Sea Expedition – Kelong Jump & Mangrove Kayaking

It was another great day out at sea ma syaa Allah. This is our 2nd run of Sea Expedition as part of GEMS Movement – Grundy+POPWOW Empowering Me Series. The weather was perfect and the company was simpply AWESOME!

Objectives

  1. Instill confidence in the open water
  2. Learn to work together (kayaking) against the natural elements
  3. Overcome fear of uncertainties (Kelong Jump)
  4. Increase awareness about the importance of affects of pollution in the sea, how kelong works, history of Pulau Ubin

We completed the mission!

We met early morning at Changi Point Ferry Terminal and boarded our chartered boat to Peers Outdoor Kelong. All 14 of us were so nervous yet excited to face the challenges ahead. The refreshing boat ride did calm their nerves as we travelled about 15mins to reach the kelong. We were warmly greeted by Sky and Dini, the intructors in-charge of our fate today hahaha.

Kelong Jump

Our first challenge was Kelong Jump. It didn’t look so scary at first but as one ascend to the top of the platform (about 1.5m above sea) and faces the open water, legs started to feel like jelly. Uncle Lee is ready in the safety boat about 20 metres away. Sky stood by our side to ensure that we adopt the proper jumping position while the rest of us cheered. The motivation and support from everyone definitely helped. The scene is set, we knew what to do, adopted the proper skill, safety measures- personal life jacket, safety boat, safety personnel in pos… all we had to do was tawakkal and take the plunge. A hundred question started to creep into our minds. We didn’t know how deep the water was, what lurks underwater, how strong the current was. Am I going to be swept way? Am I going to drown? While some even thought of sharks and loch ness monsters, i thought about Nemo and Dory and Spongebob hehehe… Some of us took a lil bit longer on the platform to compose ourselves but one by one, all 14 of us took the challenge and battled our fears to jump.  I was so proud of everyone!

Sarah bracing for Kelong Jump

Dini and Sky motivating Nasreen for her jump

Pulau Ubin Mangrove Kayaking 

Next Challenge! Mangrove Kayaking on double kayaks. It was important to delegate the partners correctly according to size and experience. Sky conducted a safety brief and a short lesson on kayaking. We learnt how to paddle, how to communicate with our partners and the whole team with the use of signals by whistle blows and use of paddles. We learnt the jargons – “break raft” and reminded of how to look out for one another. We identified the patners, collected our equipment and head on out to sea.

Kayaking was definitely not as simple and smooth sailing as it seems. There are many elements at play. Cooperation and communication is of utmost importance between partners. While we work together as a duo, we also need to work as a team with other kayaks to ensure that all is present and well. We did a few challenges in the water, kayak along the beautiful mangroves swamps of Pulau Ubin. The tide was going down.It was more difficult to paddle in but the outflow of sea water made it easier for us to glide back out into the sea.

In the midst of the expedition, we mantained  a single file while keeping our silence to enjoy the serenity and to look out for the familiar creatures. We would huddle and Sky would tell us about how the mangrove works, the history of Pulau Ubin and the kelongs. Mangrove forests are an extremely productive ecosystems that provide numerous good and services both to the marine environment and people. Being homes to a large variety of sea creatures, the dense root systems of mangrove forests also trap sediments flowing down rivers and off the land. This helps stabilises the coastline and prevents erosion from waves and storms.

We kayak from Jelutong Campsite, through the straits of Ketam Island and into RUM Site 2

It took us about 3 hours to finally complete the expedition. We were exhausted but definitely fullfiled and satisfied! Back at the kelong, while drying off, we conductd a post-activity debrief session where every member shared their learning points.

