October 5th, 2015 1 Comment »
Portland in September can be surprising. Most of the time, you’ll land up having the lovely tail-end of summer where the temperature is just perfect and that spot of sun and clear blue skies. There were days where it was chilly though the sun was out and strong but no complaints because from what we are experiencing right now here in Singapore… -_- The best part? It didn’t rain! Quite rare for Portland.
We had a great mini Olympics day and I surprised myself playing badminton (we even won by 2 points!), fared terribly at basketball and golf and javelin and well, I’m not really as sporty as most think I am.. the last segment was a 3 men running relay and well, it was based on speed so I told the guys to go ahead. However, most were injured from the previous competitive efforts at football etc, and I was left to run. Okay fine. Never mind that I was not wearing my usual running shoes, or didn’t have my proper sports sunglasses and haven’t run in ages. In all good Nike spirit – Just do it. So I asked who was going to start off the relay and the two guys said I can do it. Uh really? I reminded them that it was a race of speed.. there was no way that tiny Asian me can even keep up to the big boys. I landed up running the first leg, yep, I was the only girl. Check out my game face there, it was so daunting. The whistle blew and the guys sped off and I tried so hard to keep up. I was left behind quite quickly but what was cool was that everyone was cheering for me – ‘cos I was the only girl. I didn’t give up. That was what matters. I came in dead last for my leg but my team didn’t finish last
I earned respect. People came up to say good job and I had guts to do it. The big surprise was when my team won overall, first place baby! So we each earned a pair of customized kicks. Team effort for the win, that’s what I love about sports. You never know how far you can push yourself too. Even if you don’t win, there’s a lot to gain just by trying.
May 3rd, 2015 2 Comments »
A couple weeks ago, Nike Women launched a campaign called Better for It #betterforit. I love the campaign because it was reflective of how women often tell themselves that ‘I can’t’ and somehow get motivated to turn the ‘can’ts into ‘cans’. I love the notion that being strong, lean and fit is the new skinny. Truth be told, I’d rather be lean and fit versus just skinny but all flabby and fatty on the inside. Perhaps it doesn’t apply to everyone. Not everyone gets a high or the ‘I feel good’ feeling post-workout. For me, I love working up a good sweat, I hate it when my muscles are quivering and I’m on the brink of giving up. It’s always getting past that barrier and trying to do the best out of it. The post feeling is always A-M-A-Z-I-N-G.
Almost two months back, I convinced my colleague to get onto the Kayla Itsines program with me. I couldn’t have chosen a better workout partner. We motivate each other and have been keeping to it even during our hectic travel schedules. We got up at 5am to workout and give each other wakeup calls. I’ve been waking up earlier to get in the workout and it’s so tough to physically drag myself out of bed. But so far so good. Though I don’t see drastic changes in physical tone, I am definitely feeling stronger. It’s been easier on the runs or in yoga classes and I am determined to finish the program. I’ve set goals for myself after this program is completed so I’m hoping to keep it up.
I’ve realized that once a week yoga is not going to get marked improvements in either flexibility or inversions, I’m trying to see how I can make it down to the studio more regularly. I often think to myself, there is so much to do in life. I don’t have enough time to run, yoga, strength training and that’s just working out. So it baffles me when people find their lives boring. On the other hand, I’ve also learned to not waste time on doing things that I’m not really interested in. For example, spin classes, cycling, kickboxing and swimming. So when people lament that running is so boring but it is the fastest way to lose weight, my reply is – find another sport. You’re doing it for the wrong reason and it won’t be sustainable. Whatever you choose, the aim should be to get better, an inch towards your goal (whatever it may be) and slowly but surely, I promise, you’ll get there.
Views reflected here represent my personal opinions and are not reflective of my company’s
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April 10th, 2015 No Comments »
If you need some sort of inspiration, motivation and just a reminder on how challenges can be overcome, do watch this. Actually, regardless, it is well worth the 12 minutes of your time. Kayla, victim of MS overcomes it all to make it to team varsity and becomes the fastest youngest runner. Despite the fact that MS causes her to lose control of her muscles, she runs till she cannot feel her legs because when her body heats up, she loses total sensation in her legs and she cannot feel a thing. How amazing is she?
When you think you are going through life bad, and life is a constant struggle, how about people like Kayla? Then perhaps, life isn’t too bad after all.
April 10th, 2015 1 Comment »
photo by Dwee
Oh hullo! It’s been a long long while hasn’t it?
Are we really in the middle of April? It’s hard to believe how zippy quick the first quarter of 2015 has gone by once again. They say it is when you are enjoying life that time goes by even quicker. A conversation that I had with my colleagues just earlier this evening was kinda scary and awakening. We all lamented how we will be *soon hitting the big 4-0 *gasp. In a couple of years but that is scary. They say, it is when your eyesight goes downhill. All that has crossed the big 4-0 say that it literally happens when you blink open on that day. Long-sightedness sets in, you remember how you used to poke fun of your older friends and relatives who use bi-focals and the joke is now on you and well, a lot changes after.
I am afraid of that time because as I get older, I have a lot more to lose and that makes me fear of death a lot more. Remember how the young ones are often fearless and brave in taking risks? There is little to lose. I remember being so afraid of hitting the big 3-0. I did not believe when people said it will be the best time of your life. It has actually. Bigger financial independence, you get your own place, you travel more, you get promoted and well, the part of the metabolism slowing down is true but thankfully for me, I have been quite lucky in that area. SO as much as I didn’t want to grow old(er), it’s been one big fun ride. But yet, it IS still daunting when time just.. flies by.
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January 27th, 2015 No Comments »
All images taken from Amanda Bisk
One of my resolution this year is to spend more time and heart into yoga and gain more flexibility and strength. It’s something that I failed to keep up with last year and so far, I’ve been trying my best. I can’t tell you how much yoga helps or at least, it does for me.
