Life is a journey, at some point in time you’ll come to a cross road and decide which path to take. Some roads are perhaps longer than others, but everyone must cross these roads at some point. And the road as a Hong Kong lawyer is an extremely busy one. Working overtime comes naturally as part of the job and often results in getting off at 8, if lucky. It is not uncommon to work until 2 or 3 in the morning. And so, it becomes a cycle of work, sleep and work again. We basically bring our sleeping hats with us to work. That is why I strive to maintain a good balance between work and life. So whenever I’m free, I try to leave this forest of skyscrapers and do the things I enjoy, hiking.
This hobby of mine first started 10 or so years ago, right around the time I started this firm. And coincidentally, I had the opportunity to cross the Gobi desert in China as part of a worldwide competition called 4deserts. The competition lasts for 7 days, each competitor carrying their own individual resources. We walk about 250km, which is around 6 Standard Chartered marathons. And just recently, in March, I finished walking the Sahara desert in Egypt. For those who’ve never experienced it, it is not something so easily explained. Every day, we are required to walk 40km, then 80km on the second last day and 10km on the last day. Compared to the Standard Chartered marathon, who gets water given to them every few kilometres, we carry 7 days of food and water, weighing around 15 to 20kg. The difficulty even more immense with the 40 degrees sun baring down on us throughout the whole 7 days.
But what is so special about this competition is that I’m raising money for the Christian Zheng Sheng College. The College is the only one in Hong Kong to school and rehabilitate drug users from various ages. Apart from raising money for them, I took a student of theirs across the desert with me this year. This student has been in this College for 6 years. In light of his coming secondary school exams, he continued to practice hiking with me in preparation for the competition. He reasoned that it was such a unique experience to give up. I am very glad that I could offer him such a unique experience.
The race itself wasn’t easy. Especially since he injured himself on the first day of the competition. We told him not to run, yet he did. But he got back up and in the end, finished the race. And it is through this race that I wish to teach people to never give up at whatever hardships life may throw at you. And he understood it all too well. Last year, he failed his first secondary school exam, but now, he has acquired a position in both his first choice of university and subject.
From the race, I also helped raised over $3,000,000 for Zheng Sheng College which enabled them to revamp their facilities. An extended arm is all it takes to bring someone back onto their feet. I want people to know that even when you’ve stumbled onto the wrong path, they can always change, and that the most important thing is to never give up.
Founder of Chak & Associates