The Beginning of the End

The Beginning of the End

I finished my volunteering stint at Craftsbury on Friday and I have to admit, I miss that place already. I remember feeling so anxious being away from city life, tall buildings and crazy traffic but now I wish I could wake up to the sound of the birds and the sight of vast amount of greenery. I really enjoyed my time at Craftsbury and I will definitely come back next summer. Or even in Winter to kick start my Winter Olympic dream. Either way, I will be back for sure.

What I loved best about the camp was the fact that everyone was so nice! And everyone loved rowing- whether they were complete beginners or medal winners, you can tell in their eyes how much they really loved the sport. And it served as a good reminder for meto look back at when I first started rowing and why I used to love it so much. It is crazy to think that rowing used to be my life. Now, it feels like a throwback.

I am sad sometimes thinking about my days as an athlete. I miss it. I miss waking up doing the thing i do best. I miss wearing the Singapore flag and competing for the nation. But when I watch the elite athletes go through the training, having meals, resting and repeat at the summer camp, I am not envious. I tell myself, I’ve been there, and it was fun while it lasted and I think it is time to move on.

I want to compete again. I will definitely compete again but I have a feeling I won’t be doing it in Rowing or in Singapore. There are many reasons why I say this and I will write a book one day so you know the truth. The real truth behind why I am tired on Rowing.

Anyway, enough about reminiscing about the past. Let’s look forward into what lies ahead.

I met a couple at Craftsbury who rows out of Cambridge BC in Boston and they invited me to come over and stay with them and row with them…so here I am, in Boston, rowing on the Charles River for the first time in my life. I LOVE IT. This is what I live for. Maybe this is what I’m going to do for the time being. Travel around the world rowing at the most beautiful places in the world.

I also met a few interesting people at Craftsbury, like a career counsellor who is tired of working with sick patients and is working towards helping Danish medical students get a fellowship in USA. I barely know her for a day and already pouring my heart out about the dilemma I am in and she is always willing to listen and offer advice. Such a beautiful soul! And then there was another couple who listened to my stories and dreams and at the end of the camp told me, “You may not see it yet but you’ll be great, Aisyah.”

In Craftsbury, I was surrounded not only by people who live for rowing, but who lifts you up. I truly believe that you need to surround yourself with these kind of people. We need more of these kind of people.

Anyway, Boston is beautiful. My first row on the Charles was on a hot morning but it was amazing. I could row on for hours but because the club rule was that I couldn’t row without a member, I didn’t want to be a pain to the ladies who brought me down on water. I could live here. Everyone here loves sports. Everyone is either running, cycling or rowing. And educated. Frikking educated. Makes me feel inferior with my Bachelor degree but then again, not everyone’s an Olympian.

People say I need to use the Olympic card more often. I feel like I already have maximised it but people think I haven’t even touched the surface of what I could do with it. Well, time to throw that humble pie out of the window and see whether people are right about this.

Just for the record, I cried today because I realised that I didn’t had enough money to pay for my tuition fees and apply for student visa. I know it’s silly to cry over it but it made me feel terrible for a little while that whatever I’ve saved isn’t enough and that I feel stuck especially now that I have resigned from my job.

And then I tried to pull myself together by reminding myself that I am travelling the world gaining all these experiences not many can and so I should treasure what I have and make the most out of this instead of feeling sorry for what I don’t have.

I may have to postpone my studies to next year when I can afford it and it scares me to think of what the hell I’m gonna do if I don’t study this year. But I realised that instead of letting it scare me, I should be excited about the opportunities for me out there to explore now that I won’t be imprisoned by school work and thesis.

Maybe some things don’t go the way I want them to be because there are better plans for me. x

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