Tag Archives: champion

An Athlete’s Mindset – True Grit

The RIO Olympics 2016 have come to an end! I can finally get back to my “normal” sleeping schedule.

rio-2016-olympics-hero-01

This was probably one of my most-watched-live-events and it was worth EVERY WAKING MINUTE!

I guess everyone who managed to tune in to the RIO Olympics have taken home something.


As an amateur athlete, trying to be my best at my chosen sport, I can ONLY IMAGINE how hard olympians work. I truly believe that you get out what you put in. Your success is measured by ALL your blood, sweat and tears. And of course, having God behind your back! I cannot talk about success without adding in that spiritual element. But that’s just me. 😉

IMG_4973

We can all learn a thing or two about these athletes. They all have similar characteristics. STRONG both MENTALLY and PHYSICALLY. But the mental aspect will determine what the physical aspect will do.


Belief. Determination. Discipline. Fearless.

IMG_4966

You have to BELIEVE that you are capable. Be DETERMINED to achieve. DISCIPLINED to follow through. And FEARLESS when it comes to pushing beyond your limits.


Athletes are defined by their failures and bad days, and NOT giving in.

For the weekend warrior, thriving and striving to train for an event or just to stay active/get fit, you can probably relate to some of these:

-Waking up in the wee hours of the morning when everyone else is tucked in their warm comfy bed just so that you can get that workout in

-Sweating it out, huffing and puffing away (and possibly looking like a dead chicken)

-Dreading the process of the workout, where every step just seems endless

IMG_4968

-Pushing yourself to the point where you absolutely DO NOT want to do this anymore

-Constantly tired and sleep deprived

-Waking up with aches and pains

-Unsightly tan lines, dry hair, dead black toe nails, blistered feet, cuts and bruises

-Days when you miss the podium by a fraction of a second

IMG_4969

Giving 110% during training but still failing time and time again

-Days when your coach screams “ONE MORE REP!”

-Days when you think of skipping your workout (that inner battle)

michaelphelps_crop_north

-When you are afraid to look at your training schedule because you know it will only get harder

-When you miss out on important gatherings/events involving family and friends

-When you are on a strict diet, watching the rest devouring sweet treats and snacks

-The times spent nuturing an injury and then getting another injury (and possibly another)

-The fear of losingIMG_4970

-Days when you’ve had a bad workout on top of having a bad day

-The times when you trained to your max, ready to take on a race, only to be disappointed by the outcome

IMG_4964

-When everyone else is asking you to give up and telling you otherwise

-When no one is behind your back

-The physical and mental pain of pushing through your workout AND on race day

IMG_4967-When you feel your muscles BURNING, heart PUMPING, lungs BURSTING

-The day you question your sanity, thinking “IS THIS WORTH IT?! WHAT AM I DOING?!”

-The day you feel you have NOTHING left

BOLT0975

-The day you want to quit and throw in the towel

And then…

Somehow…

Somewhere…

Deep in that dark pitt…

You see a ray of light shining through. In your heart and in your gut, you know that you STILL want this. You dig deep, searching for that hope and belief you have within yourself, and then you hang on to it.

IMG_4971

You push through. You fight the negativity.

IMG_4965

And when you overcome the impossible, you smile because you know that all the BAD days were worth it.

IMG_4972

We all have bad days. It is what we do with them that will eventually shape our success and personality. And this applies to EVERY other aspect of our lives.

IMG_4974

Sucess comes to those who stick to what they say they will do, long after the motivation and positive feelings have left. Day in, Day out. Only a few are willing to fight through their current emotions.

Do YOU have it in you?

Be Your Own Champion

Competition is inevitable, everything is about competition. Herbert Spencer explains Darwin’s mechanism of natural selection in 4 words – survival of the fittest. Those who can adapt to the current environment will survive. In other words, if you want to thrive, you’ve got to be the smartest, most successful, strongest, fastest and all the other –est words that you can find in the dictionary.IMG_1618

 

No competition there 😉

We are all fighting for something – our jobs, our families, our lives. If competition didn’t exist, there wouldn’t be the need to fight for anything and we’d all be mediocre people.

We are always striving to do better than others. It is good and healthy to have a little friendly competition. After all, that is what pushes us to be our best, right?

Unhealthy Competition

Competition becomes unhealthy when it is channeled away and skewed towards negativity against yourself (or others). Thinking that you are not good enough or sinking into depression or the fear that seeps in are all huge setbacks towards working on a better version of yourself.

Sometimes, we need to take a step back, reflect and realise that we are all different. We are born with unique characteristics, traits, personalities, talents, capabilities, strengths and even weaknesses. To a certain extent, we are restrained by our genetic make-up. Other people’s capabilities may not be your capabilities and vice versa.

