Spartan Race: Seminyih, Malaysia…ACHIEVED! But……

WHAT. A. RACE.

Where should I begin? Let’s me take you from the beginning so I can provide some flow.

I arrived maybe around 9:15 to the station KTM – Kajang station.  This was nearest to the super rural area the where the race was being held.  From there, Ubers was stacked all around me.  I pressed it and got an immediate message – my uber was right across the street.  HOW CONVENIENT! He was a funny guy, asking me why I don’t have a girlfriend in Thailand.

Told him the truth. You guys know that story. LOL

There was a logjam about 2km outside the race area, so I had him pull over and I walked it from there.  Enthusiasts, not as many as I thought there would be, were making their way to registration.  Loads of tents and little shops were stacked within the area, giving my hope that this venue would be 1000 times better than the last at Putrajaya Heights last July.  It exceeded my expectations — and THEN SOME.  The registration line was about 10 minutes compared to 1.5 hours last time.  Bag drop was convenient with a bunch of smiley faces and women asking me how the race was (of course after) and there was a lot of area and merchandise around.

I was probably the 3rd wave of the Open.  There were a ton of people behind me, all whom were enthusiastic.  Some were first timers and others were returning.  You had people from Brunei, Hong Kong, Singapore, China and other places all around.  When the race started, it was all running, mostly uphill (as Malaysia mostly does) and then were the rocks.  That’s right.  The first obstacle, aside from the walls and things we had to jump through, under, and over, was the nastiest of them all.  This is where the fun began because the comedians started coming out in force.  Being on an obstacle course enables you to speak freely amongst your fellow samaritans who are going through the same pain.

At this time, this is when I knew I had gotten much strong since last September.  Carrying the bucket of rocks up the hill didn’t present me with a problem.  In fact, I was zooming past everyone else who seemed gassed and out of breath — 2km in?! I was screaming motivational things while hearing the echo of “aroo” deep in the forests and even nearby.  Directly following that was the rope climb.  I finally climbed up that bad boy; however, I freaked out when I was coming down and I zoomed down the rope, gripping it with my fingers and feeling fire tear apart my thumb on my left hand and my ring finger on my right, leaving a blister on one hand and two layers of skin on the rope from…..me.  This was beyond painful for about 1km.  After that, the river, which was SUEPR FUN.  There were women saying, “I HAVE A PLAN TO CATCH!”  People were laughing and just having fun at that point.  Being in a shaded, sketchy, peculiar area between two sides of a mountain, trekking through currents puts the “omg” into what Spartan should be about.

From there on out, there weren’t any noticeable or stand-outish things that came about — just more laughs and weird obstacles.  I am now 3/3 in the javelin toss, hitting my target and cheering for myself.  There were some GORGEOUS women nearby saying, “goodjob!” Another one, who must’ve been from Eastern Europe and on the same team of the 10 that were standing around, asked me “tips?”  I didn’t know what she was saying, but when I realized it, I was flabbergasted and helped two of the ladies — unsuccessfully.  This definitely had to be the funnest Spartan or any race in general.  It tips the Tough Mudder in Melbourne, Australia 3 years ago and tops the Tough Mudder in Mesa, Arizona from last year.

Towards the end, there was a Malaysian guy who was running by himself…pushing himself.  I decided to run beside him; and both him and I met up with an Indian guy.  The three of us started running alongside some other foreigners and funny Ukrainians before getting to a difficult part of the course — the end!  This mashed a bunch of obstacles together: backstroking 75 meters, another river with a current, monkey bell swings, and a few others.  When I finished, I saw a gorgeous shirt and medal waiting for me.  That was definitely a 10km beast of a race.  That wasn’t 7km….and they had Super/Beast obstacles within it, too.  The Spartan Sprint last year in Chon Buri, Thailand was a cake walk compared to this.

So, showers, chats with so many people, figuring out my next step with the trifecta and everything in ensued.  Now came the most difficult challenge of my life.

Because this race was tucked away in a jungle plantation, I wasn’t too nervous about finding a taxi until after a race.  There were taxis, also known as extortionists (and way worse than Thai taxis), sitting outside the grounds.  However, they were all taken because they had customers inside.  I never thought about that because I knew taxis were a ripoff.  I saw one taxi driver, and later saw him at my hotel.  That story will follow.

