The first half of week 7 was significantly hot. At times my air conditioner could not even neutralise the heat. But I feel like our experiences at OBBD really helped open my mind up, because in fact, the first week I returned home, my air conditioner was not working at all and I slept through the night with a fan. I remember telling myself, "I have been through worse, and for a longer period of time, this is nothing compared to that", and I was right. Towards the end of the week it started to rain more so it has been a lot cooler.
Besides the weather, I have been focusing more on my training. I purchased a pull-up bar which I ended up not being able to use as it apparently requires a door frame, although the name itself is a door-gym so I was baffled when I discovered that my door was in the way. I could not check before purchasing as I had sent a runner to do the shopping as a precautionary measure. To add salt to the wound, I then accidentally tipped the delivery man $20!!! No wonder he was so thankful! It is okay, it is just his good fortune…. My sit-ups have increased which I am happy about, not that I am satisfied though. I am aiming to do at least 52 in a minute, as the passing number is 47. I have been running more this week, though I have been having a hard time dragging myself out of bed and put on my shoes. I disciplined myself to get up and get it done, every single day with no fail. On days I feel I need extra sleep, I would conduct the workouts in the evening and I think that is okay, as long as I am still putting in the necessary work. Push-ups are still quite difficult for me but judging from the pictures Shazwan have taken from our zoom workouts, I can see my form has improved, for planks as well. Oh one important thing I have learnt this week is how helpful podcasts are for long distance runs. I did this twice this week and I found that it really helped distract my mind from the run, allowing me to run faster and longer.
Aside from that, from Monday to Wednesday, we have been having a leadership skills course with once again, Dr. Smita. Except this time, she invited a special guest, Ms. Sneha Khelay from Blue Tulip Consultancy in Hertfordshire, England. She was so sweet and warm. Having the course virtually was quite a challenge, especially in the first 2 days; everyone was quiet and hardly participated, even when a clear question was asked. I felt quite guilty when they asked for a response from the officers and no one replied. However towards the end of the course, we started having fun and it was less awkward. I even got to make friends with a couple of officers, namely Ms. Muizzah who is a researcher at SHHIBIDSS, Puan Hjh Farihah who is a military officer working in logistics, and Tuan Hafiy, another military officer. In fact, Tuan Hafiy and I were coincidentally each other's groupmates for every single activity, throughout the whole 3 days so we got to know each other quite a bit!
The leadership course focused on a lot of leadership characteristics and skills, but mostly emphasized on selflessness. We discussed on how important it was as a leader to be able to put the team's needs before our own. We even talked about how our parents are as leaders, and how all of our parents had different ways of raising us. Having held multiple leadership roles in the past, I found this course very self-reflective. I thought about how I am as a leader and the ways I could improve my leadership, one of them being more owning of my authority as I often tend to be more people-oriented and am very protective of my relationships with people. At times this has led me to make more lenient decisions which I in the end regret when I catch myself proven right. Hence in the course we were taught that sometimes, being an authoritarian leader is necessary. This led me to recall one of Col. Norsuriati's advices from the Youth Forum; sometimes you have to more deeply understand what being kind is, that at certain situations being stern IS being kind. For example, if making a group member or subordinate undergo a tough challenge is what is going to make them a better individual, then that is kindness.
On Thursday this week, we all got ready to have our 2nd doses of COVID-19 vaccination. We conducted our workouts extra early so we could leave on time. Unfortunately, I woke up with a runny nose and slight fever so I was not able to go and instead had to reschedule my appointment to the 30th of August, together with Raziq and Puan Ryna. I was bummed as I really wanted to get it over with and also get to meet my friends as I know I will not be seeing them for a long time, moreover considering the rapidly increasing number of Covid cases in the country. I was actually also looking forward to our fitness test, which was supposed to be next week on the 25th. We all have been preparing for it so it was quite sad to hear that the control measures has been extended to September. There has not been any updates on the rescheduling of the fitness test either so it is difficult for me to arrange the blocks for my fitness training in order to peak at the right time. I pray the situation improves and that everyone is safe and protected from the virus, I truly miss everyone.