Training with the fittest 2

7am Woke up, dragged myself off the bed to shower and change

830am Met up with friends at the promised place

9am Tough paddling training started, lecture lecture and more lecture from the coach

11am Training ended, went for brunch dim sum with the girls, complained and bitched bout the training at the same time, feeling sleepy and in daze

1pm Drove to the city for eyebrow threading in extreme sleepiness

2pm Got home, showered, got online, chatted for a bit

4pm Done chatting, planned to nap, said screw to hiking!

4.05pm Friend msged asking if I'm going hiking, contemplated the decision since muscles a bit tired and sore

4.17pm Tried to nap for a bit but can't.. too much pressure to wake up on time and the itch to burn more calories was just overpowering

5pm Found myself feeding mosquitoes waiting for ppl in YouthPark

I wondered if I'm overdoing this. On a second thought, I should be happy I finally found people to go hiking with.

Just... not as crazy.

There were 4 of us (we thought the rest fly aeroplane but the truth was they started hiking way before us), 2 guys and 2 girls. Obviously, the leader went first, another guy followed, me third and my friend (who claimed she has never hiked before) last.

As soon as we started hiking, I knew it was a mistake. Hiking had never been such a torture. It wasn't the average enjoy-the-view-chit-chat-laugh-rest-take-your-own-sweet-time type of leisure hike. They weren't hiking, they were basically "running" up the frigging hill @_@ well almost.. this time around they claimed they were already slowing down because of us and by slowing down I mean still walking very very fast! I swear I have never seen anyone going up the hill so fast.

A journey that took maybe 45 mins ~ 1 hour for a normal person to go up was completed in less than half an hour. The longest time we stopped for a break was maybe 2 mins? That was because the leader met someone along the way and talked for a bit but he was in hurry to end the conversation to continue the hike.

We, the 2 poor souls at the back were working our asses off to keep up. It was tiring beyond words.... suddenly I miss those leisure hikes I used to take with the bf, although we still worked very hard, we didn't push ourselves to the dizzy spells limit. But these, these ungentlemen ppl just went on and on and on.. and it was only our first time hiking with them! If they're trying to scare us of, they definitely succeeded!

Spotting the end in sight was like knocking on heaven's door, a few steps away to eternal happiness... ok I'm exaggerating here but at that point, it really felt like that.

Half an hour rest at the top of the hill later, we came down. This time, no one rushed. At the foothill, some "smart" asshole decided that he didn't get enough exercise for the day and he suggested one round of jog! No it's not one round of jog around the field, we're talking bout running another 1.5km! FML!

Back in school days when we had those physical assessments, 1.5km will take us 20 minutes to complete (yes now you know how unfit I was). Their record is 9 minutes. We groaned inside, dreading the coming challenge. The leader assured us it was going to be a slow jog. We played along.

I'm not surprised when we lost sight of all of them in less than 100 metres into the jog -_- Seriously, what are these people made of?!

But yes, both of us were determined to complete the jog even though we're like the last 2 persons trailing behind. When we finally made it to the end destination, the guys were already changed into clean dry shirts, some left for the day. We were complimented for our determination and so called "not bad" fitness level for first timers. Inside we were slowly feeling the pain. Satisfied? Well yea maybe... at least we proved to them that we're not some sissy girls who give up easily. I was glad my friend was a good sport, we motivate each other.

With intense training like this every week, I'd better very fit and tone in no time!

That.. if I can ever survive the training at all...

Gloves to protect my hands from blisters.

Just, be ready for a lot of complaints from me in the coming days...

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The day when I first row a boat seriously

I feel like a partial cripple today. I woke with pain all over my body, stretching from the side of my neck, to my shoulders, arms, palms, to my upper back, waist, down to my butt, thighs and a little pain on my feet. As crazy as this might sound, I actually enjoy the pain. The satisfaction of working out so much in the past 2 days was just... rewarding.

