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Celine Loh Sze Ling - New You Achievement Awards

Celine Loh

I led a very hectic lifestyle with stressful and demanding schedules around my work and family. While it was clear that exercise was important, I struggled to find time to exercise. My feeble attempt to workout was discouraging as I did not see any result. On the contrary, my weight increased constantly and energy level was dipping. The situation was very much exacerbated by a lower back injury in Sep 2015. I could not stand for 3 days and was put on bed rest after seeking medical help to have a jab to numb the pain. Even after I could get on my feet, I could not walk properly for 1 month. I was in a lot of pain and even had difficulty carrying my iPad to meetings on the same floor in my office. I had no choice but to limit my movement significantly. Despite gaining some mobility, the lower back pain lingered on. It bothered me a lot and affected me physically and emotionally as I was frustrated with the pain. I sought medical help again and was referred to Raffles Hospital for physiotherapy in Apr 2016. Although physiotherapy helped in giving me some pain relief, I could not exercise without pain. I could only manage slow jog and swim. My weight escalated to 57 kg which was higher than my post-natal weight. I certainly did not look good nor feel good. I had a deep dissatisfaction and wanted to do something about it. In May 2017, I decided to visit the gym that was right in the same building as my company such that I would have no excuse to skip my workout. That was when I found Fitness First Sports Capital Tower Sports Performance Club.

To address the concerns on my lower back issue, the Club Manager allayed my fears with his commitment to assign the best trainer in the club to help me. This marked the beginning of my training with Mr Francis Huang with the FMS program.

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Through the program, I realised that I could hardly balance and my core was totally off. I saw some improvement after just 4 sessions of FMS and I decided to sign on Personal Training package with Francis to further improve my health and fitness level. Under the guidance of Francis, I started to have focus on my workouts. Most importantly, they are workouts that I enjoyed and they helped me achieve overall wellness in health, fitness and emotional well-being. My weight was reduced from 57 kg to 49 kg after 4 months of training. My health check showed that my body fat percentage moved to the normal range. I have more energy and drive to meet the demands around me. At the fittest point before my injury, I did 5km runs on treadmill for 40 minutes once a week. I completed my first 10km run during Sundown Marathon 2012 at 01:16:21. Post injury, I had thought that I would not be able to run again. Yet, I picked up running and achieved even better timing that I have not expected at all. I completed two 10 km runs, namely the Great Eastern Women Run 2018 – with a Net Time of 0:56:46, ranking at 36 (2 months after I started to train for running) – and the 2XU Run 2019 with a Net Time of 0:55:04 ranking at 41 of 1604 in April 2019.

It took me just 2 months of focused run training program designed by Francis to hit the first target of going below 60 minutes for 10 km run. This was way faster than the 01:16:21 timing that I achieved at my fittest point in the past. I was able to improve my timing further to 0:55:04 after the second round focused run training program.

Francis, my most dedicated personal trainer, was my main motivator. His training programs for me are all well designed to very effectively improve my strength and conditioning, and the targeted run programs have improved my speed, agility and endurance. The workouts are interesting and Francis has a clever way to adapt his explanations such that I can relate to them and understand the underlying concepts. His technical strength helps me build up my knowledge and interest that develops the passion to perform better. He is very encouraging and strikes a fine balance between pushing me and pacing out my progression. Every training session with Francis is an enjoyable and rewarding experience. It helps me to focus and de-stress. Most importantly, I am able to perform way beyond my personal expectation and my lower back is very well managed that the pain does not bother me anymore.

The best thing that has happened to me is improvement in my fitness level that I am able to run much faster and running has become a more enjoyable sport to me. This is in addition to the transformation of my overall well-being in health and fitness that gave me more confidence and better energy levels. I am very much motivated to keep on running and pushing myself to improve my personal best for 10km run. My most immediate goal is to go below 55 minutes. I would challenge myself to hit 50 minutes.

My transformation is a good testimony to anyone who desires to improve their health and fitness. It is achievable with commitment and right training. I hope my story will encourage many people to step forward to make a positive difference in their life (with Fitness First as their choice, of course!).

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