Monday, November 24, 2008

Training, the fun kind...

I am soo excited.. the weekend was another great one, a build up to the coming one where I hope and finally get to … skydive. This weekend took 3 days to plan and execute, but was rewarded with heaps of new knowledge and oppurtunities for the future.

Not into discussing the planning bit, so let’s jump into the weekend itself. It all started on Saturday at 2am. Skydiving instructor extraordinaire, D.Lee (not D.Li, ,my colleague) suggested early in the week that I should make a trip down to Genting to learn the basics to skydiving in the wind tunnel there. So, on that Saturday, D.Lee and other fellow skydiver Mike along with his wife Stella picked me up and drove all the way to Genting. On the way we stopped at Nilai for hot nasi lemak which was yummy…mmmm…

We arrived at Genting around 830am, and proceeded to have breakfast at The Hainan Restaurant. Skyventure opens at 10 am, so we just chilled around till then, which was great, as all of us had not enough sleep the night before. D.Lee also taught the basic position of skydiving then, using some Y shaped board (of which I cant remember the name)… and it was painful… after a few session of stretches.. muscles loosened up a bit.. but still I get cramps when practicing the position.

At 10am, SkyVenture opened.. .and not long after that Abang Nazim came in as well… yayy!! Now all the cast has assembled for this run. I went up to grab my jumpsuit, helmet and goggles while the rest changed into the ones they brought along. D.Lee had me wear gloves… safety precautions. And.. so we were ready and raring to go. D. Lee went in first and demo-ed the arched position I should be in. My turn.. Went in… and sigh.. was so unsmoothly… darn… I kept turning and my legs were so unsteady.. I was also having difficulty in maintaining my arch.. and my arms were too close to my body. Failed… ok..dun give up yet… Mike went next.. and he was steady.. ok.. he’s an experienced new diver.. but learns quite fast as well. Ok.. D.Lee went in again… and another demo.. Me again… failed… sigh.. Went in another 2 times after that, but still no good. Break time.

Abang Nizam took the video of our first session, and D.Lee went through with us the whole thing.. Noticed my mistakes, but still no confidence in getting it right then. Okay.. prep myself again, and went in for the second session. Take a deep breath and lay myself horizontally … ok..steady steady now.. yes!!! Managed to hold my position!!! Yes!!! Knees bent, body arching.. keep arms forward… yes!!! I’m floating.. ok..mebbe turning abit but… floating nice, nevertheless.. I was so elated!! Went out and hi-fived D.Lee.. I was brimmed with smiles.. finally… I’m getting somewhere. My next few sessions got better and learnt how to manouvre better – like turning, chking altimeter and preparing to pull. Finally, did 20 minutes in the wind tunnel… had a dead back after that..and it’s still dead now (on Monday).

After the wind tunnel, Mike dropped me off in MidValley, KL. Hang-ed around the area fer a while, until sth grabbed my attention. Christian Dior had a huge booth, displaying their new mascara and perfume… and offering a makeover and a photoshoot for purchasing any of their products.. Nuff said, and two hours later… the results as below:

Which was soooooo NOT ME!!!

Spent the night in Bangsar and Uncle’s place, and had yummy mamak food… maggi goring for me, anytime, anyday…. And had a good and relaxing sleep.. was so dead already by then. day started out real early aroung 6am. Today (Sunday, that is) was for white water rafting guide training at KKB (I thought was suppose to be at Ulu Slim) Sigh.. muscles still aching like mad from the day before. Safiq and ?Rustam picked me and up from Bangsar and off we go. Had morning roti-telor at KKB while awaiting the rest. Finally we all headed down to the starting point at about 9am.

