Yonex Shuttlecock © Jan Shim Photography
IN RETROSPECT, when my secondary school teacher decided to retain me, little did she realise she did a huge favour. I refused to repeat a year of what had already taken a toll on my sanity. I was and still am a classroom claustrophobe–difficulty in learning in confined places. My survival instincts kicked in and I immediately walked over to a neighbouring [Chinese] school and met with the principal who gave me a second chance my teacher wouldn’t. After 11 years of studying in an English-medium school, the transition to a Chinese-medium school was astounding, to say the least!
My life changed and a whole new world of learning opened up. I was quickly introduced to many new faces that extended beyond the four walls of my classroom. Very soon I became acquainted with the whole school (in a manner of speaking), got introduced to badminton and it became the only racket sport I’m good at.
A decade later this feathery friend is still very much part of my life and it’s certain no light weight. The game hasn’t changed much over the decades that it’s been played and competed internationally. I met world-class players in person when they competed in the Australian Open some years back. Played in moderation, it’s a great game to stay in shape–a routine that, sadly, in recent months had taken a backseat. This week, however, I was able to play for 5 days straight, each approximately two hours, at either one of the clubs we alternate.
Point of this post: In life, and like everything we do, there’s success and failure, the two elements that are intimately linked to each other. It’s often easier to deal with success than it is with failure. I wasn’t born an only-child but was brought up like one because my late brother suffered from cerebral palsy since 2 years old and that placed a huge responsibility looking after him for 30 years! As a result, I developed survival instincts that have guided me from one hurdle to another and along the way, learnt to be independent. Badminton has kept me continually in touch with the people around me–my former workmates, my kids teacher–including players who may become friends one day. Feathers ruffled but there’s still so much in life to look forward to!