3 wishes?

You know the feeling of being able to see the sun shining in a clear blue haze-less sky? After days of being shrouded and choked by haze, the sight of the sun is a very, very welcome sight. It is as if the bright sun is smiling down upon us saying:" Hey, everything is gonna be alright now!" 


That was exactly how I felt when we got news of a 1-week break after our End Semester 2 Examinations before continuing our preparations for the Professional Exams.

So yeah, I'm back in Melaka for the week and I'll enjoy and relax before heading back for some really serious studying. So anyone up for an expedition?

I was looking through some old files and I stumbled upon this: Shimri's Prayer Book.



Seeing as how my dad is a pastor, almost everything is prayed for, all the big decisions of life, sickness, injury and stuff. So this so called book (more of a file) is where the big decisions of my life are written down and my dad would know what to pray for me.

I have never noticed it but most of the things I do write down actually come true, one way or another. So it is like my very own wish book. I wonder how many wishes do I have left?

Let me show you what I wrote down in 2009 before my SPM and before I even joined the National Defence University to pursue my degree in Medicine and Defence Health. 


Pardon my hand writing, I have been training since birth to write like a doctor. Here, let me type the list out so you'll see it better:

1) Pray for right shoulder
2) Further studies??
3) Be a soldier in a high class country
4) Determination to study & train hard
5) Possible to go to Judo tournament in Japan 

Out of these 5 things, every single one has been granted. Judo tournament in Japan? Check! 



Further studies? Check! Determination? Check! Right shoulder? Ah here is a good story:

Not many of you know it but back in 2008 I sustained an injury to my right shoulder. It was during a judo sparring session when my opponent got me in an arm lock, being the stubborn hot headed teenager who never wants to lose, I refused to surrender and as a result my arm was over-twisted and I sustained an injury called shoulder subluxation. It is similar to dislocation but it is partial and temporary, meaning that my shoulder is not totally dislodged and it returns back to the original position after a while. And it hurts. A lot.

The glenohumeral joint is a flexible ball-socket joint. And mine is a little too flexible being able to move in and out of the socket.

This injury affected me badly, my movements with my right shoulder were severely limited. I could not throw a ball, play badminton, throw a punch, make any rotating movements without my shoulder "falling out". I lost confidence in my shoulder and thus my performance in swimming and judo slowly dwindled, becoming stagnant.

Back then, sports was a very big thing to me (still is), it defined me. So the lost of my shoulder was like losing part of me. I was stressed up and depressed though I did not show it, I kept it bottled up inside me. 

To release all the bottled up tension, I did the only thing I could: running. So when I could not swim, I ran; When I could not practice judo, I ran; when I was feeling sore and bitter, I ran. And I was sore and bitter a lot, why did this have to happen to me?!

With all the running, my stamina slowly increased and I became quite a good runner even winning silver medal in the 1,500m district level tournament. Little did I know that I was actually being prepared to become a triathlete. Imagine if I was not injured, I would have just continued being a swimmer and swimmers can't run (different muscle used). So yeah, my point is everything happens for a reason and it's cool how everything worked out in the end.

Back to my main story of the day, the prayer list. If you noticed the third item on the list: be a soldier in a high class country. Well, part of that prayer is granted, I am a soldier but in a high class country??? Positive thinking means that it is actually great news for our country! We are going to be a high class country sometime soon since I requested to be a soldier of a high class country, and I am a soldier of Malaysia. So let's all keep our fingers crossed and hope for the best.

Or perhaps my handwriting is too terrible to be understood and we are all doomed to never be high class....


Here is a nice picture of my grandma to cheer you up after such dark thoughts:
My grandma beaming with her new pair of Mizuno shoes. " A thousand mile journey begins with the first step", so I may make a runner of my grandma yet. Don't be surprised to see an old woman wearing that exact same pair of shoes overtakes you during your evening run.

Many Happy Returns!

My 21st Birthday Party

This is how a normal birthday celebration looks like. Surrounded by friends and family, enjoying one another's company while celebrating the birthday of a love one.

My 21st Birthday "Party"

And this is how birthday celebrations are in the camp. I was somewhere beneath these bastards, fighting to breathe as they tried to restrain me and carry out whatever devious plan installed. It doesn't matter how strong one is or how good a fighter you are, eventually you'll be overwhelmed by sheer number and have to succumb to their will. This is a tradition of some sort for us and it is fun when you are not the victim

If you remember Pidot and Webek, my fellow "pilgrims" who went to Sabah with me. Well, their birthday is just round the corner and I decided to organize a civilised celebration for them. No stripping, no cold dirty water, no eggs,  no nothing. Just a simple get-together before our exams. We even "imported" Pidot's girlfriend all the way from Perak just to surprise him.

From left: Fatin (Pidot's GF) & Farah (Our Black Widow)

The party started with a jubilant and astonished expression from Pidot when his girlfriend, Fatin entered the room.


Pidot on the far left, smiling from ear to ear. Webek next to Pidot waiting for his "girlfriend" to come too.

After a chorus of happy birthday from us, the party proceeded like any other party should. With music serenading us, good food to satisfy our tummies, smiles on everybody's face and love in the air.




And then it was time for our group photo session by our faculty's small pond which is foul smelling and infested with parasites.


Seeing as how this party was supposed to be a civilised one, we had no evil intention of throwing people into the pond, none whatsoever. But for some unknown reason, Webek the birthday boy got suspicious and tried to make a run half-way through the photo session.


You know how predators instinctively chase anything which tries running from them? Like how lions chase down a dear who spots the lion and dashes away. The primeval instinct of hunting it is called, anything which runs from you is prey.

Same scenario here. Webek's try for freedom awoke the beast in us and the birthday boys were quickly caught and thrown into the pond.



