Greatness Is Earned, Never Rewarded
By Lifestyle Food
2 min. Read
It was an accident that initiated Nurul Huda Abdullah, the legendary swimmer from Malaysia, into swimming. But it was her hard work and perseverance that has taken her to the position she is in now! We have compiled this inspiring story to give you a push towards realizing your dreams. Swim along to get a glimpse of Nurul’s swimming journey!
Nurul Huda Abdullah is a former Malaysian competitive swimmer. She currently holds the record of being the Malaysian athlete with the most number of gold medals at the Southeast Asian Games. She was also the first Malaysian swimmer to win a medal at the Asian Games and remains the only Malaysian female swimmer to have won medals at the Asian Games and Asian Swimming Championships.With her swimming achievements, she was the first Malaysian to be awarded an IOC Trophy, and was inducted into the Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) Hall of Fame!!
“Swimming techniques have evolved with time, and my swimming techniques
are still relevant today as I am up-to-date with the changes in the sport.”
It was actually an almost-accident that initiated Nurul Huda Abdullah into swimming. She was about 5 years old, in the pool with her floats on when she slid through her floats and almost drowned. Her mother decided then that it was important for her to learn how to swim.
As with any child, she was scared of the water when she first started the swimming lessons. But her teacher taught her how to swim. She was the one who recognised her talent after a few years and encouraged her to start training with the older kids and enter into competitions.
The teenage Nurul started training harder as she got older and the training was dependant on the level of swimming/competition she would be competing in. During the Asian Games and Olympic Games years, her training involved sessions in the pool, as well as a dryland strength and conditioning program.
Besides attending school for 6 hours a day, she was swimming for a total of 5 hours a day, 11 pool sessions per week. Dryland strength and conditioning sessions involved another 1-2 hours per day!!
“The impact I hope to leave is to see the positive development of
the community through my swimming academy, through the mentoring
and sharing of knowledge and experiences gained as a former elite athlete.”
Invaluable Life skills
As one becomes more competitive in the sport, the swimmer learns invaluable life skills, such as discipline with continued practice, setting goals and perseverance, enjoying successes and overcoming disappointments, and the value and importance of hard work. These skills all contribute to the development and strengthening of one’s mental health and strength, benefits that carry throughout our entire lives.
Besides learning the important life skill of being safe in the water, recreational swimming is a great all-round activity for everyone. As a low-impact exercise, swimming helps to build and maintain cardiovascular fitness, physical endurance, and muscle strength. It also has yoga-like benefits, with increased body mobility and flexibility, and controlled breathing patterns in a semi-meditative environment.
Imparting The Knowledge
“For me, the most rewarding part of my swimming career was reaching the goals I had set for myself. One of those was being the first Malaysian to have won medals in swimming at the Asian Games”, says Nurul.
Being an instrumental part of someone’s swimming development, whether they are learning to swim, mastering a stroke or technique or improving their time is the most important part for Nurul as a coach. “The faces of determination and smiles of joy that I see are priceless!!”
It doesn’t matter how young or old you are, or which level you are at. What matters is that you showed Determination, Persistence and that you NEVER GAVE UP. That you PERSEVERED and kept trying, no matter what. And most of all, you had FUN while doing it. With these words of encouragement from the swimming legend, let us take our first stroke in the pool with positivity to achieve what we have dreamt of!