Self-funding the Olympic debut – Singapore’s first ever Olympic Rower | Day Jobs

Self-funding the Olympic debut – Singapore’s first ever Olympic Rower | Day Jobs

in control of my life, I am a very
self-motivated person and I think that is very
important as single scull rower because there is
no-one else to push you, to wake you up in the morning. My name is Saiyidah Aisyah. I am a student
development officer in a polytechnic in Singapore. I am the first rower
from my country to qualify for
the Olympics Games. My day would be –
4.30am I wake up. I set six alarm clocks because it is my greatest fear
to be late for training. I think it is a weird thing. It takes about
an hour and a half to get to the training centre. I just do my stretching, getting warmed up,
then I prepare my boat. And I get on the water by 6am. Now full legs,
just go to full legs. The body still staying
in front of the hips. He has basically
changed my life. I don’t think I could have
gotten this far without him. Continuation
around the front turn. And he comes down
every single session. It makes me feel like
if I am not giving 100% and he is giving 100%,
what does that make me? The fact that he is doing that
actually motivates me to wake up every single day and give my all every single
session. Usually my job starts at 8.30,
so it is a rush, rush thing. Sometimes if I have a bit more
time, I will run to school. I really enjoy working
at the polytechnic because I’m working
with a lot of student athletes. OK, girls, get into pairs.
Each pair, one ball. She wears many hats here.
She is a staff advisor. She teaches,
she also mentors the students. She is an administrator. In a way, she has built herself
a certain reputation in school and by her stories,
her struggles, the students hear about it, they read on the news, and they get inspired from her. One, two, three! You want to make
a difference in people’s lives. That’s ultimately what
we all should be doing. I enjoy telling my stories. I enjoy seeing people
achieving their dreams as well. Are there any issues
from last year that you have to improve on, that you have to look into
any concerns? Last year some of our players
did not have enough time to complete some of the tasks
that were given. I am going to write it down. I encourage them to have
good time management, good balancing skills, and eventually all the skills
they have learnt will help them in the future. Time management is something
that you can control. It is really amazing
for people like us who are having so much
trouble with time management and comparing with her – she is so good with
time management. This is something for us
to take away as a lesson. I believe that how she does it,
we can also follow. She is perfect for this job. She more than anyone else can
understand what they are going through, show them how to balance
between their work and what they
have to do academically and what they have to do
as an athlete. My God, you must believe in
it. It is possible, yes. I started rowing when I was 16. I was sitting
on a rowing machine and someone talent-scouted me. I started off on the rowing
machine for a few months and I hated it because
it is not fun, it is mundane. My perception about rowing
all changed when I won my first
medal, basically – that feeling of winning
something made me hungry for more medals. I was quite reluctant
when she told me that she was
quite serious with rowing. I was thinking, “You’re a girl, you know.
I think you should be doing “something girlish
rather than sports “because sports is very rough,” because that
is how I was brought up. It was hard to juggle
between studies and training and spending time
with my family and friends, so there was definitely
a lot of choices I had to make. Unfortunately, my mum
was the victim of all this, because I didn’t get
to spend much time with her. (RIO 2016) My experience at Rio… I didn’t know that it
would be so nerve-racking because, like,
you keep on thinking about being the first rower
from Singapore, you keep on thinking about
everyone in Singapore watching you, the pressure. And then you look at the other
rowers, and they are huge, and they are big
and they are strong and you feel intimidated.
I wasn’t prepared for that. One take-away
that I can take from Rio towards my journey to Tokyo is that I really need to
improve on my mental game. Today I am going to share
with you the importance of mental skills training. I’ve been working with my
mental skills coach since last year. I can’t perform well
when there is pressure. So what I have learnt from him is how to let go of
expectations, how to relax,
how to perform better. Everything is just down to
basics, that is all you need to perform
well. During the Ramadan month
where we all fast, where all the Muslims fast, we can’t eat or drink anything
from 5am to about 7pm. It is hard in Singapore because
of the heat and humidity. You are thirsty all the time.
It was hard this morning because it is the first day.
You need to get used to it. It is challenging,
it will get easier, but the thing is once
this Ramadan period is over, you think back and you realise
that, “I’ve done this training during
Ramadan. “It means when I am not fasting
I should be so much faster.” So, it is actually
like motivation. When we break fast, usually
it’s a get-together with family or friends. It is an opportunity for me to
go with my family, who I hardly see. Ramadan forces us
to come together, eat together. I think it’s a beautiful part
of the month. Aisyah was my netball captain in our high-school
netball team. We were in the same
student council together. She is generous,
generous with her time, generous with her energy, generous with
her ability to share. So she came to my class.
I am a teacher. She came to my class
to share her Olympic journey with my students
to inspire them. I didn’t realise that we
only get to see each other twice or thrice a year. I think what is similar
with all of my friends who I am meeting
at this point of time, we all have the passion to go for our career,
in our career. So, I think that is why
we are still very good friends, because we chase
our passion before boys. My choice is
to pursue my dream. I believe whatever I am doing
will make me happy and then it will make
the rest happy as well. I love my sport, I love waking up at crazy hours
every morning, I love to have all these
blisters on my hand, I love all these muscles. There’s no short cuts
to being an Olympian.

Comments (12)

  1. Moi aussi un de mes rêves est de devenir rageuse du courage?

  2. haha tide pods lol

  3. I love all the content from this channel! I never thought rowing would be that amazing !

  4. Go team Singapore!

  5. As someone dominated by laziness I find this so inspiring!

  6. Great work Saiyidah!Keep on motivating.

  7. small but highly developed country.

  8. ?‍♀️?‍♀️?‍♀️

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