The other day, my gf sent me a text with a photo of Amanda Bisk. She’s a former Australian Pole Vaulter and now, a qualified yoga and fitness instructor. Initially, when I saw the picture that she sent, I thought she was a bit too skinny. Then I checked out her account and wow! She’s super lean, toned and fit. I told her that okay we need to get lean and she replied – “We are both already lean. We just need to grow more legs.”
True that. While that is never going to happen, sad but true *sigh, I have an aim and goal that I want to work on. I’ll need heaps of discipline, it’s not just a class or two a week but regular and consistent work at home and even as my teacher said, it can be done! The problem with running is that it does set you back in yoga progress each time it’s done. I was very glad to hear my teacher, who’s an ex marathoner and has accomplished 7 so far, tells me, that it can be done. You can run and do yoga. She gave me quite a few tips that I can work on and I don’t know why, I walked out of the studio feeling extremely light, relaxed and my back hasn’t felt this good in awhile.
I’m determined to do this. Please encourage me along the way! I’m glad I’ve colleagues and friends in it so that helps. I don’t want to be skinny but all fatty inside. I want to be lean and strong. My friends tell me that I’m already lean. Well, it doesn’t hurt to strive to be better. I’m not going to get obsessed over it and do yoga like 5 times a week or so. But I’ll make some small changes and hope it’ll help. Let’s see how it goes in 6 months time Wish me luck!
August 8th, 2014 No Comments »
I love gadgets but the problem is, it runs on a short life cycle. It gets obsolete quickly. I had the iPad 1 (yes version 1..) and Macbook Pro 13″ that I got from 2009 and both were pretty much collecting dust in my place. The iPad 1 was used for me to view my recipes online and the Macbook Pro was literally a dead paperweight. A friend posted on FB that she had obtained a value of around SGD$500 by trading in her old Macbook, upgraded to a newer version and I decided to check it out for myself. So I called iStudio at Paragon to query and was told I would be able to get between SGD200-300 for my Macbook Pro depending on specs and current state and about SGD30-80 for the iPad 1. Awesome. I figured, I might as well get some value out of these two versus letting it depreciate further and really, I’ve not clue what to do with it. The value that you obtain is store credits by the way, and has to be utilized on the day itself.
The battery on my Macbook Pro was completely dead so that brings the value of it down to half, the guy was kind enough to give me SGD$200 value worth and I had another SGD$50 worth on my iPad. So what did I do? I scouted around for a new pair of earphones! Initially, I was looking for noise cancellation earphones to use in the office and on the plane. While I do have a nice pair of Bose noise cancellation headphones, it’s been bulky to carry along on my trips and it’s not a ‘wrap-around the ear but on the ear’ concept so it’s uncomfortable for long haul flights. The model that I was looking at wasn’t available so I explored my options. Finally, after spending a good 45 minutes testing and looking around, I settled on the Bose FreeStyle. It’s actually tailored for sports usage so I veered away from my original intention, but I could use it on the plane as well.
While it isn’t noise cancellation, it’s excellent for running as it allows me to be aware of my surroundings. The earphone ‘floats’ at the entrance of the ear canal so you still get a good sound system but I can hear what’s around me which is very key when I’m out running. Most of all, it doesn’t slip out of my ear! It’s a special design where there is a little protrusion which fits underneath the soft bone of your ear (forgot what the cavity is called). So far, on my runs, it hasn’t slipped out. Plus, it comes in three sizes so that you can adjust accordingly. I can’t say how pleased I have been with this so I thought I’d share this because a lot of us run with music and earphones that fit and don’t fall out are less distracting. It’s not too pricey either. I actually had I believe about $30-40 balance which I got a magic mouse and topped it up on my own. So there you go! If you’ve been looking for one, go check this one out. I’ll likely carry this on my trips as well.
What else is cool and new in gadget world? I’ve a new power bank that I received as a gift for my birthday and it charges my iPhone 8 times so it’s going to be really useful for trips or when I’m out and about without access to a power point.
July 10th, 2014 No Comments »
Over the last year or so, there’s been an upcoming trend – Soul Cycle. Made popular by celebrities, it’s the rage over in the U.S especially in NYC. The idea is spinning but according to the beats of music. It’s more of a social do but no less challenging than any regular spin class. Back here, 7Cycle brings a similar concept. Cycling to the latest pulsating music, burning calories and getting fit in a fun environment. There are various workouts each averaging 45 minutes and towels, shoes, toiletries (and even hair ties), lockers are provided so you just need to rock up in your workout gear.
My colleague is one of the instructors and he has friends and family sessions so he got the Nike peeps over one evening. I joined in to great fun and my legs were aching the next day. The machines are sophisticated. It tracks your wattage, mileage, resistance and what’s cool is that if you are a member, you’ll be given a card which you slot into the machine. Post-workout, the details of your cycling performance will be emailed to you and I believe, it does a comparison and tracking on previous sessions. Something great for the tech geeks.
For those that love a good spin class, I had say give this one a shot. It’s way more fun – yes, I’ve done spinning classes before, will I go back? Perhaps. But that’s because I’m more of a runner and yoga lover. I’ve not got those straightened out yet so one thing at a time.
On a side related note, what I have been working on is a lot of core strength, getting those abs whipped back into shape and the results are showing 😉 With a moderate diet (no, I still eat my desserts and carbs), core workouts and moderate cardio, the weight has been coming down and I’m sort of back to my optimal (just a little more to go) and the best part is, I had the best compliment on my waist and butt at workout class one day 😛 I was curious and did a waist measurement and literally went whoop whoop! Smallest ever in a long while so I’m keeping that up hopefully! So whatever works for you, just keep going!
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