Tuesday, December 31, 2013


                Nevertheless, I'm glad the Christmas tree at Starhill was still standing when I was there yesterday. 

Wednesday, December 18, 2013


I've been grappling with insomnia for almost a month now. Instead of tossing and turning in bed and trying in vain to fall asleep tonight, I've decided to get up and do stuff.

1. Make lunch to take to work tomorrow @ 2am
Onions, tomatoes, and mushrooms. 3 eggs. Garlic. Dash of olive oil. Get the pan scorching hot, throw everything in. Drizzle with soy sauce and add a squeeze of lemon.

2. Read @ 3am
'Everyday Greatness', a collaboration of efforts from Stephen Covey (The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People) and Reader's Digest.

3. Go for a run @ 4am
1km - walk (warm up)
2km - easy 
3km - tempo 
4km - walk
5km - easy 
6km - tempo 
7km - walk (cool down)

4. Sleep @ 6am
By this point, hopefully I'll have exhausted myself enough for sleep to welcome me easily.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013


I'm tired of waiting on others to make up their mind. This is not for others to fulfill, not their ambition to realize. It is not what matters to them.

This is what is precious to me. 

If I wait for the perfect circumstances before I begin, I'll be waiting for the rest of my life.

Here's to this leap of faith.

Here's to chasing my dreams.


Thursday, December 5, 2013


The underlying theme of my post today is " When there is a will, there is a way. "

Anyway, let me start off by telling you I have impacted wisdom teeth. How unfortunate indeed!

What exactly is an impacted wisdom tooth?

An impacted wisdom tooth is one that is lying down horizontally, as opposed to the usual vertical upward or downward position.

X-ray image (not mine) of an impacted wisdom tooth.

An actual visual. (Again, not mine.)

It's darn near impossible to clean impacted wisdom teeth properly. Decay and infection are a guaranteed package ; the only variable is time, whether sooner or later. 


I have two of these troublesome teeth. Up til recently, they were concealed within my gums. As long as they are not exposed to the surface, there is usually no cause for alarm. It is only when they erupt that issues start to arise. Food particles that no amount of brushing can dislodge get trapped in the crevices - the only solution is to surgically remove them.

I've mentioned many times before that I'm not from a rich family. I have absolutely no restrictions in saying this as I've never felt that not having a lot of money is anything to be ashamed of.  Anyway, to cut the long story short I decided to find a way to fund the surgical procedure myself as opposed to asking my parents for money.

First of all, I got a quote from my dentist as to how much it would cost per extraction. I was quoted a rough figure of Rm700. That figure was not yet even inclusive of any additional costs or expenses that could potentially be incurred. Once rounded up, it could come up to Rm1000 per tooth. Multiply that by two teeth - that's Rm2000 out of my own pocket.


(When I enquired further how this princely sum is derived, the answer I received was that it does not come from the equipment nor facilities, it is all due to the skill needed for the procedure.)

I then started scouting for other viable options which would not involve so much money. The less it would cost, the better. Of course it also goes without saying that it had to be safe and performed by a qualified party, not just any Tom Dick or Harry on the street. 

Not wanting to cough up, yet all these requirements? Would I even be able to work this out with the conditions I was so firmly holding on to?

Well, I have. Not only that, I'm going to get it done FOR FREE.

Which goes to say that no matter what you want to achieve, daunting and challenging though it may seem - there is always, always a way.


Wednesday, November 27, 2013


Last year, I made a commitment to run a full marathon. Here's a recap of my virgin FM experience at the Penang Bridge International Marathon 2013.


As many of you would have read, I publicly declared on this blog that I was done with endurance running. I don't think I'll ever go back to doing hours upon hours of cardio, several times a week. Nevertheless, I'll probably continue to do short runs around my neighbourhood and sign up for marathons every once in a while to give myself goals to work towards. Besides, marathons are fun! 

Outfit laid out, bib pinned on. Let's go!

Since the FM was flagging off at 2am, Yong Xiang and myself headed to Queensbay mall at 1am. The atmosphere was already vibrant and upbeat. The rain which had been pouring down in torrents a few hours prior had petered down to a weak drizzle, and the air was refreshingly cool.

We made our way towards the starting line 15 minutes before guntime. I stood there bouncing up and down on my toes as the clock ticked by.

The atmosphere rose to fervour as the minutes turned into seconds. And we were off! 

Here's a map of our route 

The first water station we passed.

Saw this man running while pushing a person in a wheelchair. There was another guy running with 3 adorable small dogs but I didn't manage to get a picture as he was in another category on an opposing route.

