Sticking to her fitness routine is this teacher’s way of relaxing after a hard day at work. By Abigail Ng
Miss Lim Soo Ee posing with a barbell in a crossfit gym. Despite running in races only around three years ago, she ran 40 races to celebrate her 40th birthday last year. She is training for her first triathlon this year. ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG
ABOUT LIM SOO EE
To prove that most things are possible, Miss Lim Soo Ee set out to run 40 races last year, the year she turned 40.
As an educator and recreational coach for taekwondo, she encourages students to believe nothing is impossible if they plan for and set their minds on it.
Miss Lim, who is single, started running races around three years ago, when a friend asked her to sign up for a best-friend run. She has since picked up crossfit and swimming, and plans to participate in her first triathlon this year.
Her desire to keep fit and healthy stems from her family history of diabetes and high blood pressure.
Q What is your secret to looking so fabulous?
A Sufficient sleep, eating well and regular exercise.
Q What is your diet like?
A I try to avoid simple carbohydrates and processed food, so I don’t take canned food or biscuits. I prefer to eat whole foods like fresh fruit and vegetables. I’m also trying to move towards being vegetarian.
Q What are your indulgences?
A Generally, I like healthy food, but I do bake, so cake is one indulgence.
Also, I think it is rude to decline to eat birthday cake, so I oblige when people offer me a slice.
Q What do you do to relax?
A Exercising helps me to relax. As for work-life balance, I don’t believe in it. Rather, I use the principle of whether there is meaning in what I do to guide me.
Q What are the three most important things in your life?
A Doing meaningful things, reading and experiencing life at its best – one way would be through travel.
Q What’s your favourite part of your body? And the least favourite?
A My favourite part is my legs and I don’t have a least favourite part. I have had many operations in the past 20 years because of injuries, but that has not made me dislike any part of me.
Q How important is it for you to keep up with your fitness routine?
A It is my mode of relaxation after a hard day at work. I exercise for my own mental sanity.
Q What is the most extreme thing you have done in the name of fitness?
A Taking part in an obstacle race – I did three Spartan races last year.
I consider it extreme given the number of injuries I have sustained over the years and the possibility I might break or tear something.
When I am in the zone, I go all out, so it could be dangerous.
Q How has your active lifestyle influenced your family and friends?
A People have told me that I inspired them to take up an activity or get back into an activity. And I share recipes and motivation tips with anyone who asks, even friends of friends.
Q How extensive is your collection of sports-related paraphernalia?
A I have the 40 medals from my 40 races last year and martial arts equipment. In the boot of my car, I have around 10 pairs of running shoes which I use in rotation, depending on the activity and terrain.
Q Would you go for plastic surgery?
A No, I’d rather travel to Europe.
Q What are some races that you have taken part in?
A Last year, I took part in races here and overseas, including in Australia, Hong Kong and Malaysia. These included three full marathons and 16 half-marathons.
Q What’s next?
A I’m hoping to complete my first triathlon this year. To prepare for it, I’m taking swimming lessons and have participated in two aquathlons.
Q Do you think you’re sexy?
A I think that lies in the eyes of the beholder and I don’t think I am.
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 07, 2017, with the headline ’40 races to celebrate turning 40′.