10 Dec The Three Simple Rules in Life (& My Christmas Wish List)
I’m suddenly feeling super Chrismassy. This is probably my first time being in Australia for the Christmas season, my first time being away from home during this period in fact. The Christmas spirit in Sydney is definiely different from that in Singapore. I don’t know in what way exactly because we don’t really get a white Christmas in Sydney when temperatures go up to 38 degrees on some days but it is interesting to immerse in the different culture. I got myself a $1.50 advent calendar that counts down the days to Christmas ($1.50 for 25 milk chocolate pieces is a good deal!), I spend my free time making Christmas cards, I am hoping to be able to watch a carol performance in the city! I mean, I don’t have to be a Christian to get in the Christmas spirit! Like when those people say things like, "oh you can’t celebrate Valentine’s Day/Easter/anything along the lines of non-Islamic celebrations cuz we’re Muslims." Yeah, recognizing these celebrations doesn’t mean we have to take part in their rituals or believe in them. But I honestly don’t see the wrong in sharing the festivity with another religion or culture. Celebrating Easter gets you heaps of yummy chocolate eggs, so why not? It would be beautiful too if the world gets to have a taste (the irony!) of Ramadhan, and celebrate Eid with us. See, the world is not that bad after all if we all take a chill pill and spread love instead of hate.
Anyway, I’m probably the last person to look for when it comes to religion-talk. I do my daily duties as a Muslim but I have still alot more to learn.
Back to my Christmas story here. I did manage to get a return ticket home for Christmas though, albeit only for a week, it was necessary as my visa was expiring and I needed to get out of Australia anyway. Singapore Sports Institute did mention that they were going to reimburse the flight tickets, thankfully. Otherwise, I couldn’t have afforded the tickets, especially with its exorbitant prices during this festive season. But paying for it first burnt a bigger hole in my already holey pockey. Sigh.
Money. I never would have thought I would reach this point where I am almost running dry and running out of options to get money. The bank will not loan me as I do not have a recent income status. I can never see myself borrowing money from my family or friends. In fact, since I started working back when I was in uni, I don’t remember asking for money from my mum. When I started working, it was only right to give her some of my pay each month but I had to stop because, well, I stopped working for a while. Yeah, sob sob. There goes Aisyah and her penniless sob story again. It seems to be a reoccuring issue, doesn’t it? Honestly, I am tired of it too.
I am tired of feeling poor and miserable. I am tired of waiting and hoping that money will eventually come my way. I have embarked on this journey since August. For 4 months, various parties have assured me that I will be lifted off my financial burden. But for 4 months, the only incoming money that I am receiving is the transfer from my Singapore bank account to my Australian bank account for me to withdraw and spend here without the ridiculous bank charges of using an overseas card. I’ve waited around for 4 months for well, nothing. There was hardly any progress made in terms of getting funding. It took me that long to realise that the only person I can depend on is myself. The only person who will fight for me is myself.
Yeah, I came to Sydney with some money, knowing that it will only take me to the end of the year. I was hoping to be able to get some sponsors to help me in the rest of my journey in 2016. Under Armour didn’t renew my contract just as I needed new gear because I have obviously grown bigger in size. (And yeah, don’t worry about telling me that. I’ve already come to terms with my body and embracing every bit of muscle I’ve put on). I was a little devastated with UA’s decision initially but they have to do what they have to do. Experience has taught me how to deal with rejection better. It still hurts, of course, but you gotta learn to accept and move on. I am just grateful they were on my side for the past year. I’ve got quite a good amount of top quality training gear from them, I must say! So hey, thank you UA for being part of my rowing journey for the past year.
Yeah, back to the search for sponsors. UA’s decision made me stop believing in myself for a bit. It made me feel less confident about myself. It is defintiely silly to let something like that affect my morale but you have to understand that even though I’ve been in this "sports personality" business for 2 years, I am still pretty new to these stuff. UA was my first ever big sponsor. And my first ever big discontinuation of sponsor. It was a hard hit. But I’m all good and okay now, don’t worry. Do continue to support the brand. Their stuff are honestly damn good!
With that low morale shit that I was having, I halted my plans to look for sponsors. It made me fear rejection and it didn’t help that I didn’t believe in myself. I was convinced that I am able to pull through this on my own. I talked myself out of creating a Crowdfunding site because I believed I didn’t need any help. I can’t depend on anyone but myself, right?
