Monday, April 06, 2020

#mcodiary Day20

If just sitting at home during MCO is bad, then just sitting at home during MCO while you're on your period is worse.
At least when you have nothing to do while questioning your existence, you got to pray 5times a day, get to do your Dhuha in between and read Kahfi on Fridays. Now I got nothing. I feel terrible.
I feel scared.
I feel hopeless.
I don't know what I feel but its hugely overwhelming.
I feel like sleeping all day and not wake up or when I do I just want to binge on the same tv series over and over.

But also it could be the hormones talking.


This will be over in a few days I guess.

Wednesday, April 01, 2020

#mcodiary Day15

It's been a while since I last write here.
We're currently on the 3rd week of Movement Control Order by the government due to the Covid19 pandemic that's happening globally at the moment.
The order that's suppose to be 14 days are extended to yet another 14 days.
I have a very mixed feeling about this. 
Been wanting to vent it in the blog for a week now. But didn't have the time for it.
How ironic to say given that all I have right now is time. 
Why mixed feelings?

1. Ever since the last post, I've taken a keen interest in joining climbing competitions locally. After that last comp, I joined another endurance comp in December and managed to get on the podium for both boulder and speed category, lits up the fire even more to join the upcoming boulder competition in April 2020. To be honest I still don't know why I took interest in competition. I've never been a competitive person my whole life, so why now? Was it the glory? The recognition? Do I suddenly want to feel how those winning athletes in my highschool feel when they know they are good at something? 

2. On top of that boulder comp, I was looking forward to climbing Mount Kinabalu in March 2020. Hiking is not my thing, never liked hiking before and never been able to do it without hating it so much. The last time I hiked was at Bukit Tabur 2015. Its on a Ramadhan month and we reached the peak a little before sahur time  to watch the sunrise.
Anyway, though I don't like the idea of hiking, Mt. Kinabalu is one of the items on my bucket list and what better time to do it other than now, when I'm still at a decent level of fitness. I'm 33. I can't say I will be in the same condition physically when I'm older and God's willing, have kids. 
So Chaoi is the one putting our names with a bunch of other friends from climbing. So naturally we got excited and started training for hiking.
So this hiking trainings takes up my Saturdays where I normally climb. What's more with the boulder comp coming up in April. Everybody I knew has started to train bouldering since January. 
But I'm too caught up with my lead projects and then training for hiking. 
I did not train for boulder even I could've done it in PCP. Problem with me is that, I couldn't do boulder in a gym where there's a lead routes standing there calling my name.

3. My lead projects. I was trying to get that Camp5 Red Key ever since I knew it existed.  Well 2018 actually.
Ever since Chaoi asked me what do I really want to achieve in climbing? I started to search for it myself. I honestly climb simply because it makes me happy. As simple as that. But that wasn't good enough of an answer if I'm starting to want to do it all the time.
So what I want is getting better, so how to know I got better is;
(a) I'm able to do those big wall routes at PCP
(b) Those Red Key, in Camp5

The problem with Camp5 is that it was so far away from my house. And I don't have the mean of transportation to get there, without having to ask Chaoi to drive me, or sending me to a nearby MRT.
The way to get the Red Key is if you get to practice the Red Key routes over and over again. And since my Saturday has gone for hiking, not to mentioned Chaoi's working on Saturday, going to Camp 5 frequently is not happening. 

4. I quit my engineering job (for good this time) on November. I had my plans for my income, albeit is totally not nearly as much as before, but I'm ready to gear up on this whole self-employment gig, because I get to focus on climbing, (while I still physically can). I've prepared for every aspect of not working 9-5 except for one thing. The mental aspect. (of not having a fixed income.) Although Chaoi could cover both our commitments while my thing hasn't panned out yet, the hard part for me was the hopeless feeling. When you've been independent your whole life, suddenly having to depend on other people all the time is really daunting. You got so used to doing something on your own terms, doing things whenever you want to do it, according to your time, now you have to wait for other people in every little things you wanted to do. 
And the worst thing is, I still can't go climbing outside the normal time, BECAUSE EVERYONE ELSE IS WORKING 9-5! But I'm still keen on working on my work plan after Kinabalu, but when MCO happened, all of the plans went south.

