Thursday, December 24, 2015

2015 - The year in perspective...

A year of drastic changes...


I have to say that 2015 was a year full of ups and downs.
It opened with my last gig organizing my former section's teambuilding event. With all the budget cuts, it nearly didn't happen. But we pulled through.
By the third-quarter of the year, my career as a print editor also ended. I made an unceremonious exit and never regretted my move to the multimedia unit that I am presently attached to.
In short, change was inevitable.
The days of being complacent with print is over.
Speaking of adventures, Michelle and I fared pretty okay. We did one tour ride on the East Coast of the Peninsula and bikepacking trip to Cambodia.
My only official overseas trip was a training stint in Bangkok, Thailand. I am very grateful to my company for the gig.
Perhaps the most drastic change in my life was shedding nearly 19kg.
My doctor said if I chose to live a sedentary lifestyle and continue to eat beyond my means, it would end up with a multiple bypass surgery on my heart.
In May, 2015, my blood-sugar levels were off the roof.
I realised that the only way to fight diabetes, is to undergo a drastic change in lifestyle.
I began to walk everyday. From 2km, it went up to 5km and eventually 10km a day.
In three months, I reduced my weight from 101kg to 90kg.
The first 40 days were the hardest. I ate clean, exercised and slept well.
After six months, I weighed-in at 82.3kg. There's at least 6.5kg to go and I plant to carry on next year till I achieve my ideal weight.
I look forward to 2016 with a few adventures in mind. I will also continue with my archery and hope to bag some hogs on my hunts.
To cap it up, 2015 had its uncertainties, but I pulled through.

Taiping - revisited...

Back on the saddle...

Port Weld's famous charcoal kiln
It's been months since I rode my bike and a trip to Taiping became the perfect opportunity to link up with old friends and new ones.
I kept my word with Johnny Ng, a close friend on getting the trip organized. The plan was to leave Kuala Lumpur via the KTMB's ETS service and get off in Taiping, Perak.
But there was a snag. Tickets were sold out. 
So, the next plan of action was to get off in Ipoh and find our way there.

At the KL Sentral Station prior to departure
I bought my own return tickets and met Johnny and a few other cyclists in Kepong Sentral station. 
We began our journey to Ipoh and had some time to catch up for some conversation.
Besides Johnny, five other people came along this trip. They were invited by him as we had to keep the numbers low and manageable.

Loading up on the ETS coach
A must-capture photo session in Ipoh

In Simpang, some 7km to go before Port Weld
At the first railway station in Malaysia

Lunch at Tepi Sungai restaurant, Port Weld

Deep-fried baby crabs

The fishing village in Port Weld
When we got off the ETS in Ipoh, it was a mad rush to the Medan Kidd bus station. There, we managed to secure our passage to Taiping.
It took more than an hour for the bus to arrive at Simpang where we got off and continued our ride towards Port Weld.
After traveling for seven kilometres, we arrived at one fo the oldest known towns in the country and had our lunch there.
Later in the day, we rode back to Taiping and checked-in at a motel where we spent the night.
The rest of the group had decided to head down to Ipoh for a ride while I made the call to head straight back to KL due to work commitment.
I've been to Taiping a couple of times and it was a real memorable trip as we approached the last month of the year.