Every saturday afternoon at Punggol Park, my son embarks on a training program with Coach KK from Team Sapphire. The training sessions are usually tough and it gets tougher on the parents when they see their children competing with one another in training. Usually it could be a run, a bike session or an open water swim session that will include all 3 disciplines.

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On one such session, as a father I failed my son as he suffered in a training session with 3 other kids last week. The sms I got from coach KK, reminding me that the kids will be having a tri session was a message I did not take too seriously. I was more concerned about his Maths and my work. I told Musaib that it will be a Tri session and left it to him to organize himself. We rushed for tri training that day. Coach KK from Team sapphire, briefed the 3 girls and Musaib, that they will be doing the swim first. It dawned upon me that I failed to check what he packed. He didn’t have his goggles with him. I failed to bring the goggles that he needed and he did not show an ounce of anger against me for that. He swam 2 laps as a warm up and 3 more without the goggles. My conscience was pricking me cos he was swimming with his head above water. I asked him if his eyes were OK and he just replied “its OK , it was OK” and went on to his kids’s mountain bike he will be riding. He struggled on the ride as all 3 kids out rode him and he finished the ride with leg cramps, whilst trailing from behind. He had tears in his eyes and stopped at the transition area to stretch, knowing very well the 3 kids have left before him. Coach KK, told him to stretch and to just push himself irrespective of who could be in front. He ran the distance on a hob and run finishing in quick pace though he was at the back of the pack.

My heart sank to see my 12 year old son suffer like this and in a desperate bid to exonerate myself, I asked him if he wanted a racing bike like the other kids, for the Tribob Kids Triathlon Race in May. That was the least I could do to just make up to him for not organizing his things for the training session. Musaib said “No”. He said “its OK dad, I will ride the mountain bike”.

Quite frankly I really do not care, at what position he finishes the race and it matters more to me to see him reach the finish line running a race pushing himself past the cramps and doing it safely. He made my day. I have a wonderful son and his name is Muhammed Musaib. My son my champion.

On Sunday afternoon at Changi, Musaib ran and did the open water swim with Team Sapphire and 5 other kids. There were no cramps and Musiab ran like there was no tomorrow after his Bike ride on the same mountain bike and swim in the sea. At Changi, Musiab found his “run”. The video below is dedicated to Joshua, Musaib, Wilfred, Maher, Sowri and Yasmine, 6 wonderful kids who did a mini triathlon on a Sunday afternoon for training. You are all champions in my Book.

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About the Author: Ebnu Etheris Ma.IDT, B.Hrd

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Ebnu Etheris, holds a Masters degree in Instructional Design and was part of the pioneering team of executives who saw through the start up of Singapore’s first Budget Airline, Valuair. He was responsible for developing the airline’s Crisis planning systems and initiating blended learning in Flight operations. He works as a Partner with Teamworkbound.

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