24.

It’s been a tiring but fruitful week as I celebrated my 24th Birthday last week. So many great memories so it’s time I updated you all on what went down last week so read on if you’re interested! 🙂

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So first off was when Volkswagen Singapore decided to sponsor me their Golf Cabriolet for the week, it’s the first time in my life I’ve driven a convertible sports car and MAN IT WAS A GREAT EXPERIENCE. Well of course the first thing when I received the car was to test out how fast the car could go… (Eh, I guess every normal guy would do that). We all like speed, don’t we? The acceleration was pretty sick, and I really loved the car.

It was also nice that I could finally drive my parents in a sports car. It has always been one of my dreams to be able to drive them in a car like that. I remember having a conversation with my mum and dad before and telling them to survive until I get the chance to drive them in a sports car, and I’m glad that this opportunity came early even before I start my work life.

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I know this car thing sounds a bit lame, but I think every kid would always want the best for their parents, and for me that was for them to see a successful me before they leave this earth. I know I may sound negative but I always fear that my parents may be gone one day, so I’m always constantly striving to be the best I can so that they can be happy as well. Because parents are usually selfless in nature, and it would mean the world to them when they see that their children are doing well.

Honestly, this car has created some great memories for my family and I. But like I said in many of my blog post, life isn’t always a smooth sail. Here’s something really really stupid and childish that happened at the parking lot when I first got my car.

It was after my afternoon session, and the sun was setting, and the temperature was perfect. I decided to drive top down, since I only have the convertible for 2 days. My family wanted to dine at one of the restaurants at the airport, so I drove top down there. I found a parking lot in front of me and went for the lot. As I wasn’t really familiar with my car, I took a longer time to reverse into my lot. That was when this driver (who was with his girlfriend) started to hold his honk and honked me.

it was legitimately a “BEEEEEEEP!!!!!!!!!!!” So obviously I got shocked and I turned around to look at him. So I raised my hands up, signalling to him on what the issue was. He drove up to me, and winded down his window.

“Yo, is there an issue?” I asked him.

“Yeah obviously there is, you take so long to park for f***?” He shouted.

“What the, can’t you just wait for 1 minute??” I was quite pissed at this point in time.

“Of course cannot la!!!” His girlfriend replied.

“Eh, do you have any idea how stupid you sound right now?” I was legitimately damn pissed at this point in time.

“F*** YOU!!!!!” He shouted.

“Yo if you have anything you’re unhappy about, get out of your car, we can always talk it out, if not right now, you just sound really stupid.” I was doing my best not to sink down to his level of stupidity.

“F*** YOU!!!!!!!!!!” And he sped off with his girlfriend.

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This was one of the bad cases which I’ve experienced when driving the Cabriolet. I don’t know what made him so angry, but I’ll let you figure that out!

Overall, that case did piss me off quite a bit, but it became a lot better when I met my parents at the airport and we had sushi!!! 🙂

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So Saturday came and M Social sponsored me a day stay in their Loft Gallery for the day. The rooms have a really classy concept to it. What surprised me was that the hotel actually features a 2 story room!!! So first level is like the chill level, and the second level is where the queen size bed is. So for people who are thinking of hosting a party here, it’s first floor party, and crash after the party on the second floor. 🙂

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They also have an awesome pool with a gym at the back for those that want to workout. Really like the concept a lot 🙂

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And came the final segment of the night – My mentor called a few close friends over and hosted my birthday party at his house. There were 2 cakes – one from my family and one from his. I might have gained a few pounds over the week! But hey, birthday only happens once a year, so when it’s time to indulge, INDULGE!!!! The 2 cakes were chocolate ice cream cake and OREO cheesecake. I love oreos, and I think everyone loves oreos too hahaha.

P.S. Sorry I didn’t manage to snap a photo of the cakes, was too busy indulging.

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You can’t really see my mentor from that photo but here’s a closer shot of him. He’s someone that helps me behind the scenes whenever I get into shit. So in simple terms, every time I get into shit, I call him for advice and help HAHAHA. But he’s always willing to talk to me even when I call him during his family time.

I personally find it important to have a mentor in your life – Someone you can pour your deepest troubles to in times of need. Someone that doesn’t judge you no matter how ridiculous your situation may be. And someone that will stay by your side even when odds are stacked against you.

Parents are pretty similar to mentors, just that there are some things which you may be afraid to open up to your parents in fear that they may scold you; that’s when a mentor plays an important role into ensuring that things are still going well with you though you may seem to be ok on the outside.

So all in all, thanks for always listening to my troubles Yeoh!

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My closest friends shared a boat together on Sunday to hang out and chill, which was really fun as we finally got time to gather and catch up with each other after soooooooo long.

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My favorite crew – I think we click so well because all of us are pretty genuine people. We will always stand by each other through almost everything.

