General

Swimming tips

Tuesday evening, I went for my weekly swim training after skipped it for almost two weeks. I used to swim during weekend, either it’s Friday, Saturday, or Sunday evening. But yesterday, I cannot wait till weekend to go for my swim. I was quite tired, but yet managed to force myself to go for a swim. There’s nothing wrong with forcing your body to swim when you are tired, because inside of water, you won’t feel a thing. Ate a few of date palm fruits, and gained energy from there.

When I reached my 500m, suddenly I felt so tired and I was thinking that I couldn’t go further. I felt my body so heavy, and my breath was so short. I was planning to go for 1K only. It was a really short distance compare to my other training.

But ended up to finish 2.05K. It was a shorter than I used to go.

During those tiring moments, I tried to remember the points that I’ve learned from the books. I had read so many books and watched a lot of swimming tutorials, tried to fix my swimming strokes. And there I came to the point to be a real swimmer, a distance swimmer.

So how can you be a real swimmer? This is what I’ve got so far, and would like to share it with you:

  • Relax, don’t fight the water for it’s always win. Even for someone who can swim could be panic when they are losing their breath at the middle of the pool, and end up to stop once they reach the poolside. It is so important to be relaxed. When you relax, you would be look like you are gliding along the surface of the water. Each time I get tired, I tell myself: “go easy, go easy. Relax, don’t forget to relax”. And I successfully stabilize my breath and able to keep swimming. I’m not holding my breath. I strongly exhale when my face is inside the water, and inhale when it’s out.
  • Keep your head down. Most mistake made by many swimmers is they are keeping their legs down, and it drags their whole bodies down. When they swim, it’s like they are going to be drowned, and when they reach the poolside, they are losing their breath. Swimming must be done as you are floating on top of the water. You must keep your body buoyant. And the only thing to do that is to keep your head down once your head enters the water. The bottom of the pool and your body should be straight up and 0 degrees.
  • Rotate, rotate, rotate. My average stroke (freestyle) for each 300m is about 2.00 – 2.50 minutes for the whole 2K – 2.5K. Sometimes in running, the further I go, the slower I’d be. But in swimming, the further I go, the faster I’d be. It is because I fix my body rotation along the way. Body rotation is important to make your swimming becomes more effective so you don’t need to spend so much energy trying to make your body move forward. Legs do not rotate as the body rotates. The feet should be kicking straight up and down.
  • Never cross the forbidden centerline. Under no circumstances should either arm ever cross the centerline of your body. At the entry point of the stroke, drop your arm in the water directly in front of your shoulder. Flare our arm out during the catch, sweep back and slightly in during the pull, and finish with your hand next to your thigh.
  • Swim with your upperbody muscle, not your legs. I first thought that doing a freestyle needs a strong legs. But I was wrong. No wonder that I always feel so tired and losing breath whenever I’ve done my freestyle. I kicked so hard to reach the poolside. My cousin told me that it is a major mistake to do. I should be swimming with my upperbody muscle, dragging my body to move forward with the upperbody muscle instead of the legs. I did what he had told me, and it is true! Now I understand why most swimmers have a wide shoulder and a toned upperbody, especially for the shoulders and back. It always felt painful everytime I swim now! Kicking legs are meant just to help you to move forward. Even if your legs are not kicking, if you are using your upperbody muscle you would keep moving forward anyway.

A lot of people thought that swimming is hard. I did think the same thing. But now swimming is something I love the most. Running is meant to burn all the fats you have. But swimming for me is the moment when I would be able to form my body, especially the upperbody side. Believe me, those muscle was formed because I regularly swim. It is also healthy for people who has injury or are not able to do heavy workouts.

So.. Let’s swim! =D

General

lonesome

Last Friday, I went for an evening run after work. When I just about to start, I was thinking, how far I would go that night. Planned to go for just a short one since I’m gonna go for a long run on Sunday morning, I ended up to do my long run that night. So I went for a 13K evening run, followed by a 15K Sunday morning run. Which was really exhausting.

