I’ve recently changed the layout, look and feel of this blog. Since missjewelz.wordpress.com was first launched, post my migration from blogspot to worpress in 2006 I don’t remember doing any major changes to the blog, and walla, I took a step forward a couple of days back. Its a renewed mission to keep this blog up and alive. The previous look and feel was outdated, and getting a bit too boring even for myself. Nothing fancy. If I have the skills to up the whole look and feel, I would do so but don’t think it will be anything extravagant. Baby steps. Thank you to all of you for the support from the blogging community. And of course, to you fellow ‘silent readers’ out there. LOL. Thank you.
I love to write, and will continue to do . I certainly do not know how many lives I’ve reached through posts contents, how many pairs of eyes have scanned through my thoughts and ramblings . Like my other blogger friends i.e. Stupe, Chan, Jaja, Fong, Sofian, Simon, Yip, Senn, Arif Upiq and et cetera, to be involved actively in sports is a blessing. Bonus if we have passion to write and share our stories and experiences, and actually posting them on our very own blogs. Some on my blog list have been active, but I still maintain them on my blog for my reference and yours !
Previously when I was still studying, the topics were more of as and when, whatever clicks, whatever these neurons and fingers itch to write. Almost as if I am rambling melodically in a letter to a loved one. A pen and letter addict back in school days with the satisfaction knowing somebody on the other end is actually digesting my craft (while trying to make out whether it is an ‘a’ or ‘o’). I admit, I’ve written to the extent off dozing while writing. Sounds familiar? Yeah, that happens a lot in lecture rooms. LOL !!!!
Anyway, it is a blessing and honour to still be writing – this blog is like a diary as this is the only place where I log any major accounts in my life, the important races and achievements. Taking the back seat, I would love to continue doing this with a better direction and purpose. I am obviously not blogging every single day any more. I try to take crap off from my lines and paragraphs without compromising the human side of a post. This is in the end, communication. Not as fast pace and interactive as the social networks yet still preserving meaning and value to whoever reading. Hits are unimportant though a significant proof how well the contents and postings are maintained. With the stats features, I can see what are the current trending topics and search term. This do motivate me to make sure that my postings are relevant and up to date.
Getting married and having a kid (alhamdulillah) has to a certain extent shifted my worldview on certain things, big or small. It’s the same old me, only the way I look at things are much clearer now ! If the intention goes along the line of ..’be a better person, and somebody who gets blessings from her Lord Allah almighty..’ this will indirectly affect my behaviour and thinking. Writing included that is. It won’t be any random topics which I think will get the most hits, and comment thread going. I am not writing to sell like how the tabloids are selling. A few girls in bikinis, and some celebrity topics, and walla the hits ! Its easy to lose meaning and keep going on with whatever we’re doing. Put a gigantic magnifier and our every single action, we begin to realise how much time, effort, and cost were put things on that really doesn’t not serve any purpose to our life. Especially when you’re doing it without a purpose at the first place. You lose sense of direction and motivation on the things that you thought you’d like doing. And why am I still blogging? I know my writing won’t go to waste, and somebody from the same wave length and mindset as me can relate and benefit.
Take for example.. that collection of medals you have somewhere stored in the house.. fine, they’re token of recognition to the achievements and efforts shown in completing the scores of runs, marathons and other multi-discipline sports you’ve competed in and finished. The joy and excitement involved from the first second you click that register button, to the weeks and months of training with buddies and getting ‘visas’ from your spouse to go out and train,to the packing pre-post, race briefing, and buffet line up, to the race morning; body marking wave start, to make sure you wave and wish the best to your best buddies who were also racing, the clocking of time in T1, and ensuring that you pace well and hammer it to the finish line, your friends and loved ones waiting for you to celebrate your achievement.. do it over, and over… months, and years.. The it hits you… what am I doing? It requires some thinking and level of experience to be able to do this.. If you’re comfortable, read on. (or drop a line or 2 in the comment box which I would soo appreciate)
Take a few step back; when you first started running. The 5Ks and 10Ks were like the recent minion craze. ‘Memang gila ahh’. You put a lot of sacrifice to the new found ‘love’ i.e. sports. Fast forward a couple of years, the countless numbers of medals and finishing lines becomes so small you hardly notice it. The medals are piled in the plastic box you got from Ikea and now is the permanent resident below your study desk. [unless you choose to display your major achievements at work !]. Then you aim for the next big thing.. a half marathon.. then you upgrade to duathlon, triathlon, adventure racing. Tried your hands experiencing the different distances offered in each of the sports, and able to finish them all. Premium upgrade: An Ironman ! Like wowww.. Amazing. At the end of the day, if this were me (well, I am writing this am I not..), I’ll sit back and ask myself this question.. ‘Now what?’. This was the EXACT question which popped out of my skull when I crossed my only Ironman in 2009 ..’Now what?’. Yeah, soon I realized that crossing the finish line wasn’t my initial goal! So what the heck wassit? Did I target that sub 14? No. Did I wanted to prove to myself that when you put an effort to something, you can achieve your goals with flying colours? Well, yeah. Perhaps. Were the preparation and company of the training group I part of , worth it? You bet !
So now what? Did I do what I did without a real purpose that I had to ask myself now what?
It is not easy to throw meanings to the things that you have enjoyed doing the past so many years. The direction that missjewelz is taking her involvement in sports to something that is sustainable. Something that is valuable, accessible and beneficial to those following her from her blog.
