do your routine, work hard, make gains and pay nobody any attention. You are there for you. ‘Well how the hell am I gonna meet someone if I’m doing my own thing?’ I’m not gonna lie to you, 95% of the time absolutely nothing will happen. Other than you actually making some gains but I mean who the fuck wants that right? It’s that other 5% of the time that there will be so many ‘alphas’ fighting for her attention that she will come workout near you. DO NOT mistake this as her coming to the realization that you’re the best looking bro in the gym, cause you’re not. You’re the one dude minding his own fucking business so she feels comfortable squatting next to you because you won’t ogle her. So don’t fucking ogle her. This also isn’t an invitation to show her how much your ego can curl. You do either one of these things and it’s a fast track to her saying fuck it, no workout is worth this shit and leaves. You have one of two options, first being do nothing. You both complete your workout, go home, and eat ice cream while watching vampire diaries crying about how you’ll be alone forever. Damn that hit a little too close to home. Alright moving on, your second option is to actually communicate with this fine specimen. Unfortunately you’re on your own from here bro. Don’t give me that look I got you this far! I don’t know why the hell you’re taking advice from me anyway! I’m clearly just a meathead with crippling insecurities… But if you do end up talking to her let me know how it goes, asking for a friend.
With the release of Skyrim: Special Edition this past Friday I’ve been feeling quite nostalgic. November 11, 2011. Five years ago Skyrim was first released, and it was quite an interesting time in my life. Two to three months before the game was set to come out podcasts began going up analyzing trailers, game play, and interviews with the developers. I would stay up till midnight or later each night “doing homework” listening to them. I was completely lost in this game and I hadn’t even gotten my hands on it yet. It was the only midnight release I ever went to, with Rielen Anton and I think maybe Nathan Wandler and Ryan Melle. I can’t be too sure though, my memory isn’t quite what it used to be. Shocking, I know. My first two days with the game I put in 18 hours. Now you either had one of two reactions to that and it tells a lot about who you are. Either, what the hell are you doing with your life? Or, dude big deal I had 20 in two days with *insert game title here*. This was the beginning of me identifying more as a gamer than athlete without me really realizing it at the time. Shortly after I began watching everything Greg Miller and Colin Moriarty (then IGN now Kinda Funny), read countless game reviews of games I never intended to play, and watched E3 along with other gaming conferences religiously. Of course I had been playing games for years up until this point and my history with gaming has definitely been a major factor in defining who I am today.
Really it was 2001. Christmas of 2001 to be exact. This is one of cloudiest memories I can recall, yet it’s still somewhat there. My older brother (I think) gave me a GameBoy Advance with a Spyro game. Now at this point I’m six, and not a clever six year old. I never got past the early stages of that game, but it was the first game I ever played so it still holds a place in my mind. In early 2002 we moved to a new house and my older siblings left behind their N64 when they left for university. This is where gaming took on new meaning for me, with my brother living in Edmonton I basically saw him once, maybe twice a year if I was lucky. Thus I began playing The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time just like he did. I was a stupid little kid though, I couldn’t figure out what to do. It quickly became my way of connecting with my brother, we’d play a bit every time he came home. When he wasn’t there I’d run around the world, get to the next dungeon and then leave it alone for months, knowing I’d pick it up the day before he was set to come home just as a quick refresher. This went on for a few years and I don’t think I ever actually beat the game. However if you were to ask me what my favorite games ever were, it’d always make the list due to what that time meant to me. Other games I played during that time were Mario 64 (another game I was too stupid for), Mario Kart 64 (the reason my younger sister stopped gaming with me), and Tetris Attack (Super Nintendo). Let’s talk about this one for a bit. First off if you haven’t played Tetris Attack you need to. It is superior to regular Tetris in every way. In fact I thought that’s what Tetris was so when my girlfriend in high school wanted to play with me I went in expecting that and was disgusted with what I actually got. Haven’t played Tetris since, garbage game. I was also playing a ton of wrestling games and GTA: Vice City at my buddy Tanner Doiron’s house. My parents wouldn’t let me play anything above T rating at this point, which brings me to my next era of gaming…
During this time I started spending a lot of time playing games with Dylan Harty. We played Pokemon Ruby, Sapphire and Emerald on GBA but more importantly he introduced me to Halo and Halo 2 on Xbox. This was late in the Xbox’s life cycle but I didn’t know anything about the industry yet. Remember, stupid little kid. Alas, I bought an Xbox thinking I’d be playing Call of Duty and Halo just like all my friends. Psych! For a second I had forgotten what house I was living in. A stringent catholic household. My parents eventually loosened their grip but now was not the time. I can’t even tell you what games I owned for the system other than NHL 06 (which I played nearly daily), Madden NFL 08, and Mercenaries (an open world, faction war game). There was the UN, South Korea, China, and the Mafia? You worked with each faction taking missions to kill North Koreans. Had to push for that one, but it’s rated Teen Mom! My siblings had always been Nintendo kids before me and I now understood why, they had good E rated games. This was probably my biggest misstep in my gaming past. I know I had at least thirty games for the system and I can’t even remember more than three. Wait, that’s a lie. I sunk hours on hours into Star Wars Battlefront II, probably the saving grace of my investment.
