Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Is Your Cup Half-Filled or Half-Empty?

‘Before we can fill our cup, we must first empty our cup.’ ~ Zen saying

Sunday’s long-distance road-race saw adequate aid-stations and public bathrooms along the 18K loop. Some runners cheekily remarked that although the cups were large, yet they were half-filled; many chose to drink enough before we departed from our hydration-points. We used these precious cups of fluid to cool us externally and internally. One middle-aged runner – who deserves a prize for being protective of our environment – collected his spent plastic cups into the thrash bag he was carrying. I opted to carry my pre-poured, energy gels in a hand-held container and sipped from it at regular intervals - I left my garbage at home.

In the branch known as positive psychology, optimists perceive a cup as half-empty. Pessimists view the cup as half-empty. According to Martin Seligman, PhD., optimism can be learned. However, pessimists tend to be more accurate in evaluating their conditions during a crisis.

Do you have your cup over-filled? How often do you empty your cup? The cup can be an abstraction, referring to allegories or symbolic references. Marathoners pursue personal bests to attain a spot at their holy grail – Boston Marathon. There is no actual cup, or cup-like trophy for finishers but it is a collective cup that we quench our thirst for achievement from.

The elite and experienced runners learn how to drink on the run; they squeeze the mouth of the cup into a sickle shape so as to control the exalted release of cooling content. This also ensures lesser likelihood of spillage. On a hot and humid day, every drop counts for you do not want your core temperature rising to critical levels. Heat disorders can be dangerous; I experienced my first and last one at my first aquathlon and it was not pleasant!

Casual, unofficial tea-breaks are known to sustain workplace productivity. Research has indicated that by restricting or eliminating these brief social sessions, working morale and health suffers.

Have a break – take a cuppa’!
Within 24 hours of the release of the results of Newton 18K/30K Run, participants have been expressing their concerns about accuracy of data capture, and validity of results; rankings have been haywire and haphazardly arranged. Whenever there is a new bib design, with a transponder/RFID device integrated onto it, potential implications may arise. Some received a DNF (did not finish) or no reading after their 18K/30K personal challenge; I can empathise as I did not get an official reading last year. That is why I still rely on my own timing on my Garmin 310XT which provides me additional GPS-assisted data. I am pleased I ran my own race yesterday, and hope to recover fully from the flu I am experiencing soon. The marathon on 4 December will be my last longest run, before my assault on my 12th Ironman triathlon attempt in March.
Photo-credit: Ng Chee Beng

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