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.
Occupation: Software Developers
Status: Engaged to each other
Diet – Yew Wee: I don't follow any type of diet. I eat almost everything except food and desserts that are too sweet for my liking. Sherlynn: I’m not on any special diet but I’ll try to get in more greens daily and limit my sugar intake. I do have a sweet tooth and indulge in chocolate and bubble tea, but I will opt for dark chocolate and bubble tea with 0 per cent sugar. For coffee, I would opt for Kopi C Kosong (coffee with evaporated milk, without sugar).
Training – Yew Wee: I am a runner and focus mainly on marathons. Through the various training blocks, I have learnt that high mileage running works for me, so I try to run every day with some days of double training. I take rest days when my body feels tired. Sherlynn: I train for marathons and hence the training that I do is mostly running. A typical week consists of easy runs during the weekdays, a harder long run session during the weekend, and strength and conditioning workouts one to three times a week.
Q: Did both of you come from a background of running?
Yew Wee: When I was in primary and secondary school, I did swimming but not that competitively. In Junior College, I dabbled a little in dragonboating and canoeing. Then I did triathlons and aquathlons when I was in university, where I represented the school in aquathlon.
Training for aquathlon wasn't easy. Our coach David Tay pushed the team really hard and made the National University of Singapore (NUS) team varsity champions for many years.
Sherlynn: I was in competitive swimming when I was in primary school until around Junior College. My dad enrolled me in swimming classes when I was five years old, and since then I continued and worked on improving my swim timings. My peers and I would train for about five to seven times a week under a coach at a swimming club. It was a love-hate relationship. It was really fun because of the friends and the social aspect, yet really tiring at times. My events were the 50m and 100m backstroke.
Then I did a little bit of water polo and dragonboating in Junior College, only because the school team needed more members. In university, I joined the aquathlon team.
Oh, you guys had similar sports. Was that how you met?
Yew Wee: Yes, Sherlynn and I met during our aquathlon days. We were both in the executive committee of the aquathlon team and we got to know each other better. Our relationship developed over time as we started going on study dates after training.
Sherlynn: Yes, sports brought us together. Yew Wee and I met in university as we were both on the aquathlon team. We started studying together after training sessions and that brought us closer.
The story checks out on both sides! What are the advantages of sharing the same passion for sports? Any disadvantages?
Yew Wee: The advantages are that we can date and train at the same time, and we both understand the time and commitment required for training.
Currently, there aren't any disadvantages for me but I can foresee disadvantages when we have a kid in the future and both of us need to take turns to go running while the other cares for our kid.
Sherlynn: We both spend a significant amount of time running, so being aligned in terms of what we want to achieve really does help us understand and also keep each other accountable in the process. Whenever I need help or advice pertaining to running, I can always talk to Yew Wee about it and he will usually have a good opinion or point me in the right direction.
We love to travel overseas for marathons and it is really fun to share the marathon travel experience together. It helps to strengthen our relationship and build happy memories.
Do you train together all the time?
Yew Wee: We train together and we are part of the running group, The Coney Runners. We do our long runs together and both of us enjoy running on treadmills, so we head to the gym and run on treadmills together too.
Sherlynn: Yew Wee’s faster than me, so we don’t really follow the same training plans. But we do run together at the gym on the treadmill, and then have a meal after. During the weekends, we will meet with our running group (The Coney Runners) for long runs. We both really enjoy our work and run routine.
When did you feel the least confident about yourself?
Yew Wee: I was the least confident about myself when I was just starting to be serious about running. I weighed more then and I felt that my weight was slowing me down. I had a period where I tracked calories and was conscious of my diet. That helped me to lose weight but it was very mentally tiring and wasn't sustainable. Eventually, as I became a better runner and ran more often, my weight dropped naturally and I became more confident about my running abilities.
Sherlynn: When I was injured two years ago with plantar fasciitis (a thick ligament connecting your heel to the front of your foot), that was a really tough and demoralising period for me as I had to stop running completely for half a year. Even walking was painful at times. It really affected my mood and confidence. I kept wondering if I would ever be able to recover and get to run again.
What helped during that period was to accept my reality and make a plan and list of things that will move me forward. I turned to cross training like cycling and swimming to maintain my aerobic fitness. I really had to work on adopting a positive outlook in order to prevent my mind from spiralling into endless thoughts of negativity. I had to learn to focus on what I can do, rather than thinking about what I could have been doing.
Are you contented with your body now and why?
Yew Wee: Yes, I'm content with my body now. I don't have any expectations of my body to be honest.
Sherlynn: Yes, I am happy and appreciative of this strong and fit body that allows me to pursue my running and fitness goals. I have sustained quite a few running injuries over the past years and throughout the process, I have learnt that the body is amazing in terms of adapting to the load placed on it, but you have to treat it well and be patient.
Have you ever received any comments about your body?
Yew Wee: Most comments about my body now are that I'm too skinny.
Sherlynn: Yes, people would comment occasionally saying that I’m “a bit skinny”.