An Interview with Ryon Day

Editor’s Note: This interview is long. So hella long in fact, that I almost thought about splitting it up into two or three parts; but I decided against it. You get it all at once! And if you just want to listen, the podcast version is embedded all the way at the end of the article too… enjoy!

Whenever possible I like to bring other people in to discuss their fitness philosophies with you, my fine readers. I do this for three distinct reasons:

  1. My views on fitness are just that, my views. I want to showcase as much positive stuff as possible
  2. I want to give you guys an occasional break from my awesome sarcastic ramblings
  3. Because I selfishly like hearing what other people have to say…

I say this because this week I sat down with Ryon Day, of Geek & Sundry and #TeamHooman notoriety.

I was lucky enough to meet him briefly at San Diego Comic-Con this year and he graciously agreed to sit down with me for what I thought would be a simple chat about fitness; and while we definitely talked about working out, and eating right, it turned into a wonderful discussion about what it means to be a geek, how to positively affect change in those around you, and how to love yourself.

So sit back and enjoy this very long, but fascinating, look into the geeky mind of a fit, and healthy, geek!

(Also, the full NSFW audio interview is available as well for those who want our voices in their ear-holes… see below!)

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International TableTop Day 2014

Internationa TableTop Day Logo

Another year, another International TableTop Day gone by.

And because it can’t all be fitness, I wanted to take today to put the “erd” back in the Jerd with a bit of a recap.

Saturday, April 5th marked the 2nd annual TableTop Day; to celebrate I took a road-trip up to Toronto, Canada to meet some Internet friends and play a bunch of games!

TableTop Day

Video games are awesome.

Anyone who tries to tell you differently should not be trusted (#JerdProTip)! But that doesn’t mean I don’t also have an immense love of rolling dice, slinging cards and crushing my enemies having fun with friends!

This Internet-based holiday was the perfect chance to step away from the keyboard and controllers and to remind myself of just that.

The brain child of Wil Wheaton and the fine folks over at Geek & Sundry, TableTop Day is a celebration for all the fans of tabletop gaming, young or old. In their own words it is “a single day where the whole world is brought together in a common purpose of spending time together and having fun.”

Last year there were over 3,100 official TableTop Day gaming events in 64 countries worldwide!

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Review: Of Dice and Men

…The Story of Dungeons & Dragons and the People Who Play It

Of Dice and MenAnd now for something completely different.

I started (and finished) David M. Ewalt’s “Of Dice and Men” last night not knowing exactly what I was going to be reading. Okay; I knew it was going to be related to Dungeons & Dragons (a game I played extensively as a child – see The Mighty Jerd 101) but other than that I was going in blind.

What I got was a charming tome that is equal parts self-discovery, examination of the sociology of gamer culture, explanation of the game itself, business study and nostalgia piece aimed at anyone who has ever cracked open a game made or been inspired by the works of Gary Gygax (he’s one of the founders of this revolutionary game #DnDprotip).

The book is not a definitive history of D&D sporting loads of “never before heard” insider information nor does it contain an in-depth examination of the game itself. It straddles the middle ground rather adeptly though, and provides anyone who has ever thought “What is Dungeons & Dragons?” or “Why is Dungeons & Dragons so popular?” a clear, positive and easy to follow picture of the game (and culture) so many people love so very much.

D&D means different things to different people: Some folks want action, others want drama.” – David Ewalt

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San Diego Comic Con 2012 Review – Part Deux

Hopefully you read about our first day in San Diego for the 2012 Comic Con because today, intrepid readers, we jump right into the convention itself!

Like I lamented in the last post, we only were able to obtain 2 day passes so the already daunting and overwhelming task of going through the schedule of panels/events/signings/etc… became even harder.  Were we big enough fans of something to take half a day to wait in line for a panel?  Was there a signing or exhibit we were dying to see enough to wait in line for?  Did we want to try to obtain one of the Comic Con exclusives, like the limited edition BOOM! Studios zombie caricature cover art, by standing in line?  You might be noticing a trend of the line variety here, and if you haven’t been yet you have no idea how much line waiting there is.  It is a little crazy.  (And by “little crazy” I mean “batshit insane”)

So what to do?  We decided to skip the first couple hours of the convention itself to let the crowds spread out a little and go visit the Geek and Sundry offsite location, sponsored by AMD, at the Belo Lounge.  We got inside, witnessed a mental patient break in and start yelling about escaping from an institution and needing his Lithium, and then stood in line to meet and get our picture with web icon and geek goddess, Felicia Day.  After that we took a look at what AMD had set up to showcase.  Comic ConWhat had they setup for everyone you ask?  Bad-assery of the computer kind, that’s what!  They were demoing some sick 3D games that were spanning a crystal clear three Samsung monitor setups as well as an obscene racing rig featuring 5 monitors, a vibrating Recaro seat and a steering wheel/shifter/pedal control system.

Oh, and they were giving away processors and motherboards as well.  Score!

After spending sometime checking out the delicious gaming goodness, we walked down to the convention itself.  While the crowds milling around on Preview Night were light, that was not the case here on opening morning.  It was crazy crowded!  What struck me first was the mix of people attending.  I am sure if you stopped a random person on street and asked them who would attend Comic Con they would immediately conjure up an image similar to the Comic Book Guy from the Simpsons or someone Urkel-esque.  The reality was that in attendance were a healthy mix of people, young and old, that looked no different from a huge crowd at a mall or concert (well, other than the liberal dose of people in Captain America costumes).  Now, there most definitely were a lot of people there that could use a little Jock infusion to level up their fitness and health, but you see that everywhere.

