English: There, here and over there. Basically, in a sense, to mean restless. A collection of thoughts, musings and ramblings...

Saturday, June 25, 2011

A Jar of Lucky Stars

Sometimes we don't see or realise things until after some time has passed. Or maybe we were too busy denying or refusing to see what was right in front of us. I haven't thought of him for a while, really thought of him, but just in passing until a few days ago. Would my life had been so different if I chose the other path in the forked road of fate? Each decision leads to another fork in the road, it has always been that way.

He was the tallest guy in my taekwondo class. Skinny, fair-skin that had a tendency to turn red even at the slightest hint of chili in his food... I never particularly thought of him as heart-throb material. But somehow, from the first day we met, there seemed to be a bond between us.

I was fresh in my few weeks at college life. Not wanting to let go of my love of the sport, especially after unexpectedly winning a gold medal at a inter-school competition while waiting to get into college, I signed up quickly while I was still in momentum. He was a red belt, and I was just a green, in the process of being upgraded to blue. Somehow those were exciting times.

I had somehow gained the enthusiasm of my room and apartment mates, and we made a pact to go together for taekwondo class at the college every week. And after the classes we would, as usual, opt to have dinner together. I don't remember how it happened, but he (lets call him Red-Belt Guy, or RBG for anonymous reasons ;-)) had himself invited into our little circle of friendship quite easily. And soon.... we had dinner together every single night. It was as sure as clockwork... every single evening at 7pm, he would stand outside my window (I stayed on the ground floor) and ask if we were going out to dinner.

Sure, RBG had his own set of friends,,, and we all belonged to different programmes... I was in A-Levels, my room-mate was doing Canadian matriculation, he was doing the University of Waikato (NZ) programme... but for some reason he chose to spend lots of time with us. Or me.

RBG would invite me to everything he went to. To other taekwondo classes. To parties. To swimming outings. And I would go because to me, he was a reliable and good friend. Always have advice for me (because I was a naive young girl ;-P) He always had to tag along if I wanted to go somewhere... to carry my bags for me, to make sure I was safe.. who knows.

Some might have told me that he had feelings for me. But I didn't believe it, or didn't want to believe it. We always talked about other girls, and I would talk about my crush on my classmate. He never once really talked about what his real motive was with me, but dang, was I blind or what? Heck, he even went along with me when my mum came to visit! And ummm....he even referred to me a number of times as Mrs RBG and I just took it in my stride and went haha! funny.....

Besides... he's Chinese, and I am sort of Malay... so he must be kidding... right?

The Sunway College Ball was like THE biggest event all year, and marks the end of the academic year. RBG was due to finish his semester in Sunway and continue on in NZ until graduation, meaning that we had so little time left together. For his final weeks in Sunway, we (together with my roommates) went around the newly opened Sunway Pyramid and took lots of pictures, tried ice-skating together (yep, he had to hold my hand to make sure I would not fall over). This was also about the same time I met Mr. X of my life.

I hadn't really planned on going to the ball with RBG. I was more excited about feeling grown-up, wearing a nice dress, and hanging out with my classmates and my roommates. I looked so svelte in my long black dress, it was amazing. But yes, me & RBG hung out a lot there, took loads of photos together... we might as well have been a couple together. The whole experience of being there and the days leading up to it, was the time in my life that I realised - wow, I am a grown lady now.

Later that night, I was hanging out with a whole group of friends, including his. RBG excused himself to go to the men's room, so I had to talk with a roommate of his. 'You know... he really loves you', said his roommate. I just stared at him dumbstruck for a while, like 'what???' and nah... this guy is drunk, he doesn't know what he is saying. RBG came back just in time to see the look on my face, and asked me what was wrong. Nothing. Nope....

Actually... that was the time when we started seeing a little less of each other, because Mr X came into my life, and took more of my time. Where RBG never really let me know what he wanted, Mr X just boldly did. That is the thing, girls and boys... it is the brave who will get the chance.

But I guess RBG never really stopped trying. Maybe he had his reasons. But I remember very well the day he left Sunway, he stuck a letter on my apartment door addressed to me and left me a big jar filled with colourful lucky stars.

In his letter he told me how much he enjoyed spending time with me... and a lot of other stuff that I wish I could remember now, but I can't because I lost the letter when my parents moved my stuff from my old house. It still didn't make sense to me then... but years later, when I read back the letter, I saw so much love and affection in that letter that I never saw before.

We met up back again in KK when I went home for the holidays. We watched Titanic together, I went to his family farewell party... but most of it was ruined by the existence of Mr X. Btw, my dad was impressed with RBG from the first day he came over to pick me up, because he was nice and polite. Nobody was impressed with Mr X ;-) Parents do know best, in spite of their nagging.