But running makes me reflect on the burdens I have in mind. And I like that though it’s very tiring.

I knew I have spent a lot of time doing some activities by myself. If anybody conclude that I am really enjoying doing some things by myself, they are seeing the wrong side of myself.

So on that lonely night, I kept thinking, maybe I deserve to be alone. Don’t know for what purpose, but I just thought that I deserve the life I have now, a lonely one. I can’t stop my body from exercise and let it rest. If I skip run, I would go for a long swim (a non-stop 1.5K to 2.5K). A lot of people would ask me when they watch me: “what are you trying to achieve?”. I would answer: “I am training for the coming races”. But is that really the answer?

During my activities, I found the real answer comes from the deepest part of my heart. I might torturing my own body, exhausts it. But I can conclude that I am looking for an approval and acknowledgement.

I guess I am still having a severe pain from being rejected by few important people in my life. And that does not heal easily as it supposed to be. Even after years had gone by, I am still experiencing the pain in my heart until today.

Then I became too sensitive to interact with many people as well.

For some people, they might bounce to negative things, the things they would regret to for the coming years of their lives. But as for me, I bounce to something more to positive, which is an intense exercise. The more intense it is, the better I feel. I am satisfying myself by that. I could say that it is positive because it is healthy for your own body. Though I knew the negative outcome is that I might getting injured if I do that too heavily.

So here is what I see from me. When I saw my friends, even the closest one get specific invitations from their friends who are also my friends, I look at myself why I was not invited by them. It’s like they are keep forgetting me. I honestly become jealous when I saw their pictures on social networking webs, and decided to reduce the intensity of checking the social networking webs. It made me sad, and I isolated myself from everyone. Suddenly the thought of nobody wants me around just popped out.

Suddenly I was too lazy to hanging out with anybody. Because the more I see my friends, the closer the bond would be. And it would hurt me badly one day.

Then there was when the thought stroke, that maybe I deserve to be alone. I don’t know which or what mistake I should pay for a decent experience, but I think I just need to deal with it. Even at the lowest point I was thinking that perhaps God wants me to be alone.

I tried to control my thoughts by thinking that even being alone is one of God’s purpose for a greater good. But I am a very emotional individual who is most of the time got dragged out towards my emotional feelings. And then I got sad, or upset. I end up put myself into misery, a depression.

Human is a social being. But being sociable is sometimes painful, because you deal with a lot of different people and you gain the risk of getting hurt when you have crossed a different point of view, and then end up of losing the relationship bond.

I don’t want to lose another one again.

I even questioned myself, how could I love again if I am too afraid of getting hurt. Because the risk of loving someone means that you are risking your heart to get hurt.

I recalled myself of loving someone so deeply and poured out all of my feelings, dedicated my energy so much to love, I ended up getting depressed when the love hurt me so bad.

So, it is much safer when I am being alone. But though, it is very lonely.

I wonder if this situation is really made because of my own choice, or because God wanted me to.

Am I deserving a life with a loneliness?

General

What it takes to be an athlete

Lately I have been thinking of having a permanent tattoo on my right wrist. I am so in love with the infinity symbol, and I had several infinity temporary tattoo attached to my skin every weekends for the past six months. I approached some of my friends who had tattoos on their bodies and I was asking how was it felt to be drawn by needles. And of course I was asking some of close friends’ opinion of me having a permanent tattoo. While some were agree and very supportive, the other were just the opposite.

When I was consulting with one of best guy when he was in town, of his opinion for me having a permanent tattoo, he argued that nothing in this world is permanent. Literally, nothing. While I questioned love, something else came up in my mind: how about something that we love?

I reflected to his state of mind every day since then. It has been few months already, but it keeps appear in my mind and I was also looking for an answer, and be aware of what might happen to something that I love today, which is, being active.

