First of all, I would just like to say that I am extremely grateful and humbled for this recognition. Coming into ROCKrunners (RR), I definitely was not expecting anything like this. It took me a very long while to finally decide to go for RR.
Initially, the reason why I hesitated so much was because I was very afraid of going alone. Being an introvert, this proved to be a very tough decision. Furthermore, I discovered Rock The Naked Truth first through Instagram and many of their events did not seem to suit me. Thus I gave up on the thought for a while.
It was only until I discovered RR (again through Instagram) that I really sat down and gave a serious thought about going. My bunch of close friends are not really into fitness so it was very unlikely for them to join me. The thought of going alone was a really big obstacle and I hesitated back and forth.
Eventually, I felt that I really wanted to go and managed to muster enough courage to sign up for it. I went for my first ever RR session on 15 October 2016. Although I told myself that I would not back out at the last minute, the train journey to The Lawn was nerve wrecking. There were butterflies in my stomach.
However, shortly after I arrived I realised that all these were unnecessary. I felt really welcome. What struck me most was that the people there were very friendly and genuine. I didn’t see just a group of random people there; I saw close friends who gathered not just to run but to have fun and catch up as well! After my first session I was sure that I would be back in no time! (And I was extremely proud of myself for taking this first step out of my comfort zone as well haha!)
As I got to know more people from RR and from reading entries off the RTNT website, I discovered a brighter side of life. Like everyone else, I was fighting the battles of life. As an introvert, I struggled to express myself. Making new friends was a chore to me.
Thankfully in my life, I did not encounter any bullies given my small build. But I slowly came to realise that I was very sensitive to what others say about me. Even trivial matters such as calling me names would affect me to a certain extent.
Honestly speaking, till today, I feel that I have not been able to weed out this issue of self-doubt – albeit it’s a lot better now.
I did not really encounter any problems in school other than the fact that my parents were quite strict with me about my studies. Then my life took a change for the worst when I was 15. My grandmother passed away on the day she was due to be discharged from the hospital. It was devastating news that sank my world
To put things into context, my brother and I lived with our grandparents since we were babies, while my other two siblings stayed with my parents in the opposite block. Thus, this piece of news hit me really hard and I was very affected.
Although I managed to pick myself up from this, nothing was the same anymore. The relationship between my grandfather and parents started to drift apart. Being stuck in the middle, the kids weren’t having it any easier as well.
Eventually, my grandparents’ house was sold and this marked the start of a very turbulent period of my life. I moved house four times in a short span of less than two years and I couldn’t focus on studies. Relationships within the family were estranged; quarrels sparked every now and then.
Even though all these episodes eventually subsided, things just weren’t the same as before. Family ties felt so close, yet so far. Shortly after, I enlisted into National Service and after Basic Military School, I was posted into Officer Cadet School (OCS).
Very early into OCS, conflicts within the family started again. This time, it was regarding signing on and what not (which I shall not bore you with). On top of this, the tough training proved to be a huge barrier to me. In an environment where I was placed amongst many other outstanding individuals, I couldn’t help but doubt myself more with each passing day. It just seemed to me like I wasn’t good enough, especially since I was not physically as strong as others.
To make matters worse, I felt I wasn’t getting enough support from my family. One day during training, one of the instructors made a remark saying that I wasn’t putting in effort. That really ticked me off. I’m not sure if it was just a casual remark, but it really triggered me. I was angry, but after a few days of thinking, I realised that I don’t have to be.
No one can judge whether you are giving your best or not. No one but yourself. After all, your worst enemy is yourself. After this incident, I promised myself that I would give 100% in whatever that I do. I would like to think that my life is very dramatic, but then again, whose life isn’t?
Through all the trials and tribulations that I have encountered in the different stages of my life, I have emerged. Though not all battles fought are victorious ones, I have walked away from each of them with a valuable lesson learnt. And that is a small victory on its own.
To my ROCKfam, thank you for showing me that it’s okay to be not okay. Even the strongest people need to break down once in a while. We are all imperfect in our own ways and that’s totally okay. Once we accept our limits, we can then go beyond them.
Thank you for bringing fun, joy and (overwhelming amounts of) laughter into my life. My Saturdays are never mundane with you guys around. Most importantly, thank you all for being unapologetically You. You have taught me to be comfortable in my own skin. Be who you are, not who the world wants you to be.
Without you my ROCKfam, I would never have expected myself to step out of my comfort zone and share my story with everyone. To everyone else who is reading this, I do not know of the battles you are fighting in your life, but I hope that you press on and in the process, remember to love yourself and those around you a little more. Everyone fights, no one quits.
ROCKstar of the Month is a monthly award given to an inspiring individual who advocates a positive mindset and living an active lifestyle (see full requirements below).
Requirements to be a ROCKstar of the Month awardee: