Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Running - my supposed to be inexpensive sport

Running need not to be expensive, said many runners. Running has been known as one of the oldest mode of sport, and also known as the simplest sport to perform. People could choose to run barefoot or with shoes, based on what do runner feel comfortable with. So before I was into running, I thought that the only expense needed to be a runner is mainly on shoes since I am not a barefoot runner. So, I purchased my first running shoes and started running. 

I got into running right away, thanks to the running applications e.g. nike plus, endomondo and the likes. I became a bit competitive since my running application show the monthly leader board. I pushed myself to run regularly. I started joining some races, mainly in Jakarta, to experience the so-called race atmosphere and yes I am addicted. I joined race after race, and in 2015 alone I joined 13 races in total. An achievement that I could net even imagine one year ago. 

The more I got into running, the more I felt the urge of purchasing more running gears. I have so many gear references from my fellow runners I met during the races. The gear list got longer starting from spibelt, compression pants, compression socks, branded running pants, branded running shirts, running watch, headband, buff, hat and so the list goes. I constantly purchased stuff to fulfill my desires of having branded products for my-supposed-to-be-inexpensive-sport. I bought spibelt at first and thanks God my running watch was a present from my sister. I put all the compression gears in my waiting list since the price is out of my league. My desire for buying more stuff was so uncontrolled. 
Fully accessories runner, are we going this way? (Pic is taken from this link)

I met a lot of newbie runners in many races wearing all those branded stuff for the sake of the race. I see myself in them, wanting so bad to look like real runners by constantly purchasing stuff we see other runners are wearing. And while I ran in the race, I also witnessed the podium runners ran their race wearing simple stuff: a pair of shoes, a shirt with BIB race on it and a short pant. That's it. I questioned myself where did I go wrong? It is the running gears manufacturer's duty to sell the products and it is the runner who becomes the target. 
Still should wear less

I concluded that there is nothing wrong buying branded products if ones need it and could afford it. It might be a problem if one runner feels the urge of purchasing those branded stuff simply as the reason to mingle or to be accepted in one particular group. Here's the thing, most runner communities never force their members to comply with certain gear standards to fit in the group. It is usually our personal judgment that lead us thinking that we might not fit in the group if we don't have this and that. Now I learn that it is time to get back to the whole purpose of running: to have fun and to get sweat. Gears? Buy it only when you need it. Simple right?      

Running isn't about making people buy stuff, running should be free 
Christopher McDougall - Born to Run

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

On Running Race

Who would wake up at 3 am on Saturday or Sunday? That's perhaps one of the dumbest things to do. Well, that's the path I am choosing lately. At least once a month, there's one weekend in which I have to wake up super early. The rest, I have to wake up at least at 5 am sharp on weekend. All those early morning alarms are for one purpose: RUNNING.  

Since I got into running (last December 2014), I have been routinely running outdoor. I have tried using treadmill before, but I don't think my joints and muscles are wired for treadmill. Well, errr my mind actually, I feel bored easily on treadmill. I run regularly twice or three times a week for almost one year now. And I religiously carry my running shoes in every city I visit, thus I have no reason not to run (yeah I create my own running trap). And it slowly becomes a habit. I feel anxious sometimes when I do not hit the road for three consecutive days. I still can't figure out what makes this sport so addictive that it left me with guilty feeling when I don't run for a couple of days. Am I a running addict?.

I sometimes have to wake up at 3 am for the sake of running races. The races I joined usually started at 5 am, and they are mostly located quite away from my place. Thus, I have to wake up early, commute to the race venue no later than 3.30 am if I want to race on time with the other fellow runners. Yeah, I paid a high amount for this race, wake up so early, then sweat myself  until my body soaked in sweat. Such a sacrifice for the so-called running race. I wouldn't have done that years ago even if someone offered me a free BIB, 

So, what do I get from these races?
Prizes?  Definitely not, I do not fall under those who could run a kilometer in 4 minutes or less, the pace a runner should have to win a race.  
Fame? How can I be famous if I am just a guy with average running pace.
Muscle pain and sprained ankle? Yeah, injuries are sportmen's bestfriend. 
Friends? Yes, I got a lot of friends now who share the same passion with me. We love running and that's how we are connected. Running is a language that we share. 

It is still hard to explain what do I get from those races. It comes down to a conclusion: running a race give me a sense of accomplishment. It felt amazing to be able to finish a race. Finisher medal is a bonus. What matter for me is I finished what I started, and that's enough.       

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Coping with reverse culture shock - Case Study of Jakarta

Living 2 years in Melbourne has inevitably affected my daily routine. As a commuter, I got used to the on-time bus, tram and train or at least a notification when the public transport experienced delay. Usually, with a little bonus like free ride for one day as an apology for such delay. And that's how we (as Melburnians) forgot and forgave the mistake. I was a cyclist too back then, and I did enjoy the privilege of being cyclist in the so-called the most livable city in the world. This is my perspective as an ex-Jakartan who converted to be Melburnians. I, with abundant exposures of non-convenient, over-crowded public transport along with polluted urban air, felt in love with public transport in Melbourne right away. Those from Europe (perhaps) have different view than mine, but I can assure that most of my Indonesian friends felt the same as I did.

