S’pore Expat Runs In Superman Suit Under Sweltering Heat To Make Himself & Others Happy

Man Who Runs In Superman Suit Is Expat Of 10 Years

Simon Wood first gained attention on social media in June when he was spotted around Bukit Batok in a Superman suit, jogging past a traffic junction.

The surreal sight certainly turned heads, both offline and online. Had the man gone crazy or was he a real hero from Krypton? MS News had to find out.

When we met Mr Wood at the scenic Starbucks outlet in the equally scenic Jurong Lake Gardens, we were not at all surprised that he was clad in his signature red-and-blue tights and cape.

superman bukit batok simon wood

Though the 57-year-old attracted many curious stares, he seemed unbothered and even gamely took pictures with a few students.

During our chat, he shared with us his mantra for not just running, but life in general – and yes, that includes the reason why he runs in a Superman suit.

At the end of the day, by doing the things he does, he hopes to inspire others and in turn, have them inspire even more people. Now doesn’t that just sound exactly like what a real superhero would want?

He was not a nobody before he put on the Superman suit

The burning question on our minds when we met Mr Wood was, of course, “Why Superman?”

He explained that the Superman suit helps with his “transformation” and mindset while out on his long runs, which often stretch over 10km, sometimes even longer.

Mr Wood first started wearing the suit about a year ago, explaining that he used to do it once every three months for events.

“For me, it’s about purpose,” he mused. “When I put it on, it’s like a uniform. When you put a military uniform on, you become different. It’s an icon of personality.”

“I become that personality, be it Superman or Santa Claus, when I put the suit on.”

Yes, Mr Wood has also been out and about dressed as Father Christmas too, but his Superman getup remains the one that has grabbed the most eyeballs.

Image courtesy of Mr Wood

“Everyone knows Superman,” he said. “[I picked] those icons for what people know and recognise.”

Although many actors have portrayed the Man of Steel on both the small and silver screens, he named Christopher Reeve as his favourite Superman star. Arnold Schwarzenegger, however, is one of his actual heroes.

Mr Wood has also been toying with the idea of getting Batman and Iron Man outfits as well. However, the latter, he discovered, is terribly expensive — even if it doesn’t really fly and shoot lasers.

But the motive is clear: when he puts the suit on for events, it’s to put smiles on people’s faces. As for running, it puts him in a state of mind that allows him to beat any odds standing in his way.

Enjoys Singapore for its safety & opportunities

Having visited more than 90 countries and lived in some of them, Mr Wood is clearly familiar with many different cultures.

But the New Zealand native finally decided to put down his roots in Singapore about 10 years ago.

The well-travelled business director called his move to the Lion City “another stepping stone” in his long journey, which has taken him all over the world including Europe, America, the Middle East, and Asia. He’s even been in the military.

He finds Singapore “safe and happy” – all while staying in a Jurong West HDB flat.

superman bukit batok simon wood

“I’ve moved three times – first in the Central Area and then Hougang,” Mr Wood explained. “I wouldn’t pay S$650,000 to live in a condo to justify the position I’m in.”

He reasoned that he’s probably at home for just eight to 10 hours a day, mainly for eating, cooking, and sleeping purposes. As such, he’s happy staying in an HDB flat, with public transport linking him to the rest of the island.

“For me, it’s what you make of it,” he said.

The avid runner believes being able to run at 3am or 4am safely is extremely valuable.

Obviously, the security benefits for non-runners are vast as well.

But more than that, Mr Wood enjoys the food and the opportunities Singapore has to offer, both business-wise and the freedom to say, wear a Superman outfit to run in the various parks that our country has to offer.

In fact, he encourages people to document their experiences on social media for others, even tourists, to look at – and even possibly make some money out of it.

“Singapore has that – a community and different locations where you can find out so much and get what you want.”

Mr Wood often does his own brand of ‘tourism’ through cross-country runs – from the west to the east or northeast.

