Why having live telecast of the Olympics matter to us

 

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Photo Credit: Peter Soon

August 8, 2015 – Joseph Schooling just made history by winning Singapore’s first ever podium finish at the World Swimming Championships.

I clearly remembered how happy everyone was when we saw his name appearing on the scoreboard, and to top it off, it happened a day before SG50. Each and every Singaporean felt a sense of national pride as they experienced history together as Joseph was collecting his World Championships medal, and it was definitely a heart-warming moment for all of us.

I recalled the amount of anxiety we all had before Joseph’s race. As none of us qualified for the finals, Joseph was our only hope to fly our flag high during the World Championships. When the commentator called his name, we all screamed our lungs out as though we were the ones who were swimming the race, and you could see Joseph turning over to acknowledge our cheering efforts. Trust me, we were all pretty damn nervous for him as the level of competition in the World Championships are equivalent to the Olympics, and many of the big guns were in the same 100m Butterfly race.

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The race started and Joseph headed into the first 50m with a leading time of 23.53 seconds. At this point in time, there was even more adrenaline pumping through our veins as we knew that history was about to be made, all he needed to do was to just hang on for another 50m, and that would give him a Gold medal. Our cheers started getting louder as the race progressed as we really wanted him to hang on. The feeling was just surreal, seeing Singapore in the lead for the first time at a world stage.

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At the last 25m of the race, Chad Le Clos (South Africa) and Laslo Cseh (Hungary) started inching up on him, and at that point in time, the whole stadium became so loud due to the excitement, and you couldn’t even hear yourself when you were screaming. We couldn’t even tell who was leading at the last 10m of the race as everyone was just so bunched up together at the final moments of the race. I remember just screaming and shouting my heart out to support Joseph and hope that he brings home a medal for us.

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The race was over, and when we looked up, we saw a Singapore flag lighting up on Lane 1 on the live television screen. The feeling of excitement was so indescribable, knowing that we were able to experience history live as Joseph brought back home a medal for Singapore on a world stage. There was a surge of excitement, happiness, and relief at the same time, knowing that Singapore history was made, and we were all able to experience it together. It was such a memorable moment for each and every one of us and I’m sure that people at home felt the same feeling when they managed to catch Joseph’s race live on television.

Failing to qualify for the Olympics this year, I wouldn’t have the opportunity to watch Joseph swim live at the Rio Olympic pool. However, I would love to see history being made again when I watch him swim from home. It’s different when you’re watching repeated telecast, because you already know that the outcome is going to be. I don’t want to know the results beforehand before being able to watch him swim. Because that takes away the excitement factor in sport, the feeling of uncertainty during his race, whether he’ll be able to hold on and bring home the gold medal.

I like to live in the moment, and feel the huge surge of adrenaline rush again when I watch him race his 100m Butterfly, and celebrate together with him when history is made again. I’m pretty sure that everyone feels the same way as well.

Broadcasting the Olympic Games will definitely unite all Singaporeans together through sport and promote an active lifestyle in Singapore in the long run, as people are going to remember the great moments from the Olympic Games, reminisce, and talk about it in the many years to come.

Having repeated telecast is like someone spoiling a good movie for you by telling you how the movie is going to end, and it is definitely not a pleasant feeling as your whole movie experience will be spoilt, knowing how the movie will pan out.

However, I’m sure that with the advancement of technology, there will potentially be different online streams that broadcasts the Rio Olympics live. So if we really want to, we should still be able to watch the Olympics live. If there’s a will, there will be a way. 🙂

Coming from a swimmer’s perspective, it definitely feels better racing knowing that you have your country behind you all the way during your race. Because besides achieving your own goals, you’ll be doing it for the country as well.

So let’s all unite, and get behind our athletes as they do their best in the Olympics! I’m sure that it will spur them on to greater performances.

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“This is my home, where I grew up and where everything started. My friends and family are going to be there and I’m really excited to be racing in a home atmosphere for once.” An excerpt from Joseph Schoolings interview during the 2015 SEA Games.

All the best to you in your quest for the Olympics Joseph! The country is behind you, do us proud!

And to all the other athletes competing in Olympics, we’re all behind you! 

