Monday, January 31, 2011

Clothes maketh a man; humanity maketh a society

Where in the past families were poorer, hand-me-down clothes were treasured possessions fought for by siblings; in these modern days where new and fancy clothes are easily affordable, second-hand clothes are looked upon with disdain and to be quickly discarded.

I wonder if this speaks true only in better-to-do economies. What about under developed countries where basic necessities are still lacking?

It's so easy to replace convenience with economic wastage.

Or perhaps it's not economical to transport old clothes to under developed countries.

So why are we fixated with having everything new? Why the fixation with gloss and shine? Why do aesthetics appeal so much to the human eyes?

Our practices are a culmination of our cultural environment. Singapore, a small nation run on human resources and break neck speed progress, fixes her gaze at only one thing - to get ahead of all competition and be nothing but the best. It's people, regardless of citizens or foreign workers of the economy; are likewise, conditioned to be single minded in the pursuit for greatness; in the process of which, it is inevitable that secondary things get sidelined. Secondary things which are often values that make us human; values that are found only in the species called man. Values like compassion, humanity and kindred spirit.

Consider China. In its desperate attempt to grow exponentially to make up for the years of closed economy and catch up with the superpowers of the world today, how often do we read of unscrupulous acts of officials and businesses that strove for economic gains at the expense of general health, safety and compassion? To picture this graphically, imagine a sprinter that rudely shoves off his screaming and adoring fans lined at the side of the track, within touching distance of him, who clamors and tries to get a hold of him; the sprinter doesn't look back once. He surges on ahead and even if he has to trample on a member of the crowd that has fallen into his track, he will not stop, but continues sprinting forward - he cannot stop, because time will not stop for him. Such is China, India, and dare I say, our nation, if we lose sight and emphasis of our humanity.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Journey to Ironhood: Week 3

Week 3 (24-30 Jan):

Started the week on a high - barely slept for 2 hours, woke up at 4am and ran 14km. Fueling up more on fruits & vege these days. Added tomatoes to my list of new best friends. The small and crunchy ones. They fight anti-oxidants which abound in an athlete's body. Brilliant!

Just got started on interval (run) workouts. Intervals aren't exactly fun - they drive you like a slave master, and you often feel like bailing out, but if you stick your guns, you'll be thankful when you see marked improvement. Learning to recognize and appreciate good teachers, like intervals.

Enjoying long Saturday rides with my speedster friends, only to find myself pretty worn out and napping for an hour or two after. Like a hyper child made to nap and recharge - ha!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Journey to Ironhood: Week 2

Week 2 (17-23 Jan):

Body is beginning to feel sore and stiff. Occasional headaches. At work, things are picking up pace, so longer hours at work plus intensive training is draining me a little. Keeping myself happy by eating well. Eating averagely 5 smaller meals now. Bread and oranges are my new best friends.

Sustained a fall in the bathroom on Thursday after my bike ride (a sign that I'm lacking rest - currently sleeping averagely 4.5 hours each night). Thankful that accidents happen at home, not on the roads.

Caught a flu on the last day of week 2 - didn't manage to run and swim as planned. Can't wait to be back on track... looking forward to week 3!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Hard worker

Looking at her, I'm sure she will get somewhere someday. She may just be working in a bread shop toasting bread and serving them, but she does them brilliantly fast and well. I'm intrigued, watching her intent focus and speed on the job. A seemingly menial and low paying job to most of the office-working patrons in the financial line in this area, she may look insignificant, but her excellence in her work far outshines the mediocrity of it all.

Her name is Joyce (she wears a name tag), and she works at Toast Box at Plaza Singapura. Do drop by for breakfast if you're in the vicinity in the mornings, and tell me if you notice the most outstanding worker of them all in the shop.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Journey to Ironhood: Week 1

This is the first of 20 weekly updates from now till May 29, the day of my IronMan race in Tianjin, China. Am keeping a journal to share my experience in this arduous journey to Ironhood... stay with me! ;)

Week 1 (10-16 Jan):

All good - week 1 went very well. Very excited and had to resist the urge to clock above and beyond the planned mileage. Only slack was my Sat 90k ride - woke up 45mins past 4am and only managed to ride 60k with the Dawn Riders. That's how much you lose in an hour - 30k. Wow.