Sunday, August 26, 2012

My First Book, Lance Armstrong

Can't believe that (only)at the age of 25, I completely finished reading up a book. I use to claim to everyone I know on the fact that I am not a discipline person that is strong enough to end up at the last page of a book from the moment I started to flip on the first page. Other than this, my vocabulary-deficiency is another reason why I can't progress with fun in reading a book. Nevertheless, it is not entirely true. Discipline is something that can be cultivated as well as vocab-improving efforts. Not every book single book in this world has the same level of vocab-complexity. Indeed I found out that my vocab-competency is still enable me to understand at least 50% of books in this world(a short research I carried out in various bookstores and book-fairs for the past 3 months). So not-to-able-finish-up-a-book is just an excuse and voila here I am introducing the first ever book I completed the reading of it, "Lance Armstrong : It's Not About the Bike. My Journey Back to Life".

A bit of of background how this book end up in the bookshelf of mine. It was 2011, April 18, two days after  my 24th birthday. This book was a gift from a friend-boss-mentor-housemate of mine named Denis Lim. To be honest that was my only actual gift I received during my 24th birthday. Don't get me wrong, I did received  a very special celebration from my girl(Kahyee) during that year, indeed a very sweet one where she baked me a love-shaped cake and woke me up sharp at 12am 2011 April 16. Let's move on. I still remembered the words Denis spoke to me when he passed the gift, "You remind me of him.". To be honest Denis, that moment when I received it, I was like "Hmm... It must be a book.". It wasn't a disappointment(coz it was literally my only gift during that year) but not much of excitement either (coz I am not so much a reader during that time).

There were few attempts from me to kick-start the book but most of it end up with an unknown status. I think the first few pages of the book I've read up for at least 5 times. Not once out of the 5 times I manage to move on from the first chapter("Before and After") of the book. It was in the middle of the month of June 2012 I picked up the book once again and I read it. This time around things are so different. I read this book before go to bed, long-toilet moment, LRT journey moment, bus journey moment, waiting for someone to come down from office(yeah is u Ng Kah Yee) which took her around 1 hour moment, reached office before bosses arrive moment and many dunno-how-to-mention moment. Honestly speaking, this book will be around me wherever I am during the 1 and a half month duration that I took to finish reading it up. During this time I've learned that discipline can be cultivated through curiosity in an unconscious way.

As the title of the mentioned, this book is a story about a great cyclist named Lance Armstrong.  Lance Armstrong is an American road racing cyclist. He was notable as one of the greatest cyclist from a record of winning the Tour de France for 7 times. Can't really go deep about his cycling achievement coz this book is not much about that. If I not mistaken when I finished read this book, it only mentioned two times consecutively he won the Tour de France. I never really know much about Lance Armstrong besides hearing his name in Euro Sport News portal when I was in secondary school. So what I am reading from this book?

This book summarizes Lance's story from a kid to the point he turned out to be a professional cyclist. He was raised in a single mother family. His mother re-married again during his teenager time(this is how he gained his current last name Armstrong from) which ended up in a divorce. A rebellious kid at younger age which soon discover himself has certain biological advantage in doing sports. At the moment he was at the high of his career and yet growing, he was diagnosed with a testicular cancer. During this part of the story, it was a "pain" to my reading as it specified out what cancer patient have to undergo in the process of treating the disease. The word chemotherapy has never been so hard to me before I read up this book. The story moves on to the part when he has completed his treatment and how struggle for him to come back to compete again  with the rest of the world. I still remembered there is a part where he quit on his comeback to cycling when he was at Paris. What worse he cause a girl named Kristin to give up her career in US to follow him to Paris only to realize that he is quitting after a few attempts in Paris to come back to US. The story also touches the part on how the business side has turned down on him due to his illness. Sponsors taking advantage of his condition to cut off the contract or reduce their financial contribution. The climax of the story I shall say is the part when he started to gain back his momentum in both physical and mental condition. The way the author portrayed out Lance's training session really "sweat myself" out. Is kind of feeling when after I finished my football, futsal, badminton or running activities where I feel the satisfaction of sweating and rapid heart beating. At the end, Lance managed to win again but not much as a single race winner but as a complete tour winner.

This book has inspired me in a lot of way. Firstly is about discipline. Is not much about his story but is more about the time I picked up this book and read it. But what I learned the most from this man is about pain and not giving up. One of my favorite quotes from him that I found in this book is "Pain is temporary. It may last a minute, or an hour, or a day, or a year, but eventually it will subside and something else will take its place. If I quit, it lasts forever." What this book has taught me also is how our perspective can help us to turn things in better way which came from this quote of him, "Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional." In a way this quote is so true to me because pain is real because it was embedded in our biological system but suffering is a subjective matter. In the time when he was undergoing his chemotherapy session, the pain is so real to him, but he chose to view as a process of getting better not much of process of suffering. I got to admit that this guy is a huge inspiration behind the reason I started to do running. Whenever  in running where I felt like I am tired, Mr Lance Armstrong name will come into my mind (of coz his name still can't keep me running forever due to my biological constraint) to keep me mentally strong. One of his advice about doing sports such as running and cycling is about the pain we endured. Is always about the pain that we get coz if pain is something we don't want then is better we just sit down taking a restful moment. But pain makes us feel the world again.

