When It's You and Me Against the World

When It's You and Me Against the World

Have you ever wondered how true love works?

You can’t fit it into a box in order to perfectly understand and define it. Love is both simple and complicated which sometimes can be very hard to handle. For a relationship to last, both parties have to work together to solve problems. It’s a life-long journey of learning and discovering.

As eloquently put by British philosopher and speaker Alan Watts, “The essential point is to consider love as a spectrum. There is not, as it were just nice love and nasty love, spiritual love and material love, mature affection on the one hand and infatuation on the other. These are all forms of the same energy. And you have to take it and let it grow where you find it. When you find only one of these forms existing, if at least you will water it, the rest will blossom as well. But the effectual prerequisite from the beginning is to let it have its own way.”

So, is that why when couples tackle team sports together, they seem to work more easily with each other than others? Perhaps they have a unique mutual understanding to use to their advantage like a well-oiled machine, always keeping one step ahead.

We decide to ask avid rock climber Cheang Qing Xin about his experiences in the sport with his wife Kelly Khiew. Known affectionately as Qx among his peers, the 32-year-old is a climbing guide and instructor with Vertical Adventures Academy. He started rock climbing in 2005, thanks to his peers who took him to his first trip in Thailand. That year changed his life, not only did he find his new favourite sport but he also met Kelly for the first time who later becomes his partner in sport, and in life.


“I think the number one thing is the trust,” Qing Xin said, when talking about climbing with someone other than his wife, “You’re not sure of the other person’s habits and safety aspects because when the other person is holding your rope, it means they’re holding your life. A lot of accidents happen because there’s no proper communication where one party doesn’t understand the other.”

But like any other couple, they do have their bittersweet moments from time to time. Arguments may occur while on the big wall but it takes an excellent partner to know when and how to handle you at your worst.

Proving this to be true, Kelly also feels that the experience when climbing with Qing Xin is different from when, say, her best friend. It’s possible that the nature of the relationship between partners affects how the team works despite having the same levels of trust. Due to her closeness with Qing Xin, she tends to lose her temper more on the wall.

“I think our relationship has gone beyond that line where I’m not at my nicest and he’s accepted it.”

To which Qing Xin playfully quipped, “Oh I’ve already accepted it long ago!”

As they both shared a laugh, it was clear how strong the foundation of their relationship truly is. But Qing Xin added that it’s essential to notice such things about your partner as it can benefit the team in the long run. His advice? Just stay quiet.


“I know most of the things that we do, she can do it. She’s actually a more experienced climber than I am but sometimes she can get scared. The first time when it happened, I was very surprised. I was like, ‘What’s this monster, man?’ Then slowly after that, I realised why.”

To them, it seems like a natural thing to automatically know what’s going on with the other without them saying it out loud. But to someone outside their relationship, it may look odd. Also working with Vertical Adventures Academy, Kelly still gets tickled to this day by the fond memory of getting approached by clients who got worried about some things Qing Xin did. Without so much as a glance, she assured them right away that her husband knew what he was doing and she trusts him.

Maybe it’s little quirks like this that help build healthy team dynamics between the two. Today, they have conquered places like the great Yosemite in California, USA. Their climbing trips there have given them wonderful memories and also a rather harsh lesson; never underestimate the demands of a climb.

What was supposed to last two days and one night, stretched for another day. All they had were just their backpacks filled with their jackets, gear, food and water, only enough for the planned duration, and sleeping bags. Though the situation grew dire, it didn’t matter that one of them had made a mistake in the initial planning. The important thing is that they had to pull through together in the end, no matter what.

Their attitude towards problem-solving as a team in such situations is profoundly admirable. Perhaps love does conquer all, with all the right efforts.

*Photos courtesy of Cheang Qing Xin

Check out Qing Xin’s blog for more adventure stories!

Calling all couples! Team up with your spouse and conquer AVventura 2015!

How about a strong team of best friends? We spoke with the former champs of the Ultra Category who’s looking to get back the gold! Check out their motivational story!

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