On 2012.

Happiest time, at Malibu California.

Happiest time of 2012, at the beaches of California.

’25 is a scary age.’

That was my first entry of my journal for the year 2012.

Today is the last day of 2012.

I’m not going to write this entry like how I did for 2011, somehow this time around I feel a little more somber, a little more grey (just like the weather here in Singapore incidentally, dark gloomy and raining currently).

I must say, it has been an awfully eventful year.

I dropped out of school and finished 15 years of formal education, bought my first house, went to California for almost a month and met all my track & field heroes, finished a few more decathlons, watched the London Olympics come and go, moved back to Singapore from Loughborough.

And in a sense I feel like I’ve come full circle, right back to where I began, yet everything has changed because I have changed.

At times I was awfully depressed, realising that I’ve failed to do what I’ve set out to do. Yet I’m still optimistic because I realised/learnt that it actually can be done.

So I guess I just got to keep going and keep doing.

It can be a cold cold world out there, so if you’re feeling as messed up and confused as I am sometimes, don’t worry, we’re going to keep going until we figure it out yeah?

I still believe.

Happy New Year Everyone! To 2013! =)

On The Human Game

Life is a game, play it well.

Life is a game, play it well.

How are you playing the human game?

On Working.

My day job, construction.

My day job, construction.

So I’ve spent the past 10 weeks back in Singapore from UK to a job that I ran away from 4 years ago to pursue my dreams as a decathlete.

At first my mind and my body rejected it.

Everyday I asked myself why.

Why did I come back to this mess, away from what I want to be doing.

But I guess for a large part of it, I was angry at myself that I’ve been lazy for the past four years.

I should have spent the times when I wasn’t training working harder at my studies or at establishing other sources of income.

Reading Arnold Schwarzenegger’s biography made me realised I lacked the insane focus and insane amount of hard work needed to get good at any one thing. (Whilst Arnold was a bodybuilder, he worked as a gym instructor and ran a construction business, went into the real estate business and continued on to become an actor and a governor.)

Sequential focus is the key.

Focus at one thing at a time, do it well, then move on.

24 hours in a day.

Even training for 5 hours a day leaves 19 hours for whatever else you want to do with your life.

And after 10 weeks, I’ve finally come to terms with what I actually enjoy and want to do in terms of work.

I want to build a better future.

Back in the company, I want to build a better future for my colleagues and my parents.

At the track, I want to run fast, jump and throw far.

And maybe in my own small way because of that, I want to build a better country.

On Growing Up.

In Malaysia at a relative's wedding.

In Malaysia at a relative’s wedding.

There was a time I used to look into my father’s eyes.

In a happy home I was king I had a golden throne.

Those days are gone, now the memories are on the wall.

I hear the songs from the places where I was born.

Up on the hill across the blue lake,

That’s where I had my first heartbreak.

I still remember how it all changed,

My father said,

Don’t you worry, don’t you worry child.

See heaven’s got a plan for you.

Don’t you worry, don’t you worry now, yeah.

On Paying it Forwards.

 

Showing Dominique the High life in Singapore.

Showing Dominique the High life in Singapore.

From all my travels around the world, the track and field community has always showed me awesome warmth and hospitality.

I always told myself, if I ever had a chance when they came over, I’d show them the high life in Singapore.

Done.

On choosing.

Learning from the best.

Learning from the best.

At work today, I think I finally made the mental flip.

I realised, this will never be my life’s greatest work.

You only got one shot at life, why not make it your best shot?

You choose the life you want to live, period.

Don’t make any excuses for it.

I can’t once again use my family or the business as an excuse.

In fact, no excuse is good enough anymore.

Live.

Whatever it takes.

Dominique Arnold, 12.90s PB for the 110m Hurdles, in Singapore giving a hurdles workshop.

The lessons:

Don’t take your words lightly. Don’t take other people’s words heavily.

Don’t ever put yourself down or say things you do not want, once you said it you just made it possibly real. Control your thoughts, change your world.