IMG_2328Be as silly as you can be!

If you spend your entire life trying to be someone else, you are wasting the very person that you already are.

Be a Better Version of YOURSELF

Stop looking at everyone else.

Look in the mirror.

Invest in yourself. Learn to expand what YOU can do, within YOUR capabilities. Instead of hating on the world and yourself, channel that energy into becoming a better YOU.

IMG_2927PUSH to where you want to be.

Hard Work + Perseverance = Success

Even if you cut out competition, you cannot come up with an excuse to cut out hard work. There is no “easy” way out.

When I graduated as the Best Graduate in my faculty in Monash, I was asked: “What is your secret?” You want to know the secret?

IMG_4372

I just read a little more, took a little more notes, stayed up a little later than everyone else and used the extra free time in between classes to prepare for the next class. When you think about it, there is no secret. We all KNOW what it takes to achieve something. The question is: Are we willing to do what it takes?

I was never academically good in high school. I was just average. But I made a choice. I decided that I wanted to be the best version of myself. I had nothing to lose, even if I failed. At least, I can tell myself that I did my best. If it didn’t work out, I could always do something else and whatever that was done can be added to the “experience” bucket. The goal was not to be the “Best Graduate”. I didn’t even know that title existed until AFTER I completed my degree. I made sure I pushed through the hard times. Perseverance!

It is good to have certain goals in life but the goal should always be: To Be The BEST VERSION OF YOURSELF.

Consistency, Persistence FullSizeRender_2

I was never a sportsman or a runner back in school. I was active in all sports but I never stood out. Whenever I was short listed to be trained, I would run away and come up with excuses to skip the “hard work”. I never fully explored my potential. I held back. I wasn’t prepared to put in the “hard work” that was required.

IMG_4377#flashback.

I didn’t run to compete. I ran because I wanted to stay in shape and to get fit and healthy (HAHA!). It took a lot of hard work, determination and consistency to do just that. Life has funny ways to applaud you. When I realised that I could place within the top 20 when I ran my first race, I couldn’t help but think of the “what if”. What if I ran a little harder? What if I pushed a little more?

I couldn’t just stop there. 

IMG_3757

My running achievements are nothing to shout about. The reason I get to be up on the podium is because the best in the field are not around. If they were, I’d float away in the sea of mediocrity. Having said that, those achievements are MY personal achievements. It is my journey and I know that I have come a long way.

Celebrate Who You Are

Learn to celebrate the little achievements/milestones instead of always beating yourself up. But then again, be careful to not let your victories go to your head or your failures go to your heart.FullSizeRender(1)

With each running related post that I upload or write about on social media, I am hoping that I am able to motivate and inspire other people. I am NOT an EXPERT. I am still very much on this learning journey and it will continue till the day my heart stops beating.

I just want to show other people that with a little hard work, determination, persistence, time, effort and a speck of craziness, even the most normal person like me is able to achieve something. I am grateful for everyone who has contributed in helping me get to where I am and where I want to be.FullSizeRender

If you are stuck in a rut or going nowhere in life, ask yourself: “Am I giving it my best? Is this where I should be? Am I using my gifts and talents to the best of my capabilities?” Chances are, the answer is no.

So, what are you waiting for? Get out there, discover your potential, PUSH and learn to BE YOUR OWN CHAMPION.

I thank GOD for everything that he has done and blessed me with.

Nothing is possible without HIM.

Post-race Report: Putrajaya Relay Trail Run 2014

3rd trail and relay run of the year! I’m on a roll here.

Again, another last minute unplanned race! Chooi Fern and I registered on Tuesday, 4 days before race day. My main concern was that I was supposed to run the Cyberjaya TwinCity half marathon the following day. Yep, another back to back race weekend!

I went on with it anyway because I liked the idea of it being a relay AND a trail run! So exciting!

15191_10152983333686388_4403048239393488019_n 10308268_10152983333546388_7384886034077365667_n The holiday celebrations have begun! I had a party on Friday night and went to bed at about 3am. 10882087_10152983333341388_2649003867160853947_n<310417569_10152983333386388_1808580056646648577_nI couldn’t sleep in on Saturday because I had lunch with the Uni mates to celebrate Janey’s birthday. Haven’t seen them in MONTHS! Good times.1656299_10152983333431388_2970349827039288371_nPre-race meal – Baked eggs!

After lunch, I had to rush home, pack and leave for Putrajaya. I was feeling so sleepy! Daniel and the sister came over to my place and we left from there.

