MAS­TER OF MY OWN SEA

ONCE BOUNDED BY THE STRICT REGIMENTS OF A PRO­FES­SIONAL ATH­LETE, AZLAN ISKAN­DAR IS NOW THE CAP­TAIN OF HIS OWN SHIP. IN HIM IS CAP­TURED THE SPIRIT OF THE OMEGA SEA­MAS­TER DIVER 300M

AugustMan (Malaysia) - - Special Feature - WORDS BY HENG KEAN LEE; PHO­TOG­RA­PHY BY XERXES LEE / AWE­SOME IM­AGE; GROOM­ING BY GAVIN SOH; LO­CA­TION ALILA BANGSAR

AZLAN ISKAN­DAR MAY well be liv­ing his best life right now. Granted, the once ranked 10th best squash player in the world has a plethora of ac­co­lades to his name, but to­day he has some­thing he him­self would un­doubt­edly trade it all for, that be­ing a lov­ing wife and three ab­so­lutely beau­ti­ful chil­dren.

Six years on from the day he de­cided to re­tire, the men­tal­ity of a pro­fes­sional ath­lete still re­mains, as he man­ages his time be­tween work, fam­ily, and per­sonal train­ing to a T. “My ca­reer as a pro­fes­sional ath­lete taught me the im­por­tance of per­fectly man­ag­ing your time. Be­tween train­ing and re­cov­ery ses­sions, an or­ga­nized sched­ule was piv­otal. Over the years I’ve ap­plied that same men­tal­ity to my ev­ery­day sched­ule, tak­ing slight ad­van­tage of the free­dom I have now to tweak it to my lik­ing. I be­lieve or­ga­niz­ing your time is vi­tal in shap­ing the out­comes you want to achieve in life.”

With a sched­ule that only gets busier by the day, one thing will never change: Fam­ily al­ways comes first. With two beau­ti­ful daugh­ters and a new born son that is bound to be blessed with his fa­ther’s good looks, Azlan is de­ter­mined to spend as much time as he can with them, along­side wife Ung Yiu Lin, founder and de­signer of ShoesShoesShoes and KLutched. Ac­cord­ing to the proud dad and hus­band, fam­ily time is ab­so­lute pri­or­ity, as he does not want to re­gret not be­ing part of his chil­dren’s growth, stress­ing how im­por­tant it is to al­ways have qual­ity time with the fam­ily, no mat­ter how busy one gets. Al­ways mak­ing sure to take some time to stay in shape, even his work­out of choice is ded­i­cated to tak­ing bet­ter care of his chil­dren. “Cross­fit has been my work­out of choice as you can achieve a high in­ten­sity in a short time. It’s also very func­tional as it def­i­nitely helps me carry the kids around!”

As with all top ath­letes, a dis­ci­plined life­style must be cul­ti­vated in or­der to achieve ex­cel­lent per­for­mance. While it is im­por­tant for not just ath­letes, but also ev­ery­day in­di­vid­u­als to have such a life­style, it is also im­por­tant to take it easy on one­self, some­thing that Azlan is slowly learn­ing. Now with the weight of a na­tion off his shoul­ders, he is learn­ing not to be too hard on him­self. “I still have the dis­ci­pline re­quired of me from when I was play­ing, though in re­cent years I’ve been slowly learn­ing to cut my­self some slack. Let­ting go is one of the hard­est things to do in life, but it’s com­pletely nec­es­sary for mov­ing for­ward.”

Aside from his ef­fi­cient time man­age­ment, an­other qual­ity that he has brought for­ward from his play­ing ca­reer is the lofty ex­pec­ta­tions he holds for him­self. This time around though, he sets the stan­dard for be­ing a fa­ther, son, brother and friend. Be­sides that, he also strives to ex­cel in the work­place. Azlan, a win­ner of 14 tour ti­tles, is also an avid trav­eler, also some­thing he picked up from his play­ing days.

“When I was play­ing pro­fes­sion­ally, I played an av­er­age of 15 tour­na­ments a year. The amount of trav­el­ing I had to do back then has stuck with me un­til to­day!” Con­stantly

re­quired to travel from one coun­try to an­other for his tour­na­ments, Azlan did his best to ab­sorb what he could from be­ing in for­eign coun­tries. “From play­ing in Egypt to Co­lum­bia, it’s ex­cit­ing as you get a glimpse of var­i­ous ex­otic cul­tures, which then opens up dif­fer­ent thought pro­cesses, lead­ing you to be more dy­namic and open. Only be­ing able to barely scratch the sur­face of each coun­try he’s played in has only en­hanced his thirst to see even more. “I get to in­dulge my­self more when I travel, tak­ing in the sights as well as the his­tory of wher­ever I’m trav­el­ing to.” An ad­ven­ture bug him­self, he also takes the op­por­tu­nity to rough it out when he’s in an ex­otic coun­try. “Trav­el­ing is now more of an ad­ven­ture. I see it the same way I per­ceive life ac­tu­ally, which is all about tak­ing in both the good and the bad, work­ing some­thing out in the process.”

The true hall­mark of a man is how he treats his fam­ily, and you only have to take a look at Azlan’s In­sta­gram page to find out the ex­tent to which he loves his. Al­most every pic­ture he posts is with his chil­dren or wife, the show­ings of a proud fam­ily man ea­ger to show off his loved ones at every chance. And while Azlan def­i­nitely plays the part, he also en­sures he looks the part, with his dis­cern­ing taste in watches.

“James Bond, of course!” When asked about the first thing that comes to mind when he hears Omega, Azlan’s an­swer was that of most peo­ple. Rightly so, as Daniel Craig has re­cently been cho­sen as the face of Omega’s 25th an­niver­sary cel­e­bra­tion of the Sea­mas­ter Diver 300m. The Sea­mas­ter col­lec­tion, the long­est line in pro­duc­tion for Omega, is also one of Azlan’s choices. “Omega has time and time again made the Sea­mas­ter stay rel­e­vant through their con­stant ap­pli­ca­tion of to­day’s in­no­va­tion, while main­tain­ing the time­less ap­peal it’s known for.

An es­sen­tial for the modern man, the choice of time­piece speaks vol­umes of his per­son­al­ity. And in Azlan’s case, a time­less piece goes the dis­tance for him. “I be­lieve peo­ple are al­ways look­ing for a good, re­li­able, time­less piece, one that could be from five years ago but still look good to­day.” AM

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Malaysia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.