Day 14: Speed Reading

Why it interests me:

First of all, I want to say that I am NOT a fan of reading. The knowledge and entertainment I would get is nice however I don’t like the consumption (reading) part. This is where speed reading comes into play. Wouldn’t it be nice to increase your speed of reading (and forego with the par that I don’t enjoy that much?).

Price + Equipment:

Learning this hobby is all about learning the methods and techniques. There is this article on Four Hour Work Week that writes about learning the method of speed reading. Learn the techniques they use first before trying to read for comprehension.

There are also apps that allow for speed reading. One of them called Spritzinc (check out this article by Buzzfeed) flashes single words in front of the reader, making you take in one word at the time. By decreasing the intervals between flashes, you take in the same information quicker than your regular reading method!

Getting a library card / reading at your local book store is an easy and free way to read books. However buying books and reading them at your own comfort at home is tough to beat!

Basic Speed Reading technique:

Day 13: Life Drawing

Why it interests me:

In year of design school at OCAD mixes courses from different faculties (art and design) for students to take. As a primarily design oriented student, I ended up in a few mandatory drawing classes and now and then, there would be live drawing. It certainly took me out of my comfort zone (in a good way) and I would have never realized how much fun it is to draw with charcoal, while getting all messy in the process!

Price + Equipment:

A sketchbook ~$15 (Consider sheets of paper + a bullclip + a solid flat surface)   + your preferred drawing tool (mine would be charcoal that goes for ~$5). If you are planning on sketching in a cafe setting, a less messy drawing tool would probably be better.

Instead of just drawing in cafe’s Toronto have a lot of drawing sessions every week that go from free – $10. Check out the list by BlogTO and pick a place that you might enjoy + bring some friends with you!

Progression:

If you just want to draw then you can draw but if you want to improve your own drawing then its all about acquiring a critical eye during your own drawing session. Learn from other people and initially copy/mimic what they do. Try to use what you have observed as your own. Eventually you will carve out a style that works for you and at that point, its all about practice!

Life drawing from start to finish:

Day 12: Bowling

Why it interests me:

Every now and then you end up in a situation where your friend group want to go to a bowling hall and you see that one guy that curves the ball with great speed and gets consistent strikes. Well being that guy would be awesome :D

Price + Equipment:

Joining a summer league would be a great way to get access to both the lanes, equipment and right people to be around. At PlaytimeBowl, there are summer leagues that last for 10 weeks and cost $10 per week (so $100 in total)

If you want your own bowling ball, they go for ~$150, while shoes go for ~$60. I would probably try to join a league first as they might have discounts and hookups for equipment!

Progression:

What I would want to get good at first is to get a proper throw down. Do some research on how the pro’s do it and practice it. Learn about proper form, the arrows on the lanes, ideal place to hit the pins and so forth. Learn from other bowlers by joining leagues and see where that takes you.

Curveball techniques:

Day 11: Swimming

Why it interests me:

I am quite bad at swimming… and that’s one of my motivations to get better! I can swim for a couple of minutes consistently and float on my back but other than that, technique and stamina is FAR from any good. Since it’s a life skill that I really should get down properly, this one is somewhat high on my hit list of “to-do” hobbies.

Price + Equipment:

A local pool is somewhat easy to come by and a casual yearly swimming membership ranges from ~$150 – $250 for public Toronto pools.

If you are totally unfamiliar with swimming and water then I would highly recommend going together with someone experienced or take basic swimming courses (The courses at Toronto.ca are ~$10/hour).

Equip yourself with a basic towel + swimming trunks and you are good to go.

Progression:

I would start with baby steps and first get familiar with water if you havent already done so. Become comfortable at putting your head under water before starting to do any swimming moves. Learning proper techniques and swimming methods will allow you to be more efficient in the water. Learning different strokes will come later!

Floating on your back:

Day 10: Baseball

Why it interests me:

I tried playing baseball in High School just to get out of the “racket sports” trend that I had. During the second or so tryout meet, we did some batting practice and I pulled my neck so badly that I couldn’t keep on going… Fast forward a few years and I watch a cool anime called Major and One Outs + a few manga’s like Diamond no Ace and Last Inning (you can see a trend with Japanese Anime/Manga and their baseball passion xD) and I enjoyed them all!
Fast forward to today and I ended up playing some casual baseball with some of the Thor team + a buncha other people at Alexandra Park.
2014-07-04 19.49.51
One thing to say is that all that anime/manga consumption has NOT helped my real life baseball skills at all haha (its super fun though!)

Price + Equipment:

You would need a basic baseball glove ~$50 and a ball ~$10. Find a field / park somewhere and practice throwing! Eventually you would probably want to invest in your own bat ~$100. Like any other sporting equipment, the best thing to do is to go into a store and try out the different options they have and get the one that fit your needs the best.

Progression:

I would initially start off by finding a group / someone to play together with. Throwing or hitting a baseball really needs 2+ people… My next step would be to find a casual league where you can actually play the game. The biggest hurdle I have is to properly understand the rules, regulations and optimal moves. What do you do when X is on Y base and I think that just comes with time and experience. Check out the video below for a summary of the sport!

Baseball Basics: