A WHILE back, I was challenged by the R.AGE team to do something adventurous, something that would get me out of my heels, tight clothing and essentially, cause me a lot of pain and discomfort in the process.
Initially, I thought of several outsdoorsy activities, but decided against these because – and not many people know this – I have a diploma in Forestry so being in the jungle is nothing new to me, nor would it be a challenge. There were also those numerous trips to my father’s longhouse in Sarawak when I was younger.
I wondered then if cooking up a storm for my friends and colleagues would make a good challenge, but that’s not exactly out of my comfort zone either. Plus, who would want to read about me chopping onions and stir frying vegetables?
Finally, I recalled an event I had actually chickened out of early this year – the Games of Death (also referred to as GoD), where people get together to compete in a marathon of games.
Yes, I signed up for GoD only to withdraw a week later after I found a replacement because I was terrified of coming face-to-face with competitive rivals, looking like a loser, and getting injured.
I’ve never excelled at sports or athletics, and these days most of my fitness activities involve running on a treadmill in an air-conditioned gym, and walking in air-conditioned malls. GoD would also give me a chance to for once, show off to my super athletic triathlon and marathon enthusiast brothers.
So, as a challenge to myself, after months of planning with the ‘God’ of GoD, Sri Gananatha Sivanathan, we got four teams together last weekend and headed down to the Kota Seriemas Lifestyle Centre in Nilai, Negeri Sembilan, for a full day of fun and games.
The first edition of GoD was held in 2001 as a games event among friends and friends of friends. Since then there have been six editions.
For R.AGE’s edition of GoD, we played volleyball and beach soccer along with track relay, tug-of-war and basketball. We also brought in The Star BRATs, who made up three teams, to compete against my team – R.AGE.
The first and second events (100m and 400m track relay) went great. Team R.AGE came out tops thanks to our good fortune of having four excellent runners on our team. I didn’t do too badly either, keeping up with the pace throughout.
Tug-of-war came next, and although the other teams put up a good fight, R.AGE emerged the winner of this event as well.
It was at this point that I realised the sole of my shoe was coming off and required a quick fix before the basketball session. Masking tape proved to be the solution and the shoe held up throughout the rest of the afternoon, thankfully. At least, it wasn’t a pair of heels!
Basketball was probably the most competitive session of the day. Despite having three tall guys in our team, R.AGE was beaten twice and we ended up in second place!
After a quick lunch, we removed our shoes and socks for the next event – beach volleyball. Now, I haven’t played volleyball in 14 years and to be honest, I’ve never liked the sport.
First of all, it’s extremely difficult to serve, and second, if you’re skillful enough to return the ball over the net, volleying it over is so painful! You have to have limbs of steel to enjoy this game! But miraculously, we came out tops again!
By the time we were called out for the beach soccer session most of the participants were running out of steam, myself included. It was around 4pm and we had been outdoors from 8am.
My usually pale skin was bright-sunburned-red (I forgot to apply sunblock lotion) and I was getting really exhausted from all the physical exertion.
We powered on through football and lost two games, putting us second in the standings, but in the end my team (made up of BRATs Tan Jia Shern, Foo Yung Zen, Khoo Jian Yong, Ianything’s Ian Yee, and friends Sangeeta Devi and Easan Sathiyalingam) emerged champions of GoD and walked away with prizes from Nestle Drumstick and the Kota Seriemas township.
All in all, it was a great experience and after completing GoD, I’m ready for whatever challenge is thrown my way!
But I’m back in my heels. Aching body parts aren’t going to keep me away from them!
n The R.AGE Games of Death Challenge was organised with the support of Nestle Drumstick.
**Pics by RAJA FAISAL HISHAN