The start of the year is a great time to explore and pick up new hobbies. For some inspiration, Annabel Tan speaks to three of our society friends about their recently discovered joys.
The family physician who also practices aesthetic medicine is quite the fitness nut, if her trim and toned body didn’t already give that away. While her work at the clinic has become a lot more intense ever since the pandemic hit, the lull in the social scene allowed the doctor to devote more time to her exercise regimen. The mother of two teenagers works out at the gym, does pilates, goes rock climbing – twice a week respectively for each – and hits the treadmill at home on other days. Rock climbing, which she picked up five years ago, has recently become one of her biggest obsessions.
Why does rock climbing appeal to you?
I am task-oriented and climbing the wall is similar; taking it step by step until I reach the top. The route you climb also requires planning ahead and you need to learn to take things one step at a time, which is a discipline that can be applied to other aspects of life. On the whole, I find the sport cathartic and it provides a whole body workout. You don’t really feel the time pass.
Has it changed or consumed your life? tell us more
I find exercise in any form essential to a healthy lifestyle. I spend about four to six hours a week rock climbing, and I do not consider it to be consuming my life but rather adding to it. My next challenge is to attempt to climb routes that require more core strength.
What is the toughest thing about rock climbing?
As a beginner, it was to let go upon reaching the top. There is a sense of loss of control that may not be so intuitive. Right now, even if I accomplish my climb, overcoming the fear of falling is still a challenge. I mentally prepare myself by counting to three, and just let go.
What is the most enjoyable part about it?
Climbing with my husband Kevin, of course!
The three ingredients for a great rock-climbing session are:
Good sleep, good hydration and an interesting climbing route.
What do most people not know about the sport?
That it is harder to climb down rather than climb up. Also, while calluses may be inevitable, it is possible to learn to climb efficiently and not put extra pressure on the hands.
What did you discover about yourself through this passion?
That I can be determined to overcome challenges and my body can perform under pressure.
ART DIRECTION: AUDREY CHAN | PHOTOGRAPHY: JOEL LOW | HAIR & MAKEUP: ZOEL TEA
This story first appeared in the February 2022 issue of Prestige Singapore.