I did go to the airport to see him off, and my mum actually wanted me to. LOL! We did send emails to each other a few times afterwards... but after that, we just drifted apart. I bumped into him only once while I was on traineeship with Ernst & Young, but never again...

I guess my question would be that, if only I had realised sooner about his true feelings... and if I had chosen him instead of Mr. X, would my life had turned out a whole lot different? For one thing, I know that I would never have felt the pain and hurt that I felt with Mr. X. And I would have never been mum to one extraordinary girl.

And without that pain and hurt, I would never have had the reason to be where I am today. Fighting for causes I believe in because I relate to them only too well.

In the end, it was all Destiny and Fate all along.


Monday, June 20, 2011

My experience with X45 for Sabahan Bloggers

X45 or Xpress45 is a new fitness concept that was launched on 29 April 2011 and is the brain-child of Sam Tan, the managing director of Core Fitness. According to Sam (www.startnow.com.my/projects/X45-the-future-of-fitness) , they designed Xpress45 (or X45) as a program that incorporates best practices of fitness training with the following features:
• shorter workouts at a slightly higher intensity
• trainees always train under supervision of a qualified Fitness Coach
• workouts are programmed to focus on the 4 main physical attributes: strength, endurance, flexibility, and stamina.
• trainees train in groups to encourage consistency and fun
• uses a wide variety of essential, fundamental movements that translate well into life and sport
• setting of high standards for movement quality and fitness
• emphasizes a lot on mobility/flexibility for injury prevention and better longevity
• help people look good AND feel good

I was one of the 7 lucky Sabahan Bloggers were chosen to try out X45 for 3 sessions, though ‘lucky’ may not have always been the word in mind while undergoing the workouts ;-) In fact, I wondered what I have gotten myself into this time, especially after reading the flyer closely upon being selected. Hahaha!

But hey, I survived! All 7 of us did, and came out smiling, which just bears testimony to the saying ‘what does not kill you, only makes you stronger’. Looking back, I actually had lots of fun!

The X45 program is conducted at the brand new 2nd Core Fitness branch at Centre Point. It is not a class you can walk in to participate anytime, but a set programme of 12 sessions just like a personal training session, except that it is semi-private / in a group setting. Anyone who signs up with X45 will be trained under the capable instruction of Eiji Low and Kirksman Teo.

Eiji Low has 10 years of weight training and exercise experience, and is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist® (CSCS®), a US-based certification issued by NCSA for professionals who design and implement strength training and conditioning programs for athletes in a team setting. He is also a Personal Trainer certified by the American Council on Exercise (ACE) and has worked with clients from all age groups, and has experience working with bootcamp programs and competitive athletes. Eiji's personal mission is to assist people in achieving their fitness goals and enhancing sports performance for athletes.

Kirksman Teo is a former powerlifter turned weightlifter, who also happens to be an International Business graduate from MMU. However, he later pursued his true passions and studied weightlifting, gymnastics and bodyweight movements under coaches from China, Bulgaria, Georgia and Russia.

From the above, you can see how much Core Fitness strives to provide the best to help their clients attain their fitness goals.

With Eiji
For the Sabahan Bloggers, we had the pleasure of having Eiji Low as our trainer for the 3 sessions from 13th – 17th June. Always on hand to let us know if we are doing our exercises right / wrong and his favourite line would be to tell us to smile just when we are deep in concentration with our workouts, and that would just crack me up immediately.
Each X45 session takes a total of 45 minutes and normally involves 10 minutes of warm-up, 25 minutes intense workout and 10 minutes of cool down.

The first warm-up we did, (I can remember this clearly in my head) is called the inch-worms exercise. Yeah, worms ;-) Day 1 wasn’t so bad, since we were still fresh. Day 2 was accompanied by the sounds of moans and groans as we were still sore from the Day 1’s activities. Other warm-up activities include push-ups, squats and stretches just to get your heart rate up for the harder stuff later on.

For Day 1, our workout involved learning how to use a kettlebell with the 2-arm swing. I don’t know… I was pretty nervous every time someone was swinging a kettlebell in front of me. Call it a reflex action after many years of ten-pin bowling ;-) Apparently, the right way to swing a kettlebell is not through the movement of your arms, but the movement of your hips.

After being first coached on the proper movements, it was time for the intense part of the workout. 3 sets of 10 kettlebell swings, 10 push-ups and 10 squats and see how much time it takes each of us to complete the whole 3 sets. And we finished with stretches to cool down.

Boy… was I was exhausted or what? =P That night I slept like a log and woke up finding it difficult just to reach over for my glasses. Then to walk around on campus, my legs never felt heavier. Ugh… remember…
No Pain, No Gain.

