Tag Archives: strength

#AdeleWFOTM – Melissa Lim

This month we have Melissa Lim! She’s no stranger to the running scene in Malaysia. A strong contender in the sport with true passion and grit!

She was recently down with dengue (urgh! THE WORST!) and had her fair share of struggles with trying to run strong again. BUT this girl ain’t giving up! You can read more about it here.

Read on to find out more about her! Psssst, you might pick up some REALLY good tips along the way. 😉 ENJOY!

1. How long have you been running?

I’ve been running for the longest time. I loved running because of the solitude it provides me. I started getting a bit more or a lot more obsessed with running back in 2015. Prior to 2015, I had no idea what distance and pacing were. I just ran 30 minutes everyday, 4-5 times a week.

2. How did you get into running?

So, my parents decided it was a great idea for me to hike up Mount Kinabalu when I was 13. And, of course they never failed to remind me that I can’t be the reason they can’t make it to the top! So everyday come 5:30pm, I was locked slash kicked out of the house – forced to go on my daily jogs (I kid you not)!

Well, at first I dreaded every run. Then, I grew to really like it.

Oh, and of course there’s the fact that I love to eat and I don’t want to be fat. So that pretty much kept me going.

3. Do you join any running groups? If yes, which running group?

Nopes.

4. Your profession:

My background is Law but I’m currently the Content & Marketing field.

5. How do you juggle work and running?

I run in the evenings after work and try to do my long runs over the weekend. It’s just much easier for me than to wake up early in the mornings. I’m totally not a morning person. But if I have to miss a run, I don’t sweat it. It’s just an extra rest day for me.

6. Do you have a training schedule? What is it like?

My training has always been 2 speed works a week, one long run on the weekend and the rest are just recovery runs in between. Sometimes I try to throw in a trail run as well but they mostly turn out to be hikes, not really runs per se.

7. Who do you usually train/run with?

I usually run alone. But, the long runs I would do with the boyfriend. Sometimes when he is feeling nice (most of the time) he would do the trails with me. When he isn’t very nice, he ditches me because I’m too slow.

8. What keeps you going?

I think it’s really the passion for running. I like the exhilaration and satisfaction I get to feel when I finish a race. Every race is different. I think of different things. I tell myself different things to get me through. Sometimes it’s that cake I’m going to treat myself to.

I think about this alot though. It’s a marathon. It’s supposed to be tough. Everyone else is suffering just the same. It’s who is stronger and can push through that deserves to win. If I can’t even muster up the strength to hold on and push through, I don’t deserve it. Someone else does.

9. Which was your most memorable race event and why:

I think what was memorable was not the race itself but the bulk of the training I had put into leading up to probably my biggest race – SCKLM 2016. I started training for SCKLM 6 weeks prior so it was a crash course for me. I had never embraced the concept of long runs before my crash course.

I remember my very first long run I did which was 16km during the final SCKLM running clinic. I remember all the long runs I had to do. I remember all the things I told myself when I wanted to give up during the long runs. I remember telling myself that I needed to train hard to race easy. Running up hills, I remember telling myself, what goes up must come down! I remember waking up early (6am is really early by my standards) to go out for my long runs. I remember my very first 30km race I had to do in anticipation of SCKLM. And most importantly I remember my then-not-yet boyfriend being there for me, through every long run. The entire process was really memorable for me.

10. Greatest achievement so far:

This year I joined the TMBT 50km race. It’s a trail race and arguably the most beautiful and most brutal trail race in Malaysia. It’s tough. I managed to cheat my cousins into doing the race. It was great – to complete it myself and watch them complete it. It took them 16 hours, but from that race, we all had a great story to tell. And, maybe, just maybe, they are starting to like this running thing as well because we’re doing Rinjani Ultra next year together.

11. Favourite distance:

I think I just enjoy running in general – whether it’s a fast 3km or the half marathon, or even the marathon distance. I think I do enjoy the longer distances abit more. I think it’s because it is long and there is that possibility that I would not be able to go the distance and complete the race. Anything could happen. So, when I finish, it’s really an overwhelming feeling.

12. Your inspiration:

I’m a Galen Rupp fan.

13. Any advice for runners who are stuck in a rut?

Don’t give up easily. Everyone struggles as well. It’s the people who are able to keep themselves together, keep going on, persevere and not give up – these are the people that, at end of the day, really deserve that win. And, so can you. Don’t let one bad day, or one busy week throw you off course. Running is a gift, enjoy it!

