Striking a balance in life may be as simple as carving out time regularly to indulge in an activity of choice. Yahoo Shopping chats with personalities who share their passion for a sport or wellness activity they enjoy, which helps them take on the world with zeal. We hope this monthly series will inspire you to find an interest that will add that sparkle to your life.
Melissa Th’ng made a splash in the industry when she became the first Malaysian to represent her country in Asia's Next Top Model Season 1 and emerged in seventh place. Currently, she juggles various jobs as an Event Emcee, Livestream Host, and also a TV & Radio Host. An energy ball of positivism, professionalism and brains packed into one compact size, Melissa is the epitome of the modern thinking woman and a great role model for young girls. Yahoo Shopping chats with the bubbly personality to find out how she stays on top of her game.
Yahoo Shopping: What sports or wellness activities do you love, and how did you get started?
Th’ng: I started my fitness journey very early. My dad told me, as a baby, they'd dip me into baby pools, and I'd love it so much. And my parents are tennis coaches and super athletic, so I've been blessed with their genes. Since I was young, I've been very athletically inclined! I can play many sports because of my parents. I LOVE tennis, netball, shot put, swimming, yoga, and middle distance running, and I'm really into HIIT. My friend introduced me to HIIT during the COVID-19 lockdowns because I complained that I'm losing my abs since we're not allowed outside the house.
What are their benefits, and what do you love about them?
HIIT: It's so great for anyone who's always on the go. I work three jobs, so I don't always have much time to spare. HIIT takes a few minutes (my favourite HIIT video to follow is only 7 mins), and my body sees results! I also love that it just needs a tiny space and no equipment, so there's no excuse for me not to work out.
As a former state tennis player, how are you staying in touch with the sport, especially with your busy schedule?
I still play tennis once in a while to ensure I don't lose my strokes because my parents would smack me if I wasted their efforts in training me. During high school, I trained every single day after school till midnight. For most of my social media campaigns that need me to show a more playful side of me, I'd always choose tennis because it's got such a special place in my heart. Most childhood memories revolve around tennis training, competing and travelling with my state teams, Selangor and Perak.
How often do you indulge in your favourite sports activities, and with whom?
I mostly do HIIT alone in my living room because my freelance schedule is unpredictable. I try to do it a few times a week, but I'll have weeks where I'm so packed with work/on my period, so I don't work out the entire week. Sometimes I'm clingy and do HIIT with my friends via video call (We'll count 1,2,3 and hit the Play button together on a YouTube HIIT video). Once in a while, at sleepovers, my bestie and I will do HIIT together after we've devoured lots of chips the night before. As for tennis, I hit with some former state teammates or my parents.
Was there any point you wanted to give up? Why? How did you bounce back?
YES, I tend to regret it during every HIIT session at about the third jump squat. Jokes aside, if I feel like giving up, I allow myself to cry and take a short break. I let myself feel the emotions (frustration, anger, tiredness), and usually, after this, I'm ready to get back into it. I also talk to myself and remind myself that if I want results to be fit and healthy, I must do the work. But honestly, I'm generally very motivated. I'm a type A go-getter. I'm a very intense person. So I acknowledge that my main issue is refusing to take breaks because I always need to be productive. I often feel like I'm not good enough and always say, "I'll rest when I'm 80". Then my best friends have to step in and scold me to take a break. I'm working on having a more balanced life, I promise.
As for tennis, giving up was never an option because my goal was to get a tennis scholarship for the university since my parents couldn't afford to send me to one. I got the scholarship, and it's one of the best payoffs for all the late-night training.
What gears/tools/attire do you wear when engaging in sports?
What you have learnt from these sports?
Tennis, HIIT or most sports teach me perseverance. People say I'm mentally strong, and I believe my determination is thanks to competing in tennis/sports at such a young age. Playing doubles in tennis also teaches me teamwork, communication with my partner, patience, grace if my partner makes a mistake and humility to apologize when I make mistakes.
As a well-known figure, what is one way you inject positivity into the public?
I'm generally a very friendly extrovert, so when people meet me, they usually feel my positivity immediately. You could catch me without makeup or in the middle of eating, and I'm always happy to chat and take photos together. And online, my content is meant to make people chuckle (mostly at me). I work at making videos so that if you're ever having a rough day, you know you can come to my page and watch a few videos to give you some happy vibes, hopefully. So DM me on Instagram or TikTok if you have any questions, I'm not an expert, but I'm happy to share what I have learnt with you!
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