 

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This is why you shouldn’t study during Chinese New Year

Chinese new year is a season to celebrate and share moments with your love ones. It is a time for you to forget about work related issues and focus on spending as much family time (e.g. enjoying your reunion dinner) and time with friends if you can, because studies can wait, but Chinese New Year only happens once a year!

I decided to write about this today because I’m still seeing people studying on this special occasion, which in my opinion is unacceptable (sorry for the harsh word used). I have to admit that I did some work yesterday for about an hour, but after an hour or so I was like “screw this, I should be spending more time with my family instead.” so I dropped my books and started went to spend some family time.

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P.S. How would you rate these fish jellies that my mum made? 🙂

Let me ask you an honest question, when you’re old and not as active as you are in the future, will you remember what grade you got for math or chemistry, or would you remember the jokes, the awesome Mahjong and poker sessions that you have spent with your family and friends? I’m sure it would be those great moments that you spent with your family and friends.

To be honest, even when I’m in University now, I can’t remember what grades I got during secondary school, because at this point in my life now, those grades are of no value to me. So this indirectly means that it’ll definitely be impossible for me to remember the grades I get in University now when I start working next time.

“But I remember the grades I got throughout primary and secondary school!”  

Alright, to be fair, I know everybody is different, so if you’re not like me and you remembered the various grades you got in school, then let me ask you this, will your future boss hire you next time solely based on your grades? Well, grades mean something, but they are not everything.

Ultimately, your future boss will hire you for your ability to work in a team, your ability to communicate well, and your ability to plan and organize your work. These are the key elements that your boss will look for when hiring you, and not about the A grade you got in your Math. So drop your books, and start spending time with your family, because family time allows you to train this skills which will benefit you in the future, and not by completing math questions.

“No! I still think my school GPA will matter when I work in the future.” 

Ok, if you think that grades are everything, then let me ask you a simple question. Knowing the importance of spending family time, will you still be able to fully focus on doing your work and neglecting your family? And even if you managed to study, will you not feel guilty that you didn’t spend family time on this special occasion?

So… Drop your books, and go spend some family time. 🙂

 

“NO! I will not feel guilty when I don’t spend family time. Studying is love, studying is life…” 

Ok, if that’s the case, then I hope you grow up having all the As you wish for and also remember to laminate your results slip so that you can stick it on to your wall and remember how enjoyable these moments were, because I know for sure that you won’t be able to remember the grades you got in school when you start working so DROP YOUR BOOKS, AND START SPENDING SOME FAMILY TIME.

 

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Jokes aside, here’s to wishing everyone a Happy Chinese New Year! Drop your books and start spending more quality family time. Trust me, these will be the moments that you’ll treasure as you grow older. And with this, I will end off my blog post and go enjoy my reunion dinner with my family. 🙂

P.S. To the teachers who are really strict on their students: If your students didn’t manage to finish their homework in time, please forgive them, because they must have spent some quality family time over Chinese New Year. 😉 

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Here’s another pic of my mum’s homemade jelly fishes… Just another attempt to show off her hard work 

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Guest Blogger Marina Chan: There are always two sides to a coin and a mask to every façade

Hello guys! Sorry for not blogging for some time. In case you guys were wondering, training’s been going well in Jacksonville so I hope all the hard work will pay off in time to come!

If you remember a few weeks ago, I blogged that in life, it’s always about perspective. (check out article here). I had a chance to read a paragraph that one of our fellow National swimmer, Marina Chan, wrote, which in my opinion was beautifully written and it touched my heart!

Without further ado, here is the paragraph which I enjoyed a lot:

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Serenity –
The emotion felt most strongly by many people when they sit on the fine sandy beach and soak in the beautiful and calming waves.
It becomes hypnotizing, that it entrances the people into a more peaceful mode.
The rhythmic sound as the waves slowly kisses the sandy bay.
The sapphire blue color that coats the waves becomes more prominent as the sun slowly starts to rise and the sky turning a shade of crimson red.
The beach is one of the few places where pathetic fallacy is said to come into play, and yet something that offers an escape from the harsh reality itself can turn into a nightmare.
The waves cascade down one another, crashing into shore lined with pebble-sized seashells. As the howling of the wind gets louder and the gust stronger, the waves start to slowly increase in size. Starting off from puppy sized soon developing into a monstrosity. The gentle motions soon start to become stronger, violent and more tenacious.There are always two sides to a coin and a mask to every façade. It changes in accordance to the environment, which draws an unmistakable parallel to the fickle minded nature of humans. We become someone different in front of different people. We don the different masks and our personality switches with each. The catalyst being the environment that an individual is placed to thrive in.