No Ubers, no grabs, no nothing! I was left walking….about 5km, hoping either someone would help take me to a town or a taxi would come.  I would’ve paid anything at any given time to get the hell out of there.  Some people pulled over, but not for me.  Next thing I know I see a car, coming towards me, flash its lights and I said, “OMG! SAVED!”  My man Anson, who is down below in the photo, probably saved me from dying.  That’s no exaggeration, either.

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All in all, he sent me all the way to an LRT line.  After 15 minutes, this particular line wrapped around KL and I saw Berjaya Times Square, just across the street from where my hotel was.  Instead of continuing on, I got off, talked to the guy, and I was able to exit the station and walk to my hotel.

Oh, and guess who was there? That f***er that denied me a ride to begin with.  Get this.  From the KTM Kajang to the race grounds was about 23 ringits, which equates to about 7 USD.  Kinda expensive in Thailand.  However, this guy told me someone AT MY HOTEL went to the race, too! The bad part? The taxi charged him 400 ringits there and back, equivalent to more than 100$ USD!  Could you believe that?! That’s why I NEVER TAKE TAXIS in KL and haven’t in almost five years.  They’re cheats beyond belief.

I needed to tell all of you that in case you travel here.

And with that beings said, a couple more blogs are coming up about my time and future races, so stay tuned and a podcast is here for your appetite!

Travel Blog: Episode 4 – Malindo Air, Interesting Characters, Centrally Located Hotel & Nandos

Nervous, anxious, shallow-breathing – what the hell was wrong with me? I should’ve been elated, jumping for joy that the ties are finally being ripped away from a three-and-a-half year old job.  However, when I was on the skytrain, I was feeling ridiculous anxious about it all.  Nonetheless, when the sunlight began coming through on the bus while I was sitting comfortably inside and on top of an expressway, I felt a hell of a lot better.

Upon arriving to the 2nd airport in Bangkok (Don Meung), I was getting in line when I saw one of my old TOEFL students.

This lady, who’s a millionaire, learned with me last September and October at one of the universities on a special project.  When I saw her, my jaw dropped and we met each other with smiles and pictures.  While all this was happening, I looked over my shoulder and was appalled by the scenes.

Never Fly Air Asia X or Nok Scoot

If there were two flights leaving out of Don Meung via Air Asia, passengers on the second flight would’ve missed it, due to herds of Chinese tour groups (massive problem apparently). I then looked further down the terminal and Nok Scoot was hampered by loudness (lol) and rudeness.  On the other hand, Malindo Air, which I would make my first ever appearance on, had only one passenger.

Indonesian Words

“Let them be.  They need you because you’re a teacher.  You’re fine.”

Conversations, of all sorts, were developing between this samaritan and I and he gave me some words of wisdom.  Of course defeating myself and psychological barriers I’ve created because the opinions of Thais, he kindly asked me if I had a girlfriend or wife.  Every time I say “no,” to people all around the country and world, they’re shocked.

I, too, am shocked.

But before they ask me if I like men, I quickly point out that Thai women despise black men. Is that the truth? No.  Not all Thai women, but around 80% of them do.  He then gave me some words of wisdom that felt great from a stranger I had only known for 5 minutes.

Malindo Air – Typical Delay, New Seats, Zero Turbulence, Half-Empty Plane!

I don’t get out one plane can be late with no passengers on it.  The pilot said, “backlogged.” However, same thing happened when I took Malaysia Airlines.  Try 3.5 hours late.  So, there’s something obviously wrong with KLIA 1 & 2 (the international airports in Malaysia) and Thailand, which was delayed because I saw, with my own eyes, the workers moving like robots.

Do I care? Not really….but just do a good job. LOL. That’s all I ask.  But no worries! I’m here!

The plane itself was pretty damn big – given the fact that it was a BOEING. The first class seats, which is divided into only two sections and separated it with a light drape, was GORGEOUS for a small plane.  The seats were much more spacious than any other Air Asia flight I’ve been on, too.  And most importantly, MY LUGGAGE SHOWED UP! You know, I lost my luggage for a week back in 2016, and to this day, I’m still scared when luggages are coming out of the belt from down below, swaying form side-to-side – hoping!

People Skills = SOUND!

From making people laugh at a pizza stand at KL Sentral, to sparking up conversations with passerbys at the station.  My positivity/PMA is INSANE, but my people skills have continued to develop since I started learning about personal development.