The “guides” in training were separated into 3 rafts with 6 persons per raft. Before we started to the big rapids, we were given some extra instructions on maneuvering the raft, from the front (pointer) and the back (captain).. it was not easy, but the instruction were easy. Then, after a short practice, we were off. The “guides” in training were given chance to sit in the front to practice being the raft pointer. The main job of the pointer is to make sure the raft is straight as we go along the river. Everything is different when you’re either in the front or the back…very much different when you’re just sitting in the middle… hmm.. let’s put it this way.. When you’re at the front, you won’t fall off easily, but.. you’d face the rapids head on. When you’re at the back… you’re literally standing up each time you got through the rapids, so you’d fall off extra easily (like Safiq at the 2nd canyon..hehe) and you get to see.. sometimes in slow motion… the rapids as it eats up the raft..hehe…

3 hrs later… we finished it.. I was dead.. we headed off to bathe and after that to a restaurant for lunch and a nice chat. It was raining heavily but that helped to cool the weather down as we ate to our hearts content. hehe.. thank goodness I was not driving back (thank you Safiq) I slept the whole journey back…

Dropped off at KLCC and chill until it was time to go back.. it was another amazing weekend.. but ugh… tired..!!!! even till now.. but then again, I won’t mind doing the whole thing again and again and again, with such wonderful friends and great instructors!!!

Okay.. till the coming weekend (super excited already)…
Trudge on..

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Mmm.... Chocolates

Yay.. got an early souvenir cum Xmas prezzie from fellow colleague D.Li at work yesterday.. Yummy Chocs, all the way from US of A. The liquer chocs were filled to with liquor that is not dried up, and the Godiva's were just.. heavenly... mmmm

Inside the box

Bag of goodies!!

D.Li munching on chocz...
Alright!! Chocz on!!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Sunday's amazing rides...


My second stay-in weekend of the month, and it was great.. ok, ok.. I really need to get serious about my Ironman training, but hey, you only live once, so... what the heck.

As the previous post, I got my first ever pedicure on Saturday.. and it still looks great. Sunday, the next day, was even more exciting and filled with the ever usual adrenaline rush. It started with rock climbing in the morning at Yishun SAFRA. Man... my arms were dead after that as I have not climbed for what seemed like ages.... (oklar.. last climb was in ?May) Managed to reach the top of two new walls for me, with lotsa rest in between... (thank you, Dean). Tried a bit of bouldering, but was really useless at that... so.. New Year's resolution of 2009 - to climb more and better ... hmm.. also to dive more (in sea and sky) and travel more and find a BF and.... etc etc etc... my non-stop wish list

okay.. before I go on and on and on ... Sunday night was equally exciting.. made a pact with Pris and Kayla to go on the Gmax Reverse Bungee and Xtreme Swing ( The rides have been out for yrs now, but can never find anybody to go with me. The Reverse Bungee is akin to a Bungee Jump, only the other way round, while the Xtreme Swing is like the Canyon Swing in NZ, where you swing form one ridge to the other side on a canyon.

We met up at 8pm at Clarke Quay MRT and made our way there. Pris's younger bro, Robin, joined us as well. Pris wanted to reward him for the amazing results in the latest exams, and so was treating him to the rides.

We met up with Kayla and gang at the Gmax rides itself, and proceeded to get the tickets. There wasn't a queue there, so we were the next "victims". Okay, started with the Reverse Bungee.. 3 pax, so me, Pris and Robin went first. We were strapped onto the seats as we held our breaths. The attendant prepped the "capsule" and readied to push the launch button....

All tied down to the capsule...

5.....4... (i started counting with her)...3......errr

ARGHHHHHH!!!!! We were OFF!!!! it was fast..real fast... imagine being shot up in the air at 5G's... like a slingshot.. oh man oh man oh man... what goes up must come down... ARGHH!!!!!! here we go again...hahaha.. (ok.. I was pretty much silent.. Pris did the vocal cord practice)... :)...

Did a forward flip

We bounced up and down a few times until finally, no more momentum and the capsule stopped. We were lowered slowly.. slowly until we touched down.. Alright.. that was a few seconds of adrenaline rushing all the way out and up and down and up and down again. It was great!!!
(Reverse Bungee clip on youtube: )

Alright, Kayla was up next with another tourist and.. she is one super gutsy lady... she didn't scream at all, but the guy was hilarious... he screamed and cursed and screamed again.. even when it was all over.. haha... shows that females are after all the stronger sex ;)

Okaaaay... after one ride, it's the Xtreme Swing then. Kayla sat out on this one, so it was me, Pris and Robin. Okay, the attendants strapped us in again.. phew.. this ride is a bit different though. We get to pull the lever itself to release us from one end and Robin was given the honour... So, we were pulled up to one side... (imagine a swing) high high up on one side.. to relieve the tension.. we were singing nursery rhymes (I think the attendants thought we were mad). Finally, after about 20 secs, we were at the highest point. The light turned green, signalling we can release the lever already.. small chat and right when I was in the middle of my thoughts... ARGHHH!!!! We were falling..... !!!! the first fall was about ?7-8G's.. it was whoa.. undescribably fun!!! haha... after that.. the subsequent swings weren't really as exciting anymore :( , as the momentum slowly died-ed away.. but heck, the first rush was enough liao.. :)