Everyone is different and dons a different mask but then the question becomes ‘Which is the real one?’

– Marina Chan

If you were inspired by the paragraph like I was, I challenge you guys today to see things from a more positive angle, and change each negative situation to a positive one.

 

And no matter what, always stay true to yourself! 🙂

 

P.S. We’ll all be heading to Texas next week for a swimming competition from Jan 15-17 before heading back to Singapore so wish us luck!
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15 more days to the SEA Games; Singapore Swimming team is ready

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With just 15 days left to the SEA Games, I can confidently say that the Singapore swimming team has bonded really well together in the 3 staging camps that we had.

To be honest, it’s the first time whereby a team is so closely bonded together leading up to the SEA Games, and knowing that the team will always be behind us no matter what happens, we’ll definitely have the extra edge when race day comes.

It’s always been Coach Sergio and Gary’s goal to bond the team together as one. Why is this so? That is because a team effort will always be greater than individual effort, and working in a team allows us to put individual differences aside and focus on what is best for the team. Each and every individual has their own part to play into creating a successful team. Here’s an example:

We did the bucket challenge during one of our staging camps. This game was taught to us by our Psychologist Josh.

The main aim of the bucket challenge was for everyone to remove their shoes one by one in a circle without the bucket of water toppling over. The challenge is complete once everyone has got their shoes off. The hardest thing about this game was to ensure that the bucket of water didn’t topple over and that required teamwork. To ensure that we were well coordinated, we had the help of a leader which was giving us instructions from top view.

The rationale behind this game is really simple, the leader, who is giving us instructions, is like our coach. He is able to see things from top view and give us the proper guidance and instructions before our races, so all we have to do is to trust them as things are always seen clearer from the top. On the other hand, the rest of us who are in a circle are supposed to work together to ensure that we complete the challenge without dropping the bucket, and this wouldn’t be possible without teamwork.

As you can see from the team bonding activity that we were engaging in, if one person were to let their leg off the bucket, it would topple off for sure. This clearly illustrates the importance of teamwork – whereby everyone has a part to play into creating a great team, and at no point in time a person is slacking off as that would jeopardize the whole challenge.

As the saying goes, there is no ‘I’ in ‘Team’ and through these activities we were able to learn the importance of teamwork.

But swimming is an individual sport, how do we help the other swimmers do well in their respective events? 

It’s really simple, when others are racing their hearts out, we will always be behind cheering them on during their races. Our competitors wouldn’t be swimming against an individual, rather, they will be swimming against Team Singapore for every race.

This is the one of many cheers that the Singapore Swimming team has done, it is titled ‘we will win the war’. Hope you guys like it! stay tuned for more cheers during the SEA Games. 🙂

Lastly, your support would mean a lot to us so do catch us live on television or at the pool from June 6-11! You guys can also play a part into strengthening our team. Your cheers will definitely be heard and I’m sure that it will motivate us during our toughest days. Lets all play our part into creating a strong Team Singapore!

 

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The reason why 400IM is the most painful event in swimming

After swimming for many years in my life, which includes a wide range of the most painful events like the 200m Freestyle and 1500m Freestyle, I came to a conclusion that 400m Individual Medley (IM) no doubt the beats those events in the level of pain experienced. There may be disagreements, but to me nothing is as hard as the 400IM. To let you understand the pain of a 400IM, I’ll run through a 400IM race with you from a swimmer’s perspective:

The individual medley starts off with the hardest stroke in swimming – Butterfly. Why does it have to start off with the hardest stroke? Because if Butterfly was to be kept at the last 100m of the race, I doubt anyone would want to race in the 400IM anymore.

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You’ll usually dive into the pool feeling fresh and light, and feel as though you’re floating above water surface, and everything seems really easy. However, that usually only last for 50m before you start to feel the burn on the second 50m.

