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2018 has been quite a year in terms of my sporting achievements and personal goals. A lot of times we tend to be harsh on ourselves. For not doing more, for not being good enough or for not finishing the year with a trophy. We get all tunnel vision and tend to be fixated on the goal but we for get to take account the process of getting there. So here is my 2018 in perspective.

Setting a new Asia Pacific Deadlift Record

This competition wasn’t on the radar for 2018, but since I wasn’t the Event Director for the Asia Pacific Deadlift Championships 2018. I just decided to join for fun because all of my friends from around the region and Europe are flying down for the competition. And of course I always enjoyed lifting with one my good friend Jiri Tkadlcik. I ended the day with a new PB of 370kg on the deadlift. Surpassing my previous deadlift PB of 365kg when I was in Czech Republic. That was a good day!

Losing a major sponsor

This was probably one of the most painful experiences of any athlete where your sponsor of 5 years decided not to renew your contract. Many thoughts went through my head like “Should I flip the table now?” or “Should someone fly out of the window?” or even “If I go full on Mountain from the Game of Thrones would I go to prison?”. Well sadly all those answers lead to spending time in prison. I would be miserable in prison with 3 meals a day. 

So I kept it professional, cordial and thanked them for the opportunity for the past 5 years and moved on. After all, good things don’t last forever. Even protein powder has an expiry date. There is more to life than being a sponsored athlete. For the first ten years I managed fine and still won competitions and why does this have to be different. You just “Embrace the Suck” and keep moving forward.

Finishing 3rd on podium at the Static Monsters World Championships 2018

This was probably the highlight of my year… I bombed out badly at the qualifier in 2017 maybe from over preparing and being to rigid with my game plan. In strongman you either win or you learn! I definitely learnt my lesson. 

Displeased with my shoddy and terrible performance in 2017, by some stroke of luck I received a last minute invite to compete in the World Championships because some athlete before me withdrew either from injury or schedule clashed and I was next in line. Bought my tickets and booked my hotel at the Gold Coast.

They say Greatness is when Consistency, Hard Work and Opportunity comes together. I had only 6 weeks to prepare for this competition and I kept my expectations low because I was carrying a few niggling injuries and my overheads numbers haven’t been going up as planned. I will be going up against the best pressers in the world each averaging in excess of 160kg to 200kg overheads. Here I was with a peasant like 130kg log press.

I finished the log press last in the athlete ranking but I kept my head down because my deadlifts are my best lifts. I finished 3rd on the deadlift with a 405kg, breaking my own PB off 400kg and managed to finish 3rd overall in the Men’s Open category. Did I also mention I got to meet Santa?

Having the opportunity of working with a new sponsors

They say when one door closes, another will open. I didn’t actively seek out new sponsors because I wanted a cooling off period to get over the “pain” (insert weird snorting laugh).

But I really think as an individual and athlete I have been truly blessed with guardian angels watching over me because I had the amazing opportunity to be working with Essential Magnesium SG which has amazing magnesium cream products for my recovery needs. They don’t just carry one type of magnesium cream/oil but a huge range with each having a different purpose and time of the day. But my current favourite is Night Cream as it helps me to sleep better and I wake up with minimal soreness! Click on the link if you need to get one!

I’m also thankful to the team from Couz Nutri for taking a chance on me and signing me up as part of the team as a sponsored athlete. So far they have been extremely phenomenal in taking care of my supplementation needs. The quality and variety of the products that they carry is amazing!

They have also generously stepped up as the Official Supplement Sponsor for the upcoming Asia Pacific Deadlift Championships 2019 on the 9th March 2019 at Gym Rendezvous.

Moving Forward

Personally as an athlete, having an open mind and taking things into perspective is important. Where everything happens because it’s meant to happen. If you put the hard work in but don’t get the results you want. Maybe you should re-look at what are your weaknesses that need improving. Or maybe it’s not your time yet. We tend to be so fixated in our goals but forget to enjoy the process.

If you are ever at doubting yourself. “Why am I doing this?” or “Why am I even eating this again and again?”. Ask yourself a simple question… Would your future self be happy with you complaining? I’m guessing the answer is NO. I just tell myself… I like standing on podium! Knowing I’ve enjoyed the process and given my best!

Opportunity + Hard Work + Consistency = GREATNESS! Make sure you remember that!

In the meantime train hard and stay injury free. Definitely looking forward to an amazing 2019!

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