I have a regular activity every week, three to four times a week, sometimes I do that in the morning, and sometimes it’s in the evening. Running. One to two times swim for each week, two times of weight lifting. Two years ago I was so dedicated and addicted to weight lifting at the gym, and did that for everyday in the evening. As a result I gained muscle density through eating a strict diet meals, full of protein. Been doing that for a year, and I, of course, gained weight by means of my fat levels went down and muscle levels went up. I was quite bulky during that time. And when I got bulkier, I looked like getting fatter. But I didn’t. It was just all muscle.

And then, that happened, when your muscle got bored with the routines at gym, and considered to mix my workouts with a high-intensity kind of exercise, which is cardio. That point of time, I was so eager to watch Desperate Housewives, and saw Teri Hatcher (Susan Delvino) looked so strong with her tiny body and tight muscle on her early 50th. Googled for her kind of workouts, and found out that she’s a Triathlete, a Triathlon-athlete, a multi-stage sports involving Swimming, Cycling, and Running continuously. So that was how I am into that sport, starting with running to build up my endurance since November 2014.

There is a quote which stated that swimming is the most tired one, while cycling is the longest, and running is the heaviest for a Triathlete to pass one race.

There are four levels on the Triathlon:

  • 1st is Sprint Distance – 750m open water swim, 20k bike, 5k run
  • 2nd is Olympic Distance – 1.5k open water swim, 40k bike, 10k run
  • 3rd is Half Marathon Distance – 3k open water swim, 90k bike, 21k run
  • 4th is the longest, Ironman – 4.1k open water swim, 180k bike, 42k run

I could not imagine if I would go as an Ironman, but at least I was aiming for an Olympic Distance Triathlon race and a Half Marathon (21k) race firs someday. Haven’t thought of going further than that yet.

In the Triathlon, the phase I hate the most is the cycling part, because I just hate cycling. It hurts my butt even though you have wore a pad. But it’s a part of Triathlon sequence, and I have no other choice to practice on that. Mostly I do my bike training in the Les Mills RPM class at gym.

There is a Triathlon race in Bali this 25th October 2015, I signed up, and somehow got chosen. But I doubt I am able to make it to Bali, since the date is the exact date I normally got my first day of period. There is a possibility I’m not going, and it makes me sad. Because I really want to go for that race and see whether I would keep going on as a Triathlete, permanently, pursuing for a higher and further levels, or longer distance, or this Triathlon thingy would only just be a “one-time” event in my life, and become a history afterwards, just like how my best guy said “there is nothing permanent in this world”. I would die to know.

I have been trained for about 9 months for this Bali International Triathlon, and I’m thinking that I am ready, although I rarely done my brick training. Brick training is when you combine at least two sequence kind of sports in Triathlon (like Bike-Run-Bike or Run-Swim-Run). By seeing how I train, I believe that I could do my first Triathlon just fine since my endurance level is good enough to do a Sprint Distance. I am able to swim 2k in 45 Mins, 13k non-stop run in 1.40 Hrs, and cycle 30k in 2 Hrs in few days in a row.

You know, this kind of endurance sports has formed my body well. I don’t need to have that strict diet anymore, just monitor some of my intakes to balance the nutrition for a better strength and endurance purposes.

During my tiring unstoppable long run, or those painful and heavy strokes in the pool, I always think why do I do this, would I ever stopped doing these training. But believe me, it feels great after. When I crossed those FINISH lines on the races I signed up, when I got out from the pool and felt the pain for a few days on my shoulders and back whereas made them formed nicely, when I dropped off my bike and felt numb on both of my glutes and thighs, oh believe me, it felt wonderful. It’s not the pain, but it’s the feeling of success that you have set a new record each time you train.

Although there were so many grins drawn on my face because I feel the pain. But it is worth.

Maybe some of my friends would say that I am too crazy to force my body beyond its maximum capability and I might regularly get injured. I did get injured in some part of my bodies and it made me to have a few weeks bed-resting with no exercise at all (and it depressed me). But I realized that I got the injury just because I did not understand my body, I did not listen to my body, whether it’s scream and beg for a recovery or if it needs to move and add some miles than the regular distance. Each of us has a very active body, which is able to speak to us, and we just need to obey it for our own goodness. And the same thing when to eat a healthy and clean meals, and when to eat a not-too-healthy meals. And, voilà! You and your body become advance! You and your body are a team.