14. Your take on nutrition:

I love food. Although I try very hard to be healthy. I’m normally very good in the beginning of the day. Sometimes I’m able to last till dinner, but I normally have a snack after dinner which could be crisp or ice-cream or cake. So I normally end my day quite unhealthily. Like I really can’t resist a good cake. I’m still working on it, this trying to be healthy thing. I believe – everything in moderation, even cakes, nasi lemak and icecream. I always have my fair share.

I must say that I totally agree on the nutrition part. 😉 You had me at CRISP, ICE CREAM and CAKE!

GAH! Isn’t she inspiring? I hope you were able to take home a few key messages from Mel – passion, hard work, discipline, gratitude, never-give-up attitude, work on nutrition and enjoy that dessert (in moderation)!

xx

#AdeleWFOTM – Colleen Augustin

This month, we have OCR Queen – Colleen Augustin!

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I first met this lil power nugget face to face at the start line of the Compressport Combo Challenge 2016 trail race at Mardi Maeps (you can read about it here). I knew who she was but until that time, we had not officially met. We exchanged a few words and I instantly got that bubbly-hyper vibe from her. She’s a BALL OF ENERGY!

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Back then, she ran a few road races and some trail runs here and there. Now, this 19 year old is taking over the OCR scene with her latest 2nd place win at the Spartan Super 2017 in Malaysia!

She’s super supportive of others, REAL and a true inspiration!


Recent achievements at the APAC Championship Series:

1st Leg – Hong Kong (3rd)

2nd Leg – Taiwan (5th)

3rd Leg – Korea (3rd)

4th Leg – Malaysia (2nd)

Finals – Perth


1. How did you get into OCR?

I got into OCR because of my mother and brother. They went over to Brisbane, Australia for a Spartan race back in 2014. During that time, I was playing basketball with my team. I was curious what it was since I’ve seen my mom do Reebok One Challenge before. So, I asked my dad since he was ex-military, and he explained it to me. When my mom and brother came back, I saw the photos and they told me what they did. It intrigued me even more.

When the next OCR event came about in Malaysia, I went! It was the Viper Challenge (21km). It was my first ever obstacle race, it was gruelling but I finished it and immediately got hooked.

2. How long have you been doing it?

I believe it would be about 2.5 years since I started OCR. I started in late 2015 in November, I was 16 then.

3. Are you part of any OCR community/group?

I would like to think that I’m part of many OCR Communities. Hahaha…18951482_1955591918009788_4196383762455839875_n

I like to mingle with other Spartans from around the world and from everywhere. But there are a few names that come to mind like OCR Junkies (KL), Lion City Spartans (Singapore), Warrior (Penang), and a Philippines group that I can’t quite remember the name. I am not single-ing them out, these are just names I remember that I’m quite actively close with. They have been very warm and friendly every time I visit.

4. Your profession (school/uni/work):

I currently work with OBC Malaysia as a bootcamp instructor. I would probably start my first year of university next year (due to my parent’s wishes hahahaha *coughs*).

Right now, I focus on training.

5. How do you juggle work/study and OCR?

I have a very supportive community at work and at home. I also learn how to manage my time more wisely and get my priorities right.

6. Do you have a training schedule? What is it like?

I do, but it changes at times. Roughly, I train from Monday to Friday about 2-3 times a day with 1-2 rest days a week. On weekends, I usually put in a hike/run/bootcamp session to just stay alive (with exception where I will just jog or swim).19958968_10211183888207710_4264200008165936802_n

7. Who do you usually train with?

Who is very hard to say, as I train in classes/sessions. Outside of that, I train alone by myself or with my trainer. It sounds sad for some, but I prefer training alone so that I can focus on myself and my weaknesses.

8. What keeps you motivated?

That is a tough one. The love of the sport, and constantly wanting to improve and challenge myself.

9. Which was the most memorable race event and why?

My most memorable race event was the recent Spartan Super 2017 in Malaysia, which happens to be the 4th leg of the APAC Championship Series before the finals in Perth.

