Monday, December 31, 2012

Reflections of 2012

It is that time of the year, when one takes stock of all the things that have been done (or not), events that happened, people who come into our lives, count our blessings and look forward to the next year.

2012, on hindsight (which is always 100% perfect), was an absolutely crazy year on all account. Every year I try to top the previous year, but this would be hard to match.

2012 was a pure running year for me. It was the first year that I did not have an ironman race, happy to hang up my goggles and bicycle and lace up my shoes instead. Trail running is my first love, the sense of being alive in nature is hard to beat. This was also the year that I started a new routine in my new home, having moved in auspiciously on 31-Dec-2010. I love love love being able to tumble out of bed, get dressed and hit the trail within 2min of my gate. I love my little 小山洞!

It was a year that I foolishly signed up for and completed my first 100k trail ultra at the HK Vibram 100. I missed the trophy cutoff by 50min, but still finished within the overall race time limit. It was a strong reminder to self about mental perseverance, I was that close to giving up at 60km, but thankfully did not. Then it was back to HK again within two weeks for our annual marathon and shopping pilgrimage. A few months later, I found myself at the Jeju 80km trail event. That was a tough race, and we were stopped at 50km. It was worth the experience, I had never expected to be running up Mt Halla, amongst colour-coordinated obasan-trekkers, nor to be skidding in snow and slush for a good part of the race. The next trail race was our local TNF100, where I managed to clock my PB for the 50km, kudos to the good weather.

The penultimate to end the year was my climb at Mt Chulu East (6,584m) in Nepal. We were extremely lucky to have missed the bad weather and snowfall by a day, and managed to summit and descend to Base Camp before the snow carpeted everything. I love being in the mountains.

Studies-wise, 2012 was also the year where my classmates and I decided to bite the bullet and take on a full load during the special semester. That meant attending classes 4 evenings per week, getting through the assignments and projects. Translated: absolutely no life, no dinners and huge stresses. We cramped the schedule and took our 8h-long Capstone exam. I was extremely surprised to be graded the Best Capstone Paper, that was a nice bonus. Four more months to graduation...!

Work was equally demanding, if not more, in 2012. Lots of traveling in the first half of the year, and many new projects which had no precedence to follow (= much brain-juicing for ideas). I also did my first 360-degree evaluation, and it was a sobering and humbling moment to read the report. But it was also a good opportunity to reflect on how to and areas of improvement. It was not an easy transition or learning curve, but I was glad to have the support of good colleagues and boss. It was also a year of thinking through what I wanted to do, where I wanted to go and so forth. A lot of self-discovery, and learning to work with different people. The bright spark in work was the OD Certification Programme that I managed to get myself onto, after months of mulling. There was so much positive energy from the trainers, classmates, and knowledge to learn from everyone. No regrets being on the Programme.

On the personal and family front, many many events happened as well, which I would not openly pen here. Suffice to say, there were many sobering moments and reflections.

As the clock counts down to 2013 in another 5h, what would the new year bring?

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