The news broke on Monday early morning. Many of us were still asleep but a few of us were on the way to the box when it happened. The news hit that our Founding Father of Singapore, Mr Lee Kuan Yew has passed away. It was a surreal moment for many of us and though we express it in different manners we were all mourning the loss of a great man in our own way.
But, yet they always say that mourning is just the start to embracing the passing of another. What matters more is to celebrate his life, to remember his legacy, to #RememberLKY. Apart from the many things that he has done for Singapore as our founding father, Mr Lee Kuan Yew has shown us various traits that allow us to learn from. How he governed the country, how he fought for people and how he lived his life altogether. We can follow his example in many ways, in or out of a workout or the box, his life will continue to inspire us in many ways. Below are just a few that has stood out to us.
“My definition of an educated man is a man who never stops learning and wants to learn. I am not interested in whether a man has a Ph.D or not, or an M.A. for that matter, or a diploma. Mao never had one, neither had Khrushchev, nor Stalin”. Indeed, never stop learning, never stop getting better at your craft, at your work, at your movements or in any other area in your life. In CrossFit, we preach something called virtuosity and virtuosity doing “The uncommon, uncommonly well”. Here we are, seeing the Mr Lee Kuan Yew advocated just that. Every time you step into the box, tell yourself that you’re going to leave your ego at the door and you’re in to learn something new. We muster our basics first then continue to delve deeper and deeper into our movements.
On how independence was thrust to us as a country and to Mr Lee Kuan Yew, “But we resolved to
make this work. Never forget that it was the will, not just of a few men. That was necessary. But the will was in the people. Otherwise it would not have worked.” Mr Lee understood that to go through any trial, big or small, required the support of not just one or two but the entire population (Community). That’s what we mean by community, that through thick and thin, through the pains in the workout and even outside life, we embrace each other to have that will to keep on keeping on. Of course there will be moments where you might feel like giving up but turn to your left and right and see how you’re not alone, you’re never alone.
On being popular vs being populist. “If you want to be popular, do not try to be popular all the time. Popular government does not mean that you do popular things all the time. We do not want to be unpopular or to do unpopular things. But when they are necessary, they will be done. Popular representative government means that within each five-year period, your policies have demonstrably worked and won popular support. That is what it means. And if we flinch from the unpopular, we are in deep trouble.” At Innervate, our coaches are unashamed to do the unpopular things. We are unreserved in making you stretch your hips for the entire hour if you have to. We are unashamed to drill your mechanics with a PVC pipe until you become the best that you can be before moving on to the real bar. We are relentless in our pursuit to make you better. That at times, isn’t the most popular of things. But as a community, we need to understand that, that is how virtuosity is attained. One step at a time.
On having grit within yourself, “Whoever governs Singapore must have that iron in him. Or give it up. This is not a game of cards. This is your life and mine. I’ve spent a whole lifetime building this and as long as I’m in charge, nobody is going to knock it down.” Have that iron inside of you. You may not be governing any country anytime soon nor would you be delving into politics soon but still, have that iron inside of you. Have that iron to withstand waves after waves of defeat and learn to stand back up. Have that iron inside of you such that no matter how hot your situation might be, it will only mould you to become a stronger person. Have that iron to make you push through every single workout, every time you step into the box.
We have spent some time looking back at the traits that Mr Lee Kuan Yew had and the fruits of what he has made Singapore to be (Just look around). What matters is that we continue to grow. We take his legacy and run with it. #ThankYouLKY for all that you’ve done for Singapore and for all.