Let me tell you about my day yesterday. Along with 3 of my girlfriends, we decided it should be quite an experience to go rowing. It wasn't an average leisure rowing type of activity like kayaking or canoeing, we're talking about high impact, intensive rowing where we have to give a 110% of what we have.

Now I wouldn't say no to any form of workout, I'm definitely determined to learn and give it my best. I figured it will be something to blog about and share with the readers who are occasionally stalking my life too haha. As it was only my first time there, I didn't want to look like a complete bimbo camwhorer with her camera who was only interested in taking pictures for the blog. I wanted to be serious, even more to look the part.

Being there on time is essential, at least for me. The training site is at Lebuh Maccallum, a construction side near the sea. I do not have any pictures so I'm just going to *steal* a few from the Penang Forward blog itself.

This is the container where the team store their paddles, life jackets, and other misc items for the members to keep when they go out rowing.

There were about 30 something of us at the training but we had only one boat, that day so we had to share.

This is the glorious boat the team is very proud of, I heard one boat costs about SGD14,000 and it can fit up to 20 people at one time if I'm not mistaken.

Much to our surprise, we were asked to go first. And I thought we will be at least briefed on how to hold the paddle, or work on our strokes. But no, we were thrown into practice just like that. I'm about to brave the sea, those who cannot swim have the choice to wear a life jacket but the stubborn me decided that nothing will happen and I'm pretty confident that we're in good hands.

If I fall, I fall into this greyish looking sea, not exactly a nice sight but oh well...

One by one, we climbed into the boat and positioned ourselves. Since I'm a leftie, I chose to row on my left side. Then we slowly row backwards into the sea.

Our "coach" is a man in his late 40s, standing in the middle of the boat, correcting our sitting positions and how we should handle our paddles. When he blew the whistle, we started rowing.

One, two, SPLASH! My friend who was sitting in front of me splashed me with the dirty water. I didn't expect to stay dry throughout the training so I told her its ok and we continued rowing. It wasn't easy, I was tired in less than 20 counts. Stopped and rowed again, when I'm tired I stopped for 2 counts and started again.

The coach stood in front of us, the newbies and kept correcting our mistakes.

"You're sitting wrongly! This is not an office sitting position"

"You should only sit half of the plank"

"Arms straight, body lean forward, waist supporting your upper body"

"Lean out! Lean out! Lean out towards the sea, you won't fall!" but I was afraid of falling! I regretted not wearing the life jacket! I tried to make a joke or two but he wasn't impressed so I kept my silence and followed his orders.

"Keep your posture straight, don't hunch!"

"Sink your paddle in, almost vertical, raise it to your waist,lift it up and back to position with your arms stretched"

We practiced our strokes, one stroke per one blow of his whistle. This wasn't bad except when you have to return to the initial position to stretching your arms out and wait for the next whistle blow. I totally lost it when they started paddling fast. For one, my arms got tired real fast and once I stop, I totally lost the sync. Two, because the noobies were siting together, our paddles often came in contact and hit each other -_- Three, because we can't master the stroke well yet, we splashed sea water onto each other so much it got into our eyes we had to stop paddling to wipe the water (and sweat in my case) from our eyes.

We were glad to finally made it back to the shore. The guys went down next. It was almost a humiliation to the first team. They were so synchronized, and almost everyone looked so fit it put us to shame. We sat on a big floating concrete resting, talking and watching a dog belonging to one of the men goofed around.

This is probably the most loyal, well trained dog I've came across.

We went down for a second round after that, this time we didn't row as much. Again, the coach was busy watching our every step. After 2 hours of rowing, we decided to call it day.

At least, we thought so....

until the leader shouted

"Ok, people! Hiking later at 5pm in YouthPark!"


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Training with the fittest - first experience

Last Thursday afternoon, I received an email from a girlfriend asking if I'm up for a seemingly difficult challenge, for me at least.

The email said

"Hey, they’re putting up a mixed-team race for pesta dragon boat race.
Do you think you’re up for it? need to train (from the emails I see they got physical training, gym training and also rowing training). They have secured sponsors for the jersey, gym and etc but need commitment from us."

