Joey @ theBabyKangaroo

This is me! This is my life!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Why Do You Run? Why Do I Run?

I have been a runner for most part of my life! My phillosophy and reason to run has changed over the course of my life.

As a teenager, running gave me a sense of achievement! When I was younger during the school days, running had given me lot's of confidence. Just knowing you are able to do it slightly better and faster then the average girl next door! Running almost brought out the leader in me. Running too had brought me places! Back then, winning was almost everything! It is everything that has to do with a teenagers pride, prestige and popularity in the old school days!

As I got a little bit older, running became a recreational activity. Running still gives me confidence, it is still bringing me to new places and it also lead me to a much wider social network of like minded people. As the race distance becomes longer and longer, working my way towards my first 42km marathon, the friends and training partners grew, the challenges grew bigger too with each distance. The personal sense of achievement continues to grow with each successful lengthening of the race distances. Not to mention the medal tally too!

Is there still any kick in running after hitting the 42km full marathoner title? It is only human nature to keep trying. The challenge continues and it doesn't stop at 42km. Beyond 42km, there are still the ultramarathons (84km if I am not mistaken), ironmans, etc, etc to continue challenging the human spirit to outperform oneself.

Running too has it's consequences! Consequences that impacts ones health, both in the positive as well as the negative manner! It is the discretion of the individual runner to know when to stop and when to keep pushing ones own limits. Running has brought me a fair share of injuries, on top of the health benefits it has allowed me to enjoy. I guess each runner will in their own time mature and learn what is best for themselves.

8 years being a recreational runner, graduating from a full-fledge marathoner, I began searching for a deeper meaning to continue my running passion. Reflections of past achievements from running, somehow failed to bring a deeper meaning to life! With injured knees, I made myself to believe that my running years are numbered. And for all the distances and medals, all I got was 2 injured knees, some cash incentives, some personal best for my own records and a lifetime of memories? Worth it?

So as some of my friends continue their pursuit of ultradistances to better their personal best, I have decided to continue my passion and challenges laterally. I made a new resolution, that for as long as my knees can sustained running, I hope to use them up for a better cause. Of course I still hope running can help maintain my health, but I am also hoping it would make lateral impact on other peoples health, especially those who are less fortunate. Where running comes naturally to most of us, and we use our muscles without requiring much effort, there are those less fortunate where their muscles literally have given up on them. Muscles gone to waste! Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is a rare genetic disorder that affects mostly boys where a particular component of a muscle protein is missing which caused muscles to function improperly. These patients experience muscle degeneration as they grow older until paralysis affects them and finally slow death resulting from muscle failures, especially those that affects the heart and respiratory system. There is no cure as yet but research is underway towards a cure for these patients! While still awaiting a cure, patients currently diagnosed with such disorder can only wait for the onset of their symptoms and assistance are mostly in the form of providing aids to help make their lives easier and more comfortable.

So I would like to call out to all my running friends out there, keep running while you race, but why let your muscles go to waste! If you could seize an opportunity to be able to make a difference in your own life as well as the lives of those less fortunate while you run your own race, would you?

As runners, we all know that overcoming a cramped muscle in the middle of a race needs only a mind over matter to complete the race! Overcoming Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) needs MORE than mind over matter!" Unlike patients with cancer, AIDS, and other life-threatening diseases which are afforded much public support and awareness in the form of established societies that extends help to these patients, patients diagnosed with DMD in Malaysia currently lacks such social support and awareness and it is to address this need that my desire to do something for them is born!

"I am not in anyway a great leader, organiser nor manager, but only a person who is trying to make a dream into a reality.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Runners Fundraising Project - Team Duchenne 2009!

Coming back from Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon 2008 last year... I was inspired! Inspired by a charity program that the organisers put together bridging running & charity called "Run for a Cause". Very much interested to enrol as a charity runner for the event but it was only for Singaporeans. Alas!

Briefly it was a program that allows runners participating in the event as charity runners where each will try to raise a specific sum of funds in order to qualify as a charity runner and have their registration fees waived by the organisers. Funds raised will be channelled to the respective organizations that the runners pledged to support.

