Meet the Predators: Six HK students and the friendships, challenges, and strength they're finding on their health and fitness journey

Check out the team of students being put through their paces to compete in Hong Kong’s muckiest obstacle course, the Mud Race

Heidi Yeung |

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Every journey begins  with a single step. So when six Young Post readers won the Up Your Game Challenge, it marked the beginning of a two-month fitness journey to become the best version of themselves and to take part in Mud Race 2019.

The team, named Predators, will be taking on the six-kilometre Youth Team obstacle course at the Mud Race on April 28. To prepare for the race, they are working with a personal trainer at F45 Sheung Wan, and nutritionist Wynnie Chan.

Two weeks into the programme, we caught up with the students to find out what it’s been like so far.

I’m generally someone who enjoys taking on new challenges, and the Mud Race is a great opportunity for me to meet new people and challenge myself. Initially, I was quite worried because I wasn’t sure whether I would be fit enough to compete.

But with the motivation from the YP team, my family and friends, I decided to go for it.

The first couple of days were quite difficult to manage, as I had to keep to a strict eating plan and give 100 per cent during training sessions. But the support and encouragement from our trainer and the rest of my team has really helped me. 

I have always been a fitness enthusiast and enjoy doing a variety of sports. But I have never took part in an obstacle course before, so this is going to be a really valuable experience. Thank you, Young Post, for this really exciting opportunity!

Saanchi Shah, 15,  King George V School

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The F45 training exceeded my expectations. I thought it’d be pretty easy, but I realised I was wrong as soon as I showed up for the first session.

However, thanks to my supportive teammates, I was able to overcome the challenge. I made a new friend named David, which made me realise that being surrounded by positive people truly makes any challenge easier to overcome.

By the second session, I was more prepared, so it got relatively easier. I’m excited to continue these training sessions, and I look forward to competing in the Mud Race.

Mohammad Ans, 18, CSBS Mrs Aw Boon Haw Secondary School

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I still can’t believe that I’m in this challenge. I am so grateful that I get to do something I’ve been wanting to do for so long: working with a personal coach, getting tailor-made advice from a nutritionist, and joining an obstacle race! It’s all new to me.

Before the training, I had so many worries. For example, I was worried I wouldn’t get along with my teammates, and my biggest worry was that I wouldn’t be able to keep  up with the training.

During the HIIT (high-intensity interval training), I thought a thousand times about giving up. But when I looked at my teammates, I found that they were all experiencing the same difficulties as me, so I told myself, “Hang in there, Esther! You’re not alone!”

The fact that we’re all going through this together has helped to bring us closer.

Esther Choy Lok-yiu, 16,  PAOC Ka Chi Secondary School

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I went into this challenge expecting it to be difficult, given that my fitness level is below average. Even so, I shared my teammates’ vision of crossing the finish line of the Mud Race. With them by my side, how hard could it really be?

I soon found out how difficult the road to victory was going to be. The first couple of sessions were gruelling, to say the least. For someone like me who doesn’t typically do such high-intensity workouts, the learning curve was steep.

There were countless times during the first few sessions that I had to grit my teeth through the pain as I tried to complete each exercise. Even though I couldn’t go as fast or far as my teammates, I put my all into the training.

As we persevered, tired and sweating but cheering each other on, I felt a sense of camaraderie among the team. We all try to lift each other’s spirits.

That’s why the people involved, from the staff at Young Post to our trainers and nutritionist, and of course my teammates, have become my favourite part of this challenge.

Angelina Wang, 17, Chinese International School

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I’m really pleased and excited to be a part of the Mud Race Up Your Game Challenge. It’s only been two weeks since the start of challenge, and everything is already better than I’d expected. The training and the team are just the best.

The type of training F45 Sheung Wan uses – HIIT – will help us gain as much strength as possible in the shortest amount of time. It’s also helping us gain stamina, and teaching us the techniques we’ll need for the Mud Race.

Each training session is only 45 minutes long, but all my muscles ache afterwards. This is a good thing, because it means I’m using them, and helping them grow, every time I train.

As for the team, everyone is really friendly and supportive. We’re all into different sports, but every time we meet we always find a topic we can all relate to. During the training, I can tell that everyone is doing their best.

Seeing the team work hard really motivates me to do better, both mentally and physically. I have high hopes for the race and I think my team will do great in it.

David Cheng, 18, St Joseph’s Anglo-Chinese School

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I’m very grateful to Young Post for the opportunity to participate in the Up Your Game Challenge and the Mud Race. I’ve found the first two weeks of training to be challenging because I had no idea how physically demanding it would be.

Even though I play basketball, it’s a very different type of workout to HIIT. Basketball focuses on physical fitness and skills; it is nothing like this kind of fitness that trains different muscles, so this feels relatively harder.

However, after even just two weeks of training, I’ve really found that my muscles are stronger.

Law Ka-yi, 19, HKU Space Po Leung Kuk Stanley Ho Community College

Edited by Charlotte Ames-Ettridge