Saturday, 17 March 2012

UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL WITH AFIZA ABDUL HALIN


Afiza Abdul Halin was born a Virgo some 29 years ago to a family of lecturers. Her father was a lecturer, mom was a lecturer, her two other siblings are both lecturers and so are their wives but the blacksheep of the family chose to be in the corporate sector instead. Afiza is also the youngest, the only daughter and probably the most stubborn in the Halin family. To top them all, Afiza owned a strong handsome Spanish Stallion that is popularly known as Jorge, the husband. Jorge was one lucky catch for not many can tolerate the only princess of Halin being too manja, spoiled and pampered.. Jorge is the world to Afiza.

The sweet tanned skin lady known to her comrade at the Chief's Original Bootcamp by her trademark pink-short was brought up in a little town in Bandar Baru Bangi and spend most of her childhood venturing into sewers and forest. She was born hyper-active and spend most of her free time picking on boys by throwing stones on them and when there are no boys, she would climb up rooftops and trees to steal her neighbor's rambutan fruits. That became the foundation of her solid upper body and she did make the most of that lengthy leg from the early age by chasing chicken and at time, be chased by dogs.. As she grew up older, she stopped climbing trees and stopped chasing chicken but started cycling, blading and even reading!! 

With that childhood foundation working out with trees, rooftops, chicken and dogs, Afiza quickly became good at long jumps, high jumps, hurdles, sprinting and disc throwing at school and later in college. She loved team sport the most and was active with Handball, volleyball and netball. With that super-hyper lifestyle, Afiza was blessed with a fit body during her teens and college although her regular meals includes endless kuey teow goreng, nasi goreng and sambal petai.

The rare Melayu-that-love-sunbathing left for Troy, New York in 2002 to pursue her tertiary education and graduated from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) with a degree in Information technology concentrating in Management Information System minoring in Communication. During her undergraduate study, Afiza took running as an exercise (probably because there was no trees to climb, chicken to chase and dogs to pick in New York). She would ran 20 laps every other day across the block and she could still eat anything she desired without putting on weight.

Upon graduation, Afiza joined Shell in 2006 and now she is involved in managing IT projects. She works virtually with flexible hours which gave her the opportunity to balance her work and personal life accordingly but Afiza never abused the flexibility because she love what she does and she loves working for Shell. Most of the time, Afiza work till late hours.

A year after joining Shell, Afiza attempted her first 10km race at the Ambank Kuala Lumpur International Marathon in 2007 and a year later she picked-up diving and Jorge. Internal sports at Shell kept Afiza fit with various sports such as tennis, netball, swimming, basketball and even dancing. Afiza took up Salsa and Latin which became part of Afiza's passion.  Afiza's life then was all about Running, Diving, Dancing and Jorge.

In 2009, as marriage and work piled up, Afiza's outlook took a turn... Except for Jorge, she broke-up with all her other passion. She did not frequent the gym much, she stoppped running in the park and the track, she did not go dancing anymore and worst, she stopped eating right!!! She stuffed in way too much rice and curry from Kanna Curry House and she err.. grew from 52kg, 168 lanky lass to a fluffy 60kg bride in May 2009. In June 2010, Afiza broke her Personal Best (PB) weight when her size grew to a 'healthier' 68kg (my weight!!) and Jorge was not much of a help when he keeps on saying Afiza is beautiful... When she was becoming chubbier.

Afiza tried to pick up running again but she pickup more reasons not to start instead. She signed up for the Penang Bridge marathon and went to Penang but instead of running, she had a food feast. She planned to go for gym but ended up at cinemas. Instead of Dancing classes, Afiza took cooking classes and made super duper cheesilicious lasagnas, creamy curries and chocolaty muffins. She would bring a pint of ice-cream to office and Jorge flew in Krispy Kreme Donuts from Phillipines for her and that was when Krispy Kreme was not available in KL. Afiza's passion from running and dancing became cooking and makansutra!!! Life was all about food even her two cats, Ninji and Solid Cloud were chubby cats because alike the owner, they only eat and sleep without exercise.

