29 Jan It’s been way too long
It’s Jan 2023. The last time I posted something on this page was way back in 2020, in the thick of the Covid pandemic. My colleague sent a link to one of my blog posts recently, as she was in-charge of doing some scouting for rowing locations in Japan, and she chanced upon my blog post (https://aisyahrower.com/2014/01/30/10-things-i-learnt-in-japan/) and shared it with me. It was nice reminiscing on how I used to write, everything? for the world to see. How strange! Now, stories are being told through photos and videos, mainly on Instagram, for me. I tried to get on the TikTok train, but it was too much. This was when I realized, I’m aging. Gracefully, I hope.
A LOT has happened since I last wrote in this blog. Here’s a very brief summary of life events for the past 2 years just in case you are interested to see where I am in my life right now:
2020: The year started off with the pandemic closing the world down. I was working out at home a lot because Orangetheory and CRI offered online classes for members to work out. I was supposed to run the Boston Marathon but that got postponed and I kinda shoved that idea aside for a bit. I graduated from the IRL program at CRI and was accepted into the Masters program in Psychology at Springfield College. We moved to Hadley in Western Mass to be closer to school. Hadley is very farm-y for sure. We had an acorn farm right across the street from our house. Hadley was also known for the asparagus capital of the world. I kinda miss being out there. It was beautiful, especially during fall.
2021: The pandemic was still on the rise. We had in-person classes but everyone was wearing masks and sitting far apart. I was working 3 jobs- OTF, Fitness Fusion and being a movement coach at a high school and remembered breaking down one day because I was just so effing stressed. I have never had a breakdown in my life so that scared me a little and allowed me to take a step back and re-evaluate my life a little to set priorities. We went to Iceland over the summer, which I must say is one of my most fave places in the world. Surprising because I initially wasn’t very excited about the trip considering that I hate hiking. Hiking in Iceland was AMAZING. We were camping and there was hardly any night time so that was NOT fun, but still, a great trip, nonetheless. I’d go back in a heartbeat.
2021 was when HYDROW came into my life. I was looking for a summer internship, I wanted to do some research work, but based on my very little background on research, it was hard to find a research-related job. So I applied for a summer internship as an exercise physiologist at Hydrow and obviously was not qualified for the role BUT the lady at Hydrow who told me I didn’t qualify suggested I should apply for the Athlete role. The lady, Kristin, was one of the best exercise physiologist out there, and her recommendation for me to try out as an athlete changed my life. So I did apply and here I am.
2022: I became a full-time athlete at Hydrow while still finishing up with school. Thankfully, I didn’t had any classes on my final semester but had to complete my thesis, which could be done remotely, So that all worked out well. Honestly, I enjoyed working on my thesis. I loved the process of reading, analyzing the data and shit like that (HAHA), but not necessarily the writing. The writing part was probably the hardest part of the whole process, I think. I went for my first Hydrow destination in Norway and defended my thesis in a hotel room in Norway! I officially became a graduate and added two letters behind my name. I launched Mental Excellence Co. and adopted a new identity as a business owner, something I never imagined myself doing- ever.
2022 was also the time when I could do the other thing I love the most: travel. Now that traveling is almost back to normal (except the prices- holy shit, the flight tickets are getting more expensive), I took advantage of that because I miss it. Ross and I went to London and Ireland, I went to Norway after that. Came back to Boston for the Summer before flying to Rome for a solo trip. Went to Prague for work and then Philly Marathon happened. Of course. That has the be another highlight of the year. I ran Boston in April and suffered. Decided to try another marathon because I felt that I could have gone faster. Trained intensely for 6 months and November came around, the temperature was nothing above 30 degrees, it was freezing, but you know what, I had the race of my life. 3:16, a 11min PB. I had a hard time deciding whether I want to continue running or get back in the boat…
2023: So here we are, at the start of the year. 2022 has set the bar really high but isn’t life all about being better than where you were yesterday? The sky’s the limit! I’ve started lifting again and learning how to row long and hard again. I’m leaning to stop comparing myself with my old self and accept where I am right now and work from there. I also need to be patient with the process and most importantly, I need to trust. Trust the path that I’m taking. Trust that wherever life takes me this year, I’m where I’m exactly meant to be.
Hope to keep this blog alive, I kinda enjoyed writing all these down.