Rob Cheng's Blog
The Great Wall

Just the other day, Solange and I climbed to the very top of the Great Wall. It was not easy, and it was one of the most fulfilling experiences of my life.

The reason that it was so fulfilling is that I am afraid of heights. As I get older, it is getting more and more pronounced. Climbing to the top of the Great Wall is a harrowing climb and it is even more difficult on the way down because you can see how far you have come. Kind of like the scared cat that quickly climbs to the top of a tree.

The Great Wall is an incredible sight, but to it is very very steep and the climb is very very high. Basically you start at the ground and you go to the highest point on the mountain. Worse yet, each step is uneven. Some steps are small and some are over 2.5 feet in height. So you are always a little nervous going up and even more perilous going down.

On top of my fear of heights, I perspire a lot! To be honest, after I was done, I wasn’t that tired, but my shirt was totally wet. People were laughing because I looked like a wreck although I felt great.

There is a quotation in Chinese at the foot of the climb by Chairman Mao that said (me paraphrasing), “One cannot have success in life without first having climbed the Great Wall.” This is definitely true. It is not physically enduring, but it is a mental drain especially someone that is afraid of heights. As you climb higher and higher, you see less and less people until you get to the top and you are there with the small percentage that actually make it there.

My wife Solange took almost all of the photos, since I had put away my camera to focus on getting up and down. Put the slide show in Full Screen mode, and I hope it gives the feeling as to how high one must climb.

Lessons From My First Marathon


My time on my first 1/2 marathon was 2:39 minutes which is basically a horrible time. The reason that my time was so bad was because I walked somewhere around 3 kilometers of the race. It was my goal to run the entire race, and I failed in that goal. I wanted to finish and not walk.

The reason is that I developed cramps and I started walking. Worse yet, after about 2 kilometers, both my legs cramped incredibly and I fell to the ground in pain. I was so mad at myself. People were yelling at me to get up and keep on stretching so I did. I started walking and finally I decided to finish the race running no matter what. I stopped again and started stretching like a mad man until I felt that I stretched out all the cramps. I finished the last 4 kilometers running and those are the photos taken by the photographers.

I had no idea, but I need to rehydrate. Cramps are a function of fatigue and hydration. I sweat a lot when I run. In fact, it is one of the reasons that I enjoy running but if I want to run for long distances, I have to hydrate during the run or I will cramp. My wife also ran and she did not hydrate much and she did not cramp. The difference is she barely perspires.

I decided to run a test and yesterday (4 days after the 1/2 marathon), I weighed myself before I ran my normal 7500 meter run. I weighed 69.1 kg which is 152 pounds. Aftewards, slightly less than an hour later, I weighed 67.4 kg or 148 pounds. So in less than an hour, I lost 4 pounds and to be honest, I was still sweating madly when I weighed myself.

The most important lesson that I have learned is that I have to learn to hydrate. I mean this literally because it is a skill to drink liquids while running.

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Foz de Iguaçu New Slide Show

In April, Solange, me and my parents visited Foz de Iguaçu in the southern part of Brazil. It is generally thought to be the largest and most spectacular water fall in the entire world.

I made an HD video of our adventures and sights right after the trip. I was quite proud of the video particular but somehow it did not capture the full effect of how spectacular are the falls at Foz de Iguaçu. So I now have made a new slide show of the same trip. I have found a new technology which allows full screen of slides in resolutions much greater than HD at 720 p. So check it out below, just make sure you watch it in full screen mode. I think it is pretty self explanatory and leave a comment about what you think.