That was when I knew I was wrong. Yes, sometimes, it is true that I can’t depend on anyone else but myself. Because the world is crazy, mean and cruel like that and everyone is living their own lives, chasing their own dreams. That’s why you do whatever it takes to fight for yourself. That is Rule #1 in life:If you don’t go after what you want, you’ll never have it.
But life has a second rule which is:If you don’t ask, the answer will always be NO.That was when I realised that sometimes I can’t do things on my own. I am not perfect and I don’t have the capacity for some things and that is when I need to ask for help. I must be humble and honest.I need help.
That is when Rule #3 comes into play:If you don’t break out of your zomfort zone, you’ll always be stuck in the same place.
Things started to go downhill the moment I stopped believing in myself. I didn’t feel like myself during trainings, I wasn’t hitting the speeds, on top of that I have a niggling injury. The physio sessions keeps the injury under control but I was spending heaps to see her. I’ve spent around a thousand dollars just for to see the physio.
Because of my annoying injury, I have spent days out of the boat, but I’ve learnt to make the best out of these times I don’t row. I’ve stopped running becuase my Kayanos have ran out of its life after 2 years of constant usage and I cannot afford another pair of Kayanos. My shin is starting to hurt from the lack of support. I know you must be thinking why I must get this expensive pair of shoes right when there are $20 running shoes out there? Yeah, I’ve thought about that and have actually tried running in them. Those shoes are definitely not friendly to my knees and feet when I run 10km 3-4 times a week 🙁
But hey, chin up, Aisyah! Let’s look at other alternatives like…CYCLING!
So I’ve been sitting on the Wattbike everyday of my life since this injury acted up again. Initially I hated every minute on the Wattbike but I’ve started to listen to Audiobooks while I cycle which has helped heaps to kill the mundaneness of stationary cycling. I’m now finishing The Martian, but refusing to listen to the last chapter because I want to watch the movie to know what happened in the end. I am hooked to Audiobooks, thanks to cycling (and driving over an hour to training at Penrith almost every week)!
Also, the road bike is slowly becoming my new best friend too. I would never imagine myself saying this but, I think I am falling in love with cycling. It can be fkg painful at times, but my physio didn’t call me Quadzilla for no reason.
See, things are not so bad after all. So what is the problem here?
My phone screen has been broken since Sept and I can’t afford to repair it.
My running shoe has come to an end in its life and I can’t afford to get another pair.
I tried cycling without padded cycling shorts once and I couldn’t walk properly for the next few days.
My sport bras are all a size too small because I’ve grown.
My laptop is dead and I am writing this on my phone.
I’ve been depending on my housemates to buy groceries.
And my landlord isn’t collecting rent from me because I cannot afford to pay him.
Writing these things make me feel so awful! :,(
This is the problem: I am running low on funding. The money left in my bank account is only enough for me to get through the year and come 2016, I have 4 months to go till the Qualifications. I need your help to survive.
Rule #2 in life: If I don’t ask, the answer will always be NO.
Maybe it is a good thing that I’m experiencing this because it teaches me to be miser but it worries me about how I am going to survive for the next few months. And this takes my focus off what I’m supposed to do, which is to train and be fast.
So in the spirit of giving and celebration, I am here asking for some things that I might find useful in my training. It would be great if you have any of these items, I don’t mind second-hand stuff, as long as it is still very much useable. Otherwise, I am in the midst of setting up a Crowdfunding site (finally after months of convincing myself that if I don’t ask for help I am going to be begging on the streets) which will be up before Christmas! Do look out for that!
Aisyah’s Christmas Wish List:
A good pair of running shoes (I’m a Women’s 9.5 or 10)Padded cycling shorts (I usually wear M for shorts/pants because of my thunder thighs)Cycling top with pockets so that I can put a banana and my phone in when I go for long ridesA proper cycling bag to carry my rowing gear when I cycle to training and not have its straps fall and annoy me when I cycle (as a noob in cycling, do these things exist to make lives of cyclists easier?)Sports bras (I’ve grown from an S to an M cuz I finally have them boobies!)A simple, working laptop just so that I can update my blog regularly, type letters to potential sponsors, edit videos if possible and not having to using my phone to do all these tasks
I don’t know if this appeal for help is gonna work but I’m trying my luck! If you do have any of these items, I will be back in Singapore from 17th to the 26th of Dec and I’ll be more than happy to collect it from wherever is most convenient for you. Thank you 🙂
Rule #2, Aisyah. Rule #2.
I can’t wait to go back home next week. I have been away from home for far too long. Catch up anyone? 🙂