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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Long Journey

Upon returning to work after KL Marathon last month, few colleagues who knew I took part asked me, ”Nik, what placing did you get?”

Same thing, when I get back after PD triathlon, some colleagues would be asking the same question, about what prize I won and what was my number.

Nothing’s wrong with that. And I think it’s quite normal for people to ask what we got upon completing a race, or a match. Just like football, people will ask who wins and who loses, and what the score is.

What I did was only to show them the finisher medals that I got with pride and honor. The honor of completing the races I took part.

Perhaps they don’t know that I did not care about what position I get. Anyway, let’s just leave this issue to end here. I don’t even know why am I writing this up.

During 2008, I only participated in one event which was the PD triathlon. This year, I plan to participate in few others. So, with more races to do, more hours of training is definitely on high needs. And the training can be quite demanding too.

Though the training may be demanding, but if you are granted with training buddies where you can train together, you won’t even notice how demanding the training would be because you are enjoying your training sessions.

I still remember my first long distance ride in JB which was a 90km, from Kampung Melayu Majidee to Kota Tinggi waterfall and back. Never did I think I will bonk on the ride after 50 to 60km riding upon which I had no more legs to pedal. I told two of the training buddies to proceed ahead, and they agreed to wait for me somewhere.

I bonked so badly that I even stopped to rest my thighs. Luckily I didn’t break down into tears. I almost, though. At that instant, I ‘regretted’ doing it and tell my self not to torture myself again.

But my training buddies told me to keep on going at it. It will make me better and stronger.

I tried putting some beliefs in their words, and so I continued to do another long distance ride.

For the second time, doing slightly over than 100km, I bonked again. Not that I rode fast or tried to be the leader of the peloton. I was at the back and cycling at my own pace all the time, mostly alone. And yet I still bonked. And at that instance of time, again I felt the regret of doing it and promised myself that it will be the last time I ride my bicycle.

But then, those buddies who waited for me at a petrol station ahead said that they did not have to wait for me as long as they did during the previous one.

Ok, some smiles started to grow on my face.

That was a year ago.

With more and more training I did from then onwards, be it short distance or long distance rides (or swims, or runs), if I ever to plot a graph of my performance, I know it will be showing a positive inclination line. However, on the x-axis (the horizontal axis, i.e. the ‘time line’), the scale would be big. Big scale here means, to achieve a mere 10% increase in performance, it may take me few months, maybe a year, maybe more.

Anyway, it’s good to know that I’m progressing positively, though very slowly. I just cannot loose it to my temper or impatient for not getting up there fast enough like some other people do. If I want to reach up faster, I know I can do it by pushing myself harder. But I may also lose the fun of doing all this stuffs and I may be neglecting my many other obligations as a normal person who has a family and a job to keep. I don't want to risk having an injury either.

Yeah, I cannot deny that I’m tempted to be faster, stronger and better. I don’t want to rush though, as I know I am an easy to give up type of person (sometimes). In fact I’m still teaching myself never to give up. I know I can be better, and yet not lose a single bit of fun while doing it. But it’s going to be a very long journey for me.

I think, having fun is the cure for the pain that we have to endure.

And I feel that my long journey had only just begun.


kev said...

Usual response from the less informed, "Did you win?" "What, no? But you trained so hard!" "Never mind, there's always next year."

They don't know that in a race of hundreds and sometimes, thousands of people, the chances of getting tops is pretty difficult. And then they don't understand why we do it, if we can't win.

You're doing well, Nik. Yeah, slowly lah. Don't burn out, keep on enjoying the sport.

jiha-run-for-life said...

we have the same thought..
i just involve in sport like 4 years ago from zero..1st timer dunno what is duathlon, triathlon, powerman & ironman (which i thought angkat besi event)hehe..funny lor..even dont have runnning shoes when i first started at 2004...

looking at my graph performance, only slightly improve.. i believe there;s no need to rush.. as long as we enjoy and have fun of what we are doing rite need to suffer a lot.. coz we're not like the pro's pro who only do one thing in life-TRAINING..

just keep on training..don't give up..

..::EnAikAY::.. said...

Your graph's gradient is steeper than mine 10 folds lah. You are almost there at the top! Just a little bit more.

Yeah, let's enjoy the sport.

Wah, u r more senior than me lah in that case. No wonder la u won the MUDS race last weekend.
Respect, respect...

zulhassan said...

biasalah tu , orang malaysia suka tengok bola dan cerita pasal bola tapi 90% tak tahu main bola.

Lepas tu boleh kata ornag lain main tak bagus lak....

Pelik tapi benar.

Kita = syok sendiri dahlah

..::EnAikAY::.. said...

Yes bro,
Sebab aku tak reti main bola la aku layan triathlon syok sendiri ni.

P/s: nak main game bola kat Playstation pun tak tak reti dol!

The Corporate Athlete said...

'dapat no braper?" .. Well, i got that all the time from my officemates. I guess that's the reason why they never get themselves into all these kind of races coz for them, they have to be at the podium, or they can just forget abt joining it.

I guess most of us fail to see that there's more to it such as challenging one's own limitations, the camaderie among the racers etc .... basically the 'fun' part that comes with it.

We are just doing it for fun. At the same time, we are going it against our own time. No more, no less. That explains why when friends manage to finish a race, we share the happiness ... never cross the mind to belittle that person.

Sorry that I 'hijacked' your commentary column a.k.a. Gila Kuasa :) You brought up an interesting topic here.

..::EnAikAY::.. said...

Yup, for me the 'fun-nest' of all fun is meeting old and new friends who are there at the event location, racing or not.

Don't be shy, whenever you drop by at this blog, make yourself at home. Any comments are very much welcomed.

Gila kuasa takpe, jangan kena demam piggy sudah.. hihi

Diket said...

Hi Nik, if you notice I kept on coming back. You inspire people & that's cool. Keep it up. You might end up inspiring me taking up triathlon myself :)

amsyah said...

yeah I hear you. when I told them i's done for pure fun, they rolled their eyes in disbelief.

tak try, tak tahu... you are doing great

..::EnAikAY::.. said...

Thanks. Never have thought that i can inspire people, as me myself never stop looking for inspiration from others to keep myself going.

U want to do triathlon? Yes, yes, boleh racun lagi ni.. hehe.

Tak try tak tau, bila dah try hari-hari mau...