The member of Legends Fight Sport and Singapore’s Women Boxing Community shares how she manages her Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.
“I have ADHD, which is short for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. I used to always joke that I had ADHD. I thought I might have had a couple of traits or displayed certain symptoms, but I was never privy to how severe my condition actually was.
When friends pointed out certain patterns in my behaviour, I began to do my research. I learnt that ADHD comprises two broad spectrums of behaviour. I took some certified tests online and, needless to say, the results affirmed that I was high on both spectrums.
The two spectrums of behaviour are 1) inattentiveness and 2) hyperactivity and impulsiveness. Some signs of inattentiveness include having a short attention span, being easily distracted and an inability to stick to tasks that are tedious or time-consuming.
Other signs of ADHD – this time on the hyperactivity and impulsiveness spectrum – include constant fidgeting, excessive talking, interrupting conversations, being unable to wait your turn, acting without thinking and having little or no sense of danger.
Honestly, the list of behaviour associated with ADHD is endless, and what people on the outside don’t realise is that not everyone with ADHD has similar symptoms. It is also a large part of our character; who we are! It explains a lot about the way I think.
I think boxing has helped me manage my ADHD because it forces me to concentrate and stay calm, which is something I am still working on improving, given that my mind often goes into overdrive.
For example, when I’m learning how to throw the jab, I don’t get impatient or lose focus, even though there’s repetition involved. There are different ways to throw a jab, and I have to consider so many moving parts, depending on the desired goal and opponent I’m up against.
That’s not to say I don’t get frustrated with myself and overthink things. It’s a constant battle in my head. But at the end of the day, I try to shut off all unnecessary thoughts and just focus on the doing.
I’ve also applied this practice to certain parts of my life outside of boxing, and it’s helped manage my anxiety levels to some degree. Given my condition, perhaps boxing is just one of those things that clicked and what my mind chose to increasingly focus on.
I’m currently a member at Legends Fight Sport and also a part of the Singapore Women’s Boxing Community (WBC). WBC was founded by Leona Hui, a former national boxer and my senior in secondary school. It wasn’t expensive to join, so I thought, ‘Why not?’
To be honest, I didn’t really know what I was signing up for. I also had zero clue that boxing would be this addictive. But seeing a group of like-minded girls train together week after week has been incredibly inspiring.
Not only have we gone gear-shopping together, but we’ve also started opening up about life. And it’s this sense of community that I treasure so much. I guess you really get a lot closer much faster if you trade punches every week – sometimes even twice a week!
Having Leona in our corner and Ridhwan (a former national boxer and professional boxing champion) as the Head Coach at Legends and WBC has also been really encouraging because of how patient and humble they are, despite their achievements.
We were never taught or told that we could not do anything. If anything, we were taught to never say never. Moreover, I enjoy Ridhwan’s coaching method because it is systematic and achievable. He is always very honest and strict with us, but does not degrade us.
And that’s what makes people like Ridhwan and Leona not just instructors, but teachers. I always believe that the character of a place or group of people mirrors its founders or leaders, and the two of them are people we all look up to.
After all that’s been said and done, I feel like boxing and the sense of community at Legends and WBC have helped me so much. I’m always trying to evangelise how the sport has changed me, and continues to mould me.
Oftentimes, having a condition gets inflated too much. I might have ADHD, but someone else might have something else, right? I think life is about self-awareness and growth. I try not to make excuses for my condition or think of the what ifs.
Nobody’s perfect. ADHD is what makes me who I am. And it helps that the community at Legends and WBC are all about tough love, no excuses, which is the perfect philosophy to help me keep my focus and thoughts on track!
I feel that as long as you continuously equip yourself with the right tools, keep a reflective mind, and have a group of supportive people who accept you for who you are, you’ll be fine. Boxing’s worked for me and I hope it works for others too.” – Yiqian
Interview by: Arman Shah
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