And What It Really Means For Mental Health

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A few days ago a close childhood friend of mine posted a group photo on his Instagram and Facebook accounts. It was a scanned image that was originally printed in a photo processing center more than a decade — possibly even two — ago. I appeared among the posse in this moment-captured-in-time and judging by the length of my hair, it was probably taken senior year of high school.

Up until a few years ago, this period of my life always evoked warm feelings of nostalgia. It begs the question then:

Why didn’t I join the 50 something people who liked the picture on Facebook? …


2 Overlooked Tips For Beginners To Stay Balanced

How to instantly improve your handstand header image. The author doing a handstand on the edge of a cliff in Krabi, Thailand.
How to instantly improve your handstand header image. The author doing a handstand on the edge of a cliff in Krabi, Thailand.

If you prefer to watch a video of me talking about this very same topic, you can do so at this link: https://youtu.be/UHePBi09wfI

The coveted freestanding handstand is a desired pursuit of many different training disciplines. You’ll find it performed by yogis, gymnasts, circus performers, capoeira practitioners, calisthenics athletes and others. Its wide-ranging inclusion speaks to its appeal and to the fact that so many different physical art forms find it beneficial.

Due to the fact that it is practiced by so many different styles of training has also resulted in many different approaches for achieving it. In addition, the quality standards of the various disciplines influence what they consider to be a ‘true handstand’ with gymnasts probably having the strictest guidelines for what counts as one. …


Musings From A Third-Culture Kid

A childhood photo of the author’s first ID from the now defunct country of Czechoslovakia.
A childhood photo of the author’s first ID from the now defunct country of Czechoslovakia.

“Where are you from?”

I’m sure that almost all of you — if not all of you — reading this have been asked this question during the course of your life. For those of you who have never had to give it much thought…well, lucky you.

By the time I was 10 years old I had lived in 3 countries and learned to speak 4 languages. Two of those languages — German and English — were learned out of necessity. I acquired them to function in my new surroundings. …


3 Things I’ve Observed And Learned About Northern Thailand

A photograph of me candidly smiling. Behind me is the famous giant gold pagoda found at Wat Phra That Doi Suthep (temple).
A photograph of me candidly smiling. Behind me is the famous giant gold pagoda found at Wat Phra That Doi Suthep (temple).

Today officially marks three-hundred-and-sixty-five days of me living in Chiang Mai. As we get older, the days, weeks, and months tend to move a lot faster and in many ways the year has flown by. However, when I sit here and reflect upon my time in Northern Thailand, I realize that despite feeling like a fleeting moment at times, the cumulative effect of these 365 days has had an effect on me. …


A Visceral Journey Into Vietnam’s Onion

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A warm, humid breeze lifts a Soviet Union flag into the air as it glides its way toward McDonalds. It pauses and hovers for a moment before redirecting itself down Tràng Tiền Street. Grazing the edges of the Louis Vutton store, the once strong gust starts to lose steam before finally dissipating at the front door of Emporio Armani.

I don’t think anyone else noticed it.

Elsewhere in the city, a giant statue of Vladimir Lenin towers over mainly locals as they socialize, exercise, and play with their children in the park that bears his name. …


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Boston, MA USA | Friday, January 25, 2019

Even though it feels longer, only a week ago at this time I was on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean getting ready to leave Bratislava. As I was packing my luggage, I poured myself the last of a bottle of Frankovka Modra. For wine drinkers outside of Central Europe, but particularly Americans, it is a wine known only to serious wine geeks.

As I took periodic sips between folding my clothes, I kept thinking to myself how nice it would be if Slovak wine was more widely available outside of the country. I love that when I’m in Slovakia, I can walk into virtually any restaurant and order 2 deciliters of Frankovka the same way that I can order a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon in most restaurants in the U.S. …


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A lil’ Nasi Goreng never hurt anybody. | Bali, Indonesia

As connected as we are in today’s society, one thing that traveling throughout Southeast Asia made me realize and appreciate is that there are still many foods that you can only try by traveling. Take Thai food for instance. Sure, you can go to a Thai restaurant in most major cities around the world, but chances are that what you’ll see on the menu is just the tip of the yellow curry. In fact, Thailand’s most popular noodle dish from the north — Khao Soy— is ubiquitously absent from most restaurant menus outside of its place of origin. …


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The property I manage. You would think that it just sells itself, but it actually takes a lot of work.

Over the past year I have been in the business of managing vacation rentals. I provide value by freeing up a property owner’s time and by increasing their occupancy rate. I do this by handling all the customer interactions, as well as pricing and marketing their property. There’s more to it than that, but that’s a very top-level overview.

It’s kind of interesting that I ended up going down this road because I don’t necessarily have a professional background in real estate. On the flip side, I am very tech savvy though. When I first started doing this about a year ago, there was a bit of a learning curve from the property management aspect of it. …


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Yours truly on the right. | Photo By: @vlkaiser.photography

PROLOGUE

I grew up as a teenager in the ’90s. In terms of fitness, my generation didn’t have YouTube tutorials, Instagram motivation with cute hashtags like #FlexFriday and thousands of fitness blogs to peruse for tips and advice. Our fitness media was relegated to a handful of publications — FLEX Magazine, Muscle & Fitness, Muscular Development and Men’s Health. The type of exercise regimen we followed was mostly determined by ‘bro advice’ from guys in our neighborhood that were a bit older than us.

It was a very different world back then.

CrossFit and P90X hadn’t been invented yet. Kettlebells were still known only as гиря (girya in English) because no one outside the East Bloc had heard of them. Yoga was mostly practiced by hippy vegetarians and hadn’t yet been embraced by the broader fitness world. There were no TRX straps at your local gym. No Zumba classes either. As for calisthenics, the term was even less well known than it is now. The few who were familiar with the word associated it with either the military, or for those of a certain age, with JFK’s presidential fitness challenge. Unless you lived in very specific, isolated communities (read: Brooklyn + Santa Monica) then you weren’t exposed to calisthenics. Mainstream fitness culture was mostly based on concepts established in the late ‘70s (i.e. — Arnold’s era) peppered with random fads and gadgets like the Ab Roller and Nordic Track. This was the environment in which my long standing love affair with ‘the iron’ began. …


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*DISCLAIMER: This photo is not the place I almost drowned, but a more photogenic, metaphoric substitute. No photos exist from the actual day.

One of the most memorable moments of my adult life was the day I got cut from SWONEC Division 3. For those of you who don’t know, SWONEC is an acronym for Special Warfare Operations New England Candidates. It is a loose team of guys who train together while they try to earn their contract for one of four schools — Navy Rescue Swimmer, Explosive Ordinance Disposal (EOD), Special Warfare Craft Crewman (SWCC), or the most famous of the four, Navy SEAL. In order to become part of this brotherhood, you have to first try out. If the existing members think you have the potential to keep up with them, and the officer in charge approves it, then you start training. You are assigned to a boat crew led by a BCL (Boat Crew Leader). This person is usually a top performer that will probably earn his contract soon. He sets the pace and tone of each training session. …

About

Martin Dubovic

Fitness | Travel | Lifestyle

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