It’s really good to know that no matter what happens, we’ll always be there for each other. Even if we may be wrong at times, we will be wrong together. 🙂

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On a side note, it was really nice to get Macallan on board with us on this board trip. First time drinking a Macallan and it was really good! But hey, I only drink during really special occasions, so swimmers, please don’t use that as an excuse to drink!

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And that concludes my birthday week. Thank you everyone for your birthday wishes. I haven’t exactly replied all of you yet, but I will, soon, just give me time yeah. 🙂

Also, if you think that I’m living the “high life”, I actually only do this once a year at most. My daily life includes waking up at 4:45am for training, followed by work, followed by another session of training, then I’ll be home for dinner. It’s a pretty regimental life so I don’t usually have time for R&R like these, so this is one of the few days I get to enjoy myself!

If you’re wondering how much it is to book a Yacht, it’s about $100 per pax, so it beats going to a club for drinks, as you all can actually chill and really catch up with your friends after not seeing them for a long time.

Hope this post gives you an update on how my birthday week went! And to those of you who haven’t had their birthday celebrations, hope this gives you an idea on how to celebrate your upcoming birthday. 🙂

 

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23 great years, and here’s to more!

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A year has flew by so quickly and I honestly can’t believe that I’m already 23… It’s been a wonderful year for me so far and I’m really grateful for everything that happened. I really had a great birthday experience so I’ll share the joy with you guys too! 🙂

I had 3 different celebrations in total – first was with my family, followed by my closest friends, and lastly my mentor; so here are the different celebrations that I went to:

I went for Ramenventure (Ramen adventures) with my family on the actual date of my birthday as I really really love ramen. Who else loves ramen?

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I was super hungry that day as it was after my afternoon training but I’m glad that they served free hard boiled eggs there which really helped ease the hunger while I was waiting for my Ramen. I ate a total of 3 hard boiled eggs and 2 eggs which was included in the Ramen (one flavored egg and one half boiled egg) so in total i ate… 5 eggs that night, which kinda scares me now after realizing how many I ate.

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And there you go, a photo of the Ramen! it was super good and I really really enjoyed it. I took extra strong soup base and normal noodle texture, it was super good.

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So to end the night, my sister bought me a small slice of cake (as we were all too full from the ramen) and they sang the birthday song for me. Everybody started looking which made it pretty awkward but my sister told me that that was the whole point of it.

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So I made a wish, and blew the candles.

I felt really thankful that the family cleared their schedules just to have dinner with me. It’s really rare to have the whole family gather nowadays as we’re too busy with our own commitments, so I really appreciate family time a lot. 🙂

So then Saturday came, and we stayed in a suite for the day and night.

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We had this suite for the whole day and it was definitely fun spending a day with the crew! Here are some photos of what went down that day.

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Hows my potential in working in a circus after retirement?

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My friends also got me a pinata, and the rule of the game was pretty simple – To spin me for 10 rounds blind folded before being able to hit the pinata, which was actually pretty hard.

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I eventually managed to hit the pinata with the help of the guys, but I’m not going to say how long I took to hit the pinata! Really thankful to them for making my birthday party an enjoyable one.

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So it was cake cutting time after that and they got me an Awfully chocolate cake which tasted awfully good (pun intended), and as usual, I made a wish before cutting the cake.

My birthday wishes are actually almost the same every year, and it’s actually a really simple wish, and that is to wish for Happiness – I know happiness is a broad term and we all have different definitions of happiness, so I’ll explain what happiness means to me.

The key to happiness consist of 3 aspects – family, friends, and life goals.

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Family – As the saying goes, “A man travels the world in search of what he needs, and he returns home to find it.” George Moore.

Having a healthy and happy family has always been a top priority in my life. We strive to avoid any serious illnesses and of course avoid/settle any arguments before they get out of hand, which is why our family still stay closely bonded up to date.

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Friends – I really treasure the honesty we have among this genuine bunch of friends. It’s honestly hard to find true friends due to the competitiveness of the sport, so I’m really grateful that we were still able to put our competitiveness aside and treasure friendship more than anything else, which is what makes us a really strong clique even when we’re out of the pool. It’s sad to see that most of them have retired from the sport but I’m glad we would still clear our schedules to meet up once in awhile to catch up on our lives. Glad to see that most of them are doing really well post retirement!

Swimming can only last for so long, but strong friendships will last a lifetime.

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Life Goal – My goal in life in to qualify for the Olympics before I retire from the sport. My original goal was to aim to qualify in the Olympics in 2012, but I failed to qualify for it as I had other mandatory commitments, so I’m going to try to qualify for it again in 2016.

This would probably be my last shot trying to qualify for the Olympic team, but no matter what the results may be, I’ll still be happy as I’ve achieved what I’ve set myself out to achieve in the sport, so I’ll have no regrets. I’ve been looking at the blue T and smelling like chlorine for the past 16 years, it’s really scary how fast time flies sometimes.

