Meet CLEO Hot Shot 2019: Kimberly Wan
Kimberly Wan, 25, National Ice Hockey Athlete
As a female national athlete for Malaysia, Kimberly Wan can skate circles around anyone! She’s been training in ice hockey for about a decade, and is also on top of her game in running her own Software-as-a-Service company. Since she’s expected to take part in regular competitions, her daily routine is pretty set with healthy habits in between like being mindful of her diet (though she’s found a great balance!) and keeping fit. Her journey as an athlete hasn’t always been a smooth one, enduring injuries along the way, but she’s keeping ice hockey part of her long-term plans.
How was it when you were first starting out? How did you first start out?
I started playing ice hockey a decade ago after continuously supporting my friends in the Warriors team in the ice hockey league here. Having at that time 10 years worth of figure skating experience, their encouragement to try out the sport coupled with a level of self-belief made me give ice hockey a go.
How do you prepare for a competition? Can you take us through your training process?
We make wise choices with the meals and keep up with the training while rising up to existing responsibilities in our lives as being a national athlete is not our full-time role.
The training usually entails on-ice and off-ice sessions to work on specific movements which will improve the overall performance when on ice. These range from cardio to strength work to high intensity interval workouts (HIIT) to explosive workouts.
Do you need to keep to a regular diet and fitness routine as a National Ice Hockey player?
I don’t count calories as I’ve built an awareness of what I should or shouldn’t eat and what the repercussions are for each decision I make with regards to food intake and fitness activity.
In this way, I’m able to still enjoy life and good food without jeopardising my long-term health and fitness goals. But as with all things, nutrition and fitness is still a learning journey for me which keeps me open to switching things up every so often.
What’s the most rewarding part about being a National Ice Hockey player?
Simply, it’s the tight-knit bond that we form as a result of training together consistently, playing as a unit, and experiencing all the wins and losses as one. On an individual level, I also deeply cherish the journey. [It gives] an opportunity for learning and for self-development. In this regard, I really appreciate how much we as individuals are able to grow from each experience and self improve.
“One thing people don’t know about me is how I pick myself up when things go south. And the way I do that is by turning to material that reinforces positivity. Learning and understanding what I need to fortify my mind and keep my spirits up is part of self-understanding and owning this process.”
What was the biggest challenge you faced being a National Ice Hockey player? How did you overcome it?
The biggest challenge I’ve faced is my own mind. Having been injured badly several times in the past during my figure skating and ice hockey years, I had a fear of becoming injured and feeling incapacitated again as I have on several occasions before. But, I gave myself the permission to recover and because of that, I was then able to recover in time to push myself in every shift, and every game that we played.
What are your long-term goals with ice hockey?
I’d like the opportunity to compete in the World Championships with our women’s national team, hopefully within the next 5 years. Given that this is a goal that cannot be accomplished alone, my intention is do my best with what’s within my control.
You also founded your own SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) company, Otomate Me. How do you balance your time between competing in ice hockey and running a business?
This year while I was selected to join the team in Abu Dhabi, I actually made the extremely tough choice of staying behind and putting in more hours in my business instead. In order to balance my time between competing in ice hockey and running Otomate Me, I’ve established a routine which enables me to allocate time to do what I need to do for each. Granted, the schedule is subject to changes but it looks a little bit like this.
5:00am: Rise, get ready, have breakfast, do some reading/learning
7:00am: Gym/Work out
8:30am: Get to work
8:00pm: Leave office, have dinner
10:00pm: Get in bed
Is there one unique story or thing you’d like our readers to know about you that they’ve never known before?
One thing people don’t know about me is how I pick myself up when things go south. And the way I do that is by turning to material that reinforces positivity. I throw myself into videos, audios, books, or blogs that centralise around uplifting and motivational content. Learning and understanding what I need to fortify my mind and keep my spirits up is part of self-understanding and owning this process.
Special thanks to Tropicana Gardens Property Gallery for venue assistance during the shoot.