5. Covid19 happens when we were at Kinabalu. I was soo looking forward to all the climbing I missed because I was training for hiking few weeks before, and also thought it's time I need to start training for the boulder comp already. Its due in a month time. 
When we reached home, I got sick for a few days. Another thing that hinders me from climbing, but I guess maybe I could use a rest for the remaining week, and start climbing next week. And then BAM government announced MCO the very next week. I was so so frustrated to not be able to go climbing for a freakin TWO 2weeks.

6. That was 1st week. I don't do much, I just sleep and eat and watch TV and hating the fact that I can't go climbing. 
And then the boulder comp committee announced the annulment of the competition. At first I thought why don't they just postpone it instead of cancelling it, if they postpone it at least I got the chance to train more. But day goes by, I realized that I no longer care about the competition. 
I just want to go to PCP and climb all my lead projects.

7. Me and Chaoi have this plan, that after all the climbing comps last year, after Kinabalu, after that boulder comp in April is over, after I fulfilled my climbing goals, then we're gonna start thinking about having a family. I don't really know if we're both ready to be a parents, but its seems like the time to do it, we're both in our 30s and feels like we SHOULD, u know, have one. 
At least thats the plan.
To be honest, I am not ready. I know at my age, I shouldn't say I'm not ready, I should already be having 2 or 3 or 4 by now. 
But I'm not.
I never thought of having kids, even when I'm single and wanting to get married, kids were never in the picture. I just want someone who loves me, to live with me till I'm old. 
And when you don't do much in your 20s, and you find the thing u love doing at ur 30s and you're good at it, and it makes you happy, but it's a physical thing, I feel like pregnancy is the LAST thing, no, the WORST thing that could happen to me at this time. 
Its not that I don't want to be a mom at all. Its just not now, when I feel that I am good at something. How can I be a happy, loving and nurturing mom if I'm not happy with myself and have nothing proud to tell my kids in the long run?
Yes, there are many many stories about people who focuses on career in their 30s and put pregnancy on hold, only to find out later on that they can no longer have kids. 
It's a SCARY scary thoughts. YES.
But I'm not gonna force myself to be a mom when I'm not in a right state of mind, when I'm not ready emotionally and psychologically just because my biological clock is ticking. 
And now in the times of pandemic, the thought of having kids is waving away.
I know some might ask what's Chaoi say
 on the matter. For now he's with me on this. And I don't want to think about what happened if he's not, because that's not something I can control. I'm just gonna leave it to God at this point.

So no job, no climb, no baby plan.
I found myself questioning my own existence. 
But I only perceive this whole thing in one way.
On week 2, I try to think from a different perspective. Instead of thinking this as a punishment from God, I tried to think it as a blessing, the world got to heal, people get to sit back, to reflect and reset.  Probably.
So that's what I'm trying to do now.
Hopefully this will be over soon, InsyaAllah.

Friday, November 22, 2019

Why I'm inclined to try a plant-based diet

1. Athletic performance - climbing

2. Health - Wanted to see if it could lower my cholesterol level.

3. Wanted to see if it could affect my poor hair/scalp health.

Watched Game Changer, Fork Over Knives & What The Health.
So all these 3 movies basically preached that meat, eggs and every other animal based food are linked to cause heart disease and cancer and plant-based food could even reverse heart disease.

I was in the process of improving my climbing at the time Game Changer was released and my friend ask me to watch it. As the movie also vow on improved athletic strength and performance, I instantly sold with the idea.

I already 'trying' to eat better at the time, (or at least I thought I did), I rarely touch instant noodles, KFC, McDonalds or Burger King. I did, once in a while but not as frequent as I was in my early 20s. I took multivitamins everyday, fish oil, cut sugar and salt where I can and add more veggies in my diet. But I still indulge my own creamy carbonara pasta every one or two weeks.

So I will try my best and see in a month or two if there's any improvement that I can see, maybe do a blood test again. See if it does lower my cholesterol level.
Will keep updating soon. Wish me luck!

Also  I did have a slightly higher than normal cholesterol count when I last did a health checkup in August.

I don't know how actually at the time cos I thought I don't eat that much meat, or fried stuff to begin with. Deep down I suspected its because of all the eggs I had. I LOVE my sunny side up egg. I have it EVERYDAY almost 3 times a day. Almost whenever I eat. If its not sunny side up, it will definitely be the ingredient in every dish I like, Nasi Goreng, Kueytiow goreng all have eggs, and my beloved pasta carbonara recipe involves 3 yolk mixed with parmesan chesee. So that should be it.

