Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Do or do not. There is no try.

Said the wise old Master to his young Padawan.

This quote sank into my bones back in the '9os, when the extended, re-edited versions of the original trilogy (A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back & Return Of The Jedi) was released in preparation for Episode I.

Luke was training to be a Jedi knight under Master Yoda's guidance in the swamp planet Dagobah and one of his challenges was to lift his fallen X-wing fighter from the bracken waters onto dry land with only his mind. Of course the unbelieving youngling from Tatooine objected, saying that lifting rocks is different from lifting an entire fighter plane. Yoda insists it is no different, that it uses the same force and that the only factor limiting his student is his own mind. Luke answers with a sigh, "Alright. I'll try."

And to that, Yoda declares, "No. Do or do not. There is no try."

Nothing is accomplished by the halfhearted. It's either you're all in or you're not. Whether its a task, a goal or a target, so long as you believe in it, seeing it thru to the end should be easy. Belief and action shouldn't ever be shoved down another's throat. The original idea may not have necessarily come from you but your acceptance of the idea as true and worthy of accomplishment matters more than its origin.

I've long been a believer of Yoda's words of wisdom. I guess its partly why I have this tendency to act on things irrationally. No, I'm not justifying. Not trying to defend myself here. More of moving myself to action, to finally start getting myself out of this rut I've somehow managed to get into again.

I do or I do not. Black or white. No to the half-baked whatnots and indecisive hullabaloos.

Monday, April 11, 2011

2 Timothy 4: 7

"I have fought the good fight. I have finished the race. I have kept the faith."
Yesterday, I ran my 2nd half marathon. It was another twenty-one kilometers of hard-on-the-knees pavement, blacken-me-now sun, and who-cares-if-you-can-see-thru-my-shirt sponge bathing on Buendia.

I know I've been saying this for the past how-many races I've signed up for but really... this one... the Nat Geo Earth Day Run 2011... I was seriously NOT prepared for. The only run I was able to tuck under my belt prior to yesterday's event was a quick 40-minuter on the dark streets of Brgy. Laging Handa about two weeks ago. Haha! Yes, last run was 2 weeks ago! No wonder I hurt like hell.

In the last few minutes before gunstart, I was constantly asking myself, "Why?" I swear, I have nothing to prove. I've done 21 before; distance in the bag! So what was I still doing in the corral utterly unprepared for the grueling task ahead?

I was anxious, nervous, unsteady, but THERE because Nat Geo marks my 1st year as a runner. NGEDR2010 was my first EVER running experience. I ran the 3k route with nary a practice, a warm-up or a training day. Now, a year later, I'm running their longest event.

I knew it was going to be painful. I wasn't at all prepared for a half-mary, but I was there and not about to back down from the challenge. Ah yeah, always been the problem of headstrong lassies like me. When the official stopwatch hit 0:00:00, fireworks brought 5:10 AM sky to life. What a great way to start the run. Fireworks, for me, can only mean good things ahead.

Hydration stations were well used, thank you. Statement earlier about public sponge baths was true also. Of course I had to cool myself down with water logged sponges, 'cause if I didn't I'd likely have fainted from heatstroke, and swept off by the sweeper van at kilometer 16. That was my low point, really. After crossing the 16th km marker at 2 hours and 33 minutes, I was seriously considering quitting... or jumping off the Buendia flyover to save me from humiliation.

Amazingly, my feet kept on going. I was still able to run in short spurts, and the good morning smiles of race marshals pushed me ever on. They were cheering on all the runners in the heat of the 7:30 morning sun and holding up traffic for the lagers like me. The small cheers of encouragement helped... A LOT... I truly appreciated it. At the final turn, one marshal tells me, "400 meters na lang!" and eggs me on to run. When I made the turn, the giant "FINISH" mark nearly made me cry. I couldn't breathe right, I was tired as hell, everything ached but there she was. So close!

I crossed the finish line at 03:08:18 by my chip time (based on NGR Results) and I was greeted by the best cheer squad in the world: my best friend, my Palawan Buddy, my #1 secret keeper and Diether. :)) Them greeting me at the finish made all the pain (in my head) disappear.

