Visiting the gym is as much about building mental resilience as it is about gaining muscle for Cadet Lieutenant (CLT) Mohammad Shafie.
TEXT & PHOTOS: HOME TEAM VOLUNTEER NETWORK
Many of us face challenges that can be stressful or overwhelming, for which we have different coping mechanisms. Working out is Home Team Volunteer Mohammad Shafie’s way to destress. But the Cadet Lieutenant (CLT) from National Civil Defence Cadet Corps (NCDCC) wasn’t into sports growing up – not till his brother piqued his interest in gym sessions about three years ago. “I was not invested in working out at first, but I eventually took my training seriously because I realised that it was a good way to overcome negative thoughts,” shares the 17-year-old, in reference to moments where he felt he could have done better in his personal life and had not reached his full potential. He now works out four times a week.
And the Business Services student at Institute of Technical Education (ITE) Central might well have lapsed into gloom last year, when he suffered a back injury during one of his workouts, putting him out of the gym for close to two weeks. “I was in pain and had trouble sleeping. When I started working out again, I felt weak and had to build up my strength.” Thankfully, his training had equipped him with the mental fortitude to overcome the physical challenges at hand.
CLT Shafie’s hours spent lifting heavy equipment have also proven valuable in his volunteer work with the Home Team. “In 2022, I attended a firefighting course held at Civil Defence Academy. I was able to carry heavy equipment such as the breathing apparatus and fire hose, thanks to my increased strength and improved conditioning from working out at the gym,” he recounts. “It was mentally and physically draining but I managed to stay calm and fight through the challenges.”
CLT Shafie’s hobby has also taught him self-discipline. “If you feel like giving up, always push through because your pain or struggles are temporary. If you let yourself be overcome by negative thoughts, you will not go far,” he concludes.
As someone who enjoys interacting with others, CLT Shafie regularly helps train his NCDCC juniors on their co-curricular (CCA) days at Christ Church Secondary School. You can also pay it forward. Volunteer with the Home Team Volunteer Network to make a difference in your community.
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