Bouncing back (with a punch)!

What does it take to bounce back?

No. Really, what would you do to bounce back – despite the ongoing struggles, roadblocks, walls, rivers, or mountains that seem insurmountable?

My method of bouncing back to the take all these struggles and turn them on their heads.

19th May is a special day for me. It is a day that I remember, and celebrate, losing everything that matter to me. It is also a day I gained everything I could ever need and want. I use this day to launch myself into the atmosphere, by doing something completely scary and completely rewarding.

SEVEN YEARS AGO, I walked a marathon. Yes, WALK. 10.5 hours of it.

Why would anyone walk a marathon? Wouldn’t you train for it, run it and make it to the finish line in as short a time possible?

If one could run a marathon, by all means, run it and run it quick.

If one could only walk, because one was only given weight bearing privileges three months before said marathon, one would jolly well walk it, and walk it with fervour. The journey was no less. It could even be argued that the journey was more valiant an effort than any record breaking attempt.

A year after a horrific near-fatal motor accident, I stood on the start line of Singapore’s iconic marathon, Sundown Marathon 2012 with as much training as I could physically endure after being surgically put together 20 times in hospital over a period of three months. I never felt more prepared to complete the arduous and terrifying task.

The journey was long; the night quiet. Pain shot through my legs, up my hips and back and into my body. I systematically and strategically took my painkillers; I kept walking. Then it thundered down with a Category 1 Tropical Storm. As if my job wasn’t hard enough as it was, the heavens unleashed its mightiest.

Then, I remembered. Buried in the recesses of my subconscious was my athletic spirit that loved a good ol’ brawl to the finish.

I was, and still am, that triathlete that loves racing in the rain.

I made it through three months of learning to walk, walking slower than stringed puppet manoeuvred by a sloth. I forced myself to walk when I really didn’t feel well enough. I’d made myself so unwell by walking that I was taken to the emergency department. I walked 10km to work and walked 10km home, in my best effort to prepare my body for the 42.

So, when I raised the finish line up in the air with all my family, friends, colleagues, students and supporters, I stood victorious; I stood with pride.

Fast forward to 2018, seven years after my life-changing chapter and marathon-walking achievement, I am proud to announce that I am taking part in Sundown Marathon 2018, on the anniversary of my accident.


What’s even more exciting is, I am taking a whole bunch of girls* with me to the start line. The finish line is a given.

So. If you are looking to turn whatever struggle you might have on its head by completing the Sundown Marathon or Half-Marathon in your best time yet. You are at exactly the place to start preparing your body and mind for your valiant attempt!

Find out how you could turn up your training with my True Grit 10-week programme!

*This program is introduced as a women-only program this year. It will be made available to the men in 2019. Incidentally, we should still have 19th of May as our day of reckoning.

Written by kirstenkoh

True blue terra-rist - a citizen of the world.