From there, I develop a good relationship with my own body, and understand that being good together feels great. So, yeah. I’m gonna add this to my permanent “things-I-like” list. He once said that: “perhaps, you love running and wish to be a long-distance athlete is just temporary”, I would say that he’s wrong, man.

I believe that becoming an athlete is a commitment. A commitment of letting go of your non-productive activities and turn it into something more productive, like having a nice body.

If you are too busy at work, just spend a minimum of 30 minutes to workout.

If you are too lazy to wake up early in the morning and you are thinking that your whole day would be too tiring, you are so wrong. Believe me, you would feel fresher for the rest of the day (a clearer mind to do your activities or even to think!). I do feel sleepy for some point of hour, but I just need to add up a little caffeine or eating sugar (from fruits for your health, of course), and it works!

If you feel that “tasteless” meals are boring, try to mix it with “cheat-meal” once in a while (remember that there is NO such thing as “cheat day”, you only have ONE “cheat-meal” once in a while – instead of having “dirty” meals for the rest of the day).

Go easy on you train on your distance or endurance level, I do running slow for my long run, I do light lifting for my strength training. The aim is that you don’t stop.

There is NO such thing as “NO TIME”. If you think that it is important, that you would do anything to make it happen.

Be there when the sun rises, or when the sun sets down. It determines how would you want to start or end your day.

General

Making peace

On Saturday I went to my friend’s garden themed wedding. Got no friends to go with because the groom’s friends are not exactly my friends, I decided to go with Ma to avoid that awkward moments when you are waiting the ceremonial to start.

I was not really into this party, so I dressed up on a simple slim one-shoulder yellow dress and tied up my hair to show my strong part of my body (which is the upper side), and wore my yellow wedges heels. I just wanted to appreciate he contacted me directly through whatsapp for a my confirmation to come to his wedding even though he has sent me the invitation.

Came exactly as the written time on the invitation, but turned out the wedding started one hour later. Brought Ma along was the best decision after all.

While waiting, I looked around and met some old fellas. Greeted them, and realized, that all of them already had someone to bring with. Whether spouse, or boy/girl-friend. And yes, whenever I looked around, I saw a lot of people had already hooked up with someone else. So I thought, where’s mine?

There is a time when I got really ignorant of my status of being single with no “partner-in-crime” by my side, and so comfortable with my solitariness. And there is another time when I feel really lonely and all I want is just having someone around me. Perhaps now is the time when I am so longing to have someone. Instead, God has not given me any sign of his whereabouts.

Each nights I reflected on myself, and see why have I not ready to receive someone. And realized that it is by my own choice I prefer to be alone for now. I realize that I have so much pain inside, and yet have no idea how to settle each of it. I just knew each time I tried to open up my heart even though to someone who is just a friend, I ended up hurting myself. I am so sensitive and thinking that I don’t need to lean to anybody because I can do everything by myself, to make my life “pain-less”. It is a choice I made over few years, but I also suffer from it since I keep feeling that kind of loneliness before I end my day.

I did envy some individuals when they came with their new partners, and some of them had already made a commitment to step further. And that moment I was thinking that they have met someone who is out of guess that that person could be their soulmates, maybe mine is too. So I drown into own thoughts, listing all the names that is possible to be a match. I do have two guys who are so close with me, but somehow, I just knew that none of them is a match for me.

I had fallen in love with one of them about five to six years ago, and now we are getting quite close as brother and sister. We were separated because of some situations, but managed to survive and reunite as a good friends until today. But when we reunited, we came as different individuals than the ones we were. I knew that I might have fallen for him again, I knew how responsible he might be, I knew all of his likes and dislikes, his dreams, his wishes and hopes, his hidden characters. He is great, indeed, but somehow I just don’t have that urge to make him as someone more than just “siblings”. And I also don’t think that he is my mate. I feel that he is just an ordinary guy God brought back into my life to sharpen my readiness before stepping into marriage life.

