A Remote Year of Fitness

Staying in shape is a challenge regardless of your living/travel situation. It becomes even more difficult if you are constantly changing locations. One of my goals this year was to at least maintain the condition I was in when starting Remote Year. fat_boysTrying all of the local cuisine (and beverages 😉 )throughout the year , I knew that if I wasn’t careful, I could easily eclipse my pre-RY peak of 202 lbs (aided in no small part by my inner fat boy’s love of chicken & waffles and large country breakfasts).



Keeping It Simple

Despite gyms in every city we lived in, I needed an even simpler option. I’m simply not that motivated to go to a gym on a regular basis and paying for something that I won’t use is a non-starter. My goto exercise needed to be simple and fast, hence my preference for HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) and walking.  I used the 7 Minute Workout  and Pedometer++  apps as my baseline. Confident that I had everything I needed to maintain this regimen wherever I went, my basic goals were to walk 10,000 steps each day and do the 7 minute workout 3 times a week. Everything beyond that was a bonus.

South America

Everyone was keen to get the year of to a good start, so there were lots of informal groups formed around fitness such as football, running, basketball or general fitness workouts. I tried to participate in as many as possible to supplement my basic routine. Fellow Battuta, Anton was a boxing
enthusiast and we began a boxing workout that img_5747included a run to/from the parks where we would train. This definitely helped kick things up a notch and we were pretty consistent until months 3 and 4, when we moved to the higher altitudes of Bolivia/Peru. We did finish strong as a group by starting the Insanity workout program in the 4th month using the high altitude to take our fitness to a new level.


The workout routine that I developed in South America was disrupted by the departure of a number of remotes. I began month five in London with a daily 5K. Runs along the canal were a nice break from my cramped living quarters. I managed to make the best of it by successfully continuing the 7 Minute workouts in my room.img_5761 I reasoned that if I could do the exercises in such a small space there was no reason I couldn’t to them anywhere. Europe was also the place where I started playing football. Full disclosure: I’m crap at football but I enjoyed being part of the group.
Don’t underestimate the positive aspects of a social group for maintaining a fitness routine. I took this to heart and created a boxing club for those who wanted to learn the basics and add a little variety to their workout routine.


The first month in Asia was similar to the other first months of the previous legs. Getting adjusted took time and I reverted back to my 3x a week basic workout of 7 Minutes plus a basic boxing routing (sans heavy/speed bag). Because the first 2 months provided pool access, I decided to add a bit of swimming. img_0316It’s definitely something that I will keep as a part of my routing when available. It’s a great full body workout. The highlight of this leg of the trip was by far my ability to train Muay Thai in Thailand. I don’t have many things on my bucket list but this was one of them. While in Koh Phangan, I truly thought I’d achieved fitness nirvana. I rode my bicycle 30 minutes each way to train for 2 hours. Despite my excitement, injuries did slow me down. I sprained my foot while training Muay Thai after executing an almost perfect counter leg sweep. This began the downward spiral that would be the theme of my Asian segment. My football career ended sadly on a pitch in Phnom Penh, much like my basketball playing days in Prague. By the final month of Remote Year in Vietnam, I’d racked up shoulder, knee and foot injuries that would reduce me to simply walking for exercise.

RY Results

In spite of the injuries, this year was epic from a fitness standpoint. I had fun working out with others and participating in the various fitness programs and sports. I ended up about 15 pounds less than I did when starting the year, halfway to my target (170 lbs). I’ll spend the next the few months with the base routine and a focus on diet. I’ve spent the last 12 months eating and drinking pretty much whatever I wanted and I need to reduce and improve my intake. Now I can spend time recovering from my injuries in preparation for more training while in Asia. I’ll also be a including a lot more preventative measures such as stretching, yoga and wearing ankle and knee braces.

Earnings Report for the Cocoa Nomad

Why Share This?

When I started blogging a few years ago about my development experiences, it was about sharing information. The iOS dev community was particularly welcoming and always willing to share with me. Additionally, I’ve always appreciated the transparency of developers and entrepreneurs who shared their sales data. It’s important to show the entire transition so as to never incorrectly access future successes as instant.

Documenting this experience is also about accountability. I’m making lots of mistakes by commission or omission and making note of them is only part of the process. Quantifying those mistakes is equally as important as sharing them. As Peter Drucker famously stated “you can’t manage what you can’t measure”.

December 2016 Report

Consulting: $0

I’ve not done any consulting work. After leaving my full-time job, I took a 6 month sabbatical as I needed to recharge and wanted to explore other business opportunities. This will most likely change in the next few months as I’m working toward a balance between my passion projects and some paid work.

iOS App Store: $17.20

This number is not the least bit surprising. My existing apps haven’t seen updated in 4 years and the sales reflect that. I have an updated version of Capoeira Songs that needs a bit more art work and it should be ready for release soon. While I don’t expect a huge increase in revenue for this app, I felt the rewrite was worth the effort. Next up is the Team Tryouts rewrite.

Amazon: $13.92

This is the most disappointing figure. My experiment with retail arbitrage has not been nearly as successful as I’d hoped. The toys (which few exceptions) have not sold well and the expected Christmas bump just didn’t happen. I naively assumed that everything would be gone by the new year. I may have been too aggressive/optimistic in selecting products. I could’ve paid closer attention to the sales ranking of certain products instead of focusing so much on margin. What good is high margin on a product that doesn’t sell? I’ll be faced with decisions about how to handle the inventory if the storage fees start to become a problem.
Total: $31.12

You probably have more money in your wallet right now than I made last month. Despite the low numbers, I’m pretty excited about 2017. I have a renewed interest in development and the amazing travel experience of 2016 was vital to that.