PARKROYAL – Kuala Lumpur

So, is this a Sheraton like hotel? Not exactly sure.  Haven’t looked around the hotel just yet, but the service was FIRE! Better than GTower (two years ago), and Sheraton (last year). Plus, handling the bill at the beginning if you don’t have a credit card is super essential.  Or else, they will freeze your the full booking price and charge you, on top of that, at checkout.  It’s a hassle and pain in the ass.

Small, but very comfortable room.  Lighting and air controlled by a button.  Is it worth the amount I paid for it? Hell no. Lol.  I think it’s a $70 a night hotel, not a $100 dollar a night.  However, I’ve yet to see what amenities it has and the breakfast.

Nando’s – Australia – Circa 2011

This was my first meal in Australia when I first moved there,  My girlfriend, at the time, was sitting next to me with her erratic “distant” friend Evans, who I later left because of threats, and his GF.  Oh, good times!

Let’s come back to Nando’s.  This is Portuguese chicken at it’s very best.  I’ve missed it like I missed the cereal Kix.  So, as the train was wrapping around, seeing my hotel on the right side, I glanced over to the left and onto the streets down below and WAAA-LAHHH! NANDO’S! I went there for dinner and although I didn’t have the piri-piri sauce with me, it was still amazing.

Here’s the beginning of my trip with much more looming!

https://www.spreaker.com/user/thearseniobuckshow/travel-pod-episode-1-malindo-air-interes

Travel Blog: Episode 3 – Traveling Dates For This Year – Finally Set: Super, Beast, Trifecta, Australia, Hong Kong & More!

Barring any setbacks and leaving of the country, this is what my travels look like this year (roughly).

Now that I know my future and I’ve finally let go of the past, I can focus on one of the most exciting times and live ahead.  This has been my dream – to teach everywhere, speak when I want, go to conventions, be my own boss, have a team develop content, teach, and travel the world.  Sure, sounds a bit hectic, but inspiring while visiting places that might change who I am for the better is simply life-transforming.

Earlier this year I made a podcast and goal-list to inspire myself to reach higher.  Because things got sour and I had to close out a toxic workplace, I had to wait and see what was going to come into my life in terms of micro work, first.  Now that it has happened and I’m able to project what’s culminating, I can refocus on what I absolutely LOVE TO DO!

First Travel: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

This is going down NEXT WEEK! Spartan Race, meeting with a team member, and a wedding – all within a couple days.  Just booked out! Is it going to be possible to get some entrepreneurial work done while I’m there?! Nonetheless, Malindo Air (and lots of blogs to follow) is on the way.  Stay tuned!

Second Travel: Ho Chi Mihn, Vietnam

I miss Vietnam and the unbelievable friends I have there.  I even met a brilliant Thai speaking national at the airport when were were standing around, incredulously, wondering where the hell our plane was.  Vietnamese Airlines for $121 dollars RT?! Pfft, you crazy.  In America, you can’t go from Los Angeles to Las Vegas without spending $130 minimum.  This is why I emphasize that living in Thailand is so centrally located to everything.  3-4 days in the heart of June!

Third Travel: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – Spartan Beast + Trifecta Achieved

This might be the most heartwarming and emotional trip ever! Achieving a goal that I set out to achieve in the early stages of last year has to be claimed! Achieving what’s going to be my first trifecta while going through an unbelievably amount of pain, wanting to give up every second of the way is going to be the pinnacle of it all.  The 2005 regional championship race is going to come back when I’m ready to give up, and that’s when the overdrive will takeover.  I’m beyond ecstatic.

Fourth Travel: Bali, Indonesia

I HAVE TO go back to the place that almost made me cry when I left (in a good way).  The banjo playing “la bamba,” serenading at the entrance of the plane almost reduced me to to bawl mode.  From staying at the Sintesa Jimbaran, to meeting a wonderful Australia family at a safari.  This was one of those moments that I will cherish forever – but I need to create more memories by going to UBUD.

Fifth Travel: Hong Kong/Taiwan

It’s a hard choice in between the two, but I need to go to uncharted territory once this year.  I can’t continue going to the same places.  Vietnam and Indonesia was 2016 and Maldives was last year.  I have to keep it going.

New Years – Australia?

And, of course, I’ll have to FINALLY do something good for New Years.  There’s no better place to go then going back to Australia…..but again, this could or could not happen based on my status here in Thailand.