If you don’t take it seriously, you don’t get serious results.

Don’t expect to be good at anything if you’re just ‘trying it out’. You want to get good, you work at it, hard.

Never say ‘I’m tired.’ To say it is to give in. You must push through.

What did you expect from a work out? It’s going to hurt, but accept it and push through. Don’t be a whiner.

Doubt comes from the lack of knowledge.

First you must know, then you can do. Then you do a lot, then you get good at what you do.

No limitations. Don’t put a limit on what you can do.

Usain Bolt on his first ever 100m race talking to Dominique and other experienced track athletes before race starts: ‘I’m going to go out and run fast.’

Notice that he never says, well maybe I’ll run a 10.2s or 10.3s?

He just says he’s going to run fast.

He ran 10.03s in his first ever 100m race.

Don’t ever put a limit on what you can do before you even start, because you never know what you are truly capable of.

These are the lessons I’ve learnt over the past two days attending the hurdles workshop by Dominique Arnold. Such a humble and great guy who’s eager to pass on all the lessons he has learnt on and off the track to help others to succeed.

And once again, I notice how these individuals who achieve success behaves, they simply believe in doing whatever it takes.

So, note to self: Whatever it takes, I will do.

Faith, Focus, Follow Up.

Loughborough Olympians, Mr Kunalan and wife along with Helena Wong.

Faith in yourself.

Focus in what you do.

Follow up on the things that need doing.

Attended Loughborough Alumni’s event in Singapore last weekend and met some old friends along with new amazing people.

One of the distinguished Singapore Loughborough Alumni members was Mr Leong Horn Kee, former MP and current ambassador to Mexico. He gave a short speech and towards the end shared a short message that he would like us ‘younger’ alumni members to keep in mind.

3 Fs, that was how he put it.

Faith. Focus. Follow up.

And seeing my fellow coursemate Helena Wong who became Singapore’s first female olympic weightlifter, I wondered to myself, how different will it be if I managed the 3 Fs 4 years ago before I went to Loughborough. Will I be closer to who I wanted to be right now?

Sadly, yes.

But it’s never too late to be who you want to be.

p.s. apologies for the lack of updates on my blog, definitely something I will need to follow up on more closely! I find there are too many interesting events and lessons I encounter day to day and would really like to share them with you, so I better keep up with my blogging!

Let that which is unimportant truly slide.

Open skies, open up your mind.

Went to the beach and just sat down for a bit.

Free your mind.

On Bali.

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Recharged, refreshed, restarted.

Funny how leaving Singapore for just 2 days put everything back into perspective.

I guess it reminded me that this is just a passing moment, all my struggles here just a temporal disruption to the reality that I am building for myself.

Fighters fight, and I’m going to keep fighting till I get this right.

Reading Arnold’s biography made me realise, I was way too lazy for the past 25 years of my life. There he was, being a champion body builder, running a mail order business, a real estate business, a construction business and aspiring Hollywood leading actor.

I’m amazed at how he is able to so clearly visualise in his head where he is directing his life towards and how committed he is to drive towards it. Of the millions of obstacles that stood in his way, he just methodically broke each one down in front of him until there was none left. That’s how you succeed.

After reflecting on it, I realised it’s time to stop being a wuss, it’s time to commit.

I am going to the SEA games in 2013. No excuses.

I don’t care how many early morning sessions at the track, late nights in the gym or how many times I have to pass out and see my own vomit.

Not even if along the way I have to build a 100 million dollar company will be good enough an excuse anymore.

And I’m going to do whatever it takes to get to where I want to be.

And I really want to thank everyone who’s followed this blog or supported me, you guys are a large reason why I’m still here, still running.

Likewise to all the doubters, to everyone who’s written me off, including my parents who still thinks I’m wasting my time with my sport, I thank each and everyone for you. Because of your hate and ignorance, it makes my 10 times more committed and determined to succeed.

I’ma be what I set out to be, without a doubt, undoubtedly. And all those who look down on me, I’m tearing down your balcony. 

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