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Of 2019 Climbing Comps - TheVerdict

So lets compare notes.

Adrenaline Fest 2018December 2018
Format - Endurance Competition, Points collection. 4hours.
12 Top Rope routes and 12 Boulder routes, climb (and top) all the routes as many time as you can. One try per route per round
Category - I mistakenly joined the Open category, cos I thought Novice is for students. (This is my first time ever registering for comps, so twas an honest mistake).
My thoughts - I can top 11 out of the 12 top rope routes but only 3 out of the 12 boulder routes.
My mistake I think is that I started with top rope routes where the queuing lines are longer. I wasted a lot of time waiting in line.
Result - I placed 5th out of 7 women in Open category. My points are a mere 116 for a 4 hr time.
Strategy - At the time my strategy for next year is to do boulder first to reduce the waiting time, so I can do more routes.

Pertandingan Mendaki Peringkat Negeri Selangor - May 2019
Format - 4 boulders in qualification, 3 boulders in final.
Category - Novice
My thoughts - Did ok in quali but mental pressure got the best of me in finals. Couldn't top the last boulder during final cost me the win.
Result - 1st in Speed, 2nd in Boulder.
Strategy - Get the right state of mind, be in control of my own emotion.

Volume Control - July 2019 
Format - Point collection. 40 boulders, climb the best 15 problems in 2 hours.
Category - One category
My thoughts - This comp is part of South East Asia League, and its kind of a big thing and it attracts a lot of Singaporeans climber. I am 90% recovered from my wrist injury at the time but I'm still a bit cautious because I haven't do boulder for 2 solid months after the last comp cos of the injury.
I'm actually clueless during the day and have no idea where to start. I  planned to start with the lowest point boulder and just move up from there, but a girl said to me, just go for the ones with more points. And another one of my weakness is that I don't know how to decide if the routes are doable to me. I spent a long time making decision or looking at others. My guideline is that if I see a girl that I think is stronger than me can't do a route, I will not be able to do it. So I just stick to the lower points route, and I don't even get 15 routes by the end. I get only 14 done.
Its a terrible thing because by the end, I realized there are routes that other girls can't do that I can do. People strength and weaknesses are not the same. So comparing with others is a big no-no. Good thing is I met new girl climbers there.
Result - 17 out of 17 girls.
Strategy - I should target mid range point boulders instead of lower point boulder. And learn to decide which route that I can do.

Selangor Showdown -12 October 2019
Format - Point collection. 40 boulders, climb the best 10 problems in 4hours.
Category - One category
My thoughts - Since this is similar format to Volume Control, I already targeted to aim for the middle points routes instead. Managed to get all 10 problems done but there are 3 higher points routes that I've tried that could've give me more points if I were able to finish them. 2 of them is a slab. One is a sloper top hold that I could not match.
Result - shared 10th out of 25 girls.
Strategy - Work on slabs, foot work, pistol squats and YES, slopers.

Adrenaline Fest 2018 - Oct 2019
Format - Endurance Competition, points collection. 3.5hours.
Category - Novice
My thoughts - I can top all 12 top rope routes but still only 3 out of the 12 boulders.
This time I started with boulder first, but I still have to wait in line for the top rope routes.  The top rope routes are super easy that almost everyone can do them, so to be on top of the pack the deal breakers are the boulders.
Result - I placed 5th out of 34 women in Novice category. My points are 156. I'm a bit bummed not to get podium this time around.
Strategy - This time around my strategy is just be way better at boulders and get the endurance down pat.

National Sports Climbing Competition - Oct 2019
Format - 6 boulders in qualification. Flash Format. 30 minutes
Category - Interstate
My thoughts - I got 3 Tops and 4 zones out of the 6 in quali. The no.3 until 10 girls are all having 3 Tops, the difference are just on zones and number of attempts. I burned a whopping 12 attempts to top and another 10 on zones. I was relieved to top the 3rd boulder but I had a feeling that I can at least have zone on the remaining 2. All and all I was in the right state of mind, its just that I need to be more relax, not burning too much attempts and just get stronger in general.  One of the girl who made final is the girl who shared 10th place with me during Selangor Showdown. So the thoughts of me being in a final is not too far fetch of an idea.
Result - 10th out of 35 girls
Strategy - Route Reading and just train/boulder more.

So in general, I still need to do more boulders to get use of the various movement and style of bouldering.

