My Family in Perth: UWATRI

Just took the hardest walk to Uni.
I went to see the team one last time before leaving and I was overwhelmed with emotions on the way there.

When I first came to Perth, I knew that the transition wouldnt have been easy, especially for the fact that I didnt have any friends who were living in Perth then. I remember searching the internet for a running club that I could join so that I could join in, meet some mates and improve running. Well, probably the focus was really be on running. Eventually, I chose to join the UWATRI team.

I remembered the very first running session I had with Dracup, James An, Vanessa and Damian at Mt Bay. It was the Friday afternoon 5km Time Trial run. I remembered how everyone was blazing the run then and I just had to go in so hard just to keep up with Dracup until the turn around (that sly asswipe). I remembered the following session at McGillivary and that was the day I met Grant Landers, the best coach I have ever met in my life. I remembered how painful and torturous the workouts were and how I consistently was unable to finish the workout. Despite saying all these, Tuesday and Friday soon became my favourite days of the week and my week was generally built around this two days.

Getting my first ever group ride out. Unfortunately the first and last (hopefully I get back into this).

Muffins never tasted so good.

Little did I know, instead of finding myself a club/team, I found myself a family here in Perth. A family that made Perth “home” and unfortunately had to witness my accident; a family who constantly supported me through this period.

The hardest goodbyes are those that you dont want to make. For the past 2 days, I have been making those.

Getting as much rest before Grant arrives is part of our training. #truestory

The excited and worried feeling while waiting for the workout.

Intervals have never been as fun. Thanks to you guys.

As Josh calls us. “GLDT”

Thanks Grant.
Thanks Charles.
Thanks UWATri.

Love you guys so much. Take care, train well and ride safe.

Till we meet again. And hopefully by then, I will continue to recover and get in some decent workout with you guys then.

1st Anniversary

366 days ago on the 6 Nov 2013 my accident occurred.
A life changing event indeed.

Somehow, even till today, I dont really want to talk about how it happened. Because deep down, I still feel frustrated about the situation and it is something that I would have rather not happened to me, or anyone.

6 Nov is now another date that I choose to celebrate.
Its a day where I survived.
It was a matter of split seconds, ~ 2 mm that could have changed everything.

So on my special day, I celebrated it by going for a 21 km time trial. Well, its only a time trial because im giving it my all. It has nothing to do with speed, unfortunately.

As I running, thoughts came flooding through my mind.
364 days ago I was indirectly told I would never walk again.
I chose not to give up.
I chose to believe in miracles.
I chose to believe in my determination.
I chose to believe in God.

I could remember the moments when breathing was so painful because my lunges were collapsing.
I could remember the hyper sensitivity in my arms that made every light touch felt like knife slitting me, skinning me alive. Even till today, I still get these sensitivity at times.
I could remember how desperate I was to move my body but yet they didnt feel like they belonged to me.
I pray I will never experience this ever again.

I thought of how this has affected my family and I am really apologetic to put them through all these sufferings.
I remembered every one who visited me, people who sent me encouraging messages. Thank you.

I remembered my first run in January 2014. Although it was 5 simple steps, there were tears of joy.

I remembered the days were I would walk for an hour just to reach the lecture theaters and me taking a day just to type my assignments. There were even talks of UWA providing me a buggy so I could drive it on campus.

I thought of the days prior to the accident, days whereby running along Mat Bay was an easy task, some what of a relaxing jog. Today, every step is tough. The moment I relaxed, I would trip or my feet drags. I have to been on constant alert to ensure I do not fall and that I can keep going. Being able to run is such a privilege. I just didnt know it.

Then I remembered how 321 days ago on the 20 Nov 2013 I was told I will never complete a marathon again, let alone run it.
I smiled.
I grinned.
I remember how I told her: “You havent come across Zac. I am an outlyer”. and what was her reply? “You can try, it is good to have a goal. But be realistic”
In another month, I will take part in the Singapore Marathon and that would be my 2nd in 2014. Out of the sudden, I felt happy jogging at 7min/km. ha.

Over the weekend, I got my classification license for Para-athletics.
The assessors were particularly impressed with my movements despite the high spasms, increased tone and reduced range of motions. We did a couple of run throughs and sprints. Following that, the assessors encouraged me to participant in the coming state meets that could result in me representing Australia in the near future. Funny thing was, I was advised to do 100m sprints. Without a doubt, I rejected it.

I love endurance events.
I love the feeling of having to battle the inner demons while Im on the run.
I love to overcome all the negative thoughts that tell me to “stop” or to “go slower”.
I love the feeling of running till my lunges are gonna explode but yet I manage to find another gear to push on.
Even when I do not get on the podium, winning against myself is enough.

In this regard, obviously, I chose the longest event on the list: 1500m. And still, I think its a little too short for me. 100% certain that I do not have enough speed for the run but its gonna be fun building speed into my runs I reckon. Just hope my shoulders can hold up.

As my run continues, the inner demons came and I had to fight my way through that and of course the infamous head wind. It was a struggle. I lost count of the number of times I wanted to stop running and head home. #1 trouble of running in loops. What made things worse was that my drink bottle got smashed by a cyclist. No idea why and how he/she did it but im sure all cyclists avoid red drink bottles on grass patches. So I was without a water point for the remainder 10 km. Must have been a test to see I would have given up. Well, I stuck through and finished my 21km, 20 minutes faster than my half marathon on 31 May. So good job. Im satisfied for now.

There really isnt much reason for me to train now. But I still do it because I love it.
And im sure running helps me in some ways. and hey, who knows? Maybe a miracle might appear (again).

-side track-
there has been jokes about me do going to get any more miracles in this life time because I have conjured everything to survive and to run again. Its actually pretty funny but at the same time, makes me realised how miraculous it is for me to typing this entry now.
-side track over- 

More running to come, more marathons to complete and hopefully one day, I will get my confidence back and start riding on the road again then I can do the longest single day event on planet Earth.
Dying to hear that 5 sweet words “You are a Iron man“.

6 November. I choose to embrace and celebrate this date.
Because. I am still alive.
Lets see how things will go on our 2nd anniversary. <3 p="">Im excited.