Saturday, January 3, 2015

I'm Back Again (for the Nth time)

Finally got it!
Alright! I don't know how many times I've already said I'll be doing this more frequently and more consistently, so just add this to that number. 2014 has passed without a single post from me, I think over a year lay off would be a nice time to come back. If you are wondering what kept me from doing this, you'll have to wonder some more because I don't exactly sure why. Let's just say I was pre-occupied with other stuff, primarily with memory training and competitions. Since my last post, I finally gained my Grand Master of Memory title went I went to the World Memory Championships in London, UK last December 2013. That's pretty much all that was notable in my performance then other than my personal bests in Names and Faces and Hour Numbers. If I do not care much about competing I'd rest my laurels with that and be content to walk around telling people I'm a GM. But I'm not into that. I'd love to compete as much as possible if the opportunity is there.

WMC 2013 Awarding Ceremonies
And speaking about opportunity, the great mind behind Extreme Memory Tournament has opened the event to the public. Anyone now has a chance to compete in this year's XMT. If any of you are interested in taking this opportunity to travel to San Diego to compete against the World's Extreme Mnemonists, head on over to the XMT training site and register to get your chance to qualify. If you are reading this, as of this writing, there is still time to qualify bu there are only two days left before the first qualifying event wraps up.

Big Ben at Night
Speaking of XMT, I was able to qualify in the inaugural tournament last year by the strength of my performance in the Philippine Memory Championship 2013. My score at that time pushed me high enough in the rankings to be considered among the Top 16 qualifiers. But I ultimately failed to advance to the next round as my performance was utterly horrendous. I can't stop shaking and shivering even though it wasn't really that particularly cold. I was so nervous that I got called out for distracting my competitor. My heart was racing every time I step on to the stage for the head to head match ups. I need to find a way to minimize that so I can perform better. Interestingly enough, I was in the same exact state when I'm doing my qualifying attempts for this year's XMT. I had 14 straight perfect scores with decent times before I made my first attempt and till managed to fail my first attempt and added 10 seconds to my average time. After getting a perfect score on my second one, I was able to do almost 50% on my practice runs while hitting my personal best with the XMT Software. But still failed the following two attempts. With my final attempt, I decided to just go all in and do as fast as I can, thinking that I already had an ok score and botched the previous two so bad that made me just go and throw caution to the wind. Good thing I have been running for a couple months now because my heart is just pounding so hard from the tension that I felt I might just double over. Then boom! I got it. It wasn't going to break the world record or anything but I'm so glad I had it. There was a sudden relief that I felt after finishing. I felt so tired as well. I started around midnight and didn't even realized it was almost 6 in the morning.

Screen cap from my grainy video of XMT card attempts
But there are still four events more to go. And I don't even know how many are trying to qualify since up to now, none of us are submitting their scores. Out of the five that is currently listed, only 2 are legitimate qualifiers. The other three are either already in the top 8 or is the organizer. It seems like people are waiting for each other to show their cards. So, I guess I'll wait till Saturday afternoon to submit mine though. Haha! I don't want to wait till the last hour to submit mine in the off chance that we may lose our internet connection again and risk forfeiting my scores. I won't forgive myself if that happens. Again, if anyone of you reading this wants to get in on XMT, now is your chance. With only just two people qualifying plus me and my namesake, sort of, Johannes Zhou from Germany who are submitting, that leaves us with plenty of room to spare for qualifiers.

XMT leaderboard as of January 3, 2015. Still lots of room for qualifiers.

So, what else have I been doing? I've listening to most of Joe Rogan's podcasts. It's a terrific way to while away your time. It gets you to learn a variety of stuff as well. I liked it so much that I even had to stop in the middle of this post for 45 minutes just listen to his year in review. And speaking of Rogan, UFC 182 is on this Saturday night already. The build for the main event fight between Jon 'Bones' Jones and Daniel Cormier has been ridonkulous! Many will be tuning in for MMA's Ali-Frazier fight.

Anyway, the year is very young and there'll be many more days to post stuff. So I'll just leave it here for now and save some topics for later.

If you got through here, good job! You don't have the attention of a badly trained pitbull. But they're adorable though.

Aaand as usual you can follow me here:


Zoomy said...

Good to see you blogging again! Keep it up, and good luck with the XMT qualification!

Johann @ Memory Fitness said...

Thank you Ben! I hope I can keep blogging consistently and really stick with it this time. The next three events aren't really my strongest, I'm hoping I've put on enough lead to keep me from sliding too much down the leaderboard.