Life goes beyond the digits on the scale and your body is capable of so much more. Yahoo’s #Fitspo of the Week series is dedicated to inspirational men and women in Singapore leading healthy and active lifestyles. Have someone to recommend? Hit Cheryl up on Instagram or Facebook.
Name: Ashley Rita Wong Kai Lin (@ashleyritawong)
Occupation: Private tuition teacher and e-sports caster
Diet: I don't have specific dietary restrictions, but I generally gravitate towards healthier foods and drinks such as lean meat, lots of vegetables and water. But desserts and potato chips are my Achilles heel.
I also do intermittent fasting, where if I need to lean out for an event or photoshoot, I will eat after I work out. But on a regular day, I'll have a banana and some nuts before working out.
Training: My training consists of rope skipping, push ups and weights. Deadlifts are my favourite.
Q: Has sports always been a part of your life?
A: I did netball and track and field in primary and secondary school, and dabbled into handball and basketball when I entered university. Then I got into rock climbing and wakeboarding when I got older. I absolutely love these two sports now and getting more involved in these sports is something I'm hoping to do in 2020.
Have you competed in any of these sports?
Yes, for netball and track and field. I don't remember much about track and field, but I do remember that for netball, I once played a match with super bloodied knees. I had fallen and scraped my knees, but I was so high on adrenaline (it was a very close game) that I didn't feel it at all.
The umpire had to stop the game midway just to get me patched up. There was so much blood that my socks were soaked in it. The worst part was that the first aid kit didn't have plasters big enough for the scrapes. So, I put support tape directly over my wounds and played on. Removing them was an experience I never want to go through again.
How did you get started in e-sports?
In university, the hall friends I hung out with were all guys. We did everything together – eat, gym, drinking sessions – and I felt a little left out when they were all playing Dota so I joined them. That was when I really fell in love with the game and its complexities.
I only recently competed in an amateur tournament with friends actually. The experience has been completely eye-opening and I'm now even more aware of how terrible a player I am. Haha! But the nice thing about being on a team (and especially the teammates I have) is that there is always a space to ask questions and to learn, and two of my teammates are great at explaining things. Even though we may lose games, I still really enjoy learning and working together as a team.
What led you to start your career as a caster in e-sports?
While I was playing with my friends in university, they used to comment about how I absolutely could not stop talking in game. This was in addition to watching one of the most famous team fights in professional Dota 2 history that is aptly titled “The Play”. It is a combination of insane wombo combo gameplay and reactions from the players, as well as perfect commentary from the caster that made “The Play” so iconic.
Till this day, watching “The Play” still sends chills down my spine and a lot of the hype phrases we use in casting today are actually taken from “The Play”. Watching “The Play” made me think that it was something I could do, and the more I watched professional Dota, the more I was hooked on how good casting made the players' gameplay even more amazing.
Some people feel that e-sports is not the same as traditional sports - what do you have to say about that?
I actually did a Yahoo Game Changer episode on this exact question a while back! E-sports is similar to traditional sports if you consider the actual definition of the common word both share – “sport”.
"Sport" is defined in the dictionary as “an activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment”.
Physical exertion, skill and the entertainment aspect are all featured in e-sports. But some of the key differences between the two include the technology involved, the money involved (in terms of prize winnings and income) as well as the number of spectators. I highly recommend everyone to watch Valve's documentary “Free To Play” and “True Sight” for TI8 to get an idea of how incredibly competitive, demanding and yet how gratifying e-sports at a professional level can be.
How was your fitness regime like before Circuit Breaker? What is your fitness regime like now?
Before COVID-19, I went to the gym about three to four times a week to lift weights and for a bit of cardio. But since Circuit Breaker, I started doing home workouts that involved rope skipping and bodyweight exercises like push ups and planks. I've lost quite a bit of muscle mass and leaned out a lot because of the rope skipping. I’m definitely looking forward to getting back to the gym regularly.
When did you feel the least confident about yourself?
I was least confident about myself after I got cheated on. I constantly questioned why I wasn't adequate and what I could have done better to make sure he didn't cheat. Regaining confidence was a matter of learning new skills, having new experiences and some good old times. It was after the cheating incident that I started lifting weights regularly and I really liked how strong it made me, both physically and mentally.
Are you satisfied with your body now?
Currently, I'm 8/10 about my body. I prefer to be more muscular and I also feel pretty weak right now.
Have you ever received any comments about your body?
Yes, of course. Ranging from “OMG you're so skinny I wish I could be like you” when I was depressed and not eating much, to “why do you want to be muscular? I prefer less muscular girls” from a couple of men. Well it's a good thing I'm out of your league. I don't understand why men think I give a s**t about their opinion on my body – I'll do as I please, regardless of their opinion.