Saturday, November 10, 2012

Objective to Live - Mount Kinabalu Climb

When I wrote this, I had already scaled Mt Kinabalu, done my first 10km run & am now gearing for the half marathon on the 18th Nov 2012.
Honestly, sometimes I'm proud of myself & am glad of whatever happen to me happened.
Without the experience, I would still be my old self... working & scaling.... never stopping to watch      whats going on around me.
Its been so long since I last wrote.... mid Jul 2012?
GOSH~! I have been lazing in my blogging, but I have been SO SO SO BUZY to be where I amtoday. Things have been shifting & seems as though I'm in a train seeing the view running past my eyes while the sun stays at the far horizon , waiting for the night to ease the heat from this side of the earth.    

Let me recall what happened at Mt Kinabalu, my first physical challenge.
The idea was mooted at the end of 2011, when I came upon an article in the web. I was so eager to challenge myself to conquer my physical body which had never crossed my mind before... especially Mt Kinabalu.
I have never ever thought about scaling a mountain as it wasn't my cup of tea.
But after what I had been through, I wanted to experience something more challenging, something which I can test my confidence, my perseverance & importantly, my eagerness to stay focus & lead a great life.

Me & my Brother
Initially, I wanted to climb the mountain as early as Mar 12, but ended up going in early Jul'12.
I was suppose to go alone on the trip but at the end, my brother joined me to make the climb. Glad that he came along as the climb was physically challenging for my age(yup, even for my age).
It was a 4 nights 5 days trip, with 3 days at Mt Kinabalu, 1 day at Pedas for white water rafting & another short day at Kota Kinabalu.

The Group of Climbers
Prior to the ascend, I have light trained for about 4months and another month of hard training. Even with all the training, I barely scrape through. We joined a small group of 5 persons, Phoebe, Kean, Hong, Ian & Isaac to make the climb. All of them are outdoor junkies & are really fit for the climb.
I had lots of fun joining this group, they were full of enthusiasm and it really pushed my limits up.
The day we reached Mt KK, we took a long 2.5hrs van ride up to Sutera Sanctuary Lodge. The road was so misty(as it was raining) & at some point, we were barely able to see not more than 10m.
The hotel was surprisingly clean & pleasant. Had a hearty hot meal and was able to return to the room & repack our stuffs for the following day's climb. We each left a luggage behind & only took the things that we needed to use. Since it was a tiring day, we rest early & look forward to the following day's event.
Not even a quarter of the climb

We woke up to a chilly morning at 5am & got ourselves ready. Had a good breakfast at the restaurant & started our climb at 8am. My backpack was approximately 8kg & I had decided to challenge myself by putting the weight on my shoulder. We have the option of appointing a porter to help us on the baggage but I didn't opt for it. I believed in myself & did not want to give up.
Majestic View of the Mountains

Crossing from a mountain to another mountain
The Mesilau trail is longer by 2km compare to the shorter Timpohan trail. The view was fantastic & breathtaking. The air was cooling, just right when we hike up the mountain. The path was ascending & descending at certain points. Unlike the Timpohan trail which only consists of stairs made from concrete & stones as far as the eye can see, Mesilau Trail offers a climber to stop & experience the greens & mystical mist of the mountains. The plants & mountain view were a sight to behold. The view act as energy boosters when we are tired & lack of breath due to the high altitude.

This view didnt end for 7 hours

My brother & I reach Laban Rata at 3pm, which is the resting point before finishing the climb to the peak. The last 1km was so tiring & I had to zig zag my way up. The last 500m was killing me, with the rain pattering on my bald head for the past 2 hours, all I could do was to concentrate on every step that I make. At one point, I wanted to vomit & my brother helped me to carry my backpack for about 200m. When I regain my composure, I took the backpack & finished my way to Laban Rata rest pit. The rest of the team were half an hour earlier than us, sipping on their hot drinks & talking about the hike.
Took me about 30mins to regain myself as I couldn't even talk nor move my limbs the moment I sat down. I was thinking to myself, "What am I doing here? I dont want to do this again".

