New Year at home. ~ It's tradition. I spend Christmas break at home and make it a point to welcome the New Year there too. Last New Year's eve wasn't complete without my mom there since she didn't come home from abroad. But we did manage to squeeze out as much fun as we can from the simple, and sometimes silly, family traditions we have. Spending time with my dad, sisters, cousins, aunts, and other relatives was really fun.
Fun Runs. ~ I mustered the will to join fun runs again. I didn't do many this year and I sucked in most of them. But all in all, I thoroughly enjoyed myself. UP GIG run was my first this year. It was quite an experience. Apart from it being the first this year, a lot of my friends joined as well. Then there's the fact that it was done in UP. I do love that place. I guess I've never really outgrown the campus, not after all these years. I loved the excitement and all that energy buzzing in the crisp early morning air. I loved the feel of being surrounded by trees again. I loved running under the canopy of leaves and feeling my heart and lungs work hard to finish the race. This was followed by Pinay in Action run at the Fort. This is where I felt I did okay. It was still a far cry from my personal best but it was great for me because I felt good the entire time, I also succeeded in my goal of shaving off 10 minutes from my time in the UP run. Then last but not the least, but definitely the worst, was the Adidas King of the Road run. That was the run that gave me so much grief. I was in so much pain and discomfort almost from the start until the finish. I was close to calling it quits halfway because my left shin and knee were throbbing painfully. But I guess it was a personal victory for me when I made myself run the entire course and finish it. This fun run list is pitifully short but they did make for some of the happiest times of my life this year.
Something New. ~ I promised myself to do something new this year. And without conscious thought and effort on my part, I found myself trying two new different sports. In early February, I got invited to try Futsal. Now, let me just say that I'm a big fan of Football but I've never imagined myself actually playing it (or at least a sport that is closely related to it). The thing is, I've long had this strange notion that I'm a wuss in sports that need balls (no pun intended) to be played. Turned out I had a knack for defense (by sheer luck, I think) and discovered I love playing the game. So I guess that's something new this year that really stuck. Another fascination was somewhat closer to my interest, which is martial arts. I got hooked to Capoeira because of Brod Nathan who convinced me to try it. Interestingly, he was also the one who introduced me to Arnis and Dragon Boat so I'd say he does like the idea of getting me into things that would make me suffer through hell and back. :-) But seriously, I tend to trust Nathan's judgment on these things so I tried. Sadly though, I wasn't able to sustain it as much as I wanted to.
Sporting Events. ~ I finally got a reason to go to SM MOA this year. The National Wushu Championships was held there. Since I was in the Organizing Committee, I got myself a reason to spend two days there (not counting the visit we've made to check out the venue). It was a very tiring yet fulfilling event for me. There were so many things to do and so little time to sleep. But it was all worth the effort to see so many athletes from so many places compete. Then just recently, I co-organized the FISA/OS Technical Course for Rowing Coaches. I was initially not sure if I made the right choice to back out from the Asian Junior Rowing Championship in Hong Kong just so I'd have the time to help organize and attend the seminar. I had to choose which to prioritize because I can't afford to take a leave from work two weeks in a month. So it was either go to HK or stay and organize the seminar. I chose the latter. And it was a good decision all in all.
FISA Umpiring Duties. ~ I got selected to be one of the Jury members for the Asian Olympic Qualifying in Shanghai this year. It was a nice surprise to me and at the same time, scary too. I had months to stew on the fact that I was the only newbie on the list and that other than Singaporeans Nicolas Ee and Tat Yeo, I don't know the other umpires that I'd be working with in the qualifying. But I worried for nothing because even if I was indeed the youngest, in both age and umpiring experience, I was treated quite well. The experience further cemented my respect for FISA umpires. It's uplifting to see how people of different races can be so different and still be the same.
Training. ~ I had training opportunities at work this year. I was one of the last minute inclusions to the Compass Training, which was one of the workshops for the PM Pool program. I'm not sure why some of us who weren't part of the PM Pool were added but I'm definitely grateful for the chance. Someone who loves training and learning like I do wouldn't question the reasons for blessings that come. The best thing to do when blessings rain like that is to step out of the room and catch as many raindrops as I can. Then there was TLC which was a regular offering for everyone at work. Other trainings such as Empowered Communication, ICEP, and Tapping the Creative Universe by Jim Paredes followed.
Simple Pleasures. ~ Meeting new people and helping others. Leading When Great Minds Dream. Seeing dreams slowly coming true for Team Lakay. Just some of the simple pleasures in life I wish I could do or see more often.Bondings. ~ This year's outing and eCamp had its share of fun and surprising quirks that usually come out when the team drinks. There's never a dull moment with all that eccentricity, funny quips, smart-ass comments, and what-have-yous from a bunch of truly interesting people.
Padespedida for Friends. ~ The YinYang project sure added a reason to party for people at work. I've had the chance to join padespedidas for Ord, Colleen, and Mayee who were the team's YinYang King and Queens for this year. Apart from the fun of surprising them and using the despedida as an excuse to drink (and get drunk), I personally loved the idea of them living abroad and exploring new places. I love traveling and I often have this weird idea that when my friends travel, it's like I'm traveling too. Because if I'm lucky, there'd be moments when they think of me while they're on the road - and it's like a small part of me (that thought of me) touched that place too.
Travel. ~ I didn't do much of it this year. But the few ones I made left great impressions and fulfillment. Shanghai was my only foreign trip this year. It was a great trip because it was my first time to umpire in an Olympic Qualifying and I got the chance to see one of it's ancient cities. This was also the year that I got to swim in a crater...Mt. Pinatubo's crater. It was a wonderful trek. The sights and experiences were worth all the effort and exhaustion from trekking under the searing heat of the sun. I also had the chance to visit the Callao Caves in Tuguegarao where the young Andoy moonlights as a tour guide.
Upward Bound. ~ A moving experience. So much that happened and so little that I can say about it. The spirit of upward bound is something that's hard to capture in words. It is best lived to the fullest.