We All Run Our Own Races

Dear reader,

It’s been a while since I’ve last written. How are things?

I do apologize for the lapse in writing. It’s been a pretty packed, albeit fruitful semester at school. It didn’t help that I stretched myself by taking on a few leadership roles in a couple of modules and projects. Phews!

Still, I’m glad things are winding down. Soon it’ll be the much-awaited June holiday break! 🙂

Thought I’d stop by and pen down a couple of thoughts after completing my first marathon, although some might say it was just a fun run at 5KM.

This year, I’ve stuck to my goal of seeking true wealth (not just monetary rewards) by exploring other aspects of living a rich life: taking care of my health, spending time with loved ones and growing through meaningful pursuits e.g. mentoring youths from Institute of Technical Education (ITE) under the Young Women’s Leadership Connection Y-Ignite 2018 programme.

Another one of these meaningful projects included signing me and the hubs for our first couple run!

I’ve been fascinated with the phenomenon of how increasing crowds of people have been paying sums for the chance to sweat it out running cross-country style in large groups at the break of dawn. So I thought we should give it a shot too! 😀

Personally, I mostly run in 2.4km strides and pride myself on keeping a good pace since my Gold streak in NAPFA from my ol’ school days. (I maintain, it’s been a long while since)

Still, completing the 5km fun run for NTUC Income’s Eco-Run this morning was a good start and foray into keeping fit together as a couple. We concluded that our running styles were much like the tortoise and the hare – while I would sprint ahead for the first 3km, only to run out of steam and have to painfully take interval jogs towards the finish line, the hubs was able to maintain a strong and steady jog throughout, finishing the 5km a good 2 minutes before me.

Still, I’m pleased we managed to complete the 5km within our target goal of ~30 minutes. Here’s a brief breakdown of how each milestone felt:

@ 1km: Everything is good at this point. I’m within the top 5 runners at the front and it feels very motivating to be able to keep up a strong pace with the fellas (I seem to be the only female then)

@ 2km: Perhaps my first error in judgment – I stop briefly to grab a cup of water from the only water station in the run – the guy in front of me pours it on his head. As water spills while I jog, I stop my pace and finish my paper cup before continuing. At this point, some momentum is lost but I regain my pace.

@3km: We round a bend and my mind begins to play tricks on me. I listen to it, agreeing that more than half the race is complete and I ought to slow down and wait for the hubs to catch up. He does and we walk briefly, enjoying our surroundings before heading up and down the sloping roads near Marina Barrage.

@4km: The hubs continues running while I try to muster whatever energy I have left in my panting self. I settle for jogging in intervals, taking fast, quick steps whenever I can’t find it in myself to run. I’m not terribly proud of myself at the moment, but the scenery in the park we’re running in is beautiful.

Towards the finish line: The last 300m seem like 1km instead. The long yellow gates leading to this huge orange inflatable that reads: End seems to stretch way longer than I expected as I jog along the tar F1 pit roads near F1 pit building.

I actually begin to walk – when I realised the organisers have placed little children decked out in superhero attire, and who cheer with pom-poms everytime somebody crosses the finish line. I can’t even bear to think of walking now.

With whatever I can muster at this point, I dash past the finish line, shouting a brief “Thanks guys” as the little ones scream and jump – their positive energy remind me of Monsters Inc. and the possibility that the happy screams of little children can actually power the world becomes cemented as reality at this juncture.

I heave and wave towards the hubs, who has already grabbed his finish line medal and goodies and we walk, slowly, towards the comforting thought and knowledge of a warm breakfast, somewhere in the distance.


Overall, the marathon was an pretty cool experience for me. It really highlighted the power of community – how strangers could be, albeit briefly – united by a common running top and the solidarity from completing a race – 5km, 10km or 21.1km – together and coming out better and more alive for it.

How does this link to personal finance?

Well, the one thought I took away was that we all run our own races.

What does that mean?

It would seem that regardless of our backgrounds, young or old, rich or poor, prepared or not – all of us willingly took on the challenge of running 5KM in the morning.

Whether or not we would be the top three runners, whether or not we would end up walking to complete the race – we run our own race, competing and completing it to the best of our abilities.

Many times, when it comes to investing, most of us do so to live financially free and fulfilling lives.

Yet, how many of us are adequately ready and prepared to wait out the peaks and troughs of stock prices and spend immeasurable time on making good investments?

Have we accumulated good resources and the willpower to track our spending everyday? Are we maintaining a good pace and momentum of cash flow and burn rate, keeping in mind that the road ahead might be long and arduous?

Our investment journey is a long one, and one that will likely span years – impacting us across our life-stages and influencing us and our loved ones.

Indeed, as another proxy – the race of Life itself is akin to an obstacle course, a true marathon in its own right, with unexpected curveballs from Life and our own shortcomings that reveal themselves when least expected.

And yet, one day, our race in Life will come to an end.

In that sense, we are all united as runners in this race of Life. Yet all of us can only run a unique race – our very own, like no one else.

With that, how have you been running?

Live long and prosper,

Lynn

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