I didn’t bother to adhere to normal buffet manners i.e skipped the starters/appertisers and went straight to the many main courses. I dug into the various lamb dishes culminating with a roasted lamb ribs and leg on my plate. We had heads turning in amazement to see myself and OP Shalzy massacred the roasted lamb leg. Haha…. Sedap siot… (Goat and lamb meat are some of the most difficult food to be digested and a very good source for protein, thus, for those wanting to burn more calories and build muscles at the same time, maybe you should try not to shun away from these meat no more. Belasah jer… janji exercise cukup).
Anyway, armed with heavy hi-protein meal coupled with a good dosage of carbo-loading, we then joined another group of friends who are doing something that I never thought I would be doing too – brisk walk or jog up to Genting Highlands at 10pm during the fasting month…!!! Call it crazy or madness, it was exactly what we were attempting on that particular nite.
We gathered at Genting Sempah at 10pm and I was pleasantly glad to see OP Kam was there too but he must be more surprised to see me as I was preparing for the workout.
Menu for the nite :
– To complete the Stage 1, a 12.4km uphill/downhill route and re-group at Goh Tong Jaya for a break and refuelling.
– To complete the Stage 2, a 9km steep uphill route from Goh Tong Jaya to the summit.
I was given the assurance by OP Shazly that I will be doing a 1 hour walk only and then decide thereafter whether the body still permits to take the sufferings. At any point of time if my body cannot take it anymore, then we will backtrack and go downhill to Genting Sempah. (yeah rite, thanks a lot for comforting me… ). There were three support cars just in case if there any emergency and one of them was OP Ala Usat (he came a lil’ bit later due to work commitments but joined the climb after Goh Tong Jaya)
The thought of walking up the snakey and hilly road to Genting had killed off half of my spirit already. I didn’t see any much sense in trying out this workout except for the sake of torturing and tormenting my body. I hardly felt relaxed whenever someone was coaxing and motivating me to stay calm and focus.
Those who were walking up (including me) started their journey at 1030pm. The rest will wait for the latecomers and jog up thereon. There were a few ladies among the crowd but surely I was the ‘biggest’ and ‘heaviest’ nuthead of the nite.
The first 10 minutes was quite steep and tough on my calf. I was breathing heavily and gasping for oxygen. I was in a group of three (OP Shazly and Fadil) and I was pacing myself not to be left behind. The regulars were saying that they don’t normally do this in any other month’s becoz all of the jungle guardians or forest dwellers were tied and locked up in the month of Ramadhan. In any case, I don’t want to be left behind in such area at that particular time of any day..!! Thus, I tried to keep up with the guys and slowed them down whenever possible.
OP Shazly and Fadil were chit chatting to keep the journey interesting while fast-and-furious wannabes kept blazing the sharp corners every now and then. I guess they were really eager to get their money burnt at the casinos whereas we were burning calories as we climbed. Same route for different purposes.
As slow as the journey can be, 30 minutes of walking had passed without me noticing it. In any cardio-type workout, this is where the calorie burning goes into overdrive if I keep my legs moving. Sure enough, I think my stomach was working extra hard to digest the lamb and fuelling my body with energy as slowly but surely my full stomach is no more full. At 3km mark, we had a short breather and sipped Gatorade to wash off the bitterness taste around my mouth and throat. I stretched my leg a bit to avoid blood pulling and discourage acid lactic build-up. We continued walking and we saw the support car giving us words of encouragement (Betcha, I bloody need it…!). By now, I was sweating like a pig but my legs seemed to be holding up quite well. The longest distance I have done in the past three months was 5-6km on undulating terrain and never a constant uphill climb, thus, every step that I made was a step towards my personal best.
At 6km mark, I was really struggling and my calf muscle started to twitch. I was told that this maybe due to muscle fatigue, blood pulling, water deficient or demineralization. I stretched again and gulped more Gatorade. By then, I had covered about 1:15hr on the road and 50mins of effective walking. Thus, it was time to make a decision whether to proceed to Goh Tong Jaya, take the support car or turn back downhill to Genting Sempah.
As I was contemplating to call it a day, suddenly, I was joined by the last group (Ariff and May Senn), they encouraged and challenged me to carry on at least until Goh Tong Jaya which was about 6.4km to go!! Darn, I had already bested my PB and these fellas are pushing me to go further. In disbelief as I might be, I persevered and continued walking. From this point onwards, there were more downhills than uphills. Every single step that I made thereon was a mental barrier cruncher and my self-belief skyrocketed. At this point, I could see Genting Highlands glittering on the horizon coming nearer and nearer. My body was tired and my legs were weary but this is a classic mind over matter, I started to jog in small steps and matching May Senn’s pace. We jogged all the way until the Goh Tong Jaya junction and walked uphill for the rest of the final kilometer towards the re-grouping checkpoint.
We reached the Stage 1 checkpoint at approximately 12:45am or after 2hrs 15mins covering 12.4km of walking/jogging. We had a break for a while and the rest of the crowd continued to march towards to summit which is another 9km of steep uphill climb. I decided to call it a day and savoured a quiet ecstatic feeling while downing my gut with an iced cool 100plus.
I felt a personal sense of achievement to be able to complete the Stage 1 route. A mix feeling of humble disbelief and relief that even at this age and body size, God has given me the strength to overcome an obstacle and completed something truly challenging. I dunno how much calorie I burnt but the whole lamb leg was completely burnt to the ground, that’s for sure.