Afiza had a wake up call when she sat in the driver seat, buckled up then saw her tummy flab peering over the seat belt and felt so uncomfortable. Yikes... yucks! She had to do something before it worsen but nothing else work until she found the Chief's Original Bootcamp in 2010!!! Although it is known as the Military Inspired but it did not deter the once an athletic iron lady. She wanted a program that works and get back her old athletic self.

At the Chief's Original Bootcamp, Afiza performed her first benchmark assessment and even though she was fit at School and college but she did not even qualify for the first circuit and barely made it for the second. Afiza could not do a single push-up.. not even on her knees. Her forms and techniques were bad and although she manage to qualify her second benchmark assessment in 11:00 and 11:30 but her forms were still bad and in 2 months, she had only lost 2-3kg and had no clue what went wrong although she did her best while training.

A few month later, the Chief's Original Bootcamp launched its first 8 Weeks Challenge (8WC) and this was when Afiza discovered her biggest sin!! It was the food she ate!! The 8WC food and dieting was the toughest thing she had to endure (Thats because she has not given birth yet) because the tempation was just unbearable. The only thing that kept her going was her fellow comrade at the Chief's Original Bootcamp whom struggled and motivated together with her. 


"Other people outside the Chief's Original Bootcamp does not know and does not seek to understand. They thought it was ridiculous. I cant recall my exact weight before 8WC  but after the 8 weeks, I lost 10kg, managed to be upgraded to DELTA ranking at the Chief's Original Bootcamp, I was voted the Spirit of Bootcamp and I ACE'd my sessions!!", said the witty and cheerful Afiza and added. ".. but my ultimate 'syiokness' was when I am able to do my benchmark assessment pushups on my toes!! Although it was just pushups but it was a great deal to me!!".
With the motivation from instructors and fellow comrade, I became so committed that once, I had to take a conference call for 40 minutes while I run together with my fellow COBC comrade at the Long Slow Distance (LSD) training at Damansara Heights. Such was how Afiza made full use of her virtual works with extra flexibility and sacrifices. There is always a compromise if there is an opportunity to be seized. The 3 in 1 moment was how Afiza multi-tasked herself.. Conference call, running and breathing-training practice.


The athletic built, young, wild but not-available lady is also an easy person to be pleased. She can be so contented with the smallest of achievements but actually, acknowledging the small achievement is as important as targeting for a bigger goal. When asked, what are the significant and memorable moment after joining the Chief's Original Bootcamp, Afiza answered without hesitant as follows:
Afiza: 
  1. I can do push ups.. still not perfect, but I can do them now!
  2. Breathing improvements when diving. I used to use so much air and surface up with 50-70 bar only after 30-40mins dive. Now, with same depth & dive time, I can still dive & breathe comfortably surfacing up with an avg of 100 bars
  3. I bought my first pair of Levi's jeans (and skinny jeans some more!). Girls who are curvy or tall or both knows that Levi's jeans are majorly catered for skinny girls & length lesser than 33inches (yes my legs are that long)
  4. Bruised and scarred my elbows until people thought I was in an accident after doing leopard crawls
  5. I ran my first 21km in Angkor Wat Int Half Marathon 2011
  6. I started running on a weekly basis again & learned what LSD was
  7. I started to drink water consciously (cause I never used to before)
  8. Better awareness on food purchasing & preparation. My cooking method is now better for me, my hubby & my cats. My cats also lost weight and they exercise with their cat castle.
  9. I am better at waking up early.
  10. I can lift & carry Jorge up now
  11. Never stopped asking people to join our BAF on a monthly basis from July 2010
  12. HANDWASH my COBC attire after every single session without fail. When Jorge joined, I had to handwash 2 pairs of attires. URGH, I dont like this part at all! I want a washing machine!
Afiza whom kept a journal of her life and love to write too added, "Apparently, I am known as the girl in pink shorts... I only had one pair since I first joined and yes, it is the same pair of pink shorts you'd see me wear at almost every session. Why? Cause haha I wash them everytime after bootcamp and then wear it again at the next one. And recently, I found the same EXACT pair and I got them. Now I have two!!!" 

That answered everyone's question... Afiza did not re-cycle the same short day-in and day-out.

