Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Fight or Flight?

By Moira Toh. She lives in Penang.

This is a short tale of how the mind controls the body...

I love running in this little quiet loop/trail just off the normal route in the Penang Botanical Gardens. It is a short loop/trail that evokes warm memories of a time not so long ago when I was a kid (OK OK quite some time ago…..) and this loop/trail leads to a small lily pond before looping out again to the normal route of the gardens. I still have black and white photos of my family and I in front of this (recently improved and “manicured”) lily pond.
This is me after my last saturday long run - I am standing on the little bridge that links the loop.

I therefore cannot resist running into this short (about 300 metres) loop/trail each time I am running in the gardens. It is quiet, full of trees and plants (think of all the oxygen!) that cover off almost all sunlight and you reach a lily pond – what a sight! And the trail leading up to the lily pond is on a small hill so it is a great workout for the quads! The only problem with this short loop/trail is that it is VERY QUIET and can become VERY DARK at sunset…..
This is part of the short loop/trail. My friend Hooi Fang is running down towards the end of the loop where it meets the normal route of the Penang Botanical Gardens.

A few days ago, I decided to run into this little loop/trail at about 7.15pm in the evening, there was still a little sunlight so it was fine. About 10 mins later I decided to run into this loop/trail again and suddenly it struck me it was kinda DARK and creepy, actually REALLY, REALLY DARK. Instantly, weird and scary thoughts started creeping into my mind, what if there is a stalker? What if there are weird people and attackers waiting for me?? Without realizing it, I started to run really really fast and pant really, really loudly and even started praying!! I even thought of how loud to scream if the inevitable happened!!!!
My friend Hooi Fang and I infront of the lily pond in the middle of the loop.

Boy was I relived to see some fellow runners (one friendly one even “warned” me that it was way too dark to run in the little loop/trail) and the street lights that lighted the gardens at the end of the little loop/trail. One quick glance at my watch and I realized I was running at 4 mins per km!! Had my body primped itself for “flight”??? Or was it ready for a “fight”???? All I can say is that I am glad I neither had to take flight or had to fight and know now that our bodies will react to what our mind thinks and will take care to be safe rather than to be sorry next time!!!

After the adrenalin pumping moment as aforesaid, yours truly was on hyper-mood the whole night long and could hardly sleep!! Was it endorphins high or adrenalin high?

Happy running!

Moira Toh


Andrew @ Ketam Batu said...

Moira.. The sharp turning at the end of the path (2nd pic) used to be pitched dark before they cleared a few trees there. I have felt chills behind my neck running past there after 7pm in the past .. run safe :)

cheekaimun said...

Dear Moira, pls try not to do that again. There are a lot of sick people out there. But the pictures are really good. Rus safely.