This week, we chat with one of our latest additions to our staff roster: Sebastian Kang (aka Seb). He’s our new Operations Manager, and he’s got stories to tell.
You might recognise him in the gym, and have even spotted him on the gym floor sharing some love about all things climbing and coffee.
We’ll let him take the floor this week for a self-introduction. Time to wake up and smell the coffee!
My name is Sebastian and I am the new Operations Manager at BM. I see it as my priority to ensure that your gym experience is always fresh and that you’re properly taken care of once you step in.
One of the many ways I’ve tried to bring this to you is by setting some new problems with our setting team each week. Can you spot the problems that I have put up? Tell me what you think of them – I’m still new and very keen to learn and improve with your feedback.
Before focusing on bouldering though, I was already actively involved with several other sports. In my younger days, I was competing in touch rugby at a National level until my ACL gave up on me. Cycling everywhere on a fixed-gear bicycle subsequently became my “fix”, but it was replaced by an acquired taste for callisthenics and bar workouts.
After a period of intense training for bar tricks (no, not that kind), the party got old for me so I started looking for a sport that would demand a combination of full-body fitness and high skill application. Lo-and-behold, my love for bouldering born!
I joined BM as a citizen at the start of 2018 after just one visit. ‘What won me over so quickly,’ you ask? The small but well-stocked fitness zone was also perfect for my regular callisthenics training routine. The staff and crew were always approachable and friendly, for one, always ready to offer insights and helping to improve my success with boulder problems.
In fact, I love how welcoming our local community is to new climbers – there’s no judgement or pretence, just warmth and a shared enjoyment for climbing at our personal best. Best of all, I met and fell in love with my wife, Mayoly, right here at BM!
Bouldering and its technical demands have always intrigued me. Movements on the wall could be created by activating different muscle groups, in vastly different ways for different people. Climbers come in all shapes and sizes, and we all move differently too – yet some of us seem to move in much better ways than others do. Why is that true? How could I move better?
With regular practice, I became increasingly aware of physical imbalances in my body. As it turns out, years of activating incorrect muscles to create movements have taught my body to strengthen itself in unequal ways as compensation. The result? My mobility and range of movements have become restricted, and I now have plus plenty of reasons to firmly believe in the value of functional training and physiotherapy.
Outside of My Work Clothes
I’m also a tech entrepreneur, home barista and closet gamer. Perhaps more so, I’m a keen learner and I’m always on the lookout for ways to improve myself.
Building a software company has taught me a lot about making necessary sacrifices and the importance of developing people in tandem with smart processes. Pulling a good espresso shot, followed by frothing silky smooth milk every morning, allows me to appreciate the rewards of consistency in routine tasks. Playing games of different genres on multiple platforms – console, tabletop, board, mobile – helps me solve (real) problems more quickly, especially when resources are scarce.
These lessons continue to influence my life today, on and off the walls.
A Parting Shot (or Double?)
I have some closing words about bouldering: the next time you feel stuck on a boulder problem there’s probably another way of moving that you can try. The same is true with problems in life – there is always another way, and a beta that works for somebody else doesn’t have to suit you! You can make your own way upwards.