My First First – District 93 TM Fall Conference 2015

delIt was probably around July when District 93 (South Korea TM) declared that the event for the Toastmasters Fall Conference would be the Humorous Speech Contest.  Since I have a slight idea of how to write a humorous piece, I wasted no time and immediately prepared for it.  I had a discussion on this over a cup of coffee in Seongjeong Beach with my good pal Ken.  Though I have already seen a number of speeches regarding Toastmasters, and I fear that people might not be irritated to hear another one, I took the risk and wrote it anyway.  I thought of getting few old jokes about my old speech, some Filipino pick-up lines, Toastmasters and the cheesiness about dating.  Hah! Whatever, Toastmasters is a place where I can develop my skills; I might as well give it a try?

I first delivered it in the 200th meeting in Go-getters TM Club in Busan; to be honest; it was for me, dry and too raw. My delivery was appalling and I forgot almost many of my lines. I know it could be improved. I tried it next in the club contest in Burning Brunch; after a number of practices, it fortunately worked. I had a little dilemma about time management during the area contest preparation that I felt participating was no longer a priority. I was invited to speak in TEDx, I joined the Ironman in Gurye and for that; I felt I can’t join anymore.  Gladly, the odds went to my favor by closely fixing my appointments well. I won the area contest and still able to attend to some of my commitments.  After the Area is the Division. I know that the completion will be tough because most of the time, I always get third and not going up to the District, so I asked two friends to sit with me on my speech to get further feedback, which I think helped me a lot and make me win the Division.

I have 3 weeks to prepare for the District Contest, but I signed up for another triathlon and half marathon event (Hah! I love punishing myself). I also committed myself in swimming during weekends and hiking, that I only have a small time to practice at night, at least I recite it with eyes closed when I am about to sleep to make sure that I am not forgetting my speech.

The Finalist of the District 93 Humorous Speech Contest 2015

During the D-day, I made sure I am ready by securing my props, the microphone and the stage.

Gratefully, a number of people were entertained, laughed at my speech, and made me win. I received awesome feedback that really made my day.  I got it! My first time to win first in the district!

Of course, I wouldn’t have made it without the support of my friends, a handful of them ensured that I got what I need to succeed. Thank you. I indeed had a blast. A wonderful experience, I will never forget.  🙂

Here is the video of my speech.

More Photos Here

When Failure Changed You

Turning wounds into wisdom…

Left – September 2014, Right – October 2015

Everyone fails.  Once, twice or maybe a hundred times; just like Thomas Alba Edison when he thought of creating the light bulb, his failures did not stop him from doing what he loves.  It even made him to do something better, until he achieved his goal… Just like him, it may not be phenomenal, I have a story too.
Flashback – I left Kuwait for Korea in July 2014. I was a bouncing 100kg block at that time. Wooohhoooo! One of my friends even threw a joke at me that I am 0.1 ton (Damn, how could they use the unit ton on me). I know I’m heavy and big for my height but I believe that things will be okay if I workout.  I’m sure it will be okay.  So I started having this new life, working out, running, swimming, but nothing really serious as my diet was the same.  SEE-FOOD (When I see food, I eat). I would always try to weigh myself and see very minimal changes; I joined various half marathons, but naaah, nothing.  Ok, I lost weight, 1lb per month.  I’m not really sure if it was a big difference… maybe, at least I’m going somewhere.  I even joined Tokyo marathon in February 2015, and I was around 95Kg; 5kg in 7months.  Then triathlon events came in April and finished last.  At the end of July 2015, I weight 93kg; a loss of 7kg in one year.

Busan Half Marathon Finished at 2:43.
Busan Half Marathon Finished at 2:43.

My friends see me as very optimistic person and I really consider myself the same: fit and able to endure anything that goes in my way. Then, this event came.  70.3 Ironman… A Complete Failure. I blame the full moon, the unforgiving heat and the inconsiderate marshals (even though they are not) for now allowing me to run…

Fine. No problem, I’m fine, Perfect, Try again. I was trying to console myself and so did my friends, but the truth was, it’s not okay. I returned to Korea thinking about it, and I had this realization, that I need to do something different for me to really achieve my goal.

