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Even Gold Medalists Eat Mega Burgers: An interview with SE Asian rowing champ Saiyidah Aisyah

Fresh from winning a gold medal in rowing at the Southeast Asia Games in Myanmar, Saiyidah Aisyah talks to Khairul Amri about motivation and Mega Burgers. 

By Khairul Amri | Jan 23, 2014

  • Even Gold Medalists Eat Mega Burgers: An interview with SE Asian rowing champ Saiyidah Aisyah
    Saiyidah Aisyah, Singapore

You have to be obsessed with doing something or else you’re just an average Joe. 

I think it’s a waste to live life without seeing how strong or fit you can be. Just put on your running shoes and get out there. Run while you can. 

I don’t think many people are as motivated as me. 

There are ways to get around eating healthily and affordably. If healthy food is expensive, make your own juice. At the end of the day, it boils down to effort. 

My guilty pleasure is Swensen’s Mega Burger. I love it, even though I know it adds up to a million calories. 

I have too many friends who are doing full-time work on a day-to-day basis with a complete lack of interest. Do what you love and love what you do. 

No matter how much I love rowing and want to train full-time, the government doesn’t pay athletes. They’re not going to pay your hand-phone bill. 

I hope the government supports athletes no matter how big or small the sport is. Every athlete deserves an opportunity to be the best. 

It doesn’t hurt to be self-centered once in a while. If you’re always out to make people happy, you won’t be happy yourself. 

I complained once to my Japanese coach about having too many foreigners in Singapore, without realizing that he’s one himself. Truthfully, we can’t chase them away because they’re contributing to our economy. We must learn to adapt. 

Men with the right amount of muscle in the right places turn me on. 

Love is about being obsessed with something until you want to spend as much time as possible with it. You’re truly in love when you go through a day feeling empty without it. No guy can replace the love I have for rowing. 

I would want my future kids to grow up in a society where sport is big and well supported in every way. 

When I was in Sydney, I lived with a doctor and an engineer who managed to row in the morning at six, have coffee, breakfast and go to work by 8.30am. We seem to not be able to do what we really want here in Singapore. 

I want to be able to stop time because we’re always rushing and wanting to get things done without enjoying life. 

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