Hordes of runners swarming across the bridge.

I'd been running alone since the start, so I was fortunate to fall into step with an elderly indian man (he told me he was pushing 60) and chatted with him as we ran. He shared that he'd only started running in his 30s and consistently participated in races ever since.

I kept up a steady running pace until about 23km, which was when I started to feel some discomfort in my knees. Bade goodbye to Gunar and started to alternate between cycles of running and walking.

This picture was taken when we were returning from the mainland, heading towards the island.

Tried to do a jumpshot but failed.

28km : They were handing out Power Gels but I didn't take any. 

30km : asked two boys to help me snap a picture with the sign. Asked them if they wanted to get a picture too ; they very tiredly said "No need." Left them behind as I continued to run-walk. However, shortly after that the pain in my knees increased so I stopped running  altogether and started walking briskly. 

33 km : the sky was light and traffic was moving on roads.

I made sporadic attempts to resume running, but whenever I would do so my knees would act up again. Nevertheless I pressed on wholeheartedly and kept walking as fast as I could.

35 km : Gosh, has it been only 2 km since the last sign? Oh well, let's take a picture of it too.

Loving some random inspiration.

Time limit for the FM category was 7hours. I made it, just barely in 6:57! 

Justin very kindly came back for me after his HM. Congrats on your HM as well. :)

Clowning around taking pictures

Who cares what all these people think, I'll never see them again anyway.

The finisher tee and medal.

There goes another one off the bucket list.

Onward to the next adventure! 


Friday, November 8, 2013


   What is CrossFit?

About a year ago, I came across the term 'CrossFit.' I looked it up and discovered that it was a form of sport which covers a variety of aspects through the spectrum of fitness : speed, strength, stamina, cardio, flexibility, coordination, agility, power, and so on. 

   What attracted me to CrossFit?

As the name itself already implies, the rationale of CrossFit is that it is better to have a decent capacity for all aspects of fitness than to be the master of just one. 

That makes sense and is practical. If you were in school, would you rather
1) Get a decent grade for every subject, or 
2) Score flying colours in one subject while failing the rest? 

I'm sure you'd be smart enough to see which makes more sense. The same goes for CrossFit when it applies to fitness. I'd rather be generally capable in all aspects than be at the top in just one.

As I grew increasingly intrigued, I started following more articles, blogs and videos. It looked all sorts of intense, exciting, challenging, and fun. Should I also add, terrifying? I wanted to try it out as well, but a lot of the movements involve things like butterfly pull ups, muscle ups, handstand pushups, rope climbs - all which require immense amounts of strength.

Deadlift, snatch, press, clean, squat, jerk - strength is an integral part of CrossFit and this was what intimidated me most. I did not know much about strength training and weights were scary to me. Walking into the weight room alone and trying to do a deadlift? I'd rather be caught dead. (Me so punny hee hee.)

So I kept my distance as I observed in silent awe.

  How did I get involved in CrossFit?

Mid-2013, I signed up for The Viper Challenge. My friend Ian told me about it and encouraged me to join his team, the Honey Badgers. 

Initially, we had only one goal - to train for and conquer the 20km military style obstacle race. The workouts which our Founder and Team Captain Felix put together were designed to spur us on both physically and mentally. As we workout CrossFit style, it was with the Honey Badgers that I finally received the proper coaching for strength training.

What I also received was the powerful positivity, team spirit and camaraderie which can only occur when training alongside others. The fire and passion which everyone fuels each other with was indescribably addictive. After Viper, we signed up for the Reebok One Challenge.

Although Viper and Reebok have come and gone, we continue to train together up to this day because the stronger we are as a community, the more we gain as individuals. Apart from that, it's also much more fun! 

Hence, the Honey Badgers warmly welcome everyone and anyone who aspires to achieve a better version of themselves. 

We work out every Saturday at 7pm at a location in Sunway. Like us on Facebook to find out more and get our daily WODs! 

   Who should CrossFit?

As CrossFit is scalable to all levels, anyone can do it. When I first began up til today, I do scaled down version for most of the standard workouts. You don't have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great. 

I can't compare myself to some of the other members in my group who can deadlift 150kgs for multiple sets (so far my deadlift PR is 70kgs x2reps x2sets) so no one should have the mentality that you need to 'measure up' to someone else's level. The only person you want to be better than is the person you were yesterday.

Everyone participates at their pace, on their level. Like I said, CrossFit is for everyone, across all levels of fitness. No kidding even your grandma can do it. 