Comic ConSo we browsed the convention floor for a bit, overwhelmed at the immensity of it all.  As far as the eye could see there were stalls filled with artists/vendors/authors as well as a booth run by every major entertainment company you can think of.  The amount of coordination that goes into something this big is always a point of extreme fascination for me, as my mind can’t even begin to imagine the coordination necessary.  It truly boggles the mind.

I had the Nikon out and I was greatly enjoying the many elaborate and extremely well done costumes for a bit, but I knew I had to find my way up to the second floor by mid-day.  You see, while everyone else was standing in line to see the new suit of Iron Man armor, or to get a signature from their favorite artist, I was on a mission to meet one of my childhood heroes.  He was there, signing autographs and taking pictures and there was no way I was going to miss out.  So we wandered through the Comic Con circus and the maze that is the Convention Center so that I could shake hands and chat with Williams himself from “Enter the Dragon.”

Comic Con with Jim Kelly

At this point I had met, in the span of a few hours, one of my biggest nerd crushes icons *and* a martial arts legend who was integral on getting me hooked on training when I was a child.  Both sides of the Jerd coin stamped and shiny right there!  So far the Convention was already a huge success in my book!

Check back in tomorrow as I finish up my thoughts on the San Diego Comic Con, Cosplay and whether or not I will be attempting to brave the goat rodeo of ticket sales to return next year…  Let me know what your thoughts on Comic Con are!




Read: San Diego Comic Con 2012 Review – Part III, The Search for Spock 

Balancing Gaming and Healthy Living – You Can Do It!

Balancing Gaming and Fitness 1Gamer nerds, in general, are considered to be generally non-athletic and un-healthy.

What if I were to tell you that doesn’t have to be the case and give you the tools to find a manageable balance between your geek lifestyle and healthy living / being active?

Well that is exactly what I am going to do, because I am living proof that you can be a giant nerd of Potsie-like proportions and still be in shape and lead a healthy life!

Throw away your pre-conceived notions!

If you get those out of your head, and set the excuses aside, I promise I can help you!

All through High School I gamed and read comic books.

I was an art nerd, and pretty damned skinny.  Don’t get me wrong, I was active back then – I ran cross-country (slowly) because a few friends did, I wrestled (very poorly) and I skateboarded (also pretty poorly) every spring and summer.

What I didn’t understand back then though was that being healthy and in-shape did not mean being super muscular or a gym-rat!

Over the years it became clearer and clearer (especially once middle age set in) that being in-shape and healthy didn’t mean being ripped with muscle or being able to run a marathon.  Those images that were in my head were just as false and unproductive as the image of a stereotypical gamer geek were to the jocks of the world.

The topic of stereotypes is one I will tackle in a future article, but the reality is that we all know they exist whether we agree with them or not…

“Being fit and healthy does not mean being super muscular or ultra-thin!”

So how do you blend your gaming interests with an healthy lifestyle?

The biggest hurdle for people wanting to make change in their life is finding the time, eating healthy and the motivation.

Oft-times people say they want something, but then their actions seem contradictory.  One of my biggest revelations from my many years of teaching martial arts, and just observing people, was my realization that people are inherently lazy.

This isn’t a judgement, I promise!

Am I lazy by nature?  Totes McGotes!  (“I Love You Man”?  Anyone?  Bueller?  Dammit…) I think anyone who participates in physical activity will tell you that if the activity was not mentally stimulating to them in some way, that they would A) not enjoy it and B) probably not do it for very long.

So what’s the solution?

I believe it is finding a hobby/activity that already matches your existing interest.  Like I said, we are all lazy by nature.  So every obstacle we a remove between us and our supposed goals just makes them that much easier.

One of the major obstacles to starting a new hobby is the question “Will I really enjoy this?

If you already know you enjoy a facet of an activity that question is addressed before even taking your first foray into that new endeavor.  So what exactly am I talking about?  Let me give you a few examples:

  • You play a lot of console fighting games – Go join a martial arts school.  Learning to throw, choke and kick people in the spleen is quite satisfying and it will give you a greater appreciation for the crazy moves you make Yoshimitsu pull off while playing Tekken.
  • You pwn newbs playing FPS shooters on your PC –  Go paint-balling when the weather permits.  BOOM!HEADSHOTing people and then ridiculing them is fun over TeamSpeak or Ventrilo, but it is infinitely more satisfying in person when you see a paintball explode on their mask on the field.
  • You play a ton of RPGs – Take up fencing, or go join your local chapter of the SCA .  Actually learn to use a sword, or research some medieval zweihander manual and club some poor fool like a baby seal.  The workout is great and you can be more descriptive next time you are fighting a horde of goblins with your friends when playing D&D.

The other obstacle the subversive lazy part of your brain will throw up is going to be the excuse that you don’t know how to start, or that you won’t know what you are doing and therefore will make a fool out of yourself.

That is something I plan on tackling in-depth in an ongoing series in the near future, but for now let me assure you that 90% of the time the real world is more accepting of failure and mistakes than the geek world believe it or not.  I can’t remember the last time someone ran over and tea-bagged me on the paintball field while insulting my mother (maybe because I blocked it out, but I think you get my point).

Whatever it is you decide on doing, go out and do it and experience some healthy living.  You won’t be sorry!

Thoughts, comments or “your mom” jokes anyone?




PS: Make sure to get your free e-book, “The 7 Fitness Obstacles Newbies Face” by subscribing to our newsletter… no spam, I promise!

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