So Alan, Roy and I decided we would go to Phuket and try out running on foreign soil. This decision was made, if I can remember properly, on a Tuesday in October 2009 after training.
None of us regret the decision.
About 7 months later and $600+ less rich, we have returned from Thailand’s most expensive island. It’s been a long ride with a lot of planning done by Roy, and a lot of individual budgeting and personal training done by all the 3 of us. We all came back with something: cheap slippers (me), hot shots by the beach (Roy), a nasty cold (Alan), and jellyfish stings (all of us). But more than just the superficial, the trip has been a tough few days negotiating 3 separate personalities.In many ways, what happened on the trip to Phuket could be a reflection of our own team.
Unlike Redang, where everything seemed to have gone on quite smoothly (according to the facebook videos/ photos, credit goes to Nic Tey’s planning), Phuket was planned in theory. There was no programme, no route, no guide. And perhaps that was what made everything so damn unpredictable. Everything was divided into a pre-race (Saturday) and post-race (Sunday afternoon to Monday) idea of what we would do.
Roy and Alan might not say it, but there were times in Phuket when the 3 of us were literally at each others’ throats. We had expected discord, but I was a bit unprepared for the way we would react, myself included, under stress: wrong directions, people tailing us in Phuket town, a high tide at Phi Phi Island that screwed up our snorkeling trip, the attack of the jellyfish, and drivers trying to scam us. And many times things did screw up: we kena scammed, we got stung, we didn’t get what we wanted, we –
I would expect to conclude: “… and this taught me a lot more about my friends that anything ever could.” But, no. Not really. I did learn that Roy is a master picture taker and Alan is a garang explorer who hates routine, and that I can eat Thai street food without needing to do serious berak, and that we can all sit through air turbulence for 15 minutes and joke about throwing up while the other passengers think we’re crazy.
But, like being in a team, we’re all equally crazy. We’re all obsessed about something: Roy is obsessed with getting it right, Alan is obsessed with getting it cheap, and I’m obsessed with being boring 🙂
Somehow this obsession kept us in one piece. And we can still run together, we can still see each other every week. We can still say: ok fine, you were right, then share drinks/food later.
And everything’s all right. And that’s how a team should be.