Welcome to Level's January newsletter!
Read on to find out about the latest events, workshops and celebrations happening in our community.

A New Hope
article by John Cheah

For those who remember, the first movie of George Lucas’ Star Wars was titled Episode 4: A New Hope. He then released 5 and 6, before going back to release 1, 2 and 3– this backward way of communication drawing light to the fact that Lucas is actually Jedi Master Yoda in disguise.

For those who haven’t seen the Star Wars series, I am now going to spoil it for you, which I think is fine because if you haven’t seen it yet, you probably aren’t going to.

We start this (now) Disney movie with a boy named Luke Skywalker, who like most Gen Zs, tinker on machines and get into trouble with the neighbours. He is looked after by two foster parents in a desert world.

All the worlds in this galaxy are run by a tyrannical Empire, who are being kept on their toes by the guerrilla Rebels, who have just discovered really bad news: The Empire just built a really big laser to destroy planets that house people they don’t like!

More bad news for the rebels, their spy who brought them this news— a Disney princess named Leia Organa— has just been arrested by the Empire for posting news of this laser on Wikileaks R2-D2– basically a robot, think of one of those floor cleaning robots you have at home, but slightly taller.

Luke Skywalker gets swept up in this whole movement because he’s the dude who found this robot who crash landed on his desert planet (also because he thought the princess was pretty cute).

To cut a long story short, Luke Skywalker rallies the tired and bickering rebels, saves the princess, blows up this Laser, and the people who don’t like the government breathe another day.

Where am I going with this?

I think this first glimpse into the story of Star Wars talks about hope from two perspectives: people who have experienced hopelessness after experiencing setbacks— the old hope, and the new hope: people who haven’t, and provide the energy for those who don’t dare to hope anymore.

For most of us coming into this new year, we’ve been through the ringer. We’ve seen tyrannical leaders and financial deserts around the world with the looming threat of sickness (the planet destroying laser was pretty sick). We did all we could to save as much of ourselves as we could, but like every Disney movie, some of us became the princess-in-peril despite all we did.

The rebels in the movie were made up of creatures of different cultures and life experiences, and some of them hated other people in the alliance, but they believed in the same thing and fought together.

As much as we hate to admit it, sometimes we need other people to help us out. Whether it’s setting some sort of accountability to create helpful habits, or planning big goals or a helping hand to pull us out of a prison we’ve created for ourselves, 2021 could be that New Hope for you.

When we apply this to health and fitness, think of the goals and hopes you set at the beginning of the year, and think about what it would take to destroy your own Death Star. Your rebel fleet could look like that monthly challenge on Strava, or committing to check in with a friend regularly about habits you're trying to create. The themes of hope and friendship in Star Wars go through tough turns throughout the series, and the “newness” of hope wanes after a while. So will your journey with health and fitness.  But at the end of it all, I think that that’s the adventure that matters more.

It's About Time We Held A Workshop

We're looking to tap deep into the knowledge of our expert coaches this year to bring unique and specialised workshops to you!

First in our lineup is an Advanced Press to Handstand Workshop taught by Coach Lorne. Aimed at advanced practitioners, this workshop is limited to 6 people only, and runs on Wednesdays at 6pm and Saturdays at 10am for 4 weeks upon commencement.

That's the other thing. We've found that common times and learning seasons are difficult to come by, so we'll only kick this off once we have 6 confirmed participants. Once you sign up, we'll be in regular correspondence, and then we'll start when everyone's ready to commit to 4 weeks.

Because this is an advanced workshop, we require participants to possess the baseline ability to kick into and hold a freestanding handstand for a minimum of 10 seconds. If you're a beginner and would like to develop the ability to do that, our handstand classes run weekly at Level, also taught by Coach Lorne.

Fancy learning a new skill in 2021? Send an email to to sign up for this workshop, or let us know of a workshop you'd like us to hold this year!
New Year, New Classes!

You asked, we delivered, and added a host of new classes to the roster!

We understand that your "flexible" Work-From-Home-and-Office hybrid also throws your routines off a tad bit, so we'll be evaluating our class schedule every quarter to make sure we cater to as many people as we can.

