In an effort to get to know our Reign Fitness Community better, we like to feature a member each month who showcases our core values...
"Being Coachable, Confident, Hungry, Positive, and Humble."
And for February 2019, I couldn't think of anyone more exemplary of our Reign Core Values than my good friend and long time client Ki Kang.
Ki's one of the best people I know and truly an individual who cares for the people in his life.
Not only does he serve others (you'll often find him helping another member with a movement in classes or encouraging someone through a workout)… You'll always see Ki, leading by example, and working his butt off. He's got an open arms policy to tough workouts and you'll never hear him complain. (I've honestly never heard him complain.)
I've known this Ki for almost 10 years and I'm so happy to be able to call him (and his wife Seon) family now.
Here is Ki…
Name: Ki Sung Kang
Occupation: Software Engineer
1. What (who) brought you to Reign? How long have you been training with Reign?
Seon and I started training with Albert so long ago that I wrote down my goal was to get to 10% body fat by the end of the world (on the Mayan calendar (Dec 2012)) because either it would force me to get back in shape or I wouldn’t care since the world would have ended.
I got to 10% body fat and the world didn’t end, but I found that I was stronger with a higher fat percentage.
2. What is the most significant change - whether social, physical, mental…you have experienced since you have been here?
I found that evening workouts are the best way for me to leave the stresses of the day behind me. It has made me a much more pleasant person to be around. Also, we have made some great friendships and found that the people at the gym inspire me.
There are very few places you can regularly go where you have people (members) root for you to push past your own perceived limits because they believe in you.
3. What did you do before fitness to be active or did you always workout?
We taught scuba diving as a hobby for a long time and enjoyed other outdoor activities; however, I did not routinely exercise as I do now. I was athletic in my childhood; however, I had a lot of excuses to skip staying in shape, once I was out of high school.
I was at least 40 lbs heavier when I first started training with Albert and often laid on the floor for 20 minutes after every workout to recover enough to even stand up.
4. Share your favorite memory so far at Reign?
My favorite workout memory was the beer mile; however, that was probably something that some people will not want to remember; therefore, I will probably have to say it was a fireman’s carry event during a team throwdown.
It wasn’t fun for the person who was being carried; however, it was funny to watch.
5. What are your goals or aspirations leading in 2019?
I have a few goals this year, but my main goal is to start off a new chapter in my life successfully. 2018 brought a lot of forced changes in our lives, so we had to make a lot of adjustments.
6. First CD you bought & Favorite Movie of all time...
Since I am from a pre-CD era, my first “8-Track” was either “Earth, Wind &Fire”, “Sha Na Na”, or “BeeGees”. I couldn’t speak English at the time but loved the music anyway.
My favorite movie of all time is “Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby”. I really connected with it and I found that there are so many profound quotes that came from it. It is a really touching tale of a race car driver who was at the top of the game and had to overcome challenges to get back to the top once he was lost his confidence.
If you haven’t seen it, you should…so good.
If you have old school Asian parents (when reports cards came out), “If you ain’t first, you’re last” will ring so true.
7. What are your hobbies outside of Reign?
I tend to be an active person and would rather be outdoors. My favorite hobbies include Scuba diving, hiking and exploring. I also love to collect and taste whiskey/whisky. Many people also know that I find cooking cathartic and try to invent new dishes on a regular (almost daily) basis.
I love learning about the world and going on adventures that most people would never experience. I never get tired of spending time with Seon, so she is the perfect partner in crime for all my hobbies (which tend to be her hobbies too).
8. What's your spirit animal? And Favorite Superhero or Villain? Why?
Spirit Animal: I never met my spirit animal, but I hope that it is a dolphin. I love the ocean and find myself the most at peace when I am under or on it.
Favorite Superhero/Villain: Since I was very young, my favorite superhero was Spiderman (Peter Parker) because he was never physically the strongest or fastest superhero but would still find a way to win by using his intelligence and not giving up. He also constantly struggled to do what he felt he was responsible to do (being a hero) while his personal life/commitments often suffered. Even as an adult, I still connect with the conflicts/commitments that need to be balanced in my life.
9. I know you've traveled all around the world, what ranks as one of your most favorite experiences and why? What's on your bucket list?
We are constantly in wanderlust and have travelled around the world often. We have been three feet from wild lions, almost toppled over in a canoe by an angry hippo, dived with humpback whales, played with wild dolphins, spent hours interacting with various giant oceanic manta, explored and named new dive sites, stood feet away from hungry wild grizzly bears that were trying to feed on a dead whale, been in the water with tiger sharks that were in a feeding frenzy, played with baby seals underwater, had adolescent sea lions chew on my head, hiked for four days on the Inca trail to Machu Picchu, hiked to 16,000+ feet to see a monastery in the Himalayans, had a baby spider monkey eat all my jam and drink all of Seon’s margarita, sat (arm’s length) for a couple of hours with a large family of mountain gorillas, played with baby lions…(the list is long, so I will cut it off there).
