Saiyidah Aisyah: Her Road To The Rowing Olympics & Beyond

“I MADE IT!” exclaims an overjoyed, Saiyidah Aisyah – a Team Singapore Rower, who finally made it into the Rowing Olympics in 2016. And a befitting progression to her sports career indeed, which was first punctuated in April 2007, when she won her first SEA Games medal – with several more in the following years of 2011, 2013 and 2015 respectively.

If this still doesn’t ring a bell, you probably would have heard about her Crowdfunding Campaign, in which she self-funded her ticket to the Rio Olympics. Of course, this caused a bit of a commotion on the conversation of whether Singapore was supporting its local professional sports industry and athletes. “In fact, a couple of people have said that there’s no future in becoming a professional athlete, right to my face!” she laments, but that obviously hasn’t phased her one bit!

In our conversation with her, Aisyah professes that: Determination, Dedication, and Discipline, are her three key factors required of an athlete – or for any other competitive field in that matter. Coming this far wasn’t easy for her, and while she did clock a lot of hours and poured tremendous amounts of effort into her training, she knew she still had potential to go further.

One of these potentials was previously limited by her hydration. It’s a huge part of any strenuous physical activity, let alone the training Aisyah goes through; periods of high intensities of up to two hours, twice-daily. All this causes the release of sweat, but simply drinking water does little to replenish the electrolytes that are also lost through perspiration too. Aisyah was still grappling with this until coincidentally, she sat down with Herbalife while in the process of finding herself sponsors – an important resource that every professional athlete would require at some point in their career.

First, they introduced her to a hydration supplement, but she didn’t want to commit just yet. “After all, why would I let myself endorse and be sponsored by something I don’t believe in?” she explained. A year-long trial was arranged, as she eased herself into taking their supplements, something that was way too foreign to her in the beginning (as she frankly, didn’t believe in the effect of additional supplements, in the first place).

Among the protein shakes and recovery tablets she was given to try, she noticed the biggest positive difference in performance when she drank formulated sports drink, while in her high-intensity training. Among the wide range of supplemental goodies she now receives as a fully Herbalife-sponsored athlete, she swears by that very same sports formulate: the CR7 Drive.

Having only recently launched in Singapore, the CR7 Drive makes itself out to be a sports drink bursting with the necessary electrolytes, while containing vitamins B1 and B12, required to support metabolism. Aisyah assures us that it has kept her well-hydrated and given her that additional edge to face her rigorous training, as she now works towards next September’s Asian Rowing Championships in Jiashan, China, to become the continent’s best.

Yet, she still reminds us and any aspiring local athletes out there, that Patience is an absolute must. Regardless of the additional nutrition and supplementation one can take, they only go as far as the amount of effort they put in, be it a thousand hours or not. We wish her all the best and can’t wait to see her clinch a new achievement soon!

Photo Credits: Originally from AisyahRower.com

Pete Lim

Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust!

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