Name : Luo Yingying
Age : 37
Occupation : Personal Trainer / Hockey Coach
Some of us may have seen her on the Hockey pitch donning our national colours but not many will know the story behind the ever smiling Luo Yingying, ex-national Hockey player, personal trainer and super mum.
Having represented Singapore since her secondary school days, Yingying is no stranger to staying active as part of a balanced lifestyle. She retired from national duties in 2007 only to make a comeback in 2015 during the SEA Games in Singapore. Currently, she is a physical trainer and focuses on helping other mothers to get back on track using physical activity as a focus and still remains active in the Hockey scene.
While her main priority is still focused on her family and chose to become a stay home mum, her passion for sport has never waned and still managed to find time to train and complete a few marathons as well as returning to national duties. For her, she had to squeeze in time for training in small pockets of space and this required her to become efficient in handling her time.
“In 2012, my younger child turned 1. I was a Stay-At-Home-Mom turning 30. My life then revolved solely around the kids. I wanted to return to hockey or start being active again, and do something for myself. I picked up running that year and challenged myself to running a marathon in December. Running was easier to pick up compared to hockey as I can do it by myself at my own timing. In 2015, I was given the opportunity to join in the selection for the National Hockey Team for the SEA Games held in Singapore. I did my own fitness training, (running and strength) to prepare myself for selection. Regardless of selection, I wanted to give my best and be in my best form.”
As an active individual since young, Yingying has been fortunate not to have any medical conditions but she realised very quickly how not being active not only made her feel uneasy but was the cause of many health issues in adults, having seen friends and family suffer the consequences of a sedentary lifestyle. All of this, however, did not come without its challenges as time was always an issue for her.
“Lack of time is a big factor. That said, I make being physically active a priority. I plan and make time for exercise and it is in my calendar. Now that my kids are older, they follow me to my hockey matches as well. I also try to cook more regularly, to ensure my family and I have nutritious meals. Getting sufficient sleep is also challenging as I only get my quiet 'me-time' after the kids go to bed.”
As such, she had to re-organise her time and her current schedule is as such :
615am: Wake up, prep breakfast
630am: Wake the kids up, breakfast and prepare for school
715am: Send the kids to school
9am-12pm: Work (Personal Trainer)
1.30pm: Pick kids from school and send them home
2pm-4pm: Hockey Coaching
5pm-6pm: Cook / Rest
7.30pm: Wash up / Chores
8.30pm: Fruits and bedtime stories
9pm: Kids' bed time / Chores
10pm: Bed time / ME-time
The Turning Point
From her learning as an active individual and being able to represent Singapore again in 2015, Yingying realised that she could make a difference in the community by applying her knowledge and coaching skills to mothers in Singapore to help them get back on track. Hence, she decided to obtain her coaching licence and works closely with numerous clients around the country.
Her spirit of paying it forward as an ex-national athlete coupled with her perseverance and determination in pursuing her goals and dreams have not come easy and she has had her fair share of struggles. But she believes that it will all be worth it in the end, especially when she witnesses the transformation that takes place within her clients and when they become healthier and happier.
Her advice to anyone who wishes to embark on an active and healthy journey is to find something they really love so that they can maintain a habit cycle instead of having to force themselves to commit to something.
“Pick an activity that you enjoy, and find like-minded training buddies to motivate you. Set small targets for yourself and work towards them. Having a race or competition works for me. I also try to walk to commute when I am not rushed for time.”
In the next five years, Yingying hopes to be able to take part in more marathons and in Master’s competitions to demonstrate that age is only a number and we are capable of achieving so much more if we commit to it.
“Take good care of yourself before you can take good care of others. As a mother, we tend to put our family first. I have learnt to find a small pocket of time each day to prioritize myself. In future, I hope to be the oldest but fittest lady on the hockey pitch, giving the youngsters a run for their money!”
She also emphasises how important family is and that we are all constrained by time but that we need to fully utilise our small pockets of time to maximise our hours spent awake.
“Work gets too busy, family needs more of our attention or we are too tired to do anything at the end of the day. Sometimes it is not about blocking an hour a day to exercise. You can also build physical activity into your daily life such as walking to commute and taking the stairs instead of the escalator or lift.”