I was crying tears of joy when I finished the race despite coming in 2nd place. Why? It was the people. When I was finishing the last cluster of obstacles and burpees, I just kept pushing myself remembering what my brother and my parents said to me during the race. That kept me pushing hard! I also heard the people at the race. Spartans going into their starting pens, shouting: “Go Colleen!” “Malaysia Boleh!”! These were people that I’ve never met before. I was so touched I started crying when I crossed the finish line.

When I started this APAC Championships Series, I knew I had my family, coaches, OBCFamily and MonarchyFamily supporting me at every step. Little did I know that I had made an impact on other Spartans in Malaysia as well.

In the moment, as I crossed the finish line, I saw Quek and Mike. They were giving me such big smiles! I felt so proud that I made them smile like that. It was because of them that I had this blessed opportunity to do this – improve myself and make a difference/appear in the OCR scene on a larger scale. My competitor, Angelique, gave me a hug when she saw me which I returned to her and Jade Ross.

Even while being interviewed, I started crying tears of joy again!

10. Any advice for someone who is wanting to get into OCR?

As I tell anyone, just do it!

Start small if you are scared, go for a shorter distance 5-6km long. You never know how hooked you would become until you cross that finish line. I highly encourage it. Go with a friend if you’re worried.

Sometimes in life, you have to get out of your comfort zone and JUST DO IT!

11. Your inspiration: My family, coaches, competitors and teammates!

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I hope you guys enjoyed it as much as I did. And maybe, a lil spark of inspiration to start your first OCR?

Thanks so much for your time, Colleen! Keep it up and make Malaysia proud! All the best! <3

Follow her OCR journey on her FB page

xoxo

What Your Fitness Regime Should Look Like

Hello!

We’re well into the THIRD month of the year. Where did time go?!

How is everyone doing?

I hope this post has helped you shape your fitness/physical/health/nutrition goals for 2017! What are they? DO SHARE!


Before we dive head in, we need to know the BASICS! Whatever your goals (running PBs, strength gains, yoga, cross fit, OCRs etc), we cannot run away from the fundamentals of fitness.

A well balanced fitness routine should have these components:

CARDIO

*my favourite component*

Your HEART is a vital organ. It beats to keep you alive. There are a million reasons why we need to preserve its function and strengthen it.

Even if you are not training for a run or a marathon, you cannot neglect this component. A strong heart pumps a greater volume of blood with each beat – more efficient (this means that your heart does not have to work as hard). For example, a strong heart may take 1 beat to pump X volume of blood whereas a weaker heart may take 4 beats to pump the same volume (this is not exactly how it works. I’m just SUPER simplying it. But you get the point)!

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Photo: Nathaniel Kelly

I know I’m getting stronger when my Garmin FR 235 reports a lower heart rate (compared to prev) at the same pace. 🙂

Why is that important?

EVERYTHING you do involves your heart. You are more able to walk, clean the house, run for the bus (that’s me), climb stairs (without huffing and puffing) etc with ease. It makes daily activities seem less of a chore. PLUS, it keeps many chronic/heart diseases at bay.

*For your heart to become stronger, you need to add a little stress. Only then, will it adapt.*

What to do: 30-60 minutes of running, jogging, swimming, cycling, dancing, boxing etc as long as you’re moving throughout! You can even throw in a few sprints to keep things interesting. Cleaning the house counts too (haha! :P). This should be done on most days (if not all) of the week!

Strength Training

Just like our heart, our muscles and joints need to be stressed too. With the right amount of stress, we are able to build/maintain lean muscle mass and strengthen our tendons, ligaments and bones. Again, these will help you with your day to day activities that involve lifting/carrying/pushing/pulling heavy objects.

IMG_3066Strenght training is important for everyone. Muscles help to increase the body’s metabolism (hello MORE FOOD. #jokes) as they need a lot of “food” for growth and maintanence. For older adults, you’ll tend to accumulate more fat and lose muscle mass more easily. You need a good amount of lean muscle mass to maintain metabolism and with stronger muscles and bones, you can prevent falls and broken bones!

What to do: You can start off with body weight exercises (decline push ups, squats, lunges etc) before adding weights. As you become stronger, you will need to add external loads to continue to GROW!

Stability and Mobility

This is the core of movement. We need to be able to MOVE within our full range of movement and maintain stability when we need to. If you lack this component, throwing in cardio and strength training will cause MORE problems such as lower back pain and unwanted injuries.

