Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Goodbye 2013, Hello 2014

The year came and went, just like that. Time flies really fast and it time for some reflection again. This year has been pretty "whirlwind" in a few departments. I did a similar re-cap to welcome 2013, and it's fitting to send her off and prepare for 2014. I will try to make this brief, paying attention to two main header - Life and Work.
The Work
Let's get the "fixed" portion out first - the part that pays for the bills and command 8 to 10 hours of my life, everyday. While 2012 has been great, 2013 started with some doubt about the momentum being able to carry through. The renewable energy business was a really steep learning curve and I've learnt a lot (and by that, i really meant a lot) within those 2 years. Unfortunately things has to come to an end, as Renewable business is not "sustainable" - not in Malaysia to start with where the drive and policies is still at infancy. It was a challenge in many ways, both in good and bad way. So, if you ever want/think to dabble into renewable energy in Malaysia, let me know as I would be able to share some insight with you. ;-)

What happened when a door starts to close is another opening. I was in conversation with an ex-colleague to catch up and months later, as the renewable energy project started to slow down, something happened and I was given the opportunity to help start and assist him with an operation. It comes with a lot of challenges and it has been a good 7-months since. I was given the opportunity I never had in previous consulting job and at the same time, retain almost the same life-work balance I had in renewable energy business. It was almost the best of both world. 
"Almost" as consulting, very much like accounting and auditing breathe on "timesheet and billability". More so, just a few months back, the (current office) operation won a contract sealing the deal for me to serve the very same group of client I've served in my 5-years in consulting previously. I guess karma works in a strange way - for the better or worse? I do not know yet. One thing certain is the support I am getting (and has been getting) from my family, especially my wife to "go forth and show what you are made off". I hope it will be as easy (or tough) as my training regime.
With that said, increased responsibilities, wider job scopes, working with a more diverse group of professionals and being recognised in the organisation will equate to a happier working life. At the same time, there are a few opportunities knocking, and it is for me to make the best out of it all when I arrive at those junctions.
The Life
This is why we live - for the life we have. Growing old as they say is compulsory, growing up is optional. While that is true, I believe with a family in tow, growing up become somewhat needed as well. Never had I felt more to spend time with the family. I've lost many years building "The Work", only to see it not being a constant that will be with you. In many ways, I have finally able to detach myself from telling myself it is "ok to check that email at 11pm". It is time to "go home and spend time with the family". That is what mattered more. When you lose your job, they are the one that is constantly there for you - that is what mattered. 
With that said, the "The Life" are further broken down to different sub-topics, because life is too short to be less than awesome.
1. Clean Eating and Diet
A lot of refinement since we started eating cleaner. More ways were found to make things healthier. More indulgence in all thing better and less processed. We have stopped using the breadmaker because seriously, making bread from scratch is not as hard as one would think. 
It may sound sad to some, but food as a way to indulge has been "out of the window". Instead of quantity, the palate and tummy appreciate more quality and wholesome food. What used to be pure sins of eating the local food such as at Penang, has been reduced to just a mean to feed myself and that came surprisingly easy when we went past the indulgence stage. 
However, having said that, we still enjoy a varieties - for healthy life is truly a mix of moderation and better choices with our food selection.

2. Team 2ndSkin
Being part of Team 2ndSkin has been very rewarding. Tying up with collaborators such as Skechers, Garmin, Hammer Nutrition and Kraftfit Compression has given me a lot of opportunity to try out new items that otherwise will cost a lot of cash to buy for the sake of reviews. 

Honest opinions on what work and don't has benefit many that I hope has helped to manage time and money spent on gadgets, shoes, apparels and nutrition. This ties back to how I wished someone would had shared with me previously when i started out in sports - on what to look out for and how to do it correctly. 
Truly, we won't live long enough to make all mistakes (and purchases) ourselves, best is to learn from others and then share it out for mutual benefits. 
The spot in the team is not permanent. While "podium" is not a pre-requisite, "giving back" is expected in the form of sharing with the team on training, nutrition and life-skills. This extend to the more general people we interact, to help them by dispersing advices, tips and sharing so they too, can enjoy the sports that they do. It has been very rewarding personally so far. 
GoRun2 and GoRunRide2. Review here and here
Hammer Nutrition
Garmin 910XT and Fenix. Here and Here
Kraftfit Compression
What's in store for the team in 2014? Follow the team's blog at www.team2ndskin.blogspot.com for updates and information. 

3. As Brand and Event Go-To
While Team 2ndskin covers very much the bigger picture, I've been lucky to be part of Camelbak Malaysia as the brand ambassador. Being a long-time user of the brand, it was a privilege to be associated with the brand. My tenure expires in June 2014 and perhaps, it will be continued. 

If that was good, I am also involved with JVC Kenwood unofficially to test and review their Adixxion XA1 and XA2 action camera. With the amount of active outdoor lifestyle that me and the family goes through, it is a matter of time before I purchase an action camera. I am grateful for a friend that hooked me up with the good people in JVC Kenwood and I have to repay by continuously using the cameras to test the durability and performance. Trust me, it's used on a daily basis and I can almost operate them without looking!

