I was a national athlete and I guess you can say that I am a coward after reading this. Just last year, our team clinched a spot at the 2nd prestigious competition (1 level down from the Olympic Games). It was what I was working towards and fought hard to be selected for. I wanted to win so badly that I stopped everything and concentrated on just training. I emphasised so much on trying to achieve something that I was left with nothing but disappointment and feeling ashamed that led to having anxiety. It was my first time performing in front of such a huge crowd and for the first time, I crashed so badly in front of both the crowd and on worldwide live telecast. After that competition, I tried so hard to stay sane while playing the game but I was never the same as before. I feel ashamed wearing jerseys with ‘Singapore’ on it and cried every night for two consecutive weeks. I was really scared of participating in any competition to the extent that I used the ‘I have to find a job’ excuse to leave the team. But here’s the thing… I still miss the sport so much and I honestly want to prove to myself that I can do it but when I step into the court, my heart and mind never once fail to remind me of that competition and how it feels like being such a letdown to the nation. Till now I still don’t know if I will ever be able to don the jersey without letting anyone down.
When you feel that you’ve contributed a lot at work — only for people to tell you that you’re not good enough — you’ll be both physically and mentally drained. During the weekend, I can just lie on my bed without doing anything and still feel exhausted afterwards. My family won’t understand, they just see me as a lazy person. And I’m just too tired to explain to them because they will just say that my faith is not strong enough.