After spending 3 hours resting at the restaurant, we had our dinner & made our way up to our dorm which is about 150m away upward from the restaurant. As the climb was agonizing we decided to eat at our dorms rather than making our way down at 1.30am for breakfast.
The dorms were simple but clean. It was also freezing and pitch dark outside.
By the time we slept, it was about 8pm. Had to wake up at 1am and get ourselves ready for the ascend to Lows Peak by 2.15am.
Reached the peak at 5.30am

The ascend to Lows Peak was much easier compare to the climb to Laban Rata. Even with my 3kg backpack weight, I had no problem at all & did not suffer from short of breath either. Probably the qiqong exercise did help in circulating the oxygen in my body.
By the time we reached the peak, it was 5.30am & had managed to catch the sun rise from the horizon.
The peak was all jagged & the freezing wind piercing through our wind breakers. The feeling of accomplishing & standing at the top of South East Asia's tallest mountain was SUPERB. The altitude was 4095m. The view was majestic. My spirit was all fired up. This had made me set a new objective, which you will know on the next paragraph.
View from the Top

After spending 15mins at the peak, we begin our descent. We spent the early hours taking loads of pictures of the lighted trail & jagged mountain. On the way down, 3 of the members continued with their adrenalin rush with Via Ferrata, tight rope climbing.
I just got the link to one of our fellow hikers. His blog has full details on how exciting our trip was.
He even inspired me to try for Everest Base Camp Hike, a full 3wks hike to view Mt Everest.
Yes, this will be my new objective after I finish my marathon in Nov.
View of the Peaks (Lows Peak on the left)

Small plants can survive the harsh environment

The vast rock bed to the top.
After months of training, I managed to scale the mountain eventhough I'm a first timer in hiking. (I was never an outdoor person). Before I reach, I was so worried whether my legs will bring me up the peak, whether my lungs can stand the altitude(which surprisingly did not bother me at all). After the hike, I even went for white water rafting on the following day.
It was truly an experience to remember & I vow to scale the mountain again.

Padas White Water Rafting

Setting objective keeps a person going. It will keep the mind focus on what we need to achieve & not what we had experience before. No matter how much we worried of recurrence, we always need to look forward to achieve new goals. Wouldn't it be nice if a cancer survivor can have new objectives which keeps him going for years, until old age catches up (and not the cancer cells) ?
This is the power of positive thinking & keeping ourselves occupied. I always believe our mind plays a big part in combating cancer cells. Positivity keeps our mind sane, which in turn makes the body to produce the necessary agents to fight sickness.
It works superbly well with our physical body as long as it gets sufficient rest. With a positive mind & a fully functional body, sickness will not be able to break through the body's defenses.

Therefore, it helps to set objectives & trying our best to achieve it within our physical body means.
As for myself, I have ran a full 10km during a recent popular running event which attracted some 15K of people.  I managed to finish a decent 61mins for the full l0km.

I have trained for a few months before able to run long distance without resting. Its pretty challenging physically especially when age is catching up.
After this 10km in mid OCT'12, I'm going to join another run at Penang in mid NOV 12 for a full 21km run which I hope to finish withen 2.3 - 3hours. These are my objectives which keeps me going.

On my next blog, I will tell you on how I had done for the run.
I will also describe how I had stopped work & embark on a new relaxing working environment.
It will coincide with my 2 YEARS CANCERVERSARY(end of DEC 2012)
(can't believe it that its been that long).
As of today, my chest still bugs me especially when its rainy & cold. I will carry the scar & pain for the rest of my life. It will always remind me of how others had done for me, not how much I had suffer.
It opened my mind to a new dimension & the meaning of "stop & look".
God works in many ways. Mine imposes a big impact in life in order to make me see.
Be Glad & Seize the Day, every single one of it.

Summary, live your life with no hesitation. Cherish the things that we have. Cherish what makes us happy. Money maybe the basic of many things but we will never stop no matter how much money  
we have.
To all the cancer survivors out there, life isn't over when we had cancer.
Rather, its a beginning of many good things that we had missed till now.
Live it, enjoy it.


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