Today, on the podcast I’ve got an inspirational person with an inspirational story. Running accomplishments aside (that list runs long too), he was diagnosed with prostrate cancer. That would slow most people down but Mo got faster and he is on his way to beating the cancer in true running fashion – 10 great podium place races despite undergoing radiation.
We will cover various topics in this conversation. We will talk to Mo about his background and how he got into running. We will then talk to him about his experience dealing with the cancer diagnosis. We will also have questions about the way he trains – both physically and mentally. We will finish with his goals for 2017 and beyond.
I want to also thank Mo for taking the time out to speak with us and for sharing his experience so others an learn and benefit from it. It takes a kind and generous person to be able to do this despite what he has gone through
- Who is Mo?
- Where’s he from?
- How did he get the nickname Mo?
- Is there anything in his past that lead him to running / trail running?
- What is his day job?
The ten rapid fire icebreaker questions to delve into the way you think:
- What is your favorite trail in Hong Kong and why?
- What is your most favorite race and why? (can be local or overseas)
- What accomplishment are you most proud of in running?
- What accomplishment are you most proud of in life?
- Who has played the most influential role in your life as a person?
- Who has played the most influential role in your life as a runner?
- Why do you run?
- What would you do if you could not run?
- Which book or resource has had the most impact on your life?
- If there’s only one piece of advice you could give your 20-year-old self what would it be?
- when did he start hiking/running? (what year) Humble beginnings: where it all started
- Did he start off as a road runner? Does he enjoy both road running and trail running?
- Walk us through to the beginning
- Discovering the cancer itself was an act of “luck”. How?
- collapsing 500m short of the finish line on Hard as Nayls race and being taken to the hospital
- When was this? [Apr 2015]
- Collapsing because of a heatstroke isn’t fun. Do you believe that this was an “act of God” or a higher power that enabled you to discover your cancer?
- What was your initial reaction when you heard the diagnosis?
- What was your family’s reaction?
- The transition from those negative emotions of realizing what you had and converting them into something positive – talk about that. How did you manage that?
- How do you deal with those down moments? How often do they occur?
- People always say “stay positive”. How hard is that? Saying is different from doing
- “Just because I am a cancer patient, I don’t have to become a cancer victim” – what fostered that attitude? What books did you read (if any) to cultivate that attitude?
- You spoke about your brother who is more emotional and has lung cancer whereas you’ve learnt to compartmentalize and maintain a more or less normal life. How did you learn to compartmentalize? When should one compartmentalize? Does it come to you easily?
- Those PBs and podium wins despite the radiation – you make it look easy but how hard is it really?
- How supporting is your family about your running despite undergoing radiation?
- Talk about the progress
- What does radiation feel like?
- How do you overcome the weakening effect of the radiation and channelise your energy into running?
- When will you be 100% cured?
- What is the biggest lesson that this has taught you?
- Has this experience changed you in any way?
- What advice would you give to someone else who has the misfortune of discovering something like this in their life?
Top 3 races or accomplishments:
Mo to choose 3 races
- 10kms in 36 minutes
- 2.5 hour marathon at the age of 17
- Walk us through the top 3 races, the preparation, the training, the nutrition
- What was it like?
- Walk us through the journey. What was it like?
- Did he put a lot of pressure on himself to complete? What was the “outside” pressure like on him?
- How often does he train and how? Does he have a routine?
- What’s his weekly training plan / mileage?
- Has his training resulted in injuries and if so how does he deal with them?
- How competitive is he? How important is it to him to best himself? Would he risk injuries in order to achieve certain goals?
- What about long distance runs? Any interest in those?
- What’s his philosophy on team runs like the OTW? Would he push his team to do better or would they do it “just for fun” ?
- How do you deal with pain? Do you take any painkillers during runs? What’s his philosophy on that? What’s been his most painful run?
- Talk to us about injuries, what he learnt from it. Does he believe in the needle guy?
- How does he do so many races / such long distances during painful moments? What’s been his most painful mental moment?
- What is his philosophy on pain? When does he know when to persist and when not to?
- What does he tell himself mentally when he has to persist through pain and continue to the finish line?
- During long distance runs, does he listen to music? How do you maintain your focus? <– not sure about Mo’s long distance running record
- What are his downtimes in running? When he didn’t want to run and felt miserable?
- Which is more fulfilling? Work or running?
Nutrition / Gear strategy:
- How does he do his long runs?
- Does he swear by certain gear?
- Does he believe in taking medicines? If so, when and how? Has he taken medicines before during a race in order to finish the race?
- What does he think about DNF-ing?
- As far as running is concerned what are his goals for 2017?
- Talk about Movember and Janine
- For beginners getting into serious running, what advice do you have?
Parting words of wisdom:
- #1 key to success. Winning formula in life?