AUDITING YOUR LIFESTYLE
Equally passionate about competitive gaming (he’s a level 60 Mage!) and personal health, Xaryu’s stirring action in the gaming community by encouraging players to level up their bodies as well as their stats. When he’s not streaming high-caliber WOW arena matches, he’s leading live video workouts with players who are looking to integrate healthy habits in their daily play. We caught up with Xaryu about how he’s gamified fitness for his followers, maintained a positive mindset, and opened up about his journey to self-fulfillment.
WRITTEN BY: BRITT RILEY
FROM BREAKING POINT TO FINDING BALANCE
"When I was 20 or 21 I was in college. I was gaming a lot. I wasn't training as much as maybe I should have. And I looked at myself in the mirror and I was just frail and weak. You know maybe getting sick a lot, or wasn't super healthy and I was like – you know what, something needs to change. This is not OK. I need to change this for myself, my own mindset.
I think it's important to audit your lifestyle. Is each moment in the day a teaching moment pushing me towards the person I want to be?”
FEEL BETTER, PLAY BETTER
“Integration is really important to me because people always ask, ‘How do I get more mobility in my shoulders?’ Or ‘How do I stop my back from hurting?’ A lot of the time we want to strengthen and mobilize those areas. But what's also very critical is lifestyle, right? If we're doing one hour or 45 minutes of yoga in the morning...but then we're sitting for 12 hours at our job – you're in a net-negative. If you keep going in that direction, your hips are going to be probably tighter after five years, right? The yoga is great. But what it comes down to is you have to audit your total lifestyle. Posture’s important because, as gamers we’re sitting down a lot of the day and that's important for spinal health. It's important for body alignment and blood flow. Sitting in any position for too long is going to be hard on your body, even if you have a perfect posture.”
CHANGE IT UP
“I feel like any posture is OK, but you want to continue moving throughout postures. What do I mean by that? Maybe game with one knee up for a little bit and this is going to open up the knee and the ankle and help my hip. I might do this for five minutes. And then I might do the opposite leg like that for five minutes, and then I might have both legs down for five minutes. My strategy is that I'm always rotating through different positions. I like to integrate movement, just changing up my body position every 20-30 minutes.”
A HEALTHY SETUP PRIORITIZES LONG-TERM HEALTH
“One of the things I really like about the Aeron is it allows me to actually sit in a position much longer than a traditional chair. Like the actual proper body alignment with 90 degrees with a straight spine, with 90 degrees in the elbow.
Any streaming event I would go to usually wouldn't have Herman Miller chairs, so I'm always like ‘Oh man, I miss my chair!’ When I get back I'm like it's good to be home. I like the lumbar support. I like the customization. I like that I can lower it enough. I'm a shorter guy, so I can lower the chair and still have my feet flat on the ground, which is important to me. Sometimes chairs don't go as low as I want them.
Same with the height-adjustable Motia Desk. It actually goes a lot lower than normal desks. My previous two desks I couldn't get them low enough to where I had the proper alignment, but this desk does that perfectly.”
NEVER FORGET TO #DOYOURDAILIES
“The concept of “Dailies” in World of Warcraft are basic quests that you do to slowly accumulate a stronger and more complete character. One day about a year and a half ago, my fiancé and I were sitting outside and we're like, ‘Wait a minute, we could have dailies! We can make dailies into this thing for real life.’ The basic things you can do every day to promote well-being for your real life. Character yourself. It wasn't actually supposed to catch so much fire, but everyone was like this is cool!
I think in general in life a lot of the time we have to reframe things. And health and fitness might sound like this big scary journey for a lot of people. I think simplifying it to its core, its essence and just saying – look you can just do these dailies. And I've had people say ‘I’ve been doing my dailies for three months and I'm feeling great.’
These little tiny things add up day-to-day, week to week. It's this residual kind of benefit that slowly accrues.”
REACHING YOUR GOALS IS ABOUT STAYING MOTIVATED, CELEBRATING THE LITTLE WINS, AND LEARNING FROM FAILURE
“The reason I'm passionate about a lot of these things is because they’re the thing I needed growing up. I was that kid who was playing video games well for 16 hours a day. I didn't have a big friend group. I isolated myself in my room for days at a time. I wasn't eating how I should have been eating. And I saw that play a toll on my physical health and my mental health, and I think after a while it slips slowly.
If you can build up the success mindset by racking up all these small victories a day, what does that do? It builds momentum so that the next thing you set your mind to, you’re like ‘I'm going to do this, there's nothing that's going to stop me.’ But then the caveat is, even if you get stopped and you don't actually achieve what you wanted to achieve, you can flip it, right? You can say, well, I learned so much from this and I'm going to be better at my next goal.
It’s looking at things in a positive light: flipping around that positive and negative by changing the vantage point; but then also racking up small daily wins. Everything I do is going to amount to something bigger and I can keep this momentum rolling. And then even if I have a failure, I'm not going to let it destroy me. I'm just going to learn from it and move on.”