adiNation of Runners (aNR) Indonesia & Run Fairy Run present an Interview with Novi Cheung. Novi is one of the four Indonesian moms in aNR selected for its The Running Moms campaign to spread inspiration to women – specifically mothers – to pick up running. Find out how she transitioned from walking to running after losing weight!
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I am 36 and a mother to three bubbly and cheerful children: Josephine (11), Nadine, (10) and Owen (7). After a few years of being a full time housewife and mother, I began to work in 2007 in my family’s owned businesses, operating in food and hospitality industry till today. Since then I had started exercising such as running on treadmills as my cardio workouts and basic strength training. I was active before I got married, but stopped completely due to pregnancies and nurturing my kids.
What made you get into running and how long have you been doing it?
I picked up running when I was studying in Australia in 1995. I was overweight then so I sought Jenny Craig to tackle my weight problems. The program had me consuming their products and fully committed to doing the required exercises, which involved walking for half an hour 3 times a week. I rigidly followed the plan and was happy to see my weight going down.
I got slimmer so instead of walking I started to incorporate running. I ran outdoors with my dog or by myself. I kept to my habit even when I moved to Malaysia but it was just easy running. I ran until I got married in 2001 and found it was harder because I had to be fulltime housewife. I was learning to adapt to being a wife and then a mother. I also had to work in the field helping my husband. A few years passed by, my children grew bigger and I had more free time in the morning so I joined the local gym in 2007. Since then I run on treadmill regularly. Overall, I was not a serious performing runner.
Have you joined any races? If yes, what was your proudest achievement or your favorite race?
My favourite race was Adidas King of the Road Indonesia because it was my first time joining a race. My proudest achievement is that I managed to beat my own self-perception; I thought I didn’t have the ability to finish it. I definitely think differently now. My second race was the Standard Chartered Half Marathon Indonesia; I entered the 10 km race. It wasn’t that bad on both counts, I finished both 10ks in more than an hour.
What do you enjoy most about running?
I enjoy running because it is relaxing and entertaining for me. On top of that it is anti-aging remedy which I believe keeps me healthy, young and fresh by being in the outdoors rather than practicing the indoor habits of metropolitan city dwellers.
How do you juggle running with being a mother/wife?
I am lucky because I have a nanny and maid who help out plus my kids are bigger now and are less than a handful. I usually start running outdoors at 6am, or if I am hitting the gym – 8am. My working hours are between 10 am – 8pm. I am home by 9 or 10pm.
Do you have any words of advice to other moms on why they should consider taking up running?
Mommies should consider running in order to help them to stay active and energized; it is unbelievably rewarding and is one of the easiest forms of exercise. Running is also a powerful anti-aging and helps keep degenerative diseases at bay. Best of all, it is also an effective way to shed off unwanted kilos fast!
- Inspiring Women Who Run by Fairy