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Felicia Lim: Uplifting life lessons from wall climbing

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Sport Singapore welcomes its second batch of brand ambassadors! They are your everyday Singaporeans, tackling the same demands of life as you do, but SportSG's newest sport and fitness influencers also hold a strong belief that sport can inspire us to live better. Get to know them in our feature series here!

Felicia Lim would have you know that falling is an integral part of the process for climbers. You fall. You get up. You try again, learning to adapt and improve as you go along.

“That’s the fun thing about climbing. You just have to keep moving forward,” she expressed.

To the 30-year-old, climbing is more than a sport. It’s her passion, her career, and it’s almost a microcosm of her life as she hones resilience and her problem-solving skills on the wall.

And, as one of SportSG’s newest ambassadors, she plans to keep scaling her efforts as a competitive climber, coach, and gym owner, sharing the sport with the rest of Singapore.

Picking up the sport at the age of 17, Felicia made the decision to pursue it full-time after graduating from university as she felt that it was important to do something she loved and so, she got a job at a climbing gym and began training as a competitive athlete.

felicia lim climbing sport singapore ambassadorPhoto: SportSG

This passion soon took off as she matured as a climber, brushing aside the disapproval of family and friends who felt that she would have been better off in a regular nine-to-five job.

“The sense of satisfaction that I get is more important to me than the salary,” noted Felicia.

She started coaching in 2012 and eventually started her own business, Gorilla Climbing Gym, last year.

The determined athlete has also won international competitions such as the Hong Kong Bouldering Championships 2013 and Just Climb Cup 2017.

felicia lim climbing sport singapore ambassadorPhoto: SportSG

As she emphasised, “Climbers don’t give up easily. When I encounter problems in life, I take on the same approach as I do on the walls – I find a solution. There’s a lot of problem-solving on the walls. If I fall, I pick myself up and try again. I use this as a teaching tool to impart life lessons to my students too.”

Indeed, faced with serious injuries over the course of her career, as well as personal struggles such as the passing of her mother last year while her new gym was just taking off, she never backed down.

Felicia explained: “For climbers, every injury you get, you adapt. You’ll learn to deal with your climbing in a different manner because a particular body part is no longer as good as before. I climb smarter, because I use fewer parts of my body.”

“With life, too, I’m taking all these challenges as learning points. They’ve helped me grow as a person. You learn to adapt, growing stronger mentally,” she added.

Now, with her gym and coaching expertise, the tireless individual has been contributing to the development of the climbing community, seeking to bring her sport to greater heights and to engage more beginners.

She’s taken up a role as Athletes/Competitions Commissioner with the Singapore Mountaineering Federation, representing the voices of the climbing community and helping to organise national competitions.

She’s also brought opportunities to groups of people that are under served in the general community, believing that they too, should be able to access the benefits of climbing that she has reaped.

felicia lim climbing sport singapore ambassadorPhoto: SportSG

Speaking more about her experience working with children with special needs, Felicia said: “I used to coach a kid with autism. I could see that, on the wall, he was the happiest. He’d be prone to tantrums, but the minute he got on the wall, he’d be okay!”

Perhaps, then, climbing is her calling as well, an extension of her interest in social work, her chosen field of study back in university.

Revealing that she had plans to work with SportCares and other persons with disabilities, she remarked: “Through my social work background, I’m more aware of these people out there, and I know how to work with them. I’ve always wanted to work in this field, but I chose climbing because that passion won out. But now, I will be able to meld both interests.”

Follow Felicia at @felicialimws on Instagram as she shares her passion for climbing with more Singaporeans. For more on our other SportSG ambassadors, keep watching @sport_singapore and @sgsportstv on Instagram, as well as the myActiveSG and SG Sports TV Facebook pages.