Hahaha…. Right ;-p

For Days 2 and 3 we reviewed what we learned in the previous session’s workout before being taught new movements. For Day 2, we arrived to find some gymnastics rings waiting for us. Oh no… gulp! But, fear not… it wasn’t bad at all. No height involved ;-)
While the soreness from Day 1 was still very much felt, somehow as the workout progressed, the soreness seemed to have lifted, even if slightly. For this session, we were instructed on how to do ring rows, burpees and lunges. For the intense workout, we are given 1 minute for each to do as many as repetitions we can manage.

Somehow the soreness wasn’t as bad as the day after the first workout. Thank goodness! There was still pain in my biceps, which made straightening my arms difficult… but it was still ok.

Day 3 involved learning moves with a medicine ball. I have never ever used or even seen a medicine ball before, so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. Well, for one thing, it was quite heavy. But luckily, I get to use a 5kg ball, while the guys get to use 10kg balls.

Before we knew it, we had completed 3 whole sessions. Woohooo! Well done, everyone! :-)

Well, I am not entirely a complete beginner at fitness having experienced many forms of exercise including ballet, taekwondo, pilates and cardio classes, but I am no pro either. So this has given me some sort of benchmark for comparison.
So what do I think about X45 compared to my previous experience?

1. I enjoyed it way more than the time I did have a few sessions of personal training. For one, I was not motivated in that setting and in the end I did not complete all the sessions. I also kept thinking about the time I lost where I could be having fun with group classes (actual fact!) Even though I do not know everyone in my Group X classes, but for me, it is fun.

So, this missing element in personal training is addressed in a semi-private class such as X45. We had fun laughing and groaning about sore muscles together. It is about being able to relate to someone else.

2. It is way more intense than my usual workouts. The results (and soreness that came with it ;-)) could be felt, even after just those 3 days. Already we were moving faster and more energetically by Day 3.

That was one of the benefits of X45 – increase overall fitness level within a shorter frame of time

3. We have learnt a lot of new exercises that can be used anytime, anywhere, and that does not rely on the use of expensive machines. As at Day 3, we already had learnt a total of 12 exercises, according to Eiji.

4. It is a great way for people to learn what they need to know in order to get results. After all, it is just 12 sessions. Some people think they know what they are doing, but actually they don’t. It is actually a reasonable price, especially with qualified trainers on hand, and a relatively small amount of investment, and you will be learning skills that you can take anywhere.

How much does it cost to join X45?

The fee is RM750 for non-CORE members, RM500 for members which includes 12 sessions to be conducted 3 times a week (e.g. Monday, Wednesday and Friday). Clients are given an allowance of a 2 month period to complete the 12 session.

What happens if I have to miss some sessions?

Core will be conducting a new batch of X45ers every month, therefore no one will miss any sessions even though they miss a week due to a busy schedule. This is because they still can join the next month’s foundation sessions that they have missed out on earlier.

In conclusion, I had a great fun meeting up and getting fit with Sabahan Bloggers - Dinoza Mahruf, Ana Jonessy, Chloe Tiffany Lee, Abd Syukur Bin Abdullah, Margaret Chong and Pol Chin, and I would definitely consider continuing with the X45 program. Thank you so much Core Fitness for giving us this opportunity to enjoy the whole experience for free!


Saturday, June 11, 2011

Getting fit with X45!

I have just been selected by Sabahan Bloggers to try out X45 at Core Fitness, Centrepoint Sabah for 3 sessions next week! Woot woot!!!

Being a great Core Fitness fan (I totally got back my motivation for being fit and healthy after joining them) and quite a regular at their Les Mills cardio fitness programs such as BodyStep and BodyJam... I have no doubt that this new programme they have in store will be fantastic. So I am definitely looking forward to it :-D though however, from the reading the flyer and some intro, that it sounds tougher than what I am used to :-p I just hope I survive!! Haha!

X45 uses short, group-based, effective workouts to make the best of every trainee’s time and effort in the gym. We use time-tested, science-backed methods that promises you results.

According to the flyer 'X45 is an intensive program that utilizes training formats derived from gymnastics, weightlifting, kettleballs, medicine balls and many other sporting disciplines. X45 focuses on the importance of proper movement through full ranges of motion and functional exercises'

And further on.... 'X45 seeks to condition a person's all round fitness obtaining maximum results in minimum time'. 45 minutes to be exact, and in 45 days, thus the name X45. 

Hmmm.... wonder if my dream of having a bikini bod faster will become a reality through this program ;-D (provided that I stick to it :-p) We'll see!

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