Learning Points – The different elements and how it applies to our daily life

  1. The Tools – In this scenario, the tools we have is the PSD (Personal Safety Device – lifejacket), paddle, kayak and ourselves. These are elements we can control. It is our responsibilities to learn how best to use these tools for our benefits, learn how to manourver, how to work with and not against the tools we have in our lives. We can choose not to adhere to safety regulations and endanger ourselves and others. We can choose to be lazy and let ourselves drift away expecting others to steer the boat for us. We can choose to throw away the paddle and not benefit from it. Or we can ensure our personal safety, work hard and smart to learn to paddle and manouver the boat to get to our destination and benefit from the tools we have and the experience we gained. Like all other tools we have in our lives. The pen and paper, our smartphones, our laptops, our kitchen, our education… we can choose how these tools benefit us. These tools are at our disposal and it is within our control to put in the effort and learn how to use these tools positively.
  2. Forces of Nature – As we kayak, we work with or against the natural elements like the sea, the current and tides, the wind, the weather- rain or shine.  We can predict and forecast but can never control. We can choose to complain, berate and curse at the “bad” weather or lament at every difficulty. Or we can choose to embrace and learn how to work best in any condition. As we paddle upstream against the tide, we paddled harder. It is tough but if we presevere, we will get to our destination and we know at the end of the day, “What doesn’t kill us, just makes us stronger.” We definitely went back with stronger arms and fitter upper bodies! As we went downstream, clouds were coming in, we relaxed and enjoyed ourselves as we went with the tide, light rain cooled us after the harsh heat of the sun and the winds pushed us towards the kelong. “Indeed, With difficulty, there is ease”. Our life is nothing but trials and tribulations. It is through these simulated experiences that we learn to deal and cope with challenges and difficulties. We sometimes land in conditions beyond our control, like the elements we faced today, we can choose to drift away or drown in our own desperation or work hard to overcome the challenge. We can always choose to look at the brighter side of things. As we paddled up, through the heat, our laughter made it easy. The beautiful scenery and awesome sights made it all worth it. We return humbled and full of gratitude.
  3. Social Wellness (Other people) – Social Wellness is the relationship we have with other people. In this case, our kayak partner, other members of the team and our Instructor. This is where effective communication plays an integral part in our safety and well-being. Effective communication includes LISTENING and giving proper instructions where patience, empathy (understanding the emotions) and sense of awareness also plays a role. One steers and one guides. Both paddle left and right together. Keeping in formation. No one left behind. We can choose not to listen to instructions and then panic because we don’t know how to use the paddle and we are not moving in the direction we want. We can choose to be lazy and let our partner do most of the work. We can choose to be selfish and leave others behind. Or we can choose to work together, listen and learn and look out for one another. Like all other relationships we have in our lives. In marriage with our spouses, with neighbbours and colleagues and family members. We can be selfish and excel ourselves or we can work together to ensure the well-being of our society and community is being taken care of. We can learn to listen and be empathetic to preserve our relationships or not. We can help or not. We can be vigilant or ignorant. At the end of the day, we will definitely reap thhe benefits or face the consequences of our choices. If we expect kindness from others, let ourselves be kind.

Effective communication includes LISTENING and giving proper instructions where patience, empathy (understanding the emotions) and sense of awareness also plays a role

Alhamdulillah, at the end of the day, we achieved all the objectives set for this activity. We gained much insights about oursleves, our comrades, the kelongs in Singapore, Pulau Ubin and the mangrove swamps. After the kelong jump, 3hrs of paddling, debrief session, reflections and sharings, we each takeaway some valuable lessons and experience, that we will never gain through books. Parallel life skills, lessons that we hope will benefit them in their daily lives and which will be used to benefit others. In syaa Allah…

 

To more adventures! Look out for our next blog about our Caving Experience and Waterfall Abseiling at Gunung Muntahak.

Love,

Efah Anuar

S T R O N G E R

“Life at its best is a series of challenges. A big enough challenge will bring out strength and abilities you never knew you had. Take on challenges and you will bring yourself to life.”

Physical Courage is bravery in the face of physical pain, hardship, death or threat of death while moral courage is the ability to act rightly in the face of popular opposition, shame, scandal, discouragement or personal loss.

Mental strength is the ability to regulate your emotions, manage your thoughts and behave in a positive manner despite your circumstances. Developing mental strength is about finding the courage to live according to your values and being bold enough to create your own definition of success. Mental strength involves more than willpower; it requires hard work and commitment. It’s about establishing healthy habits and choosing to devote your time and energy to self-improvement. Although it’s easier to feel mentally strong when life seems simple, often, true mental strength becomes most apparent in the midst of tragedy. Choosing to develop skills that increases your mental strength is the best way to prepare for life’s inevitable obstacles.

