Now that Singapore has entered Phase Two of safely reopening, I could resume my weekly personal training.

I have been having these weekly training sessions since 2017. When I lost my hearing in 2019, I could continue with my trainer. We worked on converting some of the verbal commands like "Start", "Stop" to touch gestures like taps. In addition, I also taught my trainer how to signal "Yes", "No", tracing numbers on my palm. Previously, he has to let me feel his actions when explaining a movement. Now, he just has to explain the moves and what I have to do using my bluetooth keyboard before we start.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the ActiveSG gym at the Enabling Village, where I have my weekly sessions, implemented social distancing measures. There was mandatory temperature screening and they limited the number of gym users entering the gym at any one time.

Siew Ling doing leg press weights at the Enabling Village ActiveSG Gym, before circuit breaker

This photo was taken one day before my employer’s trialed Split Team operations in end-March 2020. Split team operations divided us into two teams where one team would be working in office while the other telecommuted. We were supposed to return to the office after the trial period but  Singapore entered into the Circuit Breaker phase shortly after in early April.

Likewise, during the Circuit Breaker and extended Circuit Breaker phases, my weekly training sessions were suspended. For more than two months, I just stayed at home.

Thankfully, when Singapore exited the Circuit Breaker phase and began safely reopening in stages, we could resume some of our usual activities.

While working from home, I used the void deck downstairs my home as the venue of my training sessions. Having no access to gym equipment, my trainer would  bring along kettlebells and resistance bands which we used at the sessions. There was also a need to observe safety guidelines so my trainer will take my temperature before starting, disinfect his equipment and make me sanitise my hands after each session.

Siew Ling doing her personal training with kettlebells at the void deck, post circuit breaker.

This is a photo of me doing my personal training with kettlebells at the void deck.

As Singapore continues to reopen in stages, we should make an effort to ensure our safety and to observe the precautionary guidelines.

Tan Siew Ling is fully Deafblind, having lost both her sight and hearing to a neurological condition, Neurofibromatosis type 2 (NF2). She carries a screen reader with a Braille display, which she fondly names it as “Bear Bear”, everywhere she goes. Her humour, wordplay, and love of puns keep friends on their toes. She enjoys reading books in her free time and loves to pen down her thoughts, often on a whim, which can be entertaining at times, on her social media. When she is not writing or reading, she can be seen doing insanely 72kg leg presses or swinging a 20kg kettlebell to and fro. You can find out more about Siew Ling and her journey here.