The interesting thing about this race was that the flag off was at 4.30pm. I was worried that it would be TOO HOT to run. And the funny thing was that it was raining as we were on our way to Putrajaya! I couldn’t decide which was worse!

We were there early to collect our race kits. It was raining so heavily that we had to wait in the car for the rain to come to a light drizzle. We thought that the organizers would delay the race but thank God they didn’t.

It started right on time at 4.30pm (It was still drizzling at that time!). The “baton” was in the form of a hair scrunchy. One team of two members would each take turns to run a 6KM trail route. The sister was off on the run along with the other first leg runners. I went to the bathroom twice while waiting for her to return. OH THE NERVES!

When Daniel came back, I knew that the sister wouldn’t be too far off. A few minutes later, the first female runner returned. To my surprise, it was NOT the sister! I was shocked because who else could be faster than her! I kept asking Daniel if he saw her during the run. Did she fall? Was she ok? I was worried because Daniel suffered a pretty bad fall and he was bleeding.

About 3 minutes later, the sister appeared! PHEW! Huge sigh of relief! I was glad that she was ok. She called out to me and handed the pink scunchy over. She yelled for me to chase the other girl who was well ahead of me. The only thing that flashed in my mind was that the sister was crazy!

The roads were slippery and I had to be extra careful with my footing. When I hit the trails, I didn’t care where my next step was or whether or not there was a huge puddle. I jumped right it. Some of the major turns were not clearly marked and it was easy to lose your way. Thankfully I didn’t because I didn’t have time for that. My main focus was to chase the other girl. I ran hard, splashing into the mud and blazing through the bushes.

About 3KMs in, I spotted her. Target locked! I did not hesitate to overtake her. The pressure was on because I was feeling pretty breathless. The only thing that kept me going was the thought of the sister. I didn’t want to let her down. Managed to pull the gap even further as I went along. Phew!

1504033_10152983333231388_7034122035666969527_n  Covered in MUD!

We emerged overall Champions in the Women’s Open category with a total time of 1:03:54. We both clocked in about 31 minutes respectively. So happy to see the sister jumping up and down like a cray woman at the finish line.

10414883_10152983333291388_7122431156664443479_nThe Puma gang!10613096_10152983333086388_8826837740063516677_n 10422933_10152983333046388_702528871957472712_nApparently, the first female runner to return took a shortcut/ran the wrong way and her team got disqualified. Well, I guess it was still worth the chase! What a stressful run!10882190_10152983333166388_482152915622432830_nDaniel’s team came in 3rd! 10857922_10152983332896388_3662386820614781740_nPost-race selfie. The sister is a fast learner. 😉1527066_10152983341956388_6307194122544522082_n10882326_10152983332986388_5404876185742090594_nPost-race meal – Homemade Assam Laksa! Another party!


535951_10152983342031388_2744017531712751013_nDNS the Cyberjaya TwinCity Half Marathon the next day. I only manage 3 hours of sleep and was feeling very tired. I went to support the other runners! It was fun standing on the other side of the finish line.

And of course, the sister managed another Champion title for the 12KM run!10371996_10152983342051388_4695589448280494311_n 10881730_10152983341991388_8391064050103574223_nThis is what a Champion sandwich would look like.

Michelle was the Champ for the FULL MARATHON! CRAZY WOMAN with an amazing finishing time! Congrats girl!10882145_10152983336451388_2313808842992138411_nStrength in numbers. Stronger together!

How was your weekend?

Happy Holidays and uh,

Keep Running!

 

Post-race Report: Allianz Pacesetters Relay

My first all-girls relay team event!

The decision to join this race was rather spontaneous. I didn’t have any plans to take part in this relay. To cut the long story short (there were many obstacles and decision making along the way), we formed our own PUMA team to compete in the Women’s Open category.

Since it was pretty last minute, we didn’t have time to train together. We just trusted that each of us would do our very best for the team! And we delivered! Very proud of this team of strong women.

We did a bit of planning on whom would go first, second, third and fourth, but we didn’t have a concrete plan or strategy. We did, however, put quite a bit of thought into what we were going to wear on race day! Oh, you know, FASHION FIRST, RUN LATER! At least, if we didn’t win, we’d still look good.10270600_10152967900966388_4440921778844475019_n

We had a lot of fun in motivating each other and adding a little spark of excitement here and there throughout the week leading up to race day. Angel was so nervous that she had a nightmare about the race! PHEW! The pressure was definitely on. When it comes to a team event, you have to perform for yourself AND your teammates! Everybody is dependent on each other. And that is the beauty of relay races!10714560_10152490055816048_4169086941689649075_o

Serious stuff, don’t mess. Or maybe not. Michelle was probably thinking of what to eat post race. HAHA!

