Former footballer, and current running and fitness enthusiast John Yeong, shares with us his passion and what motivates him to maintain an active lifestyle. Let us learn more about him.
Sport: Running and fitness enthusiast and former footballer.
Name: John Yeong
IG handle: @thejohnyeong
1. When did you discover that this was your passion and that you were going to pursue it as far as you could?
Running and working out was a natural transition for me after I retired from competitive football, as I wanted to maintain a healthy and fit life.
From 5 times a week training to none at all was awkward at the beginning, so even though I used to hate running, it became my cardio outlet and I found peace and new joy from running solo.
2. Who inspire you?
Many people inspire me, as I work in the sports media circle and have been blessed to meet Olympians, national athletes as well as many inspiring individuals in the fitness and wellness industry.
3. Have you participated in any major competition or events?
I competed as a semi-professional footballer in Canada and in Singapore, but for running I have only ran in the usual local races (e.g. Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon, Sundown Marathon, Swissotel Vertical Marathon etc).
4. In your opinion, what was your best performance?
Winning the playoffs for my Canadian Club Windsor Wheels, and winning the top division, Division 1, championship of the Singapore National Football League (now rebranded as SFL) were my most significant achievements as an athlete.
5. What’s your training like when training for a competition?
As a footballer I followed the club’s training programmes, and there were too many types to name.
These days I like to cross train between running, strength and conditioning and mobility work. I need to work on mobility as I carry many injuries from my playing days. I would also try to go for one hard run, one longer run, and one recovery run per week.
6. Do you maintain a special diet? Do you have cheat days?
I used to eat cleaner until last year! It has been a tough year for me so I have been a little less strict with myself where diet is concerned, because some self-pampering from time to time is needed for mental and emotional health too. But I always make sure I work hard enough for what I eat and don’t just let go.
7. When not training for a competition, what’s your training like? Do you cross train? What does a typical week look like?
My typical weekly training right now comprises 2 group runs (Tuesdays and Sundays), and a HIIT session at Grityard Gym. When I am less busy, this is sometimes augmented by mobility work on Sundays too and another run between Tuesdays and Sundays.
Mondays and Fridays are usually my rest days.
8. Do you see yourself as an inspirational role model for aspiring athletes?
I know of many national athletes and Olympians, so I don’t see myself as an athlete role model per se because there are many who are better than I am. But in my capacity as a sports media person who is also an athlete, I like to use my voice to elevate the local sports and fitness scene, and imparting the right values to the younger generation.
9. Where is your favourite training spots?
Many favourite training spots in Singapore, but I would say Upper & Lower Pierce Reservoir, Labrador Park and Keppel Island are probably my favourite.
10. Have you always been fit and fab? Was there a time when you were not?
I was fit for most of my life, except for a brief few years when I was in Canada studying in college. Unfortunately those days digital photos weren’t yet available so I guess that reveals partly my age!
11. If there are readers who would like to get started in your sport, what advice do you have?
Fall in love with the sport which gives you the greatest joy. If you have the talent for it, go all out and work hard at it. Discipline will be needed. Success is a lonely journey. It is never an easy journey, and there will be many setbacks and obstacles – some major ones, but you owe it to yourself to give it the best you’ve got so you can eventually hold up your hands and say you’ve done your best, instead of living with regrets.
12. Do you something else about yourself that you would like to share with our readers?
Do support SportPlus.SG! We are a new sports and fitness media platform, dedicated to creating fun, enriching and meaningful experiences for athletes and fitness enthusiasts, and we would love to meet all of you one day.
We thank John for participating in this interview and sharing with us his inspiring and down-to-earth story. Some may be tempted to take on a sedentary lifestyle after a stint at professional sports. But you’ve shown that a healthy lifestyle can be maintained in all stages of our lives. As we’ve learned from John, all it takes is a little discipline.