Bryan Goh

My first health scare came in September 2017.

I had been experiencing pain in my left knee for some time, prompting multiple visits to the GP and TCM for treatment. The doctors thought I was probably overworked.

However, the pain worsened and I went to the hospital for diagnostic scans. A MRI scan revealed a giant cell tumor on my knee that required immediate surgery.

After my surgery in November 2017, it was a long and grueling journey to recovery. I went on hospitalization leave for 3 months, and stopped all workouts during the rehabilitation period. My world came crashing down, as exercise is everything to me as an ex National Team Dragon Boater and competitive bodybuilder.

Over the course of the next few months, I was very depressed undergoing medication and slow rehab training when I was once so strong and active. My mother even told me to quit my job as a Personal Trainer as she was worried it would cause more stress for my knee.

However, with the encouragement of my team and friends at Fitness First, I did not give up and continued with physiotherapy. After 3 months, I was cleared to go back to work. Feeling renewed and motivated, I was one of the top trainers for the Freestyle Group Training classes at Capital Tower Sports Performance and built up my relationship with members once again. I even came in to work in crutches sometimes!

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In May 2018, the pain and tumor returned with a vengeance and I had to go under the knife again, losing all the momentum I had built up in my few months back. The recurrence of the tumor really brought me to the bottom pit in life. It had been a long journey to recovery and back to the training ground again. I began to question if I should heed my mother’s advice to quit my job as a Personal Trainer as the long hours of standing and shifting weights might have caused further stress to my leg. Do I risk losing my leg for the sake of a job? Do I give up my passion in helping others?

During this time, I spoke to my Fitness Manager, Matthew. He suggested some great ideas to focus on classes and provided me with opportunities to join the Corporate Games Team, Corporate Presenter Team and National Facilitator Team so that I could still contribute to Fitness First in my own ways.

During my second phase of physiotherapy, I went back to Capital Tower Sports Performance to attempt a light workout as I was losing some upper body muscle mass. It was being back at this familiar place that I rekindled my love for fitness. Even though I had to start with lighter weights, I felt good and even more motivated than before! I also started cycling as it was a low impact exercise suitable for my knee. I felt a sense of freedom during the cycling sessions, as I was mobile and fast again! I even bought myself a long distance bike with accompanying gear to continue on my rides.

I came back stronger, better and more confident. That was then, I decided to try to pursue my career as a Personal Trainer at Fitness First again.

Right now, I might not have the most clients in the team, but I still try my best with one proper leg! I went on cycling trips with my manager (Nick) and several Fitness First members too. I also convinced one member, Melissa, to pick up cycling and we completed 621km together – cycling all around the island!

I rose from the ashes, twice! While I’m not physically stronger now than before, I am much more capable and confident in my work and life. I am a NEW ME!

My goals for now are to keep fit and be healthy.  I also hope to slowly and fully rehabilitate my leg so that I can go back to my previous physical form. I hope I can use my experience to guide the fallen ones, to help them back on their feet and come back stronger and more positive than before.