For a weekday afternoon, the MacRitchie Park is busy – people are lugging kayaks, a few are warming up for a run through the trails, others have already been running. The expansive greenery is a sight to behold and makes for a wonderful background in our chat with Kyle Lek, a young and jolly man of 23, who has pledged to run 10 km a day everyday for a whole year to raise awareness about WWF and nature. He has successfully completed 100 consecutive days of running today; that’s simply amazing!
So what started it all? “I have always believed in wildlife and nature – both of them work alongside each other. Coming from a mountaineering background, when you see Mother Nature as a whole, you get really touched and make a connection with yourself and nature,” he says. He was also inspired to do this for his girlfriend, who loves wildlife and helps him take his pictures for his photo journal on his social media channels!
What Keeps Kyle Going?
When asked why 10 km and that too everyday, he replies with a simple, “I am doing what I love and I want to channel that for a greater cause.” Kyle strongly believes in doable challenges; the magnitude of this will multiply supporters over time. And guess what, he’s not missed a single day so far! How has he achieved this?!
“I follow this motto from my mentor, Khoo Swee Chiow -‘If the mind is willing, the body will adapt’. It’s about self-improvement; and if I can do this everyday, people can do it too. I also want people to understand the importance of immersing themselves in nature and wildlife. And I have taken up a responsibility so I will keep it!”
But it’s not always as simple as that; Kyle admits his challenge is time management. “I used to plan too much – as a full-time working person and having to meet family and friends. The run is not just the running time alone. It’s also the travel to places to run. Even though it’s raining or I have just had lunch, I still have to run, but I’ll pace myself to go slower. So it’s a lot about managing time.”
And what about when he is sick? “Those days are terrible because I procrastinate,” he smiles. “But it’s funny – when you’re sick and you go for a run, you feel crappy at the start. But halfway through, the body seems to adapt!” Doesn’t all the running take a toll on his health? “Recovery and being able to keep myself fit for the next day is an important challenge,” he acknowledges. Having lost 12 kg since he’s started running, he needs to especially be careful about his knees and maintain his health.
Most Memorable Running Days
“I enjoy when I run alone and am really immersed in it even though there’s music playing in my ears. Also when people go running with me, this has more impact than when running by myself.” He recently hit his personal best too: 44 minutes 14 seconds!
He also has a strange and interesting story to share. “I was running near Punggol waterway, and there is only one direction to run. I remember overtaking 2 ladies who were walking slowly. A while later ahead, I passed them again! How did that happen? Did they teleport?!” Maybe they were actually different ladies, I suggest. He shakes his head. “I can remember their clothing. Runs can get boring and so I tend to observe things more,” he answers. The story gets weirder. “I expected to see them when I turned back but didn’t! I ran up and down again but didn’t see them!”
I ask him what he expects out of this chapter of his life. “The objective is to raise awareness and funds for WWF but it also is to promote and maintain a healthy lifestyle. My personal aim is to be able to make 10 km running a natural part of my life, just like brushing my teeth! This will help my passion for mountaineering and other sports.”
For his next 100 days, he’s planning to continue raising awareness for MacRitchie (where a planned development project could affect the diversity) and run wherever he is when he goes on mountaineering expeditions.
Hats off to your dedication, Kyle! We are really inspired! Congrats on finishing 100 days and here’s wishing you great luck for the next 100!