May 29, 2016


It must have been a bit past 2am. A slivered cream-colored moon hung low in the sky, shedding shards of reflections into the sea to my left. I was running on the Marina Bay Barrage and the Singapore skyline replete with the Marina Bay Sands hotel and The Singapore Flyer were to my right. I had come through the worst of it. The long haul through the golf course, grinding out kilometers 12, 13, and 14. I had fallen behind the pacers a while ago, and as a result I had lost a bit of momentum. But just minutes before I had eaten a banana and doused myself with water and was determined to run from kilometer eighteen on till the end.

The conversation with myself was quiet at this point. I was tired of yelling at myself or trying to negotiate a pace. I simply shut the brain down accept for my eyes, which were looking at the moon beams and my ears listening to make sure I could hear each thump of every step. My heart and lungs were working fine. My mind was finally quiet. The only problem was that I wasn’t sure my legs could make it. My muscles were stiff and the joints tender. The pain shifted from my knees to my ankles to my hips and back again and again. At times everything hurt at once, while at other times everything from my lower back down was numb. Is this where the joy is?

What are you doing out here? My mind was awake again. Just stop. Who cares? Why are you running in the darkness, in the middle of the night? What are you trying to prove? And to who?

The last hour had felt like torture at times. Very little of it was fun or even enjoyable. But something inside me refused to stop. There is no one thing I am trying to prove, and the only person who cares beyond your potential supportive “Likes” on Facebook is myself.

It’s funny. At first I just wanted to see if I could do it. But after a while, when the pace felt good around 15km, I felt like I couldn’t just stop or even slow down. Yes, I walked and ran on and off, but I knew that I was going to come in around, or even under, two and a half hours.

There were so many thoughts and images rumbling in my mind throughout the night, but I am too tried to document and you must be tired of me, so I will spare you the details.

It was a good night and I am happy with the results. While I was in the middle of it, I swore I would never do this to my body again, but I am already getting fired up for the next one.

I’m sorry for being so self-promoting these days. It is not my intention to be the guy who is always talking about himself. But I have had a pretty good week, and well….when you choose to write an extended post every night, sometimes they can become pretty self-serving. I really do appreciate the reactions and the likes and support from everyone out there. it means a lot to know you are reading, sharing, commenting and liking the things I put out there.


Today was a mellow day.

My body ached and the lack of sleep made me feel pretty hungover. We had a nice lunch at Jamie’s Italian and took the kids to see The Angry Birds movie. What I saw of it was was terrible. Lot’s of yelling and screaming and things blowing up. I had no expectation that it would be good, but honestly the idea of a cool dark room today was just what the doctored ordered. Marin suggested that next time we just take $12, crumple it up and throw it in the garbage, but I digress. I slept through about 75% of it.

After the movie we headed to Longboard Love near Vivo City and I bought my new skateboard, pads and helmet. I got a Rivera board. It’s a hybrid long board and regular skateboard for learning to skate the pools at the skatepark, but it still has big wheels and a wide board for cruising East Coast Park. Kaia and I headed to the park straight when we got home and had a great preliminary session.

Skateboarding is a very physical activity. And after last night, my legs were feeling the pumps as I tried to do some pool work. Chris was there as usual and he gave me some pointers, as did Kaia of course.


There is something very humbling, terrifying and exciting about learning something new. Especially when this new activity can be quite dangerous. There is so much I want to know how to do right now, but my middle-aged man mind is not ready to take those risks and break any bones. So I am taking it nice and easy.

As if I didn’t have enough things taking up my time, here is something new. I can’t wait to get back on the board already. I’m hooked.

Which brings me to my final thought- we are all always complaining about how busy we are and how hard we work and how our jobs are taking over our lives, but I am realizing that if we value our hobbies, and if we keep them new and fresh and varied that we will end up spending our time living our lives more fully.

Yes, it is true when your job is something you love and you do it with passion and energy, it can feel all-consuming, but balancing it with marathons and skateboards, playing live music and writing. Hikes and travel and books. Time with friends- bowling, drone-battling, movie watching, Frofling and more…a balanced life cannot simply be empty time when you are not working. You must fill it with other things that demand as much energy and love as your work.

We build balanced lives, not by taking work away, but by adding other activities to balance it out.

What are some things you do to help you find balance?

1 comment:

  1. Woohoo that's a solid time for a first 1/2; running through the night is a whole other level. My first one was at 43, maybe in 2:20. The one I did 3 months later was the most "enjoyable"- I never got too close to a runners high. All I could think about while running was that I wished I was doing anything else but running.

    But the feeling of accomplishment feeds itself. And there is something about a "sport" where your primary opponent is your own complaining brain.

    Is the phrase "finding balance" a myth, or always a target but never a destination? I prefer to think of it as "seeking balance". I can't say ever knowing a feeling of being fully balanced. There is feeling good, content, at ease, but there's always some nagging thread of doubt.

    And that's okay, it keeps us moving towards something. It's like the idea of chemical equilibrium, alwYs fluctuating about a mean, but always just above or below the line.

    And... Having written too much already, to me there is several marathons of distance between self reflection and self promotion. Keep writing about what interests you, in your life or others. Vain self promotion is transparent; I see none here