Thanks to a friend as well, I have been given samples of fragrances and was actively reviewing (and using) them. You will most unlikely to catch me without any fragrances on, unless it's sports or my "lounge at home" day ;-). Personal favorite so far? Hugo Red!

Rouge Communication has been working with me directly and indirectly on some blog postings. I get to attend some very cool launches and be part of a lifestyle reviewer. Being a blogger (and be legit with it, not just posting selfies) is hard work. But I've been enjoying it so far. It is an opportunity to build my own "social media presence" and perhaps brand myself in the long run - for you never know, there could be opportunity for me being or running my own social media company one day, perhaps?

4. Sports and Training
2013 saw me entering the usual races. I've begin to participate in more running races and has been clocking good results. I credit these to relentless training and very disciplined routine I set for myself. Much of the race report and record can be viewed at my blog page here. Not going to bore how it was as you could had read hundreds of similar stories before.

What I am going to focus on instead, is just how much effort it took for me, personally to be at the level that I am - at best, average when compared to many others. Truly it is a long journey that I am still embarking. Never easy and I do not forsee 2014 to be any less challenging when all factors are put in. How so? 

To date as of December 30, 2013, I've clocked 4,259.15km swimming, biking, running and walking. Breaking it down, I've clocked 1927.94km running only. November and December saw me reducing my running as I embarked on a "bigger picture" training for Ironman Malaysia (both 70.3 and full) and Xterra World Championship qualifier

It is a full year of structured committed training that will involve the whole family as the year progresses. Races from October till the completion of the Ironman in September will be deemed as "training" where a lot of refinement and effort will be put in. Truly, there is a lot of rooms for improvement and I need to make sure 2014 is an injury free year and be really pragmatic with my approach. Coincidently, this week, which bridges both 2013 and 2014 is my final week of baseload training and I will take a week off to allow the body to recover. The body deserves a break. 
The past 11 weeks
2013 saw me and wifey racing Sabah Adventure Challenge together. The experience was so good we signed up for 2014 without blinking our eyes. 3-days of trails in the jungle of Sabah, camping out. I am secretly waiting when the kids grow old enough to be able to join us for these races. 2026 perhaps!

5. What Mattered Most
Family. The kids is growing up really fast. It seems like yesterday when they were just babies and we were struggling to balance everything thrown at us. Significant events with the kids this year include the boy starting school, the daughter learning to ride bicycle in ONE lesson (she has no fear, i fear for her sometimes), the boy's first competitive event, the daughter getting her ears' pierced (and it won't be the last as she grow up) and of course, the wifey being involved with all of these, perhaps even more than myself. In a photo-log, it sort of looked like this:

2013 saw me being involved with a few "giving back" by helping to raise funds for a few groups of people. With 2ndSkin, it was the Project CARES where funds were raised for Dignity for Children Foundation and NASAM Stroke association. 
Outside of 2ndSkin, It was having a team of runners under my name to raise money for United Voices. It was a humbling experience and made me to be more grateful and thankful for what I already have.
In form of activism, I was involved with something i am standing up for that is to "Save Bukit Kiara". Much destruction is happening in the name of development and/or "restoration". As of today, a large portion of the secondary jungle in Kiara has been worked on, fences erected and cliffs cut in haphazard manner. 2014 will see even more destruction; even the park below Bukit Kiara has seen greens being replaced with concrete structures that doesn't really add any value to the park.
Discreet work? NOT
6. This Blog and Social Media
This blog (will) remain to be busy and with a lot of sharing from time to time. I've committed to 236 (including this one today) postings. Slightly down from 2012 where it was a good 277 postings. Over the last two years, I've shared a lot of (hopefully) quality write ups that I surprised myself when reading back. It was a learning experience for myself and more so I hope I've been helping some of you readers to achieve what you set out to do - and do it better than I did. I've been a "social media practitioner" throughout the past years and it will set to continue. Look me up in any of these channels : LinkedIn Facebook Twitter YouTube Garmin DailyMiles Google+ Tumblr Pinterest
Ending 2013, Welcoming 2014
Rewarding. Fulfilling. Achieved more than I intended. Three words I would call 2013 for me and the family. There are always rooms for improvement and we are looking to progress as an unit. 
2014 will be challenging at all front, again, there is nothing impossible as long as we believe we can do it all. With this full-life I am living, there is no time for resolution or resolutions. It is "bring it on and we will get it done" attitude. 

OK - perhaps one simple wish : that everyone at home, family, friends and you dear readers will be blessed with a lot of health to enjoy doing everything even more. 

See you all in 2014! Carpe Diem!


  1. Beautiful recap TriStupe. Always love reading your blog. It's been an important source for me on my triathlon journey. My fav is your take on resolutions. Enough with the resolutions and just do it already! Happy New Year!

    1. Action often speaks louder ;-) So, lets go do it already! :D

      Thanks for the visit and support!

  2. Truly inspirational, Stupe!..keep up the awesomeness in what you do, bro! Happy New Year to you & family!