Inspiration, motivation and success

Mei Lin Yap’s latest column details her ambitions for the Open European Swimming Championships in November, her greatest inspirations, and what motivates her drive for success.

Mei Lin Yap’s latest column. She talks about her love of swimming and tells us where she gets her inspiration from. Her family and her Mother are very supportive of her. She knows it will take a lot of hard work to be a champion swimmer but she is determined.

My ambition is to become a champion in swimming. I haven’t competed in a few years now so I am just coming back to the swimming again. This ambition is the motivation that I need to keep me driven to achieve this goal; I know this is a really big goal, but I am prepared to put in the hard work to achieve it. At the moment I am trying to find balance between my training, my working life and my personal life.

The Irish Down Syndrome Sporting Organisation had their National Swimming Championships in Derry, in Northern Ireland in May 2015. I won a gold medal in the women’s 50 meter butterfly and a silver medal in the 200 m freestyle. This competition is a qualifier for a place on the Irish team going to compete in Loano, Liguria, Italy in November in the Open European Swimming Championships. I have qualified for a place on the Irish Team, to compete and to represent my country. I am really excited. I now need to train even harder, because the standard is really high. So, over the coming five months I will be training really hard. It is a great opportunity to travel and to meet new people and make new friends.

“EVERY JOURNEY BEGINS WITH A SINGLE STEP”, said Maya Angelou. I have started on my journey to compete in Italy and through this page I will take you with me every step of the way. I am going to share it all with you in these columns – every step that I take, everything that I face, the challenges and difficulties, the successes and failures. My success in Derry has inspired me to push and challenge myself to train even harder to prepare for the competition in Italy. I believe that if you work hard, you can achieve anything that you want. In the words of Thomas Jefferson, “I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have”.

Where Do You Get Your Inspiration?

My family are my inspiration. They are strong individuals, successful, determined, kind, and well educated. They have supported me and encouraged me over the years to be the best I can be. My brother and sister are two people I admire. I would like to have what they have – to work, live independently, to be in relationship, to be able to get married, to have an active social life. I try to stay involved and create opportunities to meet people by keeping up my hobbies and interests, and developing my working life.

The most important person in my life is my mother; she is the number one person that I can share just about everything with. She is the one that helps me, provides for me, supports me, encourages me. She is also a very hard-working, strong woman and she is always there for me through everything. She is my mother, my friend, my soul mate, she means a lot to me.

I am also inspired by the music that I listen to; it makes me feel good about myself and helps me feel connected. I like to listen to popular, well-known artists but I also listen to little-known artists in different genres of music. Like most young people, I love to connect with people, that is why I love being on social media like twitter and facebook – it helps me engage with the world.

I know I have a lot of hard work ahead if I want to achieve my goals and hopefully I will have the motivation to train hard. I will let you know next time how I am progressing.

Until then keep following your dreams and remember what Walt Disney said:

“All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them”.

Mei Lin Yap lives in Dublin, and is a Reception Greeting Co-ordinator. She was formerly Rollout Support Officer/Ambassador for the Certificate in Contemporary Living at The National Institute for Intellectual Disability, Trinity College Dublin. Her passions include Special Olympics and inclusion for everyone.