ONE ’ S MENTAL health is as important as our physical health . Athletes are no different . Aside from keeping their physical fitness by undergoing training and diet , taking a break will help them improve their mental wellness .
“ I would usually wind down after matches to recharge mentally and physically . Resting is equally as important as training ,” said Malaysian pro wrestler Nor Diana .
Nor Diana , known as ‘ Phoenix ’, made global headlines when she became the champion of Malaysia Pro Wrestling ( MyPW ) Wrestlecon in July 2019 after defeating four male contenders . Since then , she has participated in many international championships and even had to turn down several invitations due to other commitments .
She started her journey in wrestling when she was 16 years old . Playing pro wrestling games on the PlayStation Portable ( PSP ) with her brothers when she was 14 had sparked her interest in the sport . The young pro wrestler is also known for her signature moves , diving crossbody and tilt-a-whirl cutter .
Nor Diana said it was important for a pro-wrestler to stay in shape to keep the momentum going . She was also put on a specific diet by her coach , Ayez-Shaukat Fonseka Farid .
The world ’ s first hijab-wearing pro wrestler then spoke to The Health about her diet , training routine , stress management and the local wrestling scene .
On consuming a healthy diet
It is no secret that the key to a successful diet is self-discipline . Nor Diana shared that her diet and meal plans were specifically tailored to her needs as a pro wrestler .
“ I am put on a diet by my coach . I eat mostly healthy and must hit certain calories and macros .
“ My meals are precise . I would need to weigh them and record them daily . I have a target of specific grams for carbs , protein and fats that I need to hit daily , and this involves meticulous planning and meal prepping ,” said Nor Diana .
Other than maintaining a balanced diet , she said getting enough sleep was also important .
On exercise and training
Nor Diana shared that her exercise programme was also designed by her coach .
She said : “ My exercise programme is tailored to be more explosive and put on muscle .”
“ I go on hypertrophy and strength training , mostly using weights for resistance training ,” she added . She also highlighted that it was important for a pro wrestler to always stay in shape , both physically and endurance wise .
Hypertrophy training is training done by people to put on muscles , specifically to increase muscle size or add muscle mass . Muscle growth typically occurs as a result
My meals are precise . I would need to weigh them and record them daily . I have a target of specific grams for carbs , protein and fats that I need to hit daily , and this involves meticulous planning and meal prepping .”
– Nor Diana
of muscles overcoming external forces . This training is often associated with weightlifting .
When asked about her preparation before a match , she said : “ I do lots of drills and endurance training . You need performance athlete level of stamina to safely do a wrestling match .”
Nor Diana also said that she would try to get training sessions with her coach whenever possible . However , during the lockdown , she would train on her own .
On stress and demotivation
It is only human to feel stressed and demotivated . Being under the spotlight and even listed in Forbes ’ 30 Under 30 last year , the young wrestler has her own way of managing stress .
She shared : “ I manage stress by allowing myself to feel what I feel and just do what I feel like doing . If I feel like I need to rest , I ’ ll rest . If I need to sleep , I will sleep . If I need to just relax and watch my favourite TV series while eating my favourite food , I
will do it . “ When it comes to demotivation , I would often read old articles of me , watch more wrestling , envision myself being there and making it . I also look at old photos and successes , reminding myself why I started , how I ’ ve held on , and where I want to be .
“ If life burns you , it shouldn ’ t kill you . Remember , you are a Phoenix . Rise from the ashes and higher than the last time ( quoting her favourite line ).
“ Whatever people or life throw at me , I remind myself that I will not be swayed from my goals or be defeated . I always stay true to myself and my end goal . I focus on that and rise beyond everything that gets in my way .”
On the local wrestling scene
“ Unfortunately , there is a lack of support by locals for local pro wrestling . They are too exposed to watching World Wrestling Entertainment ( WWE ).
Everything else or the minor leagues will always be compared to the WWE , and we will eventually be looked down upon ,” laments Nor Diana .
The pro wrestler hopes to gain more local support for Malaysian wrestling .
“ Give a chance and take a look at how we ’ ve grown . We ’ ve been receiving praises from veterans from across the world . It has the potential to be a big thing , but it all starts with local support .”
Being a hijab-wearing pro-wrestler , she said many criticisms were thrown at her . “ At first , honestly , I was affected . But as time passed , things got old really fast , and I ’ ve learnt how to ignore them ,” she said . Her next goal is to make it to the big league like WWE . — The Health