1 More Month To Viper Challenge

Well, less than a month actually.

I had been away from my regular gym training for two weeks when I was giving Musemancer the kickstart. Since the team is in its infancy, I have to be in the office most of the time before my team matures and knows how to run the day-to-day operations of our digital publishing business.

Until then, I have to train in the evenings and on my own on some nights.

In spite of being away for two weeks, surprisingly I achieved a new PR!

[In This Training Cycle, Every Rep Has A 1 Second Pause]

Bench Press: 114 lbs x 4-6 reps x 4 sets

Shoulder Press: 30 lbs each hand x 6-8 reps x 4 sets

Squats: 130 lbs x 6 reps x 4 sets

All excluding warm ups. My body weight hasn’t changed i.e. 132 lbs give or take. I seem to work better with longer rest in between i.e. 2-3 minutes. Although any longer than that and my body would shut down and get lazy. LOL

I felt better this past week after taking antacid for gastric relief which has been constantly affecting me for the past two years. YEAAA

Will keep my training consistent until Viper Challenge on November 1.

20 kilometers. 22 obstacles.

Never jogged or walked 20km before, so this is going to be a first!

Static Line Jump No. 6

Time flies too fast! I still remember the last two jumps I did here as if it happened not long ago – but that was 1 1/2 years ago. After many postponed weekends for many reasons – unavailable aircraft, poor weather, and recently the Hari Raya mood – the KL Skydiving Association got around organizing static-line jumps again!

Stayed overnight at Segamat and made sure I clocked in at least 2 more jumps. Was gunning for 4 so I could make a nice 10 under my belt, but there were many other first timers and also experienced skydivers from abroad who came here.

And with just one Cessna aircraft taking to the air, everyone had to take turns. Anyways glad to do it and good to know I grew less and less anxious and fearful with every jump.

I got my exit done perfectly on the last jump with no twist encountered! Landing still isn’t consistent as I reverted to landing on my ass – was coming in too fast.

Until the next jump! And in due time, I will be up for Accelerated FreeFall (AFF)…

Taking On Mount Kinabalu

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I am going to remember this for a long time to come.

This has got to be the longest, toughest hike in my life so far! Not so much about physically but more of a test of mental endurance.

More than half a year ago, we planned our own hiking expedition to Mount Kinabalu, the tallest mountain in South-East Asia standing at 4095.2 meters or 13,435 feet.

My health was getting better and training became regular in the last two months in preparation for the hike. The expedition group consists of:

  1. Myself (Malaysia)
  2. Kenneth Chan (Malaysia)
  3. Peter Han (Malaysia)
  4. Verine (Malaysia)
  5. Sasa (Hong Kong)
  6. Tak (Hong Kong)
  7. Shawn (Malaysia – Sabah)

Haha, call this a joint expedition between Malaysia and Hong Kong to take the summit! 🙂

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The hike from Timpohon Gates to Laban Rata on Day 1. We started the hike at nearly 9 in the morning with Verine reaching Laban Rata first at 1:20’ish in the afternoon, followed by myself 10 minutes later.

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Overall, it was alright. Not easy but not hard either.

It was the 3:00 AM hike to Low’s Peak that was hardest.

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We had an early dinner and slept in early (or at least tried to). We woke up around 1:00 – 1:30 AM to have an ‘early breakfast’ – which on any other midnight would have passed for supper.

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Then we geared up for the so-called 25% remaining route to Low’s Peak – which felt like 75% of the entire journey!

The first 700 meters was the same as the day before; stairs and forests. Except that since it was night, the plants were giving out carbon dioxide instead of oxygen. As if the thin air at high altitude wasn’t already bad enough!

And we were just getting started.

Awww shit.
Awww shit.

I had breathing difficulties and took more breaks than the day hike earlier. Is that how the word ‘breathtaking’ came about?

Looks like Peter's got breathing trouble too.
Looks like Peter’s got breathing trouble too.

Where the forest ended, the next difficult part of the climb presented itself in the form of granites. Climbing on unforgiving pavements that know no equal.

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The higher I climbed, I started to feel like I was going to puke, and even though I was wrapped up I had trouble coping with the cold. It was 3 degree Celcius and the regular hiker would have scoffed at it for being generously warm already.

Yet I am very vulnerable to cold.

I took a few video clips and merged them into one – this would describe my situation best.

When reaching the lower end of the mountain, I had already missed the sun rise by half an hour.