Mayhem erupted as more more were caught and thrown into the pond.

Somehow or rather, there was a packet of flour lying around which we conveniently used. 


'I hereby baptise you! Be good and go to church!'

Ladies or guys doesn't matter, in you go with a splatter.

So much for our "civilised" party.


I like this photo. Notice the water hitting Selvan in the face.


About me



Since you are here, you must be new to me and must be wondering who am I and what do I do. Well, my name is Lim Shimri and I'm from Melaka, Malaysia.

I'm currently pursuing my degree in Medicine and Defence Health at the National Defence University of Malaysia (NDUM). Seeing as how my university is a military university, I'm naturally in training to be a future army officer. I'm active in triathlon and have represented Malaysia in several oversea races.

I try not to make triathlon the only thing about me and thus I try to learn new things during my spare time. One of the skills I have picked up along the way is photography.

This blog is a not place where I bore you to death with endless race reports and complaints of life. But rather, this will be a record of my journey as a medical student, cadet officer in training, an athlete and most importantly a maturing young man. 

So, join me on my journey where I slowly grow and mature as I experience life at it's fullest :) 

Newton's First Law of Motion

Newton's first law of motion states that: An object at rest remain at rest unless acted upon by a force and an object in motion remains in motion unless acted upon by a force. In other words, objects at rest tends to stay at rest and objects in motion tend to stay in motion.

So once a task has begun, it should be relatively easy to continue doing it, no matter how unpleasant or tiring. So with that in mind, I decided to get my revision for the coming exams in motion, hoping it'll get easier along the way and I'll be well prepared for the finals exams.

On friday night, I planned my entire revision schedule starting from the very next day, Saturday till 2 days before the exam. I was optimistic I could be well prepared and thus I went to bed in high spirits ready to kick ass the next day.

Just as I fell asleep, I was abruptly awoken by someone shaking me and this greeted me the moment I opened my eyes:

Wake up Shimri!!

What happend was that a new set of orders were just given whereby we were to undergo military training the next morning instead of having a free and easy day. So in the middle of the night, we had to drag ourselves out of bed and prepare our gears and equipments for our Obstacle Course Training scheduled for the next day.

When Saturday came, we the medical cadets, dressed in Full-Service-Marching-Order and a Styer AUG strapped to our back,

Marched


Climbed

Scaled walls


Swung across monkey bars


Leaped across barricades



Ford "rivers"



Jumped off "cliffs"



Got dirty and muddy with friends




Pushed on with a smile, even through exhaustion



Fought till the end 




And at the end of the day, we the medical cadets composing of individual from different races, different backgrounds and different personalities all worked together, conquering our fears and achieving new personal achievements.

Medical cadets of 2010 & 2011

If I was asked to name the most important lesson I have learnt since joining the army, I'd say it is "Positive Attitude". I could have been angry as this military exercise messed up my studying schedule, I could have sulked and thrown a tantrum throughout this whole exercise. But since we had to do this exercise, I might else well go through this training with a smile on my face, enjoying it to the max, learning new stuff and gaining new experiences. That is the positive attitude I have learnt.


Since I was the one with the camera, pictures of me are pitifully few. So here is one of the few pictures of me to end this post. Cheers :)


The Story of My "Penance"

I'm currently standing in the parade square for our nightly roll call which would take another hour or so. So I might else well take this time to tell you the story of fulfilling my promise to go to church.

Early Sunday morning saw me eating Cha Quey Tiao at Petaling Street for breakfast. I actually wanted to enjoy my favourite beef noodles but it was not open that early. Well, after breakfast, with a drink in my hand, I made my way to KL Wesley Church which was nearby.

Along the way, I passed by this coffee shop which was empty except for 3 people. There were 2 typical Chinese gangster sharing a table dressed in singlets, tattoos on the arms, legs on the chair, smoking and talking really loud.

Sitting directly opposite them was this Malay man.
No, let me rephrase. Sitting directly opposite them was this giant malay behemoth.
I swear he looked exactly like this picture minus the songkok. Now imagine the biggest man you have ever seen, triple that then you'll know what I'm talking about. The most prominent features of that giant were his forearms, they were about as thick my thighs and his belly which looked as if he was pregnant with a teenager. Just the sight of him was enough to instill fear in your heart.



The scene 
Just as I passed the coffee shop, chaos occurred. I did not see it happened though. I heard shouts, chairs falling, tables overturning. By the time I rush to see what was going on. I was greeted by the sight of the behemoth single-handedly overpowering the gangsters, pinning them to a table.

The behemoth was roaring in malay: "KAU JANGAN BERGERAK! TANGAN LETAK ATAS!!!" (Do not move! Hands up!!) As the gangster meekly obeyed, raising their hands, they were efficiently handcuffed. 

"BERDIRI!" ordered the behemoth in voice so ferocious and commanding I had no choice but to stand at attention too. After the duo was quickly frisked for weapons, they were led away.

Who would have thought that going to church could be so interesting huh? 


Avengers Initiative

For the past two weekends, I have been participating in the Malakoff University Duathlon Series (MUDS) organised by Quick Release Adventures. As far as I know, the whole show is run by two superwomen/supermum: Adele Cheah & Melody Tan. Thumbs up for the very professionally organised races and am looking forward to the last of the series which is next Saturday, 1st of June. 







I'm currently not really at my fittest, to say I'm fit is really stretching thin the definition of fit. So with the current level of fitness, I was actually in a kind of dilema. How to defend my tittle as the University Men Duathlete of The Year??  

Well, my plan was simple. I'll go all out! Run and cycle as if my life depended on it. So no more confident and relax race atmosphere but rather a painful and desperate struggle to maintain my lead position. I was extremely grateful and relief I managed to emerge first in my category in both legs of the duathlon series albiet by a smaller margin compared to last year. Very good wake up call to buck up in my training!

