The desire to excel. The passion to dedicate. The determination to see it through.

Friday, October 07, 2011


WARNING: I'm in a writing/ranting mood. Long post ahead!

The drilling just above my flat drove me out of my flat. Fortunately, it was a good health day so I took my bike and fishing pole and headed to Serangoon Reservoir. Fished for about 2 hours before the rain got to me and I was soaking wet. Well, it was fun and I kind of planned the soaking cycling experience anyway -  took out my rain jacket and umbrella then decided against it and left them at home. Met kind strangers today. Let me recount my experience when the rain started:
  1. A man (he was in his 40s and with another guy probably in his 30s) offered me shelter in his car, which of course I turned down.
  2. Another man, I think he's a Thai foreign worker, walked over with his umbrella and provided me with shelter while I was packing up, even though by then I was soaking wet.
These were really kind acts. I can't decide whether it's because I was a young girl who went fishing on her own or the only one without shelter. Perhaps it was a bit of both.

Cycling on the off-road/gravel path of the Lorong Halus Wetlands is quite an escape from city life. There are few places in Singapore whereby you have an off-road cycling path along the water surrounded by greenery.

In the evening, we watched Real Steel. It's an awesome movie. One of those inspiring from zero to hero kind of movies. I felt like I was a spectator and wanted to participate in the cheering too. Had to keep reminding myself that I was in a movie theatre and not the stadium. 

Reminds me of a race event when I was back in Cedar. I think every Cedarian there would have remembered this event. 4x100m - when the baton was passed on to our 4th runner, we were in the 5th position while our strongest rival was in the 1st position with their fastest runner in the 4th leg. In that last 100m, our runner overtook the other 4 runners and came in Champion, just 0.01s ahead. We had to wait for the result announcement before we could be sure, it was really neck to neck. You can imagine the atmosphere in the stadium - it was deathly quiet, then the crowd went wild when the 2nd place was announced. It was an awesome show and I was thrilled that the whole school was there to witness it.

I love the zero to hero concept, being against all odds and all that. It was always cooler to be the underdog and then surprise everyone. It was always cooler to rise after a fall than to keep ahead. I think this drove me and a whole lot of my peers. There are two things that can happen when a runner falls down - (1) you get back up and fight harder than before or (2) you give up and either do a slow pace or walk off the track. My team always chose (1). This was the kind of mentality that was ingrained in us. I guess that's why I could never be satisfied with other track teams, they seemed to lack the fighting spirit. 

Some kid once told me to "believe". I guess she was very right. It was probably only because a teacher believed that I could score a distinction in A Maths that I aced it for the 'O' Levels. Before that, I had never passed a single test, not even my prelims, it was either a D7, E8 or F9. I recall my famous 2/40 test paper that my track teacher showed to the entire team.

In my later years, I met many others who lost the match before the match even began. Some believed that they could never be better than some others, or better for any matter. Logic wasn't in their reasoning. I often had to do the math in order to make them see that it is indeed a possibility to fight a good fight.

Well, these are all reminiscent of a distant past. As tired as I may become, I hope to never lose that spirit; to always be better than myself in every area of my life. It's one thing to push on when you feel strong and just need to be stronger but it's a totally different playing field when you start out weak. The process is much slower and frustrating. All in all, kudos to all who fought a good fight until they drew their last breath.


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