Sunday, August 30, 2015

Dr Ansgar Cheng (Part 1) - The Running Family

Dr Ansgar Cheng - Fit to be admired. 

Meeting Dr Ansgar Cheng. 

How it all happened in meeting Dr Ansgar Cheng? 

I feel elated when I write about Dr Ansgar and his wife Moonlake. I will do a write up before doing an interview on each of them. 

 Moonlake, in the centre, with her daughters

Dr Ansgar Cheng, age 49, a dentist by profession, and an associate professor in National University of Singapore, was introduced to me by his wife by the name of Moonlake. She came to me and told me that she wants to put her children in our Young Champions Programme. I told them the rate and they were satisfied. They then told me that both of them, husband and wife, would like to train in our running programme, under progressive running group, which is uaually held at night. I told them that we are giving them a heavily discounted rate as their children are in our programme as well. They looked very happy with the fact that the rate was good, I think, and Dr Ansgar gently came forward to me and started speaking to me, man to man, on goals, aims and targets. 

Dr Ansgar (left) Moonlake (right) still look young in the uniform outfit

As soon as Dr Ansgar came near me he asked me whether he will be able to do a sub - 19min if he comes under me for training. I thought he was just fooling around and was joking and was thinking of not answering him. On the particular day that I met him, which was a year ago, he asked me again, whether it was possible. I asked him on his past timing for 5km and he told me that he has done 18min 30sec around there. I was amazed with this and I told him that it is in fact possible to get his targeted goal if he has done the 18min 30sec kind of timing, in the past. 

Dr Ansgar Cheng, said in an adamant tone that he was going to go for it. I still thought that he was joking. 

Exercise done by the daughters during the Young Champions Programme.
At the start last year, around June 2014, he started training with us. He did a time of 20m 20sec and then progressed to sub- 20min plus for his 5km. He was stuck there for a time. However, he had the believe that one day he can do the same time that he did when he was 18 years of age, which is 18min 30sec. 

I told him to do some mileage work such that he has some deposits in his reserves, which allows him to do a workout well and keep progressing in running performance. Coach Tan and I with some vegans by the name of Lee Nguan and Kenny started doing Sunday long run sessions regularly, besides training our daily mileage of 10 to 12km per day.  

Sometimes, we go as high as 20km for the Sunday run. Dr Ansgar did his best to be around to do the Sunday runs. His wife Moonlake was at first having some injuries. After joining our programme, somehow, it was found that she recovered from her injury. On weekends, their children join us for our Young Champions Programme. 

I was amazed with the real training that was going on by Dr Cheng's family. Then, was a time where I was giving 1km all out workout, last year. 

Dr Ansgar was very daring during the workouts that one fine day he did a 2min 50sec for his 1km all out run. I was very impressed with this. 

Over time, he was doing a number of miraculous times such that one fine day, a few months back, he did a 18min 29sec for 5km. He ran to me, after the run, and told me that it was his personal best time of his life. Both of us were on top of the world. 

His 5km improvement was reflected on his recent half - marathon in 2XU Run 2015 where he did a time of 1hr 28min 59sec. Dr Ansgar, who is a veteran came in 10th for the Men Open category. All along he has been doing his best to do a good time of at least a  sub-1hr 30min. 

His wife Moonlake has also done a 1hr 00min 27sec improvement in the 10km run in 2 XU Run 2015. Her previous best time came from 2013 Standard Chartered Marathon 10km race. At that time, we were not in touch with each other. Her progress will be discussed in another blogpost, so that readers of this blog do not miss her story, on progressing her speed in the 10km. 

It is also good for the Singaporeans to see the dedication that both Dr Ansgar and Moonlake has for exercise, family and work. I am always motivated by them. When I see them the enthusiasm flame always goes up and I am full of energy on that day. Hence, I believe that they have some kind of good vibes in them that keep the environment positive. 

One day, when I went down for a dental talk by Specialist Dental Group, which was about 2 to 3 weeks ago, when I saw Dr Ansgar outside the hall of the talk, he immediately came to me and was fully focused and talking to me. He brought me all the way to my seat. I was humbled by his kind gesture. Rarely, I get this kind of gesture from prominent people. Dr Ansgar was treating me more than a VIP and I felt that he should attend to other things as he was also about to give a talk. If I were him, I would be more focused on the talk that I am going to give and entertain people less. I was amazed with his composed gesture. On that day, he gave a fantastic talk on connection between health and healthy teeth. His talk was very informative and filled with humour. I enjoyed his talk all the way. 

With a person who shows gratitude, gratefulness and above all appreciation, I believe that these attributes have brought about great success in his running. Many of us get inspired by his every run on workout days. His wife also is an inspiration for us. She is very hardworking in training although she has to look after their children as well for their studies. Simply amazing couple!