As I was running my butt off racing in duathlons, my fellow comrades were also doing the same in the camp. Not a duathlon but rather a 12k long march clad in Full-Service-Marching-Order (FSMO) and a Styer AUG in hand. So they looked something like this:




Helping and encouraging one another, determine to reach the finishing line together.




Notice how quite a number of ladies are seen in the above picture? Yes, they actually complete the same distance as the guys and carry the same load. So don't be fool by their sweet innocent looks, these ladies are tough as nails and will beat you senseless if you are not careful. They are like the Black Widow in the Avengers. Simply stunning in looks and lethal in fights.



Come to think of it, we have so many Avengers potential here that it is relatively easy to form a Malaysian version of the Avengers. In fact, there is already such a team called the Malavengers. So introducing the members..

We have Farah, our black widow.

Equally stunning and lethal. Looking adorable and cute as she shoots you to death.




Shimri our very own Iron Man who specialises in swimming, cycling and running. 




Pidot the Hawk Eye who will shoot you before you can say: "Oh my!"



Captain Malaysia Ray, standing tall and proud.



Vic-thor burned after being struck by lightning.  


And last but not least, the one character which completes the Malavengers..... The one! The only! The one and only SELVAN as the hulk!!



*drum roll*
*drum roll*
*drum roll*
*drum roll*












The Malavengers, protecting Malaysia from illegal immigrants and the accursed blackouts. Championing for democracy and people's rights. And all in all fighting against corrup-taib-tion.  




Disclaimer: The above few pictures are purely for entertainment. They do represent anybody or any organisation. Any resemblance is purely coincidental. Do accept this sincere apology if you are offended.

Leadership

Let me explain the basics of the military organisation of my university. So bear with me as I explain it in the simplest words possible.

So, the cadets of UPNM are divided into 4 battalions: Tuah, Jebat, Kasturi & Lekir. The 4 battalions combined would form the brigade.






The leader of each battalion is called the "Officer in-charge" and his rank would be a major. The Officers in-charge will report to their leader called the "Chief Instructor", ranking major too. And above the Chief Instructor is the "Commanding Officer" with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel who is in-charged of the whole brigade. 


They are higher ranks above the Commanding Officer and lower ranks under the Officers in-charged, but I won't be going into that. You could always send me a message if you would like to know more. I'm not exactly an expert but I'll gladly share what I know.

Notice the main theme today? Officers in charge, commanding officers, chief instructors.... Yeah, leaders is the theme. Leaders and their leadership skills.

I attended a lecture a few days ago about leadership. The lecturer was explaining about the 7 qualities a military leader should have and one quality that struck me was that a leader should keep the morale of his men high. Only a foolish leader or a leader who has undergone stupidazation (just in case you were wondering what stupidazation is click HERE) would allow the morale of his men to go down the drain. 

You may ask what is this morale and why is it so important? Morale by definition is the mental and emotional condition of an individual or a group. So when a person has high morale, he is highly motivated, fully energised and does his duty with enthusiasm and pride. In other words, a group of people with high morale is very competent, focus and proficient. On the other hand, the opposite happens when a group is low in morale.

So what is the current status of the morale of the cadets now? Well..... a very good question. Due to certain reasons, I can not answer this question publicly and that is all I have to say.

In no way am I implying that my leaders are fools for confining the cadets to barracks for so long and in no way am I saying that they are complete idiots with the way they run things. In fact, my officers and leaders are highly intelligent and possess such high IQ that I would not be surprise that if one were to percuss their head, hyper-resonance is heard.   

On a totally unrelated topic, I lost my wallet a few days back. My wallet contained all my important documents: IC, license, bank cards and so on. 



So just imagine the despair I was in. I promise my self that if I were to find my wallet I would go to church for the next two weeks. And lo and behold, I found my wallet! So, church for the next two weeks huh?? 

Plunging Deep!

On the eve of the most historical day in Malaysia, I found myself standing in the shooting range with a AUG Steyr in my hand, undergoing a shooting exercise with the other medical cadets. The guns we were shooting this time was the AUG Steyr or better known as the Bullpup 5.56mm assault rifle. I enjoyed the training even though we had new officers in charge who were stricter.

The rifle we were shooting

Halfway through the training, we had the rarest opportunity to see the 11th Special Force Regiment in action. The 11th Special Force Regiment is made up of commandos and they specialize in counter terrorism and only the best of the best of the best of Malaysia's military personal can qualify to join their ranks. 

The Army is on standby throughout the 13th General Election, so these commandos were posted to KL. They were down at the shooting range recalibrating their weapons and preparing themselves to carry out their duty if needed. The team we saw in action was the sniper team. Their weapons made our Bullpup look like toy guns. I wasn't allowed to take any photo of them but it was my lucky day when I was allowed a picture of me holding their rifle.


Future commando in action??


Our deputy dean and also our lecturer, Professor Dr Victor Faizal was even luckier. He was offered a chance to shoot with their rifles.

A standard sniper shooting formation: a shooter and a spotter


And I tell you, there is no man I respect more than Prof Victor. He is a retired Army Colonel and a very qualified doctor. He served in the United Nations in many war-zones like Bosnia, Lebanon and so on. He also has a vast amount of knowledge, be it military-wise or medically. I'm serious, seasoned soldiers and even doctors come to him for advise.  So imagine having a lecturer with that amount of experience and knowledge, how much more privileged can we get? 

Before I end, let me briefly tell you how did in the 2013 Subic Bay ASTC Asian Triathlon Championship. In short, I managed to get 19th placing out of 23 participants with a timing of 2:17:45.  Not too bad considering that these 22 other participants are the best Asia has to offer. The first place was dominated by an athlete from Japan followed by Kazakhstan then Taipei.