   Why do I CrossFit?

CrossFit is about functional fitness. This means doing something which you would also practice in real life. For example, picking heavy something off the ground (grocery bags, your own body weight), being able to react quickly (running away from danger), jumping onto or over something. (way more useful than being able to run for 3hours, eh?)

The beauty of CrossFit is that anyone can start off with basic movements and progress on as they are able. If you're come in doing bodyweight squats, in a week or so you could add 10kgs to that, and so on.  I used to carry the misconception that CrossFit was a sport for elite athletes, which couldn't be more wrong. 

Here are a few more reasons as to why I CrossFit.

Sunday, November 3, 2013


The runner's high is a drug. I would describe it as seeing stars and being lightheaded, yet liberated and feeling removed from your physical body as your raw desire to push on pulses through and takes over you.

3 years ago, I made a commitment to my health. In doing so, running was something that I embraced. In the beginning, anywhere between 4-7km was a good target for me. Over time however, that benchmark I set for myself more than tripled. 

Consistently blocking out 2-3 hours to run upwards of 20-25km a time, a few days a week was the new norm for me. I've trained, lived this way for a year or so. And I think it's time to call it a day.

(Let me make it clear I am talking specifically about Endurance Running. While running is good, taking it to the very extreme that I was is not.)

Endurance Running : Why I'm Quitting

1. It isn't practical. 
Let's face it. In the real world, no one has hours upon hours to devote to putting one foot in front of the other. I realize now that I was living in a very comfortable and cushy environment. You think college and classes are tough? My young padawan, you have yet to set foot in the working world. When you're still studying, classes are optional and deadlines are negotiable. Just you try going missing without notice from work, or bailing out on a client's deadline. You'll be dead meat. DEAD MEAT.

2. It's a useless skill
Sure, I can run for 3-5hours nonstop. Indeed, I used to do so regularly, multiple times a week. But considering things from a more neutral perspective, I fail to see how the ability to run for 3-5hours gives me a realistic edge over your average Jane.

3. It's dangerous
Continually battering my joints for prolonged periods of time is detrimental to my physique. I've shared before how I suffered through microfractures and joint stress from doing too much. There's solid proof that running too much (you can research steady state cardio / chronic cardio) takes a huge toll on your physical being and messes up your body science. Testifying to this personally ; sometime in July, I was feeling very heavy and sluggish all the time. Initially I thought it was just a phase. When it didn't go away, I upped my cardio and cut my food consumption sharply. What resulted was me feeling even worse. I tolerated this for about 3 months, until I couldn't stand it any more and did an exhaustive research on my symptoms. What I discovered was a condition called 'Metabolic Damage', which is actually a real medical issue usually linked to those who have a regular regime of long distance running. 

There are a myriad of other reasons which you can ask me about in more detail if you're curious, but I suppose these would be the simplest and most easily understood. I will still run the easy 7-10kms, but for pure enjoyment and overall wellbeing. I will also probably run my half marathons for fun and to give myself goals to work towards.

That being said, I still need something to strive for and push myself both mentally and physically. I have been involved with a new sport for more than a month now, testing the waters and seeing if this was right for me. It's something I've always wanted to do but never had the resources or the guidance to start. I'm thankful that I have found them and we have kept each other well so far. 


Friday, September 20, 2013


The other day, I was at an event and got talking to this boy who was a friend of a friend. He gave a pretty good first impression ; good looking, athletic, relatively intelligent and well spoken. Of course, it helped that he was reading a book by one of my favourite authors (I see you like Mitch Albom? * flutters *)

As we talked, it came out that he was a degree student about to graduate soon. 

" So, what are you going to do after? "
" My parents already have a career mapped out for me. "
" You don't say. Are you happy with what they have waiting for you? "
" No. I don't want to do it. In fact, I think it sucks. "
" Do you think you could enjoy it after the initial period? "
" Frankly, I don't think I could. "
" Then why are you going ahead with it? "
" Because they're my parents, and they say so. "


" I see. But what do YOU want to do? "
" I don't know. "
" Well, it doesn't have to be career / study related! Haven't you ever thought of things like going scuba diving, doing volunteer work, or backpacking in another country? "
" Hmm... yes. You know, for all my 21 years I've never taken a pause from studying. I'd love to travel, work on my photography, and just take a break for maybe half a year. "
" Then why don't you? "
" Because my parents are expecting me to start right away. "

I eyed him incredulously.

