Learning > Inspiration

Keeping active despite autoimmune disorder

Physical education teacher Ursula Pong blends work, life and fitness together

Image
Joyce Teo on 11 Nov 2019

The Straits Times

Share

Facebook Email


WHAT IS YOUR SECRET TO LOOKING FABULOUS?

 

For me, I believe it is about keeping a positive attitude, staying young at heart and living a life chasing magical experiences.

 

HAS THERE EVER BEEN A TIME WHEN YOU WERE NOT FIT AND FAB?

 

Not really. I have always been an active person and do not enjoy sitting still for a great length of time.

 

As a child, I would either be climbing or hanging on trees, balancing on fences, playing tag or just running around with my friends.

 

I did track and field, gymnastics, cheerleading and dance in my younger years.

 

WHAT IS YOUR DIET LIKE?

 

I believe in eating everything in moderation and eating instinctually. I have a relatively healthy diet where I eat natural foods for about 80 per cent of the time and allow for indulgences about 20 per cent of the time.

 

WHAT ARE YOUR INDULGENCES?

 

My homemade chocolate chip cookies, key lime pie, tomahawk steak and truffle fries. I live to eat.

 

HOW DO YOU MAINTAIN A HEALTHY WORK-LIFE BALANCE?

 

I believe in work-life integration. Instead of separating work, life and fitness, I choose to blend them together by being active at work, at home and in life.

 

WHAT ARE THE THREE MOST IMPORTANT THINGS IN YOUR LIFE?

 

Family, friends and health.

 

WHAT ARE YOUR FAVOURITE AND LEAST FAVOURITE PARTS OF YOUR BODY?

 

I have learnt to look internally and focus on performance abilities, so I don't focus on the exterior and waste time looking for flaws.

 

If I had to choose a favourite part though, it would be my smile.

 

WHAT ARE YOUR MUST-DOS BEFORE AND AFTER A WORKOUT?

 

Dynamic stretches and mobility exercises before the workout and static stretches after the workout.

 

HOW IMPORTANT IS IT FOR YOU TO KEEP UP WITH YOUR FITNESS ROUTINE?

 

Keeping my fitness routine is a priority and the greatest investment I can make towards my health. Investing in my health today ensures that I will live a fulfilling life well into my sunset years.

 

With this kind of mindset, it is very easy to motivate myself to work out on those days when I don't feel like working out.

 

HOW HAS YOUR ACTIVE LIFESTYLE INFLUENCED YOUR FAMILY AND FRIENDS?

 

My husband and I have always enjoyed fitness and believe in being strong fitness role models for our daughter, in particular.

 

She is 19 and plays beach volleyball as an NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) Division 1 athlete in the United States.

 

My father died two years ago and my mother is retired. She stays active at 87, doing her taiji exercises at home and going for walks.

 

WHAT IS THE MOST EXTREME THING YOU HAVE DONE IN THE NAME OF FITNESS?

 

I am not sure what I have done in the name of fitness is extreme, but I fought and won in the Vanda White Collar Boxing event in 2009 against an opponent almost 20 years younger than me, in front of a 1,000-plus crowd.

 

I have also competed in a few figure competitions locally and in Canada, as well as done the first Spartan Race held in Singapore in 2015 and took first place in my age category.

 

HOW EXTENSIVE IS YOUR COLLECTION OF SPORTS-RELATED PARAPHERNALIA?

 

I can't say I am a collector of sports-related paraphernalia, but about 95 per cent of my closet is filled with Lululemon and Nike gear.

 

WOULD YOU GO FOR PLASTIC SURGERY?

 

I don't have anything against others who go for plastic surgery, but I personally would not do so as I am very proud of the wrinkles I have.

 

Trust me when I say I have a great story to tell for every wrinkle I have.

 

DO YOU THINK YOU ARE SEXY?

 

I believe sexy is an attitude and mindset. If you are a strong and confident woman, then you are sexy. I feel I am strong and confident.

 

Source: The Straits Times © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Reproduced with permission.

 

 

The views, material and information presented by any third party are strictly the views of such third party. Without prejudice to any third party content or materials whatsoever are provided for information purposes and convenience only. Council For The Third Age shall not be responsible or liable for any loss or damage whatsoever arising directly or indirectly howsoever in connection with or as a result of any person accessing or acting on any information contained in such content or materials. The presentation of such information by third parties on this Council For The Third Age website does not imply and shall not be construed as any representation, warranty, endorsement or verification by Council For The Third Age in respect of such content or materials.