"There is no need to answer to those losers, coz you are already a winner Mr Armstrong. Records can be wiped-off but never on what you have inspired me and others.", Ray Chow Facebook 2012 , on Lance Armstrong decision not fight doping charges.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Blindness Wisdom

It all started on last Wednesday morning when I was in the bus, travelling from my home to the place of work. In that morning, I saw a blind man waving for a bus from far. He just kept waving and waving as he never knew when the right bus is arriving. Every single bus that passes by will stop by him and tell him the details of the bus. Eventually he boarded into the same bus that I am in it. For a moment, I thought of that situation and asked myself that, if my life is hard how about the life these people ? If with a vision, active senses, hands and legs, I still call myself struggling in my daily life, what is the word for these people who have to move around during their daily life?

Two days later, Friday, on my way heading the bus that I supposed to board to get me home, I saw another blind man came down from a bus in the middle of the bus rail. The moment he stepped down from the bus, he started to feel the surrounding using his white cane as this the way how the blinded "see" the right direction. Spontaneously I went towards him and grab him by the hand and asked him "Where are you going ?". Then he answered "Pasar Seni LRT station." I took a glimpse at the way heading to the LRT station. Crowded, narrow and dangerous as the current building was under construction for the new MRT project. Only small wooden pass way was built to connect the train station with the bus stop. Is hard for me to describe here, but I can assure you guys that this is not the kind of so called "integrated stations" coordination that you guys expect to see in a developed city. So I've decided to guide the blind guy to the train station.

Another two days later, here comes Sunday. After such a long time never attended Sunday service in church, I finally attended my first Sunday service in the year 2012. This commitment is one of my new year resolution. So as like my previous Sunday mornings in church, usually the worship team will be preparing on the stage to lead the worship. At first, I did not realize anything special, but as the stage team is rehearsing it started to catch my attention. I came to realize that, today the worship will be lead by a group of fellowship called Agape. What so special about this fellowship was that from the singers and to the rest of the band, they all are blind. Throughout the worship session, they really amazed. They put out a great singing coordination as they knew when to sing which verse, the drummer give out a great beat, the bassist and guitarist can pluck and strum so perfectly, and the pianist played well. So I start to ponder on something.

As I look back at my life, though is not perfect but at least I am fortunate enough to see. Our daily struggle may be hard on us sometime but for them is even harder. With eye I also feel troubled how about them? Yet they choose to move on and make use on other abilities that given to them. As what mentioned by Jesus Christ in one of his parables in Matthew(25: 28-29) we are ought to grow with the talents given to us.

But does that mean God being tough on those people who are blind or handicapped? Certainly no. I still believe God loves every creation created by Him. Is just that God has different purpose on different person. Who we are and what we have always come with a reason and divine purpose as long as we believe in Him. Another thing is that, for all the senses we have, we are always subject to sin and vulnerable towards temptation. But to them, God choose to close one of the path in their life that might lead them to destruction. Is hard sometime to accept this message but try think about the time when we are fasting, ask yourself where you rather wanna be, an empty and restful place or a place where foods are everywhere? Yes exposure do make us wise but it also tempted us with devilish and selfish acts. By no mean, that God think that they are weak and not strong enough. God always knew these wonderful children of Him are stronger than they ever think and thats why He put them together with us in the same challenging world with something less on their side.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Ok But don't Over

Argue but don't angry

Bid but don't bribe

Count but don't cheat

Drink but don't drunk

Expand but don't exploit

Faint but don't fake

Gain but don't greed

Help but don't hate

Joke but don't jerk

Love but don't lust

Own but don't owe

Open but don't offend

Plan but don't predict

Question but don't quarrel

Run but don't rush

Save but don't steal

Teach but don't tease

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Cukup sudah........

Sampai sini sahaja perjuanganku,
Cukup sudah laungan suara hatiku,
Tiada ertinya untuk aku terus berdegil dalam pergelutan maya ini,
Yang perlu difahamkan, telah pun dijelaskan,
Yang perlu ditujukan, telah pun dikhabarkan,
Apa lagi yang perlu dibuktikan lagi?
Tahap kecerdikan bukan lagi penghalang pengetahuan,
Tetapi kedegilanmu-lah yang menutup mindamu,
Namun segalanya tidak akan lagi menjadi duri di dalam dagingku,
Kerana aku telah menyedari kebenaran yang sebenarnya,
Iaitu kebenaran Tuhan.

Di situ kamu mengakui keagungan Tuhan Maha pencipta dunia,
Di sini kamu menjerit menuntut hak milik kamu ke atas tanah ini,
Adakah tanah ini bukan sebahagian daripada dunia yang dicipta Tuhan?
Di situ kamu menuntut ilmu bahawa manusia adalah sama di mata Tuhan,
Di sini kamu mengangkat tinggi seseorang, dan memijak rendah seseorang,
Adakah tinggi dan rendah itu pengertian sama di mata Tuhan?
Di manakah kebenaran di sebalik pengetahuan sucimu?
Diberinya mata untuk melihat,
Diberinya telinga untuk mendengar,
Diberinya minda untuk berfikir,
Dibutakan pula matanya,
Dipekakan pula telinganya,
Dibantutkan pula mindanya.

