Name: Eustacia Jieyi Tan
Occupation: Flight Attendant
Country of Residence: Singapore/Dubai
Kenya Experience Camp: December 2018 Kenya Experience Original Camp
Running Times: 5km – 25.41, 10km – 58.05, Marathon (goal) – 4h00m
My Name is Eustacia Tan. I was raised in a small island of Indonesia and then spent my teenage life in another sunny island called Singapore. I moved to Dubai a little bit more than 3 years ago to work for an airline as a flight attendant. Dubai has a really great fitness scene but I’ve never had much interest in fitness. This job is hectic and on days off I just wanted to rest of catch up with friends.
After a year being in Dubai, I gained weight, I was unhappy and felt I needed something to keep my mind occupied. So, I decided to start going out more. I made more friends and many of them had something in them, like a sparkle that didn’t. On days off, they wake up looking forward to go to the gym, or even just a walk at the beach. But still, it didn’t budge me to start doing something I should have way back.
2nd half of 2017, a good friend of mine influenced me to start working out. And I felt it. I felt good after every session. So i kept going and going. I got my friends to go with me and we motivated each other. Until one day, my company liaised with a huge gym nearby where I stayed and there was where my fitness journey really started. Not the running part yet though! Truth is, I hated anything cardio. Running was just part of warming up before my workouts.
A few months after that, I realised I wasn’t improving anymore. I needed something more. I hired a personal trainer and that was how running was introduced to me. It was a challenge first. I wanted to lose weight. So, we did a 10 minutes run before every workout and I felt that adrenaline rush every time. Slowly, to 1 mile, 5k. One day, my coach asked if I’d like to go for a 10k run. I was intimidated at first but I went in with it. And that’s it. I fell in love. I never stopped since. I felt the zen of running. I did get demotivated many times because I wanted to get faster, or run longer and it’s not easy. But I just kept coming back!
I started to sign up for races and my first 5k ever was a cross country race. I had no idea what cross country was but people were telling me not to aim for PB whatsoever and just have run. But guess what, I finished 3rd! It was not easy to sign up for races due to my flying roster and not being available on the days events were held, so I tried to sign up to as many as I could to keep myself going. One day I signed up for a 10k not expecting to run a good time but I did! I would say it was my favourite race I guess – I PB-ed and finished a 10k after not doing anything more than 5k for a long time. More like an impulse race but totally worth it!
Then one day I was looking for a ways to improve even further and I chanced upon The Kenya Experience while browsing through my Facebook and obviously, I wanted to enrol to the camp. I didn’t have enough leave back then so I couldn’t register. Bummer! I’ve always loved Africa but have never been to Kenya. Plus, run with some of the world’s fastest?! It would be a perfect holiday I thought!
Finally, I got my leave approved. Within the hour I registered for the camp. BEST. DECISION. EVER. A very different type of holiday compared to the ones I always have I’d say. I kept counting down the days and it was one of my best holidays ever! You get to meet so many passionate people, share stories, thoughts, and I even ended up with a more realistic goal after the camp. (I was aiming too high with minimum effort haha!) amazing coaches, and the local runners were so inspiring. And obviously, the running pathways, hills.. I definitely came back stronger. I couldn’t stop talking about the camp and obviously having the camp withdrawals!
So, thanks KE! Will definitely be back to Iten in the near future. Truly life changing. (At least for me ((: )