Friday, April 3, 2009

Episode 29: In Which DFM Travels To Suwon To Meet A Man He Met On The Internet

In one of my earlier posts (Bar-barians) I mentioned a body-weight training website that had a great forum.  On this forum I met a former Canadian from Newfoundland, James, who has been teaching and living in South Korea for about 8 years now.  We had communicated numerous times, but today was the day we had set to finally meet in person.

I took the 1.5 hour subway to Suwon and met James at the train station.  After exchanging mutual disbelief at how an Internet forum could bring together two people from opposite sides of the planet, we went out for some lunch.

I told James that after my Busan pizza experience I only ate Korean food.  We found a Korean restaurant in the train station and I ordered some beef and octopus bibimpab, which is rice and a bunch of vegetables and egg all mixed together in a really hot stone bowl, plus the beef and octopus of course.


After lunch we went to a local workout park and demonstrated some of our pet skills.  James set a new PB today with 10 consecutive muscle-ups.  I made 27 dips - my highest number in about five years - and blistered up my hands quite badly, but I also held my best flag ever and skipped four rungs on the monkey bars.

After our workout James and his family took me out to a local restaurant where we had yet more Korean food.  This meal consisted of chicken slathered in hot sauce, some tteok, kimchi, and all sorts of other vegetables mixed together in a big frying pan at our table.  There were also some hard-boiled swallows eggs and other interesting articles in the side dishes that were delicious.

After the meal James took his kids to a nearby park, but James and I did most of the playing.  We tried to monkey walk up steep slanted poles and jump large gaps between different bars by swinging our legs to gain momentum and then trying to release our first bar and sail through the air to grasp onto the second bar with both hands simultaneously.

After we dropped his wife and kids off back home, James took me to the Suwon fortress where there were miles and miles of 16th century fortress wall on which you could walk.  The wall goes for at least a good 15-20 km, if not more, and wraps all the way around what used to be the city I presume.

Of course, we couldn't miss an opportunity to work out.  There were steep steps we would hop up on only one-leg, and then bear crawl down.  In this picture James is doing a handstand (it's tough to see, but he's in the bottom-right).

After a good 45 minute walk we went back to James' place where we watched videos of experts doing amazing body weight tricks.  James capped it all off by showing me a video of a man doing a one-armed muscle-up.  It is by far the most amazing thing I've ever seen.

I was going to head back on the late-night train, but James offered me a room at his place for the night and a ride to the station in the morning.

I even got my own dressing table, so of course I had to accept.

James and his family were great hosts, and I really can't thank them enough.  My trip to Suwon was better than I could have imagined.  Thanks James.

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