I started planning, and logging my accomplishments manually, there are strava and runkeeper, but putting it this way gave me a sudden thrill of completing every workout.
I started planning, and logging my accomplishments manually, there are strava and runkeeper, but putting it this way gave me a sudden thrill of completing every workout.

I signed up for a number of multisport events, but I told myself that I want to be better. I created a training diary and told myself that I should do it. Whatever my reasons were when I wake up, I have to do it. I get up early to swim or bike or run. Then in the evening do the same. 7 days a week. I rest sometimes but that’s because of my work schedule.  The key was I should have a good sleep.   I used my common sense on my diet; eliminated sugar in my coffee and chose healthier options.

On the first 2 weeks I saw significant difference on my weight. Wow! This is working.  I shared my plan to few of my friends who I know can motivate me; to keep my sanity (because I’ve never done this before). I would show them what I’m doing and they would virtually pat my back for my job. That feels good.

I consistently workout, and it showed huge results.  All my races may not be a complete success but there is one thing in this pursuit that thrilled me most. I lost 10kg! I looked back on some of my photos a year ago, and it was like I’m looking at two different people, with the same smile (lol).  Even I couldn’t believe on what I have achieved, just when I thought it’s IMPOSSIBLE. Then, I change the way I look at things, then it became, I’M POSSIBLE.  I used my failure as my inspiration to be better, and so I succeed.
Today, I am still aiming to shred few more pounds, I just recently hit sub 2 hours in my last half marathon, and looking forward to improve my time in my marathon pursuit.


Monitored my progress with the use of Body Analyzer in the gym I am registered, while the accuracy of the Fat% and other things seemed to be questionable, it is giving me a ball park value and something to target.

Beat the Record – Ulsan Human Rights Half Marathon

After a series of multi-sport events that I have participated, I thought of signing up for a half-marathon event. I have been seriously training for quite some time now that includes a 21K long run where I clocked 2:12, so I thought with proper planning, I could beat my old 2:09 record back in December 2009.


I arrived almost 3 hours early in Ulsan, (50km where I live) where the race will be held.  That’s okay, I thought, at least I would have enough time. It was cold, and I was shivering.  I knew that the temperature would go up a bit so, I was not really that worried.

The race began at 9:30.  I carefully paced myself to get at least 2:06. It is the first time too that I am using my Garmin-VivoActive so things are quite new to me. It was a bit annoying that the pace is showing me is in min/km but its lap count is at 1.6km.  After seeing my pace on the 1st km at 5min, I just run at comfort.  Surprisingly, my pace is not going down below 6. I thought I would probably be drained after 10k, so I might just as well push as far as I can go. There are times that I tried pushing below 5:20min/km but it was too much for me, to add humor to it, there was a woman probably in her 40’s overtook me, Wow!  Where is this lady coming from? I tried pacing with her for a few minutes, but I guess she’s just way too strong for me.  I backed off when I thought it’s not good anymore to exert so much, and I would be back at my own comfortable pace.  Then another old man ran past me. Wow!  Wow!  What have I been doing all these years, I couldn’t even see any kind of difficulty in his face.  Thanks for the pace… So much respect I have in you people.

Excitement came when I still felt good at 10K, 11K, 12K, 13K, Aha! I can still do it; although my pace declined in time after 15Km, I swore I still tried my best.  I eventually finished at 1hr 53 min but it seemed short by 600m.  For that, I decided to complete the 21k to justify that I did 21K in less than 2 hours. It was first time since I started doing a half marathon in 2009. The power of mind is truly remarkable; we can believe in lies by accepting negative thought about ourselves and be the product of our own beating or be more positive in creating things that you desire.  I did both, but I know what I want this time; hence my improvement.  For sure, we will break another 21k record soon.   🙂