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Singapore's only Olympic gold medallist Joseph Schooling looks back at what had been a challenging year both in and out of the swimming pool, as he prepares for what may be his final SEA Games outing in Hanoi.
JOSEPH SCHOOLING: I mean, timeline-wise, like, I'm going to be 27 this year, you know. Mom's holding down the Fort and a lot of things outside the pool that I'll transition to after I'm done swimming. And right now, the question is, OK, do I assume until Paris? Or do we stop and reassess and see where we're going to go after Asian games?
Now, the question begs, how do we work things out with balancing what I need to do and also getting the training. Because if this schedule persists, I don't think I can make it to 2024. But can I make it to Asian games under these circumstances? Yeah, be a push, but, you know, anything's possible.
I think the Navy have been very fortunate that they've been trying to work with me, work around the time schedules that I need to come out and train. Although, like I said, it is a tight one. If you have the right discipline and of course, with the right goals and the right attitude, I think it is doable. But at the same time, I want to make it quite abundantly clear that it is still challenging nonetheless.
Like I said, if you have the right attitude to prepare for that week and you have clear and concise goals in your head, it is doable. But I'm enjoying it nonetheless, like I feel like I'm more energetic. It also gives me more time to, how would I say, hone in on what I actually need to do. Too much time is not very good most of the time, you know? If you have too much free time, your mind starts to wander, you're not as disciplined, not as focused. But like I said, if you really have a regimented schedule, you're forced to be able to do what you need to do.
Yeah. I mean, in and out of the pool, right? Like 2021, overall, was just a terrible year. There's no other way to say it. So I like to think of it as the harder the challenges are, the easier is going to be for overcoming future challenges. But that's not the case. The truth, the hard truth is every single time you go through an obstacle, the next one is probably going to be tougher or at least that's how you need to prepare your mind. It's always going to get tougher and tougher.
No doubt it was tough, it was terrible, you know? But like he said, he doesn't he wouldn't want any want to cry at his wake. If you want to cry, that means you're regretting something, right? Of course, you miss him so. How do you not regret something? While he's alive, spend the best time you can with him. We played a lot of golf together. We traveled, we ate, we had great chats. So these are the things that you hold on when a loved one has passed.
I'm not 16 or 18 going to [INAUDIBLE] or [INAUDIBLE] trying to prove myself. Yes, I still want to win more than ever, but my mindset needs to change. And how does that change? Enjoying what I do with the people I love side by side on a daily basis. I do enjoy being with team Singapore at the SEA Games. That's something that I've always dreamed of as a little kid. So this one might be my last one, makes it that much more special. Basically, just don't take anything for granted, like, just appreciate everything that's given to you.