In brief...

I'm a Nature-lover, aspiring conservationist, and wannabe traveller in search of outdoor adventure.
My interests vary from conservation to education to heritage to Nature (biodiversity & wildlife) to outdoor activities to life in general.
They occupy most of my waking moment.
Do read my blogs, follow me on Twitter (@jocelynesze) and friend me on Facebook (subject to my discretion). Visit my Nature blog, Nature Rambles, at

UPDATE 2 Apr 2017 - This site is no longer maintained, please visit if you're interested in more recent writing.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Losing skin.

It's one of those things you don't appreciate till you've lost it. Especially for fit, healthy people, I know I often take my physical condition for granted. I fell off my bike last Friday, while taking a turn too fast (it was downhill). Skidded and rolled over a bit, on a pavement not a busy road thankfully, and got a couple of scrapes. Really thankful it's nothing worse, no broken bones or sprained joints, and it's only a couple of scrapes on my hands, knees and foot. It could have been much worse. I just sat there admonishing myself for being silly and actually thinking why not take the turn faster than I usually do, cos like I should improve my cycling skills or something right. So so stupid, really, especially with the bouldering competition on the weekend. A passer-by ran over to help, and she helped me wheel my bike to the uni and got me to the university health service to clean up my scrapes, really nice she was. Anyway, that moment of silliness cost me $75 + however many wound pads I need, as well as some pain from lacking a protective covering.

I managed to get through Boulderfest yesterday with some paracetamol, though I definitely looked the silliest bouldering with gauze patches on my left thumb, right palm, both knees and right foot. And subsequently attained another scrape on my right calf while attempting a boulder problem. I competed in the Open B category, meant for people who, in the last year, did boulder problems between grades V2-V4. (There was also Open C, for V0-V1 grades, and Open A for V5+, and Youth/Junior/Master categories on Saturday).

Boulderfest 2015 at Urban Climb, Brisbane

The format of Boulderfest is quite interesting, with >100 problems of all grades that one could attempt within a 2.5 hours window, but only the top 10-scoring problems would count towards your score. It was pretty high-tech too, with judges submitting your score online once you completed the problem, so that your score is automatically updated and reflected on the projected screen throughout the climbing period. There were some really interesting problems involving gym balls, ropes, and finger boards too.

Overall, it was really quite fun, though I didn't push myself as hard as I probably would have. Doing high steps and sitting in was made possible only through the effect of paracetamol I am sure. Managed to place 6th for that, which for Open B and Open A categories, was the qualifiers round. The finals round was more like standard competition format, whatever it's called, with 4 minutes to solve a problem and 4 minutes rest after, with 4 problems to solve. Only managed to top 1 problem (a nice balance-y one), came really close to topping 2 problems (which were both on overhangs and I couldn't get a hold on the last tile) and didn't even get to the bonus tile on the other problem (kept barn-dooring). Final placing was still 6th, which I think, given I've only got back to climbing for a month (barely climbed the last few years), with all my scrapes and all, isn't too bad really. Also, yesterday was National Day, thought it was quite nice to have "represented" Singapore at the competition, though no one really cares where you're from (I doubt anyone realised I wasn't a regular competitor. It was the first competition for a good number of the other finalists too)

So anyway, losing skin really hurts, it's a very important organ that we take for granted. I can't imagine the pain people go through with burns, or who have epidermolysis bullosa where your skin is so thin/fragile it keeps breaking. I've seen that video of that boy who needs to be bandaged all the time cos of that condition, and you feel sympathy for him and his mom who's his caregiver, but I dont think most of us can really understand the pain. Cos we usually have all our skin intact, or with just minor scrapes (like mine) over small areas.

 It's been such a long time since I had an injury this 'severe' really, so apologies for all the whining. It also means I can't cycle to commute for the time being, which is rather annoying cos public transport here costs more than I'm happy to pay ($3+ per journey, even if it's just one stop).

Hope they scab over and heal soon, especially with this 'healing gel' they use here. I really want to get at least a dive trip in at some point before I leave.

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