Age is not a barrier to good conditioning.
We sat down with Terence Yong, a 49 year young banker, father, and athlete at Actualize CrossFit. Terence has been a member with us for 4 years and continues to be a mainstay at the box, participating enthusiastically in box events, particularly when they are social causes. Terence makes it a point to give back to the community that he is in, and continues to inspire us with his work ethic, and his relentless pursuit of being the best version of himself.
He shares with us his journey thus far, his goals, and challenges he faces as a Masters athlete, whilst juggling his life commitments.
Tell us about yourself. I’m a 20 year old veteran at DBS and a father of 3 daughters. My wife and I made Singapore home over 20 years ago and I am turning 50 next year.
We see you got your daughter to join. How’s that been working out for you?
I’m probably one of the oldest members at the box, and it’s been exciting to have the oldest and the youngest sharing the same workout. It has been great to see her start her own fitness and conditioning journey. It’s been fun.
You obviously place alot of importance in fitness. What keeps you coming back?
Three things. It’s Achievement, Community, and Fitness. It’s ACF, Actualize CrossFit!
Achievement -- CrossFit’s just got so much progression in it. It’s not just the heavier lift and PRs, but it’s 4 steps on your first handstand walk, or your first chest-to-bar… but it’s also unlocking positions on how you can row for longer. It’s a cross-section.
Community -- Everyone’s here with shared interest. Everyone is interested in each other. Whether it’s in the gains, in the pains, helping each other with unlocking each other’s challenges, overcoming the fear of the workout… And many people have become friends in the box and outside. It’s the coaches. They’ve played a part in creating that culture of being interested in each other.
How do you manage your schedule while juggling all these different commitments?
It’s taken time to find the right balance between coming regularly enough and staying injury free. But most importantly it’s being consistent. It’s really helped that Actualize has had late classes during the weekdays and lots of classes during the weekends. So I can find time after work, such that coming to the box is a reward after a long day at the office. Also balancing the family. They know that I come here to destress, and they are happier to have me as a happier dad at home, so they respect the time I need to have here to be a better dad at home.
How often do you train?
4 to 5 times a week and it’s been a mix of workouts and skill classes.
You probably have some fitness goals in mind. What is your next goal?
Ring muscle up is what I’m working on right now. (*update: he’s got it!)
I have made my first few steps in handstand walks, FINALLY! That’s my secret training because my daughter is the princess of handstand walks. She walks down the main road in front of my house and one day I want to be racing her down that road.
Share with us a couple of challenges that you are facing in this journey.
I think the main challenges have been one, staying consistent, because life gives you reasons to take longer breaks. And the second, staying injury free.
I think the circuit breaker was very good. It got us aware that you don’t necessarily have to be at the gym to have a great workout. You can at least do some maintenance level of fitness. You need to be patient, and that’s when you see the most gains because it is the regularity of training that it comes down to.
You have to spend time stretching to stay injury free. Every day I have at least half an hour of stretching out, otherwise i’m not going to be able to do what I enjoy doing. That’s where the “F” for fitness comes in. The biggest motivation is in longevity. It's investing in your heart, your body, and also your mind. To be really tired and still jump over a box! You have to do that at work too. The tough stuff that you have to get through. These are the things you can train in fitness as a crossover.
So you see alot of carryover in the way you train into your work? That’s right. But also, I’m an older athlete, so I’m interested to see that I have enough conditioning to bring me through a later part of life. And it’s nice to keep up with the younger folks!
Age is not a barrier to good conditioning. You just have to be patient, look after yourself. If you have to take breaks, do some stuff at home… Try to come regularly, and invest in yourself. Pimping up your own ride rather than investing in a fancy car, you are the vehicle.
The Actualete Spotlight is a platform to showcase athletes that have contributed to the box in their own ways. Those in the spotlight may not necessarily be athletes that have stellar performances, nor are they constantly on the top of the leaderboard, but these athletes are exemplary in their attitude to learn and pursue virtuosity in their movement, and are an inspiration to the rest of the community.
Watch the video excerpt of his interview here.
Written by: Cassandra Lau (@casslauu)
Video & edits by: Lokies Khan (@lokieskhan)