Saturday, March 28, 2009

Morning Ride - Aphroz's journey

Today's morning ride started at 6.30 am, I finished my fajar prayers in the morning and decided to commit to my regime to get fit. We have recently bought rubber bracelets for the company. Embedded in the bracxelet is our logo Teamworkbound. The bracelet has to have a meaning behind its wear. Lance's bracelet is about living strong, mine is about the Struggle, to overcome. Like my wife, who made the momentous leap from a sleepy rurual village to partnering me in my struggles in Singapore. My wife Aphroz, is my far the most patient, empathetic and kind person I have known to date. Her kindness to me and her will to leave behind her family and freinds in India is quite extraordinary. I have taken that for granted and never much appreciated the sacrifices she has made for the family. From raising our two kids and looking after my parents, she has done her part to the best of her ability.

Last year after 10 year, from the time she left school, I enrolled her on a dipoloma course to learn financial management. She studied at Temaek Poly 3 times a week, undergoing the stress of studying online during the day and completing the examinations during the semaster ends, whilst making sure the children were taken care of and helping me out in our buisness. If was hard for her to say the least. It would have hard for anyone else too. I remembered the days, when I made my demands to get the financial invoices out for the company and she required help for assignments and very intentionally I did not provide any. I wanted her to earn her own diploma, the hard way, the essence and fruits of that journey will be valued more. She cleared her examinations and got her diploma on her Birthday yesterday.
These were my thoughts when I rode this morning.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Tipping Point

On sat, I met Paul, an Australian, ironman aged 49. He finished his 1st triathlon at the age of 42. He was browsing the timex watches and was wearing Langkawi ironman Finisher's T-shirt. He finished his race in 11 hrs, a phenomenal time to say the least. He runs bike shops in Australia and his wife looked very much like Afroz. He gave me an advice that excited me enough to commit hard and train progressively for my ironman. It has to be progressive and the training session much work around my schedule. I had a massive project the last two months that would have made a difference to our survival as a company. I had to take care of that. Hearing his accomplishment set a resolve to train hard consistently without injuring myself. 

My son trained with me in the pool on Sat nite and for the first time in his life he has completed two laps using the breast stroke without resting on the side. He is getting better and he completed 10 laps that day. I saw Boon San,a swimming coach now, my friend from Officer's Cadet school who used to work in IBM. I will sign up Musaib with him this week end so that he gets whipped up in shape for his triathlon in May. 

As we train, I have realized how exercise has kept my sanity to push on hard even when the tide and reality of the business worked against me. I have also realized how, at times it was the run or the bike ride that made the difference for me to see things in a different perspective. 

Yesterday, I met a proud parent who spoke about his 7 year old girl who just finished reading the quran. I was amazed, primary 1 and she has finished this phenomenal task. To finish reading the quran is an ironman for me too. Inshallah, that conversation, tipped my thinking again. I have decided to send my daughter who is 6 for her quran reading classes twice a week at Abdul Gafur mosque. 

I wrote today's blog, title as a tipping point, its about conversations you make with strangers that impacts you to such an extend, you start to act. That happened over the weekend in my conversations with 2 complete strangers. 

It saddened me even more to read about the boy from NTU who jumped after knifing his professor and a Capt who was found under a bridge in Melbourne. What were the tipping points for both of them is something I wld not know. I wished they had not holed up in their corner's playing a video game ...... that cld have an impact on the choices they made.