Another one is just a random guy my married best-friend introduced a few years ago. Well, to be frank, I just don’t like him. I never like him despite his big heart and his kindest intention towards me. We just never be a match in terms of likes and dislikes, principles, the way of thinking. And many times I made up reasons to keep him off of my daily lives, because I just don’t want to be with him on that specific time of day, while he often insist to spend time with me. But I appreciate his kind heart by being there whenever he desperately needs someone to talk to. I will be around for him, teaching him how to think and behave like an adult.

So if someone is asking me a question: “are you sure that is there no one around you?”, I would reply: “absolutely none”.

But you know, when you are thinking “when will he/she comes?”, there’s also an immediate response that telling you “he/she might be around”.

Looking at my own communities right now, I don’t see where he is.

Each time I am down because I am thinking too much on this thing, I realize that I am much better than my friends who are in the same position as me, single and haven’t found any match.

I see them got so many friends around them, hanging around with different people each day, can go to the church and sit together with their acquaintances, and when they come home, when they have in troubles, when they want to watch movies in theater, when they are going for an exercise, they know where to go, but yet they still feel so lonely because they don’t have boy/girl-friend to be with.

Hey.. You’ve got so many people around you and you are hanging around with different people almost everyday. And yet, you still think that you are so lonely?

While me. I made peace with my solitude. Even though there must be a feeling of being lonely, but somehow I enjoy doing my own things by myself.

So I have no other choice rather than to wait. I don’t even know who or what am I waiting, but I have no control, I’m done making control.

Where there’s a lot of issues I need to fix in within me, I am sure that readiness is to be the most important point. God knows when I am ready.

If I dare enough to walk alone, I am likely to find myself in many places that no one has ever visited before. And who knows what life would surprise you?

Being at the top or the bottom is a normal thing to each one. When I am down and feel so hopeless, I do feel sad. But holding onto something I believe is what make me stronger. And I guess being strong is what made me a survivor.

General

he.

Lately he has been back in my imaginative life.

When I close my eyes; when the day has been too tough and have no one to talk to or to be with; when the day feels so long and got nothing to do; when the nights become too cold and lonely; when hope starts to fade, and wishes fly away like a dust; when weekends become too boring to be spent alone; during those solitude moments on my regular evening runs or endurance trainings; during those minutes on my way to the office; during the tiring hour when I am walking towards the office; under the intense heat of the afternoon sun. Every time I breath.

It feels like there’s a lot of things that needed to be spoken out, but each time I turn, I found darkness.

There’s a small urge inside me which just want to press that forbidden button. But I knew, once I hit the button, I could never stop to open the Pandora’s Box.

Loneliness..

I never had thought that my life nowadays become harder, and more lonely than before.

And each time I look up and ask to The Above the same question as I once threw a few years ago: “why are you allowing me to be in this silence?”, I remind myself that this was meant for a greater purpose.

And yes, it is indeed hard.

I guess surviving is the only tool I have for now.

I somehow feel too tired to ask for more. I somehow think that perhaps I was made to be on my own, like, forever. And I am too desperate until I have no desire to fix my situation.

Try to cover up my sadness by being strong, and pretend that I am so independent and I don’t need anybody to support me in anything because I can take care of myself, I end up to be too hard on myself. I have suspicion on many things, suspect the intention of the people around me.

And then that thoughts stroke me, and telling me that I need someone who would understand me, and his figure came out.

Because he was the one who is able to fulfill such requirement.

But he was taken from me many years ago, and I don’t think that he would be able to find his way back to me, because that bridge between us, had broken a long time ago. And there is no way that he or me could even cross such distance without a bridge.

That is how I knew that we are not meant for each other.

What an irony.

But my kind of feeling to him, is never fade.

Perhaps I miss the situation I was in on that period of time. And I thought that he could fix the emptiness, filling the hole, complementing the blank points.

And perhaps because of that thought, he appears once more. And don’t know for how many times more.