Gillian Goh is on a mission to mental, physical and emotional freedom through health and wellness. The former Digital Marketing Executive from Singapore traded her 9-5 office life in to open Empire Fit Club Bali with her partner (former US Marine) Elberlino Tiwa. Empire Fit Club is a boutique gym & fitness facility that provides a unique fitness boot camp and retreat experiences for its members.
We got a chance to talk to Gilli about her transition into the Bali life, what motivates her and the lessons she learned on the way.
Tell us about the differences between your old life in Singapore and your new life in Bali?
I've always had the usual full-time corporate 9-5pm job in Singapore for 5 years, where I had to prioritise my work around training. Here in Bali, I prioritise my training around my new working hours. Discipline is really the key, though, I struggle to be productive after feeling really tired from my training sessions per day.
Singapore will always be home though!
Do you think the move to Bali helped you realise what's important in life? What do you find valuable in life?
I figured out what's important in life in Singapore when I had decided to take the plunge to move to Bali. Moving to Bali only helped me to confirm that. I always feel so inspired to work and live here in everything I do. Great question, because not many people know what's important to them in their lives. What's important to me in life is being able to live a life true to my purpose, and then also being able to help others discover & live a life true to their purpose.
Id imagine running your own gym can still get pretty stressful, what do you do to clear your mind and reset?
It certainly can get stressful if I don't maintain a proper mindset! I do get lost along the way sometimes, where I lose track of my progress. That's also why I train - to be able to build my mental & physical strength to cope with the challenges of running a business. Running helps me to clear my mind, and martial arts helps me to develop an overall awareness of my capabilities - both in my mind & body.
What happens if you don't run or do martial arts?
I feel lethargic, lazy and uninspired. It translates to other aspects of my life, and I don't feel as productive in my work as well.
Do you think that makes you addicted? (because you do it lots)
I'm more addicted to the feeling of being challenged and then being able to overcome the challenges. Of course, there are lots of health benefits associated with training, but the feeling of constantly pushing myself further than before and progress is what makes me thrive.
Where do you usually run in Bali?
I usually mix it up with two types of running. Short, sharp and fast sprint sessions at Empire to really work on my explosiveness and get my heart rate up. Also, there aren't many places that you can run outside in Bali, but our gym is known for its vast space right by the rice fields.
The other would be the longer runs on the beach to clear my mind and just to get out there to enjoy the sand between my toes and the famous Bali sunset. With my intense schedule, those sessions really help me to unwind and reset.
Do you have any advice for anyone that feels stuck in their life? Especially in their health and wellness?
For those who feel stuck in their lives, they need to take a step back and circle back to themselves. Forget the job, the bills, the deadlines for a moment, and write down a list of 25 things that make you really happy & fulfilled. It could be anything - from dancing to gardening, to running to whatever. Be as specific as possible.
From there, check off how many of those things are they doing regularly? Or how could they better schedule time for those activities? Health and wellness are often forgotten in that list; if it doesn't involve some kind of workout/ activity that gets them up and moving, they need to schedule a time to explore/ try new activities to find something that they enjoy.
Richard Branson paid a visit to your gym, did he enjoy himself? Was he an inspiration to you? Tell us what you learned.
Sir Richard Branson is a legendary entrepreneur that I've mostly read or heard about in books and quotes. To be able to meet him and help his training sessions has been a rare lifetime opportunity.
What inspires me most about outside of his entrepreneurial spirit is how he seems to have fun in whatever he chooses to do. When he has fun, likely, his employees will also have fun. It circles back to what we talked about above - in seeking out the activities that you enjoy and doing more of it. He also recognises that an hour devoted to his health & wellness a day, would, in turn, give him 4-5 hours more of productivity to do other activities.
Throughout his strength and conditioning sessions, he always asked what he could be doing more, to make it more challenging for him. This is an attitude of wanting to become the best version of himself and always pushing himself further.
If we had that attitude in everything we do in our lives, we would be living our life to the fullest.
Gilli can be found at Empire Fit Club Bali:
Jl. Raya Kedampang 88A
Kerobokan, Bali 80361
1-week (8 Days, 7 Nights) training programme at Empire Fit Club Bali:
USD 1,000 for a private group retreat at Empire Fit Club Bali.
• Airport Transport pick-up & drop-off
• 7x Nights Accommodation by the Bali rice fields (Private Room, with Wifi & A/C)
• 7x Breakfast delivered to you every morning
• 10x (minimum) Private group training sessions
• 4x Yoga / Mobility sessions
• 4x sessions of Massages / Sauna services
Feel free to give her a shout: