Even a painful knee injury couldn’t keep Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen from his lifelong love of running.
In a recent social media post, Dr Ng shared about how he has always been a road warrior even when he was a surgeon. Recalling how he always found time to go for quick runs no matter where he was, Dr Ng shared that running gives him inner calm and a break from his busy schedule.
He wrote on Facebook: “I have been a recreational runner for most of my life. I enjoy the inner calm and respite that running provides from busy schedules and long meetings. Which is why whether as a busy surgeon in public or private practice or in Government, here or overseas, I always found time to sneak in a short run, a few times a week.
“I prefer road, parks, forests and open spaces to the gym for the same reason. I’ve tried different styles, even barefoot running and high intensity runs uphill. Those were good running years.”
Dr Ng – who is almost 62 years old – had to turn to other workouts about two years ago when he suffered a menisci split – a painful tear of one of the fibrocartilage strips in the knee. He has, however, returned to running for short stretches using the “Niko Niko” method.
Sharing photos of himself in his running gear, Dr Ng wrote: “I had to stop running for the last two years because my knees gave trouble – the menisci split – and the impact was painful on the joints. I switched to elliptical and rowing, but even though the heart rate could reach high levels, it was never quite the same.
“Recently, I decided to run again. But this time, using a method called “Niko Niko” started and popularised by Dr Hiroaki Tanaka. He has since passed on but many keep on running with his approach. Think gentle trotting ponies rather than bounding gazelles.”
Revealing that he has had no pain for the last two months and can now run up to four kilometres, Dr Ng reflected about how running mirrors life. He said:
“I think running is like life. Different challenges come your way, and you may have to change pace or even style, but you keep on the road to do what brings you inner satisfaction and fulfilment.”