Training for a full marathon is not for the faint-hearted, so it may come as a surprise that four runners currently in training for the December 6th Standard Chartered Marathon in Singapore are associated with Aidha. Despite their full-time work schedules, these athletes manage to train for long-distance running. What inspires them to do it? Meet our super-disciplined runners: Aidha alumni Janelyn (Jannah), Mel, and Delia; and Amy, a 2015 M1 batch member.
By: Aarati Rajwade and Miin Hwang
This team is dedicating the funds they raise to Aidha via GiveAsia. While different reasons may propel them to put on their running shoes each week, the primary motivation is to raise scholarship funds to enable more FDWs to benefit from Aidha’s programmes. Since she graduated from Aidha in 2009, Jannah has seen how her worldview and confidence has changed, and wants to help her peers experience this too. The others find running a stress-reliever; it helps them carve out some time in the day to clear their minds, as well as making sure that they stay fit.
The Standard Chartered Marathon is not the first marathon for the team; they have also participated in several other long runs. The reason they continue to challenge themselves is for the benefits that running brings them. Relocation to a new country and a new job is stressful. While Amy and Delia had a sports background in school, they did not prioritize their fitness once they started working. Jannah and Mel picked up running after moving to Singapore. Running has substantially improved their health and they no longer fall sick with coughs and common colds, as they did when they first arrived.
How do they find the time to train in addition to all their duties at work? First, they have supportive employers who encourage their quest for fitness. These dedicated runners schedule their weekday runs around their work schedules, sometimes getting up early to jog or running after dinner. Second, they ensure that they eat healthily. Delia looks up running tips online or in her runner’s manual. Finally, they rely on their friends, employers and the team’s encouragement to ensure they pound the pavement. The team also meets up once a week to train together.
In their own words, these inspiring ladies tell us why they run:
Mel: “When I don’t feel like running, I start by warming up and doing stretching exercises. It’s like an oven: you have to pre-heat before you bake.”
Amy: “Running inspires me. It’s good to run and prove your strength to yourself.”
Delia: “I also run to prove to others that all helpers are not lazy. I can do anything if I put my mind to it.”
Jannah: “When running, I remember the reason that inspires us to finish the marathon. Running for a reason is an amazing accomplishment that no amount of money can buy.”
Now isn’t that reason enough to cheer them on as they sprint towards the finish line?