“I’ve run 3,000km so far, and my goal is to reach 6,000km this year,” he declared proudly.

Not bad for someone who’s approaching 60. Not bad at all.

Had to relearn how to walk after accident left him with 70 stitches

As for how Mr Wood can put on his suit and bear the sweltering heat while running such long distances, the answer lies partly in his various experiences, including his time spent in the military.

When he was 13, he was knocked down by a motorbike and lost the use of his legs for several months. He also required 70 stitches.

He had to relearn how to walk, but once he overcame that, he began to push himself again and took up martial arts, swimming, and running, becoming even stronger than ever — not unlike what happens to Bruce Wayne in ‘The Dark Knight Rises’.

In fact, having to relearn how to use his body may have been the spark that allowed Mr Wood to treasure fitness so much.

How he keeps himself focused & tunes out the heat

The mindset of a runner is vastly important for Mr Wood, and he explained how he gets into it via some visual imaging.

He described how he “switches off” from the heat and everything around him by visualising a whiteboard in front of him.

“It’s like I’m talking to myself as a whiteboard of what I need to do for work,” he said.

That way, he’s able to “transform” himself, by visualising, for example, a hologram of what he has done after the run – imagining the positivity and tuning out the negativity – and then putting that on his imaginary whiteboard.

It sounds a little complicated, we know, but it helps keep Mr Wood focused on the run.

superman bukit batok simon wood

“Fitness makes you more focused, more developed in your train of thought and cleanses you in a different way,” he stated.

This is also how Mr Wood could, for example, run a hundred laps around Jurong Lake Gardens if he wished, because the scenery and monotony matter less to him than the “assignment”.

He has even planned on running 28 half-marathons in 28 days — all for charity.

Inspiring & motivating by setting an example

At the same time, Mr Wood also believes in constantly developing himself and inspiring others along the way.

Mr Wood underpinned his methodology as “SDPM”:

  • Set your systems
  • Deliver and determine your systems
  • Perform, perfect, and present
  • Motivation, then earn money, and mentor

By setting and achieving tasks, then going out there and inspiring others, Mr Wood believes he can lead other people to do the same, setting up a snowballing chain of inspiration that begins with himself.

“Everyone wants to go up the mountain by one side,” Mr Wood said. “But they don’t see every perspective. So for me, if I go round the mountain, and I reach the top, I can say I’ve been there and done that.”

“And it’s then inspiring others to develop and [give] motivation.”

That inspiration can manifest in many different ways.

For example, as a member of the Singapore Running Club, he frequently acts as a pacer for others, especially those who are just starting out on their own running journey.

Some runners are even as old as 83, so seeing someone Mr Wood’s age is certainly not all that unusual.

Shrugging off hate comments

As one might expect after going viral on social media, they’ll invariably receive lots of attention – both good and bad.

On the not-so-nice side, some naysayers have called Mr Wood a “balding old white man”. Others remarked that he must have gone cuckoo or become too stressed.

But as with anything else, Mr Wood shrugs off the negative comments.

When he goes out running in the suit, he says it’s not about garnering attention but simply to put a smile on others’ faces and give them the opportunity to exclaim, “Hey, that’s Superman!”

“It’s getting out there to make everyone happy, have a smile, because then someone else will smile out there and enjoy different things.”

“When someone smiles, you get a smile back, or if someone does a dance, it has that inspiration.”

As long as he’s spreading joy and inspiring others on their own journeys, that’s enough for him.

Like a superhero even without the Superman suit

If there’s anything we learned from talking to Mr Wood, it’s that you don’t have to don a Superman costume to make a difference in your own life or someone else’s.

As long as you go about your day with a smile on your face and set about accomplishing things that you can then proudly tell others about, that’s enough too.

Know other inspiring individuals like Simon Wood you would like to see featured? Get in touch with us via email at news@mustsharenews.com.

Featured image by MS News.

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