Throwback: When I Used To Run

Was doing some post-lunch clearing of emails when I came across this link to a running-related comic that I have saved.

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Link: http://theoatmeal.com/comics/running

There are 6 parts to it in total.

As I look back at my running days now, it has dawned on me that my very 1st race (Great Eastern Women 10K in October 2006) was exactly a decade ago!

Exactly 1 decade (10 years) on, I have stopped running – with my last run being in March 2016. This current phase of life coincided with major changes at work, the closure of California Fitness (where I used to gym/workout at) …… and subsequently taking up yoga – which is my to-go regular workout currently.

I guess it came to a point that I stopped enjoying my training runs, and no longer look forward to waking up at 4-5am to go for Sunday races. And right now, not missing it nor regretting it as I’m enjoying my yoga sessions very much.

Never say never. I have yet to achieve my goal of a 1 hour 15 min 10km so I forsee I will end my ‘hiatus’ / break from running and get back to training for this specific goal. No timeline to this yet – will probably go with the flow as I need to start adding more cardio-based activities progressively to my current workout regime.

Not sure if I will ever do a 3rd marathon as I’m not keen to do long distance runs anymore. In the event I don’t – I can still live in peace knowing that I have completed 2 full marathons, albeit in lousy timing. Can’t take away the fact that I’m a finisher 2 times over*

* Thinking about it now also, it is pretty incredulous that I was being lectured on how to complete a marathon and to apply that to work when said person is not even a good example to begin with. But of course that chapter is over now so peace out!

Skipping Over February

Finally have the time, space and energy to sit down to do a blog entry proper!

Now where did February go? Definitely the 1st time in a long while that I didn’t blog (or rather didn’t manage to blog anything) in 1 entire month and the time just went by like that ……

January ended with the CNY festive season. After which, it is straight back to work and daily life.

And yes, one significant thing that happened right before CNY was the breakdown/’death’ of my lenovo laptop. As documented on this blog, after the initial replacement issues (when 1st bought), and an earlier breakdown of the hard disk just back in September, the Lenovo decided to hang by itself when in office one fine Monday afternoon. To cut the story short, after calling the technical support line, dropping everything down to head to the service centre at McPherson for 2nd diagnosis, and another opinion from a repair shop at Jurong Point – the conclusion was a failure of motherboard. The replacement would have cost $500+ …… and thus it would be a more feasible solution to just get a new laptop instead – which is needed as I had work to finish right before CNY beckons.

And so, I bought a new Acer Swift 3 that is gold in colour for a ‘golden’ new beginning.

The laptop has been working great for the past 2 months that I have been using it – and this is my 1st blog on this laptop 😛

In a figurative way, the Lenovo represents frustration and pain through the 2 years and 4 months that I have used it. And I will be better served with a fresh start with a newer and better machine going forward. Sounds like how my life has been going for the past 1 odd years 🙂

February is also another month where I experienced numerous body wiggles post-yoga (right achilles tendon pull, tight hips, on and off wrist strains on my right). Also came down with sore throat / flu for a good part of the month which recovered, then came back again after Hot Yoga 101 (believe I caught a chill as the room as stuffier than usual which even the instructor felt so as well), which is reduced to chest cough on and off still as the virus has yet to go away 100% – which sucks!

Partly as a result of some of the ‘muscle imbalances’ that I was experiencing post-yoga, took the plunge to try Yin Yoga as I have read on some of the benefit of Yin Yoga include increased circulation, fascial release and greater joint mobility (through holding poses for 3 to 5 min long) ….. which was something I needed to ‘repair’ my body and feel good again.

