From The Straits Times    |
#HerWorldHerStory: Valerie Low, 31. Co-founder of The Brave Shapes Co.

#HerWorldHerStory is a collection of 60 women sharing their successes, passions, challenges, inspirations, hopes and dreams. Together, they give a snapshot of what it is to be a woman today.

Every month from March till August, we present 10 women navigating their lives now – and in their own words. Here’s Valerie Low’s story…

Inspired by her ability to overcome the pain she suffered from, she co-founded The Brave Shapes Co, an all-inclusive gym that caters to all ages. 

Being able to do a German hang on gymnastic rings, assisted pull-ups, and ab leg-lifts might not be a big deal for many, but it is for me.

I suffered from scoliosis at a young age and was never interested in working out because of the chronic pain in my back. I consulted physiotherapists and chiropractors, but my body didn’t respond well to the treatments, and going for surgery was the last thing on my mind. 

Now, being able to exercise, which is a personal milestone, helps to alleviate the dull ache. My neurosurgeon told me that, if not for my training, I would have been more injured because of my existing spinal conditions.

This inspired me to co-set up The Brave Shapes Co in 2015 – an all-inclusive slow fitness strength training gym that caters to all ages, including those who’re handicapped. I want to give others the privilege of having a safe space to get fit, with a curated gym programme.

I believe that regaining your physical strength will uplift you.

My then-condition before I could do any exercise affected my lifestyle, which was sedentary. The pain on my back increased as I grew older. Things got worse when I suffered a slip disc in 2014.

Six months later, I got into a car accident and suffered whiplash and mild amnesia. 

I went through a gym programme, light bodyweight exercises, curated by my husband Evans Wu, an ex-triathlon athlete. He was nearly left crippled in 2007 when his bicycle rear-ended a car that jam-braked in front of him. It took me six months of self-perseverance and training with simple bodyweight exercises to help me get better.  

Working out and running my gym has made me realise that life is fleeting and that there is a solution to everything. Pain isn’t permanent and I am taking charge of my body. 

This article was first published in Her World’s March issue. Grab a copy today!