Tuesday, September 27, 2011

A toddler changes everything

Time is now officially a luxury. I suppose this has been sinking in for some time, but recently it has been really hitting home. Just a year and a half ago it was so easy to work, come home and do all of my hobby-esque type things. I had loads of time to run, write blogs and make videos for You Tube.

Now that my son is officially a toddler, that time is only a memory. I even find myself at times a little envious of my friends out there in the bloggerverse who have so much more time to accomplish so many more things than I do. I sometimes find myself thing, “What could I be capable of if only I had more time?”

Those thoughts are often fleeting though because as my adorable son wobbles up to me to hand me a block or stuffed toy, I realize I am blessed. My son, especially now that he is developing such a funny and wonderful personality, brings me more joy than any blog post or video production I could be involved with.

So what is the answer? Can I have my cake and eat it to?

I can have a little, I just have to schedule every aspect of my day and realize that times are different. Once upon a time I might be able to write five pages in a writing project. These days, I am satisfied with one or two. Once upon a time I used to be able to produce three or four edited videos a week for my video blog. Now, one video a week is all right.

I wake up early in the morning while my son and wife are sleeping and I run. If I am not running that day, I do some writing. Sometimes I wait until my son is asleep at night and then I write. Either way, it is all about scheduling. I’m living in a new reality. It is a wonderful one though.

By the way, an update for all of you folks out there, the working title of my book is “Teaching in Asia: Tales and the real deal.” The bulk of it is now written. I still have a few more weeks to go before the first draft will be complete. Then I have to format, proof read and self edit it. Then I will send it off to someone else to edit. Once that process is completed, I will upload it to the Amazon Kindle store.

I will be charging a price for it, but it won’t be high by any means. I think it will be the perfect book for all of those who are considering teaching in Japan or South Korea at any point. The advice is mostly mine, with the help of some friends and the stories are all mine.

You won’t need a Kindle to read it as well. You will be able to sownload it to any iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch, Android device, laptop and desktop computers.

I’ll keep you updated as I move through my first book writing experience. Already though, I have to admit that it has been far more satisfying than any other sort of media production project I have tackled so far!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Writing and injuries

Just a few days ago, Mother Nature was showing us her kind affection by taking the temperatures here in Japan down a few notches. After a nasty and humid summer, things were becoming tolerable. Daily temperatures were in the mid to low 20's (Celsius) and there was no humidty. It was bliss. Last week all of that changed. we were slammed with summer all over again. "Ugh" is what I have to say about that.

I have been trying to spend more time with my family recently and also have ben dealing with a little running frustration. After Saturday night's sprint training session I developed some tenderness in my right achilles tendon. I wasn't able to go for my long run Sunday morning. It's now Tuesday morning and I still haven't run yet. I am hoping that my tendon will feel alright tomorrow morning. I will try a short 5k run slowly around the neighborhood and I will of course keep you guys informed.

On a more positive note, I have dusted off my eBook project and am writing up a storm. I have lived and worked as a teacher in both South Korea and Japan for many years. Many of my most popular blog posts and video blogs are about the topic. Also, my story videos about my time in Asia often attract a large audience.

Once I learned more about self publishing on e-platforms such as the Amazon Kindle I was sold. If I could publish my own book, why not do it? I'm still working on a title, something I'm going to use crowd sourcing to help me (probably on my Facebook page....link is on the side of this blog) make a decision on.

Since I started blogging about teaching in Asia more than 6 years ago, I have fielded literally hundreds of questions about the topic. Why not put a lot of this information in book form and add several personal stories about my experiences in both countries?

I am hoping to have my first draft completed sometime in early October and then proofreading, editing, having someone else edit it and then off to eBook land, most likely the Kindle store.

There will be lots of updates on what I am doing here on this blog, but the best place to follow would be my BusanKevin Facebook page. I added a new widget this morning on the side of this blog to make that easier for you!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Running to Help Others

Many of of you know that after the disaster that took do many lives last March here in Japan, I wanted to do something to help. I decided to create the "Running to Help Japan" project. This was something I could do by myself to help raise money to help the kids in northern Japan. I am a teacher and have made my career caring for and teaching children. I also have a young son and my heart broke to see so many children, so close to me, who no longer had anything.

I did some research and decided I would work to raise money for Save the Children.

This is an organization who works to improve the lives of children throughout the world. They had set up teams here in Japan immediately after the earthquake and tsunami to help the youngest victims. They seemed like the perfect fit for my fundraising goals.

 Although I know I am not a gifted runner, I am a decent one. I am a "mid-pack" marathoner with an incredibly high pain threshold and stuborness. I am also a runner who day dreams often of running distances far beyond that of a regular marathon. This was my chance. This was a chance for me to push my body and mind to a place they had never been before.

At the same time, raising funds for a good cause. On June 25th, 2011, I ran 60km or 37.5 miles in the blistering heat here in Kobe. It took me more than 6 hours, but I did it. In the process I raised $3917.00. It was an amazing experience. I have never felt so many emotions all at once. I felt pain, joy, pain, excitement, pain and did I mention pain?

This was something I never could have done without the support of my You Tube viewers, my Facebook friends, my real-life friends, family, Twitter followers and of course the article written about Running to Help Japan in the Cape Breton Post. I have to give a special thanks to the sports writer, T.J. Colello. His story really got the financial ball rolling for this charity drive and really got the fire lit under me!

I also have to thank several friends of mine in the Japan You Tube community who supported me so much. I have to thank (these are their You Tube names): qiranger, WarmothStrat (Mully and Misses Mully), softpapa, FindMeInKurume, Gimmeabreakman, DimPerrin, Ozzy78, Micknfumi and the many others who helped.

Another special thanks goes out to Edward at the Japan Talk podcast for his amazing support and shout outs for my ultra marathon. It is now September and I am now smack back in the middle of training again.

On October 30th I will run in the first ever Osaka Marathon. 3 weeks later, I will run in the first ever Kobe Marathon.

What will happen after that?  

I am thinking about something big. I am thinking about running to help a new charity and am thinking about something even grander in scale than the last time! 80km? Maybe a multi-day event? Should I walk across part of Japan? It will be something big for sure. I want to push myself more and more. I also want to raise funds for a worthy cause while doing so.

Any suggestions on my next adventure? (leave a comment)

 A little more about why I did what I did. Here is an amazing song by another Canadian living in Japan. "Blackwater" is a song written and performed by John Jenzen who lives in Nagoya, Japan. He wrote it after reading about an entire bus filled with kindergarten children was swept away by the tsunami.