What about the Chief's Original Bootcamp that Afiza liked the most?

Afiza in her cheerfulself said, "In COBC, I love doing cardio cadence cause I like the counting part. Yes, I am THAT easy to please! I love tabatas too and my favorite exerice is abs workout. I like to do ankle-tap-sit-ups.. nx in line is actually bear-crawl cause it always remind me the time Hani & I hit each other's heads when we bear-crawled chasing down then Sarge Dann"

"I only love the memory of it, not the actual crawling. And I definitely do not like those darn long jumps. TORTURE! TORTURE! But gives me good bum.. but TORTURE still! And I like doing COBC in the rain.. the most recent “Share the Suffering” session in DHZ under cold pouring dusk rain was awesome! The washing after that was not though... and that is the least likeable thing bout my COBC experience as I dont have my own washing machine.", added Afiza probably a public-hinting to someone for a er... washing machine?


"I strived best when I am with people, especially with people who wants to establish a relationship through sharing passions may it be running, eating, driving, going on trips, doing charity work, hunting for vacations, doing project plans, anything. I like being in a team and contribute to its success. I would feel really shitty if a team fails or does not go beyond what I know it could achieve. I would hate it even more if my team feels down. I think that's why I am better in team sports... and that is also why I think I am better in COBC then exercising alone in the gym.", confessed the twice voted the Spirits of Bootcamp at the Chief's Original Bootcamp, Malaysia.

The girl that loved traveling further added, "Getting down and dirty on the field or track with people who shares the same goal, while busily cheering each other even though we are out of breathe ourselves is quite special. Going over to different locations for Benchmark to support other recruits I feel is quite unique too. And mind you, these people were strangers before. COBC helps to bring different people from different walks of lifes and experiences to achieve a single common goal. While running offroad, you'd see Tan Wee Liam bouncing back and motivating many different people to not walk. Then you'd have Liza pushing Viki verbally and then come Staff Sarge, literally pushing Viki till the end point to show her that she can definitely achieve more than she had set for. Mommy PC doing perfect mountain climbers is just inspiring. Tiny Corporal Ody giving big commands deserves respect. Kenny coming over to BUB even after a long night at his stall deserves veneration."

The born cheerleader continued, "Looking at the reds performing exercises in perfect form inspires me and I then aspire to be looked at just how the reds are admired. Meeting people who survived cancer, lived through hardships & enduring emotional turbulence makes me even more grateful to be breathing. Having yourself, Rose, Doc, Farhanah n the rest in COBC ensuring we party hard as much as workout hard deserves major pats on the back with whipped cream on top! Community living with COBC has become part and parcel of my day to day.. and I now share it with Jorge (after 1 year!!!) so that's even better! ANd i think its a sustainable guilty pleasure... :)", said the avid diver whom seemed to be born especially for COBC.

Afiza's 2012 resolutions and goals are simple but requires a good stamina and fitness. Afiza plans to ... 

1) Get Jorge to run an event with me 
2) Climb Mt KK in May 
3) Run 21km at Angkor Wat Half International Marathon again 
4) Do another charity activity in Siem Reap 
5) Plan a trip or significant event for every single month 

I have to admit that when I first saw Afiza, I did not know that she is this interesting. Rose Emini Pahamin said Afiza is a born cheer leader. She would always motivate others and even travel to other platoons just to cheer them up. Sarge (COBC) (P) Chun has only two words to describe Afiza.. Friendly and Funny.. Sarge (COBC) Nawal see Afiza Abdul Halin as a humble and down to earth, sweet and caring. Afiza is always accomodative and would always offer to help. She would also cook for her comrade with the most delicious muffins... (uurgh.. I can salivate thinking of it!!)

Sarge (COBC) Tom says, training with Afiza can be even inspiring for the instructor. She would always push herself harder and would never give up. She became the life of the platoon with her positive energy.

Every character at the Chief's Original Bootcamp plays an important role in any platoon but we are particularly proud to have our pioneer member Afiza Abdul Halin with us for almost 2 years now. Personally, I am also inspired with Afiza's strong spirit and enthusiasm.

HOOYAH!!



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