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The second 50m is where you’ll start to feel the lactate in your arms and shoulders come out all at once, worse part is that it shows no mercy, everything starts to drag you down all of a sudden but you have no choice but to press on as there is just no stopping in a race.

So this pretty much sums up the Butterfly leg in an Individual Medley race, moving on to the backstroke leg…

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Imagine all that lactate you have from the Butterfly leg, it just won’t go away, so therefore, you’ll have to carry all that lactate you have accumulated from the Butterfly leg to the Backstroke leg, which really is a lot of pain. You still have to go hard during the Backstroke leg because if you don’t, people are just going to overtake you or chase you down.

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Moving on, the Breaststroke. At this point in time, you’ll feel like a dying whale, whereby your whole body just feels like it’s going to crash and burn and your vision has even blurred a little due to fatigue. To add on to how bad you are already feeling, Breaststroke is a stroke which demands a perfect technique, and if you don’t maintain your best technique, you are just not going to move. The worse part of Breaststroke is that adding stroke rate won’t equate to you going faster, so the only way to move faster is to maintain a perfect technique with your lactate accumulated arms and legs.

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Finally, the Freestyle, at this point of time, your lactate levels have already went off the charts but it doesn’t affect you anymore. You’ve reached a stage whereby you don’t care about the pain anymore as your body has already adapted to it and all you want to do is to win your competitor from the other lane.

Don’t get me wrong, you still feel a huge amount of pain, but being the last 100m of the race, it simply does not matter anymore because all you want to do is win.

To give you a clear idea on how the Freestyle leg feels, imagine being the bottom row of this pyramid whereby everyone is just resting their weight on your shoulders:

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But trust me, all that weight won’t matter as your will to win the race has already overpowered the pain that you are feeling.

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Whether you swim well in the race or not, there will always be a huge sense of accomplishment after completing a 400IM. With the amount of pain that you’re already in, you’ll just be glad that the race is over anyway.

 

With all that said, if 400IM is so painful, why do people still swim it?

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That’s because 400IM is a race whereby it trains you physically and mentally. After racing and training in the 400IM, you won’t be afraid to swim any other race because you know deep down that nothing comes close to being as hard and demanding as the 400IM. For me I personally hate days whereby coach tells me that I have to work on my 400IM on that day, but I know that it will be worth it.

So my challenge to those who are still currently swimming, if you find yourself being afraid of an event, enter yourself in the 400IM during another untapered swim meet, and I assure you that after swimming the 400IM, you won’t be afraid of swimming anything else.

This pretty much sums up the reason why 400IM is the most painful event in swimming.

 

What is the hardest event to you? Do leave a comment at the comment section below if you disagree with me!

 

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An explanation to how Chiropractic care works [ad]

chiropractic first pang sheng jun

If you can recall from my first post about Chiropractic care, whereby I talked about how Chiropractic treatment has enabled me to continue my career in swimming, I mentioned that I’ll keep you guys updated if there were any special offers coming up! Guess what? There is one!

So basically I discussed with Chiropractic First and they were willing to give a promotion to my readers, the benefits are:
1) 50% off consultation fee (U.P. $100) 
2) $100 off X-Rays 

Here is the list of clinics that are located in Singapore:

chiropractic first outlets

All you have to do is to call in ANY of the clinics and use the promotion code “PSJ” and you’ll be able to enjoy these benefits! How awesome is that. 🙂

If you’re wondering what a consultation is like for Chiropractic, I’ll briefly explain it to you:

1) You’ll need to fill up a patient health form, which will provide background information about what kind of pain you’re feeling, medical history, or any current injuries, etc…

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2) Next, a throughout Chiropractic examination will be done, which includes checking for your range of motion, muscle tone, muscle strength and examining for problems in your spine.

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3) You’ll then need to get an X-Ray done so that the doctor will be able to give you a specific diagnosis for your current condition. Once the diagnosis is establish, they will then see if Chiropractic care will help you in your condition.

4) They will then recommend a certain amount of chiropractic treatments to relieve the pain and cure your injury.

