1) Why have you chosen to teach such different sports, rhythmic cycling and boxing?
I chose to teach both rhythmic cycling and boxing because I was drawn to their respective core beliefs. Rhythmic cycling is all about building a community and creating a safe space for our riders to push themselves. That’s why our ride rooms are so dark – it is meant to allow you to take that 45 minutes to focus on yourself and ignore the distractions outside. Once you are confident of yourself, you look around and see many others riding to the same beat as you. You are not alone, there is a community with you, and we will do this together.
Boxing, on the other hand, has a more transformational message. It’s about training your mind to be as strong as your body by overcoming your mental limits. A lot of times, people don’t know how strong they are until they are pushed and kept accountable. The great thing about group boxing classes is that the lights, music and dark room (similar to a rhythmic cycling studio), motivates you to push further and allows you to focus on yourself.
I’ve seen how these classes have changed people’s lives and it has changed mine too. Being an instructor and leading these classes has been one of the greatest honour of my life.
2) Who has been instrumental in supporting you on this journey? How has he/she done so?
There are many. I can’t name just one because it really ranges. From the owners of studios who belief in you and your teaching style, your clients who constantly show up and give their all during class and your mentors who have helped you pave your way into the industry – I’m thankful for all of them.
3) Has there been a specific incident that was particularly difficult in your job? How did you manage to overcome it?
I think the moment when an instructor realises how much he/she holds an impact in their clients lives is a difficult moment in their job. As cliche as it sounds, being partly responsible for the actions people take in their daily lives, can be terrifying.
For example, for me, there were a few incidents that made me really take a step back to reflect on the importance of my job. I’ve had a rider who was feeling depressed for months about the passing of her loved one. She had a mini breakthrough in one of my classes when we were talking about learning to let go (yes, classes get become TED talks too). On a separate note, I’ve had a boxing client visit me in the studio after months of not attending. He told me he was diagnosed with cancer and through his chemotherapy days, all he was thinking about was returning back to class.
It’s these moments that are difficult because you understand the impact you hold. My way of dealing with this is to always be mindful, accepting and take stock of the position you are in. Instead of being scared, be grateful and continue changing and impacting lives the best way you can.
4) How do you manage teaching as well as being a student?
Really one day at a time. It can get overwhelming, so plan your time well, be well-rested and most importantly, surround yourself with people who elevate you to do better. I have the most understanding and supportive friends at SMU, who have constantly been a great support system throughout my career.
5) What have you learnt from being in this industry?
That the fitness industry is more than just about getting a good sweat. It has a lot to do with mental wellness and drive. This industry is about challenging yourself to be better and live better. At a time like this, it is about adapting and facing your challenges directly and always giving your 110% in whatever you do. In simple words, it’s about living you live to the fullest.
6) What does thriving mean to you?
To me, thriving is all about growth which should happen everyday. As an instructor, its is about constantly finding new ways to push your students and reach out to them. As a person, it’s about being unafraid of facing your obstacles. The only way you can thrive and overcome your obstacles, is if you are brave enough to face them.