After narrowly escaping a serious illness, Soni fell in love with rock climbing. This exhilarating sport has had a profound impact on her music, while teaching her more about herself and what she wants out of life.

SONI CHENG

Full-time music producer, musician and guitar teacher. Lead guitarist for indie band GDJYB. Experienced in composing, arranging, producing and performing music, including sound effect design and film and advertising music. Also a rock climbing enthusiast.

Her strength-Soni Cheng
Her strength-Soni Cheng

How did you get into rock climbing?

A few years ago, I suddenly lost 15 kg and constantly felt tired, but at the same time I was having trouble sleeping at night. After going to the doctors, I was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism. The doctor prescribed me with medication, but after 2 months, my body developed an allergic reaction and I went into a coma. I was put in an isolation ward as a precaution – my white blood cell count was so low that even a mild infection could be fatal. After discharge from the hospital, I was eager to get fit and healthy again. A friend took me to a climbing wall at Po Wing Road Sports Centre. It wasn't long before I was hooked on this new sport, and I headed there most weeks to train. Today, climbing is an integral part of my life.  Looking back, I realised that the reason I fell ill was because I neglected my health. Yet if I hadn’t fallen ill, I might never have found this exciting new sport.

Her strength-Soni Cheng
Her strength-Soni Cheng
Her strength-Soni Cheng

What’s your ‘strength’?

The good balance between force and finesse. Many people rely too much on strength, both when climbing and playing the guitar. For example, guys who work out tend to overuse their upper body when climbing, to the detriment of their footwork and mental ability. Girls, on the other hand, aren’t necessarily as strong, but they can make up for this with technique.  The key is to find the right balance. I’m a huge fan of Ashima Shiraishi, a Japanese-American climber. She’s only 154 cm tall, but she’s really flexible. Ashima uses excellent technique to overcome her physical limitations, so she can find alternative ways of finishing a climb.

In this regard, climbing and music are similar: there’s more than one way to play a chord or climb a route, and each has its own unique style and qualities. For example, when you strum a guitar, if you pinch the pick too hard, it can sound rigid. But when you perform on stage, you sometimes want to exaggerate more and let your emotions run free. In other words, in some circumstances you need to be more gentle, and in others more passionate. If you watch a good climber, they can stick to the wall like a magnet by using body tension, but this requires a great balance between force and finesse.

HER STRENGTH  | 搖滾吉他手Soni Cheng熱愛攀石  找回力量與溫柔的平衡

you try to climb a route, and if you don’t succeed, you can always try again. The key is to focus on the process. 

Her strength-Soni Cheng
Her strength-Soni Cheng

What is your favourite Decathlon product?

It’s hard to choose one thing. In the past, I’ve bought all sorts of Decathlon products for a range of activities: badminton, yoga, weightlifting, snorkelling, skiing, hiking and camping. I start by deciding what gear I need for a particular activity. Then, I compare all the different models and features before deciding which to buy. I think of Decathlon as a sports ‘library’, with a vast collection that covers all of my needs. When I’m in Mong Kok, I always pop into the Decathlon store. It’s a chance to browse equipment for a range of sports and try out your favourite products.

If I had to settle on one thing, I’d say that my favourite product is the Decathlon Mini Massage Gun. After doing exercise, our muscles are often sore – that’s a normal part of muscle growth. However, using a massage gun can help our muscles relax and our body to recover. Moreover, Decathlon’s massage gun is highly effective and extremely compact – you can even fit it in your suitcase when travelling!

MINI MASSAGE GUN -DECATHLON

MINI MASSAGE GUN

Give your body a deeply SPA without any effort from you after sports!

CHALK BAG-Decathlon

CHALK BAG

Deep and rigid chalk bag that prevents chalk dust escaping bag.

CLIMBING TANK TOP - Decathlon

CLIMBING TANK TOP

perfectly to all types of climbing moves while keeping you comfortable.

Soni’s story reminds us that we should practise sports in moderation and be careful not to injure ourselves. That way, we can get more out of the sport and enhance our experience. Before taking part in a sport, it’s crucial that you master the basics well and have all the necessary gear. Come and view our selected equipment for women!