What is apparent is that Pirsig, focussed as he is on the peak, is overwhelmed by the climb, and continues to lose his desire and strength with every step. The monks, on the other hand, used the peak only as a guide to mark the direction of their climb; they were more focused on the journey and its enjoyment, and made it to the top with ease.

–Rahul Bijlani



My appetite for reading has recently increased. I don’t know exactly why, but it’s a good thing. I also am excited about my classes; I think my goal of becoming acquainted with protein folding and protein interaction software will become a reality.

Otherwise, diet was great today. Two panini sandwiches, a tub of berry cottage cheese ice cream, and a crisp, plump, sour green apple.

My back is still healing, but I did some trial pull-ups and chins yesterday. Was not disappointed.

January 15 in a nutshell

Today was a pretty good day. I was impressed with my happiness levels. I awoke, sat in traffic for an hour due to the rain and terrible weather, and picked up ES cells from PBRC to plate on feeders.

Hopped on over to my first ever Grad-level course, had a good lecture, and went to lab to study. Had an apple and coffee. Studied with interest.

Unfortunately, my back pain has returned. I had been interested in the 200 squat challenge, so as a substitute muscle workout I tried this. Got to 150. It’s really more of a conditioning thing, but finally towards the end slight muscle fatigue occurred.

Drive back home. Had ‘eh’ soup and cottage cheese with berries. Nothing spectacular, but I felt good about things for once because I am in a good environment – a biotech. company – and my classes are engaging.

Protein fluffies

Made a real protein fluff for the first time today – normally I consume a protein ‘goop’ (or parfait, as my GF likes to term it to dulcify it) which is just plain Chobani and whey mixed with other stuff. Last night, I found out we actually have a mixer, meaning I now have the capacity to whip up the dairy confection into a fluff per the recipe of several blogs.

Macros and breakdown:

2 servings Chobani 46 280
2 servings cottage cheese 26 180
1 serving whey powder 23 120
1 cup frozen blueberries 0 100
Stevia 0 0
Totals 95g protein 680 kcal.

So, it’s a bit heavy on the calories but also a decent-sized meal.

The process was: [1] Hand blend everything (2 min) and [2] Whip it with the mixer (10 min). Not hard.

It’s like eating a copious amount of ice cream, really. Tasted like blueberry cheesecake.


January 2, 2013 for me in a nutshell

Today was a decent day, as days go. I woke and, to my pleasure, was able to destroy my legs with my close friend who was back in town from Michigan Law for the break. Did some deep, deep squats. The highlight was a set with 25 reps.

This was followed by a trip to the local sushi buffet. Training was fasted, so everything was amplified in taste and ostensible nutritional value. A feast for sure.

So after this ordeal, I ended up seeing some really old friends from high school.  Honestly, it served as a reminder more than anything else. I was reminded of my failures. I was reminded that I had done everything in my capacity to change what I found unworthy in myself, and I was still deemed unworthy in every capacity. The friends I had met were not. There were content and pleased to pursuing those same dreams I had. No one barred their search for knowledge. They were happy to party and delude themselves into thinking that their ambitions were for greatness.

I mentioned to my lifting friend as I drove him home that these were the sort of self-satisfied people that I have tried so desperately not to emulate – they are the sort of person I used to be. I think these people don’t see past the façade of society, however that that could be an unfair generalization and is not the main point I am making here. These are the people who go to school for the exact reasons of prestige and money. They have some beautiful end-goal plastered to the inside of their heads and they are desperate to achieve these goals for what I personally think are the wrong reasons. Don’t get me wrong. These people are needed in society. For the most part, I think most medical schools are populated by these sorts of people, and these people go on to live that dream of wealth and responsibility. They serve the society and are perfectly happy being part of a sprawling, expensive service industry.  But from what I’ve seen, these people are not pushing the limits of human knowledge. They are doing an exquisite job of maintaining things. There is no thirst for novelty and sharp ideas; there is a thirst for pride, money, and respect: for a maintenance of things.

I know my ordeals have sharpened my focus and made me stronger. I see past the immediacy of things.  But I have the right reasons for going into medicine and research.  I crave that burden of responsibility that comes with being a physician, being responsible for the life of another and using my knowledge and experience to alleviate its problems. Above ALL, I am focused on pushing both myself and what I am presented with to the limits.

I have this thirst and hope to retain it for my entire existence; never quenched. Below, I’ve posted an abbreviated comic [source] that really serves to remind me what drives me at times. I know I waver between things, but hopefully my actions speak to my true motivations.