Our Malaysian Paratriathlete, Sabki bin Arifin created a moment to be remembered when he emerged champion in his category. Zoe Bowden, our representative in the Women's Mini Sprint had an outstanding performance too, wining first place. Well done and congratulations to our champions!


A very inspring photo taken by Peth Salvador:

What's your excuse?



You notice how I don't usually post political stuff here? That is because I'm not allowed to or rather not encouraged to do stuff like this. But my heart is with the people of Malaysia, I want Malaysia to change for the better so I when I say: "I am a Malaysian!", I can do it with pride and dignity! People of Malaysia, the future is in your hands, so do your duty to our country and vote wisely! Ini kalilah!



Philippines, Land of the Morning

In a few hours time, I'll be flying to Subic Bay, Philippines for the 2013 Subic Bay ASTC Asian Triathlon Championship. My flight ticket is graciously sponsored by my university, The National Defense University of Malaysia. And the lodging & registration fee is paid for by the Philippines Triathlon Association, the host. So this this will be sponsored holiday with some swimming, cycling and running. 



All packed & ready to go


Come to think of it, my University is really like no other. The support given in all aspects is really good, be it sports, studies or anything for that matter. So, say you have just finish your SPM and will be continuing your studies but can't decide where. Well, let me recommend you the National Defence University, more specifically the Faculty of Medicine & Defence Health. 

There is a saying: "If you are smart, go to UM; If you are fit & strong, go to Bukit Jalil; But if you are smart, fit & strong, come to the Faculty of Medicine & Defence Health, National Defence University of Malaysia." The home of the brave and lair of warrior doctors. 


We undergo hardships & punishments together

                       

We train to be lethal & deadly

                                    




We train also to sustain life


And all in all, forging an unbreakable friendship among comrades 


At the end of the day, the products of the National Defence University march out with pride, earning salutation and respect. 




Back to my actual topic for the day, the triathlon race in Philippines. I find it an honour to be able to race with Asia's best elite triathletes . I'll do my best and make Malaysia proud! So, with that thought on mind and Najwa Latiff serenading me from my earphones I board the airplane, ready to swim like a fish, cycle like a bull and run like the wind! 


A weekend with a little swimming

The Malaysian University Sports (MASUM) swimming competition was held last weekend in Melaka, my hometown. I participated with the sole purpose of wanting to gauge my 1500m freestyle swim. I managed to win a silver medal clocking my personal best, 19.28min. Not too bad I guess.


A unique medal which comes in the form of book with the winning certificate  


The swimming competition was on Saturday and Sunday. But for some reason, we left for Melaka on Thursday. That worked out just fine for me. I managed to spend some leisure time at home, spending time with family, catching up with cousins and all in all enjoying this unexpected holiday.

At least this holiday served as a compensation for the confiscated  1 week Mid-Sem break which was suppose to be from 14th of April to the 21th of April. 

Studying in a military university, holidays are rare and precious. We do not get holidays like other universities, our 'long' breaks are 1 week long and they appear once in a blue moon.



 The holidays here are analogous to a deep breath taken after being submerged in water. The breath of life, rejuvenating and reviving us before we plunge back in the water. Hence, holidays are looked forward to, yearned for and lusted for.






But now, our highly intelligent officers deem our short break too long and have decided to cancel our holidays and instead hold a sports carnival during the Mid-Sem holidays. So there goes our holiday along with our morale....




On a more cheerful note, the second year students of the Faculty of Medicine & Defence Health had the rare opportunity to sit in the 3rd ASEAN Chiefs of Military Medical Conference held recently in The Royale Hotel Chulan, Kuala Lumpur.



Second year medical cadets with our dean and professors



With the theme "Emerging Infectious Disease", military doctors from their respective countries presented papers on how their military medicine system was coping with old and new infectious diseases in the army and war-torn countries. 



Delegates from Vietnam, Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand, Brunei and Indonesia




It was a nice exposure for us, enlightening us on the role we will have to play in the future. Maybe one day, one of us being inspired by these military doctors will follow in their footsteps, sacrificing the comfort and luxury of being a private doctor and serve in underdeveloped countries.


Yours truly, the Lim Shimri




Victory!

Yay! 

I have managed to return victorious from 2013 Kenyir Lake International Triathlon! First placing for the category of Men 18-26, earning my self RM1500. So dinner for all who read this is on me tonight :P

I won't be boring you on the technical details of the race like my heart rate, my average speed of cycling and stuff like that, instead I'll be telling you about the chronology of the race from my perspective. So here goes:

POOOOOWW.. went the air horn flagging off the first wave of triathletes for a 1.5km swim. I quickly ran into Lake Kenyir's blue water and at waist depth I did a dolphin dive and start sprinting, eager to leave the crowd behind. I managed to break away from the crowd and for a good 400m I was leading and feeling pretty good. Suddenly, as I sneaked a glance backwards, I notice there were 2 people drafting behind me so I allowed one of them to go ahead and I drafted him. 

In case if you are wondering what is drafting. Well, the concept is simple. The guy in front fights against the water resistance and creates a slip-stream behind him (sort of like a no water resistant area), so swimming in the slip-stream allows one to use very much less energy to swim at the same speed as the poor guy in front doing all the work. 

So yeah, we continued in that fashion, me drafting the first guy and another guy drafting me, until the end of the 1.5km swim. Just to let you know, the guy that I was drafting was no ordinary triathlete, he is Jason Hsieh, an elite triathlete all the way from Hong Kong. He has been the overall champion of Kenyir Lake International Triathlon countless times, no exception this year too. To be able to keep up with him and draft him is an honour. 


