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!

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!

Ending Off February ….

Intended to write this last night but ended up making up for the lack of sleep the night before (i.e Sunday) by going to bed at 2320 hrs (my earliest in a long long while) ……

Thus an entry to mark a much awaited start to a new month after a pretty tumultuous Febrauary ……

Began Febrauary right smack with food poisoning, which left me drained & tired …… and may I add at a very bad timing too as it was right smack at the week before Chinese New Year! Wasn’t in the mood to enjoy the festivity of ‘monkey year’ in the air as a result.

And of course, with more nasty and unpleasant happenings to come post CNY (namely branch issues which affected my mood rather badly) ….. more struggles in clearing my underwriting backlog. As a result, all the accumulated stress and unhappiness (plus being caught in light rain) led to me spending the last week of Febraruary down with flu and cough!

And having my laptop battery completely drained (down to 45 min usage from the original 2 Hr 45 min) with the laptop being only 1 year 3 months old!!

As much as there are more downs than ups where February is concerned, there has still been a few good ‘shining lights’ that I can be grateful for, such as ……

Finally getting started on a e-learning program (30DLBL) that I have been wanting to do since last year (2015) over the CNY hols ……

With the structure and framework provided by 30DLBL, I have finally managed to put in a regular calling schedule that will help me increase my work activities more consistently and on a longer term scale ……

Coming to a personal realisation that the setbacks/obstacles that I have experienced are God’s way to help me grow and be a stronger and better Wendy ……

2 good discussions/appointments made as a result of consistent calling schedule put in place. Whilst still working towards closure on the things discussed, this is important to me in view of the continued frustration on my underwriting backlog ……

Gotten a haircut which is pyschologically important for myself as a new haircut symbolises cutting away all the bad and having fresh start ……

To add on to the above, ended Feb (Monday Feb 29 to be precise) with a 0900 Hrs morning appointment (one of the 2 discussions as above) and a small case closed (otherwise a big fat duck for February as well) ……

A Peranakan buffet lunch treat from DY …..

Being able to end February with a deep good 9 to 10 hour sleep (as described above) ……

Always remember

When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.

~~ Alexander Graham Bell

One Door Closes Another Opens

 

Post Holiday

Was busy trying to put in as much work/business as possible before my 11 day long awaited holiday trip to Japan during the 1st 2 weeks of November., thus the lack of entries.

Had optimistically thought I will FINALLY have the time during holiday/break to catch up on blogging and back-dated readings, only to end up being not in the state of mind to do so (holiday mood after all :P) ……

Anyway, it has been EXACTLY 1 week (from 14th November) since I’m back from vacation, and it has been rather challenging to get back into a workable and sustainable routine/daily schedule ……  as the changes I intend to make post hols have been far from easy, and will need some time to be ingrained into HABITS.

Such as getting back my regular sleeping patterns again. Holidays are great as we usually slept relatively early (latest by midnight) and got out of bed by 0730 to 0800 easily. However with the heat and humidity back in Singapore, it has been a lot more challenging. 0900 to 0930 has been the best I could manage so far this week. A good sleep and wake up routine is important to manage my energy, thus need to improve a lot more on this in the coming week!

And immediately after I got back to Singapore, of all things pulled a calf muscle on my upper left leg. Felt that strain in the leg especially when I got back to office on Tuesday (sitting posture was stiff due to the calendars right below my seat). Thank goodness it got better …… and I was able to restart my exercise routine with my regular Thursday spin class.

Similarly trying to get back into a good work rhythm as well. A lot of energy has been spent on numerous underwriting follow ups and appeals since my return, as versus to actually working on activities that will help me to grow my business. Like for instance to get the estate planning / will writing aspect going FASTER than the current dormant state it is right now. Plus also getting back to regular client reviews, more initiated touch-base activities for closer engagement in today’s competitive landscape.

And hope to blog more regularly! As with all habits, if you do not do something often enough …… you will end up getting rusty. Its much harder to blog/write these days as I’m blogging a lot lesser, as over time, it has become lesser of a habit to do so. I don’t think I have the time and energy to blog detailed travel entries for this latest trip …… but maybe my travel entries will most likely be more of a highlight/picture format instead.

And yes, no specific plans on where to go for my next holiday as I have decided to leave that to chance and opportunity …… rather than specifically target/plan. But do hope to go somewhere else other than that of Japan (unless the opportunity to visit Hokkaido comes up with the introduction of the Hokkaido Shinkansen in March 2016 next year). But yes, I do miss the cool weather that I have enjoyed during my 11 days holiday this year. Cool weather and clean air has become such a precious commodity after having to bear the effects of haze throughout September and October.

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** Karuizawa was where we enjoyed the coolest (10 degrees – which was also the coldest we experienced as Karuizawa is located at the edge of the Nagano mountains) ….. and cleanest air. Will love to be back for a longer stay next time round!

Orh Luak Follow-Up …… And A Foodi-licious Filled Birthday Week

Did a check in my blog archives and noted that the last time I had only one entry in an entire month was back in August 2012!

September flew by in a whizz, first with elections (which meant 1 long weekend as polling day was on Friday 11 September) in early September, followed by another public holiday (Hari Raya Haji on Thursday 24 September) …… which unfortunately co-coincided with prolonged haze in Singapore. Somehow I felt that I did not achieve much for September, routine (exercise, work) and mood/well being was rather disrupted by the haze …… and time definitely went by too quickly for my liking 😛

No matter what …… we are now in October, a brand new month and the start of the final quarter of the year! A couple of things to look forward to – My Birthday, A Much More Productive October Professionally and Personally …… and less than a month away – return trip to Japan!

As this week is my Birthday Week …… it is a foodie week as well 😛

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Began the week with a delicious plate of orh luak!

As I wasn’t 100% satisfied with the previous plate …… and since I sort of had a craving for it, decided to take a walk down to Chinatown Food Street (around 10 to 15 min walk from office) to check out the fried oyster stall there – Katong Keah Kee Fried Oyster.  Katong Keah Kee is somewhat less reviewed compared to the more famous ones such as Simon Road, Bedok85, but having heard pretty good reviews …… there is no harm checking them out as it was within walking distance from office.

And disappoint it didn’t! Exceed my expectations it did! Not only were the oysters plentiful, juicy and flavourful …… the omelette portion was crispy and you can actually taste the eggy portion more than the starch itself. Very satisfied and very happy that I need not go too far anymore for a tasty plate of orh luak in the future.

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Another sumptous meal followed soon after – birthday treat from J at Teppei. And coffee and dessert at Okada Coffee – a slightly under the radar Japanese cafe at 100AM.

More food to follow. Dinner @ the newly opened Mak’s Noodle outlet at Westgate (Jurong East) to eat …. porridge!! Was on a whim to try Mak’s porridge after reading great reviews of it in a food blog, and why not since I had already tried their classic Wanton noodles at their Central outlet. This is their Mak’s An Congee 招牌粥.

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Not bad. Very nice and smooth HK style congee. Only minus was that it was a bit cold.

Then I had a ba chor mee craving ….. and so it was ba chor mee at the Hong Lim branch of Tai Hwa. Yum yum!

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Then my now-once-a-week laksa prawn pasta fix @ Play Kitchen, Jurong Point (Kopitiam)!

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Did tell J that I will abstain from Japanese food as much as possible, only to end up having Ramen dinner @ One Raffles Place foodcourt after spin class on Thursday night.

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And another BD treat from D. Japanese food again …… this time from Tampopo!

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Birthday is once a year, so its ok 😛