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Tag / sports

For those of you who always asks why I’m not massively overweight while maintaining a seemingly sinful life that revolves around food, well, here is one of the reasons – exercise.

I play badminton every Monday (and sometimes Sunday too), futsal every Thursday & Saturday (and sometimes Tuesday too), and occasionally ride my mountain bike if I haven’t had either of the other two forms of exercise for more than 2-3 days in a row.

While sports is all fun and great, the activities do put a bit of a toll on the body, a bit of aching, sprains, and bruises every now and then aren’t uncommon.

Badminton
my regular badminton session at Seksyen 13, PJ

A little while ago I wrote about the Tiger Balm cool plaster that I used on my sprained ankle. Well, now that the ankle is 100% back to normal, I’m back on the court again… and made the mistake of not really easing myself into the games after an absence of 3 weeks. Hitting a bit too hard, and the lack of proper warm up left me with a bit of a tight right shoulder.

Which gave me an opportunity to try out the Tiger Balm warm plaster.

Tiger Balm plaster directions
Tiger Balm plaster directions

Just like the cool plaster, application of the warm plaster is pretty simple:

  • remove adhesive back
  • place hydrogel on top
  • remove hydrogel plastic
  • remove additional adhesive
  • apply on muscle/joint

Tiger Balm warm plaster on back shoulder
Tiger Balm warm plaster on back shoulder

Just like the cool plaster, the warm plaster is stretchable and does not impede movement. The adhesive is  secure enough that you can actually sleep in it or use it under a shirt and still it won’t come off accidentally.

The warm plaster gives a soothing warm sensation and does provide pretty good pain relief. I did feel the shoulder loosen up a little better after a while. It felt good.

Tiger Balm plasters give good pain relief and is perfect for many occasions, but if you have chronic aching that bothers you and never seem to get any better, I would think that doctor’s consultation is needed.

Each pack of Tiger Balm Plaster contains 2 units, large pack goes for RM 6.80 while the smaller one is priced at RM 5.20. You can find them at all key chain pharmacies such as Guardian or Watson and nearby pharmacies.

Believe it or not, and I didn’t initially, that the whole exercise 3 times a week advice is actually a very doable routine for anyone. I wasn’t a particularly active person in high school (other than joining the dragon boat team for a couple years) nor in my 20s, but in the past few years, I’ve taken up recreational sports with quite some vigor.

my sports equipment
some of my sporting equipments, ignore the two kitteh

My typical week starts with badminton on Monday night, then either a Tuesday or Wednesday evening futsal session, follow by my regular Thursday night futsal (on going for the last 4-5 years), and another perhaps another futsal on Saturday and sometimes a Sunday badminton session too.

If any of these sessions are canceled, I sometimes substitute it with cycling. Something that I enjoy a bit more than running since it’s easier on the knees and I get to travel a bit further and be able to carry water.

Hence the four pairs of shoes in the picture – badminton, running/cycling, futsal turf, futsal hardcourt. Ignore the two nosy kittens.

I document my exercise routine on Endomondo (add me if you’re on it!)

Tiger Balm warm and cold plaster, ointment
Tiger Balm warm and cool plaster, ointment

With all these exercise sessions, I am no stranger to muscle ache and (sometimes) joint pain, and when it comes to this, there’s one trustable name that we are familiar with – Tiger Balm. In fact, when I opened the package of the new Tiger Balm Plaster, Haze immediately recognize the smell.

While we are more familiar with the traditional Tiger Balm ointment, the are now two types of Tiger Balm plasters available in the market – one warm, and another cool relief.

hydrogel pack with stretchable material and additional adhesive
Tiger Balm hydrogel plaster with stretchable material and additional adhesive

The warm plaster is mostly used for effective relief for chronic pain such as arthritis and rheumatism, while the cool plaster is catered for the relief of acute pain such as muscle ache, sprain, and backache.

After another session of badminton, my often sprained left ankle was acting up a little bit, perfect opportunity to try the new Tiger Balm cool plaster.

the cool plaster feels pretty good on my often sprained left ankle
the cool plaster feels pretty good on my often sprained left ankle

packet comes with 2 hydrogel pack and 2 adhesive plaster made with stretchable material. Though the instructions printed on the adhesive sheet stated 9 steps, it was actually quite a lot easier to apply:

  • remove adhesive back
  • place hydrogel on top
  • remove hydrogel plastic
  • remove additional adhesive
  • apply on muscle/joint

just follow the instructions!
just follow the instructions printed in every packet

The plaster felt pretty good on my ankle, it is stretchable and does not impede movement, and additionally it does allow air to flow through too plus its comfortable to wear. The cool feeling came on some 5-10 minutes after application and really does provide good relief from the joint pain that was bothering me a bit.

Each pack of Tiger Balm Plaster contains 2 units, large pack goes for RM 6.80 while the smaller one is priced at RM 5.20. You can find them at all key chain pharmacies such as Guardian or Watson and nearby pharmacies.

I’m gonna keep some in my sports bag :D

There used to be two options to watch World Cup (or indeed any football matches)

  1. Watch it at home on your TV with Astro (or better still, Astro B.yond)
  2. Go to a local mamak or food court with big projector

Now there’s a 3rd option – watch it online on Astro B.player at www.astro.com.my/bplayer!

Astro B.player
Astro B.player webpage, showing current and upcoming games

To access Astro B.player, simply go to www.astro.com.my/bplayer and register. General public gets to stream 38 World Cup games, and if you’re a Maxis user or an Astro Sports package subscriber can watch all 64 matches online live plus match highlights and replays.

