Though Michelle Lim began studying taekwondo from a younger age, the significance of it didn’t hit dwelling till one fateful incident in 2009.
At the moment, Lim was coaching for a world championship held in St Petersburg, Russia and was jogging in a park early within the morning when she was virtually sexually assaulted by a person.
“He was bare and tried to seize me. I managed to react shortly by kicking him after which proceeded to scream and escape. I undoubtedly owe my alertness in addition to the flexibility to make fast choices in that scenario to my coaching in taekwondo.
“After that incident, my coaching took on a extra critical word and I began to relearn the aim of all of the 24 taekwondo patterns I had acquired as I realised that each correct block might save my life, ” she mentioned.
Since she was 19, Lim has participated in over 25 nationwide and worldwide taekwondo tournaments, successful no less than one medal in 19 nationwide championships.
In August, the 38-year-old acquired her first worldwide title by successful the gold medal on the 21st ITF Taekwondo World Championship at Plovdiv, Bulgaria. She additionally made historical past by turning into the primary Malaysian feminine gold medallist for seniors (19-39 years outdated) within the patterns class.
Lim’s success didn’t come simple as she needed to juggle her time between taking good care of her household, work and intensive coaching periods. On high of that, she retired from her final world championship 10 years in the past in 2009.
“It was fairly taxing having to renew coaching for such a significant occasion, notably as a result of my physique was not the identical because it was again then. There have been occasions once I felt like giving up. At one level, I even felt like I used to be a foul competitor, a foul scholar, a foul daughter, a foul spouse, and a foul mom, ” recalled Lim, who works in non-public consumer providers with Maybank.
“Nevertheless, issues acquired simpler the second I honoured the battle and believed that I might attain my aim, ” mentioned the mother-of-two.
Lim’s journey within the martial artwork started when she was simply six years outdated, inspired and supported by her father.
“It was my elder brother who first began taekwondo classes and I used to be intrigued by the respiration sounds made by the scholars after they have been practising taekwondo patterns. So when my father requested if I needed to affix my brother for classes, held at our major college SRJK(C) Khai Chee, Segambut, I instantly agreed, ” mentioned Lim.
Her triumphant achievement as world champion at this time is the end result of over 30 years of sacrifice, dedication and perseverance.
Whereas most of her mates give up the martial artwork upon reaching secondary college, Lim pressed on.
“Throughout college holidays, my mates would all the time have plans to go someplace. My plan was all the time to go for taekwondo coaching, ” Lim quipped.
For her, taekwondo goes past mere curiosity.
“Taekwondo is my lifestyle. I conduct my life based mostly on the tenets of taekwondo – courtesy, integrity, perseverance, self-control and indomitable spirit. Taekwondo has taught me to all the time know my roots, to be loyal, humble and grateful. Taekwondo has additionally proven me that there aren’t any shortcuts to attaining one thing. Onerous work actually pays off, ” she asserted.
Lim is fast to credit score her father for her achievement as world champion.
“He has all the time been my greatest supporter. Once I was in secondary college, my brothers and I took taekwondo classes on the identical time. We weren’t nicely to do however my father was very dedicated to sending us for classes. That turned a supply of motivation for me to coach onerous as I all the time bore in thoughts the sacrifices that my father needed to make, ” mentioned Lim, the second of three siblings.
Except for her father, Lim additionally attributes her success to her teacher, Grasp Tan Eng Kiat, who has 40 years of instructing expertise in ITF taekwondo and is understood to have produced many champions.
“I met my grasp once I began studying taekwondo in major college and he has been my teacher ever since. I really feel very grateful that he was prepared to teach me for the world championship, ” mentioned Lim.
Her coaching begins as early as 5am, when she would practice for an hour earlier than heading off to work. After work, she would often proceed to coach for one more three hours.
“You will need to practice sensible and never practice onerous; to discover a good steadiness between relaxation, coaching and food plan. In preparation for the championship, I had coaching periods each Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday. My goal was to coach for 4 hours every day except for Saturday. Even so, there have been many days once I achieved lower than my goal as I’d be exhausted after a vigorous coaching session the day earlier than, ” mentioned Lim.
As for locating the suitable food plan, there was a variety of trial and error concerned, she defined.
“Typically, I eat a standard food plan. No matter that I discover missing in my food plan, I add on. I all the time be certain to replenish my proteins pre- and post-training periods. I solely started to drink protein shakes within the final two months of intensive coaching as I felt the damage and tear of my muscle mass, and wanted it for quick restoration.”
Recommencing coaching after a 10-year break on account of household and work commitments was troublesome for Lim, however happily, she had assist from her husband and his mother and father.
“I’m very grateful for my husband’s help. Not solely did he assist to maintain the youngsters, he additionally made certain that I had sufficient relaxation. My parents-in-law have been additionally very understanding of what I got down to obtain and pitched in to assist as nicely, ” mentioned Lim gratefully.
Buddies and colleagues additionally supplied a lot ethical help for Lim when she entered the world championship.
“I informed everybody I knew that I used to be going for the championship as I needed their invaluable help and encouragement. It was additionally a matter of delight for me to do my greatest as all my mates knew about my participation. That was the ability of their help over me, ” shared Lim.
Even after turning into world champion, Lim stays grounded and feels she has a lot to work on.
“To be sincere, I didn’t suppose that I might win. I assumed that I’d no less than stand a medal probability if I skilled onerous for it. For the championship, I knew that my physique reminiscence was already there since I had been coaching onerous. So I simply wanted to arrange myself mentally. After the championship, I realised that I wanted to relearn my fundamentals and guarantee that they’re good so as to have the ability to go additional, ” mentioned Lim firmly.
Unknowingly, in undertaking such a monumental feat, Lim has develop into a supply of inspiration for these round her.
“I truly impressed many taekwondo practitioners inside my group who had given up taekwondo on account of household and work commitments. They have been my comrades 10 years in the past. Now that they’ve seen me win the world championship, they’ve began to placed on their uniforms once more and resume coaching, ” shared Lim excitedly.
Her two daughters, aged eight and 5, additionally began selecting up the martial artwork early this 12 months.
“I nonetheless have coaching periods each Monday and Thursday. However now I’d additionally go together with my daughters on Saturday to accompany them as they practice. It is sort of a bonding session between mom and daughter, ” she mentioned with fondness.
Lim, whose motto is “religion can transfer mountains”, hopes that sooner or later she may have the chance to share with the world her expertise in coaching for the world championship.
“It’s fascinating to watch that although we could not converse the identical language, we are able to nonetheless converse with each other on the premise of our frequent love for the martial artwork. That means, we are able to share our data about taekwondo with one another. I hope that I’ll obtain an invite from abroad to share my expertise in coaching for the world championship. That is additionally how we are able to promote Malaysia, ” Lim enthused.
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