I did not experience a severe culture shock syndrome when I first arrived in Melbourne except for the constantly cold temperature and my craving for Jakarta's fully fat yet extremely delicious street side fried food. But it was forgiven, the city was just too mesmerizing (I did curse about the weather in some of my facebook statuses and salivate when my friends in Indonesia posted Indonesian delicacies in social media).

My two amazing years was short enough. Time to go back to Jakarta, a job was waiting and suddenly I questioned myself whether I could re-adjust myself back to the chaotic Jakarta. I was too comfort in Melbourne and Jakarta sounded like a nightmare all of a sudden. Yeah it was my bad, comparing an apple with durian. I've heard from my friends that such reverse culture shock is way harder when we move from the more ordered premise to the chaotic one. I agree.

Most of my ex-Melburnian Indonesian mates finally adjusted themselves with chaotic Jakarta. The question is how quick did they conquer their reverse culture shock. I've heard some stories from friend: some were too afraid to drive their own car on their first weeks, some were scare to commit jaywalking, some were pissed off by Jakarta's continuous traffic, some were devastated by the commuting time which took almost 4 hours average per person per day, some had stomachache after tasting Jakarta's street side food, some were desperate that the public transport quality deteriorated and still, there are many more type of shocks which is too long to be listed in this post. The healing period surely vary to each one of us. I needed one week to recover. Such a quick recovery, right? Wanna ask me how?
Welcome To Jakarta
 Well, I have made my "come back" plan. Here are some tips I from my side:
  1. Commute with train from Jakarta to Bogor at peak hours weekdays. Jakarta -Bogor train line is possibly the most crowded train line in the area, please choose the 5 pm to 6 pm train. I tried it on my third day upon my arrival in Jakarta and it was fasting month. The air conditioned train was no longer effective with the over-crowded passengers with their sweaty shirts. Not to mention body odors and oxygen shortage. I felt like sardines in a can. The train was so full yet passengers kept coming in at each station. In this situation, I converted my backpack to be a front pack and hold it tight. You never know how many pickpockets were there in the train. My long suffocated journey finally ended after one hour when I reached Bogor station. My image of Melbourne tram's convenience slowly faded away. 
  2. Do not stop munching the street side food. I got stomachache on my first day. I think my "Aussie" belly could not recognize Indonesian bacteria attached to the food I consumed. The stomachache is a sign that my stomach started adjusting with Indonesian delicious yet fatty food. My second trial of street side food finally went well.
  3. Try TransJakarta a.k.a busway at peak hours. Another way to lessen the expectation of Jakarta is by trying TransJakarta or busway at 5 pm. I tried this on my fifth day in Jakarta. I took one of the most crowded busway line from Kuningan towards Ragunan. Kuningan, as one of the business center of Jakarta, did teach me how to be patient when waiting for the bus to come. Seven buses passed but they were all full passengers. The eighth bus finally arrived after I waited for almost 25 minutes and amazingly the people surround me seem very very very patient. My trip to Ragunan was even more excited when I hung on the bus' hand holdings and my head position was next to a man's sweaty armpit. Perfecto, what a fancy way to cope with reverse culture shock. 
  4. Try "Ojek" in an emergency situation. I lie if I say Jakarta's traffic is bearable. It doesn't. However, there is one mode of transport that is "very" reliable in any Jakarta traffic situation. It is called "Ojek" or "motorcycle taxi". Ojek helped me a lot in some emergency situations, particularly when I want to attend my meeting timely. Yet, it comes with price, the ojek driver tends to charge us a lot particularly when our destination is located at the heart/lung/intestine/liver of the traffic jam. Well see the bright side: "Practice your bargain skill". 
  5. Music keeps me sane. Well, stranded for hours in traffic jam is definitely not a good way of using your time, isn't it. Thanks I have my refuse-to-die iPod that constantly fed my tortured mood and soul. Music also started shaping my new habit: Sleep in the bus during traffic jam. Or don't get surprise when you find people who are able to sleep while standing and being pushed by other passengers, you'll get to that stage soon. One tips when this habit occurs, train yourself sleeping while hugging your backpack/bag tightly. There might be some people who are looking forward for the sleeping passengers in the bus. 
Well, those are my tips for conquering reverse culture shock, particularly in the crowded and endless traffic jam city. I am interested to find out how do you guys cope with your culture shock or reverse culture shock. Mind sharing? 

Monday, January 03, 2011

Cipukun is still alive

It has been a while since the last time I uploaded this blog. I did not write anything about the scholarship I got nor about what so-called my transmigration to Melbourne for my master course.