Anyway, I’m sure many of you are interested in how each of my Chiropractic treatment looks like:

So these were the ‘cracks’ I was talking about in my first post. It feels really good and the best part is that there is no pain at all. It just feels like you just had a really good crack on your bones 🙂

So all you have to do is to call into ANY of these locations and you’ll be able to enjoy these benefits! 🙂

*Unfortunately these benefits are only for new Chiropractic First costumers, and they do not apply to existing customers. 

chiropractic first

For more information about the Chiropractic First group, feel free to check out their website at http://chiropractic-first.org/ or like their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/ChiropracticFirstSG

Chiropractic treatments have helped me in my swimming career so hope this can get you guys to try out Chiropractic care too! 🙂

 

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My first ever facial treatment experience at the Skinlab (spon)

skinlab pang sheng jun

In all honesty, I’ve never done any facial treatment in my life but thanks to GetKlarity, I managed to try out my first ever facial treatment at SkinLab The Medical Spa. I did the Oxy-Bright Super Facial treatment and it’s a 3 step process of balancing the skin tone on your face and of course removing any acne!

So here’s a breakdown of the 90 minutes treatment:

1) Lie down face up on bed – Face, neck and shoulder massage

2) Double cleansing of face

3) Application of a special gel before zapping my skin with Radio Frequency to give my face a firmer and tighter look. It was also done to balance my skin tone out. This process was really comfortable and soothing as the Radio Frequency machine was really warm so it kinda felt like a warm massage done on my face.

4) Face is then cleansed again to remove the gel from the radio frequency, and another gel is applied on your face. This gel is for exfoliating, infusing and oxygenating purposes.

5) Another round of face massage is given with the gel on. This time, the texture is slightly harder than the Radio Frequency but is still generally really comfortable.

6) And for the last and final step (which I fear most) – EXTRACTION. I thought I would end up screaming in pain but to much surprise, it was much less painful than I imagined. In fact, it was very much bearable!

7) To finish off, they applied a really cold and soothing mask to help the skin heal from the extraction, which was really really shiok.

 

Verdict

Processed with Moldiv

So what do you think of the facial treatment? You be the judge!

Even though my acne appears to be obvious in the photo, the redness was definitely less evident the next day. My face does actually look lighter if you compare the photos closely. Although it wasn’t that obvious to me, my mum pointed out that my face looks brighter and fresher the first thing I went home so I guess that is good enough. 🙂 My facial complex was uneven due to the many hours spent in the swimming pool so this facial has helped with those concerns.

Overall, my face feels firmer and tighter after the facial and I feel really refreshed after doing it.

So if you liked the results that I’ve shown, you can get your facial treatment done too and book via GetKlarity! 🙂

#04-04 Wheelock Place
501 Orchard Road
Singapore 238880
Tel: +65 6235 3246 
Operating hours
Mon – Fri 1000am to 930pm
Sat – Sun 10am to 830pm

SkinLab The Medical Spa is providing all GetKlarity customers a special promotion!

They are offering their Signature Skinlab ‘V-Face’ Facial Treatment at $48 for GetKlarity customers only (U.P. $450 per session). You get a top-notch cleanse and tone, plus 30 minutes of Radio Frequency (RF) Treatment for the chin area for a sharper jaw line to get that sculpted face you have always desired.

Reach your personal skincare epiphany and book with SkinLab through GetKlarity now:

Wheelock Place | Plaza Singapura | Jurong Point

GetKlarity is a beauty and wellness app on both web & mobile that allows you to luxuriate in some much-needed ‘me-time’ anytime, anywhere. Discover available appointments at top spas and salons by location, enjoy exclusive promotions, and book seamlessly via GetKlarity app in real-time.

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My Nikon COOLPIX AW120 underwater camera experience (spon)

I’ve always wanted a camera to capture the moments I have in life, and thankfully under the care of GetKlarity, Nikon sponsored me a camera to capture these great memories in my life. The best part is: It’s an underwater camera!!! Which makes things a lot better for me since I spend most of the time in the pool anyways.

