Monday, December 5, 2011

A Day of Digging Very Deeply

That’s the reality of life. Sometimes, we earn what we expect. Other times, delays happen. There are no major failures, only hindrances to our goals and getting the right time. Edison said, ‘I did not fail 2,500 times. I found 2,500 ways which did not work.’

Macca wrote in his book ‘I’m Here to Win’: ‘A goal is a dream with a plan.’ Your plan may be reviewed after an event. That is the essence of reflection and reviews – an attempt to seek improvement and personal excellence. The two-time Ironman world champion took six patient attempts before he won his first well-deserved and executed world championship title in 2007; and his second in 2010. He discovered during those six years that he performed better intuitively, by asking the experts, and challenging what scientist said that he should not do. He dug deeply to find his own race, and left nothing behind when he raced.

Yesterday, my Perth-based, Singaporean-friend John Cooke completed his eighth Ironman. He completed his personal challenge under less-than-favourable conditions; he raced with the flu, and had to dig deep within himself to achieve his hard-earned title. Like he said, these are some the races that really matter. I agree. Usually the races that are most meaningful were earned in the most demanding ways. Sometimes, it may translate to cutting our losses, or revising our game plan. Like my run-partner, Melvin articulated yesterday, ‘I had to move from plan A to Plan C’. We decided to give our Boston Qualifier a pass when we realized our race-pace was too demanding on our racing conditions (my flu, and his injured heel). On a bright side, we both ranked top-2 percent overall. Live to race another day!

My coach, Fox had a terribly challenging day. Second in his age group to emerge from both the 3.8K choppy sea swim, and return from the 180K ride, he had to suffer his arthritic knees to complete a painful and crippling race. On-track for a podium, this setback may have caused his disappointment but being a Kona-finisher I am sure he will return stronger at his next race. It is hard to shake the Ironman triathlete mindset and spirit. You did well, Fox!

Congratulations to Team Singapore for attempting and completing Ironman Western Australia in Busselton yesterday. Ewin Teo was top Singaporean with 10:20. Kevin Siah, a Malaysian accountant based in Perth did a sub 10:30. Big shout out to my tri and swim-mates: Desmond, Vijay, Hong Soon, and Wilson. You are an Ironman!

Top Singapore marathoners at StanChart Singapore Marathon were Mok Ying Ren and Anne Date. Both defended their local titles successfully. Both top national runners dug deep to achieve their goals, which made it highly commendable.
On my second wind before I faded.
Photo-credit: Richard Leong

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