PANTHERS OF ISKL #58 – Johhny Rusli – The Prowlathon Champion

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Johnny Rusli - Panthers of ISKL

This week we met up with Middle School (MS) staff member Johnny Rusli who won first place in the ISKL Annual Prowlathon fundraiser last month, having run and cycled* (converted into its equivalent in running distances) a total combined distance of 128.84 km over seven days!

A self-proclaimed sports enthusiast, Johnny started playing badminton when he was five years old, having learned the sport from his dad and counts cycling as a sport for the last five. He idolizes professional cyclists (and climb specialists) Alberto Contador and Nairo Quintana. Still, they are not to be beaten by his favorite athlete of all time – the boxer Muhammad Ali!

Johnny, who hails from Kuala Lumpur, first started at ISKL as the Middle School (MS) badminton coach from 2011 to 2018. He is now with the MS Office and Activities department, assisting the MS Activities Director and supervising students during their After School Activities.

Here is his story.

“When I found out that I had won 1st place under the parent/faculty/staff category, I felt delighted – and proud of my achievement! I had joined the ISKL Annual Prowlathon because it felt good to share my passion for cycling with others – and the Prowlathon provided a perfect platform for that. I do hope that more of the ISKL community will join next year’s Prowlathon in the years to come.

‘I mainly cycled for the race, but on my rest days I chose to walk. It’s always a challenge cycling long distances, but I love to push myself when things get tough.

‘One example is on the second last day of Prowlathon; I remember being so exhausted that I almost fell asleep while walking for three hours! On that morning, I did a 100km ride from Ampang to Hulu Langat and back. First, I climbed Bukit Ampang, down to Batu 14 at Hulu Langat, and then climbed Bukit Hantu. When the rain started pouring heavily, I went down straight to Genting Peras with no stops in between. I stopped for a quick bite and coffee at the Bahulu Classiq cafe – a favorite of cyclists – then climbed back to Bukit Ampang and reached Jalan Ampang, having completed 78 km. I then cycled from Jalan Ampang to the US embassy and around the Ampang Hilir lake loop three times to complete the 100 km. Later that afternoon, I went out for a 7 km walk – it was so lovely to relax my sore legs!

‘The grand prize was a wonderful dinner at Flock restaurant at the W Hotel with the Head of School, Rami Madani, and his partner Anthea Mulakala! We had delicious food; my girlfriend, Natassia Ong, and I had lamb ribs, smoked wagyu, salmon, salad, and Rami and Anthea had risotto and taco from the vegan menu. We all had rojak buah for dessert. I really enjoyed chatting with them for hours – it was such a pleasant and humbling experience having so many stories shared between us.

‘This is why I love the working culture, people, and of course, the students! I joined the school as I find people here inspirational – I can be myself and be a better person just by learning from those around me.

‘I have so many memorable moments at ISKL, and it would be hard to choose one, but I would say the Malaysia Week trip to Tioman Island in 2019 was the best! We had so much fun with the students. Even though it was hard work cleaning up the beach under the hot sun, we were just so happy having fun, laughing, eating, and being all together!”

Johnny’s tips for a healthy lifestyle

  • To live a healthy lifestyle, you must start in the kitchen. Eat a moderate and balanced meal, drink plenty of water, and eat your vegetables and fruits.

  • Learn the sport you are interested in or try one that suits you and your lifestyle. Start slow, and if you enjoy it, practice the sport more to get even better!

  • Do what you love, be it running, swimming or cycling, and always push yourself. Choose a target and make it happen!

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