“Everything will change when your desire to move on exceeds your desire to hold.” – Alan Cohen
2015 has been the most interesting year so far. This year, I focused on change – I tried new things, went out of my comfort zone, invested in new experiences, fostered passions that lie dormant and continued the journey of rediscovering myself. Although I did not check off all the new year resolutions I made early this year, this is a year with so much personal growth for me – it is the start of the getting fit.
At the end of 2014, the exhilaration of first-year working life started to die down as I found myself asking some big questions especially this one: “Am I happy?” Having a full-time desk job and leading a sedentary lifestyle has increased my waistline and decreased my mental health.
I decided to start change my lifestyle. A few weeks into 2015, I signed up for a gym membership at a club near my house. Although there are cheaper alternatives (such as open parks, online tutorials and mobile fitness app), what better motivation can there be than to surround yourself with people with the similar goals.
I read about the benefits of yoga and after my first class, I was hooked. When I started, I struggled with a lot of simple yoga poses like tree pose, downward dog and half plank. In fact, one of the most difficult pose in the beginning was the savasana, or corpse pose, at the end of each yoga session; in the stillness of the dark, I was able to hear my thoughts out loud, and that frightens me.
“Yoga is not for the flexible, it is for the willing.” – Unknown
As months progressed, I noticed little improvements. I could hold the poses for a little longer than when I first started. One of my earliest achievement was an extended tree pose and I remembered feeling that rush of exhilaration when I could straighten my leg at ease. Towards the second quarter, I hurt my back and knees (outside yoga) on separate occasions and I was back to the beginning where even a simple downward dog pose hurts. By then, yoga practice has increased my self-awareness and I know that my body will go to great lengths when it is ready.
The benefit about being taught by the same few instructors is that they notice your flaws and improvements. Some of them commented on how much my flexibility has improved – I was so used to being invisible that I was taken aback by being noticed.
Apart from normal flow yoga, aerial yoga and introduction to inversion techniques taught me to learn to trust myself and that it is okay to fall, as long as you get up and try again.
As the practice continues, I felt more confident and comfortable in my own skin. I look at myself in the mirror more often and found an increase of self-love and self-worth. I smile more sincerely and start opening up to new experiences and people. I have always been slightly awkward around people, so I always keep people at an arms’ length while I observe how their actions and attitudes reflect their character. I take in the good and learn from the bad. As the saying goes:
“Attract what you expect;
Reflect what you desire;
Become what you respect;
Mirror what you admire.”
Everyone has a story and is an inspiration. In fact, some of the most interesting people I met this year are from the gym. They inspire me to branch out of yoga into weights and cardio, share their life experiences and knowledge and make mundane gym routines more enjoyable.
One of my gym buddies was sharing her passion about pole dancing and I thought: in the interest of trying new things, why not try a class? I joined KFit in November primarily to access to pole dancing studios and soon branched out to try different activities including lyra and adult gymnastic. I always admire acrobatics and gymnasts for their strength, agility and grace.
2015 has been a great year. Perhaps the best decision I made was investing in my health. Most of my muscles are still weak, but that’s okay. Getting into shape is like sculpting a rock, it takes time and patience.
H said: “Did you realize that if we do not spend time to workout, we’ll most probably be a couch potato or hunched over the laptop?” True that.
But wait, 2015 is not just about fitness! Here’s 2015 in review:
Witnessed my maternal cousin, KV, tie the knot with his sweetheart at a cosy church wedding.
Spend New Year and Chinese New Year with friends and family in Miri. Pictured below, a candid picture after we posed for a group photo during CNY.
Successfully donated a pint of blood – twice! In fact, one of my driving factor to exercise was realising that my blood viscosity was too high.
Organised a graduate event for my company.
Completed a 12 km run. I actually forgotten that I registered for this run until the reminder to collect the race pack.
Joined a Charity Fitness event. This is my first time practising yoga outside the gym.
Went for Oil and Gas Asia 2015. For some reason, I was particularly excited to see this personal transfer basket.
Moved office due to cost reduction measures. I remembered packing and lifting these boxes in heels and pencil skirt! #girlpower
Discovered that I am in the graduation photo featured in front of University Palace. This year marks two years since I graduated. Time flies.
Completed a 12-week Part Time Course at Academy of Pastry Arts Malaysia in July 2015. I had been eating clean until I started this course… where I had to taste the pastries and chocolates – oh the goodness!
Visited FHM 2015. I wouldn’t have heard about this event if I hadn’t joined APAM part time class. It’s an odd feeling to walk the same hall for OGA 2015 just a few months ago, only that this time it’s filled with food and more food.
Watched PR’s solo Indian performance. I was worried I wouldn’t be able to appreciate the dance and orchestra, but they were very good!
Visited Fraser Hill.
Spent time with friends…
…and family. I don’t often post pictures of my immediate family in my blog because I know they would appreciate the privacy. But when I do… it’s definitely the moments worth inking.
After so many years of feeling lukewarm in life, I found myself being passionate again. I felt that I grow a bit closer to what I want to be and I will always want to grow to be better. I may not know where my path leads me, but I trust that wherever I go, I will learn to appreciate the highs and lows that that life may bring. Just because, the same boiling water that softens potatoes, hardens eggs.
Happy New Year 2016!