Thursday, August 13, 2009

The Edge Rat Race Part 2 - John-Son's Turn

Fighting the shit storm


So yes, this is probably one of those posts to rant. Hopefully it won't turn out negative as I have yet to plan this entire post. Rather I would let this unravel not only my emotions at this very moment but that which I have felt during the race. let us find the silver lining shall we, IF WE CAN....


10 secs!

Yes! That’s how far we were from third place. That was really the last straw that broke the camel's back, yeah I am that camel. Like adding salt to a wound that really was a huge disappointment even though I know we did generally well compared to the other teams and expected somewhere around 4th place. But, to know that we were a mere 10 secs shy from a medal. Sigh, that just sucks.

So yeah, as you all know I ran with a fever. I woke up in the morning with a high fever. Yeah I lied, it wasn't a "lil temperature" like I told JW when I got up in the morning. It was actually quite bad. But I couldn't let the team down, not after all the hope that those who funded this little adventure placed on me. I don't think finding a replacement would have been an option. I knew deep down inside that they were all secretly rooting for my immunity system to hold up. Well it did, loads of love from the team, some panadols and sleep plus a double of everything subway sandwich made me feel better.

I was still in doubt though of whether I could repeat my performance at Kiara Hills of 20.01 (estimated 4km, very hilly). Not to mention I beat JW and Edmuntron (ahahah having to tie shoelaces aren't an excuse), I got you that day guys regardless of what you say. Secretly, I was hoping to repeat that feat again and further improving on it, yes that would mean beating Edm, Jw and YES I WOULD SAY DARE SAY IT, WINNING THAT DAMN THING. HAHA I am a dreamer indeed for little did I know that in this race existed seasoned tri-athletes, national runners (yes of Indian ethnicity, somehow they make us YELLOW SKINS intimidated) and running specialists. Yes I was gunning to blaze this shit and win the whole thing.

The day before I felt a little down, but I was more excited than anything. I was even practicing the pose running method in my room (in front of the mirror, NO SZE NING I WASN"T TOUCHING MYSELF). I had everything planned out in my head, from start to finish, how I would find my pace, regulate my breathing and when to start sprinting while referring to the map provided. Everything was in the BAG for me; at least that was what I thought.

The next morning I got up thinking to myself, "OH SHIT, WHY AM I SHIVERING LIKE THAT?""CRAP, I HAVE A FEVER". I asked my lovely "HOUSE EXECUTIVE" for a bottle of water and some Panadol. Somehow my mother overheard that I was sick and immediately texted me saying to forward that following text to my "boss", JW of course. Well I shall not put the exact words here but somewhere it read, for me to get a doctors approval if not she will not allow me to run, with the perfect topping.

You know how mothers can find all sorts of reasons or excuses, whatever you call them to prohibit you from doing something if they find it troubling. Well my mom had a damn good one. So she topped off the message really nicely saying this, “I have several friends who dropped dead when they exercise when they are not feeling well". Wow! That really didn't help at all, it wasn't just 1 or 2 friends she was talking about. It was several, my mom was serious. That really didn't help my morale because I personally know how hazardous it is to run with a sickness, not to mention the recent incident at the Adidas KOTR. I have to admit, I was paranoid because the idea of a cardiac arrest was something that I couldn't just ignore because I seriously wasn't feeling too well.

Anyways, I took two Panadols and went back to bed for a couple more hours. When I got up I felt relatively better but all my joints were aching and my muscles felt awfully dehydrated. YIPPY I know. Somehow I have a tendency of falling into such calamities in such events, Hans pointed out. I couldn't totally disagree with him.

To cut the long story short, when I reached the race site my fever had subsided but the after effects was still lingering. Not to forget that it could come back any minute as I believed it was the Panadol’s magical properties just suppressing the fever. I, secretly being the wannabe SPARTAN warrior still wanted to run anyways. To be honest I didn't know how I would hold up. All I knew I had to do was hold up a tough front as best as I could and just 'Blaze that shit' when the gun sounded.

As you all heard, we didn't get a good start to the race, no need to even bother mentioning miss CLOWN FACE from Astro. Seriously I now have this awfully warped negative perspective about aunties with HEAVY make up. They always seem to be like this infamous soon to be world famous AGNES from Astro. God bless her bitter soul. HAHA I HOPE SHE GOOGLES THIS!

So the gun sounded. I think it caught all of us by surprised, immediately I felt a stampede behind me pushing and shoving. My race started with a mini hurdles event trying to dodge cones and a tripping Edm. Thank goodness all of us made it pass the starting point alive and avoided the fate of MUFASSA ( Simba's father, in case some of you had a deprived childhood) who was trampled by wilder beast.

