Even till today, I enjoy watching the live telecast of Miss World on television. Who can resist looking at the pretty ladies in their national costumes, evening gowns and swimwear?

With the creation of a new theme “Beauty With A Purpose”, the Miss World crown has now come with an added social dimension of aiding disadvantaged children worldwide. This is admirable as the winner will become the icon for charity projects around the world. Indeed, when one gives to charity, one does so willingly and feely, expecting nothing in return.

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Little did I know that I would very soon have an intimate connection with the Singapore chapter of Miss World.

Many times in life, opportunities do not knock twice. So when I was invited to be the official fitness trainer for the Miss Singapore World 2011 finalists, I readily agreed. 

The deal was simple – the organizers needed me to commit every Sunday for an hour. This was alright as long as it didn’t clash with my other commitments. They were very sweet to accommodate my busy schedule by arranging today’s fitness training and the subsequent ones in July as I’m packed for August. 

Besides the social etiquette, local culture and poise lessons the girls would be attending, fitness was also deemed as equally important. Hence, the birth of this series of fitness trainings.

Call time – 9.30am. Venue – East Coast Park McDonalds. 

As expected, not everyone turned up on time. But credit must be given to those who did. One girl even came at 9am! Kudos…

Perhaps unknown to the girls, their every move is not only scrutinized by the media, but also by the organizers. The winner is judged from the moment she signs up for the pageant. Being late for the first fitness training speaks volumes of a lack of discipline. This was also why the organizers hinted to me that I should be strict with the girls and instill good discipline in them.

Like what I shared with them during the initial briefing, fitness is for everyone at all times. It’s not something they needed to fit in specially just for the pageant. Be it pre-pageant or post-pageant, they should still maintain a good fitness regime as it benefits the body in the long run.

Today’s itinerary was planned to ease the girls in slowly. After all, I needed to gauge the fitness standards of each and every one before deciding whether or not to turn up the heat. And from my observations today, it was obvious that some exercised regularly while others needed more effort to catch up. 

First up was some simple stretching to get the body acclimatized for the activities ahead. The more we stretch, the more flexible we become. Fitness is not just about developing lean, toned muscles. It’s also about improving one’s flexibility. 
 
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After stretching, the girls and I went for a short run along the footpath amidst the idyllic Sunday scenery of blue skies, calm waves and light breezes.

As we ran, many in the park stopped in their tracks to take a second look at us. This was the natural reaction as the girls were all dressed in their Miss Singapore World T-shirts and carried a specially designed Miss Singapore World mineral water bottle. More importantly, how often can you see a group of pretty, lovely, young ladies running together? Had we shouted some chants or sang songs along the way, I’m sure the attention created would be increased multi-fold. Perhaps I’ll consider this for the subsequent weeks. 

After the run, it was time to hydrate. Perhaps the best branding vehicle was the label on the mineral water bottle advertising the pageant.

Post hydration, it was now my personal favourite segment as I introduced three bodyweight exercises to the girls. Chosen for their effectiveness in toning up the thighs and hamstrings, I got the girls to buddy up so as to provide support for each other. This proved to be crucial as the girls in each group motivated each other to complete the exercises.

With the completion of the 
bodyweight exercises, we were now approaching our final stretch. I allocated 10 minutes for Q&A for the girls to ask any fitness related questions. The questions came fast and furious - mostly asking how they could lose weight, tone their abs and thighs. 

Time passes quickly when you are fully occupied. How true indeed. It was soon time to say goodbye and see you girls again next Sunday. The only question is the next location which we would announce shortly. 

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I was warned prior to entering the room that it would be a very challenging task to squeeze all the participants in, especially considering the confines of the narrow room. Yet miraculously, despite all the chairs and all, we managed to start on time while packing the room to the brim. In fact, response was overwhelming and some of the participants spilled into the corridors outside. 

From the moment I was greeted at the reception to the moment I was introduced to the participants, it truly felt like a gathering of old friends. Extremely comfortable would be the adjective I would use to describe how I felt inside. Forget about what others label as butterflies in the stomach, but I just felt so at ease.

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Perhaps it’s got to do with the topic today which was stress management. But I have to give credit to all the ladies in the room who really made me feel at home.

Wearing their name tags with pride and smiling warmly, I felt inducted into the KSCGP Juris LLP family. With infectious laughter and active participation which any trainer could only dream of, the stress management talk took on a totally different meaning for these ladies. Indeed, if these ladies were stressed, then I think we really would have to redefine the definition of stress. 

For an organization that holds weekly meditation classes for their staff, it’s remarkable what this has done to boost the morale and empower them with a sense of calmness not felt elsewhere. Bravo! It’s a law firm and yet people are happy…Truly remarkable! If only all organizations can learn how to make their employees feel more appreciated and less stressed, then the world will be a better place to work and live in.

Frankly, I really felt reluctant to leave after the talk but I had to as I had another meeting in town. If not for that, I would have loved to stay back to mingle. Maybe next time when they invite me back :)

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