One more thing I noticed, starting 2018, there are many girls competing compared to the previous years. Most likely because of many new bouldering gym opening. So the current field is getting bigger with like 20 or so familiar faces. Not like couple of years ago where you knew like 5 big names and  they are the ones who compete in almost every competition. Now, there actually is a competition.

And after getting to know some other girls, I learned how to be competitive. You just cannot join a competition and not be competitive. The competitiveness is what makes you train harder, train seriously and effectively.

And getting better at boulder equals getting better at lead. And there is where the ultimate goal is.

Looking forward to the next boulder comp and hopefully I got the opportunity to join a lead comp someday.

Now its time to revise the training plan.

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Of 2019 Climbing Comps - the hard path

When I first started climbing in 2015, I've never ever thought that I would join any kind of sports competition. I'm not good at any sports in school and uni so it never came up in my mind.
After about 2 years, some friend did suggest I enter a competition as there are not many female climbers around and those who joined competitions are even lesser. So the chances of winning are high.
As a person who is not at all competitive, I think joining competition after just 2 years of climbing is a crazy idea. I at least want to feel that I'm capable before I think of joining a comp.
When I started climbing, I started with top rope, and then went on to lead. I just climb leisurely, once a week or 2 weeks once. I never do bouldering. And most of the competition at the time is a bouldering comp.
So competition is not on my mind. I just focus on finishing my projects routes.
Its not until they held the National Competition for Asean Games selection in February 2018 that I thought, hey, there really are not many girls competing. And those who get through, they will get the chance to train under MSN program. So the price is actually an opportunity to get even better at climbing. Proper training, proper guidance, proper everything. Of course that one is to choose athlete for Asian Games but hey, if you got in for the training itself its already a huge opportunity.
At the time I already improve on my lead climb, so I feel that I too can compete and fight for the opportunity to train with the best.
So I vow not miss any next comps and try to compete.
So the next competition after that is Adrenaline Fest in Oct 2018. That was an endurance comp not like normal comp. But it's good to see where your climbing fitness at.

And then next is Battle of the Boulder on April 2019. But that one is a 4 week event where you have to collect points for the 4 weeks before getting to final. I'm staying far from Camp5 Utropolis and since I'm working, its not really feasible for me to join.

And then I started to hear about these State organized competitions. But I only know them after they are done. One thing I noticed when I start looking for competition is that its hard to get info on competition here. There are no posters in PCP or any social media, even though I started following many climbing accounts.
I knew they were gonna do one in Perak, but I have no info on who can join. But other states are doing closed comp and they were strict on the participants. Only those who stayed in that state or born there can join.
Then I look for KL, but I know about KL a little too late, and they already closed the registration. Then I ask if the person knew about Selangor. He told me to ask JBS Selangor. So I called JBS Selangor the next day and they told me its going to be held on 3-4 May 2019. That date we already booked a light and accomodation to Phuket actually, but since there's the only state I can join, we burned the tickets and everything.
I don't know if anybody have the same amount of difficulty getting info on comps. But that's how its been for me and how I got into the Selangor State comp.

Then I joined Volume Control on July 2019. This was a last minute decision cos I just got over from my wrist injury I get after the Selangor State Comp. More on this later.
So fast forward few months, to add up spice in my story, despite winning 1st and 2nd on the Selangor State, I did not get a call from the organizer or the Nationals. So does the other winner. So we took the initiative to ask the organizer ourselves. Then only he gave us the registration form. He told us he lost our names. That's like a month before the Nationals.

And then the next week, we heard about Selangor Showdown competition that will be held 2 weeks before the Nationals where the winner from there are the one who's going to represent Selangor, not us from the Selangor State comp in May. I try to clarify this issue with the organizer but after a not so convincing answer from him and my attempt to not missed out on Nationals, I take my own initiative to contact the Perak Team, since I am a Perakian and I know their athlete when I climb in Batu Kurau, and fortunately for me, they accepted me to join the Perak team.

So I go to National.

Now on to the competition itself in the next post.

Thursday, October 03, 2019

My first climbing competition

So last May, I joined my first climbing competition (with isolation and all).
It was a bouldering and speed comp for the state of Selangor.

I myself is more of a Lead Climber, cos I love lead climbing. But I heard that every state is helding this event and those who win this competition would have a chance to compete in the Nationals by the end of the year. So I registered.
To be completely honest I thought this would be similar to the 2018 competition with Lead, Bouldr and Speed Category. I'm curious as why lead is not included but foreseeing it might have lead category when they do the nationals later on, I just registered anyway even though I'm not used to bouldering and speed climbing.