Jason Hsieh on the right

Jason and me returning first from the swim

Next was the 40km cycle. Jason shot off on the bike leaving me and the guy drafting me during the swim to work together to chase down Jason. I got to know during the ride that the guy working together with me was called Eden Kang from Singapore. He actually did most of the work on bike and I felt guilty at times for drafting too much. Jason managed to stay in front of us even though we tried hard to catch him, he was practically flying on the bike. 


Congrats Eden for winning 3rd placing and thank you for pulling most of the way :) 

So at this point of time, Jason is leading in front followed by Eden and I and some distance away, a very large group of riders consisting of the commandos, fire fighters and some civilians trying very hard to ride us down. The commandos are average swimmers, very fast cyclists when working in a group (like there were doing now) & scary runners. When I say scary I mean SCARY, they run so fast that they make fast people look slow. I know that if they catch up with me on the bike, I'll be left in their dust during the run. 

But Eden and I did such a good job working together that even though the commando's group was much bigger than ours, they never caught up with us on the bike. 

One thing you'll have to know about Kenyir Lake Triathlon is that the hills are killers. It is so steep that I may have well been cycling up a 90° wall. At a particularly steep hill, Eden had a cramp in his thighs and thus leaving me to finish the cycle alone. After working so hard together and eluding the chasing pack of commandos for so long, it seriously was a pity he had the cramp and had to slow down. Maybe it was because I drafted him too much, allowing him to do the lion's share of the work and thus the cramp hehe now I feel guilty again. 

So I was 2nd overall when I arrived at the transition and still 1st in my category. Jason is in the Men 27-34 category while Eden is in my category. I remember thinking as I entered the transition area: 'I've done quite well for this ride considering I have not been cycling for some time, I'm actually not overtaken by anybody.' Just as I was thinking that, both my thigh muscles seized up and would not bend and thus I started the 10km run with both my thighs all cramped up. So the lesson learned here is that there are no shortcuts in life, wanna cycle fast without training? Do it at the expense of the run. 


I could only only watch as Zuhar, a commando overtook me on the run, followed by Zafrullah another very fast runner and a fire fighter. So my overall position dropped from 2nd to 5th but I was still 1st in my category. Not for long though if my leg continued to remain cramped up, so at every water station I tried to drink as much water as I could without slowing down and I thank God when my legs recovered at kilometer 6. And not a moment too soon as I could see Barry Lee, a national triathlete who was in 2nd placing catching up with me. So with my newly rejuvenated legs, I ran all the way to the finishing line with no one else overtaking me. I ended the race with me in the 1st placing in my category and 5th overall. 


Zuhar the commando in the middle and Zafrullah on the right




The end of my crappiest run ever



Am I satisfied with the result you may ask? Well, my answer would be yes and no. Yes, for the category results and obviously not for the overall position. I could and should have done better. At least this serves as a wake up call for me to improve my cycling. Well, I will try again next year and I'll be feared then for my cycling prowess on top of my swimming and running speed. 



With 2013 Kenyir Lake International Triathlon concluded, now a long bus ride back to the National Defence University and lectures tomorrow. And not forgetting the war against my greatest enemy for the next few days: stairs! Oh ya, this race did not have the standard Olympic distance, the swim was 1.6km, 45km bike and 11km run, just thought I'd mention it. 

2013 Kenyir Lake International Triathlon

It has been some time since I participated in a triathlon held in Malaysia. Wait,  before I continue, let me explain what is a triathlon in the first place. Many people, especially Malaysians do not know what is a triathlon. I've met friends who have asked "What religion is that? " when I tell them I do triathlon. 

Basically, triathlon is a sport which consist of 3 disciplines: Swimming, cycling & running. The fastest to complete all the 3 disciplines would then be declared as the champion. There are many different distance depending on the type of race. So, there is the sprint distance, Olympic distance & the long distance (Iron Man distance). I usually race the Olympic distance whereby I swim 1.5km, cycle 40km & run 10km. I prefer this distance as speed comes into the equation more compared to the iron man distance where stamina is the main winning factor. For your information, the iron distance consist of a 3.9km swim,  180km bike & 42.2km run. 

With that in mind, allow me continue with my story. The last time I joined a local triathlon was in 2011 & coincidentally it was the 2011 Kenyir Lake International Triathlon, the same race which I am about to participate. I managed to get first placing in 2011 and thus bringing me to the attention of Triathlon Malaysia Association. Hence, I have represented Malaysia in a few oversea tournaments. Most of the local races were either too close or clashed with the overseas tournaments therefore I have not been able to join any local races since. 

So, 2013 Kenyir International Triathlon will be the first local tournament after a long time and also the first competition of the year. I sure do hope I can do well and make my family & UPNM Medical Faculty proud. Do pray for me and wish me luck as I travel overnight to Terengganu to pit myself against Malaysia's fittest & fastest, namely the commandos and other elite triathletes.

I hope the next blog post would be me announcing my victory hehe. Till then, cheers! 

The Land Below the Wind

While most of my Chinese friends and family spend the one week Chinese New Year break celebrating Chinese New Year, I made my yearly pilgrimage to the Land Below the Wind, Sabah. My only justification for doing so is that Sabah is tooo damn beautiful to not visit whenever I have a chance.

5 other friends joined me on my pilgrimage. So, introducing the "pilgrims":

Pidot!

Aiman


Webek


Rizal



Zane
 And of course
One star Brigadier General Lim


My trip went something like that:




I flew from Kuala Lumpur to Semporna, diving & snorkeling at the islands in the Celebes Seas. Namely, Mabul Island, Mataking Island & Sibuan Island. And believe me when I say it was BEAUTIFUL! It was so beautiful that is has become a curse to me. Since I have now looked upon that which is paradise, I now have to live my life in eternal craving to return to these islands. I wake up everyday with a hole in my heart when I realize I am not there. Yes, it is that beautiful there :P



Sitting normally patiently waiting for the boat 



A teaser how the beautiful it is under the sea


FMDH at Mataking




Group shot in the sea






And on land


More photos can be seen in my Facebook page after one or two days. I have to say that the photos do not do justice to the beauty of the islands, you'll just have to take my word that it is THIS! beautiful.