Although it’s easier to feel mentally strong when life seems simple, often, true mental strength becomes most apparent in the midst of tragedy.

“The Brave is not one who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”

Developing mental strength is a work in progress. It may even take a lifetime of learning. At times it will seem more difficult than other times. How do the toughest people summon the will to keep going? In the book Resilience: The Science of Mastering Life’s Greatest Challenges, the authors studied resilient people for over 20 years. They spoke with Vietnam prisoner of war, Special Forces instructors and civilian who dealt with terrible experiences like medical problems, abuse and trauma. This is a few pointers of what they learnt…

  1. Be Optimistic. Truly resilient people who need to survive the harshest situations and still accomplish goals, balance a positive outlook with a realistic view of the world. But what about when your optimism gets tested and things gets scary
  2. Face your Fears. Neuroscience says there’s only one real way to deal with fear: you need to face it, head on. This is what most resilient people do. When we avoid scary things we become more scared. When you face your fears, they become less frightening. To extinguish a fear-conditioned memory, one must be exposed to the fear-inducing stimulus in a safe environment and this exposure needs to last long enough for the brain to form a new memory which conveys that the fear-conditioned stimulus is no longer dangerous in the present environment.
  3. Have a Moral Compass. They found that the emotional resilient people all had a strong sense of right and wrong. Despite being in situations that could threaten their lives, they always thought about others, not just themselves. They possessed a keen sense of right and wrong that strengthened them during periods of extreme stress and afterward, as they adjusted to life following trauma. Altruism often stood as a pillar of their value system.
  4. Practice Spirituality. This was the #1 thing that one researcher found when studying people who overcame tragedy. He found that religious belief among survivors to be the single most powerful force in explaining the tragedy and in explaining survival.
  5. Social Support. Our brains need social support to function optimally. Connection with others releases oxytocin which calms your mind and reduces stress.
  6. Have Resilient Role Models. Resilient individuals have role models whose beliefs, attitudes and behaviours inspire them. However, often enough, they have bad role models instead – people who provide an example of what they don’t want to be.
  7. Maintain Physical Fitness. Those who are resilient believe that staying fit has helped them both during their traumatic ordeal and during their recovery. The stress of exercise helps us adapt to the stress we will feel when life challenges us. Researchers believe that during vigorous exercise, the “anxiety-sensitive” person is forced to tolerate many of the symptoms (rapid heart rate, sweating, rapid breathing) that frighten them during periods of anxiety. Over time, the “anxiety-sensitive” individuals who continues to exercise vigorously can learn that these symptoms of arousal are typically not dangerous and the fear that these symptoms trigger gradually decreases in intensity (Salmon, 2001).
  8. Keep your Brain Strong. Resilient people are very often lifelong learners. They keep growing their mind, learning to learn and adapting to new information about the world. They continually seek opportunities to become more mentally fit.

“The Brave may not live forever but the cautious do not live at all. For now, you are travelling the road between who you think you are and who you can be”

What is GEMS: Grundy + POPWOW Empower ME Series?

GEMS is a series of fun and easy challenges across different elements, especially tailored to simulate life’s obstacles. GEMS hopes to EMPOWER participants with essential life skills, help to identify and remove any mental obstacles, bring clarity and complete with renewed confidence in themselves and their ability to make decisions and conquer life’s challenges. Participants will learn to enhance their spiritual practice, develop a heightened self-awareness and expand their comfort zone. All they have to do is participate in the activities and collect as many Gems as possible. The more Gems they collect, the more skills they will attain and more confidence garnered. All activities will be conducted as a group to foster social support with command opportunities to develop leadership skills. Don’t worry, no creepy crawlies in included in this series!

GEMS is brought to you by Nashata Active Singapore. Register here : https://shop.nashata.com/en/134-active

Wear It Pink October


I started running pink early October wherever I go.

