Health Goddess

Climbing that Yellow Mountain

“!(imgcenter)http://static.flickr.com/87/244480146_88b465417b_m.jpg!(On the second highest peak)”:http://flickr.com/photos/jimmyliew/244480146/

You don’t know how much endurance you have until you climb up a mountain.

True, we did not literally climb it, it was more like hiking up, but it was still one of the most tiring experiences of my life. We did nothing but climb up steps and sandy terrain for hours and hours under the relentless summer sun, burning ourselves dark brown in the process. I was the Little Princess on the climb, stopping once in a while to apply sunblock liberally on my shoulders and arms.

Because Huangshan was our middle point between Xiamen and Hangzhou, we had to bring enough clothes and toiletries to last us through the climb and for the next few days that we were spending in Hangzhou. This meant heavy bags weighing us down on the climb up. Thankfully, I had the boys to help me with my baggage whenever I felt like collapsing on the hard steps and not moving till somebody dragged me away.

Of course, not all of us had the luxury that Sandy enjoyed – being carried up the mountain. The good woman paid porters to carry her up the mountain in a sedan made of wooden sticks and boy, were these men fabulous. They were literally bouncing up the steps with her weighing down their shoulders and we had to eat their dust. It was truly amazing.

But it was a great experience, as always, on hindsight. We saw the most gorgeous sights – giant clouds rolling past green-peaked mountains, the sun rising from beyond the horizon, endless miles of nothing but nature all around us. Every time we stopped to gasp for breath, we were taken aback by how beautiful the view was and were going “oooh” and “wah”.

Going down the mountain was such a pleasure, especially since it was cut short but a scenic route down via cable car.

I do miss my time in China, I really do. We thought of nothing but the present, focusing on how to maximize our enjoyment. Nobody thought of work or school or anything nasty as those.

“!(imgcenter)http://static.flickr.com/82/244480409_2f36c487c5_m.jpg!(On the second highest peak)”:http://flickr.com/photos/jimmyliew/244480409/

“!(imgcenter)http://static.flickr.com/95/244480754_b224106b42_m.jpg!(Tired)”:http://flickr.com/photos/jimmyliew/244480754/

“!(imgcenter)http://static.flickr.com/87/244481583_c15f034e46_m.jpg!(Power to the people)”:http://flickr.com/photos/jimmyliew/244481583/

More photos here and here

[Let’s play tag! , , , ]

The organised chaos

Remembrance

Last night, as I was rushing down to the gym for some iron-pumping, I found myself squeezing through hordes of homebound office-goers. I kept muttering “excuse me” as I pushed past them as politely as I could and all of a sudden, I remembered how the voice of my sista sounded like before she lost it in the name of work.

That moment was fleeting and slightly bizarre, as her voice floated in my memories. And as quickly as it had arrived, the memory was gone.

Before her voice turned into its current state of hoarseness now, we used to sound the same. People couldn’t tell us apart over the phone, not even our significant others. In a way, I missed her voice. And it made me miss her presence too, because despite all the fights we used to have, it’s not as fun being a “single child” at home. Plus, we weren’t really the sort that hang out together often so the only times we get to meet is in the gym or when she visits.

I miss my sista.

Friends

Blur blob

The whole of Saturday passed by in a drunken whirl of unabashed silliness, dancing, laughter, camera whoring, friendship and pure madness.

Happy Hen Night, Sandy! I hope you had a great night, despite the lack of a hunky stripper.

And now, I have gone and left my camera and all my memory cards in the boyfriend’s car so I can’t edit the incriminating pictorial evidence of our excesses. Boo.

I’m broke as hell now. Sobs.

The organised chaos

Losing it

Over dinner with the best friend one night, we started talking about an old schoolmate of ours. She had always been the life of the party, a rather popular character in school. The best thing about her was, she was genuinely nice and a wonderful friend to be with.

She would go to school with tiny plaits in her hair, wear the most funky shoes and generally had an artsy, creative vibe around her. We all thought she would end up in the creative line and kick some ass but ultimately, she chose to do corporate communications in a GLC.