After we were fully saturated with the insurmountable beauty of the ocean, we took a flight to Kota Kinabalu for our next agenda: Conquer Mount Kota Kinabalu... again. Mount Kinabalu standing proud at 4095m is the 5th highest mountain in South East Asia.

Mount Kinabalu from the distance
 My friends and me trained hard to achieve a certain level of fitness so that this climb would be a breeze for us. But Mount KK proved too tough for us.

Exhausted after only just 0.5KM

I'm joking of course hehe. I can proudly say that we, the pride of the Malaysian Army conquered Mount KK without much difficulty. Our climb took 2 days. The first day we climbed to Laban Rata, a guest house at the height of 3272.7m. Here we rested for the night then continued with the ascend to the peak at 2am in morning. Perhaps something worth mentioning was the temperature during our ascend to the peak. 

The temperature during our climb to Laban Rata (The guest house where we spent the night) was perfect: 
Bright and sunny,
like a funny bunny 
drinking some honey.

Cotton Candy clouds

En route to Laban Rata

One of the few complete group picture we managed to take

The joy upon arriving at Laban Rata

But during the ascend to the peak at 2am the next day, a wicked bone freezing wind came upon us. We were buffeted by the bitter cold wind every step of the way to the peak. When we arrived at the peak, we were practically frozen solid.

It was so cold that even the water iced up
We later found out that the temperature during our ascend was around -5ºC. Even though the distance to the peak was only 2.7km, the cold and the thin air made the ascend to the peak the most challenging part of the whole climb. But the scenery from the peak was worth every moment we were freezing. 

Sun rise from the peak
The peak at long last

The surreal scenery  

Well, after spending about an hour at the peak, we descended Mount KK with a heavy heart, reluctant to leave the peak we worked so hard to conquer. I don't know what went through my friend's mind when they were standing on top of the world savoring the magnificent view but at that moment, I silently swore to my self that I am going to travel the world and conquer more mountains. And to have the means to do so, I am going have to work hard and excel in all I do. In other words, I left Mount Kinabalu inspired and truly motivated to study hard and train hard!


Yours truly, Lim Shimri

2013 Royal Commissioning Parade UPNM

In the military, no matter how incompetent or vile or repulsive you find your superiors, in the end you would have to swallow your ego, eat their shit and salute them as a sign of respect. But there is this saying which goes: "We salute the rank, not the man". What happens is that any respect shown is actually meant for the rank and none for the man. Well, in some exceptional cases, there are superiors or seniors who actually do not qualify for this saying. People actually respect them with or without their ranks. They excel and earn respect without even demanding for it and they live by UPNM's motto "Duty, Honor, Integrity". These are the seniors who represent the true essence of being a military officer and a gentlemen.

A perfect example would be Second Lieutenant Chan Jun Shen. This is the man who guided me through out my journey in UPNM. He showed me how to carry my self as a future officer; he also showed me a good example how seniors should act whereby teaching and guiding should be the main priority not anything else. Without his guidance, I would have turn out to be a bloody mucopurulent bastard with third world mentality who oppresses juniors out of fun and greed.



Second Lieutenant Chan jun Shen 




"Kecil-Kecil Cili Padi". This is the malay peribahasa you associate with Senior Chan. Small in stature but gigantic in every other way. Be it endurance, power, knowledge, voice or confidence. It is amazing how one so small can appear so humongous. I have seen him cowed people very much larger than him, out run people taller than him and also fight for his men against higher authority and actually getting his way. Small and deadly just like a cili padi.  


Senior Chan was the one who encouraged me to start triathlon. Heck, he was the one who got me my first bike. I still remember him walking almost 2km under the hot sun to go to another senior's room just to negotiate the price of my bike. Imagine a 3rd year senior doing that for the most junior cadet, it was unheard of.  He taught me everything I needed to know as a triathlete, how to bike hard and run fast, how to transition smoothly and much much more. What I'm trying to say is that I would not be who I am today without Senior Chan. I'm proud to be the protege of 3xIronman Finisher Chan Jun Shen.


My mentor



Well, last Saturday, Senior Chan and the rest of his batch commissioned as a second lieutenant by the Agung himself. It is a very significant day which marks the beginning of a journey as a military officer. This is what they all have been training and preparing for since they joined UPNM 5 years ago. All the shit eaten, all the pain endured, all the hardships undergone led to that very day.


Agung (standing in the middle) going to inspect the parade


So as a token of gratitude and appreciation of what Senior Chan has done for me all this years, I volunteered to be his photographer for that very special day. It was a nice experience seeing the proud beaming parents, the seniors in their parade jacket, seeing the flawless parade by our seniors and actually seeing the Agung in person. The pictures can be seen on my wall or via this link. 
I hope it works. Do let me know if you can't view the pictures. Oh ya, the pictures were taken by me and edited by none other than Senior Chan himself.

So yeah, would like to to take this chance to wish: all the best to you, Tuan Chan! We know you will excel in the Navy, godspeed!

Euphoria

Since I started triathlon 2 years ago, I had to learn the art of swimming, cycling and running. It was no small feat, but eventually I manage to master these skills to do reasonably well in the sport of triathlon. Coming from a swimming background, I had a typical muscular swimmer's body whereby my muscle mass actually slowed me down in running. Therefore, running was like a chore to me as I had to put in a lot of effort just to keep up with my team mates. But after countless of hours and miles of running, I have fallen in love with running as I have gotten leaner thus making me run faster with less effort.

