By Taranjit Kaur | INTERVIEW | MALAYSIA |
“I have always wanted to challenge myself,” says the young man who recently hit a new standing jump record for Malaysia.
In a recent attempt, Harinder Singh Sekhon stood jumped 55 inches (140 cm), beating the previous national record of 50 inches (127 cm). The standing high jump is performed in the same way as high jump, with the difference being that the athlete has no run-up and must stand still and jump with both feet together.
Awards, accolades and recognition are usually sought after by many. The exhilaration that comes with it is surely liberating – at least in most instances. Breaking a record, now that’s a different league all together.
In the case of Harinder, there is more to him actually. He is also part of the Malaysian Cricket Squad, and a Mathematics teacher! The latter came as a surprise: an avid sportsman with a knack for numbers. What an interesting combination!
Harinder’s success has attracted national interest, no doubt it’s worthy of every commendation. Taking a step back, how does one achieve such excellence, that too at a relatively young age and how easy was this journey?
Here, Harinder shares a glimpse on his perspective of success, one that on many fronts is credited to PERSISTENT hard work. We asked him some question.
1. You are a an avid sportsman with commendable achievements under your belt already. How does this accolade matter?
This is the first of its kind for me, and quite honestly, I rate this achievement as the most precious, in fact, the best one in my life – thus far. My dream has always been to challenge myself in an individual sport and more importantly, to stock take my abilities. I wanted to see how far i could go and see how far i’d be able to go with it to break a national record is very special to me. I sure am grateful for such an opportunity coming my way.
2. What do you view to be the pursuit of success and why? How easy was the journey? Have you just been lucky by chance?
For me, success is continuous – its about doing better each time. And to do this, setting goals/targets is important. My secret is having set small goals/targets a long the way to the main goal/target. I dared to dream, and did something about it – so clearly action matters. Frankly, I enjoy what I do and most of all I believe in myself. Easy or hard is quite subjective in itself. I have been training diligently, pushing myself everyday to be able to prepare myself. On some days, it can be daunting to even get started with training, and that’s when being cautious of the goal/target set is important. Consistency is key.
I wish I was lucky by chance, the reality is that this achievement took lots of hard work and sacrifice. And I choose to leverage on the stress as a booster.
When i kicked off on this journey, all i had was the determination to keep going forward. I didn’t know what the outcome was going to be, but i focused instead on what was within my control and that being – my behaviour, attitude and mindset.
3. What are the 3 critical components of your success?
In no particular order – dedication, self-belief & sacrifice. These to me were my ingredients of success.
On many accounts, I have had to make difficult decisions – but what guided me was the desire to make a difference.l
4. Share your challenges? And what have been some of your most memorable turning points?
There are only so many hours in a day and juggling between being a math teacher, fitness enthusiast as well as playing cricket has been a challenge – though, a doable experience.
Playing cricket for the national team at the age of 24 was a huge turning point for me. It was quite the struggle, it was then that i realised what self belief really is and what it takes to be playing sport at a higher level. Having a commendable A-grade season playing cricket in Australia (2019) for the Southern Suburbs in Queensland was when I truly understood the need for hard work is constant, for every game played!
Going through a major shoulder injury in 2020 was quite an experience too. It’s something thats never happened to me before and getting back into the momentum took a little extra effort after 6-8 months of managing it and playing through the pain. In actual fact, I have been practicing for the jump for some four months now.
5. What would be your advise to fellow youth?
Substance misuse such as alcohol abuse can have far reaching consequences. I see it almost everywhere and its saddening because in can sometimes derail one from unlocking their truest potential, and the eventual progress. I urge that the long term effects of alcohol abuse are weighed in, especially the impact it can have not only on an individual, but also their families/loved ones. My plea is -make your mental and physical wellbeing a priority.
I run a fitness program every Saturday and Sunday for free and would be happy if the youth would get in touch and join me.
We can make this world a better place for generations to come, and we must because we are the future.
In concluding, achieving success can take time, hardly ever overnight. It reminds me of the whole baby steps motion. Success is subjective, and its definition typically varies from one person to another. Regardless, it takes investment – in the form of commitment. Not doing anything is also doing something! The question is – what value does it bring? Any effort to improve is an achievement, so, break a leg!
About myself, I’m Taran who believes that limits are barriers created by the mind!
(Taranjit Kaur is a Kuala Lumpur based executive who gets involved in Sikh activities. She is a regular contributor to Asia Samachar)
“Don’t be afraid to push boundaries,” says powerlifter Karenjeet Kaur (Asia Samachar, 16 March 2021)
The next one will be a boy! (Asia Samachar, 9 Nov 2017)