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Community is what keeps me going: CrossFit's 'That Uncle Sam'

Singapore pioneer in CrossFit finds inspiration from the people around him


He has been a trainer for over 20 years, but when you first meet Samuel Lim, you would not imagine him to carry the youthful looks he has simply from the name 'That Uncle Sam'.

A name given to him out of endearment by his former students, it has stuck with him ever since. When asked why the name 'Uncle Sam', his answer was typical - candid with a tinge of humour.

"I guess it's more of an endearment, I don't like the title of coach, trainer, instructor or teacher so Uncle is the next in line - and it works very well for me," he joked.


Being a fitness discipline that encompasses pretty much everything, the hype of CrossFit may no longer be at it's peak as compared to five or six years ago.

But at Fire City Singapore gym, the spirit of the CrossFit community is still well and truly alive.

"We do bodyweight stuff, we do weightlifting, we also do cardio like running and rowing. In a typical CrossFit gym you would see like the rowers, the bikes, the skiiers sometimes as well. In a nutshell we are a jack of all trades, master of none," added Lim.


So how did he end up running a CrossFit gym?

"I've always enjoyed the company of the community. As a trainer for the last 20 years of my life the responsibility lies in my relationship directly with my clients, and when I stop seeing them, they stop training," he reflected.

"Later on I realised that it is having a community, a place where everyone supports one another - that the attendance and workouts becomes a lot more interesting."

"It's a spirit of 'if I see you're going to be here tomorrow, I want to be here as well'," he shared. "This allows me to encourage the benefits of fitness a lot better than on a one on one basis."


When asked what his favourite workout looked like, and what keeps him going, Lim pointed to the community and his family as inspirations behind his work.

"Apart from owning and running Fire City, I take part in Singapore Weight Lifting Federation's events, I also join the track athletes on the track as well. So I guess I like performance based training."

"My family and the people around here is what keeps me going, and also to be able to keep up with my two little children," he finished. At the rate he's going, we do wonder if it will be his children who need to keep up with him one day.

#SportPlusSG #Fitness #CrossFit #FireCity

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