Right before we were released

We were lowered again, and got out of our seats.. We were still high and super excited after the ride and went for some makan and minum, ehh.. Brewerkz with great beer nearby ma (but we were at Cafe Iguana, next to Brewerkz) before adjourning around 11pm to home and bed...

It was one great and exciting Sunday... loved loved loved it :). Wish there were more days like this, but err... dun ask me to do it again la... (unless someone spares me 65 bucks for the ride)

Trudge on, and ride on...

Friday, November 14, 2008


In moments of pure vanity... I had my first pedicure...

The funny thing was that I didn't know it comes with such attention to details, like soaking my feet in a tub of flower water and applying moisturiser to my terribly dry toes. Then was cleaning the sides of my toenails, and clipping it neat.. Finally, was filing my toenails to form a proper toenail shape.. Then, applying the base coat, the color x2 and finally drying it...

whoa.. so much just to keep the toes cute.... I wont be able to do it myself, that's for sure... so here's the finished product...

nice eh... well, at least for the next few hours before I go running, swimming, rock climbing.... etc etc etc....
Like how my hairstylist used to say, after I tell him that I'm going for a run after the haircut...
" Are you telling me this on purpose?"...
hehehhe.... trudge on....

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Woohoo!!! Wakeboarding!!

YES!!! After so much stories of wakeboarding.. I finally get to try it out Saturday. And really, it wasn't as easy as it looks on the videos and movies.

It all started when on Friday, I was told that my initial plan to skydive was cancelled as the Malaysian instructors pulled out. :(.. I was feeling bummed out... when Pris, my pharmacists friends suggested that I go wakeboarding with her and her cousin Eileen... I said yes!!! and was superbly esctatic .... and here we go wakeboarding. yayy!!

Now, wakeboarding has been around for quite some time now, but only recently has its popularity grown immensely. It's the extreme water sports that is akin to snowboarding and skateboarding, only that it's done on water and there is a boat pulling you forward. Falling down in wakeboarding is not as bad as in snowboarding and skateboarding, with the water to cushion your falls. That said, it can still cause abrasions and broken bones if one is not careful enough breaking the fall, especially at high speeds.

So, on Saturday, we met at 9.15am at the Punggol MRT station (I was ...sigh... as usual 15 mins late), and off we went to the Punggol Water Ski-area. It was quite deep in and took about 10 mins by car, so I can imagine no buses ever going there for now. Our instructor, Edward (Eileen's coach) greeted us at his boat as we hopped in and make ourselves comfortable. Soon we were off, far from the jetty towards a quiet spot at the river.

Eileen started off first, and she was superb. She was practising her wake-jumps (1 and 2 wake jumps) and pulled them off flawlessly. After each jump/fall, Edward would give his comments on how to improve it. Seems that it takes lotsa skills and practice to get it done properly sans getting injured, but it looks amazingly cool, nevertheless.

Next up were the newbies (Pris and me). Pris went first. Ok, safety vest on and she strapped on the board. Then, Edward gave some instructions and short coaching on getting up on the board in the water. First: relax. Second: don't pull the rope, let the rop pull you. Third: squat, stand, turn. hehe...sounds easy right.... haha... wait till you try it. Keep your knees close to each other but keep them about shoulder width apart. Put your elbows around your knees. Alritey then, into the water. The water was murky and oily as we were quite close to the industrial sites, but oh well, once your inside, it doesn't matter anymore :) Holding onto the rope, Pris was now floating in the murky water. The boats engine starts.. and slowly first we went.... the rope tension builds.... and starts to pull on Pris... eeks... oops... she fell in... hmm... ok first mistake... knees too close to each other. Okay, try again..dun pull the rope... and again.. darn... the nervous feeling starts to build in me... take a deep breath ... think zen... relaxx....