From the bottom up, our joints are arranged such that it is alternating between stable and mobile:

Foot – Stable

Ankle – Mobile

Knee – Stable

Hips – Mobile

Lumbar (Lower Back) – Stable

Thorax – Mobile

Scapula – Stable

Neck – Mobile

The lack of stability and mobility in any of the joints will affect your ability to move about comfortably. Even getting out of bed would be a chore!

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What to do: STRETCH every other day! Tight muscles hinder mobility! You can do it either when you wake up, post workout, while watching tv or just before bed! A little goes a long way. If you are pressed for time, hit the neck, chest, hips, hamstrings, glutes, calves and lower back. You can also do some balancing workouts to improve stability across your joints.

I always stretch for about 1 hour after my workouts while I’m reading articles/on social media. For me, it is a great way to CHILL! And then I plank for 2 mins front, left and right side!


With this in mind, I hope that you will be able to choose a program (or programs) that will cover all of the above.

With a well rounded fitness routine, you are more likely to maximise results while staying injury free! Go for the ones that YOU ENJOY and COMMIT to them. Everyone starts off as an amateur, not being “fit” or “good” enough (exactly WHY you shld get started, NOW!) is not an excuse!

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Believe in yourself. Have a little confidence. 🙂

HAVE FUN!

Tough Mudder Sydney 2016

Pre-Tough Mudder

Flashback to the start of the semester (March/April), Luke and I were talking about taking on the TOUGH MUDDER OCR. Well, it was more of a challenge for me than for Luke. It would have been my first obstacle race and his 3rd. We continued talking about it for a few weeks but then we left it, mostly because of the cost (plus it was close to exams. I do not want to be smashed before my exams).

Fast-forward 2 months out from the race and they had a flash sale! Always keen when there’s a sale (The Asian in me is STRONG)! Luke took the initiative by setting up a FLO team. After more talk/considerations etc, we finally managed to form a committed TEAM of CRAZIES FLOBIES– Adele, Chris, Luke, Ross and Taylor (and Hannah, ish)!

With the buzz of uni/classes/work/life, we managed to schedule 3 training sessions together (big achievement!). I was in charge of turning everyone (and myself) into OCR pros (having no experience whatsoever) in less than 2 months. From what I roughly know about the course, obstacles, the event and the terrain, I came up with a few drills and bootcamp style training sessions.


 

TM Training 1.0

Agility Drills + Partner Bootcamp Style Circuit Workouts:IMG_6095 IMG_6094Sunny day!

Processed with VSCO with f2 presetThis was where Hannah made her one and only special guest appearance! <3

TM Training 2.0

Agility Drills + Partner Name-Game Full Body Workout:

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TM Training 3.0

Full Body Circuit with Weights:

IMG_7770As you can see, I was having a lot of fun watching from the sidelines. IMG_7771GET BACK TO WORK, PHIL!

Phil was just there for a good workout.IMG_7791 Looking good. 🙂


THE REAL DEAL – TOUGH MUDDER 2016!

8:00am – The plan was to LEAVE at 8am sharp. Obviously, that didn’t happen. Processed with VSCO with f2 preset

8:20am – Left Flo! Not too shabby, just 20 mins behind our scheduled departure time. I had Amy’s Grains for breakfast before we left. FUEL!

8:25amCOFFEE STOP! A must! #Priorities Processed with VSCO with f2 preset

1.5 hours of travel and jamming our way into Glenworth Valley.

Processed with VSCO with f2 presetMaking good use of our time.

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10-ish am – Arrival. Registered. Loaded up on protein bars. Put our bibs on. Toilet break. Sorted out our gear. DCIM102GOPRO

GROUP PHOTO! DCIM102GOPROIT WAS DRIZZLING throughout!

Processed with VSCO with f2 presetPre-race – Nice and clean.

11:15am – Group warm up session by the TM team. It was fun with the music blasting and a lot of jumping! It prepared both our minds and our bodies. Our muscles were warmed up and ready to FIRE!

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Then, we had the motivational speech because they decided that we needed MORE motivation. We made a pledge to help one another AND not race ahead (this was when the guys turned to look at me. HAHAHAHHA! What?). But no, I was not there to race.DCIM102GOPRO

Heading towards the starting line.

11:30am – 2:30pm ish

We started off nice and chill with a slow jog.

