Popular radio 91.3FM personality Rod Monteiro is known for his motor mouth, but you’re less likely to know that his legs are just as fast.
Rod’s introduction to sports came in the form of a challenge in secondary school by his teacher. “I was one of the not-very-tall boys at the back of the pack when the class ran the 2.4 km race and he picked me out and said, ‘Monteiro, you can run!’ So I ran and broke the record,” Rod recounted.
Looking back at how his passion unfolded, Rod remembers daydreaming about running, football and basketball within the 4 walls of his humid classroom. Living and dreaming about sports, Rod’s mind was made up about his priorities: Passion for sports first, studies secondary.
This ardor stayed throughout Rod’s army life. Being the fittest in his batch’s category A and top in the army’s physical training activities, Rod was always on his game.
“Even in army, no matter how tired I was, if there was a physical fitness test or Napfa Test, Zoop! I will be there,” said Rod.
He credits sports with giving him a strong mind and spirit of competitiveness that prepared him for life’s challenges, especially in his career.
It was this spirit that spurred Rod on in pursuing his dream job. When he first announced his intent on becoming a radio deejay to his parents, they protested. “You will become a bum, man!” Rod chuckled. “But I told myself, ‘Nope! I want to be a deejay,’ and so here I am,” he added.
This competitive sporting mentality also helped him improve as a deejay, as he’d watch television programmes to improve his technique. “Being an athlete you are constantly wanting to up your game, so when you go into your job you want to keep improving and improving, that is a challenge that a sports person would give himself,” said the impassioned deejay-director.
Despite juggling his company The Married Men Pte Ltd along with his daily radio programme, Rod still makes time for sports. Ebullient even on a rainy, early Monday morning, Rod introduces UrbanWire to his office gym located in the sprawling compounds of the Singapore Press Holdings building to walk us through his daily exercise regime.
Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, he practices golf in the morning and heads to the gym before lunch to get a “Power-Hour”. Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays are Rod’s aerobic days, when he runs or cycles. On Sundays Rod cycles between 50 and 90 km. And even if he gets back too late at night to exercise due to his busy schedule, he does sit-ups and chin-ups before he sleeps just to maintain his fitness.
“Constant exercise keeps a person young,” explains Rod. It’s worked in his case. Looking nearly half his age of 42, this bright-eyed deejay reminisces about breaking his 2.4 km race record in the old days, but concedes that “age will set in and you find that you can’t run as fast as you want to and recovery takes slightly longer.”
Adjusting his exercises to allow for that, Rod says he has “come to the point where I do not want to bulk up too much and use the weights to stretch my muscles instead.”
It’s a habit he’s happy to pass down to his boy. Every morning at five, Rod goes for a run while his son cycles beside him. “My 6-year-old son can do 20 sit ups, 15 push ups and can almost do a pull up!” Rod also disallows his son from playing computer games, even those that revolve around sports. “If he wants to play sports games, he has to learn the sport in reality first!”
Despite information on exercising being readily available online, Rod is concerned about the number of Singaporeans not educated on the correct methods of exercising
“How many times have you gone for a run at East Coast Park or at school, and you see kids running with the wrong shoes. That is detrimental to their legs,” he said. Rod elaborated on his experiences with 50-year-olds going on power walks wearing slippers.
“To reach a zone that denotes one’s peak during exercise, you need the correct gear and outfit,” advised Rod.
When asked about his favourite brand of sports merchandise, Rod immediately replied “Nike!”
“Nike just comes up with cutting edge stuff for athletes of all sports.” Having tried many sports shoes throughout his life, the recent Nike Lunar Trainers caught his eye. “It is everything, lightweight, good cushioning, stability and, most importantly, it helps me reach my zone, time and time again.”
Excited to start his exercise Rod ends off the interview with this note, “Sports and exercising requires a lot of hard work, but when you finish, it makes you feel alive. Just Do It!”