THE IRONMAN

Azran Os­man-Rani, CEO of iflix Malaysia & COO of iflix Group

The Peak (Malaysia) - - Collector’s Issue -

There is no doubt that Azran Os­man-Rani loves a chal­lenge. The CEO of iflix Malaysia and COO of iflix Group is an Ul­ti­mate Fris­bee player, marathon run­ner and

Ironman triath­lete who swims, cy­cle and runs his way to peak phys­i­cal form.

Nine years ago, he took part in his first 10km race – part of a com­pany event – and the sight of grand­fa­thers and grand­moth­ers com­plet­ing a full 42km marathon with sunny smiles was enough to spark a de­sire in him to com­plete a full marathon. True enough, he crossed the fin­ish line the fol­low­ing year and an­other 12 in the next three. How­ever, the thirst for a new chal­lenge sur­faced af­ter break­ing the four-hour mark at marathon num­ber 14. “Some­one sug­gested triathlons and I thought it was in­ter­est­ing, but I couldn’t swim. Then again, I love con­quer­ing seem­ingly im­pos­si­ble ob­sta­cles. So, I vowed to com­plete not just any triathlon, but an Ironman triathlon – 3.8km ocean swim, 180km bike ride and a 42km marathon run. Now, that’s a chal­lenge!”

Therein lays a com­plex new layer as Azran has a deep-rooted fear for open wa­ter. “Hav­ing only learnt how to swim at the age of 40, I’m still afraid of swim­ming in deep open wa­ter with crowds, but tack­ling my fear has a spe­cial thrill for me.” Af­ter pan­ick­ing in two races, he fi­nally con­quered the open sea in the 2013 Ironman race and has never looked back. “As a triath­lete, I en­joy com­pet­ing in three dif­fer­ent dis­ci­plines de­spite my fear. Cy­cling ap­peals to the engi­neer­ing geek in me as I try to squeeze in tiny in­cre­ments of im­prove­ment by op­ti­mis­ing weight, aero­dy­namic drag, power, ca­dence and nu­mer­ous other met­rics,” he en­thuses. “How­ever, run­ning is hands down my favourite leg in a triathlon. I feel my spirit soar as my body and heart beat in uni­son. There’s also a com­pet­i­tive joy in strid­ing to over­take all oth­ers who were ahead of me dur­ing the swim­ming and bik­ing legs. As I pro­gressed and got in­volved with com­pet­i­tive en­durance races, fit­ness be­came a tan­gi­ble way of keep­ing track of my im­prove­ments and dis­cov­er­ing la­tent phys­i­cal abil­i­ties.”

While his ded­i­ca­tion to fit­ness clearly re­sults in su­pe­rior phys­i­cal form, Azran finds it per­me­at­ing every as­pect of his life as well. “It has be­come a per­sonal mis­sion and a core part of my iden­tity,” he ex­plains. “It strength­ens my be­lief in achiev­ing the seem­ingly im­pos­si­ble; be it turn­ing around my health, run­ning a marathon un­der four hours, or learn­ing to swim and com­plet­ing an Ironman triathlon. These were feats that were daunt­ing at first, but with time, ef­fort and per­se­ver­ance – and a lot of help from ex­perts who were will­ing to share – I con­quered them all.”

So what words of wis­dom does Azran have to for those seek­ing to em­bark on this jour­ney of health? “To make new healthy life­style habits stick, it’s im­por­tant to find ac­tiv­i­ties that are en­joy­able,” he ad­vises. “If the idea of go­ing to a gym and be­ing in­tim­i­dated by sweaty reg­u­lars turns you off or if you find run­ning in­cred­i­bly bor­ing, don’t force your­self. Move at your own pace and don’t feel com­pelled to do what oth­ers are do­ing. If walk­ing around a shop­ping mall is more fun for you, then do that. You don’t need to be drenched in sweat to en­joy the ben­e­fits of phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity.” Time to get your hearts pump­ing then!

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