" Tell them then! You can begin like this 'Mom, Dad. I love you both and I know you've done a lot for me. But what I truly want to right now is to explore and find out for myself who I really am and what I really want.' "
" I already have. They don't want to hear about it. "
" Then just go out by yourself and do it on your own! "
" I can't. "

" Because then I would need money to go out and do those things. "
" So.. you could get a job. "
" Nope."
" Why? "
" Because my parents won't let me. "


Now, look here. 

First of all, the part about career. In any job you start out with, ask :

1) Is this making you happy? 
     a. If yes, good! 
     b. If no, see 2) 

2) Alright, you're not happy with how things are now. If you suck it up and stick by it for long enough, will it get you somewhere you can be happy?
     a. If yes, great for you! Keep roughing it out and reminding yourself that this is a stepping stone to a better place.
     b. If no, what are you waiting for? Abandon ship, matey!


Second of all. This is YOUR life. You hear me? 

Of course, you could say you abided by all the rules. You kept your head down, took orders, did as you were told, toed the line.

However, at the end of the day YOU are responsible for how it turns out and no one else. If, at 70 years old you suddenly have an huge epiphany, bang your walking stick on the ground and shout "Damnit! This sucks! I didn't get to live the life I wanted! All because.. " 

My Parents wanted me to..
My Teacher instructed me to..
My Pastor advised me to..
My Wife said to..
My Boss told me to..

Blaming other people won't do any good. If you go around taking orders from other people or doing what others think you should do, you deserve every bit of what you receive.

You don't need anyone's permission to make your life worth living.


Monday, September 9, 2013


If you're a person who knows me well, you would know that I've been wanting to go on a backpacking adventure for some time already. Heck, everyone in my vicinity knows it.

  " But where would you stay? "
  " How would you get the money? "
  " Who would you go with? "
  " Isn't it dangerous? "
  " Why on earth would you want to do something so far out? "

Ahh, the number of doubting Thomases haranguing me, trying to dissuade me from going! Trying to bring me under the same spell of their mistrust and scepticism!

Well, in order to calm some of your apprehensions, here is what I've thought of so far. I know there will be exclamations, but I don't care. Ready?

I'd fly AirAsia, Expedia.com, or Flyscoot.com. I'd hitchhike, thumb-a-ride, or walk.
I'd sleep in airports, train stations, churches, welfare shelters, 24-hour joints, police stations, backpacker lodges, the works.
I'd eat from the bargain section of supermarkets, farmers markets, street food, work for food. Heck, I'd eat the leftover food on peoples tables.

People tell me I'm crazy. Is that so?

Oh well. Better stand alone on my side and be labelled 'crazy' than to stand on their side and be accepted as 'normal'. What good is it to live life sheltered and safely tucked away? I would rather have a good ol' rough and tumble with adventure and come away breathless, even though it probably means getting a few bumps and bruises along the way..

I hold fast to the notion that when there is a will, there is a way. If you truly want something bad enough, you WILL go out there and you WILL find a way to make it happen.

Belief is the foundation upon which dreams are built. Believe you can, and you're halfway there.

Some time ago, I'd done a breakdown of 3 things which I would need to do this.

- Time
- Money
- Companion

Time :
I'm having a gap between my studies now, so schedule is of no object to me.

Money :
I've been working my ass off with multiple jobs and saving like mad, so the finances (while thin) look like they'll hold together. Would be good to get more funds to support myself though, so this is still under way.

Companion :
By far, this has been the most difficult criteria to fulfill. Have a conversation with me, and it's likely that the first few sentences out of my mouth would have been pertaining to travelling. A couple of months ago, I thought I'd found the right person *cough I'm looking at you Jon cough* but things came up and plans fell through. It's okay though, it just means I have to wait a little longer until the right person comes along.

The right person, who is just as hungry for adventure as I am. The right person, who relishes the thrill of challenges and laughs in the face of adversity. The right person, who hungers to taste the unknown and longs for relief from the humdrum of monotony.

And would you dear reader, happen to be the Right Person


Friday, August 30, 2013


Due to being injured, training has taken a battering. I'm sorely tempted to go ahead despite the pain. However that would be foolish of me. Rather than sabotage myself by being stubborn, I know that taking a breather is necessary here.

I do feel restless and uneasy and discontented, at the same time I'm aware that the best way out of this is to allow myself to make a full recovery so that I'll be able go all out once again. . 

While I wait for my body to heal, life goes on. I need to remind myself that this is a journey, not a destination. There will always be highs and lows, rushes and lulls, agonies and ecstasies. 