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Before I get started, here are the features of the camera:
1) Shock proof – can withstand a drop from 2m height 
2) Dust proof
3) Cold resistant proof – up to -10°c 
4) Water proof 
5) 16 Megapixel Lens
6) Built in GPS
7) Built in WiFi

Here are some of the great memories of my swimming that were captured by this camera:

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These quality photos feature great clarity and contrast. To be honest, I really love this camera a lot. It’s the best underwater camera I’ve had so far. If anyone needs underwater shots, they’d ask me to bring my camera.

I really like how the colors burst out in these photos.

This camera also features WiFi so it makes things much more convenient as I can transfer these photos to my phone via WiFi immediately after taking them. It beats connecting your phone to the computer via a cable which would take up a lot of time.

The battery life of this camera is great too. Within 2 months of usage, I think I’ve only charged it 2-3 times. That’s an average of 1 charge/2 weeks of usage.

Also, this camera is small and light weight as well so you don’t have to worry about it being bulky when bringing it around. I always put it in my swimming bag so at any point of time when someone needs or wants an underwater photo, my camera would be ready.

However, no camera is perfect. The downside to this camera, unfortunately, is that it gets inconsistent at times. Sometimes, it takes really superb photos (the ones you see above) but I have to be honest to you guys as well, sometimes this camera takes really bad photos, here’s an example of it’s inconsistency:

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These 2 photos were taken simultaneously and as you can see, the top photo is much clearer and brighter as compared to the second one. I’m not sure why there is inconsistency but it does happen at times which annoys me a little.

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The same comparison between these 2 photos again, both of them are morning shots, but the one on top is much clearer than the one on the bottom. The bottom picture looks a little dull as compared to the top one, which further shows some inconsistency in the camera. But with some editing, we can actually still brighten the bottom picture up a little.

Another downside to this camera is that it can’t really function well during night shots, so I can’t really capture photos during the night. Here’s an example of a night shot:

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As you can see the clarity drops a little bit when it comes to night, as compared to a shot taken in the morning:

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The morning shot looks 100x better if you’d ask me. Though morning shots can get inconsistent at times, it rarely happens. Morning shots are great most of the time. Maybe this camera is a morning person as well… Haha.

 

Verdict

So in conclusion, here’s a summary of what I think of this camera:

Pros
1) Water proof which allows me to take many great underwater swimming shots
2) Insanely long battery life so I wouldn’t have to worry about charging it
3) Built in WiFi for easy transfer of photos from camera to phone
4) Takes amazing shots with great clarity
5) Has a video taking function if you guys are adventurous people
6) Light weight and portable

Cons
1) Inconsistent with photos at times 
2) Unable to take great night shots

The camera is priced at SGD$469, so if you’re looking for a camera that is value for money and ideal for travel, I would recommend the Nikon COOLPIX AW120 as it is really portable. It’s hard to find an underwater camera with so many functions at such a low cost so in my opinion, it is really worth it!

 

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Hard Work Pays Off

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GIVEAWAY: Winner of the Asian Games Mascot

Hi everyone!

As you know I was doing a giveaway for the Asian Games mascot last week and the winner of the mascot is Tezie Lazarus! Congratulations 🙂

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Thank you everyone for your support for my blog! For those that did not win this time around, don’t worry! I will do more giveaways in the future 🙂

 

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8 Things that I Have Learnt From Swimming

Training 5 hours a day and waking up at 4:50am every single day. 

Not only that, sore bodies and a groggy mood due to the limited amount of recovery time from the previous session, that is the daily life of a swimmer.

I remember my psychology teacher telling our class a few years back,

“If I were to have children next time, I will NEVER EVER let them specialize in swimming.

Why is that so?

Let me be honest with you, out of all sports, swimmers train the hardest! Waking up so early in the morning and diving into the cold pool, even I will never be able to commit to their training hours though I am not the one swimming.

Also, what if my child does not win? He/she would have wasted all of his time training. How is that worth it?”

This is the statement from my teacher that I still remember to date. In my 16 years of swimming, I have never once regretted choosing a career path in swimming thought it may be demanding, and here’s why:

 

1) Swimming is demanding but worth it 

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The more effort you put in, the more appreciative you will be of your results, that is how life works.

Imagine this, you train 3x a week instead of 10x and you still win an Olympic medal, would you still treasure that Olympic medal as much as you would if you were to train much harder? I highly doubt so.