After my very 1st Yin class (on Sunday morning) where the final pose before savasana was a reclining head to toe stretch (with a bolster placed right across the tight) – my hamstrings loosened immensely.  After which, I attended my semi-regular Tuesday evening Hot Yoga 101 class. Even after some pretty intense work in the class, my thighs/quads no longer have the intense post work achne (the technical term for it will be DOMS – delayed onset muscle soreness) that will take me the entire evening and the good part of the following day to recover from. I have always had tight hamstrings and quads which I finally realised was a result of inadequate post workout stretching from my running and spinning days. The increased flexibility from holding stretches 3 to 5 mins is real indeed. Not to mention feeling much lighter and more relaxed for the rest of the day, and enjoying improved sleep.

I have decided to incorporate Yin to be part of my regular yoga ‘programming’ as I target to do it once every 2 to 3 weeks. Plus waking up early and going for the early 1015 Hrs Sunday morning class at Gulliemard is a great way to re-adjust my bio-clock and sleep patterns – as well as to re-connect with my body and wind down the weekend.

Before March comes to an end, I also hope to try another new type of class (most likely Hot 26) -which is part of my personal goal/resolution to try 1 new class every month.

Yoga Journal: Which Of Your Chakras Is Out Of Balance?

Decided to check out this quiz as it popped up on my twitter feed. Co-incidentally I was also googling on chakra readings last night, and that piqued my curiousity right on!

http://www.yogajournal.com/article/chakras-yoga-for-beginners/quiz-chakras-out-of-balance/

My Results:

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Result: Your Sixth Chakra is Imbalanced

Physical Signs of Blocked Ajna Energy

Misalignment of the third eye chakra can result in problems with vision, headaches, migraines, and dizziness.

Mental Signs of Blocked Ajna Energy

When the sixth chakra out of alignment, you may also feel mental confusion.

More information about the Third Eye Chakra

The yoga pose that relates to Third Eye Chakra – Sukhasana (Easy Pose). This is actually my default pose for my daily meditation.

Also found another link on yoga journal – Third Eye Chakra Tune Up Practice. Will probably be a good idea to combine this together with my daily meditatoin.

This is pretty mind-blowing indeed. Have been feeling some complex emotions lately, and this feeling kind of surfaced up when I did my usual meditation earlier after lunch (P/S: It was afternoon rather than morning as I slept in).

As the practice tip says – Use this practice to open and build awareness in your ajna chakra to begin to see everything in your life more clearly.

Yes, definitely need to see some clarity and ‘light’ at the end of the tunnel with all the going-ons right now.

 

Ending 2016 ……

Its only now – with 1 more day to go before 2016 comes to an official close that I finally have the time to wipe some dust off this blog as I’m working from home today.

December has been a busy and relatively productive month. I hesitated to say ‘productive’ or ‘very productive’ as I felt I could have managed my focus and energy levels much better …… before I can confidently say I’ve been productive. More important is the self-awareness to realize that …… and this will be something I have to keep working on in year 2017.

Sometimes plans, how well laid-out it can be, will not always go swimmingly / within our expectation.

One thing I have set out to do is to do more yoga over the festive season (christmas eve right till the new year) – as versus to just 1 class per week. My original plan today was to take the day off, go for lunchtime Stretch @ Yoga Lab …… followed by a relaxing lunch and some shopping in town. However a last minute quotation request from client came in last night. And so in the end, I sacrificed my home practice last night and sleep (eyes were already closing at 11+) to send out the quotation requests so that I could get some indicative responses by noon (as some insurers may be on half-day).

In the end, no indicative quote was forthcoming (as this is a specialized risk). Thankfully, I managed to seek client’s understanding that the time frame is too rushed, and we can only see some outcome in the new year.

And so I’ll do home practice today instead and go for a Stretch Class tomorrow morning. Interestingly, my original intention/workout plan for this week is to do a Stretch Class either on Friday or Saturday after attending a Hot Yoga 101 Class earlier on Tuesday evening. Flip-flopped a bit last night by putting myself on the wait-list for Yoga 101 at 1745 Hrs later, only to eventually cancel it (after getting a mat) and reverting back to my original plan of doing Stretch Class.

Which brings me to another point – setting and managing expectations.

