Syncing in, and so far: This is Caitlyn Tan.
I believe the biggest challenge I have to face during my journey thus far - is time management. The past 5 years (and counting) of my sports journey in Artistic Swimming has led me to spend more time in pool water than on land.
Settling in Singapore Sports School for two years and counting, it is still a totally new way of life for me – shuttling between school and club almost on a daily basis, and ending our day back to our school dorm can be at time a very “rushed” experience – however, it is one of the necessary path I take leading to more independence.
To me, things did make an huge dramatic turn that will determine the most part of the year, has to be me getting accepted by Singapore Swimming Association for two very important competitions in the Artistic Swimming calendar year – the inaugural 2019 FINA World Youth Championship, and Asian Age Group Championship.
I am extremely fortunate (and petrified!) to be a part of the provisional youth team – all of us from various clubs coming together to represent the country for these international events. It also made me the only youngest athletic in the cohort.
Under the National coaches’ training and nurturing, that few months of gearing up for the competition was the most unforgettable. I trained with my peers who are averagely older. It is never an easy task when you are aspired and pushing your very own limit (both physically and mentally) to be on par, and even exceeding your skills and ability above the own self you know. These are also that few months in that year that we are tearing our time apart to juggle School and Club training as well.
There are times when I face doubts and uncertainties - fear that all said and done, will it be enough to take me to the competent level for our National Team? I am thankful that my parents and coach will always be there to clear my mind of any uncertainties. They will always remind me that doing your best might not mean "the best" in the eyes of others - but it will definitely be a step closer to the finishing line.
Now, gearing up myself both physically and psychologically, wish me all the best for next lap of my journey - the National Trials at the end of the year.
Thank you for the opportunity to share my journey with you.
Note: Since writing this article, Caitlyn has made it onto the 2021 Artistic Swimming National Age Group (13-15) and is planning on competing at the upcoming Fina World Youth in Quebec City, Canada in August 2021!