Friday, October 09, 2009

Humbling Experience

Posted by Dawn at Friday, October 09, 2009
Just a few days back, I was down with a bad sore throat and running nose. I quickly took anti-inflammatory pills (Danzen) and cold medicine. It was effective but the healing process was too slow. So, I quickly bought the big bottle of Florida's Natural Orange Juice for me to gulp it down. It helped but though not fully recovered, I went trekking at Bukit Timah Nature Reserve.

I have been waiting for this day as we arranged a while back already. So as not to disappoint myself and my colleagues, I still agreed to go and was even pretty excited.

Went with 3 of my colleagues, 1 of whom is 50 over years old (Mrs Chan), while the other, is almost 70 years old (Mr Thoh)! Both of them walk in Bukit Timah Hill every Saturday. So you can say, there are lao jiao (meaning, an experienced person). The day before the walk, I asked Sarah if we would be able to keep up with them and Sarah said, "of course because of pride as we surely do not want to 'lose' to our older colleagues. Hehe..


Sarah and I were first timers to climbing Bukit Timah Hill and so, we didnt know what to expect.

We started at 2pm. The climb started off all too easy, even though the slope was quite steep.I even thought to myself, "This isnt so bad..I can do this. Mr Thoh and Mrs Chan aint that fast. "


Sarah was even leading and walking ahead of us

as the rest of us were admiring the trees and even the monkey with her baby which we happened to see.



But as Mr Thoh slowly overtook us and led us into the forest, he seemed to be in Gear 5 all the way, despite how dangerous the walk was and how many slopes and stairs there were!

Do you know how when you are in City Hall or Orchard MRT where everyone is shuffling their feets real fast, moving from place to place, or trying to catch the train? That was exactly how Mr Thoh walked throughout the whole climb! He seemed to be flying or using the skill of 'qing gong'-walking on air.


There were many occasions where the path was so narrow and if you slip, you might just tumble and fall down the cliff! So as we were trying to handle our stamina, we also had to be wary of not falling off.



So throughout the walk, Mr Thoh was way ahead, while I was behind him always trying to catch up with him and even running at times as he walks just to catch up. Sarah would be tailgating me while Mrs Chan was behind. All walking in a single file.



I remembered clearly how Mr Thoh prepared us in the middle of our climb that the worse is yet to come. When he made that comment, I was already panting and sweating like a pig. "What can be worse?" I thought.

Steps after steps...


after steps, after more and more steps...


Until..Sarah surrendered and said, she needed to stop. Initially, I didnt want as I felt more tired stopping as my heartbeat was so fast and I just needed to keep it moving. If I stopped, I would feel like fainting. So I carried on slowly climbing the huge giant looking steps. But eventually, I also had to sit down and rest! Sarah and I both thought we were going to die! hehe.

Mrs Chan overtook us and Mr Thoh waited with us. Oh man, it was a very humbling experience to be beaten by our much older colleagues. Hehe...



But at that point in time, we didnt care. We just needed to catch our breath. After a long flight of stairs each time, Mr Thoh would tell us exactly how many more stairs to go next. It didnt sound really encouraging as each time after walking few hundred stairs, Mr Thoh would then comment,"Oh, there would be another few hundred coming up. But its easier..so no worries." We didnt really hear the last part of his sentence. But we were definitely more sensitive to the words, "few hundred more". We kept having to push ourselves and go for it! Who knows, we climbed the fastest and hardest during our last hundred over stairs! Sarah was surprisingly fast and caught everyone up by being ahead. Way to go!



Finally, we made our way down by exiting the forest and going back to the main road.


We were all looking forward to a nice cold 100 plus after the walk!


I felt really accomplished and proud that we survived! hehe. I felt so pathetically weak. I had a phobia of stairs right after the walk as we were making our way down to our lockers. Sigh.

Eventually, I asked the Nature Reserve guy behind the counter about the distance we covered and he said that we covered almost 6 km and we climbed about 400 over stairs!! I was quite amazed at how much I actually accomplished. All that within 1 hour 10 mins!

There's Sarah all smiles definitely since we all felt that we almost died in the forest and now we're alive!



Feeling so accomplished and satisfied for such a good workout, we went to a coffeeshop in Sin Ming for some food as we havent had lunch.

The homemade yam cake was delicious! Especially with the special gravy!


And also ordered kaya toast as well as fried hokkien mee. Everything taste so yummy. Probably because we were all hungry.


Well, all I can say was, "So much for the earlier workout!"

Will I do it again even though it seemed like a near-death experience ? Well, yes I would still go. Reason is because if I give up going, then what happened today was kind of a wasted trip as I know that if I keep persisting and climbing that same route, eventually I would be 'flying' like Mr Thoh! So, in order to be able to reach that 'qing gong' stage, I have to go back!

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