My company held a stress management workshop in Bukit Tinggi from Friday to Sunday. While the content was okay, the total experience was torturous, physically I mean. My whole body felt 'stressed.'
It was so bad that I had a Chinese massage on Sunday evening, reflexology on Monday evening and finally, Hamam and massage on Tuesday night. I don't recall surrendering to so much luxury over a short period of time. At first, I thought only my legs were painful. During the first massage, I realised that my lower back was also aching, normally it is just my upper back due to a lot of sitting. The masseuse hardly touched my legs, too much focus on my back, hence the refloxology the next day... and so on. Hmm... come to think of it, the post-effect was not so bad, just slight pain. After going into the Pyramid of Gyza last June, I couldn't even walk properly for 5 days. LOL!
Right from when we first arrived at the resort... there was nobody to show us the direction to our apartment for quite a while. Then, we found out it was all the way down the hills. We had to carry our own luggage and take 2 long flights of stairs down (outdoor). There was no porter or buggy. Since our apartment was on basement 2, that means another flight of stairs down. Our classroom was located high on the hills, hence we had to climb 3 + 2 flights of stairs all the way to the training room. This was repeated 2 to 3 times daily, more than most of the females in the group could manage.
The outdoor staircases were really steep and narrow, it was dark at night too. The first time we climbed, I could feel my heart rate rising rapidly - 5min was equivalent to 30 minutes of warming up on the threadmill. I wasn't worry aboout muscle pains, but breathing is not something to be taken lightly. The women above 40 complained of backache and skipped the treasure hunt.
Anyway, the course was okay. My group progressed from having the lowest mark to being the champion in the end. The selection of team leader was interesting. Everybody appointed someone, then the person had the right to appoint a leader (to avoid the usual leaders) and finally, the real leader would be the one seated on the left of the so-called leader's (to avoid bias). So, we ended up with the ideal leader I would say... intelligent and a good listener. We had a 100% active-participant group too.
Interestingly, we bagged the best performance award during the barbecue & karaoke dinner on day 2. We opted for the easy way by performing P Ramlee's 'Aci aci buka pintu'. A bit of dressing for aci, nana and the 2 jembalangs plus the broom, parang kontot and flat house made of styrofoam - walla, very visual, lots of movements on the low stage. Nobody noticed the poor singing, hehe...
The most delightful task to me was to build an airplane model out of styrofoam. I had to admit at that time, I really had no clue how to do it. Luckily, my team mates, men and women, had enough ideas to combine to form an aceptable, functional piece. All the planes then had to go outside for a test drive. Our pilot couldn't manipulate the wind though.
There were tonnes of physical activities so we weren't sleepy at all, only exhausted. Morning exercise - Pocho pocho, Latin and traditional dance. Classroom jingles and silly games and treasure hunt. The instructor said we were a bunch of 'Shakers', people who go beyond what is expected of them. From the very first exercise, 'Who move my cheese', we came up with outputs he hadn't even heard before.
The most meaningful test to me was the Reef Knot. See the pic below? Imagine 40 people holding on to a giant version of that... and tying the knot while maintaining their hands on the string. A lot of going over and under people. Out of the 287 times that the organiser had done it, only 4 groups had failed so far. We managed after 2 trials, in 20min - I ended up at the first knot both times, painful la. Lessons learned: 1) You need strategy and system 2) Tell the leader directly if he is wrong 3)My company has so many so-called leaders who talked at the back but don't voice out through the right channels.
Normally, as an introvert, I'd stay away from the limelight and let others shine. But this time, I find myself taking charge several times, because some things just had to be said/ corrected. My overall feedback was that stress management course for all Muslim participants should incorporate religious elements eg stress tips from the Quran, Jemaah prayers, etc. I didn't feel de-stressed but it was a good experience, nevertheless. I can't wait for the feedback to next week's session, division heads would be attending then. Imagine the 'battle';)