Published on 04 Jan 2021
Gritty. Resilient. Passionate. That’s how the organisers of the Spartan Race describe Spartans – participants of a global scale obstacle race. And it’s likely how most who know Eveyln Low, Operations Manager with NTUC Health Denticare, would describe her too.
A fitness enthusiast, Eveyln’s long-time goal was to take part in a Spartan Race – a series of races ranging from 5km to marathon distances, where participants have to overcome a variety of obstacles such as wall climbing, mud-crawling and get this…jumping over fire! However, the very first obstacle she had to overcome was her fear of not being good enough to complete the course.
Eveyln is not new to challenges. After practising yoga for ten years, she was invited by her yoga master in 2014 to become a yoga teacher herself. Seeing this as an opportunity to venture into something new, she embarked on a training course and now teaches the mind-body technique three to four times a week to students who range from seven to above seventy years old. She derives satisfaction in seeing her students achieve greater wellbeing and a healthier lifestyle, with some even going on to take up the trainer course on their own. Describing her experience with her older students, she remarked “People have the mentality that they cannot bend or be flexible, but the more you feel you cannot do it, the more you should go for it.”
It was this same can-do spirit that eventually saw the 40-year-old (and mother of two) participate in her first-ever Spartan race last year.
Recounting how she decided to take the leap of faith to join the event, Eveyln shared that her main concern then was the difficult terrain most Spartan races involved such as mud-splattered trails and rugged inclines.
However, in 2019, where the first Spartan Race in Singapore was set to be held at the National Stadium with terrain that would be more manageable than at other Races, Eveyln could find no other excuse to turn down the challenge of a lifetime.
With encouragement and company from a workout buddy who had participated in the event previously, she completed the Spartan Sprint in January involving a 5km run loaded with 20 obstacles along the way.
And if that wasn’t accomplished enough, she proceeded to set her sights on the Spartan TRIFECTA which requires participants to complete three different Spartan races within a calendar year; the most challenging of which involves a 21km run punctuated with 30 different obstacles.
Recounting her experience, Eveyln shared that her first race gave her the confidence that she was able to push herself beyond what she previously thought were her limits. She even got a colleague interested in participating, and together they trained and motivated each other for the upcoming races.
Eveyln recalls that her third race, in Malaysia, was particularly challenging. She had not gotten much sleep the night before, and also twisted her ankle twice at the start of the race. In addition, she began to feel nauseous halfway through. Still, she was determined to make it to the finish line, and with that, Eveyln is now a proud owner of a Spartan TRIFECTA medal.
When asked about her secret to managing work, her personal family life as wife and mother, and her passion for fitness, Eveyln attributes it to time management and knowing her priorities. After preparing her children for school in the morning, she arrives at work early so that she can leave early. Her yoga classes are usually scheduled for weekday evenings, and she is able to spend some time with her family after that. Weekends are also reserved for family bonding, as she does activities like baking with her children, or helping them with their homework.
For those who find it difficult to embark on a regular exercise programme, Eveyln suggests starting light such as by running short distances or swimming, and then gradually progressing from there. For more motivation, she recommends getting friends and colleagues and to make working out a team bonding activity. Eveyln’s colleagues often join her in exercise sessions and together they help each other attain their fitness goals.
It looks very challenging, and there is always a fear of failing. But after you do it, you will feel a sense of achievement. You will never know until you actually try.
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