The first half of the route was hilly. We had to control our paces at the start to be able to survive the rest of the way. My legs were SO heavy at the start! GAH! 10801934_10152967915711388_135880156933732139_nChooi Fern was the first to go! She did an amazing job in pulling a huge gap for the rest of us. She was the first female to come back and the rest of us maintained the position all the way! YAY! Thank God Michelle agreed to run the last leg. I don’t think I could have handled that level of STRESS! GO MICHELLE!

10370888_10152967915726388_3260157988714327767_nWe were shouting and screaming our lungs out for each other. Got a few stares from the other runners. WHOOPS! We waited at the end for Michelle to come in. We couldn’t contain our excitement the minute she crossed the finish line! Thanks to Kevin for being there and recording each of our start, pass and finish!

10382819_10152967915461388_5080913832746798114_n

TEAM PUMA IN RED! 10450797_10152967915466388_2055905110660099358_n

Champion!10873625_10152967915721388_5783350751524576706_o

Very proud of Angel. She has improved so much! Despite being so worried before the race, she did an awesome job! Don’t ever doubt your ability. Believe in yourself and strive for the best!1511735_10152967915486388_4144789173914312684_n

The champs of each category.1669875_10152492015491048_6112850447887302593_o

Puma represent! Podium finish for the whole Puma team!

Peng Peng’s Team – 2nd place (U26 Women)

Daniel’s Team – 2nd place (U26 Men)

Goh Shu Wei’s Team – 5th place (Men Open)

Yung Hui’s Team – 5th place (U26 Men)

10857718_10152967915471388_4475283667323629469_n

My girls.10689427_10152967900961388_9192645460837005624_n

Nuff’ said.

We stand together, hand in hand, till the very end!

Let’s do this again! Can’t wait for our next relay event.

Keep Running!

Back to Back: Cyberjaya Firefighter Night Run & Great Heart Charity Run

Saturday:

I was psyched to run my first night run since two years ago (Energizer Night Run 2012)!

I had only decided on Sunday (the week before the run) to participate in the Great Heart Charity Run. I was in doubt as to whether or not I could do a back to back race. Experience told me that I couldn’t but I thought I’d give it a go.

As this was my first back to back race weekend, I kept my mileage low (rested and cross trained more than usual). I had to alter my Friday night sleeping pattern to be ready for the night run on Saturday. I usually stay up till 4-5am (Saturday morning) just because it’s the weekend.

I had planned to sleep before 12am (the night before) but I had to meet up with Gillian and Swan. They totally messed up my sleeping schedule (Haha!). Totally worth it though, they were my Friday night happy pills!

10330452_10152496582086388_3640600357501352470_n

Corn for breakfast!

The whole of Saturday was spent lazing around in bed, eating and spending time with the family. Family time was extended beyond what I had allocated and I came home at 5pm. I had to be at Cyberjaya before 6.30pm to collect my race pack and I knew that I would not have made it. I still had to prepare my post-race meal, get changed and leave to Cyberjaya (25mins away). I was glad that Chee Wai was there early and he collected it for me!

10413364_10152492299047146_2861859143660968785_n

We had 2 hours to kill. Met up with a lot of other runners and got a chance to catch up with them.

Warmed up my muscles at 8pm. The race started on time at about 8.30pm, after the 21KM pack.

The starting is always the hardest – navigating through the crowd. The road was narrow and slightly wet from the light evening shower. I was trying to avoid running into a lady in front of me that I dashed a little too quick to the side and got in the way of Chee Wai who was directly behind me. There was a mini stumbling sesh and I thought that the both of us were going to fall flat on our faces. Luckily, we got our grip and we were off to the front of the pack. Looking back, it was pretty funny!

1507795_10152092290571048_5885076114628935924_n

Thanks to Aron for this picture. He was on his bike and he called out to me during the race. Always good to see familiar faces!

I knew I was up front so all I had to do was to maintain the pace and speed up towards the end. The roads were long and wide. I kept running in the middle of the road because I wasn’t familiar with the race route. I didn’t know where to turn and I remember at one point, I zig-zagged 4 times in a row. I had to ask the marshals at every turn for directions.

The race would have been slightly better if there were proper signage and road marshals to direct the runners. The roads were also not completely closed and every now and then cars would zoom by.

Kevin waited for me 500-600m from the finish line. When Kevin told me that there was nobody behind, I slowed to a jog before sprinting the final 100m of the way (to conserve energy for the next day, although I don’t think it made any difference).