After coming off the Xbox I wanted to get back into Nintendo. So me and my younger sister purchased my brother’s GameCube with Mario Kart Double Dash, Super Smash Brothers Melee, and The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. Those three games alone were enough to keep us entertained for countless hours, we even took it traveling with us in the van. With both of us in sports at this point we traveled a ton so it got a good amount of five inch screen time. It might have been a bit bigger than that, but not much. Still a TV screen in our van, we were living the high life bro. This Incredible little machine completely rejuvenated my fandom for Nintendo just in time for the Wii. Motion controls? That sounds so cool! The Wii had already been out for a while at this point and I honestly can’t remember if it was Christmas 2009 or Christmas 2010 we received a Nintendo Wii with Mario Kart and Mario Galaxy. Two incredible games, the only two. We also got tickets to go to DisneyLand, which was the much better gift, though my face doesn’t show that in any of the pictures my parents took. Unfortunately I was in my ‘I don’t fucking care about anything’ stage and even had a mohawk when we went. You’re so sick bro. It wasn’t my parents fault the Wii was an absolute joke of a system. I even bought Call of Duty Black Ops on it. Nintendo fucked all of us fans real hard and sold out to the casual market. That’s why even your grandmother owned one. Now there’s gonna be some Nintendo fanboys who disagree with me and are gonna point to it’s sales as a counter to my argument. I’d actually point to the sales figure as supporting my point and throw in it’s pathetic attach rate (how many games per system purchased) as more support. It was an anomaly, they captured the casual audience, similar to mobile gaming. Casual gamers aren’t going to support your software, they’re fickle. Nintendo thought they struck gold though and doubled down with the Wii U. We all know how that turned out. Fool me once Nintendo, but I digress. In 2011 we went to Toronto to visit my brother in his tiny ass apartment. That’s Toronto for you, expensive as hell. So with six of us there we all slowly started to go insane. The only way to curb that for me and my sister was to play games. My brother had a PS3 at the time and with it Uncharted 2: Among Thieves. My sister and I instantly fell in love and we agreed we were splitting the price for a PlayStation when we got home. This about brings us back to Skyrim, though that’s not quite where my story ends. Four days after Skyrim release Assassin’s creed Revelations released with a download link for the original Assassin’s creed. Now I had played some multiplayer at my friend Jackson Wenzel’s house and had loved the stark difference between the usual death match that had plagued online games since COD’s rise to power. So I jumped in and loved both the original but more so Revelations. Similar to how Nintendo screwed me so did Ubisoft I was sold on the series and then they come out with AC3. Garbage, just absolute garbage. Ubisoft lost all my good will, and then I regrettably purchased Watch Dogs for PS4. Once again, garbage. But I’m jumping way ahead, I guess recalling all the poor life choices you made has that effect. Stupid kid. Our PS3 really became an escape for me. My relationship with my parents hit an all time low during this time and I can remember multiple days, weeks even where I wouldn’t leave my basement except for school, basketball and to eat. It was my own fault though and I knew that. Looking back I’m sure my parents had an idea what I was up to way before they ever caught me. Games were my escape, my stress release, my world in a way. I was going to school, getting high, going to practice, getting high. It was a viscous circle and the only time I didn’t feel the need to smoke up was when I was gaming. The worlds I went to in games kept my mind occupied.
As you may or may not know I only spent one year in University. Not shocking since some of my most vivid memories are staying up till 3 am playing GTA V after tripping at my buddies dorm room. Games were no longer enough to keep my mind at bay. I look back at that time and really just feel disappointment. GTA V may be one of my favorite games of all time, it really is incredible. However, similar to Ocarina of Time, what was going on in my life effected me more than the actual game itself. Because of that I have a real foul taste in my mouth whenever I think of GTA and don’t know if that will ever completely go away.
After dropping out I moved in with my two best friends and we all split a PS4 and TV. I’ve had incredible experiences with the machine including Destiny, Shadow of Mordor (My only platinum), and Overwatch. This spring/summer I also beat Uncharted 4 and The Last of Us. Each and every game leaves a small mark on me and teaches me something about myself. However, I’m not the same kind of gamer I once thought I’d always be. I’m not the same kind of person I thought I’d always be. During high school I was putting in anywhere between 15 and 40 hours a week and was on for at least a little bit every day. Now I would guess I’m somewhere between 2 and 15 hours a week and go days at a time without playing anything. There’s multiple causes for this, fitness being the biggest for sure. It’s a better way of spending my time and a better stress relief. When I first began blogging I really thought it would be mostly centered around gaming, and in fact almost gave my blog a gaming related name. Here we are 18 posts later and this is only the second one. Thank God I had some vision eh. Looking back gaming has been with me through every up and every down. It helped me create great friendships, escape reality, and yes even learn some problem solving skills. I’m still not sure whether or not I’ll jump back into Skyrim as I’ve already put about 300 hours into the original game. It’s vast for sure, and I’ve been craving a good non linear, create a character experience. However, I’m sure The Elder Scrolls VI will come out next generation so I could just wait. Probably won’t though, stupid kid.