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Obstacles:

QUAGMIRE

The first challenge. It wasn’t Tough MUDder for nothing. This obstacle required jumping into a pool of MUD and climbing up mud walls. Nothing too difficult, just VERY muddy, slippery and smelly. The challenge (for me) was to NOT get mud into my eyes or ears.

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BIRTH CANAL

One of my favourite obstacles! I guess this is how “being born” feels like. We basically had to crawl through “canals” filled with water that were just inches off the ground. You’d have to face plant the muddy ground and squeeze your way through the gravel to get to the other side.

14682125_1111328515589390_3357340880152960040_oThe canals were SO heavy.

SKIDMARKED

The challenge was getting over the wooden board.

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Ross went up first while Luke stayed behind to haul the rest of us up and over! TEAMWORK!

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Things started to slow down. People were building up and we spent quite a bit of time waiting and queuing up. I was starting to feel COLD. It was drizzling when we started and for most part of the race. To keep warm, I had to sprint between obstacles. Ross and Luke were with me; and Taylor with Chris. We were able to catch our breath at every obstacle, which was good. Super fun!

KISS OF MUD 2.0

Oh yes, MORE MUD! Crawling through mud and mini mud bumps under barbwire.

14712832_1111329535589288_1740244761406289025_oI had fun sliding over the mud on my belly.

DEVILS BEARD

This obstacle was pretty redundant. We had to maneuver under a huge heavy netting. All I had to do was walk through because all the guys were holding it up and I couldn’t even reach to touch the net. HAHAHHAAHAHAH! #shortpeopleproblems

BERLIN WALLS

The typical wall climbs you find at bootcamps.

14682064_1109637685758473_5325999636765279261_oI enjoyed running through the muddy trails!

CLIFFHANGER

Right before this challenge, Chris jinxed himself into a not-so-glam fall in front of a crowd. TOO FUNNY! He burst out laughing too.

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Cliffhanger was all about hiking and climbing up a steep terrain. What goes up must come down. Being able to run downhill after was the BEST PART!

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Mineshafted was fun and easy. We had to slide through a tube tunnel into a pool of muddy water, walk across and climb up on the other side.

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RIVER ROPES

RIVER CROSSING! We had to swim across the icy cold river. Swimming was not an issue. The problem was that I had contact lenses and I had to keep my head out of the water.

When I saw that 6 footers just had their heads popping out of the water, it only meant one thing – DEEP! I had to tread the whole way through which was quite exhausting. When I reached the end of it, there was a mini queue to get onto the wooden ladder, which meant MORE treading. GAH! But it was all good, managed to keep my head out!

After that, we had a choice of running on dry land or taking the road less travelledmud, mud and MORE MUD! Ross and I went all out, splashing through the mud. We decided that we didn’t come all the way to run on non muddy grounds.

There was a water + fuel station right before the next obstacle. We stopped while waiting for the rest. Luke went missing for a bit. We were deciding between waiting and pressing on, because we weren’t sure if he went ahead without us! Thankfully, we saw his signature sprint from afar. The team was complete once again! WHOOP!

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This was probably the most challenging obstacle! We had to build a human pyramid to reach the top.

We decided that Ross would form the base but he could not get a good grip as the ground was too muddy and slippery. He managed to push Luke all the way up, with the help of other people at the top. Taylor and I had a bit of trouble because we were not tall enough to reach the hands of the people at the top! Just then, a group was forming a pyramid beside us. We gracefully climbed all over them to the top (with permission)! I was stepping on this guy’s arm, shoulder and possibly his head!

I slipped on my first attempt. Crashing all the way down was not glam, IT HURT! Thankfully, I managed on my second attempt, once again stepping all over other people. THANK YOU!

We could not have made it up without the help of other people! We stayed back to help, before moving on.

MUD MILE

The mud mile was basically just that, A MILE OF MUD! More splashing, slipping and sliding our way through the mud.

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After getting all muddy in the mud mile, it was time to clean off at the BLOCKNESS MONSTER! Another favourite, probably the best of all!

Nothing but teamwork and a lil technique needed to get over the blocks. I failed so badly at my first attempt, not turning my body and crashing head first into the water! The first thing I did was CLOSE MY EYES (SAVE THE CONTACT LENSES!). The next thing that came to my mind was EWWW MUDDY WATER! I was doing a good job keeping my head out of the mud and dirty water, until this one!

