Wednesday, August 31, 2016

EPN Special - How Motivation and Humility Can Help You In The Long Run

Hey everyone! I am happy and utmost grateful this August for several reasons. As we are moving through the third quarter of the year, I am blessed with some many great things like spending time with my family, having a little more time to gym with my team mates, and at the same time having the opportunity to learn new things from my existing hobby - blogging!

This month too I am honoured to be able to spend some time (although short) to pick a renowned para-athlete's brain and find out more about motivation and attitude toward a healthier  and fitter lifestyle!


Mr Kalai Vanen, who is currently a sponsored athlete of EPN (Elite Pro Nutrition) needs no introduction in the arena of para-athlete. Having had his leg having had in 1987, Mr Kalai has inspired many like myself and hopefully you too!

EPN Singapore has always been and will always be supportive to all of you, even if you are striving hard to be strong and great! The wide range of products ultimately helps you with nutrition support!

Have you ever wondered why is that today you have a high drive to carry the heaviest weight, do the hardest exercises or challenge yourself better than the day before only to realize you are dead beat, with muscle soreness, and suddenly have zero motivation to continue and call it quits?

Here is what Mr Kalai shared with me over lunch, which I honestly feel is very instrumental, and imperative to any aspiring athletes or anyone who feels that they lost all interest just because things get a little bit too hard.

In fact, whatever that you are going to read and immerse yourself in today does not only apply to just working out or sports. Although I still advocate a healthier lifestyle, it can be applicable in our dreams and goals in school or even corporate world.

See, Mr Kalai's condition today is no secret. In 1987, he had to have his leg amputated due to cancer, or rather a tumor in his left knee that found him having to move on with life as that was the only cure. Standing strong, he even made a joke as his car was at the workshop that day! He said 'No leg, never mind. No car, problem.' I could not help but to laugh at seemingly self-depreciating joke, but a clear sign of confidence that losing a limb does not halt his life. Life has to go on! He was active even back in the days when he was working as a military regular, being active in sports and has been lifting since he was a school boy.

He entered the para-sporting arena in power lifting which involves a one lift bench press and represented Singapore in the ASEAN Games among others. With a team of about seven people now, he said he feels more belonging in the sport, which is the main reason why people actually join a sport. The social support and all simply not only gives you a sense of belonging but also a catalyst to work harder.

I find him interesting because it is rare to find a para-athlete in Singapore. It is easy to find any that plays the sympathy card so I just had to ask how people can get motivated or how can we even motivate each other.

I could not agree more when he said it is hard to motivate someone. Even for him as a trainer, there is so much one can do to motivate others. You cannot make somebody do something they do not want to! It is only when they want then you can help them like helping them to focus, cutting distractions and what not. Eventually, if they do not want to make changes, there is no way you can force somebody into it.

No matter, he did say as a trainer, he would know a person's limit in training and see if they could or could not go further. Ultimately, it is best to have someone to call you out in times of struggle and last stretch but you should respond with the same motivation on why do you even want to start. As the saying goes, it takes two to tango!

Of course, you do not have to shout and yell as a form of hard approach! Importantly, we must always bear in mind that the person we are motivating and ourselves would want to feel good finishing our sets.

Training for para-games itself requires immense amount of motivation and majorly comes from self. For Mr Kalai, he trains three times a week, approximately two hours per day with the aid of quality supplements from EPN Singapore. He said EPN supplements are helpful and significant in helping him to achieve strength, power and resistance in building up his body.

Having been using EPN products for more than eight months, he consumes protein powder, creatine, and BCAA! He drinks about 60 grams of NutriWhey protein three times a day in the morning, before and after training for muscle tissue recovery. Additionally, he takes the Betancourt BCAA Plus Series that helps him boost his endurance in heavy weight training and is loving the Tropical Punch flavour! Lastly, he takes in Betancourt's Creatine Plus that helps him build lean muscle. Regularly, he also consumes fish oil to reduce joint inflammation and all of these products are available at EPN Singapore! Omegafort 4X Omega by Nutriforce Sports contains of 300mg total Omega-3s in just easy to swallow soft gel that helps to reduce joint inflammation, support heart health, and improve skin quality!

While we were talking about getting the right mindset and attitude before beginning any sport, we also chatted about humility which was one of a concern among superstar athletes. Staying true to his humble self, Mr Kalai said there is no need for us to be arrogant or egoistic in what we do. We were never strong in the first place. We learn to be strong surely from someone and along the way, the person you are guiding or teaching could be better than us one day. As such, we should consistently find ways to not only beat our opponents or equals but rather, challenge ourselves to do better. Inevitably doing your best! This for sure creates a healthy competition among team mates, which I thought is so relevant in my sport.

Especially in a team sport, it is important to share what we know, we should always trial and error  new ways to improve rather than castigating others. As Mr Kalai put it, whatever we know now once came from someone too!

So if any of you sees me in the gym and would like to share some new exercises or what, I would be more than happy to hear! Hey, to teach is to learn twice over and that is how our pioneer find his motivation amongst his new team mates!

Sometimes, you have the motivation and simply do not know if you would enjoy what you are doing. Do we really like soccer? Do we really like power lifting? Do we really like rock wall climbing? By the time we have decided it would probably be too late to begin! If you are unsure and are new to the sport all the more reason you should try and ask! Leading a healthier lifestyle does not only revolve around routine physical exercise. It trains mental resilience too. Hence, if you are sick of your weekly running routine, join something that allows you to enjoy the sweat!

Personally, I am not the strongest in my team, but I am not the least enthusiastic too. You know, if I had been enthusiastic about the sport I am doing, I would not have wasted my time in the gym or commute to the gym because personally, I am not much of a person who goes to the gym simply for aesthetics. For me, I want to see a purpose in my physical strength and EPN products have been great sports supplement. From pre-workout to advance nutrition, it is definitely a go-to for aspiring athletes, sports enthusiasts, and anyone seeking a healthier lifestyle.

For those who are lost in finding what they like to do to improve themselves mentally, physically and socially, just pick any sport that you think you might like. You will never know where you will end up! Like for Mr Kalai, he was just trying power lifting before even representing and clinching a medal for team Singapore!

Never see yourself as inadequate as he told me. Even with lost limb, he sees himself no different than others so there is no reason for us not to make a change just because of our perceived limit.

For those who are 'up there', humility goes a long way in gaining respect, and of course in getting yourself better than before.

Ultimately, while you positively prepare your mind, your body needs proper nutrition for what you are willing to push. Change to a healthier diet with supplements from EPN Singapore! Their range of products vary from pre-workout, intra, and post workout, as well as advance nutrition like joint support and improved metabolism. Use code ZY 10 for 10% off your purchases! Terms apply.

To find out more, log on to www.epn.com.sg. Have a wonderful week fitfam!

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