Words. Just Words....

A sword in the hand of a skilled swordsman can be a powerful tool. But in my hand, it is more likely to slice off a few of my own fingers amidst causing some serious self-inflicted injuries.

Equally, Words, used appropriately by a master writer/author, can change the course of our life: Bringing beauty, poetry and life into an otherwise dull and dreary existence. Inspiring hope, instilling thoughts, provoking the imagination....

Unfortunately, I am good at neither.

Lately, I have to constantly confront such crevasse of inadequacy in my language proficiency. I feel so crippled. It’s like in a nightmare when you are chased by a pack of wolves. (This happens every so often if you are in the REM stage of sleep. The muscles are totally “paralysed”.) So, your mind implores you to run for your life, yet you are crippled beyond the Spinal Cord level. You struggle to move those legs but they don’t respond to your plea.

Such is my current state. When I try to write something, I find myself struggling with words. I hope this is not an early stage of Alzheimer’s ....

But being the stubborn person that I am, I have no insight to quit or feel that “this writing thing is just not for you”. Conversely, I am quite “thick skin” when it comes to something that I enjoy doing. Even if I suck at it. No matter. What are you going to do about it?

I believe that the difference between a genius and a commoner like me is that there is a certain “gene” within their brain that has somehow been “unlocked”. I just need to find that key to unlock it. (It has taken 40 years so far...)

And when I read some Blogs of Note, I am just awestruck by these prolific writers who seem to just ooze with words and phrases so masterly crafted and coordinated. It just blows your mind away. I envy them. And I look at my own pitiful state and frown. Can I ever write something like that?

I would call myself a blogger. I blog about Marathon running. And though not an expert in this field by any measure, I am fortunate enough to have run a fair number of full marathons to know enough about the sport to blog “something” about it. But I know there is a vast sea of science and knowledge in this field that I have not begun to explore. So, does that stop me from blogging? No.

And just because I am not a fast marathoner, does that stop me from trying to achieve my dream of running sub 3 one day? No again.

My point about this rambling is that: we can never ever know it all. Life is about learning. And if it requires a life time to “unlock the gene” or excel at something, then so be it! Don’t wait until your life is spent and the years have gone by, you suddenly wake up one day and realize that you have done NOTHING with your life. Now, THAT is pitiful!

When you venture out with the little you have, and what you can offer may seem insignificant to some, when all your effort may not be received with applause from admirers, instead of that, only criticism: Don’t give up. The worse that you can do to yourself if you choose to continue with your quest is humiliation. But personally, I am immune to that.

But look on the bright side, at the end of the day, you can look back and say: “Hey! At least I don’t suck at it so badly now! I am nowhere near the best, but I am plodding on. At my own pace.”

And guess what? You are right in saying that: It IS your own race after all.


  1. I'm amazed too at the talents out there. Like running, writing skills (up to a certain level of competency) is what you either have or have not. It can only be cultivated up to a certain level - beyond that is pretty much innate. But we will still continue to add the lahs and wah into our prose!

  2. Malaysians ma....hahaha...that's our identity, I suppose. Thanks Jamie. In fact, u hv been an inspiration to me. Keep up your blogging and running!

  3. Hi Francis, good luck for SCKLM!

  4. YS: U too! For your SD100! All the best!

  5. If what you wrote is considered struggling with words, then mine would probably be blank pages :D Happy Feet

  6. Hi Nick, I enjoy reading your blog. Well written! Happy blogging! And Running too.


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