A lot of people spend a lot of time either at work, doing sales, meeting up with friends (social), or even just to date with their loved ones. All of these are good things and things that I believe are important in life but most people (myself included) ignored one of the most important part of life: health and fitness.
As I was walking with Yen Leng in Pavilion Mall a few weeks ago in KL, I was observing the people around us. A lot of them are happily chilling in the mall, drinking either alcohol (guai lou liong cha) or go for dessert etc. Some were busy buying luxurious items like Coach, Burberry, etc. But most of them (almost more than 80% of the people) were either with tummy or in a bad shape. I became aware on how serious this can really be. Because health and fitness is something that takes a long time before you can reap the benefits of it, most people ignore it. I felt that sometimes I too made the same mistakes. I had times for movies....I had times for important meetings and works....I had times for my Happy Hour, but I don't have time to exercise.
And sometimes, we all acted as if exercise is something that we do in our spare time. I felt compelled to change this frame of mind and decided to work on my fitness....decide to bring myself back to shape.
In my school days, I was able to run for an hour continuously and still feeling okay. I was competing for long distance with some of the top boys but I remembered how I felt lucky during the third year in my uni days for being able to run ahead of Jia Mei (a very active girl) in a test run for our friends who studied Sports Science in University Malaya. I'm definitely worse off from that time so to kick start my running habit and started working out is a big deal for me.
HOW I STARTED OFF MY FITNESS ROUTINE
I didn't just jumped back right in from where I stopped. While I used to run 10km comfortably, I started to run 3km run on a daily basis, got myself into doing some weight training and also jump rope and other workout routines. I made sure that I pushed my body to the limit without hurting it. It was an evening workout initially and I added some additional time during the day. I also commit myself to a 30 days plank routine. After some time, I improved on the weights and add other routine into my exercise regime, with my past knowledge in Wushu (martial arts), I work on my flexibility as well, stretching and ensuring my body is not hurt during this training. While it's extremely important to push myself to my limit, I have to make sure that I did not hurt myself in order to go the long distance.
BODY BUILDING TARGET
As I started to get back into better shape, I feel much better and healthier. I sleep better. I am able to concentrate better at things as well. It was a natural progress that I then look for some body building target. I need to build into a shape that I wanted to be in. My friend's girlfriend asked a very realistic question. She asked me: What's your aim in all this?
Of course the natural aim is to go for fitness for the long run. But I need to set goals and targets to go for, to keep myself motivated. And yes, that's when I came across the trailer: SouthPaw. It's a movie by Jake Gyllenhaal and I love his workout methodology and how his body is something that a lot of guys can only envy. For now, that's the target and I follow some of his workout routine that was being shared online.
I didn't carry the heavy tire like he did of course but I add some other routine like jump rope, burpee jump etc. I also go for longer runs to improve my stamina.
The next natural thing that come along with this is the diet. I became aware of the food that I take. I try to reduce on some of my favourite unhealthy food like alcohol, coke, chipsters and other junk foods. I began eating more protein like eggs, meats, and reducing on carbs like rice and noodles as well.
A JOURNEY, NOT A DESTINATION
But the most important of all, to me, is that this fitness project is not a destination...it's a journey, a physical journey for me and I want to enjoy the ups and downs in it. The pain in it and the joy in seeing a better improvement. Overall, I'm feeling in better shape but I think it's important to keep in mind that this fitness project is a journey, not a destination. Setting goals and targets are important methods to keep one motivated but it should be a natural thing for us to do. After all, if we can spend so much time working on improving money, relationships and other stuff, why not health, when it's one of the most important part of our lives.