Physical exercise

When I was young, I was a kind of person that did not really like sport. I thought it would waste valuable time and one should devote this time for helping our parents, learning and doing homework etc. I have changed my mind when I got older and encouraged my sons/daughter to play more sport for their health, physical and mental strength. Sport means a lot of things to us.

 In the 80er, while studying in Leipzig, East Germany, my friends used to play football or volleyball together. I started to learn playing football and volleyball too. I started to jog as well, but not very regular. Some time, I jogged regularly for one month. Then pause for a while. Then I started again. But, I like playing football and volleyball with our friends, though I am not a good player. In football I used to play as defense since it is not much demanding to run. I am tall and big too. It could frighten the other side a little bit too.

 When I came back to Phnom Penh in 1996, I used to walk and jog around our villa. We have a big house and with large compound. I jogged for thirty and up to seventy rounds, sometime. My jogging was regularly for a while and then stops for a while. However, I did record all my time spent for jogging and how many rounds too. I like to keep record, either in diary or in a small notebook.

 In front of our house we have a swimming pool where people can swim for one dollar entry fee. The water quality is not in favorable conditions since the price is cheap and many young people come to swim, especially during the weekend. I have the feeling sometime we swim in our own urine. But, it is better than not swimming at all. Swimming, along with jogging, is the one of the best sport activities one can do. I did go to swim with my children, sons and daughter. My daughter learnt to swim when she was 3 months old. We put her into the sea at Oh Chheuteal beach. We still have that picture. She is now 11 years old. In the swimming pool some younger people cannot swim and they stare at my daughter’s ability to swim and appreciate her skill very much. She was five or six years old at that time.

Sophanna in Koh Kong

In Koh Kong, after jogging (two round trips) along the Koh Kong bridge (One way is about 2 km)

 In 2008, I started to commit myself in walking and jogging. You got older too and I should take care more for my health the best I could. Health is very important for our life. No matter how much money you have, but when your health is in misery, money does not mean much to you, except paying the hospital’s bills. For the first year, I committed to walk and jog for three days per week. I did keep my promise very well. I went with my wife to the park in front of the Ministry of Defense. Usually, we woke up at 4:00 am, dressed and walked to the park. It is about two km from our house. Back and forth it means four km in walking. Being there, my wife walked first and then joined the dancing group. I jogged little by little, starting from 500 meters the first day and always add up one hundred meter each day. It was hard at the beginning. My heart started to beat faster and my muscle got painful. But, I continued on a regular basis. I record all the time and km I walked or jogged each day. At one point, I jogged for 7 km without stop.

 In 2009, I set my goal a bit higher: 3.5 times per week. In 2010, my objective is to reach 4 times per week. Currently, I walk 3-4 km and jog 3-4 km per day and four times per week. Yesterday, I woke up at 4:45, walked for 4.5 km and jogged for 3 km, till 6:15am. It was day # 178 of the week # 45. So, till the end of the week, I still have two mornings to exercise to reach my goal. It will be done and I am proud of it. I feel mentally and physically strong.

Sophanna on the bridge in Kampong Cham

Walking across the bridge in Kampong Cham, 29.10.10 (four times@1.6km)

At the same time, I reduced drinking and staying long night to one or two times per week. My weight comes down from 85 kg (three years ago!) to 76-77 kg, now. My size goes down from 38 to 36. I feel great for this achievement. Next year, in 2011, I would like to increase my exercise to 4.5 times per week; including walking, jogging and cycling.

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