I had a dream for 2009 where if the same concept was replicated for our local races and the opportunity to run, raise funds and create awareness for whatever charity causes is emulated across a series of races throughout a whole year, wouldn't that be great!

The idea very much interest me as for the past 8 years, running have been pretty much a part of my life and year in year out I have been running for all sorts of reasons, mostly personal in nature, i.e. personal challenge, personal records, rewards & positions, medal tallies. Come 2009, I had a resolution... for as long as my legs are able to run, I'd hope to be able to make parallel impact not only in my own life / health but also be able to reach out in a broader sense.

So I began thinking, searching & trying very hard to turn the idea / dream into a reality. God willing i was able to chance upon a similar concept that is so close to what I was hoping to do here in Malaysia. Action Duchenne - is a program currently running in the UK...

How people could get involved by joining the program is via setting a target for the next 12 months to raise funds, any amount you choose to target. Fund raising for the targetted amount could be done by a one off event or a number of events. You could get the idea by visiting the link above. Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) appeals to me for personal reason which I am ever willing to share with you if you are interested. Ask away!

Well, to keep it short and simple, I'd like to extend an invitation to anyone at all who maybe keen to join me in this quest for 2009, as charity runners. Ideas, suggestions, feedbacks & fundraising tips are greatly appreciated too! If you are keen don't hessitate to contact me and we could share ideas on this one.

Wishing all runners out there a great running year ahead in 2009! Keep those muscles working and don't waste em!

Wish me luck!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Rod & Line Magazine September Issue!

Malcolm & friends featured in Rod & Line Mag, Sept issue... together with their price catch of the day at Taman Negara Kelah Sanctuary. Unfortunately the biggest catch he landed didn't quite get away, but caused his Olympus SW750 to follow it deep down into the rivers of Taman Negara! The program they went on was a Catch & Release package which was recently introduced as a new eco-tourism activity at Taman Negara Pahang.

For more info: Grab a copy of the September Issue out now!

MBians stormed over Kapas Island!

Had a department trip, gracefully sponsored by my Dept. Head. We stormed Kapas Island on 9th - 10th August for some sun, sea, surf and fun!

That's where we are staying dudes!

The beach where we had 2 days of relaxing fun in the sun!
Yours trully going out for some snorkelling in crystal clear waters!

Squid fishing @ Pangkor

June gone! July thankfully gone too! Reason to cheers!! Let's drink to the passing of the two busiest months at work so far. I need to rejuvenate...

Headed to Pangkor Island again for my dear & my Dad's favourite past time... fishing... specifically squid fishing... Brought my housemates & class-mate to share the experience as well! Diveyak was out at sea again with 3 stooges (Dad, Malcolm & Wan) hunting for squids.

After a day's hard work at sea, everybody sat down to a nice seafood dinner at The Horizon Inn restaurant.

Here you have three baked pretty ladies!

And a very tired Malcolm!
Cmon... gimme a smile please, eventhough I know you didn't caught as many squids as you would like to!

The buzz at work overflow to July

Trainings, got elected to become a Social committee member at work, trade exhibitions committees, new employees orientation training, Company performance planning & team building at Guoman PD, seminars again & more meetings.... Sure hope this is just a passing phase at work. My 4th month at work and already missing the 1st 2 leisurely months. Being a newbie here sure gets you involved in a whole range of stuffs besides lab research... Here at my company I think they tend believe that getting the newbies totally involved in whatever events there is... Learning... a bit a bit laa.... progress & personal development... too early to tell!

My collegues at our team building session at Guoman PD.

On a personal note, July was a month to celebrate my little brother's commencement ceremony in NUS, Singapore! Congrats lil' bro! I am pround of you! Now, finally I can get free medical advice on prescribed medicines.. haha...

Siemens Run was the only sports I did for this month! Sad but true!

As June buzzes by...

The month of June flew by in a buzz.
Stuffs and events related to work was building up momentum. First we had our company R&D Day at Carey Island, then there was the Sime Darby R&D Centre - NUS Bilateral Symposium (which yours truly was emceeing for the first time in my entire 28 years of life! The crowd of slightly more than 60 freaked me out but things turned out alright in the end!), technical meetings, project metings, staff meetings, "future projects" meetings, field sampling excursions (read: masuk plantation!), seminars, meetings on how to design labs, collaboration meetings & more seminars. Boy, have I got the hang of working life or what now?

