#NIESuperMum Feature - Fitness Mum
Thursday, 11 May 2017
I am Sally Loan, Assistant Head and Senior Educational Technologist from Centre for Innovation in Learning (IN-Learning). I work closely with faculty members and learning designers to understand the teaching and learning needs, review possible technological options and advice on the best uses of technology to enhance student learning.
I am married for 25 years to a lovely husband, Loan, and we have a 22 year-old son, Lenard. He is in his first year at NUS studying Environmental Engineering.
How did entering motherhood change your life?
I am actually quite stubborn and self-centered during my younger days. Very competitive in nature. I didn’t want Lenard to be like me. I became more forgiving after becoming a wife and mother. Lenard is smart, obedient and disciplined, I never had to worry about his studies nor do I have to nag at him to do his homework. I took up my part-time degree programme when he is in Secondary 1. We studied together. With great moral support from my family, I never had any stress.
How do you keep fit while juggling with work and motherhood?
I am always very active in sports during my younger days. When Lenard was growing up, we always exercised together. When Lenard was very young, Loan taught both of us to rollerblade. We spent most of our Saturdays in East Coast Park. In recent years, I am crazy over Zumba and have been actively participating in group exercises. I achieved my aim of gaining 5 kg, which made me stronger and looked fitter. Zumba is an awesome workout where you get to dance to great music, and burn a ton of calories without even realizing that you are actually exercising. With a regular exercise regime, I feel more energetic, and definitely more productive at work.
Does your child engage in Zumba like you? How do you encourage him to lead a healthy lifestyle?
Nope, he feels that Zumba is for women. He prefers to exercise in the gym using weights and machines, or joins his friends for games.
Being the only child, we wanted Lenard to mingle with other children when he was young so that he would be more sociable and wouldn’t feel lonely. We organised regular outings (swimming, cycling and rollerblading) for the kids. Lenard joined the floorball club when he is in Temasek JC, and continued to do so in University. I am happy to see him going out with friends and exercising together with them.
How important is it for you to create healthy habit for your family?
Everyone exercises regularly in my family. You can find my husband in the gym as early as 6.30am almost every morning. Due to our working hours, we work out at different timings. Ever since Loan introduced me to Zumba, my social life has been increasingly fulfilling. Not only is exercising regularly form a good habit, it also keeps my family fit and healthy.
What advice would you give to new mums / mums struggling to keep fit?
They can choose to join group exercises such as Zumba if they can’t discipline themselves. It is a great way to lose weight and build muscles, especially ideal for beginners, as it emphasizes on moving to the music and having fun regardless of the fitness level. You will never feel lonely, but be tempted to go for more.
If I could describe my family in one word, it would be…
Being a mum is …
Being a mum is the hardest thing, but the greatest thing. Motherhood is unselfishness, you will forgo your liking for the good of your children. I don’t see it as a sacrifice but an honour. The feeling is so great, and there are no regrets
Chit-Chat with Lenard...
Describe your relationship with your mum.
My mum is someone you would really call ‘young at heart’. For one, she is very tech-savvy unlike other mums and even I often go to her for help for IT-related issues. On a daily basis, she’s energetic and lively. She’s also really passionate about Zumba and regularly goes for classes a few times a week.
During school terms, I only see my mum over the weekends as I stay in campus. I make it a point to go home every weekend so I still do get the chance to see my mum and spend time with her. Sometimes I also accompany her to go shopping over the weekends.
Describe something memorable that your mum did for your/the family.
I remember after I booked out for the first time after my Basic Military Training (BMT) in the army, I went home and unpacked my bag, threw my clothes into the washing machine and went to take a nap. After I woke up, I found my mum ironing my army uniform and crying at the ironing board. Shocked, I went to ask her what happened. She told me that my army uniform was too crumpled that she can’t seem to iron it nicely even after ironing it over and over again for many times. She told me she was so scared that I would get scolded by my sergeant when I went back because my uniform was crumpled (she heard from my dad that during his time they would be punished for having crumpled uniform, and punishment back then was quite harsh. of course my mum didn’t know they don’t punish recruits for things like these anymore but she was worried nonetheless). Thinking about how I would get punished and suffer because she could not iron my uniform properly made her exasperated and eventually cry.
It did not seem much but to me, it really showed how much my mum loves me and how she cares deeply for me and my well-being.
How has mum been an inspiration to you?
I look up to my mum for being able to pursue her passion for Zumba and putting in the effort to religiously go for Zumba sessions multiple times a week. I think the way she puts in the time and effort weekly to do something she really loves inspires me a lot.
A few years back my mum was also taking a degree while working at the same time. I think it is really commendable that she is able to manage both sides so well and she really inspires me to put in as much effort as her into my own studies. Seeing her do it makes me think ‘if mum can do it, so can I’.
If I could describe my mum in one word, it would be…
If there’s one thing you would like to thank your mum for, it would be…
for being encouraging enough to not stop me from doing what I want to do, yet caring enough to raise her concerns for what I am doing.