I don't mind doing bouldering sometime, as it could improve my technique during lead climb.

So what I can conclude from these few weeks of bouldering, I can note some weakness points.

Apart from the apparent strength you need for bouldering, there are few other things need to be considered for bouldering competitions.

1. Route reading.
Sometimes I can read a route sometimes I have no idea even how to start. And sometimes you just got to go and climb to figure it out.
The thing about competition climbing, is you got to finish a particular boulder in 4 minutes. With little attempts as possible. So if you don't know how to read a route, you will waste time and number of attempts.
In a  normal day in a bouldering gym, you can rest as long as you want in between climb. You got one whole day to top a route, if you can't get it that day, you can try again tomorrow.

So its totally different.

2. Mental game
For me in a comp, mental game is crucial. If you're positive, you enjoy the climb, everything will be fine. But if you're overthinking, you will not be able to top  a route you normally can.
And in a comp, there will be pressure. And you will be affected if you can't control your mental game.

So in short, if you want to excel in bouldering, you have to boulder a lot, if you want to excel in competition, you have to join a lot of competition.
Get use to the time constraint and the mental game.

I end up 1st place in the speed category. And 2nd place in boulder category.

I don't know how I won the Speed category cos that is literally the first time I touched the speed wall and do the speed climb. Mostly luck.

But boulder is where I got my mental game tested.
I flashed all 4 qualification routes but in the final, I feel pressured cos I came out last, and I feel like I need to do the best to win. I flashed the first route, could not even get a zone on 2nd route that really made me stuck thinking why I cant do well at the 2nd route and affected my performance on the 3rd route. So I didn't managed to Top it and placed 2nd.

I joined the competition just to try different style of climbing, meet other people and learn their technique so I could apply it to my lead climbing, and able to top my lead project.

At the moment, I will try to focus on my next bouldering competition. Wish me luck.

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Skincare for men - is it necessary?

After I had some awareness on skincare, I would say YES, it it necessary.

At the very least, men need to use the sunscreen.

I know using skincare products seems girly to some men, but hey, for the love of God, I don't want my man looking like those Korean boybands and have prettier skin than me, but at least I want them to be healthy, and acne/scar free. If you've met Chaoi, you know he used to had acne problems, and now he had tonnes of acne scars. The surface of his skin is comparable to Malaysian road - potholes everywhere.
And there's always the case of sun damage.

So I give him the very very minimal thing to use on his own. And the rest I will apply for him (forcefully) or when he's asleep.

So the VERY BASIC step I encourage him to do every morning is the usual cleanse - moisturize - sunscreen.

His main problem is acne scars, so a lot of the product he uses is to combat acne from appearing again.
I don't include toner as to not give him a lot to do (he's already lazy even for these 3) plus he has oily skin, probably skipping toner wouldn't be a problem. But I will use it on him on Sundays when we did the weekly clay mask.

1. Nivea Men Ice Mud Serum Foam Cleanser
2. Loreal Men White Activ Volcano Icy Oil Lotion (As moisturizer)
3. Biore UV SPF50+++ 
(This one I really force him to wear everyday at the beginning and he seems to be a good boy about it now by wearing them everyday without me having to remind him any more.)

Malam pun I just ask him to just cleanse and use the same moisturizer.
The extra thing I used for him at night is The Ordinary Alpha Arbutin.

Banyak orang yang saya jumpa yang ada masalah parut jerawat memang bagi good review on this one, sebab dia boleh mencerahkan parut jerawat. So normally lepas cuci muka I will tempek this on his face, then put on moisturizer then baru tidur. Kalau sempat, most of the time I sleep later than him, tapi sometimes bila I penat and tertidur dulu then gone lah Alpha Arbutin.

And then I also do the same weekly thing I did, on him.
Wednesday nights pakai scrub, and Sunday mornings pakai clay mask. So far memang I can see the improvement sebab kulit dia sangat kasar and berminyak, Now after I tempek everything dia jadi lebih bersih and kurang berminyak.

I also use Niacinamide on him on Sunday since dia malas nk pakai everyday, sebab Niacinamide can regulate sebum from what I read. 

So that's all for men skincare.

Just the basic part everyday. Bukannak jadi Dewa Remaja pun, nak kulit sihat je.




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