After about 30mins, Pris managed to squat on the board .. :) not too bad... From what Edward told us, some can't even do that after 2-3 lessons... ok... my turn next. :) feeling anxious now... ok... put on the safety vest.. and strap on the board- chk... short lesson -chk... hold on to the rops- chk.. into the water- chk..ready position-chk. Alright, the boat starts up.. and the tension in the rope builds up.. hehe.. ok relax, relax.. dun pull the rope.. and here I go... yes!!! managed to at least squat a while...before falling in the water.. :P.. ok.. dun give up now. Second try.. longer squatting :)... ok.. after about 8-9 tries, managed to stand up a bit.. and finally hold on for a while (2-3 secs) at the end of 30mins :).. yayy!!!!.. I was feeling great!!! It felt fantastic to just relax and let the boat do all the work while feeling the air rushing through my damp hair and clothes.. before falling flat, face first, into the water again... and again.. .hahhaha :)

All of us went on a second round... and this time Eileen managed to pull a brilliant 2 wake jump, and Pris managed to get her 3 secs of fame. hehe..I managed to hold on longer this time, but still have a problem of my butt sticking out while trying to balance myself. Doesn't look cool enough.. hehe... it's not easy to balance as you can't really pull on the rope but just balance using your lower body.. like in skateboarding. hehe.. well at least I got my 3 secs of fame too :).. hurrah!! hurrah!!!

whoa.. after about ?1hr each.. it was 12 plus already.. :) time to head back. My face was sunburnt (SKII to the rescue later at home) and my skin tanned again. My arms were achy, my tummy growling... but it was well worth it. Wnet off to Cafe Cartel at PS to eat (got free flowing bread, mah) and had delicious Pork Ribs.. mmm.... ahh... yummy... Slept the whole day after that and only woke up in the night. :)

Hmm.. how shall I end this.... Well, wakeboarding was so much fun. My arms are still achy from the DOMs, my back hurts abit (poor core muscle power) and my skin dry from the burns.. but I would go through all this again to wakeboard again... which I hope would be this coming weekend. hehe...okies.. thanks Pris and Eileen for the great time... and hope to wakeboard with you guys again in the near (very near) future ;) hehe...

Chk out the pics and video on Picasa :

So to all out there, trudge on... and alw give sth new a try.. who knows, you might end up liking it

Monday, November 3, 2008

Genting Trailblazers 2008!!

Last weekend I was up in Genting for the Trailblazer. Man, I haven’t been to genting for about 2-3 yrs now and this is the first time I would be going up for the race, and not the theme park rides or the casinos. Went up with fellow runner extrodinaire, BK, on Saturday at 7.30am. The ride was smooth and fast, reaching KL at about 12 and finally in Genting at 1pm at the new Genting Bus Terminal, and made our way to First World Resort for lunch at KFC.

Genting was full of ppl which belies the fact that the world is undergoing a recession. I had a Zinger and a popcorn chicken, which was quite ok.. well, at least spicier than the Singapore ones. BK has this fetish for Msian KFC, somehow or rather.. which I do solemly agree…tastes better that SG KFC :)

Hmm, some time to kill after lunch… hehe… and my eyes caught hold of SkyVenture, which is a skydiving simulation . It’s basically a huge vertical air tunnel that blows upwards, so skydiving enthusiasts can practice in a more controlled environment first before going out in the real sky. Costs bout RM 78 for 2 person with a DVD recording, cheaper than the reverse bungee in Singapore.

Out instructor was Nizam, and he was on cool brudder. After a short briefing, w were brought into the changing room where we donned a jumpsuit, earplugs, goggles and helmet. Next, onto the sim itself. Nizam gave some demo at first, after which I went in with him….. and boy…. It was really really fun!!! The wind were really really strong that you can practically just float when you try to lean forwasd and lie on air. Haha.. using some techniques Nizam taught earlier, I tried to balance myself on air.. and it was NOT easy!! Each time I tried to go higher, I ended up either just stagnant or falling… haha… need more practice. BK’s run was not smooth either, as he kept flipping to one side.. darn… but both of us were psyched up for the second run.. hehe.. this was where the crazy stuff happened.

Before we went in, I asked Nizam if he could teach me to flip.. and he DID!!! Yay!!! After a short demo, he took me in… at first, I almost flipped backwards, but after regaining composure, I managed to ready myself better and flipped forward… twice .. with Nizam holding on to me J. I was ecstatic. The grand finale was superb as well where he grabbed on to me and did the twister up and down twice… man, that was fun… I so want to do it again.