I was dumbfounded, in fact I almost laughed upon reading the email and to think that my friend actually thinks that I'm fit enough for a what? Dragon boat race?

What attracted me to their trainings in the first place is the fact that they train HARD, consistent and push you to the limits, that I like. I figured it's a win-win situation for extra exercises outdoors. But to actually make the team? You gotta be kidding me.

After voicing out my concerns, my friend assured me that there's definitely no pressure on the girls. Basically this was her response, the magic sentence

"I think they need bodies with boobs to make the mixed team."

Haha bodies with boobs, yes boobs I have, but commitment? Errmm we shall see about that.

The team trains in Botanical Garden on every Saturday evening at 5.30pm and goes paddling every Sunday morning at 8.30. Obviously, I am not too excited about the Sunday workout, which means I'll have to sacrifice my Saturday night outings and sleep early wtf but, hey, never try never know.

So today was my first physical training session with them. My girlfriends were as usual, fashionably late and I was left to wait alone at the entrance. The team was there, it's impossible to miss a bunch of toned, muscular guys and some women but I made no contact with them since well, they don't know that I'm the newbie. Then someone walked up to me, someone familiar.. someone I see every week in my gym. He's the steps aerobics instructor in the gym. We talked for a bit and found out that he will be leading the training.

The training started a little past 5.30, right after my girlfriends arrived and I was briefly introduced to some people. From their previous trainings, they said it wasn't that hard, mostly jogging and a some physical exercises after that.

However, today the leader decided that he wanted a different approach. We were to jog from Botanical Garden to the stage in YouthPark. It wasn't that long of a route but the fact that I can still feel my teppanyaki beef from lunch still digesting and I was feeling heavy mattered alot. Not to mention we had to breathe in polluted exhaust smoke from passing vehicles along the way too.

The fitters ones disappeared fast, leaving us, the unfit ones huffing and puffing our ways behind. We gathered at the stage, forming a big circle where Luke, the leader directed us with some warmup exercises. Then we moved on to the field for more physical trainings.

The challenge was to run one round of the entire field but we had to stop at a few "stations" along the way to complete a set of exercises before sprinting (yes, sprint, not jog) from one station to the next.

The men went first. The ladies and some guy juniors stayed behind and observed. Then it was our turn to go. We sprinted to the first station, stopped, got down onto the ground for 30 pushups. Then we ran to the next station, hands on the ground, our legs moving in and out, that's another 30 counts. The next station was a little more of a blessing, at least we got to lie down on the ground. 30 crunches with legs up in the air. I'd rather do this that the others. In the next station, we had to do 50 jumping jacks! Already panting and halfway dead, we tried our best to pull through the challenge. Then we sprinted halfway across the field to the last station where we had to do 10 counts of burpees. And I think I smell dog poo nearby where I did my burpees :S FML

Now it may not sound much, but man it was tiring! Probably the most tiring non stop cardio workout I've had in a while. Everyone does it so fast and efficient that you feel that if you don't keep up, you're the worst of the pack. So by hook or by crook, you forced yourself to do it. No one gives a damn about you groaning in pain, no one waits for you, you just have to get to the end of the line.

We gathered back at the stage area, formed another big circle. Did a little bit of hand exercises for the biceps and triceps, another 30 pushups, 30 crunches, 30 leg presses and we stretched to cool down before calling it a day. We were in a mess, with dirt on our back, pants and little sticks sticking on our hair. We breathed in air like it was precious. The entire ordeal was only about 45 minutes. And we were already half dead.

As we slowly made our way back to Botanical Garden, the woman team leader, sped by in her car and called out to us "See you girls tomorrow ok?"

We looked at each other and laughed, yea, why not? They needed bodies with boobies to make the mixed team right? Sure, we'll do a good deed, but to take us into the team or not, or whether they decide to row the boat carrying dead weights, it's definitely up to them.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm gonna go rest these arms of mine for tomorrow's challenge.

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