Barre 2 Barre

The Barre 2 Barre Academy Diaries: Charlene Koh (Part V)

The Barre 2 Barre Academy Diaries: Charlene Koh (Part V)

Wed 23 Oct, 2019


1) Tell us about your journey with barre and towards attending teacher training with Barre 2 Barre.

I was diagnosed with adult asthma just last year, and i had to stop all high intensity workouts, I was doing a lot of HIIT workouts and Muay Thai then and that all had to stop. I started going for barre classes under the encouragement of a really good friend of mine who was also a barre teacher. I actually scoffed at barre and thought it was easy. BOY WAS I WRONG !! My legs were still shaking after class, and I actually sweated more than i did at a Muay Thai class. I decided to take up teacher training as I realised how beneficial barre was, I actually had a little bum bum after 2 months at Barre 2 Barre!!! My non existent bum decided to come out of hiding after countless coaxing of “FEEL THE BURN.. EMBRACE THE SHAKE ..” by Denise and Jessica =P

2) What new and useful discoveries did you make about yourself and/or your barre practice at the Jarkata teacher training? Any highlights of your experience at the Teacher Training?

I realised how much I could push myself if I set my mind to it. Jakarta teacher training was very intense, I went to bed with my legs aching and wake up with my whole body aching, but I managed to push thru and I graduated !!! But what I really loved most about the training was the company and all my lovely classmates. There was so much positivity and love for barre that radiated from each and everyone of them. 

3) When were you diagnosed and at what age? What stage were you diagnosed with?

Just last April, I was diagnosed with stage 1 HER2 Breast Cancer. I was very blessed to have found out early, and I found out by chance. 

4) Did you face any obstacles during your treatment process? If so, how did you overcome these obstacles? Does your barre practice help you through the treatment?

Chemotherapy is very damaging to the body. It made my muscles soft and my joints very stiff. I couldn’t walk for more than 10 minutes, let alone stand for 5 minutes. I was basically sitting down or lying down most of the time. Mentally, chemotherapy was very challenging or cancer in general. I was at the prime of my life (I still am) and my world just came crashing down when I was diagnosed, your life just comes to a stop. But I knew that I could conquer this. I was still young, and I was physically very fit due to barre classes and regular gym workouts. Being fit really helped me thru this journey, and I kept comforting myself that better days were coming soon.

5) What message would you like to provide women in the community?

Cancer can happen to anyone, you don’t need to have the BRCA gene to have breast cancer. My HER2 gene mutated and started going crazy. Get a genetic test done for yourself and cover yourself properly with insurance. Keep physically active too! But most important of all, whatever obstacles you face in life always be positive. Life may deal you a really bad card, but if you stay strong and keep positive, you can overcome it !!

Be kind, be humble, be joyful and be positive! 

Much Love,

Charlene