28 things I did when I was 28 years old:
1. Celebrated my 28th birthday alone in Auckland Airport.
I was meant to fly from Auckland to Singapore on the eve of my birthday, but my flight never arrived because the entire runway lights in Auckland Airport blew up, leaving some 10,000 passengers grounded.
While I was sleeping on the airport floor, my friends in Singapore were at a restaurant waiting for my arrival to celebrate my birthday.
In the end, they didn’t wait. They ate my birthday cake. 🙁
2. Had my first Club Med experience.
Club Med is an all-inclusive resort, meaning all the food and fun are included in the room rate. Thanks to Club Med Bali, I was fully fed after 3 days. And I swear I gained an extra 3kg by the end of the trip.
3. Became a judge in the Malaysia Spa & Wellness Awards.
It was the best job ever. All I had to do was visit the best spas in Malaysia, receive their best treatment, and rate their performance.
My favourite was the Borneo Spa at Nexus Karambunai Resort in Kota Kinabalu. I visited the place in March. A few months later, a fire broke out from the men’s sauna.
Maybe it’s because I’m too hot.
4. Ran a full 42km marathon in less than 6 hours.
I started running marathons 5 years ago after accepting a challenge from a friend of mine.
Since then, I have ran in five different marathons, one each in KL, Penang, Singapore, Kota Kinabalu and Los Angeles. Although I finished slightly better each time, I have never ran within my targeted time of 6 hours.
At the 2011 Seoul International Marathon, I finally reached that target.
The race started under the worst weather conditions possible. It was raining throughout the first half and the temperature was close to zero. I was soaking wet and absolutely freezing my nuts off.
Unexpectedly, I managed to overcome all that and finished the 42km in 5 hr 37 mins – my best time ever.
5. Flew inside a helicopter for the first time.
Before that, the last time I flew in a helicopter was in a computer game called Battlefield.
6. Visited the Grand Canyon Skywalk
Despite how commercialised the Grand Canyon has become, it is still an absolutely awe-inspiring sight. The Skywalk, however, is ridiculously over-rated.
7. Drove a Ferrari on a Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Wished I could say I "raced" the Ferrari F430, but that machine goes so fast and is so expensive that I was afraid of crashing it.
In the end, all I did was 4 laps around the Speedway doing 140 km/h – well below the Ferrari’s true potential.
8. Went on long-distance road trips every country I travelled to.
In the past, my travel plans mostly involved exploring the city where the international airport is located. With globalization taking place, it’s unfortunate that more and more capital cities are beginning to look the same: there’s always a Starbucks and a McDonald’s every corner of the street.
To have a real taste of a destination, I felt the need to venture out of the capital city.
When I was in California, hired a Ford Mustang and went on an impromptu road trip, driving 300km from Los Angeles all the way up to Monterrey with the top-down on my convertible.
9. Visited the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco.
10. Became a certified RPM Instructor.
11. Dropped 12kg and got in the best shape of my life.
12. Visited Penghu Island, an unexpected romantic little volcanic island located between China mainland and Taiwan.
Penghu is to Taiwan what Bali is to Indonesia, what Hawaii is to USA. For now, it’s still very much a hidden gem, attracting mainly only Chinese-speaking visitors. Let’s hope it remains that way.
I hereby declare my top 3 favourite destinations in the world as: Bali, USA and Taiwan – in that order.
13. Went on a solo bicycle-riding trip along the east coast of Taiwan.
14. Bought a racing bike first thing after I returned from Taiwan.
15. Flew in a private plane for the first time.
Thanks to Johan Farid Khairuddin, who runs the best-value flight tour in KL.
16. Received the Hong Kong Disneyland Resort Hotel experience.
Woke up like a prince every morning.
17. Re-visited Stephen Shum, the fortune teller at Temple St in Hong Kong.
When I first visited him when I was 24, he said I will get married at age 28 or 32.
I didn’t get married at 28.
This time I visited him, he said I will have minor surgery in the future. WTF. Maybe it’s because I bargained and paid him less money.
18. Trained a friend to run her first 21km half-marathon
When I run, I run for fun. Although I knew I am not an elite runner, I never expected one day I would be helping others to achieve the same goals I did.
Vix is a radio announcer for hitz.FM in Kuching who asked me to help get her started running for fitness. Problem: the last run she did, she was still in high school.
So I took up the challenge to get her ready for the KL International Marathon. With only 8 weeks of training, Vix went from zero to hero, beating 21km with a better-than-average record of 2 hours 50 minutes.
Kenny Sia, Personal Trainer. Who would’ve thought? 🙂
19. Kena GOTCHA! on hitz.FM
A direct consequence becoming friends the crazy people at the radio station!
20. Personally trained a bunch of fitness instructors to become certified.
Since starting my fitness business, I have met and interviewed heaps of young graduates who have lots of passion in the fitness industry, but not necessarily have the right qualifications. It’s not their fault, ‘cos there aren’t any educational pathways for them to become fitness professionals in Kuching – because all the emphasis here seems to be for accounting and engineering and so on.
In the end, I have to learn and research every thing myself, before teaching and grooming them into qualified fitness instructors themselves.
I am so proud to have achieved this year alone, 11 instructors at my gym successfully passed their certification requirements.
21. Began my Invisalign treatment at mydentist.com.my
So, I thought my crooked teeth was already beyond renovation, but Dr Foo at MyDentist.com.my was determined to prove me wrong.
I believe Invisalign is gonna do to my teeth what LASIK did to my eyes. Everyone who went on it swore to me it changed their lives.
I’m gonna write a more detailed experience of myself and the Invaslign treatment once I got some results to show.
22. Attempted cliff-jumping for the first time.
The adrenaline junkie in me didn’t do any bungee jumps this year. Instead, I attempted cliff jumping for the first time!
This was at Nusa Lembongan in Bali. The cliff was 20 metres high and the cost was a mere 50,000 Rupiahs (or RM18) – a bargain compared to some RM900 I spent bungee-jumping off Macau Tower!
The adrenaline rush was the same. The only difference was… my ass hurts and I’m probably gonna drown if I didn’t swim back to the ladder fast enough.
23. Scored a contract to operate and manage a private gym for a GLC.
At least that’s gonna put food on my table for the next couple of years.
24. Rescued some stray puppies.
Felt bad separating them from their mother, but in the end they found comfort at the homes of their new owners.
25. Organized dozens of fitness events all around Kuching.
Doing my best to get people excited about exercising, instead of contributing to Malaysia becoming the fattest nation in South-East Asia.
26. Became a certified Balinese masseuse!
While we were in Bali, Ming thought it would be a great idea to learn how to give, rather than receive massages. We took up a one-day Balinese massage course, and got a certificate in the end.
Since then, I have "attempted" to give massages, but I always give up ‘cos after 10 minutes my hands were damn sore! In the end, the masseuse have to be on the receiving end of the massage!
No wonder spas are so expensive. Being a masseuse is damn hard work, ok!
27. Bought my own apartment unit
This is without a doubt, the biggest purchase I have ever made in my life, and one that’s gonna put me in a big debt over the next 10 years. The choice of real estate available in Kuching isn’t fantastic, but with prices rising so rapidly what choices do I have?
Besides, I’m probably too old to still be living under my mother.
28. Fell head over heels in love.
Today, I turned 29 years old.