The season of change

It’s been a long while since I last penned my thoughts.

Felt a bit lethargic with all that was going on around me.

Naturally, with all that’s happened in Japan recently, all the devastation and suffering, couldn’t help but think that it was “right” to remain silent for a while, call it a period of “silent mourning” by not blogging. Natural disasters occur constantly all around us, but this one’s different. I was just there less than 10 days before the Quake and Tsunami. Feel so weird. We were just having a terrific time in the Tokyo Marathon…..

It was heart wrenching to see what’s happened to them.

Besides that, I was just starting a new job. Having just moved to Penang and starting a new life here. New hospital with new colleagues and new working environment….well, you get the idea….

So, it’s an adjustment period. A tough one. Inadvertently, I find that being on-call EOD (every other day) is taking its toll on an aging man like me. 41 this year. Physically, not like it used to be. The body takes longer to recover after a call. (You know, sleep deprivation, mental stress etc.) And to top it off, being a hospital setting, this on call system is likely to go on for years to come…the thought of this really dampens the spirit.

To make matters worse, due to the fact that I stay a good 45 minutes away from the hospital, I have to remain in the hospital when I am on call. (In case of emergencies and the fear that I wouldn’t be able to get to the hospital in time). This really is a regression to my houseman/MO days. Not pleasant at all. 15 days away from home and family! That cannot be good!

BUT…. Yes, there’s a ‘but’ in this…

During my solitude, especially when I am down, I reflect on my running days. Japan’s Tokyo Marathon was still fresh in my mind. I remember the pain I endured to finish that race. Any person who runs a marathon has a tale to tell. That experience was ingrained in my mind.

It seems intrinsic that we only learn these things the ‘hard way’. Nonetheless, I am glad that when it really mattered, I stuck with it and had never once given up. Even on a lousy day, I pushed myself to my utmost limit. Experiences like these are true treasures. It stays with you. And it will serve you well one day….especially on days like this.

So, it now translates to my daily struggles. Beside the physical benefit of running, its application stretches beyond that to all other areas of our life. The mental strength could not have been forged if not for the hardship that you endured. It is then refined by the grueling miles on the road, amidst the heat and sweat, the steep hills, as fatigue sets in, as doubts loom, as you fight off every negative thoughts that surface… the training is like no other. You’re resolute and your determination strengthens each time you overcome. And over time, you evolve.

That’s why running is a lifestyle. Not just a sport.


  1. EOD on call??!!!That's reminds me of those HO/MO days.Doing all the free calls without any pay (almost 20 years ago).
    I don't think i can do it nowadays.Really need the good sleep every night.

  2. What to do? Just hv to get on with choice.
    Even my running/training is virtually nil. Not liking it!

  3. Didn't know you're posted to PG. Hope you'll be able to make the best of it even though it'll be lesss running. Life goes on!

  4. Hi Francis... was told that Penang is like a smaller/younger-version of Singapore in term of "cleaniness" in all respects... wondered if that's what you are experiencing too?

    Are you doing Energizer?

  5. Francis, don't worry abt not enough training now. once you get your working rhythm, then you know when is the best time to run.

    I also didn't run for 2 weeks, I think very soon, Lau, Foo & Yee will wonder if I have stopped running.

    Keep it up. Like what you say, running is not just a sport, it is part of our life. but sometime we need to put it a even lower priority because other more important things.

    catch up with u.

  6. Thanks guys for your heartfelt concern.

    I have just done a 5K slow run. Felt alive again!! Just have to find the time. 15 out of 30 days to work out isn't all that bad!

    YS: I think CM Lim Guan Eng has done a good job for Penang! According to the locals, they are very happy with him regardless of the negative publicity from media (which is owned by you-know-who) aiming at tearing him down.

    Jamie: Thanks for comment. Yes, life goes on! And I am determined to work on it rather than sulk. How was your TUC?

    Foo: EOD isn't a life. It's torture, even for HO or MO! And the admissions don't stop after 12 midnight. They keep coming!

    Steve: Keep up your pace. You did well for Bareno. Train well for your sundown with the FIRST program. You'll hv to start soon though....


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