In this essential month of October, we have launched programmes to spread awareness in conjunction of Pink October Breast Cancer Awareness. Our main highlights was to promote self-defense among ladies. On the 21st. October we held a free Kickboxing class for our customers at the Hammerfist Fight Club to promote health awareness on breast cancer. To pay respect for the breast cancer survivors, we showed support and care by wearing pink on that day. We limited the number of participants to 20 people as the fight studio isn’t that big. Many people showed up more than we expected and most importantly, they were all in pink! Frankly, we could not not help feeling a little bit moved to see how dedicated the supporters were that day. Kudos to people who care!

Here are some pictures of our participants showing their pink spirit.

Sisters standing up for each other. We gotcha’ back sis!



Having fun learning self defense with our trainer, Benny.


Give up or give it all you’ve got! We chose the latter.

Here are some short clips of us giving our best in spite of zero experience in kickboxing.

We highlighted our pink coloured products and encouraged our customers to share their post on instagram wearing pink to show support through social media.

Amin Sports Hijab in fuschia. Riada Nahl in pink.
Tron 2 Ultra Top streaked in hot pink.
Our dear customer, Azzie Mohd showed support wearing full Nashata items in pink.

Until the end of the month, even our founder, Eliza Noordin portrayed endless support by wearing pink Heather Floral Top during participating a marathon in Jakarta.

In a nutshell, though October has come to an end, Pink October spirit will always live in our hearts. Hats off to the breast cancer survivors! Our thoughts and prayers will always be with you heroes.

Introduction to lifting techniques at Fuel Athletics

I have always felt that weight-lifting is still a male dominated sports. Just look around you at the gym; somehow women will gravitate towards the cardio equipment and machines, while male will congregate at the free weights section. Maybe because women are scared that they are not strong enough to lift, or they fear that they might bulk up and lose their curves, or they just simply do not know how to use weights. Weight lifting should know no gender boundaries. God has created men and women to look different for a reason, and women will never lose their curves no matter how heavy they lift or how much protein they take. In fact, lifting weights will give women a leaner, healthier looking body as it reduces body fat and increases muscles, so your clothes will fit better without the flabbiness. Oh, and having flatter abs is always a plus point too!

 

At 8am last Saturday, I was thrilled to see many strong ladies (and gentlemen) from my running group who were eager to learn more about some basic lifting techniques at Fuel Athletics. We started off with some basic warming up, like squats, jumping jacks, burpees, and mountain climbers.

  DSCF7854We love the open-air vibe of this gym, a refreshing taste from the normal concrete walls. The glass walls give a very spacious illusion to the space, and blends in with the greenery outside (Photo credit: Kyserun Krew)

DSCF7813Warming up outside the gym (Photo credit: Kyserun Krew)

After warming up, we started with deadlifting. Deadlifting was a basic method of carrying the bar from the ground. As easy as it sounds, it was not that simple. The coach ensured that everyone had the right posture, such as activating your hamstrings and keeping your chest up and straight. I also noticed that this should also be the correct way of carrying heavy things instead of bending down to prevent back ache.

 

DSCF7873“So, does anybody know how to deadlift?” *crick crick crick* (Photo credit: Kyserun Krew)

DSCF7946  There is absolutely no point of trying to keep a straight face while lifting (Photo credit: Kyserun Krew)

Then, we proceeded to power clean. This movement was more complex than deadlifting, as it involves some explosive movement of catching the bar and simultaneously going into a squat position. Most of us have never even heard of this technique, but after a few round of practices, we managed to get a hold of it.

 

DSCF7963The assisting instructor showing us how it’s done (Photo credit: Kyserun Krew)

After learning the basics, we did a mini-Crossfit training with 40 reps of deadlifting, 500m of sprints, and 10 reps of power clean with our partner. All of these must be done in 4 sets. By the end of the 4th set, all of our arms and feet have definitely turned into jelly!

 

DSCF7975WOD (Work out of the Day) as prescribed by the coach (Photo credit: Kyserun Krew)

DSCF7928DSCF8018 We look forward to working out in their new outlet in Shah Alam after Ramadhan is over! (Photo credit: Kyserun Krew)

According to the coach, ideally women should deadlift about 80kg, so we still have a long way to go from today’s 30kg of lifting. Clearly, we have serious work to do here. So, ladies (and gentlemen), lets incorporate the weights for a stronger, leaner, and healthier body!