In the end, I'm truly proud of myself for seeing this through, despite the lack of training and discipline. I've proven, yet again, that when I want something, body parts conspire and work to get it, even if my brain's saying otherwise. It's true matter over mind in action!

My love affair with the escapist sport of running has hit it's 1st year anniversary, and I'm still madly in love. My everything hurt like hell today but the cool feel the NGR 21k finisher's medal dulls the pain away. Happy Running Anniversary to me!

King Of The Road, you're next!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

I need a beach trip... bad.

It's that time of the year again, folks.

The city's too noisy and cluttered for me, and I need to get away. I miss the sound of the waves crashing on to shore. I miss being beside the big blue. I miss having warm sand cover my feet. I'm too white and gross for my own frikkin good.

So it is decided. I am taking a solo trip to my 2nd home. LU's beckoning and I must pack away and heed. Perfect timing because my "mommy" there is in her third trimester (we didn't even know she was pregnant!) and I want to her happily rounded tummy before she gives birth to my "kapatid."

Question is: When?

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Cheers To The Silver Lining

Yesterday was a nightmare... and a miracle... in one fell swoop. It was my very first hands-on, no-one-but-myself-to-blame-should-anything-fuck-up event for the brands I'm handling and although it was far from perfect from the backroom perspective, it's face-value execution was a major improvement from the event we participated in last January.

Okay, fine, so I was also in-charge of January event but I felt no connection to the work then. It didn't feel like mine. But yesterday's hell was all on me, and I'm relieved that on the outside, it seemed like a calm and well-collected project. Let me tell you now, the backstage view was crap!

Or maybe I'm just being too hard on myself. My booth was better. My stocks were spot-on. My sellers were amazing. And tiny heaven-sent gifts made managing the booth so much lighter. I guess the ultra late nights and crazy early mornings were worth the effort, just to have this thing push thru, and push thru well. I also realized that I'm good at what I do and I do even a notch higher above average when under pressure. No such thing as grace anywhere, though, you won't find a drop of that in me, but I suppose that's mea culpa for not knowing how to delegate. (I'd scream, "But who do you delegate to?" at this point but my boss is probably reading this entry, so I won't go there. Haha!)

However, yesterday's twenty hour "endeavor" had one real silver lining. It was the only time in the day I truly felt happy, giddy and screechy like a schoolgirl: the (approx.) 15 minutes I spent in Fully Booked Powerplant.

Yes, you should've known this would be another book entry. I just love long and unconnected intros. :))

You see, my copy of Mistborn: The Final Empire has been lonely in my library for too long. This Sam Green-illustrated copy was gifted to me two Christmases ago, ergo the mission to complete the trilogy has been going on for a while. Only Fully Booked had record of ever carrying them on shelf but they were always out of stock. Until last week!

When I bought my Temeraire series from FB Rockwell, I inquired about The Mistborn Series as well. Elly, the BEST customer service person EVER, said that their branch only had the boxed set. When he brought it out, I realized they carried only the Tor publishing versions of the books. Not ideal since I like my book collections to match, but beggars can't be picky! I was too desperate read what happens next to Vin, Elend and the rest of Luthadel after the death of Kelsier and the fall of the Lord Ruler to be picky. Thankfully I was also in the right mind to say no to a boxed set worth PHP999.00 with a book I already had. So Elly offered to bring in solo copies of books 2 and 3 for me from their other branches. I readily said yes to the reservation, knowing well that I'd be back seven days after anyway for the danged event.

So yesterday happens, and I was too busy during the event proper to check back with Elly. I was thankfully able to steal away for a few minutes for myself after the event, so I ran to Fully Booked and headed straight for customer service. Elly recognized me and said, with an earnest frown, that he was only able to get copies of my Mistborn books by a different publisher. Then he brings them out...Sam Green-illustrated, Gollancz published crisp copies. THEY MATCHED MY FIRST BOOK! I was over the moon. I am now the proud owner of Brandon Sanderson's complete Mistborn Trilogy, UK version. I swear to you, all the nightmares of the day melted away. My focal point was the fact that I finally have my books and they're the right kind. Happiness is!!!

Don't you just love happy endings? I do. Cheers to silver-lined miracles that bless my hell days.