Running his way to a healthier lifestyle

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Mr Andriyan Awi has developed a passion for running and fitness after enlisting for National Service in the Singapore Police Force.

National Service has given Mr Andriyan bin Awi a new perspective and a new-found love for running, here’s how it happened.

TEXT: KEENAN PEREIRA

PHOTOS: ANDRIYAN AWI

As Friday afternoon rolls around, Mr Andriyan bin Awi has one thing on his mind: His weekly cheat meal. “I learnt about the concept of a cheat meal from my training days,” says the 22-year-old. He had enlisted as an overweight recruit last February, weighing in at 99kg, with a height that was just over 160cm. To help him shave the pounds, his trainers put him on a low-carb diet, which means that he had to give up favourites like rice and pasta for most of the week.

Fridays were an exception though, as they marked the start of his book-out period and Andriyan could enjoy the food he loved. His trainers didn’t restrict this, but only asked that he exercised too. “Over the weekend, we would have to run a kilometre for every month that we had enlisted,” recalls Andriyan, which was when he discovered his newfound interest in running.

A CAN-DO APPROACH TO STAYING TRIM

By the time his third month of enlistment rolled around, Andriyan said he looked forward to running his three kilometres over the weekend. It was a stellar improvement from what he could do at his heaviest. Back then, he would only be able to run 200m or so at a go, and even then, he would be incredibly out of breath. Andriyan’s “can-do” attitude has led to incredible results: Since joining the Force, he has shed more than 30kg and is now a trim 67kg, thanks to running and leading a healthier lifestyle.

Although he exercises self-restraint when it comes to food, he allows himself to enjoy a sinful meal every now and then. More often than not, his choice is a plate of steaming butter chicken from Al-Azhar, a famed Indian eatery along Upper Bukit Timah Road.

It’s a short hop from Clementi Police Station, where Andriyan currently serves as an administrative officer, ensuring that the police station’s operations run without a hitch. “It opens your eyes to how important everyone’s role is,” says Andriyan, referring to his present role. “It could be as simple as ensuring rations for those in-camp, but it’s crucial for mission success.”

HONING HIS PEOPLE SKILLS

He started this role earlier this year, after a previous stint at the facility’s guardhouse, where he helped register visitors and members of the public. He enjoyed this role immensely as well, as it allowed him to develop his people skills. He first honed these skills during a string of part-time jobs while studying for his Nitec in Aerospace Technology at Institute of Technical Education (ITE).

“I worked at the Singapore Tourism Board as an ambassador for the Singapore Rediscover Vouchers scheme, the Singapore Examinations and Assessment Board as an usher, and Starbucks as a barista,” he says, adding that these experiences, together with his role at Clementi Police Station, have inspired him to pursue a new career path after his Operationally Ready Date next February.

“I would like to go into retail business management in the future,” he said.

STAYING HOME, POUNDING THE PAVEMENT

In his present vocation, Andriyan works office hours, which means he has his weekends to himself.

It explains why he’s content to stay at home for the most part, relaxing and spending time with his loved ones. It’s a far cry from his earlier weekends during National Service, when he made it a point to go out as much as he could. But there’s one thing that hasn’t changed: Come Saturday evening, you’ll find him pounding the pavement on one of his weekly runs.

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