Challenge Yourself

One have to challenge oneself to doing something new once in a while, to go beyond what has already been achieved.

Recently, I signed up to run for the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon 2006. It is an event where everyone is supposed to look like this at the end of the event:

Because, it is extremely painful to run 42 km. Anyway, I digress. I have never took part in any running competition before. The last 2 times I took part in something similar was the Malay Mail Big Walk when I was 6 years old (which I won the 6 and below category) and another time during my teens. But that’s walking. This is running, and this is something I have never been able to do well due to my extremely heavy body (I weight 82kg on a 178cm) – but I’m not fat – just heavy bones – drank too much milk? Before my body continues to deteriorate I wanted to “challenge” myself to bring it to some distance.

So I signed up for the 10km, knowing I’ve never ran more than 2.4km in my life (for the PE lessons in school).

Bit by bit, every Thursday, we, the runners from my company (SCS) will meet at ECP to run. I felt fortunate that Guan Sin and Tai Ann was there, and others as well, especially Joa Khim, Elsee, Rachel, etc. to push me to go further everytime I ran, told me some very useful technique. For the first time, my body was able to take the heat by breathing every 2 steps, or even more, even if it means smaller steps. The result was amazing in one of the running sessions when we went from carpark F2 (close to Bedok flyover) to Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal. I also experienced trapped running in the rain as it started to pour during my endeavour to run 1 circle around MacRitchie Reservoir.

Tomorrow is the big day. After sleeping late for 3 days having Chern Jie camping over and helping him settle into Singapore, I’m now desperately eating and preparing for tomorrow’s 4am. I know it will not be hard, but I want to do more than just finish the 10km, which is after months of training, “possible”. In terms of timing, I’ve set a target of 1 hour 30 minutes, which is like the longest possible time if I were to start in Pen 3 (there are 4 Pens, faster people start in front coz they “can win”).

I’ll put my report card here tomorrow as well. Wish me luck.

Challenge is very important. I was also inspired by the effort these guys: our PhilWinds’s Tuba Quartet. They are putting up a concert in Lasalle-SIA College of Art’s auditorium on the Friday before the Christmas break. Here’s their poster (click to see it full):

Why I mention challenge was because the repertoire was extremely challenging (including those that I wrote for them as well). And it is an extremely tiring kind of concert, because it’s like always the 4 of you (they got some backups – notice there’re 6 people performing, plus percussion). But after giong to some of the rehearsals I thought they managed it pretty well.

If you have never heard a tuba quartet, perhaps consider coming down to take a look. It’s dirt cheap ok, just to cover some cost and donate the rest back to the band for operations, and they will be donig more busking during Christmas day along Orchard Road. Just to clarify, in our context, the quartet usually consists of two Euphoniums and two Tubas.

To challenge oneself can also be in other ways, for me it would be such as taking risk in doing business, moving out of my comfort zone in computer science into other domains of knowledge, or even, pick up triatholon.

But for the moment, my next challenges would be to drive up Cameron Highlands over Christmas, hike up Mount Kinabalu soon next year, and other work relate stuff. I would really want to do a huge Web 2.0 exercise in SCS someday, to breath some fresh air into the enterprise application space that’s currently so dominated by brain-dead programmers that don’t get to see the fun of actually piecing pieces of software together. All these, together with today’s task of writing 10 more christmas carols for our tuba quartet heros to fill up the programme, should inspire you, to challenge yourself too!

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2 Responses

  1. Yey I finished! And I didn’t stop!

    I failed my target of 1 hour 30 minutes by some 10 minutes. Damn! Nevermind, try again next time. At least I had great shoes ($100 Mizuno!!) and a great time 🙂

    Now the big decision is whether to continue running weekly until I get to the 1 hour mark. Even Tong Hai did it in 51 minutes. Joa Khim spend around 1 hour 10 minutes, Roland did 2 hours 45 minutes for 21km. Need to get fitter grrr…

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