Click here for the Vid :

After skyventure, we went for a short walk around, to cool down. At about 4.. we were off to the skyway cablecar to head down to Awana to chk in. Awana was bustling with activities with the runners all there to chk in and register as well. There were the usual PowerBar ppl, and the Brooks ones as well. The whole process was smooth, with the chking in at the registration area… smart organizers. The goodie bag had 2 powerbars, 1 can of milo, 1 can of 100 plus, the green trailblazer t shirts, and a notebook. There were some vouchers (threw them away later) and the 2 tickets for the free dinner buffet. Bought some powerbars and gels, and snooped arn the Brooks stall, and finally to the room.

The deluxe suite was quite ok. After a short rest and a bit of tv, we headed down to the buffet spread to fill our tummies and then scuttled up to genting again. Our second visit up were greeted by the thick genting mist and some rain. It was coooooold….. didn’t do much this time, just went for a short walkaround the Genting hotel and First World. Not long after, it was time to go down, and rest for the next day. I had a loooong hot bath … ahh…. Nice….

The race started at 8.50am for our category, but we were down at the football pitch at about 7.30am for the pre race briefing and registration. The rain yesterday made the whole place extra muddy.. which was good, as the trailblazer was suppose to be a muddy race, with a short obstacle course at the end of it. Managed to get a free Milo bidon filled with water from one of the organizers.. heheh… MNS gave a short talk about conserving the environment, Fitness First gave a short aerobic show… and finally the race begins. We were in the third wave… after the competitive and female & male adventure runners.

Tick tock tick tock…. The countdown begins… and finally at 8.50am… we were off!!!

The first 100m was a run through the muddy football field. Then a short road run for about 1-2 km… and finally we hit the trails. Man, it was fun… imagine a normal trail hiking in the msian jungle, but this time, it’s a race. The upslopes were torturous, but slow as the multitude of the other slower participants held up the single file race to a hike. The downslopes were the interesting parts, where we tried to either slide or run down as fast as we can… there were some bits that reminded me of Kledang in Perak, the botak hill. If I’m not wrong, there were ?1 river crossing, and prob 2-3 streams.. which was really good to clean my shoes in after they were covered in mud. Oh yarr.. NO LEECHES!!!

About 2 hours later, we were at the obstacle course.. the last 150m of the race, and undoubtedly one of the best part of it. Hehe… there were a few dips into muddy water, walking on a balancing pole, climbing up slanted walls, and jumping into more muddy water… whoa…haha… and I also face my first super high slanted wall which I needed a running start to scale :) wish I can do this again. Had some great mud facial there and I almost lost my shoes a coupla times too.

We reached the end of the race at about 2:10. Had YiHui and Jane cheering me towards the end (thanks guys) and I felt great at the end. Only sad part was that it ended too soon. We took a cool clean bath at the shower area provided and cleared out the mud and dirt and what’s nots. Had some breakfast (milo makes a good replacement for milk to eat with cereal)after that before returning to the hotel for the proper bath. Haha, we did try to pose for a pic.. hope it comes out from the organizers soon.

We checked-out out at 1pm and made our last trip up Genting. Sad to leave this place so soon, especially since its been terribly fun. Had KFC again for lunch and walked towards First World to kill time before the 3.30 pm return bus to SG. Sigh.. hehe…I had a temporary tattoo airbrushed onto my back shoulders during the wait.. now everyone can call me Ah Long!!! Hehe that costs me RM 70.. then I managed to convinced BK to join me in a 10minute fish spa… hahahha… was so darn ticklish that I couldn’t stop laughing.. hahhahaha.. :) the crowds were gathering around us wondering what was happening as I was just laughing out loud for the first 5 mins… hehehe,… those cute fishies with greedy eyes looking at my feet… hahhaa .. watch them here :

Oh well… finally, took the bus home and arrived back in SG at around 10+ pm… :). The whole trip had been a blast, from start to end, and I had an amazingly good time… I’m sold on this race, and hope that I can make it again next year… but next time, I’ll go on the rides too

Have a look at some of the photos here :

Till the next race then, trudge on…