When dealing with clients, clients will always want their needs to be attended first and on asap basis (even though it may neither be urgent nor important). Looking back now, although I wasn’t able to get an indicative quote today (which was the ideal scenario I had in my mind) – most important thing is that I got my client’s understanding that it may be difficult to firm things right now since its festive season. And he/she was pretty cool with it. So after some rough hiccups in the business relationship along the way, it is a sign of progress that I’m able to handle fickle natures a lot better now – by managing expectations accordingly.

And that brings me to the next point(s) – patience and intention.

Ideally, if the quote could come in today, I will be able to close off my work and have the afternoon off. Or from another perspective, simply tell the client that its not possible and let’s wait till the new year – and have the entire day off to do what I want to do. It was good that I kept going at it – despite the less than positive outcome for now …… and eventually we should be able to come to a more reasonable timeline to firm up something soon once everyone is back in normal working mode (and also when client manages to firm their equipment leasing details on their end too).

When this deal (and the deals/cases that I have been working on pre and post Christmas) eventually comes through – the rewards/fruits of labour will be that much sweeter and more precious. And so a little waiting here for now after having put in my best efforts!

And having the above clarity meant that I was able to go back to my original intention of closing year 2016 with a yoga class …… after starting my Christmas holidays with Hatha Yoga Class on Christmas Eve (where I completely blocked out work) and to end 2016 with another yoga class (with no distractions). As I have learnt in mediation and from yoga – setting your intention is important, as that will serve as our original purpose to why we set out to do that particular activity.

What was meant to be a random musings entry turned out to be a longer reflection piece (unplanned). It definitely feels good to be able to crystallize my thoughts and blog/write once again.

A Letter From March 20th, 2016

This was part of the 30DLBL program that I was doing in the earlier part of the year – where one of the tasks involved writing a letter to my future self 6 months down the road. This came into my mailbox 2 days ago on 20th September – Tuesday evening to be precise while I was having my post-work dinner.

As this exercise reflects the ideal vision that I have for myself in the future, thus it is also a good opportunity for me to look back how I have progressed this past 6 months and reflect back 🙂

While not everything has gone exact to plan – with the closure of California Fitness resulting in my exercise/fitness routine going into shambles (for now), and while my time management (on daily activities) can still be improved further.

And I should be writing another letter to myself soon – to be read 6 months down the road.


Dear Wendy,

It has been a good 6 months since you have started on 30DLBL. How are you getting on?

By now, you should be living more fulfillingly, purposefully, meaningfully, and productively. You no longer procrastinate on making a client call / follow up, neither do you idle your mornings away.

You wake up nice and early everyday, raring to go. You start your work days nice and early, and by 5pm, most of the work you have set out to do for the day is completed, leaving you with a clean slate in the evenings to do your favourite things i.e. enjoy a nice dinner, read my favourite books, catch up on project work, watch your favourite dramas/variety shows.

You are also a fitter Wendy, as you can now run 1 hour non-stop comfortably. You have also become stronger and more flexible. And hopefully, slimmer and more toned.

With your routine set in the right direction through your continuous efforts and determination, and with a little bit of faith and confidence, you should be able to see the ‘fruits’ of your labour – being happier at work and actually enjoying your work again. And as a consequence, doing better, earning more, being able to save and invest more, contribute more to the household.

Also, making better relationships, and renewing existing friendships.

Last but not least, continuously growing to be a better person.

Love,
Wendy

 

End Of An Era

‘Suffered’ a bit from a messed up sleep cycle at the start of the week …… and ending the week with slight flu cum sore throat which kinda sucks as I feel tired, sleepy and drowsy. And now sleep-less again after meds, post dinner nap and a late shower.

