Tuesday, September 5, 2006

Run Away

I don't like running. For one thing, I have legs lacking in lengths, so I take more steps to cover the same distance than my regular-height friends. Secondly, I get breathless really quickly, and MOST IMPORTANTLY, I firmly believe that running or jogging hurts your spine and knee-joints. :)

When I was in school, I had always come up last in any running (or worst, cross-country jog) events. I remember we had this set of funny "tests" called Ujian Daya Tenaga Asas (UDTA) in which we had to do sit-ups, push-ups, stretching our fingers past our toes with legs straight, jumping into squares labeled 1-2-3-4 on the floor and (the dreaded) 1500m run. We were evaluated based on a standard grading scale, and I remember I could manage the highest or second highest score in each task - but for the stupid run. For that, I would get the lowest score in the scale - if I could actually finish the whole run (which I usually did, by walking half of it).

Although I now sometimes run after my bus or train, the last time I ran competitively was more than 6 or 7 years ago. We were at a karate training camp and a smart fella suggested a long jog around a kampung area as part of the morning warm-ups. That was killing enough for me, but apparently not enough for the karate masters. We were stopped about 100m from the gate of the training center, and forced to race 2-by-2 to the end (the gate), and the loser had to do like 10 or 20 push-ups. My partner, Ghost, and I came up with an (so we thought) ingenious plan - we would run as if we were racing, but we would synchronise our steps so that we could finish together, at the same time. If we ended our race in a tie, then (so we thought) there would be no loser, and no push-ups. And guess what - we were so good and precise in carrying out our plan, that the masters actually could not determine who finished first. Therefore, both of us had to do the push-ups. Bummer!

Why all these tales about my lame running history? Well, this - I have been asked to run. Yes, run - as in a race. The event is 4x400m. (!!!) I was informed about it two days ago, and the race will be three days from now. Not only have I not been running for the past few years, I have stopped exercising regularly altogether, and am now a qualified couch potato. Gosh, losing the race and losing my face aside, I can think of a lot more dreadful things that are going to happen. :(

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