I've come to an extend where I get euphoric when I run. I kid you not. When I run, my breathing synchronizes with my pounding heart and the sound of my footsteps fall in harmony with nature's music, all my worries and troubles seem so very insignificant and for that brief moment of running I achieve enlightenment.  

" Today I'll run as far as I can and I will not stop until I am spent. I will run from my fears, and run from the pain"- Laura Muhawesh



So when I'm feeling overwhelm by the coming examination, a short run will serve to 'de-stress' and re-motivate me, allowing me to return to my books rejuvenated.  
 
To my fellow course mates and my beloved juniors: All the best for the coming End Semester Exam! Do well and make us all proud :)

So Another Year Flies By

I still remember vividly how I celebrated 2011 New Year's Eve one year ago. Twas the night of 31 December 2011, when I stood in a crowd at Midvalley counting down the last few seconds of 2011. In a time span of less than a blink, I suddenly find my self standing on a hill engulfed in darkness and surrounded with a few good friends, counting down the last few seconds of 2012.  

No great pictures as my DSLR has been sent for repair.



I'm sure everyone of you experienced the birth of 2013  in many different ways. Some partying till the break of dawn, some enjoying the fellowship with friends and family or maybe even some lying butt naked and drunk in a ditch. Well, 2013 started for me with a display of fireworks from across the whole of KL city sky.


All the cadets were confined to barracks on New Year's Eve due to a farewell dinner for our beloved Commanding Officer, Lt. Colonel Chan, who will be leaving us very soon. Since we could not go out, we celebrated the new year as best as we could. After the farewell dinner, my roommates and I took a slow walk up a hill overlooking the whole of KL city. As 2013 came upon us, we were bathed in the lights of numerous fireworks display from various location in KL like Mines, Bukit Jalil, Pavilion and so on.

As a saying goes: ' Nothing in this world happens without a reason.' So yeah, be it good or bad, I actually appreciate every single thing/event that has happened to me throughout the year of 2012. These events has taught me many things and I would like to think that they have matured me in some way or another. 

I've learned humility, whereby I can be humble without giving up my self esteem or self confidence. In other words, be humble by not devaluing myself but rather by not devaluing other people. Make sense?? Make great sense to me.

I learned lots of other things too but if I were to write it all here, I can guarantee 2 things will happen. First, I'll still be writing when the next New Year Eve come by; And you would enter a coma due to extreme boredom.  

Next, I would like to share a few highlights of 2012. Just to make it clear, in no way am I trying to boast how great I am or am I trying to show that I am above anybody. Just sharing some important events that has happened to me throughout 2012. Events that have made 2012 a special year to be remembered. So, many years from now, when I'm old and withered and maybe very wise, a smile would be brought to my wrinkled face as I recall the year of 2012. With that in mind, here goes:

Conquered the peak of Mount. Kinabalu for the second time. Learned to be patient and to work together as a group.




Winning the Duathlete of the year title for my University, UPNM.  




Winning a bronze medal in the Subic Bay International Triathlon held in Subic Bay, Philippines. I learned that I am sometimes quite lucky. 

Given the opportunity to race in the Triathlon Asian Championships held in Tateyama, Japan. Seeing the professionals race was a very great reminder never ever be proud and arrogant with my talents as there is always someone at least 7 times better than me.

If family can be categorized as an event, then 'family'  has been, is and will always be the greatest and the most significant event that has ever occurred to me.

Thus concludes this post : )  I hope I am not too late to wish you all a very Happy New Year and may your flatulence always smell great. Cheers!                 

Shooting Practice

Pistols are not considered as a primary weapon for soldiers on missions. The bigger, more powerful rifles are  very much preferred. Hence, since the foundation of The National Defense University aka UPNM, all the cadets are trained to shoot with the M16 and the Steyr AUG A1 only, shooting a pistol is literally unheard of, until now.


Assault Rifles

As a medical personal in the Army, we are not expected to carry an assault rifle running into battle and start shooting at anything that moves. Our role as a doctor is to, well, be a doctor and help the injured. So, the only firearm that we carry would be a pistol for self defense purposes only. Thus, the medical cadets of intake 2010 & 2011 had the privilege of being to first batch to be taught how to handle and shoot a pistol.

The pistol we used was the 9mm Vector Pistol made in South Africa.




The early Saturday morning rising sun saw us all working together getting the shooting ranch ready for our shooting exercise. We measured and set up the targets, erected tents and so on. By mid-morning, everything was done and we were ready to begin shooting.


The shooting ranch


Each of us had 3 rounds of shooting at different distance. We started at 10m then 15m and at last 20m. We had 10 bullets per round and our score was based on our accuracy. The target was divided in 4 parts, hitting the middle would earn you 5 marks and the marks would subsequently decrease as you hit farther and farther from the middle of the target, missing the target would obviously get you 0 marks.


Birds eye view of the medical cadets shooting

After finishing the 3 rounds of shooting, 4 people (2 from each intake) with the highest score from each battalion were chosen to form 2 teams to represent their respective battalion in a shooting competition. The goal of the competition was to see which team could shoot down the most number of plates (Maximum number of plates=10) with 20 bullets at a distance of 20m. 


The setup of the shooting competitiom


All together there was 20 teams consisting of 10 medical cadet teams, 2 officer teams, 2 instructor teams and so on. 2 teams would compete at each round of the competition and the team shooting the most plates would win and proceed to the next round.

I'm glad to be chosen to represent Battalion Tuah, together with Farah Diba, a girl small in stature but with very accurate shooting skills. 


Farah and me in action

My gun jammed a few times during the first round making me frantic as I thought there was a time limit. Thank God there was none and I managed to hit 2 plates while Farah hit 3. I thanked God even more when the opposing team hit less plates than us so we proceeded to the next round.

