Injury and obstacles can't stop Kristin from pursuing her athletics dream
Two months before the start of the National Inter-School Track and Field Championship in April, sprinter Kristin Pang found herself in a different kind of race.
She had torn her left hamstring in a pre-season competition and her doctor told the Victoria Junior College student that the expected recovery time is three months.
But the 18-year-old (above) refused to give up.
Through sheer determination, Kristin recovered in time and, remarkably, even made the 200m final.
She said: "It was important to me because track and field is my passion, and this is the last time I'll get to compete in the nationals.
"I spent about one or two weeks working on strength and static exercises, then slowly building up to jogging and striding.
"It took a while because a lot of times when I tried to run, I would feel pain in my hamstring and it was really frustrating."
She was so eager to compete in the annual inter-school meet that she resumed training a day after going through Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy.
This is a procedure that involves separating the platelets from the other blood cells in a patient's blood before injecting them back into the body to speed up the healing process.
The former Cedar Girls' Secondary School student, who four years ago suffered a similar injury that sidelined her for a year, revealed that staying positive was key to her comeback.
"I learnt from my old injury back then that it's hard to make progress once you let negative thoughts affect you," said Kristin, who eventually finished eighth in the 200m final.
"If your mind is not in it, then you won't give your 100 per cent. So, I just focused on getting better and doing my best during training."
It's the same advice Kristin preaches to her friends and one that she bears in mind as she prepares for the A-level exams, which take place later this year.
"One of my friends was really upset about her grades last year, and I spent one-and-a-half hours talking to her because I don't like seeing my friends go through such things," said Kristin.
"There's more to life than just academia and, once my friend realised that, she started doing better - and she's still doing really well now."
Praising Kristin's resilience and fighting spirit, her teacher-in-charge Evelyn Teoh said: "Kristin is usually an emotional person who feels very strongly for her friends but, throughout this tough period of recovery, I didn't see her cry at all.
"She continued encouraging her teammates during training sessions, and her passion and sense of discipline really shone through."
Smiling sheepishly, Kristin said: "Actually, I did cry a lot the day I injured myself.
"After that, I mostly coped internally and reminded myself to remain optimistic and not give up, which is something I couldn't have done without the support of my family, friends and teachers."
H-TWO-O HYDRATION TIP
CAUSES OF DEHYDRATION
- Inadequate fluid intake
- Exercising in dry, hot weather
- Excessive sweating
- Failure to replace fluid losses during and after exercise