(In the video, I made a mistake mentioning that I caught the sunrise in time… I suppose that was how detached from reality I was then!)

At this point, I was debating between hanging around there and save my energy for going back to Laban Rata

OR

Continue ascending to the top though it meant risking being one of the last people to go back.

I went with the latter. And continued climbing to the peak.

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… And sure enough, because I ascended to the peak LATE I was also the LAST person to go back to base.

Not last among my friends.

Last among the 100+ hikers that morning.

I was in a state of what I can describe best as ‘half dreaming’ as I took half-steps down the granite mountain. My mind was occupied with only going back home and wishful thinking such as instant teleportation, hoping for a helicopter, and even tempted to ask a porter to carry me back even at the expense of RM300 to RM400 a kilometer and my pride.

Yeah, you’ve guessed it. I had altitude sickness. Shit.

Even with all the training I went through, I returned to Laban Rata last. Earlier I told my friends to go ahead and not wait for me, fearing that I would just wind up being a burden to their speed.

I got back to the Laban Rata inn just in time to check out. I had difficulty eating the breakfast they saved for me because I had lost my appetite.

Yet we needed to leave right away and track back to Timpohon Gates.

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This time, Shawn stayed behind with me to make sure I was alright. Now I gotta tell you what a badass Shawn is. Shawn has been training for hiking and outdoor adventures, and this is already the sixth time he’s here at Mount KK. In fact, he’s going to join an expedition to the base camp at Mount Everest soon.

While the rest of the group went ahead of me, I was still stuck at half-step gear. I would take a break after every few dozens of steps.

However as I descended lower the mountain, my appetite came back and breathing became normal again (yay!) I followed Shawn’s lead on how to hike down the mountain properly – which must have saved my knee caps and my calf muscles less sore even as I am writing this.

It got to the point that I went from being the last person to overtaking half of the group and even the other hikers that left in the dust earlier so to speak, haha! Not that there was any race going on. But I was amazed at the sudden recovery within several hours.

It was definitely altitude sickness up there!

However our Hong Kong friends were not to be messed around with. Sasa has been hiking regularly for 15 years and counting – and her training includes climbing 70 flights of stairs. Tak was no less a hiker too.

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All in all, the pain and suffering was worth it! I am glad that in many ways, I passed my own physical and mental endurance test – the fact that I didn’t give up going to the peak in spite of my condition.

If I had just turned back when I was so near yet so far, I would feel my regrets now. I kept telling myself that if I could survive this, I could survive anything.

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And it wouldn’t have been possible if not for my friends who supported me especially on my way down when I looked pale and green. Haha!

To Bandung Again!

1. I will be going to Bandung, Indonesia again on 28th Feb – 3rd March to attend a Facebook Ads private workshop. The program will be conducted by the same underground marketers I met last month. Looking forward to learn their trade and network with them after the event, and look into possibilities of doing a product launch joint venture.

2. I have to watch what I eat and come up with something to withstand their chain smoking habits though; last trip I went there things didn’t go well for me! I wasn’t prepared for the cold weather, the food was too oily / starchy and sitting in discussion with their chain smoking habits set off my dizziness and nausea feeling! Yucks.

3. I started recovering during the Chinese New Year and went back to gym again last week. My training session is all about getting back my form and gradually return to lifting heavy again. It’s obvious that I shrunk quite a bit when I look into the mirror. LOL

Month #32: Once A Week Gym Training

qls-fitnessNot good. First, I was plagued with Internet problems at home that forced me to work from Starbucks or friends’ homes and offices since May. For all the time spent on driving to and fro these places, it ate into my time to train my regular 3 times a week schedule at the gym.

While Internet speed improved miraculously two months ago, it was already time I hit the seminar and workshop circuit which demanded even more of my time. Thus my gym training had been reduced to a frequency of just once a week or less.

Now that my 3 day workshops are done with, I am now gradually resuming my training at the gym starting with two times a week.

However there is an upside to it: the lesser training frequency bought me time to gain the much needed weight that I had been losing all these while (since I am poor at weight gaining).

The most important thing right now is not to discontinue the training that I had started in May 2011, as I promised myself to keep this ongoing.

I had seen how the Yonif Raiders trained while I was staying in their camp in Palembang. The Green Mountain Rangers team training together outside of their regular Sunday airsoft game also motivates me. There is no reason to slack. After all, I have all the time in the world to sleep after I am dead. 🙂