Even my participation are mostly in the past, whatever I can capture will be of good use, here. The value and benefit of me taking part in sports shouldn’t stop the moment I cross that finish line just for myself.It shouldn’t end with a race report posted here. It should be able to carry a value which is continuously shared and distributed any ways possible. Recent PD.. The only part ‘sustainable’ to myself was that moment I caught glimpse of my husband with my daughter in the stroller. She may not understand what is going on, but I feel mummy still has it. Health and fitness is not supposed to stop at school, or once you enter uni. Some are lucky enough to survive their sports golden era during their many years as a single. Come the vows, gone the running sneakers. Come the kid, gone the once healthy fit you. Photos of me huddling to the finish line with my daughter is ‘sustainable’. Little one can show her cousins and friends what she was made of ! 🙂 Sounds fun, but true. Who wouldn’t be proud of parents who carried them across finish lines. These are called MOMENTS. A sustainable one too !
Engaging with sports is good when the intention is good. Going into sports blindly without a purpose and direction can be dangerous. Again, a different level of thinking is required here. I assume my readers are wise enough to peel through the layers. Whichever extreme you are on in this hectic+fun world of sports, my advise is be moderate. Especially when you have other roles and responsibilities to play. Prioritize and bring to mind that it is not about just you when you have a year old at home yearning for your love, care and attention. Perhaps the wallet is ready for that shift to become the ‘sports man’ or ‘sports woman’ –.. All it takes to show others we’re fit, and able.. but for what? If you can justify, go ahead. We need more healthy and fitness ambassadors out there.
This ‘Now what’ dilemma should stop. What should I start buzzing myself with is,’What’s next?’ while maintaining my values and the maintaining the bond that has been established with my family. Moderation is key to everything so I figured. I can take the option to do all the races available in the Malaysian calendar – but with a toll –> sacrifice the hours and days I should be able to spend time with my husband and daughter. Enjoy now, suffer later? So I chose to prioritise.
Make that choice and choose wisely. Moderate the options.
Slow down !
Quick decision making is key in this fast pace life we’re living in. You gotta slow down in order to ‘keep up’. You haven’t spoken to a friend in years but you knew she got engaged yesterday, and to whom and who your common friends are. You haven’t met your primary school teacher, but you saw her on Facebook thanks to the tip off from a fellow alumni. Yippee..! Things are revolving in a pace we never would have imagined. Would like to slow it down ? Take time off and make real time REAL communication happen. Phone call.. or catch up for a drink with friends. Real card raya instead of e-cards or a sms forwarded to everybody ! Okay, I am oh-so traditional when it comes to this ! But hey, anything to hold this world back even for a split second.
1. Save the daily training updates on Facebook page to yourself. If you have a blog, post them post race in your ‘race report’ and analyse if the training actually works for you, and why others should give it a try (that if it really works)
2. A year in the ‘sports scene’ and actively engaged with running groups and communities, you get the idea of which are the ‘HOT’ and ‘NOT SO HOT’ events. You want to be seen as a keen and budding athlete. Fine. Just make sure you choose your events selectively and not randomly based on the early birds fee (just because you thought you’re paying cheaper. but you’re only paying for an upcoming burn out thanks to lack of concentration and quality focused training for 1 particular event. Quantity vs quality. Your pick. If there is budget which comes under sports event, stick to it.
3. During off peak season, maintain some level of fitness while ensuring that the weight/fat gain is ‘manageable’ i.e. easily shed once you get back to active training. Off peak season are best utilised to do the other things you like with your loved ones, or the things that your loved ones would like to do with you. Kite-flying anybody ?
4.Athletes need to spring clean! The running and cycling shoes, the old finisher tees, the …medals.. which stays which needs to go. Donate, give it to a charity or turn it into a small gift (make sure there are no roach bitten holes!). The less the junks and items that is no longer in use, the lesser the clutter. This takes a direct effect on the brain so that it can concentrate on the more important things. A new year’s resolution coming in a bit too early? Why not. You need to plan ahead anyway.
5. Grab a book. It’s been awhile since you last a finished a novel within a few days. The last time I tried, it took me months.. We’re humans and not machines which goes on and on and on. Even machines need calibration. We need to rewind, and a novel takes us a long way. Not the novel kind? Fine, go read up the 220Triathlon, or Cycling Asia ! Sports mags are fun stuff !
6. Go OFFLINE and not feeling bad about it. The synonymous where have you been is now tied to the frequency you leave a trail on the ONLINE sphere. Do you really care who reads, like and how many comments you get based on the oh so thoughtful status update you just put up? Does it change your life? Well apart from life events, the daily ramblings just put some other people off they rather Hide you, even if you thought that she is your favourite cousin from mom’s side. uhmm…
7. Go for a trip and leave the gizmoz behind. And bring a REAL camera without bluetooth along. Saviour the moments and short sweet life with your family, loved ones, and close friends. Your close friends happened to be your sports buddy? Tag them along to your diving trip. Have a good time then. You’ll see the difference having real communication (read: same time) with real people.
8. Set a focus. If you’ve been an athlete without any focal point or objectives in your approach to sports, sit down a level headed sports buddy (avoid the crazy ones) and see if they can share an opinion you might be interested in. A new project for the next sports event i.e. couple it with a charitable body, or any institution for that matter and go race for a cause?
Till my next post !