On the brighter note, still managed to fit in a few events that was non-work related stuffs... there was the Treasure Hunt which we won! And my 4th year anniversary being "a couple" with my MY. We celebrated the occassion at Genji @ PJ Hilton. Hmnnn... our all time favourite... sushis & sashimis! Check out the food that we both are so in love with...

Sadly gotta miss the family trip with Dad, Mum & SG to Chiang Mai, Kenyir & Redang though! Must have missed a great deal of nice pictures, if only I went! :-(

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

TM Challenge: Shah Alam - Bagan Lallang

Date: 15 June 2008

Starting point: TM Building in Shah Alam
Ending point: Seri Malaysia Hotel, Bagan Lallang

TheBabyKangaroo joined Team Iron Mountain (M) for this treasure hunt challenge.

3 first timers on the team but lucky enough to emerge top 7th position among 50 over teams

So confident that we even had time to pit-stop for lunch...

Everybody goes home happy!

See what we got....

The vehicle and crazy driver who got us to finish line in time!

Relay for Life 2008

Venue: Bukit Jalil
Organiser: National Cancer Society of Malaysia
Date: 31 May 2008 (6pm) to 1 June 2008 (9am)

Teams of friends who supported the charity event to raise funds for cancer awareness:
1) OutdoorXplorer (Chui Miew, Kam Meng, Boon Keat, Yoyo, Siew Leng, Choon Hoong, Wan Lin, Phyllis, Joey, Steven Khoo)
2) UPM Badminton Gang & friends (Wan, Bee Tein, Seven, Ginny, Yi Ying, Shang Jye, Malcolm, Peng Kiong)

Event grounds @ Bt. Jalil stadium

Team UPM base camp
Opening parade Part of team OX
Relay for life - walk in progress. Celebrities presence at Relay for Life

Team OX and Team UPM Badminton Gang Luminaria lanterns

Luminaria lanterns carrying supportive messages, memories, fighting spirits of cancer survivors lighting the path around the stadium

In memories of theBabyKangaroo's friends who lost their battle to cancer!

On 1 June 2008, just before the end of Relay for Life, team OX put themselves to the test against corporate teams such as MOX and emerge 1st-runner up for the 4 x 100m team relay...

Go Team!

RMAF Half Marathon 2008

Venue: Sg. Besi air field

Photos taken courtesy of Ng Sze Guan (FYI, that's theBabyKangaroo's little brother)

Warming up styles... Stretch any way you like!
Malcolm, Ah Seng & Peng Kiong

TheBabyKangaroo (using Veteran Man number?) & Lee Lee (look out for this girl at next race!)

After all runners on the route...

Getting ready to receive top runners back...

TheBabyKangaroo is first back... sorry no medals... just for fun run only coz not fair lar... take Veteran uncle medal... hehe...

Cikgu Low fastest again... among veterans!

Peng Kiong on Cikgu Low's heels...

Chase like mad still no. 120... sigh!

Chong Wah from OX. Still maintaining your form fren!

Uncle Chow... form not bad for Veteran!

Upcoming potential racer... boh kiasi.... sprain ankle also run 21km... kau lat!

Finally sweeper for the group...

Bye bye... see you next race around!

Wonders of nature abound in Taman Negara Pahang

My favs snapshots of man and nature during my recent leisure trip to Taman Negara Pahang in May 2008.

Gingers of Malaysia...

How long does it take to grow this "old" and be worthy of preservation?

Twist and twirll...

Waiting at jetty to embark on visit to Kelah Conservation Sanctuary

Sit back and relax ...

Shoot all you want with the cams but nothing else. These guys are protected-lar!

Jerry briefing us on the efforts taken to conserve the kelah's in the river wild...

Having a cuppa in a canteen in the middle of the jungle? Comfort redefined... campsites are available just around the corner... river view a plenty while you enjoy your cuppa!

Think big... think really BIG! These leaves are large enough to wrap a man (6 footer man mind you!)