I had originally intended to blog about this earlier in the week but sleep (and everyday life) got in the way. After the uncertainty over the previous weekend with the sudden closure of California Fitness Raffles Branch, the final ‘death knell’ came with the official announcement on Wed morning (0000 hrs after to be exact) of the closure of the remaining Bugis and Novena branches …… which more or less signifies the end of California Fitness in Singapore as liquidators have been appointed to handle the closure of the gym.

To some of my friends surprise, my reaction to the gym closure was calmer than they thought (I suppose this is so after having to go through BIGGER issues over the past half a year). Rather than anger, I feel sadness at seeing the end of California Fitness, especially having been a member since 2003/2004.

Whilst JV Fitness (the management behind California Fitness) could have handled the situation more ethically …… while I have lost some money (since mine was a prepaid membership running till 2018), I feel a lot more for the staff (customer service, membership sales, trainers and instructors) who were totally kept in the dark about California’s precarious financial situation right till the end. As I blog this now, I can still remember the faces of the tower counter staff who have been with the Bugis Branch since Day 1 of its opening (in year 2005).

Do not have any plans to sign up another new membership for now. On a personal basis, it is indeed an end of an era, and one more change in the midst of the many changes I have been experiencing in year 2016 to date. Will definitely miss my usual Thurs spin class and recent Sunday workouts . As I told J yesterday, life will go on without a gym.

Thanks for the memories!

Recurring Dreams

What do you make of dreaming the same dream TWICE in a row in the space of 1 month?

Here’s a write-up on recurring dreams from Pyschology Today – https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/dream-factory/201411/whats-behind-your-recurring-dreams

One key phrase that got my attention:

In general, recurring dreams indicate the presence of an unresolved and persistent conflict in an individual’s life, and the theme or Central Image of the dream provides a stage for this conflict to play out. The cessation of a recurrent dream may indicate that the conflict has been successfully resolved. Thus, being aware of and working with recurring dreams in your personal life or in therapy is a useful tool for resolving conflicts and improving well-being.

Well this happened to me twice within a month (mid may & early june) …… as both times, I had dreamed about losing a bag/baggage/luggage.

The 1st time – the dream was about losing my bag in a room …… and ended up going round and round to locate it (despite the fact that the bag was somewhere in the room itself).

The 2nd time – the dream was a clearer one.

As always, it is to the dream dictionary to decipher the meaning of the dream(s) as there is always a deeper/more significant meaning to it (to represent some part/unresolved issues in our lives). Also, this is the very 1st time I have dream of the same thing twice in a row – which does mean something very signifcant right?

From dreamscloud.com:

Bag – May represent the burdens and/or responsibilities you are carrying around; May also suggest a way to carry and find what you need in your dream at any given moment

Baggage – May symbolize (1) the problems and burdens you carry with you; (2) going on a trip; (3) extra or gained weight; (4) old hurts and emotions that you have not yet dealt with

There are also other themes, such as searching and wandering – with the general being about feeling lost/direction-less, searching for something missing in life (e.g. love, fulfillment), and even seeking a solution to a problem.

The dreamscloud explanation on the symbolism for lost luggage in my 2nd dream just confirms the pertinent issue that I have to deal with going forward, as below

A dream about losing your luggage may symbolize a loss of personal identity or belonging.

You may be feeling lost. You may be ready for change and prepared to redefine or “find yourself”.

Getting out of slumps, be it calling, work, personal, and to a certain extent even blogging. This has basically clouded me for a good part of June. As with getting out of slumps, June does feel like a long month indeed! Definitely, in a not-so-good way, the major issue from earlier in the year (i.e. branch issues) has not really gone away as the various negative feelings (hurt, abandonment, betrayal) re-surfaced again, as hard as I try to put them aside and move on.

Out of all these, I guess the most important take-away here at the end of everything is knowing the real issue at the core is the most important small step forward, before the next small step to resolve the problem comes ……

Can’t believe this entry took a good part of the afternoon to finish up. Well, this is one small step to reflect and get the issue out of my mind, as well as get out of my ‘blogging slump’ and start July on a fresh slate again!