Gunung Panti won’t let us climb up its slopes. According to the mystery guide along the trail, we required a permit. Kap Cal was surprised since this was the first time he had heard of a permit after climbing many times previously. Was this a precaution after the tragic events at Mount Kinabalu?
We made our way back down the trail. It was muddy and our mood was somewhat spoiled. San na kami pupunta? Mag-momotel na lang ba kami sa Kota Tinggi? Where is Kap Cal leading us?
At one point this weekend I thought I was going to die.
The category 1 “cat 1” lightning siren was blaring out mid-way through our Saturday water training. We were exposed over the Kallang Basin. We saw a few strikes of lightning in the distance. I heard a couple “oooohs” and “aaaahhhs” from fellow paddlers as if we were watching fireworks. WTH!
I felt hopeless. I was in an uncontrollable situation. No escape button! I’m one paddler on a boat of about twenty people. It’s difficult to face these situations when you have anxiety. Naisip ko… if I was going to die by a bolt of lightning, at least I die while paddling.
Leeches, lightning, hornets… these are some of the things I’m fearful of. So when you put all of these things together, you can imagine the fear on my face. I get squeamish at the sight of blood. A bolt of lightning is terrifying and it gives me goosebumps. Seeing any insect in large quantity, concentrated over one area… also one of my greatest fears.
Our destination was Kota Tinggi, Malaysia. One of my teammates is an avid mountain climber and he volunteered to lead a group of some newbies up Gunung Panti… a small mountain near Kota Tinggi with a teeming population of leeches. How did I prepare?
I looked for the thickest socks I could find in my cabinet.
Weird stuff I did over the weekend? I had to impersonate FPJ during a charades game at the FDS barbecue party. I was a train wreck. I did this strange salute thing (thinking he won the 2004 elections) and I kept pointing at three of my fingers in a desperate, futile attempt to explain F-P-J. It was a disaster.
Other than that, there was a very cute guy from the Japan Dragons. Couldn’t keep my eye off of him. Until he was about 70 meters away from the inter-team barbecue area at the beach. Kampai pa more.
We had a batch dinner to celebrate a year of friendship. More than half in our batch are active paddlers. I like the dynamic with my batchmates. We are upbeat and positive-thinking. I only worry how long that positive streak can last, lol. Because seriously maging realistic din tayo… every barkada must weather a storm every now and then. Our WhatsApp batch thread is informative about trainings and romantic musings.
I missed out on two days and on some dates I forgot to take video. Damn busy with training!
If it’s something worthy to note, October 2015 was my most consistent month in training both at gym and with my dragon boat team. During SRR 2015 over the weekend, I got some comments that I look a bit thin. OMG. I think I may be overdoing the training? I thought I was bulking up… instead, my arms feel a bit thin again. My body is slimming for dragon boat racing I guess!