Thuymi Do is a digital marketing and social media consultant, and also the owner of Spartans Boxing Club Serangoon Gardens. (PHOTO: Cheryl Tay)
Life goes beyond the digits on the scale and your body is capable of so much more! Yahoo’s #Fitspo of the Week series is dedicated to inspirational men and women in Singapore leading healthy and active lifestyles. Have someone to recommend? Hit Cheryl up on Instagram or Facebook!
Name: Thuymi Do (@thuymi)
Occupation: Digital marketing and social media consultant, gym owner of Spartans Boxing Club Serangoon Gardens
Food: I have been doing intermittent fasting for a year. I only ever eat breakfast when I stay at hotels, which was quite often (once upon a time when we could travel). In general, I would say I have no strict diet but have very good balance. I’m a savoury person so I rarely eat sweets, nor do I add any sugar in my cooking. I have a strong love for all things crispy and fatty, hence I have to make sure to balance it all. I really believe you should not restrict yourself to the food you love, but have to balance it in your diet/exercise.
Exercise: If I am not at the golf driving range, I work out every day on my balcony with a 20- to 40-minute HIIT (high-intensity interval training) session, depending on whether I do with weights or not. I give myself one day of rest at times, but my rest days would be maybe a day at the driving range.
Thuymi does HIIT sessions regularly, and is also frequently at the golf driving range. (PHOTO: Cheryl Tay)
Q: When you were younger, were you active in sports?
A: I grew up a sporty kid. My mom wouldn’t let me play ice hockey because she thought it is a dangerous sport and that it is for boys (typical tiger Asian mom) so I had to play ball and street hockey instead (which entails the same except you run instead of skate on ice).
I grew up with the struggle of parents not letting me be part of the school’s sports team, but focusing on studying instead. So unfortunately, after sneaking in the football tryouts and making my team in high school, I finally couldn’t make it because I needed written permission from my parents to be in the team. I somehow thought I could do it in secret, I was so wrong haha.
From that point I became obsessed to do any social sports possible at school (playing ball hockey and indoor volleyball at noon with the teachers etc). Off school, I would join garage leagues of ball hockey and during the summer, would play beach volleyball daily for only $2, all that up until after university and when I left Canada.
I was never really a gym rat until university, where I became a cheerleader, by default of NOT making the football team. It was always my dream to be part of a varsity team so I went for it. Such a contract from playing contact sport right?
How did your fitness journey evolve after school?
Since I left Canada, I have lived in Ho Chi Minh City, Dubai and even now here in Singapore, I always made an effort to play ball hockey with the expat community to keep in touch with my Canadian roots and hockey culture, which I am very proud of.
When living in Dubai, I would go to every fitness event, doing everything from yoga, CrossFit and boxing.
In Singapore, I have been blessed as I have found a group of ball hockey boys (yep, I am the only lady and they thought I was a man when they added me to the group haha) who have adopted me and through it have formed nice friendships and even golfing mates!
Now, with the pandemic, I’ve decided maybe it’s time to pick up golfing and try something not too physically demanding, social enough and with some challenges in the learning process to keep me motivated mentally as well.
Thuymi loves doing contact sports such as hockey, rugby and soccer. (PHOTO: Cheryl Tay)
You’ve had a few serious injuries – did it affect your psyche?
I’ve had multiple injuries from hockey and soccer, bad tibia bruises etc. Being that weak at the same tibia, I unfortunately broke that tibia for good after an accident in Vietnam. They had to insert a full rod into my bone, which I removed after a year and a half.
Not only did I hate my scars, but I was also unable to practise any sports for a while, which didn’t help my motivation for physio and recovery. Since my injury, I would say my fitness has been on a roller coaster, but aging has definitely done for me a wake-up call to keep fit and to stay younger longer!
Mentally, in terms of confidence, I’d say that since the injury, I’ve lacked that confidence of “rocking it” when trying new sports. I’ve always been that person wanting to do dangerous contact sports like rugby, AFL (Australian Football), which is the last physical activity I did before my accident – that happened during an AFL exhibition game in Vietnam for ANZAC Day.
Since then, when trying new things, I always have the fear of breaking another bone in my body and it does affect your “game”. I am glad that these past three years and after doing Everest Base Camp, I have matured mentally regarding my fitness and now ready for the next decade in my 30s!
You used to travel A LOT, for work and also for leisure. How did you balance travel with your workout regime then?
My husband and I used to always utilise hotel gyms and when we travel we always do physical activities like hikes, so working out was never really a problem while travelling.
One of our pillars when booking a destination is also to include a fitness activity. We did Nepal for example, to hike Everest Base Camp ourselves without a guide while carrying our 20kg bags. Once up top, with a group, we set a Guinness World Record for the highest-altitude fitness class in 2017. Unfortunately someone has beaten it recently in the USA – guess our next challenge is to do it at Kilimanjaro!
What are you currently pursuing in fitness?
I’m trying to get my fitness back as the lockdown in 2020 really has put my morale down in terms of fitness, and my goal is just simply to tone my body again. I have been quite active with F&B clients which made me gain some weight. I’m fine with gaining weight, I don’t think we should freak out about it, but it’s good to have some balance between eating and drinking more with at least doing some form of fitness.
Since there are no more gatherings of eight people, I am not allowed to play ball hockey. I have decided to pick up golf because usually that’s what professional hockey players do during their summer! I thought it could be a challenge to learn a new sport and try to be good at it. During this constant tango of lockdowns, golfing is probably one of the best sports to do to work on that meditation, patience and learning a new skill.
When you were younger, did you experience any incidents that made you feel insecure about yourself?
I was always a little confident kid, not afraid of guys or taller and older people. Not sure if I am allowed to use this term, but they called me a “jackass” and if you know the TV show, I was that person not scared to break myself to do anything, especially in sports.
Since breaking my lower tibia seven years ago, I’ve faced multiple times a real fear of going through an operation again and being not able to do physical activities for more than a year, but it keeps getting better. You just have to work on that confidence because I now believe that when you have fear, you are more likely to fall and fail.
A serious leg injury gave Thuymi insecurities on whether she could do active sports again, but she has since overcome the mental issues. (PHOTO: Cheryl Tay)
When did you feel the least confident about yourself then?
After my accident I was quite self-conscious of my scars. I would buy football socks that go quite high to hide my scars on the tibia and the knee, where they have cut a long line to insert a huge nail.
It took me time but after two years when the scars were less red, I’ve learned that they were there to stay forever and that I would have to love them as a part of myself. There is no point dwelling about it or being sad, so might as well embrace them.
I take life the same way as I treat my scars now. When things go bad, you might as well take the best out of it and stay positive as the pain of being negative won’t make anything better.
Did you ever struggle with your body?
Fortunately I have always been positive about my weight throughout its fluctuation this past decade. We are human. We age, our body changes. As women we go through different hormones and body states. We can only do our best at having a balance in our food and drink intake with the exercise.
Have you ever received any comments about your body?
Rarely. The only critic I have is my mum. She notices everything, even through a Facetime. Can you believe it?
If you could change anything about yourself, would you?
Nothing. I am so proud of my beauty marks, my love handles, my size, everything. I am making the most out of the way I am made and I believe that’s why I’ve never gone through any eating disorders, mood swings or mental health struggles up until now because of my positivity about life and my physique.
Singapore #Fitspo of the Week: Thuymi Do. (PHOTO: Cheryl Tay)