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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

I'm up for a "challenge?"

There's an email circulating at work about a "fitness challenge" organize by one of our partners in trade.  How the challenge works is, we have to pick one from the 4 fitness options:

Option 1: Exercise at least 30 minutes per day, minimum 3 times per week = total of 30 times over a 68 day period.

Option 2: Option 1 + 1 lifestyle change for duration of Challenge (i.e. no caffeine, increase water intake daily, no pop or no alcohol etc.)

Option 3: Push your limits with exercising a minimum of 30 minutes for all 68 days of the Challenge!!!
(Note: if you miss a day – on one occasion per week you are permitted to work out for 60 minutes to make up for the missed day. This is only permitted once per week as the goal is to have fitness in your day – everyday).

Option 4: Option 3 + 1 lifestyle change

This should be done for 68 days from April 4th to June 17th.

A lot of my co-workers has signed-in to the challenge.  It just started with 2 people interested, then 7, and just today, 11 have listed to participate.  Almost everybody has shown interest, but me.

Everytime I see these emails pop up, I ask myself, "Do I need a fitness challenge?". Then a negative voice inside me would whisper, "Oh it's just a fad. I know they're just joining to be in the circle".  Because I know when you say "fitness", this has to do with overweight issues.  And I don't know if I need  this challenge. Besides, I'm already practicing a healthy lifestyle. However, it seems like I'm the only one who's not participating in this challenge.

So as I'm wondering why this doesn't stir my interest, my co-worker, who's assigned to spearhead this, approach me. 
"Do you wanna join the fitness challenge?"

I replied, "Do I need a fitness challenge?", while looking uncertain and  intently at her.  And she stared back at me puzzled.

Then I brushed off  my  thoughts and said, "...I was just asking myself..."  Yeah, it's actually a hypothetical question. And I added, "What do I need to do?"

"You can walk half an hour everyday", she replied

"But I always do that!" I burted again...

"Then there you go!", a voice surprisingly barged in. It's my co-worker across my workstation.

"Ok...sure...if it doesn't change any of my habits", I jested.  And they laughed along. 

After that, I realized I sounded really indifferent and apathetic.  So I contemplated more and ask myself  why I have this persisting disinterest to this challenge.

And this is what I came up with:

First and foremost, I'm not overweight, but actually underweight.  And if there's anything that I'd have to do is increase my 90lbs weight, which I've always been trying for the longest time.  But it seems through all these years, I've never been successful.  No matter what I feed myself, I've never left this number 90.  I couldn't forget what my mom told me during her visit,  "Can you please gain weight!"   So until now, I'm still in the process of finding a way.  But someone has told me long ago - it's my metabolism. 

Second, I'm a very active person. I always find something to do. When I'm at home, I'm either vacumming the floor; decluttering my already neat space; or hanging out in my kitchen - cooking. And when I'm out, I'll be everywhere -just walking around. The only time I am still, is when I'm sleeping or sick.  So about  walking as exercise, it's not really new to me.  I've been walking all my life.  And I don't even consider it as exercise or fitness regimen. Walking is part of my lifestyle.  I even walk and run in heels. So where's the challenge to option 1?

The last reason is, the options they've laid is not as challenging to me that I've been  wanting to be a part of.  Maybe if they organize something more vigorous and stringent, like  "ala-amazing race" challenge, where my adrenaline rush would be tested to the limits. Then, I will be the first one to sign-in. That's the challenge I want to experience. Actually, it's my wish to be a contender for the Amazing Race.

But now that I've agreed to participate, am I really up for a challenge?  Or should I just take it like a walk in the park so I won't be called corny by my co-workers. And instead, just challenge myself with more exciting things...Well, I know I'll be starting again with my yoga-pilates this season.  And there's the ice skating that I'll be doing with my friend this summer...the biking I'm planning...ballroom dancing I want to take...swimming...travel...hmm? What else?...

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Disaster Recovery Program

The earthquake that happened last week in Japan is overwhelming.  Everybody is rattled with the subsequent events.  And our office is one of those shaken by fear because we are partly Japanese-owned company... Actually, two of our bosses were there at that time it happened, and they said that our Tokyo office was significantly damaged as well.

It was a coincidence that the night before I learned about the news, I was with my groupmate discussing our case study in records management course.  And one subtopic that I was particularly uncertain  about was the disaster recovery plan.  It took me days to write the report and prepare the presentation. It was easy to state the problems and determine our objectives and goals, but figuring out a suitable disaster recovery program was hard. 

Then I wonder after looking at the aftermath of Japan's earthquake,  do they have a disaster recovery plan? 

It's a fact that disasters are inevitable.  There are people who attempted to tell future calamities, but nobody has been accurate about the place and date.   Like when a seismologiest forecast a forthcoming earthquake. He can only project particular region or time, but can't say the exact  date, place and intensity.  This shows that our intellect is still short to understand how the forces of nature works.  Many have tried. Probably a few came close to the phenomenon.

So how do we deal with it when it happens then?  No can really exactly what to do especially if you're caught by surprise.  I guess the best way, is to be ready and prepared at all times.  And when we say ready, we mean - having the tools and resources for the aftermath. 

It's surprising that when you google the word "disaster recovery plan", you'll see a bunch of IT-related computer recovery programs; including, the business-related recovery plans.  But none about disaster recovery for natural calamities.  Or maybe there is one out there, but no one has spread the word yet.

During one of our class in records management,  one organization named Belfor has spoken about records recovery program.  They've done a presentation on the Cayman Island's records recovery after it was hit by a devastating hurricane few years back.  They've shown a thorough presentation that I couldn't imagine how much extensive and tedious to do records recovery. It took them an exasperating 2 years to finish the whole work in reviving Cayman Island's vital records.  I was impressed with the results.  I'd say they are really experienced in this field, but probably took them many years to be fully trained, equipped and knowledgeable in this disaster recovery program... I bet they may be called to do records recovery too for Japan because of their expertise.

So I wonder, what if there's a disaster recovery group like Belfor to come during natural disasters like this one in Japan, and likewise the one in New Zealand.  Then perhaps it will bring great relief to the victims, and get assurance that a full rescue and recovery is underway.

With the frequent occurrence of natural disaster these days, this is probably a good idea. A world organization that looks only after natural disasters.   Just like the  UN Environmental Programme and the UNICEF World Hunger Program that's working only for that particular task  around the clock. And that this particular organization will provide all the training, resources and manpower before, during and the aftermath. 
Everybody knows that Japan is the most technologically advanced country, and the most emergency prepared citizens.  But still, this disaster has caught them off-guard.  And no one expected that their supplies would be depleting. 

I know the feeling of being in this predicament for my family when a great flood plagued Manila 2 years ago. My sister and I were just watching  and waiting for what's the next to come -  feeling so helpless.  And the hardest part they went through after the flood was the recovery period.  It took them a year to get back with their lives, with occasional fear of that same episode everytime an alarming storm threatens the country.
The signs are showing that the earth is extremely vulnerable, and another disaster may develop.  Where and when, we don't know.  But there's something we can do - gear ourselves with disaster readiness and recovery preparedness plan.

I thought I wouldn' find a disaster and emergency information website.  But here's one handy with resources and tips:   http://www.fema.gov/plan/index.shtm

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Can't wait

So tired of this gloomy weather and freezing rain,
Don't even like that winter's hanging out awhile,

What I'm longing is a lovely day and clear skies,


Get out there, get a little basking in the sun

Then if gets too much, there's always that mighty shade,

And sunset that promises another bright day.


Yeah, I just can't wait for that summer time again.