Taylor and I just cruised over till the end while the boys stuck around to help out. They had a REALLY good time rolling the blocks.

EVEREST 2.014700899_1111330472255861_7817288046232965196_oAh, the famous ramp at most OCRs! It was SO FUN watching other people running up + crashing down. Quite entertaining! Luke and Ross went for the big run while we (Taylor, Chris and I) stuck with the ropes.

14711634_1111427488912826_6417431587161391283_oWe did not realize that Everest was our last challenge! We were pretty bummed when we found out we were running towards the finish line! I guess the adrenaline was still pumping! Oh well!

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IMG_9713We proceeded to enjoy our post race ICE COLD CIDERS! SO GOOD! We didn’t bother taking a shower because the queue was just massive. We hung around for a bit to dry off and to TAKE ALL THE PROTEIN BARS! SO SO SO GOOD!

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Processed with VSCO with f2 presetThanks to the crazy bunch, it was a FUN + SATISFYING + SUCCESSFUL + MUDDY + INJURY FREE OCR! Very memorable first overseas race and OCR. <3

*Taylor was the real champ. She had work that night AND the following morning.*

I’ll definitely come back for more. We are already planning for 2017! YESSSSSS!

IMG_9879 There’s the good and then there’s the UGLY! Sustained cuts and bruises.


Stats with the Garmin Fenix 3 HR

Honestly, I did not know how well the Garmin would perform in an OCR. Will it fall apart? Will the mud get into it? It was a risk I was willing to take. And it did not disappoint! It held up throughout the race. IMG_1197

This is what I love about it – being able to track where you’ve been on the map.

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ELEVATION!FullSizeRender_2

Heart rate zones. Ok, looks like I didn’t push hard enough.


*ALL TOUGH MUDDER COURSE PICS ARE FROM THEIR FACEBOOK PAGE!*

Useful links:

http://www.aeco.com.my/

https://www.facebook.com/GarminMalaysia/?fref=ts

http://www.reviews.com/fitness-tracker/

The Bitter Sweet Departure – Bitter Bit

Hello

FROM THE OTHER SIDE!


Reporting from Sydney!

The past few weeks before my departure were TOUGH. The term BITTER SWEET applies, literally. Up till the NIGHT before I left, my heart was a tangled mess of feeling settled AND unsettled.

Let’s start with the BITTER bits and top it off with a SWEET ending in the next post!


 BITTER

1. Dengue Round 2

After 2 wonderful weeks in Hawai’i, there was a ‘sweet’ surprise at the end.

It was a Monday (4 days after we came back from Hawai’i). After an awesome training session with my client, my head was heavy and I was running a fever that night. I did 2 sessions in the blazing hot sun (one on Saturday and one on Monday), so I thought I was suffering from heat exhaustion! I took 2 Panadols and went to bed.

The next morning, I woke up feeling quite the same. Took another 2 Panadols to survive the morning. I managed to go to the dentist and then to Apple physio for my treatment. By noon, I was complete dead. My bones were aching, my fever persisted and my head was about to explode! I slept for the rest of the afternoon.

By evening, my dad said that my mom was suffering from the exact same symptoms. Immediately, I knew it was dengue. There was a dengue outbreak when we were in Hawai’i so the chances were high.

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After all the hoo-haa, we were both diagnosed with dengue.

Seriously, dengue?! Again?! I felt like the ‘luckiest’ person on the planet. I just recovered in July 2015 (6 months ago!) and my hair fall cycle had just stopped.

But it was quite funny. Round 1 was with my dad and round 2 was with my mom! (I’m being the good daughter. You know, accompanying my parents through and through) Also, when we were in Hawai’i, we joked about how it would be funny if we had brought the Hawaiian strain back to Malaysia after seeing the “Dengue Outbreak” sign. I guess it was NOT THAT FUNNY AFTERALL!

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FEAR

My main fears were the PAIN and the post-dengue recovery period that I had to go through. I couldn’t imagine going through the process of jabbing head spasms, vomitting and getting admitted to the hospital. I didn’t have time to be in the hospital! I was SO STRESSED OUT! I had planned my client schedule to the T so that I was able to finish my work before I left. I also scheduled many meet ups and runs that had to be cancelled!
I wanted to tick stuff off my list, not cancel them!