That is because often a times we tend to treasure things that are hard earned. Victories that come easy will always be forgotten overtime.

Therefore swimmers usually treasure their medals a lot because it is always hard earned. Every medal is a memory of all the hard work and time invested into training our hearts out.

I treasure every medal I earn as it has taken me a lot of effort and hard work to win those medals.

 

2) Swimming is addictive

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Just like any other sport, swimming is REALLY addictive! And to be honest, It is a vicious cycle.

When you win a race, we get that ‘feel good feeling’ and we would want to experience that kind of feeling once again which leads to training as hard just to be able to maintain a top swimmer.

However, when you lose a race, you would be frustrated and upset about the lost therefore that will motivate you to train even harder.

So no matter what happens, you will always find yourself swimming because you just simply can’t get out of the sport.

 

3) Swimming has taught me to be a fighter

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Over the years of swimming I’ve grown to become really competitive and all my friends have the same drive. I guess swimming has wired us that way as swimming is a really brutal sport; you either win or lose, there is no in between.

Why is this so? Let me ask you this, who was the 2nd place behind Michael Phelps for the 200m Butterfly in the 2008 Beijing Olympics? That’s right, I honestly can’t remember it myself. People only remember who won the race, second place finishes are always forgotten.

Thus over the years I’ve trained with the goal of being the best athlete in Singapore, which has really motivated me to push to my limit for every single training session.

 

4) Swimming has taught me that setbacks are part and parcel of life 

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After many years of competitive swimming, I understand that setbacks are a part and parcel of life, it’s unavoidable. The key thing is knowing how to bounce back from every setback and come back stronger. I have experienced many setbacks, thus over the years I’ve became mentally tough overall.

 

5) Swimming creates unforgettable friendships

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You see the same old faces for 5 hours EVERY SINGLE DAY. If you still aren’t close to your training mates, then you have serious issues. (No, seriously) it’s almost the same in the army, we go through the same shit together every day thus unforgettable friendships are naturally formed over the years. We experience the tough training sets, the insane muscle soreness and the scolding from coaches together, so we’re definitely a tight group of friends. 

Of course we also share our problems with each other out of the pool so we are not only training mates, but the best of friends as well.

 

6) Swimming has taught me discipline

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One of the toughest things to do is to constantly wake up at 4:50am every morning knowing that a hard swim set awaits you. But sacrifices must be made if you want to win. While others are sleeping, swimmers are already up working our hearts out. Even the sun hasn’t risen yet. But I’d rather sacrifice 2-3 hours of sleep every day to train than to face defeat when the day of competition comes. Thus this has taught me to be a much more discipline person overall.

 

7) Swimming has bonded my family

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We celebrate every time I win a race but also learn from every setback that I’ve experienced in this sport. Honestly, all of our daily conversations pretty much revolve around swimming, so if it weren’t for swimming, I don’t think our family would be as close as we are today. Swimming has really bonded the whole family together. The joy and sorrow from my successes and failures have all been shared in my family.

 

8) The perks of being a swimmer 

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What are the chances of enjoying National Day with the Prime Minister? Chances are really slim for normal people like us. I guess swimming has given me great opportunities like these. Not only that, I even had a chance to take a photo with PM Mr Lee Hsien Loong, it was really a privilege! It has definitely made me even more proud to be a National Swimmer. 🙂

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Since when was anything free in Singapore? But getting all of this stuff for FREE??? Yes of course! Brands will be proud to sponsor us because we bring glory and exposure to their brands as well! So forget about investing in all these costly luxury items as we can get them for free. 🙂 That’s if we keep performing of course!

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Here’s more sponsored stuff I get as a National Swimmer 😀

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Thinking twice about whether you should indulge on these yummy donuts? No worries, we can eat as much as we want, we will end up burning all these calories during our intense training anyway.

I have to be honest, indulging in all these yummy food has made me love swimming even more! It’s like the immediate reward we get for swimming hard. 🙂 So if I ever fail to medal in a swim meet, at least I got to enjoy all these yummy food! HAHA.

So there you have it, here are the 8 things that swimming has taught me. Do share this post at the bottom of this page to share the love! 🙂

 

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Hard Work Pays Off

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