Forty at Forty

The Year 2012 was special, because it was the year I turned 40 years old.

Many things have been said about reaching the big four-oh, including this often-heard phrase:

"Life Begins at 40"

(most probably invented and/or spoken solely by people who are turning/reaching this milestone.. hahaha!).

One of the most symbolic things that I had done in 2012 was to participate in the inaugural BII Maybank BALI MARATHON, on Sunday, April 22nd. It was a big thing for me, and it was made even bigger by connecting the effort to a library-building program that my alumni club, AUSCI (Alumni USC Indonesia), was supporting.

My marathon attempt turned out to be a very challenging experience, involving a pulled-hamstring at the halfway-point (kilometer 21) and two pit-stops at the medical bay thereafter. After a grueling 6 hours and 27 minutes, I finally crossed the finish line, and, most importantly, raised enough funds to build 13 (thirteen) CerdasBang! libraries for AUSCI, in the primary schools of Sleman, Central Java.

2012 was indeed an extraordinary year. Personally, it was a challenging year on many fronts, and finishing the 42,2 km (26,2 miles) marathon became a symbolic "reset button," ushering yours truly into the second-half of my existence.

A couple of other things happened in 2012:

  1. Back in 2009, AUSCI began our library-building effort with the World Is Just a Book Away foundation. By 2010, we had completed the first 12 libraries in Sidoarjo, East Java. The children who received this gift of Reading Rooms were very happy, with many having read NEW books for the first time in their lives. Seeing this positive impact, in 2010 I set a goal for AUSCI to finish 50 (fifty) such libraries in the next 5 years (by 2015). I am glad to report, as of 31 December 2012, AUSCI had finished building 57 (fifty seven) CerdasBang! libraries for the state primary schools in Sidoarjo, Padang and Sleman (ahead of '50 by 2015' original schedule). THANK YOU to our partners Yayasan Padi Pratama, WIJABA, and of course, the donors!
  2. On Sunday, 22 September 2012, I also participated in the inaugural Craze Ultra 78 KM (48,5 miles) in Singapore. If my first 42.2 KM in April was huge, the 78 KM in September was, well, crazy!
  3. It was the year that I started running regularly, and I am thankful for all the positive "side-effects" that this sport brings. From January 1st to December 31st, I had accumulated 1,675 KM (1,040 miles) in Nike+. I will be the first to say that I am neither a fast nor competitive runner, but I am comfortable saying that "yes, I am a runner."

40 kilometers (and beyond). 40 years old (and moving forward).


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