Many things happened after 8 months that I (perhaps) forgot to update through my English blog.  Managing three blogs simultaneously requires persistence, commitment and absolutely TIME. My failure in managing this blog has shown that I am not a super blogger as what many people think about me. I do not committed that hard any longer in writing English since I started my Indonesian blog.
One of my first pics in Melb

I just finished my first semester here in Melbourne, it was not easy but I managed to survive. It needs many overnight works which was challenging as the assignment is done along with facebook and youtube temptations. I survive in the end with result which beyond my expectations.  And for this small achievement, I reward myself by travelling to New Zealand and some parts of Aussie. 20 day travel is enough to recharge me, enough to keep me alive and enough to protect me from assignment insanity.
left over snow at New Zealand

I won't describe how Melbourne really looks like in this posting, I will spare time for that. I write this posting simply because I want to alert my blogger mates that this blog is still alive and still beating although with a weak pulse. Hopefully, I'll find more times or mood to manage this blog the way I manage my other blogs. Happy blogging mates.  

Friday, February 26, 2010

And they left us....

One thing I like about my office is my office mates. Yup, the atmosphere in my office perhaps is quite different compare to other offices. Do not expect a quite and silent situation when you pay a visit to my office because there will always be a lot chats in the office (or let me simplify it, my office is quite noisy yet comfortable). And a comment raised by someone will always be followed by comments from others hilariously. However, the turnover in my office is also quite high, the people come and go. Some are memorable and some are forgettable. I have witnessed a bunch of farewell party in my office. Frankly speaking, it's not the party that I like.

Just like yesterday, one day before long weekend. A day when we suppose to feel excited prior to a long holiday turned to be a quite emotional day. Two office mates decided to leave the project at the same time but with different reasons. Guys, just imagine having 2 farewell parties in a day.

Me and Efa

Efa, my partner in my team finally decided to leave the project. She has something bigger to pursue. She was the first person that I know in this office because we have been through the interview session together and we entered the office at the same time. We shared a lot moments together and I have to admit that she is the best counterpart in the team. We never fight nor argue. She is a soul mate in the office.

Bu Adel

Bu Adel, a staff who had involved in the project since the initial phase also decided to leave the project. It is definitely a big loss for the project since she had contributed a lot to the project. Personally, Bu Adel is a very nice lady. She always talk to us in a polite manner and she is also encouraging. She is one of the international staffs that keeps her profile down to earth. That's why we will miss her. Bu Adel, wait for us in Philippines. 
Miss you guys already

It is not easy to release special people like them. Wish to see you again, Efa and Bu Adel.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Me and my m***y room

Ladies, I feel shame actually to reveal this. But since I have no idea what to post, I will show you an embarrassing fact about myself.

When I reach home everyday, it is hard for me to leave my room unless I have another appointment. My room is not big, and although it has air conditioner, I rarely use it. And do not ask me how it looks like because I won't write how my room looks like. I think it is better if you conclude it yourselves after you see these pictures. Hehehehe. Ninja

Room Sweet Room

Tidy, isn't it?

it used to be a table but now it is............
I won't give my personal comment on how it looks like. I let you judge it.... hihihi

So, through this post, I actually need someone who wants to clean my room voluntarily. Anyone interested? Scenic

Monday, February 01, 2010

Car Free Day in Bogor

What comes to your mind when I say Bogor?

After you mention all the foods and Bogor Botanical Garden, you perhaps will say "Angkot".

Yup, Bogor is not only known as KOTA HUJAN (rainy city) but also Angkot City. Every time I visit Bogor, Angkot will always be my concern. The "indigenous" people of Bogor told me that Bogor used to be a cool place, but not anymore now. Maybe since Angkots are everywhere which gradually warmed Bogor up.Bang Bang
Car Free Day in Bogor

In Jakarta, as pollution worsens,the local government initiated a program so called Car Free Day which usually commences on Sunday. Yeah, Sunday is the only day we can inhale a little cleaner air in Thamrin and Sudirman Area. Big Boss
Bogor 10 KM, an event on car free day
When I visited Bogor last weekend. I had a chance to enjoy the same program. I just realized that Bogor has Car Free day as well on the streets surround Botanical Garden and the palace. Hundreds of people covered the street which distract those who use the street for jogging. I felt fresher there because no ANGKOT were found on the street.

Although it is a copy paste program, I do want such program to be proliferated in all big cities in Indonesia because urban people have less chance to inhale the fresh air. Besides,such program provides more space for urban inhabitants in doing their family activities. Remember, they deserve more space since most of spaces have been used for parking lot and building.
Watching the race
In fact, the program will not significantly give direct contribution towards pollution but at least the air is cleaner on Sunday morning which can be enjoyed by those who are starving for clean air. Hehehe.

Car Free Day in Bogor, feels to enjoy it again Yahoo