I just finished this year’s IPPT test and I should thank God for seeing me through yet another year. The test was held during my ongoing incamp training and I was worried about a stretched hamstring and strained right ankle sustained from last week’s virgin snow ski experience.
Well, I didn’t have to worry about those two medical issues at all, because when I started my shuttle run station, I pulled a left rear muscle above my thigh!
That prevented me from getting a good score on the shuttle run, but I managed to do pretty ok for the rest of the stations (chin-up, standing broad jump, situps and 2.4km run) because those didn’t really use the affected muscle.
If the records are right, I should be getting another silver award (yay, $200!) for the fourth year running. Looks like all these months of waking up at 5.30am for a quick jog around the estate has actually paid off.
As I hobbled home with a strained body tonight, several things struck me.
– I’ve been doing IPPT since I was 10 years old. That’s 24 years of physical testing! When will this horror end? Unlike some friends who’ve already finished their national service quota, I seem to be stuck in limbo with my unit mates.
– I’m probably fitter now than I’ve ever been in the past decade. Journalism wasn’t good for my fitness – I drove around and sat on my seat too much. The irregular hours meant no time to exercise at all.
Today, in my current job, I have regular working hours and I walk at least 2km a day to the MRT and to the office and back.
Here’s how my 2.4km score has improved (well, overall) over the past few years
- 2007 – 12 min 10 sec
- 2008 – 11 min 52 sec
- 2009 – 11 min 55 sec
- 2010 – 11 min 11 sec
This is not me showing off, because I used to clock below ten minutes regularly in the 1990s (now that’s me showing off, 15 years too late)!
But just sharing that despite my disdain for IPPT, I do admit it’s kept me on my toes and my heart pumping for a long time. I remember, during my uni days, I didn’t exercise much and I nearly fainted after my IPPT in 2000, after over two years of physical inactivity.
But IPPT is also a sad reminder of how our bodies gradually break down over time.
No matter how hard I train, I don’t think I can possibly return to the days when we were 18 and could finish off a 2.4km run without flailing around for breath or balance. I’ve never pulled any muscle in the past, but today’s incident was a grim reminder that those days of being a flexible youth are long gone.
What upsets me most, is no matter how much I jog regularly, my double chin wouldn’t stop expanding! But how can I ignore good food? Sigh, the choices we make, have greater impact as we get older.
And what is IPPT anyway, you say? Read this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IPPT_Award_Badge