My Love-Hate Relationship With Papayas. Or My Just-Hate Relationship With Running.

Every few months, my parents pick one particular type of fruit and eat it all the time. Papaya was the fruit of choice a month before I left for Penang, and every single time you opened their fridge, you’d see the same uncovered, rectangular-shaped tupperware brimming with the stuff. It truly is the way to my parents’ hearts, and one very special person unknowingly discovered that fact. Believe it or not, that papaya-filled piece of plastic is the reason I’m married!

When my then-girlfriend EyeDot visited my family for the first time, she noticed one day that the tupperware was almost empty. Without a second thought, she cut up another. Later, the first thing my parents told people about her was how she independently cut up the papaya and put it back in the fridge!

That was great! Except I didn’t like papaya. I’d go so far as to say I hated papaya. So while I was surrounded by loved-ones happily munching away on papaya, and discussing its digestion-aiding qualities, I maintained that it tasted like chicken. Or trash.

Later, after EyeDot and I got married, I realized just how much she loved eating papayas. And she found out just how much I hated them. Every day for about a month, I told her how much they tasted like chicken. Or trash. That was, until the day I bit into a papaya, and things all changed. Someway, somehow, they stopped tasting like trash. They stopped tasting like chicken. They just tasted like… papaya.

And I loved them!


I married into a ridiculously athletic family. So athletic, in fact, that they took advantage of my newly married, I-don’t-speak-metric, willing-to-do-anything-to-impress-you self (just kidding, guys!), and suggested we all split up into teams and participate in Malaysia’s powerman competition. This involves each of us finishing either an 11K run, a 64K bike, or 10K run.

Long story short, I’m running my first-ever 11K in a little more than two weeks. In order to prepare for the event, I promptly read dozens of articles on barefoot-running, bought a pair of Vibram FiveFingers, and laid down on the couch. 11 kilometers. That’s 1/2 mile, right?

The truth is, I hate running. Just now, I ran 6 times around the track near our apartment, and the “I hate running” mantra pounded throughout my head with each step. It isn’t something I can control either. Perhaps it is that I don’t see the purpose of it. I don’t mind running or biking to get places– I was perfectly happy biking 10 miles to work back when I was an undergraduate. Running or biking in circles I just can’t get behind, though.

Then I think about the stupid bloody papaya.

In about a month, I formed a papaya-loving habit. Could I do the same with running?

I’ll let you know in a month. In the meantime, tell us about the habits you are trying to make or break in the comments!


  1. Nadia Jalil says:

    Papayas are the awesome! Also, you forgot to say that you’re running against a pregnant woman 😀
    I have innumerable bad habits that I try to break simultaneously, but the one that I’m having the most success with is probably judging other people’s personal life choices (that was something accumulated from Malaysian boarding school life). Also now I’m trying to treat fruits rather than chips as automatic snacks.
    P/s:- Adely, if you ever read this – I’m not even going to try breaking my ridiculous procrastinating or chronic tardiness. Sorry!

  2. Sharon says:

    Hey…..! I hated running all my life (because I run like an elephant!!), until I ‘accidentally’ ran my first 10km at the Penang Bridge Marathon last year. I’ve not looked back since….and had participated in 1 half marathon, 2 10kms and several short runs!!

    What I love most during my runs are the ‘me’ time…..when I can just let my mind wander off! Stay positive! 😀

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