The Straits Times' Nicole Chia has a 'Great' day at the GE Women's IPPT

The Straits Times' Nicole Chia participates in the inaugural Great Eastern Women's Individual Physical Proficiency Test at the Singapore Sports Hub on Aug 24.
The Straits Times' Nicole Chia participates in the inaugural Great Eastern Women's Individual Physical Proficiency Test at the Singapore Sports Hub on Aug 24.ST PHOTO: JASON QUAH

SINGAPORE - They say never to make decisions when you're happy.

But, while in a blissful food coma earlier last week, that was exactly what I did: Decide to take Saturday's (Aug 24) inaugural Great Eastern (GE) Women's Individual Physical Proficiency Test (IPPT).

Nearly 600 women took the test at the Singapore Sports Hub, which comprised three components (sit-ups, push-ups and a 2.4km run). The test was a non-competitive assessment for women to gauge their fitness levels in the lead-up to the Nov 3 GE Women's Run.

I consider myself relatively fit. I attend fitness classes thrice a week. I usually catch the buses I sprint for. I can cover almost the entirety of the Platinum Fashion Mall, Bangkok's largest indoor wholesale shopping centre, on foot without stopping.

The sit-up and push-up stations did not break me. I completed 40 sit-ups in one minute and 35 push-ups in the same duration while my GE Women's IPPT partner Ronda cheered me on at the OCBC Square.

But the 2.4km run, the station I most dreaded, loomed ahead and I started to regret my decision. I had not done it since the National Physical Fitness Award test in junior college eight years ago and running is not my preferred choice of exercise. My goal was simply to run without stopping.

Yesterday's route took us just under three laps around the 100Plus Promenade, the sheltered running lanes outside the National Stadium.



The Straits Times' Nicole Chia (second from left) doing the 2.4km run of the Great Eastern Women's Individual Physical Proficiency Test. PHOTO: SPORT SINGAPORE

I do not remember much of the run beyond urging myself to keep moving. By some miracle, I moved for 14min 58sec without stopping, joining many other triumphant women at the finish line. Surprisingly, I did not feel like death. On the downside, I could not cite exhaustion as a reason for skipping work.

My score of 80 points put me in the "great" category (75 and above). The GE Women's IPPT point system is adapted from the standards used by servicewomen in the Singapore Armed Forces and Singapore Police Force. To get a "good" grade, it is 51 points and above.

Till now I still don't know why I decided to take the IPPT, but I'm glad I did. For one, I got some measure of my current level of fitness and, secondly, knowing that I could enjoy a good lunch in peace after accomplishing my goal felt great.

But this time, I held off on making any decisions after that.