I managed to shoot better in round 2 leaving only 2 plates standing but we lost to the opposing team, Team Jebat A, who managed to shoot all the plates. What a bummer!

In summary, after many rounds of shooting, the finals was between Team Jebat B and Team Insructor.
The two on the left are the instructors and the other 2 are the Sharpshooters of the medical cadets: Kecik & Pidot 
After a good fight, the champion team was Team Instructor with Team Jebat in second place. I'd say  Team Jebat  B did very well considering that this was their first time shooting a pistol.


Team Jebat B in action
Encik Nel, champion of the day

And thus concluded the shooting exercise for the day. I seriously learnt a lot throughout this exercise and I'm glad to say I'm on the right path of learning to be the man I hope to be one day. The nice part of being in a military environment is that each mistake is pointed out and punishment is dealt out. It may seem harsh but actually it helps us learnt from our mistakes and prevent us from repeating them.


Here are some photos I'd like to share, a few of my better shots (camera shots I mean):



Small but VERY deadly


Askar kosai
Equipment of the day

Process of reloading

Encik Azahari,  the strictest Company Sargent Major  

Down the sight of a 9mm Vector Pistol
Pidot, one of the sharp shooter of the day

And last but not least, the nicest picture of the day:


The one and only Lim Shimri =P

Kanching Waterfalls

Had a short expedition with my dad to Kanching Waterfalls last weekend. Kanching Waterfalls is not exactly a paradise but still a very nice to place to go to relax and spend time with loved ones. 

Was greeted by this sign board at the entrance. Good thing I did not plan to swim anyway.

Basically, Kanching Waterfalls is made up of 7 waterfalls, each at different levels of a small hill. The lower level waterfalls were packed with people but the crowd gradually thinned out as we ascended. Here are some shots of the waterfalls:

Second level waterfall


Third waterfall I think

7th and the nicest!

The one who made me who I am today


Yours truly



Here is a short riddle to end your day:

If Petaling Street is the heart of KL which is suffering from atherosclerosis;




And PDRM are the White Blood Cells of Malaysia during an Autoimmune Disease;



What in Malaysia is analogous to a Malignant Tumor in the body? Whereby the tumor steals the body's precious nutrients just to feed it self, starving the body in the process; is the cause of the presence of radioactive material; and will slowly but surely kill the body if not removed one way or another.

No trophy or prize if you get the correct answer, except maybe a chance to try Malaysia's famous prison curry rice.

φίδια




 My room now has a new little pet snake. One of the instructors caught this little bugger and did not know what to do with it so he gave it to us. Initially, we were a little apprehensive about handling it as we were not sure if it was venomous or not. But based on a few characteristics (rounded head and round pupil) and some research, we came to a conclusion that it is non-venomous/non-lethal. In fact, it is an Orange-necked Keelback found mostly in Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia. 

Allow me introduce one of my roommate: Selvan Mohan. He has been my roommate/housemate since I was doing my foundation in UPNM. He is the 'toughest', the 'strongest' and the 'baddest' soldier I have ever and will ever know.  But this macha here has one great weakness which is: snakes!
'Hardcore"


Well, with a snake present in the same room as Selvan, naturally we are obligated to have some fun with him. The following pictures took place in my room where we showed Selvan the snake for the first time:

Selvan: 'I wonder what is it they wanna show me??'

Snake!!
As we brought the snake towards him




Selvan: Yin de bo leng ye, ya de ya de!! (screaming in tamil)


Before anyone starts judging, let me assure you that the snake was not hurt or traumatized in any way. As for my roommate Selvan, this is in no way bullying or being cruel. In the army, it is all about facing your fears and conquering them. We are providing valuable training for him to overcome his fear of snakes as this may one day save our lives. Just imagine him blowing our position/cover during a mission just because an earth worm is spotted.

 Another interesting weakness of this macha would be: Cats. His reaction is priceless. 

Interrogating Selvan for information would be relatively easy. Just the presence of a cat and an earth worm would be sufficient to get him talking non-stop. =P   

Parades...

Our routine is filled with parades: Morning Parades, Games Parades, Pre-Outing Parades, Post-Outing Parades........... and the list goes on and on and on. Out of all the military activities, I despise parades from the very bottom of my left hypertrophied ventricle. 

Our parades are not those March Pass Parades that occur during Merdeka Celebration, ours is more like a assembly where we stand in formation according to specific Battalion and intake. The whole aim of the parades is to get the strength of cadets present for a certain activity or to make sure all the cadets are in the camp. 

Morning Parade

Allow me to explain what happens during a parade. We stand still throughout the whole parade staring into space, day dreaming away, occasionally stamping our feet and moving our heads when orders are given, then we resume standing still and staring into space again. We're not allowed to talk, to read or to do anything except to stand still and stare into space. 

Each parade will take 1 hour at the very least, anything faster would be a miracle. So with the number of parades we have, just imagine the amount of time wasted. Time which could have been used for studying or training so that we become smarter, fitter and stronger. In other words better soldiers or doctors or whatever we are supposed to be. But no, they'd rather have us standing still for hours becoming more and more stupid and unfit as time passes.

The process where we are made to become mentally retarded by wasting our time via very time consuming parades is called Stupidization. If we are not careful, we may produce officers in the future who are retarded.
I really thank God that as a medical cadet and a triathlete, I'm resistant to Stupidization as I'm exempted from most parades.   




I'm not saying that parades are useless and should be eliminated totally. Parades have their benefits too.  However, they should be kept short and sharp, taking as little time as possible to increase productivity. I don't see why it should take hours just to do simple math to calculate the amount of people present in a parade. Maybe the effects of Stupidization has already taken place?