"When we are are no longer able to change a situation - we are challenged to change ourselves." - Viktor E. Frankl
Sod's law states that everything that can go wrong, will go wrong. In the last few months, that adage has never rung more true. Hurdle after hurdle seems to have cropped up in the lead up to the SEA Games. Obstacles that even I couldn't have prepared for in my "What If's" preparation for staying ready. Yet, as I fly back home today for the opening ceremony and start of the SEA Games, there is an overwhelming sense of gratefulness and happiness.
Mostly because it has given me a greater hunger for what I want to accomplish. But also, because it has shown me time and time again that throughout the hard times, I have an incredible group of people around me that don't just show up, but go beyond. The unwavering support of my amazing family and friends has given me the strength to stay strong in the face of adversity. When I couldn't be strong, they lifted me up instead. Without them, I could not do what I do. They know who they are, and this moment is every much theirs as it is mine. I literally would not be here, with my head held high and my resolve unwavering, if not for them. Thank you. Beyond that - many people have also surprised me in their compassion and support, renewing my faith in the love and goodness that exists in this world. Always remember that hate cannot drive out hate; only love can.
I know that the challenges are far from over and that the universe will continue to test my strength and resilience. Nonetheless, a sense of calm has washed over me. I am excited for the challenges to come- in fact, I welcome them with open arms. I know that whatever happens, I can handle it. I have done the work and put in the hours, and I am ready. The ride was hard, but I'm ready to enjoy the view. Motivational speaker Eric Thomas has a great line, that all men are created equal, but some work harder in pre-season. Dreams are free; but the hustle you have to pay for.
The great thing about sport is that it pushes you - physically and mentally. The same goes for every obstacle that stands in the way between you and accomplishing your goals. In a world of uncertainty where things going wrong is a matter of centimetres and degrees, one thing is for certain - no matter how tough the storm, when you walk through the other side and the dust settles, you won't be the same person who walked in. Setbacks and challenges are the springboard to grow stronger. To be strong when others are not. To overcome more, survive more, and ultimately, achieve more. The relentless will to be unstoppable is what changes you. When no one would blame you for giving up, but you show up and get right back to work - that is the sweet spot of learning to grow and push past what you are capable of and becoming the person you are meant to be.
You don't grow strength in the good times - the struggle, the pain, that is where the courage and the unbreakable is built. These qualities are made in the hard times. If not for the hard times, you wouldn't know how far you could go. Get comfortable with the uncomfortable - this is what makes the great.
Come support me and the rest of the Malaysian National Short Track team compete at Empire City Damansara MYNISS on the 29th August from 2.00pm - 4.30pm and on the 30th August from 11.30am - 4.00pm.