From being bullied as a kid due to obesity and living with high blood pressure at a young age, Jansen Yeoh has certainly turned his life around as a fitness and rehab coach.
More than that, he has found his purpose in life – to help people with weight, health or injury problems and empower them to overcome their challenges.
The 27-year-old Yeoh suffered from high blood pressure at the age of 12 and weighed 90kg when he was 14.
The bullying started when he was in Form 1, causing him to go through a dark period in life.
“I was bullied because of my size and condition. It was quite depressing as I didn’t open up to anyone.
"But I am thankful I had a small circle of good friends who were with me during my hardest times, ” recalled Yeoh, who hails from Seremban.
He is also grateful to his church friends and, in particular, his physical education (PE) teacher in Form 3, Mr Low.
“I joined ninjutsu because of my PE teacher and the community there. They accepted me for who I was and helped me to overcome my health problems and the bullying.
"Ninjutsu also served as a platform to aid with my depression, ” said the former student of SK St Paul and SMK St Paul.
He lost weight eventually but still had hypertension, something the doctors said he has to live with and control.
“Now I make sure I live a healthy lifestyle by exercising regularly, managing stress well and eating well.”
However, Yeoh has done more than that, as he also made it a point to help people with their physical health, as well as those in need.
After school, he went on to pursue a degree in Sports and Exercise Science at Tunku Abdul Rahman College (now a university college) in Kuala Lumpur.
It was there that he was put in charge of organising activities to help the poor and underprivileged under the college’s Christian fellowship society.
“I remember my first fundraising experience with the society where
"I ran (in an event) to raise funds for a family in Puchong (Selangor) where the husband – the sole breadwinner – had lost his limbs in an accident. His wife then turned to selling food by the roadside to support the family.
“We raised about RM1,000 and passed the money to them at their house. As we did so, the mother cried and so did we.
“From that moment on, I knew we must all do our part to help those in need and to inspire young people to make a change, ” he said.
Yeoh was also part of a non-governmental organisation called RunNat, which was involved in fundraising work for underprivileged children and the Orang Asli.
“The bad floods that hit Kelantan (at the end of 2014) cut the Orang Asli’s access to clean water.
“Together with the team in RunNat, we raised RM15,000 to provide them with clean water and also rallied college students from various colleges to go to the OA villages with us and impact their lives through value-based games (games designed to cultivate values).”
Yeoh and his team also raised RM15,000 for underprivileged children’s education under the Dignity for Children Foundation through the Xtramile run event they participated in.
For his involvement in all those events, Yeoh was chosen to represent Malaysia at the 13th UNOSDP (United Nations Office on Sport for Development and Peace) Youth Leadership Programme in South Korea in 2015.
“It was an amazing one-month experience meeting other delegates from different parts of the world and knowing how much we can impact life through sports, ” said Yeoh, who also played competitive frisbee during college until the age of 24.Finding meaning in life
After completing his degree, Yeoh knew he wanted to do something meaningful with his life.
“I wanted to work with a purpose and to live life with intent, ” he shared.
He first became an e-hailing driver for eight months to support himself while conducting free frisbee coaching programmes for underprivileged children, with the aim of developing their character.
Then he went on to complete a specialist course in Sports Performance where he had the opportunity to work with various Malaysian national athletes from the basketball, dodgeball and badminton teams.
In between all that, he also worked as a PE teacher at two international schools in Selangor for three years until last year, when he decided to become a full-time fitness and rehab coach.
“I felt that it was time for me to move on and to help people with their health, weight and injury issues.
“I want to help them recover and to equip, encourage and empower them to live a healthier life and get fitter, ” said Yeoh.
In November last year, he opened his own gym, Constant Co, in SS2, Petaling Jaya.
“That was just a few months before Covid-19 hit. It was really challenging but I am thankful I am still here to fulfill my mission and purpose.”
His clients’ ages range from seven to 80. “Most are in the middle-age group as they need more carefully designed programmes to ensure their health improves and to prevent injuries, ” said Yeoh, who conducts programmes for individuals as well as small groups.
As a whole, he derives satisfaction from his work when he sees the transformation in his clients and long-term results.
“My aim is to equip people with the right programmes and tools to change and improve their health and life.
"What motivates me is when I see a change in their lifestyle, health and mindset. That keeps me going."
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