It is hard to pick a favorite experience, but the world is huge and there are so many more things to see and do. I still want to dive with blue whales, sperm whales, narwhals, great white shark, leopard seals, and emperor penguins.
I would love to photograph/video a spirit bear, cloud leopard, snow leopard, orangutan, chimpanzee, red panda, giant panda, decorated sea dragon, and much more.
10. What advice would you give to anyone looking to start their fitness journey?
The hardest part is to start. Once you become consistent, it becomes a routine that becomes your new normal. Don’t stick with the same repetitive workouts and change it out every time to keep from getting bored. It’s OK to feel uncomfortable because it often feels that way when you push yourself to grow. Work out with others because it helps keep your accountable. Most of all, be patient (slow progress is longer lasting).
11. One interesting fact about yourself?
I have thirst for knowledge and try to keep learning new things. I remember a lot of useless facts but find that occasionally the knowledge becomes useful. I am often known as a “jack-of-all-traits” and believe that everyone can learn anything they want if they are passionate enough about learning it.
Be warned that I can talk endlessly about topics that interest me (the topics are many). Some people find out the hard way, get stuck and need someone to rescue them because I get lost in the conversation.
12. Share a training or nutrition strategy that is vital in your toolbox.
Plan your meals a few days to a week ahead of time. Some people prep/cook/separate their meals at the start of the week, but I don’t like to have the same thing for multiple days. I find that if I plan ahead, I can calculate my macros and calorie intake easier than trying to find something to eat at the last minute.
I plan based upon ingredients that I can use in multiple recipes so that I don’t waste food and make my grocery list shorter. I am also not shy about spending more on better tasting ingredients because if you had a craving for something and try to go cheap, often you will still have the craving for it afterwards.
13. I know you like to cook and create delicious heathy foods…. Can you share one of your favorite recipes?
I have many recipes that love and don’t mind the work it takes to make them; however, most people like simple and fast recipes; therefore, I will share a cioppino recipe (since I taught Seon how to make it recently).
Note that cioppino is highly versatile. Once you make the base soup, it is up to you on additional ingredients and flavors you like. I noted some optional ingredients, but you can add whatever you want (including the optional toppings).
1/2 cup White Wine or Dry Sherry
2 cans of Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes
2 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
1 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 tbsp Minced Garlic
1 tbsp Dried Oregano
1/2 cup Chopped Onion
Salt to taste if necessary (but you probably don’t need to)
Up to 1 lbs of fresh seafood of your choice (crab, shrimp, scallops, clams, mussels, fish, etc)
1/2 cup Chopped Fresh Basil (Topping/Garnish)
Optional ingredients (as many as you want):
2-3 ounces of Hot Italian Sausage (or 1 link)
1/2 – 1 cup Button Mushrooms
1 tsp Ground Black Pepper
1 tsp Ground Sage
1 tsp Crushed Chili Pepper
1 tsp Fennel Seed and/or 1/2 tsp Anise Extract
1/2 cup Quartered Artichoke hearts
Optional toppings (as many as you want)
1/4 cup Julienned Sun-Dried Tomatoes (in Olive Oil)
1/4 cup Sliced Olives
1-2 tbsp Grated Parmesan Cheese
2 tbsp Whole Toasted Pine Nuts/Pepitas
Fresh Italian Parsley
Start with a pan over medium heat.
If you are using sausage, start by breaking it up and browning in a pot with no added oil.
Add the chopped Onions and Wine (if you used sausage, stir up the burnt pieces at the bottom of the pan).
Once the onions start to sweat, pour in the diced tomatoes.
Stir briefly and add the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, garlic, oregano.
Add all other optional ingredients at this time. Taste the soup to make sure it is what you want (add more vinegar for tang, add black/chili pepper for spicy heat, add fennel/anise/tarragon for licorice, add sage/rosemary/thyme for aromatics, add mushrooms/artichoke/olives/etc for texture, umami, and heartiness).
Add additional water if the soup is too thick, but only a quarter cup at a time (don’t over dilute it).
Once the soup starts to bubble, reduce the temperature to low and simmer for 5-10 minutes.
Increase the heat back to medium and bring up to a close to boil (stir often)
Add all the seafood (fish goes first, shellfish on top) and cover
Reduce heat to med-low and keep covered for 6 minutes
After 6 minutes, quickly peak under the cover to see if all the clams/mussels have opened up. If not, cook longer, but check every minute. You may have to swirl the pot (with the lid on) a little to let the shellfish. Note: crab will usually take about 7-8 minutes. Lobster will take about 10-12 if not cubed; therefore, you want to cut up the lobster before or you will