Monthly Archives: December 2013

My 2013 in a nutshell: “Overcoming challenges and obstacles”

I don’t want 2013 to end.

You may think that I have had a great year after making that statement. Well, it couldn’t be further from the truth. 2013 has been a year where I found myself being forced to deal with challenges and obstacles thrown at me from all directions. It almost broke me, but I refused to give up, which is what makes this year memorable for me. But I know 2014 will be much more exciting. Let’s start with my first challenge:

Entering the workforce

I graduated this year with a Diploma in Mass Communication, looking to enter the media industry and gain some industry experience before moving on to a Degree. This has always been a dream of mine. I started with an internship at a social media marketing agency, moved on full time to a social media role in an advertising agency and now I’m in corporate communications before 2013 ends.

It has been a whirlwind journey for me because I intended to go back to school after my internship ended. Somehow one thing lead to another, and I ended up having my first professional job, which unfortunately, I wasn’t ready for. I realised I was still tuned to the mindset of being in school and not tuned to the mindset that I’m actually in the workforce already.

I guess I’m lucky because I had never been in a bad spot in my life up to this point. Through the 3 months of struggling to keep my head above water, I came to the painful realisation that  it was time to stop being a kid who had no pressures in my life and become an adult who is able to cope with the challenges of life. I emerged out of this challenge with lessons that will be invaluable to me in the future.

Injury, CrossFit and Yoga

2013 is also the year my CrossFit journey began and I fell in love with it almost immediately. Unfortunately, my love for it was like a double edged sword. I was so obsessed with it that after I got injured during my powerlifting competition, I felt very depressed I couldn’t train for a month. Trying to deal with being injured for the first time in my life didn’t help either, which brings me to my next point about finding my CrossFit family.

I have said this before and I will say it again. This family is the reason why I CrossFit and they went a long way in helping me to learn to cope and overcome this challenge. That is why the picture below means a great deal to me. I’m the only one not in workout gear, but I still went to the box to cheer my family on because I refused to let my injury consume me. I owed it to them not to languish in despair and to come back stronger

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I sometimes struggle with not letting CrossFit take priority in my life because I want to enjoy the process. I deal with that by using what I learnt in CrossFit to help me PR my life. It has helped me get better at goal setting, discipline, self-motivation, reacting to failure, asking others for help, and many other life skills that are so valuable.

Taking up yoga lessons has helped me to deal with that struggle. For starters, yoga poses are a great challenge and obstacle for a inflexible person like me. However, it has taught me how to let go of things that don’t matter and learn to appreciate the little joys I experience or gain. I find myself starting to gain a little bit of flexibility and the breathing techniques I learned on the mat has helped me greatly in WODs. To me, CrossFit has helped me to become a better person while yoga makes me a better athlete.

Competing and organising a competition

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This year, I also competed in my first ever competition in powerlifting and help to organised a CrossFit competition. Being a newbie in both sports, it’s an achievement for me.

Relationship with God

My walk with God is always a challenge for me every year. Honestly, I have always struggled with making Him my priority. Getting injured was a reminder from Him that I was placing CrossFit first instead of Him. This year, I have learned a lot of surrendering everything to Him and learning to love Him with my heart instead of my mind. As I reflect back on the past year, I realised He has had a hand in every decision, every move I made. I have also learned the hard way that my plans aren’t set in stone, His plans are. I write my plans down in pencil, but He holds the eraser.

Final thoughts on 2013

There are still other things that happened in my life in 2013, but these topics are the ones that impact me the most. I’m also at crossroads. All these years, I have always thought that fitness was just an interest to me and working in the media industry is my passion. But after starting CrossFit and unexpectedly joining the workforce, I have come to realised that fitness has always always been my passion. This realisation will influence my selection of a Degree course and my career path after that.

I have no idea what 2014 holds for me other that an enticing opportunity to work with CrossFit HQ media team, which is currently still in the works. But I know that I have God, and with Him beside me, I can overcome all challenges and obstacles 🙂

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#SinCity2013 musings

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I fell really sick after #SinCity2013 ended, so in my downtime, I decided to break down the event on my own. So here it goes.

When Melanie and I sat down to plan for Sin City Invitationals about 3 months ago with full support from our coach, Uncle Sam, we didn’t have much resources to work with. All we had were three main goals:

1) For the Invitationals to be as stripped down as possible. Not flashy like the 2013 CrossFit Games. But like the 2007 CrossFit Games, which was held on a ranch in Aromas, California.

2) The focus will be on the athletes. We knew that given how strong and tight CrossFit’s Asian community were, they would carry this event.

3) To make this an event that Asian CrossFitters can proudly call their own.

I’m proud to say we managed to achieve all three goals. Sure, there were kinks and bumps along the way, but we preserved and pushed on, knowing that our love for CrossFit would see us through despite both of us not having participated in any CrossFit competition before.

Many have asked us why we didn’t have live streaming or why we didn’t reach out to the mainstream media to cover this event. Well, honestly, live-streaming was beyond our budget and we were also confident about the power of social media, given that we had come to a mutual conclusion on the second point of our main goals. And boy, did it turned out to be the right choice.  SingaSports was the first to approach us about covering the event, then Fitness Sutra. Even Brunei’s mainstream newspaper, The Brunei Times, covered our event. Not bad for an event that didn’t send out any press kits.

Now, I have a confession to make. As Director of Media, having a team to work with wasn’t the first thing that came to my mind. I’m not sure why, maybe there were voices in my head that told me I could do this all on my own or maybe I wasn’t expecting this event to be really big. That is why I’m so thankful to be working with Mel. She showed me how I wouldn’t be able to do everything on my own and how subconsciously, I was selfish and didn’t like to delegate stuff.

Which brings me to my next point about forming a team. To be honest, when I first picked Farhan, Alvin and Juven to be in the team, I was really hesitant to assign tasks for them. But when I did, they really shone through with their respective tasks. I couldn’t have asked for a better team and a boss like Mel, who showed me why having a team was important in the first place. Also, a shoutout to our official photographer, Norman, for the wonderful pictures.

Overall, I’m pretty satisfied with the media coverage pre, during and post Sin City Invitationals. During the months and days leading up to the event, we decided to do athletes’ profiles on our Facebook page since focusing on the athletes was one of our main goals. That went a long way in helping the athletes bond during the event itself, as most of them were meeting each other for the first time. I was also pleased with event coverage, given that the Director of Media for CrossFit Asia Regionals informed us that she would be there as a spectator and would assist us in any way. That gave me an additional incentive to work harder and made sure the media team was top-notch.

What I really loved was the post event media coverage. I used to feel disconnected when I look at pre and post event pictures of overseas CrossFit regional events like The Primal Series and Granite Games, thinking that I would never experience such an event. But all that changed when the Invitationals ended. As I scrolled through my news feed, I realized that our goal of allowing CrossFitters living in Asia to finally have a competition that they can proudly call their own had been achieved. It had been a long time coming, but better late than never.

I can’t wait for Sin City Invitationals 2014. It will be bigger and more exciting!

 

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