She is still the same warm and sweet person but that boho side of her seems to have vanished. In place of that girl is a woman dressed in formal blouse and a black knee length skirt who is seemingly a conformist. That free-thinking air has all but dissipated.

It’s not a bad thing, the best friend and I agree, but it’s also something that we both miss in our friends. When they lose that edge, that facet that made them stand out from the crowd, we mourn that loss but also accept the new side of them.

Change happens all the time, for better or for worse. But how do we reconcile these changes, be the same person that we used to be and still move on ahead into the future?

Reading through my archives, I sometimes see the changes that I have gone through in the past three years. When I was younger, there was more angst, insecurity, doubt and confusion. I pondered, observed and I wrote with a fervent that seems to have vanished into thin air.

The melancholy was truly not the best companion one could have for the long-term but melancholy and a young woman on the cusp of adulthood do not make strange bedfellows after all. Now that the melancholy has packed its bags and left, I sometimes muse and miss that side of me.

Isn’t it strange, that all I ever wanted was to have a happy and peaceful life and when I do get my wish, I long for that darker side of me, that part of me that was so experimental and expressive in my writing. I don’t want to lose that silent, inquisitive side of me but at the same time, I want to be like a little sail boat bobbing on the waters in pure contentment, stretching under the comfortable embrace of the blue skies and sun.

Humans are terribly odd sometimes.

Everything Else

Things to look forward to

1. Bangkok in November
Now that there is a coup d’etat going on in Thailand, which equals to general unrest, I am hoping that the prices of air tickets will plummet. And as my colleague says, now is a good time to buy the baht since the currency has fallen due to uncertainty on the market.

In the meantime, I have been abstaining from shopping to save up for the heavenly markets of Bangkok. My travel mate is Bangkok-savvy and shares the same clothing taste as me and we just know that we will have a great time together.

2. Christmas in December
One of my favouritest festival in the world. Christmas means lots of shopping, booze and fun. I’ve also taken leave so that means I can enjoy it in peace without thinking of pictures, pictures and pictures.

3. Krabi in January
swimming2
This is the birthday treat, also known as the free-because-he-lost-the-bet trip. I have been wanting to go Krabi since….a long, long time ago but because of clashes in work schedule, nobody has been able to go with me….till now. I will be ushering in my 26th year sitting on a deck chair and sipping strawberry margaritas and just chilling under the sun. Hurrah!

I’ve got my mind set on Krabi La Playa although technically, I am still on the lookout for a gorgeous but economical hotel.

Can’t wait for October to be over!

Health Goddess

Sunday, run day

Running, running Bone tired after only 50 minutes of running New shoes!

I finally got my arse out of the door for a nice run this evening.

My last outdoor run was…..last December, during the Singapore Marathon and since then, I have been holing myself up in the gym doing classes. Given that my first 10km run is coming up soon, I decided enough is enough, laced myself up in my Asics and took off for a run.

I hereby conclude that running is all in the mind. I set out thinking I was just going to take it easy and do a 30-minute jog but as I crossed the bridge over to Mount Doom (also known as Punggol), I decided not to be wussy and to just push myself as far as I can go.

So I ran….and ran. From my place over to Punggol and then back to my neighbourhood, did a coupla rounds around the makeshift track, pushed off to Punggol again, jogged back to my block before running down the path that runs along a short length of the expressway twice.

The new Asics worked like a charm and my feet did not protest at all during the entire run. And although it started raining 10 minutes into the run, it wasn’t enough to deter me.

When my tired legs finally screamed at me to stop once and for all, I looked at the time on my mobile and realised that it had been 50 minutes. Woot!

I don’t know what the distance was but I reckon it should be between 6 to 7 km since I was really running at a snail’s pace for most of the journey. Hopefully, I can push the timing to an hour next week. No more running on the dreadmill for me!

On another note, I wonder how others can look so good in photos after strenuous exercise. My hair is always messy, the face red and hot and I just look terrible. I need the magic formula.

Unfortunately, my day had to end by a ridiculous loss by Manchester United to Arsenal. Lehmann is as unpredictable as the weather – one moment you think he is going to just screw up and get sent off and then he goes and pulls off the best of saves to become the hero. How utterly annoying.

2.30am. Over and out.