You can throw whatever you like at me, you can put obstacles in my path and cause me to stumble. I will pick myself up, brush myself off, and keep going. Come what may, my head is clear and I'm sure of where I'm headed. Nothing will get me down or cause me to fall off track.

This is just another hurdle which I need to push through. This is only a temporary setback, not a failure.

I WILL come back stronger.

Cela aussi passera.


Wednesday, August 21, 2013


" How can you pursue it, if you don't even know what it looks like? "


Look to the right of this window. 
"4. Get published."

I used to think I wanted to be a writer. If you're a regular here, you'd know that writing is something I adore. Nothing gives me greater satisfaction than threshing out my thoughts into structured sentences, lovingly arranging my inner musings to form prose. Writing makes me feel alive.

To the point that I was certain I would have a career in it. The title "Chief Editor" was something I always felt would eventually become mine one day. There was no question about that. It was my dream, which I cherished and adored. It was only a matter of time before we would find our way to each other.

I would inspire others, speak to thousands through the written medium, challenge the norm, melt away the rigid, defiantly stare down the unconventional, destroy boundaries and scoff at the mundane. 

People would take notice of me, they would ask "Who is she?", "Who does she think she is?", they would sit up in astonishment at my audacity to speak as such. My boldness and tenacity would earn me many enemies, but even more loyal allies.


Then, I stepped into the world of journalism. I was excited, overjoyed. Finally! All my lofty dreams and ambitions were going to take flight! I was ready, brimming with eagerness to stride out and carry home what I KNEW belonged with me.

But. (There's always a 'but' isn't there?)

I started out fresh faced, starry-eyed and naive. But gradually, doubt crept in. One by one, things were revealed to me, which challenged the foundations of my aspirations. For the first time, my certainty began to falter. 

If you are a commissioned writer, tell me, do I speak falsely? For you know, you know! That writers are shackled by heavy chains of the pledge to be loyal to our respective publication houses, all for the sake of profit. For the big, important people sitting in their cushy offices, so that they can make money from the house. While us writers scuttle about on the ground generating content to drive profits, they rest on their comfortable footstools of complacence.

The truth? There is no profit to be had in the truth. No market appeal, no glitz and glam. Certainly not a desirable package at all. It would not do to put out something which would offend certain members of society.

What good is the truth? It would tear down rich men, break the powerful, cause the elite to squirm with unease.

And so we roll out pleasant stories. We paint pretty pictures. We cut, snip, and trim our tales to woo and cajole. We indulge in idle banter, lazily sipping cups of tea as the truth wails mournfully and writhes in agony at our feet, begging to be set free. 

The players of power continue to make merry, arrogant in their inpenetrable facade of invulnerability and corruption. Surrounded by their mountains of moolah, buoyed by their hangers-on with wagging tongues ever ready to flatter and proclaim praises of sweet decay.

We throw the truth out onto the darkened back lanes, sweep it as we would dust under proverbial rugs, banish it from our presence into exile. 


My eyes were opened to what I would have to bow to. What I would have to submit to and call my lord. I would be like the dog who does not bite the hand which feeds me, even if it were feeding me poisoned meat. The impact was gargantuan, it knocked me out of breath. I was forced to consider :

Could I do it?

Could I kneel to this?

Could I pledge my loyalty to this heinous, slithery master?

Was I willing to cast away what I stood for?

Could I sacrifice the values and principles I value and hold dear? The virtues of truth, integrity, honesty, honour, transparency, and uprightness? 

Was I willing? Willing to proudly broadcast lies as truth, to hold my head high while fully conscious that what I was doing was deceitful and despicable?

The gilded path to that childhood dream stretched clearly before me. The gatekeeper had flung the doors wide open and was smiling expectantly, waiting for me to step forward. The golden opportunity was laid before me. All I had to do was take that pledge and go forth.

It took me a while to decide.

I realized that I could not sacrifice these things, not even to fulfil what I had always longed for. 

The doors shut with a resounding clang, jolting me awake.

There I stood in the darkness. The dream which had always been mine had firmly turned its back on me, or I on it (whichever you please.)

There I stood. Alone. Disoriented. Unsure of where I would go now nor where my path lay.

But then I looked about, realized what I still had with me and was glad that I had chosen them instead. I hugged them close, held them a little tighter. They revived my strength, comforted my being. We reassured ourselves that we would always be there for each other. 

So hand in hand, we continue onward in the quest for another purpose, a new dream to run after.