1907989_10152496657136388_3980606361211374478_n

After crossing the finish line, Wai Ching (kid to my right) was the first person to shake my hand to congratulate me. Such a sweet kid! I was still too frazzled from the run to give a proper response.

10390028_10152496587226388_5982294579567045582_n

Warmed down properly to avoid post-race muscle soreness. Wore both compression calf guards this time. They fit like a glove. So warm and snug. They work wonders for my calf muscles, protecting against muscles soreness and leg fatigue.

10156121_10152496579971388_8497746893583317518_n

Post-race smoothie: Oats, frozen banana, Greek yoghurt and chia seeds. Just throw everything into the blender and start blending away! I didn’t measure out the ingredients. I just went with whatever I wanted.

Nutrient breakdown:

Banana- Rich source of potassium which helps lower the risk of muscle cramps. It is also a good source of manganese, dietary fiber and vitamins B6 and C.

Coconut water- Coconut water is the ideal post-workout drink packed with electrolytes, minerals and simple sugar to replenish hydration levels within the body. It is also a rich source of potassium.

Greek Yoghurt- Greek Yoghurt has nearly twice the amount of protein compared to regular yoghurt. It is a great post-workout snack as your body needs the extra protein to repair worn out muscles.

Chia Seeds- It boasts 20% protein, having 5 times more calcium than milk, 7 times more vitamins than oranges and 8 times more omega fatty acids than salmon. Need I say more?

10376842_10152496580426388_5993620772211893420_n

Thick, creamy goodness! Give this recipe a go!

Had my recovery smoothie 30mins later to replenish lost calories. I don’t usually prepare post-run smoothies but because I was going to run the next day, I had to make sure I was properly fed.

10406574_10152496580316388_2125631252791040804_n

My recovery meal was a tuna-avocado-egg mash. I had no appetite but I had to force feed. It was so good but so hard to chow down. I kept everything in the cooler bag so it was still fresh and cool when it was time for me to savour them.

10329215_10152496587166388_1191375608308951939_n

10415588_10152496581856388_1927875688833625616_n

1487297_10152496581666388_6184684514443331602_n

Chooi Fern was so hyper! Like a charged up bunny!

10408153_10152492585267146_4539435150257610377_n

The boys monkeying around.

10401435_10152496581196388_8815912143772914252_n

10171766_10152496581331388_5351436400276219032_n

It was supposed to be a group picture of all the top 5 runners. Don’t know why they didn’t get up on stage so the both of us had our syok-sendiri moment. Congrats to Sylvia too! 🙂

10390526_10152496580916388_6970516530811573272_n

10300212_10152496579736388_3058706376684006457_n

We left after the prize giving ceremony.

I had exactly 4 hours of sleep before I had to wake up for the next race.

Sunday:

The alarm had to wake me up this time. I was dead tired.

I felt energized and pumped as soon as it hit me that I had to run. Oh, the wonders of adrenaline.

Got dressed and had my breakfast in the car. I was so hungry. My stomach felt like a black hole. Breakfast didn’t fill me up but I couldn’t eat too much before the run.

We got there at about 6am. Collected my race pack and we went to McDonalds to chill. Met up with Shu Wei but Daniel was nowhere in sight.

By 6.30am everyone proceeded to the starting line. The race was supposed to start at 7am so I was puzzled but I followed the crowd anyway.

To my surprise, they flagged us off at 6.40am. I didn’t even have time to decide whether or not I wanted to wear my calf compression guard.

The push off from the crowd felt a lot harder. My legs felt jelly-like. Thank God my muscles were not sore, just overworked. I guess post-race fuel is very important for your body to begin repairing and replenishing worn out muscles.

I should make it a habit to prepare post-race smoothies in the future. A little bit more effort and time but oh so WORTH IT!

10269376_10152500349836388_4324786350490426926_n

10423770_10152500349901388_970935683079405897_n

Daniel was late because he dropped his key into the toilet bowl. Gross! He had to pick them up with his bare hands! As he ran passed me, I told him the lead pack was about 1.5KM ahead. He sped up and manage to come in 3rd!

This was supposed to be my “recovery” run. So, I took it easy towards the end. As usual, Kevin ran the last 500m with me. 🙂

He was there to support me and drive me to both races (in fact, almost ALL the runs). Thank You! 🙂

10402536_10152496580541388_307410368270118540_n

I was the first female runner to arrive. WOOHOO!

Double champion for my first back to back race weekend. What a great end to my week!

1554384_10152496580676388_2284878510268039239_n

10313551_10152496574801388_4714827433074428603_n

Post-race treats! Double load of ICE CREAM! *pats back*

 Share your back-to-back race weekends (if any)! I’d love to hear them!