For more info, head to http://fuelathletics.com.my/ or http://www.fuelprimecrossfit.com/

Until next week,

The Weekend Runner

Acara Malaysia Women Marathon yang awesome!

ALHAMDULILLAH, semuanya berjalan lancar untuk Pertunjukan Fesyen dan pelancaran Nashata yang pertama kali dalam program Malaysia Women Marathon (MWM) pada 15 Mac yang lepas yang di adakan di Royal Theater Shah Alam. Kami akan berkongsi cerita yang menarik bersama anda!

HARI PERTAMA | 14 MAC 2014 | JUMAAT

Program ini berlangsung selama tiga (3) hari berturut-turut bermula dari 14 sehingga 16 Mac 2014. Booth kami terletak di bahagian kanan pintu masuk dewan Royal Theater. Hari Jumaat tersebut mula di penuhi ramai pelanggan dan pengunjung yang datang untuk menyaksikan sesi dialog wanita dan sekaligus memberikan sumber inspirasi kepada para wanita yang lain untuk terus maju ke hadapan. Antara penceramah yang hadir ialah :

1) YB Rodziah Ismail, Exco Selangor untuk Kebajikan Wanita

2) Catherine Ndereba, Pemenang Marathon Dunia sebanyak 7 kali

3) Eliza Noordin, Usahawan Perniagaan Online

4) Alecia Heng, Pengasas Gorgeous Geek

Women Dialogues

HARI KE-DUA | 15 MAC 2014 | SABTU

Kami mengambil kesempatan ini untuk membuat pelancaran NASHATA untuk pertama kali. Segala produk terbaru, kami peragakan oleh model-model professional. Antaranya baju Riada Peplum, T-Shirt Lengan Pendek Keep Calm, Baju Ultra A-Cut, Tudung Amin Hijab, Seluar Aktif Riada, Bag Sukan dan Bag Kasut. Pertunjukan Fesyen ini di meriahkan lagi dengan kehadiran tetamu istimewa iaitu Nur Suryani Mohd Taibi, Penembak Negara Olimpik yang merasmikan pelancaran dangan menulis tanda tangan di baju A-Cut Nashata yang berwarna kelabu. Ratu Muslimah Dunia 2013, Obabiyi Aishah Ajibola juga membuat penampilan semasa pertunjukan fesyen tersebut.

tandatnagn suriyani

Tandatangan Nur Suryani

Fashion Show

HARI KE-TIGA | 16 MAC 2014 | AHAD

Semua peserta larian berlepas dari perkarangan Dataran Merdeka Shah Alam. Kami menaja larian 5KM Fun Run yang disertai oleh pelanggan setia dan  kaum wanita yang lain dari perbagai umur. Acara larian tersebut telah di lepaskan oleh Catherine Ndereba dan disertai oleh YB Elizabeth Wong, YB Dr. Daroyah dan ratusan kaum hawa.

IMG_8178

Walaupun keadaan cuaca ketika itu tidak begitu baik dengan jerebu, aktiviti larian tetap di jalankan seperti yang di rancangkan, tetapi jarak larian dikurangkan ke 3km. Belon Nashata yang menarik dapat memberi semangat untuk para peserta barlari dengan gembira. Percaya atau tidak, pelatih industri kami Iman Aida Amirah berjaya membuat larian sebanyak 10km kerana tersilap memilih lorong larian gara-gara jerebu dan tidak nampak dengan jelas.

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Larian_1

Di kesempatan ini, kami dari pihak warga kerja Nashata mengucapkan ribuan terima kasih kepada semua pihak yang membantu menjayakan larian ini terutamanya penganjur Iron Girl Sdn. Bhd dan penaja utama Tourism Selangor.

Ikutilah juga liputan blogger dan media berikut:

Nota : Setinggi-tinggi penghargaan juga buat Asia’s Leading Online Cycling News Portal, baikbike.com untuk beberapa gambar yang digunakan untuk blog ini
 

TERIMA KASIH