This sums up my new year’s resolution. From this year onwards, I will only make a resolution out of one clear message per year. And, I think Melinda Gates agrees on this, too. 😀
First, thank you, 2016. You have been a very bitter but also more amazing year one could ask for. I did not even ask for this part, but you were also very experimental and patience-testing in many ways. If I was asked what are my take-aways of 2016, here I’d say:
Running is my cure
I discovered only until pretty recently that running was my cure for my fear and phobia. Yes, friends, I, too, have one too many fears and phobias to get over, which I could not easily open up about. After all, we are only humans who have constantly to maneuver our way from storms and cloudy days.
How did running help me? It was not an easy answer, but let me explain. When I began to run back in August 2015 with a few of my Lee Kuan Yew School friends, I had this one intention. I just wanted to lose some weight I had gained in Cambodia.
However, I repeatedly ran alongside some great individuals who later coached me and influenced my life in this interesting way. I did not only lose some weight, but also started to explore my physical strength and found that I had neglected it for ages. Just to be clear, I did/do not want a size S figure, and I do not mind looking buff. 😉
I used to pant every 1 kilometre I ran. Yet, now I can see that after this half marathon/21km run, it affirms my belief that the sky is my limit. I also used to give a lot of excuses to myself: I have to respond to lots of emails; I have an exam to study for; I have to hang out with a few of my visiting friends; Oh, I have a movie to catch, so I’ll run later.
Of course, one or two of these might not be bad excuses themselves, but still was I really too busy to run? When I was in Singapore, I would run at the Botanic Gardens or on the pavements. Back in Cambodia, I gave myself no excuse, so I run at the gym and the Olympic stadium.
I actually trained for my 21km run at the stadium. It was not a perfect place, but it was the best place to train for running when all you have in Phnom Penh are pavements occupied by food stalls, parking vehicles, and invading businesses.
So, how does it feel to run a lot? I can sum up the answer in one sentence. It feels great, and it feels even better if you do it more. I am also addicted to “runner’s high“, and oftentimes I joke with my friends about the fact that I do not need weed to feel high.
Some people also asked me about “knee injury” that happens to some runners or people. I do not have knee injury that some runners might do, but be aware that if you do not feel all right about your knee (s), ask your friends who know better than you for their opinion. Since this post is not about running techniques, I’d rather leave the job to Google to do it for ya.
“What’s next for you?” Of course, what is lying ahead for me is more half marathons and a full marathon, which Cambodia doesn’t do. What is on my mind now is the full marathon either in Malaysia or Singapore in the middle of this year. Care to join? Keep yourself posted here!
Cycling helps me see my strength through others
On the first day of January 2017 in Cambodia, which of course was still the last day in 2016 in many other parts of the world, 10 of my friends and I accomplished nothing short of a 90km ride. From Phnom Penh to Phnom Chisor and then a school called Seametrey (pronounced as Se-aa-metrey) school and resort.
We were riding on some tarmac roads, some dirt roads, some bumpy roads (painful), but that did not stop us. Instead, we constantly checked on each other to make sure we felt all right to continue our journey.
When one of our cycling team members slowed down, we had to stop and solve the problem rather than leaving him or her behind. Through this, I learn that our journey is best shared when we individuals work as a team.
Does riding feel as great as running? Well, they feel different. Riding, though, is way easier than running. 90km ride was actually like a 15km run, in my opinion. For our next plan, our cycling team has already decided on a date to do a new cycling challenge: 150km from Phnom Penh to Kampot at the end of January 2017.
I know that this has definitely been done by other people, but I’d like you to ask yourself “Has this been done by you?”
I don’t have much to end this post but this photo which I took back in Sept, 2016, in Labuan Bajo/Indonesia: