Boxer Nurshahidah Roslie opens up about her love for the sport and her training regimen. By Joyce Teo
Ms Nurshahidah can be aggressive in the ring, even with her teammates and closest friends. Photo: Jamie Koh/The Straits Times
ABOUT NURSHAHIDAH ROSLIE
Nurshahidah Roslie became Singapore’s first woman professional boxing champion recently. Her wish is to see more women pick up boxing.
She turned pro in February and works full-time as an operations manager and trainer at the Juggernaut Fight Club gym. She usually spars with women boxers, though she also spars with the men.
She said her mother, an administrative executive, still worries for her safety during matches but her civil servant father has no complaints “as long as I return home safely after every match”. She has a younger sister, who, together with her close relatives, always cheers her on at fights.
Q: What is your secret to looking fabulous?
A: There’s no shortcut. It’s all about hard work and dedication.
Q: How important is it for you to keep up with your fitness routine?
A: Very important if I have a match coming up. If I miss a session, I will find a way to “pay it back” another day. There are no cheat days.
Q: What made you decide to turn pro?
A: I took up taekwondo when I was young and the love of combat sports has stayed with me. Before I turned pro, I felt I was training too hard with no fight opportunities as an amateur in the national team. The lack of fights meant I couldn’t grow and develop as a fighter.
Q: When did you start exercising regularly?
A: I have always been sporty. I do not like to sit still. I played badminton in primary school and picked up other sports in secondary school, including netball, soccer and canoeing. But my interest was really in combat sports. I started to exercise regularly in secondary school when I picked up taekwondo. When I took part in competitions, I realised how much I loved the sport. I got my black belt and yearned for bigger challenges.
Q: What is it about boxing that you like?
A: It’s the discipline that comes with it. I can be aggressive in the ring with teammates and close friends. But outside the ring, we have this care, respect and love towards one another. Boxing also pushes me beyond my limits.
Q: Has there ever been a time when you were not fit and fab?
A: When I am not training, I don’t look like an athlete. That’s because I love food too much. When training season begins, I cut down my food intake to get back in shape.
Q: What is your diet like?
A: Before a match, I go on a very low-carb diet. My must-eat food are eggs because I need protein. I love eggs, especially when my mum cooks them. Any style is good.
Q: What are your indulgences?
A: Dark chocolates and my mum’s awesome cooking.
Q: How do you maintain a healthy work-life balance?
A: My work and training are at one place. I am lucky to have my teammates working alongside with me and encouraging me to do my best. During the weekends, I rest and catch up with my parents.
Q: What are the three most important things in your life?
A: Love, family and boxing.
Q: What’s your favourite part of your body?
A: Love my arms, hate my tummy.
Q: What are your must-dos before and after a match?
A: I pray for safety and calmness during the match, and to appreciate the results afterwards.
Q: What is the most extreme thing you have done in the name of fitness or diet?
A: Trying to get my weight down to the right level before weigh-ins for matches is always insane. Sometimes, I am totally dehydrated but I’m still trying to sweat it off.
Q: How has your active lifestyle influenced your family and friends?
A: As long as they are happy and healthy, I am happy for them.
Q: How extensive is your collection of sports-related paraphernalia?
A: The only equipment I have at home is a pull-up bar that my mum allowed me to install in the frame of my bedroom door. Q: Would you go for plastic surgery? A: Never. I may have flaws but the imperfections are perfect on me.
Q: Do you think you’re sexy?
A: Put me in heels and a long black dress and I definitely am.
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 16, 2016, with the headline ‘No cheat days for champ’.