Life goes beyond the digits on the scale and your body is capable of so much more! Yahoo’s #Fitspo of the Week series is dedicated to inspirational men and women in Singapore leading healthy and active lifestyles. Have someone to recommend? hit up on gold !
Occupation: Electrical Engineer
Food: I recently started a mainly vegetarian diet, but more of ethical reasons and also not too strict. I just try to decrease my meat intake as much as possible but if I go out or eat with friends, I also don’t mind eating meat. Other than that I try to be healthy by default, means I cook myself with fresh, healthy and wholefood ingredients and keep it as colorful on my plate as possible.
Every meal usually comes with some veggies and fruits and I try to eat not processed carbs. But also here, I’m not really strict and, if some event or meet-up comes up, I’m also down to eat burgers and pizza as well as alcoholic drinks. I mean I’m German, so beer is in my blood.
Workout: In a week, I hit the gym four to five times, cycle one to two times, do a session of yoga and sporadically do other things like running and hiking.
Q: How has your fitness journey been?
A: I’ve always been quite active in sports and fitness. I started with football and tennis as a kid. Then as a teenager I played inline and ice hockey. I started working out when I was 16 years old until now.
I did mixed martial arts for five years and I’m still really passionate about CrossFit what I’ve been doing for around seven years. During the pandemic, I started road cycling and I still do at least once a week. And if there’s still time left I do running and yoga.
I do have a pretty active lifestyle. Other than my own regime, I like to do something active when I meet my friends. For example when I’m cycling, I meet my friends to chat or I meet friends to work out together so I can have both – socializing and being active.
What are your fitness goals?
In general I would say I just want to feel good. And by saying that I mean mentally and physically, which are usually connected anyways. Another goal is, I want to be able to “use” my body no matter what I want to do. So if I want to climb a mountain, I just climb a mountain. If I need to lift up my washing machine, I just lift up my washing machine. I think you get what I mean!
Of course I always had other goals along my journey as well. For example, when I started going to the gym, I looked up at Arnold Schwarzenegger and the likes, because I wanted to be like them. Or when doing CrossFit, Rich Froning was my idol or smaller achievements like certain weights I wanted to be able to lift…
You believe very strongly that the mind is very important and you love to keep pushing the mind.
I think the mind is the most powerful and most important thing in every one of us. You can do anything but if you mind is not right, you’ll give up. Everyone is aware that you need to train to run as fast as Usain Bolt, but you also need to train your mind otherwise it will stagnate or weaken.
So I did a 100km rowing challenge (on an indoor rowing machine that was placed outside) and it sounds like a physical challenge (it is as well) but it’s actually more of a mind challenge. It means going out there and rowing for eight hours consequently even though your mind and body (body follows mind) tells you to stop a hundred times, but you still keep going until it’s done.
And you can use your strong mind for anything else in your life, even if it’s achieved through a physical challenge.
Some of the other challenges I’ve given myself, I really look back with joy and a smile on my face. I cycled twice around the whole of Singapore at one go (about 250km over 7.5 hours), ran a half-marathon with a weighted vest and did 10 pushups at every bench we passed (there was a total of 197 benches so I totally underestimated it ) and a 13km farmer’s walk with two 32kg (64kg in total) kettlebells together with my friend.
Have you experienced anything that made you feel insecure about yourself?
Actually, what really sparked my fitness journey was a breakup with my first big love. I was 19 years old and heartbroken. I guess I needed some distraction and had to put my frustration somewhere. So I really went all in at the gym and was like, “I really am gonna show her what she’s missing out”. And the rest is history.
When did you feel the least confident about yourself?
When I look back to the time when I was a kid to when I was a teenager, I was always not really confident and very shy. I don’t know exactly why to be honest, but I had always been a little bit chubby and probably that didn’t really help. I just loved food too much and back then I just couldn’t control myself and didn’t really care about what I ate. When I was a teenager I started to go out for lots of drinks and that didn’t really contribute.
I could tell that I didn’t feel secure with my body. But the better I got in shape, the more confident I got. It was a long journey though, you can’t just change your childhood memories just like this.
Are you satisfied with your body now?
Of course there’s always something you can work on and you could get better at, but all in all I’m actually very satisfied. Why? I guess because I just feel good in my body and we should be more often be grateful for what we have and not focus on things we don’t have right! And also knowing where I started and that it’s my very own creation over years and years of hard work.
Have you ever received any comments about your body?
Haha, yes! All kinds of admiration and compliments for my body like, “you have a great physique”, “your biceps are massive”, “Greek God”, “I would kill for these traps”, “Arnold Schwarzenegger”, “you look like a fitness coach”, and so many more.
Most people actually think I’m a fitness coach and are quite surprised that fitness is just my hobby.
If you could change anything about yourself, would you?
No, I wouldn’t. Actually I’m quite happy with who I am. Don’t get me wrong, this doesn’t mean I think I’m perfect and everything went perfect in my life. But I am who I am because of the experiences I made, because of the people I met and because of the journeys I’ve had – otherwise it wouldn’t be me and what is and who defines perfect anyway?