In addition, we've expanded the capacity of select classes to 8 people, and the rest of our classes to 6 people in line with the updated Covid-19 recommendations from the Ministry of Health.

Help us fit classes to your schedule! Let our coaches know if there are better timings that work for you as you navigate new work arrangements, and we'll keep a finger on the pulse to see if there is sufficient demand for classes that make more sense for your schedule.
Behind the Front Desk: Our Ladies Reveal Everything! (ok not everything)
From left to right: Nadiah, Zafirah, Leica, Dian and Vira

They're the first and last voice you hear as you step into Level. They've covered our butts more times than we can count. They somehow know everything that happens across our studios before it happens, and they smile like everything's okay, even when it's not. We caught up with Nadiah, Dian, Leica, Vira and new girl Zafirah, our lovely ladies behind the Front Desk, to talk about what really goes on behind the desk, and whether or not their smiles are real.

Tell us about yourselves!

N: Nadiah, I've been at Level for almost 2 years! I used to work in a bank under the cards department. I spend a lot of time at playgrounds with my kids and the rest of my time in the kitchen cooking.

L: I'm Leica! I've been in Level's FD team for 1.5 years now. Before Level, I was studying for a Diploma in Mass Communication whilst working as a barista. During my free time, I like to play First Person Shooter games, cosplay, and I've recently taken up bouldering!

D: I'm Dian and I've been here for about over a year. Before Level, I worked for a wedding company as their admin assistant. In my free time, I love to dance, write and sing. I'm currently working on my own clothing line too-- yes, I'm being thick-skinned and plugging it here :3

V: Hello I’m Elvira and I joined with Level on 5th Feb 2020 so that is 10 months and 22 days in! I was previously a host for a German restaurant. You can catch me after work at home, restoring my social meter - INFP-T girl's gotta get her alone time!

Z: I’m Zafirah but everyone calls me Zaf! I’ve been at LEVEL for only a month and I’m also a communication designer. I’m a dancer and have represented Singapore a few times internationally so I also work on my craft everyday. I do film photography, illustration and cook in my free time as well.

Describe a day or shift at work!

D: It usually starts with me hitting snooze a solid 3 times because despite being here for over a year, I am still very much not a morning person. In all seriousness, a shift usually consists of housekeeping duties, marking the attendance and taking payments of clients, ensuring no one brings home our towels and lurking around random corners of the gym filming our clients... for Instagram of course.

L: Dian laid out the groundwork on our schedule, but I'd like to point out the different vibes of our two studios: Telok Ayer is chill AF, while Robinson Road is very lively. 

N: Whatever D said, only it takes me more than 3 snoozes. Maybe 7. And like L said, regardless of how lively or chill the two branches are, I try to avoid the housekeeping at all costs... keyword: Try.

V: I start by taking my temperature and checking in (Important!) and then proceeding with housekeeping. My favourite mix of essential oil is Peppermint + Lemongrass. A shift has me responding to inquires and making sure that everything's going smoothly. If you see us laughing at our screen, it's probably a spree of one of us sending stickers and gifs. 

Z: I’m still pretty new at Level, so I'm trying to familiarise myself with the gym and getting to know the trainers & clients. There is housekeeping, taking payments, checking attendance and making sure the trainers leave the gym clean (but not really! The Bubble Tea Fund* is my new goal)

*The Level Bubble Tea Fund taxes coaches who leave equipment lying around after their session. As soon as they leave the gym, the game is afoot, and every piece of equipment is a $5 donation by the offending coach to this pool of money, which is used to buy bubble tea for the Front Desk.

Being at the Front Desk can be overwhelming sometimes, maybe even lonely. Is this true?

All: YES.

D: We used to have 2 people at the Front Desk in the same shift for at least 3 hours pre-covid so it does feel kind of lonely now. But we have a Whatsapp group now just to keep each other company in low moments and I am a key contributor in that group. They call me annoying but I know deep down, I provide them with necessary daily entertainment.

L: It does get busy especially during peak periods and we always try to keep a leveled head during those times. Luckily, our FitFam is understanding, especially when there is only one person manning the desk. 

