Monday, February 27, 2012

Iron Redefined

The Ironman journey has helped many believe and accomplish things they never thought possible; unfortunately for me, it has caused me to spend more than I earn, made me extremely competitive and lose sight of the value of my decisions.

I'm glad for the timely wake up call to take a step back to reevaluate why I participate in the Ironman in the first place (was it purely for my own selfish gain, or was it for a larger cause?), and how I can be a better steward of my time, money and body.

During the three months I was in California, I encountered and befriended a bunch of incredible cyclists whose love for the great outdoors, warm hospitality to new riders, and extreme kindness to fellow riders humble me so. Their way of life embodies the true essence of sports and fitness - sporting for the well being of the body, mind and soul, and building great relationships and community.

I dug deep into my soul and am ashamed to find that I've tipped off the scale of true sporting pursuit. I was selfish, competitive, edgy, obsessive and reckless.

Remorse calls for radical action. And I did. I withdrew from a race I prepared many months for, with single minded focus - the Ironman Melbourne due to take place on 25 March 2012.

I lost a little of myself with my withdrawal from the race, but I'm certain what I'd gain in return would be so much more.

The return came very quickly. To my surprise, now that I'm off a demanding agenda as the Ironman, I'm running better timing than I did before, swimming happier and riding more efficiently. I am not ruled or boxed in by an obsessive need to keep to a strict training regime, and am liberated to take off to spend time with my family, without guilt.

In fact, the past two weeks spent with my family was the best I ever had and remembered in all my years. It's incredibly satisfying, the sacrifice made for quality family time - after all, we are nothing without our family; we are whole and complete, when rested and built upon the foundation of love found in family.

These said, I'm not a quitter, because I don't know how to. I hustle for what I believe in, for what I'm worth. This withdrawal from an important race is not the end of me, neither is it the end of my sporting pursuit.

I'm realigning my values and redefining my goals. And I'm making progress. Stand with me, believe with me - glorious days lie ahead.

Monday, February 06, 2012

The Fight of Life

How do we truly know what we want to achieve in life? We don't. We dream, aspire, plan, strategize; but we live one day at a time, take one step at a time, and along the way, realize that the path to our plans is often a surprisingly long and winding one; littered with potholes and road blocks, detours and off-roads, steep climbs and descends, misty low hanging clouds and penetrating sunshine.

And that's the beauty of life - that we don't just stroll through it - we fight for it.

And when we do, when we wake up every morning getting about the affairs and business of the day, this very act of obedience to the law of survival - that we have to work for what we need; and the law of nature - that we reap what we sow, by exchanging our time for money to trade in the economy of life for our daily survival and basic needs, and for many inspiring others, luxury wants; we progress mechanically but surely through the complexity of human chain, an essential link to the puzzle of our aspirations.

But what happens when we defy the laws of nature and attempt to escalate our growth process?

Unfortunately, for many a sad instances, we break free from the cycle, hanging vicariously by the thin thread of hope for a better future, only to fall into an abyss of uncertainty that surrounds, gropes and strangles our faintest light, and kicks us right back to where we began.

Yet for some, the courageous, the fighter, they dig deep into their beings, unleash the treasure within themselves, ad reveal gems that overcome the darkness.

Oh, that we may conquer, defeat and divide, as the latter warriors do - with utmost faith in an eternal truth that never fails - that your latter days shall be better than your former days; that you shall eat of the good of the land in the days of your living.