The first KM was still alright, but I didn’t feel the normal spring in my step and the strides I took were not as wide as normal. That was expected based on my circumstances, I didn’t expect full form. Thing is after that first kilometre, my legs were burning up unusually fast, I wasn’t feeling any recovery at all no matter how I changed my stride and it was becoming increasingly difficult to breathe. At this time I was ahead of JW, Lyn and Hans. Edmund was about 20 metres ahead of me and fading into the distance.

Soon I realised that it was not possible at all to follow Edm, after awhile he was gone. Pacing Edmund sounded really good before we started the race, but I was quickly brought to reality because finishing the race itself started to seem like an impossible task. I was actually clutching my waist as I ran. WTH! How can that be? I crossfit! I carry sandbags and shit, I eat this kinda distance for breakfast, I am after all from Pushmore, and I am HARDCORE. Well not at that moment, after a little more than 2 KM I was gone, I swear I wanted to vomit, collapse, crawl into a hole probably in one of those big trees outside Zouk and DIE.

“Let’s Go John-Son!” said a voice from behind. It was our CEO Champion JW. He quickly passed me and set the pace. I thought to myself maybe I’ll follow the leader. NOPE, that didn’t work. I was dead, right now I was on auto pilot mode, no more petrol left in my tank I was using the momentum I have built up from before to continue. Fuelled by his personal goal to hunt as many fitness first people as possible, he too disappeared. I later found out, He got 3 of them.

Soon Lyn caught up to me. I was like OH GOD !! LYN ! the girl of our team. I know she is a monster, but still it wasn’t something I couldn’t handle. Wrong again, this was the third time. She overtook me to win first place for the women’s open category while I finished just behind her. Trust me I tried to sprint but I just couldn’t go. I would say this was honestly the most “mind FUCKING” race I have ever been in regardless of the distance. Yeah only 4.5km even though it felt like 5km. I finished the race with a time of 23 mins and was placed 25th in my category, 3 mins shy of my personal goal which I was pretty sure I could achieve.

So here is the thing. It might seem like I am simply complaining, but it is more than that. From tough adversities we learn our most valuable lessons. Remember that. I mean I could easily say, yeah If I didn’t have a fever we could have won a medal because I definitely could have ran 10 secs faster at top condition. Ok I am guilty of that, I have been saying that. Fact of the matter is we still got 4th place and was 10 secs shy regardless of the circumstances. But I am through with that, that’s right, I am done. Only losers complain like that.

Life is just like that, you can spend months trying to plan and simulate every given scenario, but when crunch time comes you just got to do everything you can with everything you have to get the job done, no excuses.

The thing that matters is stepping up to the plate and taking it right on with all that you have and finishing it. That is what is most important because nobody gives a damn about your circumstances. Why do we pushmore? Why do we train intensely for the unknowable and the unknown? Simply so that regardless of what life throws at you we can persevere.

I persevered and dragged my ass through that race. Yeah the results weren’t up to personal standards but I finished it even though I could have quit many times during the race and simply say “OH IT WAS THE FEVER” .but I pulled through because I believe subconsiously I was conditioned to not give up because after all“DNF is forever”.

Thank you Eddie, Karen, JW, Edm, Hans for understanding and making it easy for me. We will make it next year for sure. Moving forward is so much easier when there is a great team like you guys.

Yeah, this was a long winded post but I am still sick at home so I have plenty of time. Thanks for spending your time to read this. You deserve a present for persevering this long. So here is your gift in a form of a timeless proverb:

…. it ain't about how hard ya hit. It's about how hard you can get it and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That's how winning is done!”

~Rocky Balboa~

John-Son Oei


LynnX said...

To my dear Teamie - it was already a great effort to run that sprint distance whilst feeling sick, down and plain horrible. it takes alot of energy and willpower to complete that route, feeling sickish and drenched in the humidity that you can hardly breathe.

Cheers to you and positive attitude. It is contagious. :) Catch you back soon.

God bless!

Karen said...

Well done John-son and the team! We are very proud of your achivement regardless you are 10 secs or 10 minutes away from a medal.

DNF is forever and john-son persisted and completed the race. That is what sportsmanship is all about.

Let's train hard and look forward to a better race next year! :D

Master Poser - Lat Spread King said...

Dammit, just a timeless proverb for reading the loooong post?!!? I deserve a beer!!

Jesse said...

Hey great work there man! Totally applaud your fighting spirit and you WILL come back much better, stronger and fitter next year. That proverb has pulled me through countless times. Glad you're a keen subscriber to Rocky's beliefs too.

John-Son said...

Man.....As punchy as he may be Rocky sure has a lot of wise things to say.Thanks guys !

Adam said...

well said buddy.

i look up to you even higher now, to be able to finish the race with your fever! i know i would have failed!

but im still in shock over your 'touching yourself in the mirror' comment.

nightmares here i come!

Anonymous said...

wah..very pia spirit face..congrate n salute !


John-Son said...

Thanks for the pic

Anonymous said...

wah..fever still can pia,take care of u body ya..cinya...!!

Happy to share the foto with runners.