Monday, March 29, 2010

in loving memory of Ben Mok

Mr Benjamin Mok Chee Kong, aged 35, and another cyclist were involved in an accident with a vehicle on Sunday, 21st March 2010 at 2125hours. The police report places the accident site along Clementi Road, headed towards Upper Bukit Timah Road.

Ben, a freelance writer and cycling enthusiast, traveled extensively to countries such as Malaysia, Thailand, Australia and the USA on solo cycling expeditions. His journals are widely read online and followed by cycling communities worldwide. He was due to return to the US to start on his PhD.

Sadly, his dream will never be fulfilled. Ben passed away on Wednesday 24th March, 2010 at 0614hours at National University Hospital of Singapore.

His adventures can be followed on Pedal!Damnit! and also check out BenMokPedalOn.Com

Ben's a personal friend. The guy who got me on my first road. The guy who went with me when i first got my Scott CR1 Team with Pro parts. The guy who argued with me cos he was too worried i can't do bike commuting home alone from East Coast. The guy who never fails to wait for me, if i am lagging behind in a ride. The guy who gets really worried when i start to get tired during a ride. The guy who calls me "char siew pao mei" (CSPM).

His death has caused me much anguish. I told a friend,"it's the waiting... the waiting for a miracle, yet in my heart i knew there might be a chance that i will lose him". On the day i heard the news of the mishap, i cried badly. The words ICU did not sit well in my dictionary nor heart. I can't help but to cry when i first saw him again. Every night that i stood by the ward, i couldn't help but to feel terrible. I am though amazed of the guy. How he touched the lives of many. Friends of his, whom i've never met, who sat around with us and amongst us, as we pray for Ben.

Ben, you'll be missed. Badly, by Erik. And i perhaps cannot listen to "8Mile" by Eninem again, without tearing.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Singapore Biathlon 2010

So the time came for 2010 Singapore Biathlon again. Matt has revealed in his blog about how it should be called Aquathlon, but we'll leave this to someone else to explain.

The few days before, i was really unsure how i would do. I can count with the number of my fingers the number of runs and swims i have done in 2010. For your information, i have 10 fingers. and 10 toes. Yes i know, 10 runs / swim sessions is a very sad number. I still do chi yoga once a week, for calming myself down, and to stretch my muscles out. Having done 2 Macritchie runs on the past two sundays, i guessed it will have to help.

I went to the Biathlon with no timing in mind. Good if i hit 2 hours. Best if i did anything better, i wasn't going to complain or whine about how badly prepared i am for the race or how dismal i have done.

The waters was calm in the morning. Calm and peaceful. I met with Shanley, and decide to use her as my benchmark. Both of us haven't really been swimming much. When the officials fired off the starting horn, it's embracing the washing machine styled swim. Not only are the swimmers of different shapes and sizes, as well as age, i am embracing seabugs. Nasty pesky lil things that i can't see, that loves to take a nip or sometimes a bite out of me. Those bites range from my face to my arms. I got mobbed by those nasty sea critters. All i thought was "man... how come this is taking forever?" as i waddled in the waters. That end of swim sign never looked better, as i struggled out of the water still scratching myself silly from the bites. The allergy has set in.

I told myself i would stay calm and try to run the entire 10km, but to anticipate some walks. Once out of transition, my heartrate shot up and i was unable to catch my breathe. I met Maye-E along the way, and we had a lil chat. Before you knew it, she waved me along signalling that all she wanted to do is to run, and not walk, and for me to go faster if i can. As i plodded along the East Coast park, i heard a familiar voice. It was of Matt. His HR was also out of whack when he met me, and slowed to a walk. I grabbed him and told him to move along, and to find his pace. I also had to "undo his zip" of his .... trisuit. Heh! I did get to smile to a few people, chat with a few friends through the run. And by some time, i knew i was on the right track to finish running through that 10k. So much for being branded a "walker" all the time at races and my motto being "keep on walking!".

When i cross that finish line. i knew i have broken my PB.
Surprised? :)

i came in 1 : 45 : 32.
This, without training... i am baffled!

Friday, March 05, 2010

Coping with training and professional life

As Matthew always say, " do not against something that pays for your hobbies", i have embraced work differently. I've always been a workaholic of sorts. But sometimes, i'm only human and lose my cool.

I've started leaving a lot more things in the hands of my trusty assistant. God bless their kind hearts. I've been working more on growing businesses and getting more welfare for my employees. I understand they have families; they need their time away from that workdesk to keep their sanity and cool while dealing with clients, and contractors all day. I always tell them "work hard when you need to; when there's free time, please leave early and get some rest and come back fighting".

I've started doing a weekly early morning run. I've been sleeping early. Now all i need is more strength, caffeine and lovingly coke to last me through the day. That's coca-cola for you.