Sunday, December 18, 2011

Venturing Overseas & Overseas Adventures

Would you consider working overseas? In the early-1990’s, many PMETs shied away from the idea of being expatriated. However, it soon dawned on many with the opened markets of China and Indochina that opportunities presented themselves for those who dared venture overseas. A foreign land presented apprehension and anxiety, yet proposed a plethora of purposeful possibilities. As opportunities appear less in an abundant labour market, moving overseas seems like the useful way to go. Here are some reasons to work overseas.

Doing different things with your career can certainly add value, whether it is perceived or actual. Taking on new roles and responsibilities is basic when it comes to enhancing your value as a staff. As a manager overseas, you have many opportunities to express yourself as a leader: Territorial Manager, Cross-Cultural Manager, Country Manager, and Specialist. How you effectively lead your team, work closely with others, manage expectations, recognize results, evaluate fairly and regularly – these build up to your resume of your abilities and capabilities.
Building our capability for the second and third disciplines of triathlon, was what our team did this morning. Our team of eight riders – familiar faces and trustworthy people from our swim sessions – realized that we had our work cut out for us with the medium-paced distance we set ourselves to do. We did about 70K over the Selarang circuit (30K for each loop) followed by a moderate, 6K run 'brick'. Matt, Chris, Wilson and I would be doing Ironman New Zealand on 3 March, so it was time that we cranked our pedals for the 180K of rolling ride around Lake Taupo.
Photo-credit: Wilson Ang [Pit-stop at the patrol-station]
We took turns, leapfrogging, to take the lead, for as long as we could; I did my best setting the pace for the first loop since I had fresher legs. Since this was our first group ride, we did not punish our bodies unduly. I climbed up the steep Hendon Hill with my cries of ‘Attack!’ Matt wrote that he would return with ‘Counter-attack!’ at our next ride. Rain did not dampen our spirits during the run, although the heightened humidity was an issue. In total, I consumed six packets of High-5 energy gels and my legs felt decent during both the ride and run; my hydration was adequate.

I took this morning’s ride as a gauge of my current fitness and how my body responded to Coach’s training prescription this week. I almost completed his sessions, except for two swim sessions that I could not do due to a re-emergence of bursitis/tendinitis in my right, formerly injured shoulder. I will not re-instate these two sessions over the next 7-10 days however will integrate swim-specific sessions next week. The guidelines for training are: If you miss a session, move on. If you need to rest, rest. Train hard but stay injury-free.

Since there are no more Ironman triathlons hosted in Asia, we have to venture overseas to seek new endurance adventures. Part of the triathlon lifestyle is traveling. It is a race cum vacation. Ironman participants travel with their Iron-Mates, without which the celebration becomes hollow and meaning-less. For a report on celebrations, here is Matt’s report on our recent post-Ironman WA/Singapore Marathon gathering.

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