V: It gets overwhelming when many inquires come at once but somehow I manage to push through it. If you find me staring into space when this happens, you can actually see the loading circle above my head. 

N: Overwhelming, yes. But always bearable and exciting. Lonely, hardly. I can always go up to the trainers to chat if the gym is quiet. (Also because the girls are ALWAYS talking and spamming ridiculous Whatsapp stickers)

Z: It can get pretty overwhelming when it gets really busy but never lonely. Also cause I always like to send my extended collection of stickers and tell jokes over our group chat to keep the girls entertained.

What’s the best thing about working the front desk?

D: The funny moments I get to witness all the time between clients and trainers or trainers and trainers. But sometimes, clients come in and address me by my name and that's one of the most special moments to me - it's nice to be acknowledged in moments I feel invisible as a front of house.

L: Chatting with clients during downtime and taking behind-the-scenes videos. Thank you all for trusting us with turning unglam moments in class into badass looking shots for Instagram!

V: Seeing how members push through a class makes me feel motivated to stay active. I'm always amazed at how everyone stays committed to their training. Seeing people's bodies literally change in front of my eyes as they get the results they're working toward is such a great thing.

N: Meeting people, forging relationships over the counter and getting free food. We also have a very tight team, so that motivates me daily coming to work.

Z: Meeting people and forging relationships with everyone. It’s really fun and nice to see the trainers playing around with one another.

What's the worst thing about working the front desk?

D: Entitled people.

L: Cold calls from random people asking me to buy things or sign up for things.

V: We have a dedicated shelf at our FD just for snacks and I’m not going to lie, it is difficult to resist the temptation!!

N: Being hungry because its too cold.

Z: Cold. It’s just always very cold. Lorne always lends me his jacket so I get a double jacket but it’s still very cold.

You ladies are a tight bunch! Was this camaraderie something that grew over time or was it love at first sight?

L: It's a bond that was fostered from our team dinners, fitness classes outside the gym, and tough moments that we tackle as a group. I believe our relationship has gotten stronger during circuit breaker, when we developed a book club over ZOOM and had more open and vulnerable discussions. I feel like that time apart from the gym and each other made us work hard on our team communication, and allowed us to be more independent as we all worked from home.

D: I don't know what you're talking about - I hate these people.

N: Oi

D: I'm kidding, it really was love at first sight. You can say we're like missing puzzle pieces that eventually found each other and put together a beautiful picture

N: It definitely grew over time. They are annoying, I don’t even know where to start. As cringe as it may sound, it’s like we complement each other so naturally that brought us way closer than I thought we’d be, both professionally and in our personal lives. (And I love them)

Z: For me, it just felt like home and it was as if I knew them already. As annoying as everyone is, they are really precious to me.

Our Front Desk can be reached at for class bookings, class cancellations, questions and complaints. They love bubble tea, and will smile for real if they get smiles in return.
Friends of Level: TENG Ensemble

We're doing something a little different this year with regards to our partnership program. We're taking the focus off stuff to buy and eat and bringing that focus to campaigns, and events that benefit those around us.

We're calling this the "Friends of Level" program, and we'll be tapping right into our community to magnify causes we believe in.

First up, The TENG EnsembleFounded in 2004, the company comprises a collective of music educators, scholars and award-winning instrumentalists. Their vision to fuse a Chinese musical heritage with a uniquely Singaporean identity has led them in a mission to innovate and collaborate to inspire engagement through their music.

Their latest event, The Gift of Music Gala, runs from the 6th to the 28th of February in celebration of the Lunar New Year, and promises all the warmth and joy of a physical concert from the comfort of your home. The Gift of Music presents TENG's latest works in collaboration with multidisciplinary guest artists, and proceeds from the gala will go toward bringing music to the sick in hospices, hospitals and children with special needs.

Any donation amount is welcome, but donors who give $50 or more will receive a complimentary ticket to The Gift of Music gala.

2021's the year for giving more to those who need it, and like the Beatles' say, we can do it with a little help from our friends!
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