To give anything less than the best is to sacrifice the gift.

To give anything less than the best is to sacrifice the gift.

If life was perfect, I would be in Sydney right now, probably basking under the Australian sun on one of my favourite beaches, taking a selfie and posting it on Instagram with the hashtags “lifeisgood” and “dontwannagohome”. But life doesn’t always seem to go the way you want it to be. Like when you’re all geared up and excited to be a full-time athlete, your employer has given you this golden opportunity to take a very long leave from work to focus on your training to get better on the boat so you can win more medals, but you end up with an injury that is taking so long to recover and instead of spending more time on the boat, you’re spending your days in a clinic and in the gym, sitting on the stationary bicycle for hours and sometimes going for runs that take you nowhere and everywhere not wanting to stop running, feeling sorry for yourself because you’re injured and weak, when you’re 5 months away from one of the most important races in your career. Yea, life’s like that.

So I found out that my ribs are not fractured BUT before we all go YAY and celebrate with a bottle of Gatorade or two, the stresses on my bones were pretty serious and the causing me significant amount of pain. So from a 5 days off the boat, I got another 10 days off and really, I dont know how long more I can’t row but I do know that I am so over the sulking period of not being able to row, although during the sulking process I might have annoyed some individuals with my incessant rants and whinings but YES IM OVER THAT PHASE. I’ve been seeing the physio very often, doing my rehab religiously, pushing myself to sit for an hour at least on the stationary bike, although with all due respect to all my dearest cyclist friends out there, I hate the bike, but I know that it is the safest form of cardio that I can afford to do at the moment, so I think I am better off shutting up and just train.

A few days ago when I found out that I was able to run without any pain, I went for a jog- okay, abit of a run and a bit of a jog and a bit of both. The first was a jog around MacRitchie Park on a beautiful morning, which was supposed to be a simple trail jog/run affair which turned out to be one of the craziest routes I’ve done. 11plus km or uphills and downslopes and big sharp rocks and small crispy pebbles and muddy terrains. Rule #1 of running at MacRitchie is not to wear your new Asics Kayano shoes.

That same evening, I decided to go for a light jog around Kallang. So my plan was to run from Sport Singapore (which is what the “new and improvised” Singapore Sports Council” is called, btw) to “around that area” and back. So much for a light jog and “around that area”, Aisyah. I ended up “jogging lightly” for 1hr and 40mins. Champs. This was the route I took:
Nicoll Highway > Suntec City > Singapore Flyer > MBS > Fullerton > Merlion > Esplanade > Floating Platform> Helix Bridge > Gardens by the Bay > Tanjung Rhu > Kallang Leisure Park > Netball Singapore> Nicoll Highway
Completed roughly 17km. Not bad.
But the next day, walking became a chore.

I’m gonna take this injury as a blessing in disguise. Life is trying to teach me how to rest and testing me how much I really want to row. Every day that passes by without being able to row has been painful to bear but sometimes, you just gotta suck it up and move on. I cannot afford to be my stubborn old self anymore. Because if my ribs do get worse, I don’t know if I can stand another few more weeks away from my boat. I just can’t. It has been driving me crazy. Thus the ridiculouly long runs.

So I’ve made the decision not to compete in the regatta in May because I know I won’t be fully prepared for it and I don’t want to make a fool out of myself by doing terribly. It is really scary to think about it. Scary how the decisions you make in life has their consequences and you must weigh them accordingly to make the best out of the situation. There is always never a win-win situation, something has got to give. And you must always, always be ready to face the consequences of the decisions you made. When you make a wrong decision, you learn from it and move on. MOVE ON.

So yeah, I’m trying to make the most out of my time in Singapore and hopefully I will be able to get back in the boat again and be awesome again. Can’t wait.

I guess that’s why life is not perfect. The challenges and obstacles and the hoohaas and shitnits that life throws at us are meant to be there to shape us into who we really are meant to be.

And knowing that I was born to row, I know I can get through this. Rowers don’t give in just because times are hard. It won’t be easy, but it will be possible.

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