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.
6 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 work out of choice is dedicated to taking better care of his children. “Crossfit has been my work out of choice as a very high intensity can be achieved 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 contributing in 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 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 in moving forward in life.”
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 not on his performances on court, but how he is as 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 being required to travel from one country to another right as a tournament ends, 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, resulting 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 of 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 Azlans Instagram page to find out the extent in 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, Azlans 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 Azlans choices. “Omega has time and time again made the Seamaster stay relevant through their constant application of todays innovation, while not sacrificing the timeless appeal for which it’s known for.
An essential for the modern day man, the timepiece of choice of a man 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 steady timeless piece, one that can be bought 5 years ago but would still look good today.”