All in all, I would like to emphasize that these are just wishes, we can wish for them to happen, but we have to also work hard towards those wishes so that we can turn those wishes into reality.

Finally, the last part of my celebration was a treat from my mentor, Yeoh.

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If you all have been following my Instagram and Facebook posts, you’ll realize that I’ve actually thanked Yeoh for the wonderful birthday present, and most of you may have mistook it for the Maclaren, so let me explain it to you.

The birthday present wasn’t actually the Maclaren, but it was an important life lesson –

This photo was taken during the Maclaren road show. I was initially afraid to go near the Maclaren as there was no way in the world I was going to afford a car like that.

“Come, lets take a photo with the car.” Yeoh told me.

I questioned him the rationale behind taking the photo so he explained it to me. He told me that the first step into achieving a goal is to believe that we can do it, he said that it doesn’t only apply for swimming, but it applies in life as well. He emphasized that as long as you believe in yourself and aim high, you’ll be able to achieve anything you set yourself out for.

“Don’t be afraid to go close to what you want, be bold, ask for the price so that you will know what is needed in order to achieve your goal. Only by feeling it, you’ll realize that it’s not impossible to afford it some day.” 

Yeoh’s story was also an inspiring one, he started off his career walking across the causeway into Singapore, and through hard work, he’s now the head of foreign exchange in a bank today. That goes to show that as long as we believe in ourselves and aim high, we’ll be able to achieve them some day.

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So with a blink of an eye, another year has flew by, and I’ve mature a lot as a person both physically and mentally. Even though times have changed, but the people who are closest to me still remain equally as close.

I sincerely hope that you all have a great takeaway message from my post today – which is to learn to believe more in yourself and believe that any goal is possible as long as you work hard towards them. 🙂

P.S. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank each and everyone of you for wishing me on my birthday, I know that I didn’t reply to everyone of you, but trust me, I have read them all, and it means a lot to me so I’m really really grateful for all the support you all have given to me!

I know I’ve gained quite a bit of support and some of you even look at me in a different light ever since SEA Games ended, but I just want you to know that I’m still the same person even as I was even before I won those medals. Medals don’t define who I am, but character does.

Before ending this post, I would like to challenge everyone reading this to take the first step towards your biggest goal in life, don’t be afraid to strive towards your goals, because the first step to success is the willingness to try. Just know that everyone starts from ground zero so you’re not alone. 🙂

With that, I hope you learnt a few things which I’ve learnt over the year in this blog post!

Till next time.

 

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With a blink of an eye, I’m already 22

I gotta say that time really flies. Just a blink of an eye and I’m already 22…

To be honest I don’t feel like I’m 22 at all, but then again all my friends are equally as young as heart so it’s ok hahaha.

There have been really great memories this past year which I’ll never forget. I have became a more mature person overall, and I’ve learnt to set my priorities right.

Anyway if you were wondering how I celebrated my 22nd Birthday, here are some photos:

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Here’s a post training shot of the G Force from just now. To be honest swimmers never really have a day off. Birthday or not, we still continue training because every session is important, especially when Asian Games is around the corner. But most of my closest friends are from the pool so I enjoy training anyway. We’ll all be leaving for the Incheon Asian Games next week so wish us luck! 🙂

photoMy family celebrated my 22nd Birthday with me at Morganfields as I was really craving pork ribs. Apparently Morganfields has a very high rating for their pork ribs (according to my sister) so she recommended that we go there for my birthday celebration!

Look at my happy face when the ribs finally arrive. I just love food that much. Don’t judge me!

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I ordered a full slab of pork ribs which I enjoyed to the very last mouth. Look at how big the portion was!!! I couldn’t finish it though… Had to share it with my parents haha. But the full slab was totally worth it.

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I know i was holding my knife and fork for the first photo… But I soon gave up and enjoyed the ribs with my fingers instead. It was so much easier to eat that way! Trust me, if you’re ever eating pork ribs, just use your hands, you’ll enjoy it even more. 🙂

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Overall I had a really good time spending quality time together with my family and it was a great 22nd Birthday. It’s really nice to see the whole family dropping their busy schedules to have a meal together. We don’t usually spend quality family time nowadays due to our busy schedules so I definitely appreciate the time we spend together as a family. 🙂

 

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank those who bought me Birthday presents! Really didn’t expect you all to remember my birthday so I really appreciate it a lot 🙂

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This was a very nice gift given by a fellow swimmer Wan Ting! Thanks a lot I really like it 🙂

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Another gift given by one of my really close friend Sarah! I shall learn to like Dark Chocolates over Milk Chocolates because you’ve really convinced me with how much healthier it is hahaha thanks a lot for this! 🙂

Lastly, I would like to thank everyone for your birthday wishes! Give me time to reply each and everyone of you individually. 🙂 Thank you all for remembering my Birthday! You all have definitely made my day 🙂

 

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Hard Work Pays Off

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