The registration process only takes a few minutes. FAQ can be found here.

Japan vs Paraguay on Astro B.player
Japan vs Paraguay on Astro B.player

Though I am a subscriber of Astro B.yond service (with a new 40″ FHD LCD TV that I recently bought), I decided to try the service for the Japan vs Paraguay in the round of 16 matches.

While not exactly full HD quality like you’d get on the TV, the streaming is surprisingly smooth and the audio pretty much indistinguishable from regular feeds.

highlights and replay on Astro B.player
Highlights and instant replay on Save/Misses

What I also like about Astro B.player is the extra feature they added on the site. You can view highlights, goals, saves/misses, and even check on which players are on cards. This is a feature that you can’t get on the TV as yet. Pretty nifty.

All the more miserable for me as Japan painfully exit the tournament by losing 5-4 to Paraguay in the penalties. Poor Komano missed the only penalty, but the Japs did put up a good fight. All Asian teams are out now, 4 more years I guess.

B.player contest

There’s also a contest in conjunction with the launch of Astro B.player. The mechanic is simple:

  • register with Astro B.player at www.astro.com.my/bplayer
  • watch live games on B.player and click on Share button
  • share the URL on twitter (register yourself and follow me if you haven’t!)
  • remember to include #astrobplayer hashtag
  • Astro will track the tweets, and if it’s awesome you’ll stand a chance to win!

The full mechanics are here, and the prizes include 4 laptops, one 42″ LCD TV, and plenty of movie tickets! Check it out on www.astro.com.my/bplayercontest

I spent over 4 years in the States for college and work, and was fortunate enough to have spent a year each living with an American family and in the dorm. This was the time I learnt to be appreciate American sports.

The four big professional leagues in the States are then NBA, NFL, MLB, and NHL. There are also a very lively scene in college sports too. However, with the exception of some games on Astro every now and again, they are not very popular here in Malaysia.


in Manila for 24 hr, and on the way back with KL Dragons

Attending games and being able to catch these games live on TV on almost daily basis were pretty much the things I miss most about the States since coming back to Malaysia.

Enter Asean Basketball League, South East Asia’s very own professional basketball league that is currently made up of 6 teams from the region. The teams are:


hard fought game between KL Dragons and Philippines Patriots at Manila

I was rather excited that we now have a professional basketball team in KL, and even more stoked when I found out I had a chance to travel to Manila to attend an away game of KL Dragons versus the Philippine Patriots. I jumped to the opportunity even though I know it’ll be a very short and hasty travel.

So the weekend before Christmas I went to Manila for a trip that lasted almost exactly 24 hours to catch the game.


KL Dragons head coach Mr. Goh Cheng Huat

Due to the insane traffic situation in the most congested city I’ve ever visited, I arrived at Ynares Arena right at about half time (the journey started from 5am in Malaysia, but that’s another post in another time).

KL Dragons was trailing by 1 point against the favorites at home, the score was 38-37 to start the second half. Although the stadium wasn’t exactly filled (most likely due to the traffic), I could sense the excitement and energy both in the crowd and the players.


the game was broadcast on ESPN with live commentary on radio too

The familiar feeling of adrenaline rush immediately over powered my fatigue from being on the road in the past 12 hours.

Third quarter was a back and forth affair, with each team answering each other basically basket to basket. The Patriots had home field advantage, the crowd was with them, and loud speakers booming “DEFENSE DEFENSE” whenever the Dragons had possession. It was a tough, but we kept with it.

The quarter ended 55-54 favoring the Patriots.


KL Dragons – close relationship and good team work  chemistry

In the early going on forth quarter, we managed to kept pace. It wasn’t until about 2 minutes left in the game that the Patriots somehow managed pull away due to a couple critical baskets and tough defensive stance (some might argue that it was slightly aided by the lack of calls). We lost the game at 76-70, but we did put up a very good fight.

Everyone was feeling a bit down after the game in the locker room. Coach Goh and Team Manager Mr. Wee gave their talks and what the team faces the rest of the season. The goal is to get to the playoffs, and we have a legitimate shot at it.

I joined the team for dinner and next day’s flight back to KL, and they were some of the funniest and down to earth bunch of guys you can find. I ended up talking to Jamal Brown for quite a bit since he is an American and we have a common topic in American sports.

I have my calendar circled for their next home game at MABA on the 5th Jan 2010, facing Satria Muda at home. Support our local team, be there! KL Dragons have 3 more home games, their full schedule can be found here.

See you on Jan 5 Jamal and gang!

The photo below is a very partial list of sporting equipments belonging to me. Several badminton rackets, a tennis racket, futsal shoes, tennis shoes, and a tube of shuttle corks.

Sporting Equipments

Other than these, I have two ping pong bats, a golf glove (yes they don’t come in pairs), swimming trunk, partial set of diving gears, a pair of driving shoes, and recently I’ve just brought an entry level squash racket.

Which basically means that I am playing futsal, badminton, golf, and ping pong on regular basis. Starting to play a bit of squash now, and still plays tennis on and off, trying to get back to diving and perhaps swimming a bit.

I’m a jack of all trade, master of none.

Someone passed me this video today, which kinda made me think if I had the same moment of inspiration like the kid in the video and concentrate on just one sport, what would I turn out to be?

Probably a really lousy 3rd string substitute in a company futsal team or something, who knows?

Oh well, at least I still get to eat all these food and not put on much weight from this current life style. Best!