PETALING JAYA: How does an athlete keep going during tough times?
Ask national No. 1 squash player Low Wee Wern and she will say it’s mostly about the power of self-motivation.
After going through three surgeries and almost three years of layoff, Wee Wern could have conveniently taken the easy way out and called it quits, but the 30-year-old is soldiering on.
The latest movement control order to curb Covid-19 pandemic has further delayed her comeback to the international stage.
Wee Wern returned to the court just before the 2020 season after recovering from a knee injury and went on to win the national title in February.
Before that, she was out for almost two years after undergoing three surgeries.
“When I came back, I did not get to play for a long time.
“So, going through another season without any tournaments during the movement control order is not exactly an unfamiliar territory for me, ” said Wee Wern.
“I guess trying times like these can either make or break athletes.
“Determination and perseverance are key for athletes to succeed and if they have it in them, they are on the right track.
“This season has taught me to focus on the smaller things and look at the positives.
“Right now I’m working on the physical aspect, gaining a bit more muscle and then moving into speed and agility, which can be done off court.
“I think a lot of athletes get confused with motivation and inspiration. Every now and then we need some inspiration, but motivation comes from within.
“You can’t have someone to motivate you to train but you can inspire someone to do better and that’s what I’m trying to do.”
And Wee Wern, who trains under coach Aaron Soyza in Penang, said that having a supportive team around her, helped too.
“I’m blessed to have a good team around me. They got me through my three surgeries to where I’m at now.
“I’ve worked with this team – my family, Aaron, my physio, for so many years and they still believe in me.
“Some of my sponsors have stood by me although I’m not able to compete!
“I’m not about to walk away from all that. If I can make it back to being national number one after the surgeries and almost three years of layoff, I can make it past this too, ” added Wee Wern, who will wait patiently for the season to restart.
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