Thursday, February 16, 2006

Race against the worldly...

I huffed...
and I puffed...
and almost spilled my lungs out!

Just came back from a run KL invited me to join in.
It was a weekly Thursday affair organised by RunningLab (a retail outlet at Funan Centre catering to every runner's needs!) and local running-enthusiast-group SG Runners.


Today, Nike Singapore came to offer some of their latest running-specific models for us to try out on the road. F.O.C. plus a range of about 4-5 different models catering to various persons feet-specifications; both for the ladies and men. That was one of the incentives for me personally. For you see, I have not been hitting the road/track/trail regularly enough. I knew that the 10km-route to be covered that evening was not to be taken lightly.

So I thought giving this a shot might help rekindle those athletic aspirations I once had :p
School(almost expectedly) schedule is the reason for this season of sedentry or "nua-ness" (btw I believe "nua" in Hokkien means: "liquify", also refers to "saliva", but used in my context it means to "slack-off physically".) These days, I only manage short jog/runs lasting no more than 30mins, roughly twice a week. That seems to be the bare minimum for maintaining some form of fitness that I once had during N.S. (Not fantastic but to me, it's a milestone already!)

And so we gathered at this wide open pavement, along the SG-river (opposite some nice-looking restaurants like Riciotti and Just Steak). There, the whole lot of about 40 runners were led through a comprehensive warm-up session. I found out from another fellow senior SG Runner that he appreciates the warm-up leader's efforts. "Very good stretching and best thing is that we don't need to sit on the ground too!" he quipped heartily.


We took off towards the Esplanade park, passing Clarke Quay, Empress Place(where the A.C.M is now, with VCH nearby), Cavenah and Anderson Bridge along the way. We make a right at the Esplande Bridge, taking the broad walkway beneath the bridge, and towards the Esplanade Theatre. Going past the numerous strolling couples and dinner crowds in the restaurants alongside, I couldn't help but wonder who was more envious of the two parties - I'd love to be having dinner just there and then but perhaps the diners were wishing they could have more exercise in their lives too. hoho...

At almost 2km, we "charge" into the coastal grounds known as Marina Promenade. As I passed beneath the Sheares bridge flyover, I felt a tinge of doubt; questioning whether I cound actually make it back on my own two feet, running!

Anyway, to spare you the excess commentry, at the 5km turning-point, Kallang MRT was no more than 200m away. As we made the U-turn, the sheer thought of having to cover that much distance back to finish was almost crippling,psychologically. This was mainly because of a growing ache in my lower abdomen that, up to this point, had been not subsiding at all. The other mind-block had to do with the memory of my freak lung puncture back in 2000.

Now, every stride I took was becoming shorter.I tried hard to regulate my breathing but the ache in the belly wouldn't go. KL called out to me as he noticed me lagging behind. I waved him forward, asking him to go on first since he still showed no signs of tiring. Then in a brotherly-gesture, he slowed down his pace to match mine, constantly urging me to keep going. I appreciated his timely encouragement and convinced myself that I was going to hang in there despite that tummy-cramp.

With his motivation, we made it back in about 53mins. That works out to be 5min18sec per km.
Later, we retrieved our bags from Running Lab, freshened-up and went to nearby Circular Road(i think) coffee-shop for dinner. Fellow SG runner commented over dinner that "today's pace offered a reasonably good workout". I certain agreed; recalling how I much better I felt after the finish - once I caught my breath and cooled down.


As I reflected on the run later...
I realised how it parallels one's walk with God.

The physical strains to keep oneself moving forwards is akin to the Bible-study and Quiet-time in the process of spiritual growth.
When fatigue sets in later in the run, words of encouragement are priceless towards helping one reach the finish-line. And likewise when various challenges threathen to dampen one's spiritual-life, there is nothing like being prayed for by fellow Brothers & Sisters; to affirm each other in Christ.

Patience is of upmost importance especially in long-distance runs.
A SG Runner commented, "Young people generally don't have the patience to run marathons. That's why you notice mainly middle-aged people participating in them. Bcs they have the patience to run 4-5hrs on the road". If one starts off too quick a pace than necessary, the irregular rhythm and cramps that results later nullifies any initial advantage gained.
And in our relationship with God, we should not be preoccupied with trying to make God tangible to us. Just as every relationship requires time and devotion, let us instead seek to build ours' based on the fundamental truth that "God loves us"; reciprocrating His love in earnest prayer, worship and ministry. With that, may we come to realise that God's been with us all this while.


The race, of life, is in fact against oneself.
Search your heart. Only when you find the pace that works best for you; will you truly find contentment and enjoyment with every stride you take.


A Big "Thank You" to KL
-for it was he who helped me with my leap of faith .
6 months and counting now :)

"And let us consider how we may consider to spur one another on toward love and good deeds" Hebrews 10:24

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Grounded Cupid

'Twas 300-odd days ago,
on the postman i rested my hope
The next evening we let words flow,
A light rekindled as she spoke

Reviving sentimentalities,
we casually delight
each-other's faint memories;
funny how our paths reunite

And so began the wooing
that looked to a future
There was sincere purpose
and heartfelt gesture

Then slowly came the issues,
that begged to be revealed
Was your trust misused,
and thus remorse congealed?

I prayed for healing,
you searched your heart
Lord heard our pleading;
forgiveness He'd impart

Yet that was all,
but surely lasting-bliss
Though He took our fall
still something was amiss

We had reserved ourselves
before the elders spoke
Though babes in Christ,
we were unequally yoked

Just about a fortnight ago,
we were ministered to
Hearing Godly advice though
there were dangers exposed too

And so we agreed
that we'd let the Lord show
If we fit indeed
pray He'd let us know

Although it's tough when our heart's all silenced
I will trust with all my spirit, in His steadfast asylum

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Drawing the 38th Parallel

It was a thorough and long discussion on things that had dawned upon us.
These new insights on matters-of-the-heart have proved to be compelling and challenging to our otherwise "ordinary(but still religious)" conceptions on the topic.

Perhaps there is Godly counsel yet to be sought; that step which we unwittingly jumped, proceeding to trust solely our 1st impressions, reflections and emotions. However innocently we had convened on the issue then, we must live with the ramifications of our actions.

I pray for God's presence to be with us as we offer-up our union for His sake.
Should He allow us to continue, then brighter, our Light must shine.
Yet if He bid us apart, then it shall be done amicably.

Grant Your children wisdom I pray.
In You we trust.