A strapping trainer who has spent 15 years in personal training – initially with a fitness centre and, for the past five years, on his own – Kash brings with him a warm and laid-back energy and approaches life with an independent attitude. While he has built a career out of pushing the physical limits of fitness and cultivating healthy living through his personal venture Solid Strength, he was one of the many people who were affected by the impact of the 2020 pandemic crisis. Lost at first, he found the spirit to rise above the challenge and even discovered new opportunities and a new approach to life.
We speak to him about his struggles during the pandemic and his biggest takeaways in this 2020 interview.
What impact did the MCO have on your life and what did you do to come through?
I used to have a brand called Solid Strength, where we took a holistic approach towards personal training, diet and supplements. But when the MCO happened, everything just went south. I was using my personal savings to stay afloat, until I started selling rendang, thanks to my mother-in-law, who had come to visit us just before the start of the MCO. She stayed with us throughout the lockdown and fed us with a lot of really good food. And then I realised that we could actually start selling home-cooked food from home. Through word of mouth and the support of friends family, the business grew and actually helped pay the bills. I’m also grateful to my wife for her continued support. She works for an Internet company and carried on working throughout the lockdown. Since the relaxation of MCO restrictions, I’ve resumed personal training for my clients.
What have you learned about yourself and how do you think it has changed your mindset?
For two months, I really felt like a bum. At one point, I even thought I was suffering from cabin fever. Funnily enough, my training background did little to help lift my spirit; instead, I found the motivation to get up and go again only after realising that we could sell rendang from home. I think the most important thing to take away from this whole experience is that we need to equip ourselves with multiple skill sets and be able to operate like a cottage industry when needed.
The 2020 crisis has affected business owners and employees across the board. Going forward, do you intend to remain independent, or look for employment?
I plan to stay independent because I think it’s important to create a life of your own design and what I want to make most is my own time, which gives me the flexibility to learn, explore, reflect, make mistakes and grow, and spend it on the people and moments I appreciate most. Like they say, time is our most precious resource.