10 August 2013

There are parts of me I didn’t know existed until I started running.

by misslampa
It's unheard of for the night owl that is me to be this perky so early in the morning.

Can I really be this perky so early in the morning? For running, baby, I can be. =p


Like this part of me that can be up and about – and happily so – before almost everyone else is.

And the part that can’t seem to get over the elegant burst of colors in the sky at sunrise.

Or this bit that feels like paying homage to whoever invented the treadmill. And the bit that rejoices whenever the display reads 10 kilometers or 1,000 calories.

Or this side of me that no longer minds getting sweaty so much. And in fact, now enjoys feeling the warmth of the sun on my back. Provided I’ve put on sunscreen, of course.

And the part that has gotten used to the early morning winter chill. The same bit that no longer uses it as an excuse to stay buried under the sheets and just go back to sleep.

Also, the bit that’s now okay with getting sore feet and water blisters and aching legs.

There’s also this part of me that loves reading up on lactate thresholds and minimalist running and Fartlek. And the side that equally loves carbo-loading and oversleeping after a long run. (I’m doing it wrong, I know. Go ahead, sue me.Ü)


I’ve also discovered this side of me that can get everything in the world to shut up – myself and my thoughts included – by repeatedly putting one foot in front of the other until my lungs give out. I seriously don’t remember being able to do that. Ever.

(Okay, in all honesty, my lungs have yet to give out. The only person in my life who’s seen how slow I am when I run refers to what I do as a nice, long stroll. How supportive, no? )

Running has also turned me into one who doesn’t keep track of time, and remains mighty proud of herself even if she’s always one of the last few to cross the finish line. But check back on me after a year or two. Perhaps when I’m no longer the newbie I am now, I’ll relish the thought of having some slowpokes eat my dust. Or not, let’s see.


Among the many new pieces of me which I now carry in my heart, though, what I am most surprised and happy with is this part that doesn’t want to go through the ordeals and triumphs of running alone, and is grateful beyond words that this didn’t have to be the case for me.

If you had an adorable minion cheering you on, I'm sure you won't mind running, too. Ü

If you had an adorable minion cheering you on, I’m sure you wouldn’t mind running, too. Ü


It’s mildly unnerving for someone who, for most of her life, has been all about tackling things on her own. But as all the old and new parts of me are slowly but steadily finding out, that is simply not how runners roll.

And well, I’m a runner now. So, umm…

Wait, what was it that was supposed to unnerve me again? :-)



This one’s for the patient and kind-hearted John Tsai, without whose coaching, cheering, and occasional cajoling I wouldn’t have taken up running in the first place. For everything you’ve done to help me get to this point, thank you.☺

16 July 2013

Moments Teachers Like Me Live For

by misslampa

In this particular video, it happens twice. Once at 1:57, and then again at 2:02.

It’s always fast, fleeting, and barely noticeable, but it’s the first thing I look out for every time I’m with my students.

Because without fail, the moment they realize that they’ve just learned something they themselves believe to be genuinely worth their while, their faces light up.

And teachers like me? We live for that moment. Even more so if the learning didn’t come easy.

Eyebrows shoot up, pupils dilate, lips part just a wee bit and form the top half of an oblong. And everything in just a little less than a second because after that, they become aware of what’s happening, stop themselves, and revert to sporting the I’m-playing-it-cool look.

Some students I’ve worked with take anywhere from a few minutes to several months to get there. But I bet a lot of teachers will agree that for most, it takes years or decades even – long after the teaching has stopped. It’s not the learning that takes long to come, it’s getting them to become completely sold on the idea that what they’ve learned inside your classroom is actually useful and will continue to be so even outside of it.

And If you’re lucky, they find a way back into your life to tell you all about it.

I know it’s hard to believe given how adorably cute the young boy in the video looks every time he gets excited at the thought that he can read now. But I tell you, seeing a fully-grown man’s face light up like that over something you’ve taught him back when he was still in high school?

Equally worth the wait.ÜüÜ

This one’s for all those who have come back to say thanks.♥

I first stumbled upon this video via this awesome link on www.upworthy.com

9 June 2013

A Wonderful Kind of Messed Up

by misslampa

It’s hell season in grad school once more, and just when I think I’ve gotten the hang of it, the extreme sleep deprivation starts to mess with my head.



I’ve been doing this to myself lately. It’s been fun.


Take yesterday, for instance. I don’t know how I managed to lose my way as I was walking home from the uni. But I did – and in broad daylight at that, pfft. Instead of turning left on the street where my house is, I turned left on the street before it and groggily walked all the way to where my house would’ve been if I were on the right street. Then I looked at the strange Queenslander* which was there and went,

Hmm, that’s odd. Where did my house go?

I stared at the house for about thirty seconds and took a good look at the other houses in the area before it finally dawned on me that I took a wrong turn.

Ha! That was funny. And stupid. In equal measure.

But what really got me convinced that I’m losing it, though, was waking up this morning to vivid snippets of a dream I had about my very own wedding. I saw the face of my groom and those of my parents and closest gut friends. It was big and festive but informal. My wedding gown didn’t have a trail, and he looked dapper in a barong Tagalog. There was no photo booth and wedding souvenirs, but we served red wine and steak to all our guests. My mother’s face was radiant. I remember mentioning in my thank-you speech that ours was a whirlwind romance, but I said yes because I feel like I’ve known him for a very long time.

It was that vivid, that real.


Daydreaming is best done under a red pine tree. It just looks better.

Now that freaks me out big time because I don’t remember ever dreaming about my wedding – unconsciously or otherwise. I dream about taking long and lazy train rides and getting a PhD and teaching in Africa for a year. I dream of watching the northern lights dance before my very eyes and getting fit enough to run a full marathon one day and yes, even finding true love. But weddings? Never.

Which is not to say I’ve written off all possibility of ever getting married. I hope to, but thinking about it just doesn’t come naturally to me. I’ve been told that’s uncharacteristic for a woman, but it’s really just the wedding bit I don’t daydream about. When I think of finding love, I imagine enjoying insightful conversations about the mundane and the profound over coffee. And exchanging private jokes on long and tiring road trips. And watching fireworks and sunsets and fireflies in comfortable silence.

So you see, it’s really just the wedding. Perhaps it’s my fear of commitment that has rendered me incapable of dreaming about getting married. I automatically equate weddings with forever, which I then automatically imagine as a painfully long time to promise to someone, more so if he turns out to be the wrong one.

Until now, that is.

So maybe something has changed? And I am about to break free? And I am on the verge of believing that weddings are grand and glorious and all that?

Of course, it could also just be the result of pulling too many all-nighters in a span of three weeks. So perhaps I should skip sleep some more then? I think it would be wonderful to get used to this wedding-dreaming, messed-up version of me. :))


*a type of architecture usually found in Queensland and parts of New South Wales, Australia