Hanya satu identiti kita,
Iaitu manusia.
Hanya satu kebenaran kita,
Iaitu makluk ciptaan Tuhan.
Dan hanyalah satu kelebihan kita,
Iaitu dicintai Tuhan.
Kepentingan bukan lagi berasaskan
kepada siapa yang lahir di sini dan siapa yang datang ke sini.
Kepentingan itu seharusnya ditujukan
kepada siapa yang terabai dan siapa yang serba kekurangan.
Mengapa kamu masih sibuk menuntut kebenaran daripada manusia,
sedangkan kebenaran itu hanyalah datang daripada Tuhan?
Tidak akan lagi aku peduli akan segala tindak-tandukmu.
Tidak akan lagi aku memaki terhadap segala kesalahanmu.
Fokusku hanya padamu Tuhan.

Terima Kasih, Tuhan Yesus kerana membuka mindaku.
Di kala aku menghadapi kesukaran,
anda mengingatkan aku kesukaran manusia lain.
Di kala aku sedih akan kejadian yang meimpa terhadapku,
anda mengingatkan aku kesedihan yang turut menimpa terhadap manusia lain.
Di kala aku kecewa dengan kekurangku,
anda mengingatkan aku kekekurangan yang dihadapi manusia lain.
Ingatan anda bukan untuk aku membuat perbandingan, tetapi
untuk aku mencari hikmah di sebalik kesukaran,
untuk aku belajar menerima kejadian hidup,
untuk aku sedar akan kelebihanku.
Yang terindah,
Di kala aku melakukan kesalahan di matamu,
anda tetap memaafkan aku dan menerima aku semula.
Andalah Tuhan ku.

Saturday, October 16, 2010


I was so eager to go to Adam Lambert concert but I was disallowed financially. Then I came across a news that a group of "so called righteous Malaysian" wanna protest against the concert to be carried out. When I first saw this news the first thing came out from my mouth is, "What da hell, Again?...". I do not know whether is the same group of people or not, but to date, there are at least 5 incidents of protest to called off concerts in Malaysia involved name such as Avril Lavigne, Beyonce and Mariah Carey.

One of the Malaysia political party has once again launched a protest against an international singer who is coming to perform in Malaysia. This time is Adam Lambert. First of all, congratulation to the authority that allowed this protest to happen because you guys just showed the world that is ok for Indonesian to protest against Malaysia government and burned Jalur Gemilang. Secondly, you guys just showed the world that this is the way the people welcome international visitor. I do not know what will be improved from this but one thing for sure, Malaysia ranking on the "Most Ridiculous Country" chart is improved.

This party protest claimed that Adam Lambert is a gay icon that might bring negativity to the nation. So they determine to stop him from stepping into this country. Let me make this clear first. I am not a person who agree with gay or lesbian either. But my concern here now is that, is it the issue here is really about gay? As far as I know, this party in the past few years is having coalition with a few opposition political parties as their political strategy to fight against the ruling party. One of the party that they are working with is lead by a man who is currently being charged in the court of sodomizing another man. And they are ok with it? Let me make it clear for you, if a man is sodomizing another man, he is definitely a gay. But a gay will not necessary sodomize another man. So what part of gay that you protesters do not understand? As I said, the issue is not about the gay. Is just that these people wanna gain attention of the country to know they are really concern about the nation. Gay is never right in the law of nature. But at least gay people love will love their children(if they can have one). The gay won't do anything to hurt their children, and most importantly, the gay will never rape their own children.

As I said these people really prefer to waste their time holding some banners to protest rather than really go and cultivate their own people with more religious knowledge and faith of good behaviors. If Adam Lambert really managed to turn you people to gay, is also because of you people lack of spiritual values. To really know how prosper are you in spiritual and moral values is by overcome the
temptation, not denying it.

Let me give you people that claimed yourself "spiritual righteous " a point to ponder. In a case of two men who want to resist the temptation of gluttony. A man called 'A' is put in a room with no food or anything that can be consumed on. Another man called 'B' is put in another room which is packed with a lot of stuff that can be ate and consumed on. Both of them manage to resist the temptation by not eating anything in few days. But bear in mind 'A' is confined from food, and 'B' is exposed to a lot of foods. 'A' managed to resist the temptation is logically acceptable because even if he want to eat, there is nothing that can be ate. But for 'B', the success of overcoming temptation is the true success because even though he can eat the foods, he chose not to do it. This is because he hold strong to his spiritual objectives and discipline. Situation of 'A' represent the case of denying the temptation and 'B' is the case of overcoming temptation. With the wisdom and right mind of you that was given to you by God please judge yourself which of 'A' or 'B' has the true value of spiritual.

"A thief can live as holy as a priest if he is living in a world where there is nothing is worth to be stolen. But is the way of holiness that God wants from the people?"