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And of course, the horrible recovery period which could take a long time! I was feeling very fit and strong up till that day. I couldn’t imagine starting from ground zero……AGAIN! It was SO hard. 🙁

IMG_4524Mentally, I failed.

I prayed SO HARD that I would be okay and that my platelets would not drop too low. Thankfully, it didn’t! The lowest was at 116 and I only felt pain/weakness for the first 3 days! After that, I felt really okay! PHEW!

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Processed with VSCOcam with t1 presetI was up and running (literally) after 5 days!

IMG_4455My mom was admitted for a few days because she was not drinking enough water. Also, she had terrible head spasms and needed strong pain killers.

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Thank you Tom, Dick and Harry (Colin and Bruce) for the crab soup!

I want to thank GOD and all my family/friends who have prayed for us and for those who have showed love, care and support! We feel so blessed to have you guys in our lives.

We’re both okay now. My mom’s recovery is still slow but she is getting there! She’s a fighter! 🙂IMG_3046


2. My Uncle (mom’s younger brother) Passed Away (6th Feb)

It was sudden. TOO SUDDEN.

To make things worse, we received this news DURING our dengue period and just 2 days before Chinese New year! My mom had to receive it when she was at the hospital! Double stab to the heart. 🙁

He had no known medical condition. He collapsed in the bathroom and that was it.

It was such bad timing. It was CNY, I was preparing to leave for Australia and we were down with dengue.

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It was a really difficult time for my family. My mom especially. I was riding on an emotional roller coaster. From feeling sick from dengue to feeling better again to feeling excited about Australia to feeling deeply saddened about my uncle’s sudden death to feeling happy about CNY to feeling disappointed/depressed over not having enough time to finish up whatever I had planned before leaving……

These were the main things that ROBBED me of my time to finish up my work, run errands, spend time with family/friends. I really apologise to everyone whom I promised but didn’t deliver. I feel terrible and I am sorry.FullSizeRender_1

I guess this is LIFE.

Unpredictable.

Everything is truly in God’s hands. He gives life and He also takes it away. It is also a reminder that He owes us NOTHING! You plan things and sometimes, God just says NO! But I know, He knows best.


3. My Brother Got into an Accident

This happened THE NIGHT BEFORE I LEFT TO AUSTRALIA! And my flight was at 9:10am the next day.

He was on his bicycle going down a hill and somehow, he flew off his bike and crashed in the middle of the road. He lost 3 teeth, had to have stiches on his brow and wounded all his limbs. THANKFULLY, he was riding in front of a car that was going relatively slow. If not……it could have been a lot worse.

IMG_5152This was how I said goodbye to my brother…… at the hospital!

He was admitted to the hospital for a full observation. My mom was in distress. She was supposed to follow me to Australia. She was already stressing over work and her recovery with dengue……and now this?! She was THIS close to cancelling her trip and losing her mind. I had no problem with that but it was all too sudden. I cannot imagine what my mom went through. 🙁

Mommy, you’re so strong! 🙂IMG_4462You cannot control what happens. You can control how you react. 🙂

STRESS!

You know how the night before you’re supposed to be busy with last minute packing, feeling excited/sad/happy and doing some planning?FullSizeRender_2

I was THIS close to a mental breakdown.

I had to add this to my plate of STRESS! I was feeling SO overwhelmed. It had been a productive day of meet ups, massage sesh, food, hair cut, physio, a run AND this just had to happen! I broke down several times in the car on the way to places. I just couldn’t handle the stress. I had quite a few things to do before my departure the next day.

Truly, by God’s grace that everything went smoothly. My brother was okay and he is now en route to recovery.

I was just disappointed that I didn’t get to spend much time with my dad and brother as they were both at the hospital and it was a rather pathetic departure.


Timely Reminder

This was what I went through the last 3 weeks leading up to my departure to Sydney.

SO DRAMA! MUCH WOW!

Not exactly what I had planned or how I wanted it to be. It was not easy emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually. There were SO many questions in my head.

WHY? WHY ME? WHY NOW?

Like I said, whatever it is, TRUST that GOD knows best. 🙂 I feel assured and at peace that everything will be okay.IMG_5410

This is part and parcel of life.FullSizeRender

If you fall, GET BACK UP! NO MATTER HOW HARD or HOW IMPOSSIBLE it seems.

What doesn’t kill you, makes you STRONGER! Really.

🙂