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What does it take to be a teacher?

A teacher does not only provide academic knowledge, but also inspire students in all aspects of their lives. A teacher does not only encourage students to strive for greatness, but also realise her full potential to become the best she can be.

A great teacher does it all, with the end goal to be a role model.

Sarawak-born Luk Teck Bing is an example of who has done well balancing her profession and passion with equal ease. Being a teacher by profession and runner by passion, the 25-year-old PE teacher has already made it all the way with plenty of races in the pocket.

Coping with profession and passion hasn’t been easy, but Luk is making it work.

Would you tell me a bit about yourself? 

I graduated with a Bachelor of Teaching (Hons) Physical Education for Primary Education from IPG Kampus Raja Melewar, Seremban, Negeri Sembilan.

You started running at a young age, why did you decide to pick up running? 

I started running at the age of 14, with the purpose of weight loss.

How many races have you participated in? 

I started taking part in races after 6 years of running. I became more active in university. 2019 was the year that I most actively participated in races whereby I completed 18 races in six months, I joined an average of 3 races per month.

How do you juggle your life, running, and work being a teacher? 

Time management is very important. There’s a time for me to work and also a time for me to run. I don’t let my work overtake the time for running. Every time before I go out for training, I will try to finish my school work like preparing lesson plans and teaching materials, marking exercise books, recording students’ learning progress and so on.

You are continually running and training for races, how do you stay motivated to keep reaching goal after goal? 

Reward is my motivation boost. I allow myself a day off after finishing a race or treat myself a meal after achieving my goals. During my training session, I will always talk to myself that I can do it, I can go through it no matter how hard it is. During my races, I will always remind myself don’t give up until I cross the finishing line. I will repeatedly tell myself I’m the best and try to keep up the best.

How do you usually prepare for races? 

I train six days per week, with a Sunday rest. Currently, I’m training to target a sub 1 hour 45 minute half marathon. I usually incorporate long and slow distance (LSD) of at least 21 kilometres, base run of about 5-8 kilometres, and recovery run of about 5-8 kilometres into my training program. On some of my training days, I run 10-15 kilometres.

What are your top 5 achievements in running? 

  • Negeri Sembilan Open 2015 – 800m (Bronze), 1500m (Bronze)
  • SIPMA (Sukan Institusi Pendidikan Malaysia) 2015 Perlis -800m (Bronze) 
  • SIPMA (Sukan Institusi Pendidikan Malaysia) 2015 Perlis -800m (Bronze)
  • 31st Seremban Half Marathon 2018 – Women Open 10km (Champion) 
  • KAGUM Sukan Olahraga 2018 – Sportswoman Award, 1500m (Gold), 800m (Gold), 4 x 400m (Bronze)
  • Sibu 21km Run 2019 – 21km Female 18-25 category (Champion)

If you could give an advice to new runners what would it be?

Don’t start out running too fast. It’s important to always start running at a comfortable place where you can easily hold a conversation. It means that you are still able to talk while running.

Cool-down, stretching, and recovery are also part of your running journey. One of my best advices is to plan your post-run nutrition, and proper sleep is the bulk of your recovery.

What one lesson you have learned in running, which you can apply to your life? 

Running teaches lessons of commitment, focus and discipline. Runners need to practice these values in training and daily life in order to achieve certain outcomes. I am a Christian, it’s undeniable that these values have affected me in living the Christian life.

Firstly, I have learned to run with commitment. I spend time to practice no matter what. I won’t get myself an excuse to skip training and never drop out when the training gets tough. I also get advice from other runners, internet and so on about how to improve myself in a race.

In order to improve my spiritual journey, I need to make commitment too. I learn to spend time on reading Bible. I get advice from the Bible and surround myself with friends who can advise me in running my spiritual race.

Next, I have learnt to run with focus. If I plan on running for a certain amount of time or distance, I will do it until it is done. If I am training for a race, I will focus on building up myself to that race and not be distracted by other things.

On the other hand, I also apply the value of focus in living the Christian life. I always focus on God’s words so that I won’t fall into temptation. It takes me to keep moving in the right direction of life.

Lastly, I have learned to run with discipline. I strictly follow the training plan and spend time on it although I am busy sometimes. I also need to be disciplined in daily life, for example: wake up early in the morning on Saturday for training, always have a clean, balance and healthy diet.

On the other hand, I also learnt to be disciplined in living the Christian life. I learn to follow the God’s plan in my life. I spend time to read Bible, to pray, to gather with other Christians and to share my faith with others.

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? 

So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.

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