ottawa 2003 jump finish closer.jpg
Bio

I was born in Hong Kong on December 26, the year you will have to figure out for yourself. Being Asian, I plan to be wrinkleless until I hit 70 when I will finally start resembling a shriveled prune and wear only polyester. Even as a prune, I suspect I will continue LIVING FULLY and plan to spin on counter stools with my grandchildren in fast food joints, much to the chagrin of their parents. I will be a very happy prune.

I grew up in a concrete suburb of Toronto, Ontario. My best childhood memories are of riding my bike around everywhere and of playing “Sardines”, a kind of hide-and-seek, except that everyone hides with the person who is “it” until there is only one person left looking for the “tin of sardines”. I would still play this game if my friends would, but obviously, we wouldn’t have as many choices for hiding spots now. We’ve gotten bigger.

High school was eclectic, geeky, sporty and artistic. I don’t think my pretentious drama classmates appreciated that I carried my Rubik’s Cube around. I played French horn and I loved it. I started running more “seriously” to cross-train and then completely dropped all the team sports I’d grown up playing. I don’t know why I took up running since I hated cross-country club in primary school, which I only joined to get the participation crest given out at the end of the year. Though running held a certain fascination, I remember watching a movie about a woman who trained to run a marathon after giving up a two-pack-a-day cigarette habit, and I thought, “I could never do that!”

I wasn’t part of the “in” crowd. In fact, I wasn’t part of any crowd. I was a geek girl, the smart girl, maybe even the weird girl, but I appreciate even more so now how different I was. After high school, I abandoned the little box in which I had grown up and moved to Montreal where I could rejoice in my eclecticism.

University was um, interesting ... If McGill had offered a Bachelor of Electives, I would have done very well. I took a multitude of courses like Math & Computer Science, Biology, Edwardian Literature, Islam and Eastern Religions, French in Quebec, Chinese, Japanese, and Sound Recording. Didn’t know what I wanted to be but knew I didn’t want to be the doctor my parents envisioned.

When I was 21, I fell upon this quote from “The Power of Myth” and it changed my life forever:

 “If you follow your bliss, you put yourself on a kind of track that has been there all the while, waiting for you, and the life that you ought to be living is the one you are living.”

Fact was, I DID know what I wanted to be and had always known, so I left university in the middle of my third year and started my journey. I became an actor. I followed my bliss and never looked back.

My twenties was a tumultuous affair of life exploration. I did some acting, some singing, and a whole bunch of other things. I did a lot of cycling. I worked in the music industry in marketing, retail, and then distribution, which I thought was really cool until I realized that business is business and the bottom line is $$$. It was cool though that I could cycle to work and show up in my Luau Pig boxer shorts. I had some boyfriends and some husbands. I got fat with my pregnancies. I gave birth by cesarean to two marvelous boys who are the loves of my life. I would have done more soul searching had I not been so distracted by life’s roller coaster of pain and suffering and joy and bliss.

I hit my thirties, and then I finally understood that roller coaster ride and how it can exhilarate. I became a single mother and arose like a phoenix from the ashes. I lost 20 lbs. and re-established the Feisty Hopeful Me that quit university to follow her bliss. I became an event planner. I traveled. I laughed and  played with my kids – they are so entirely precious. I rejuvenated my acting career. I took the dance lessons that I wanted to take since I was eight. I returned with fervour to my beloved sports and started running again. I was in my element and finally felt at peace again.

Health can be so precarious. I’ve had six operations since I was 22. I know what it’s like to not be able to walk or eat or even go to the bathroom. I remember awakening with excruciating pain in the recovery room and crying out for painkillers, only to be told that I had already been given morphine. I know all too well the nausea from anesthesia, having retched so violently that blood and fluids spewed from my sutures.

I ran my first marathon to symbolize overcoming obstacles like divorce and single motherhood, reestablishing work and career, and recovering from yet another operation. I ran to symbolize triumph in LIFE and LOVE and FAITH and HOPE. Then I ran a second marathon ‘cause I thought I was just really lucky with the first, then a third, “what the heck, why not?” and so on and so on …

My acting coach, Benson, taught me that it is selfish to have a talent and not share it with the world. I am a great organizer, know a lot of people, and can run. I discovered the joy of giving back to the community through racing - that finish line wasn't just for me anymore! I joined Team In Training and started raising money for great causes such as the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Canada.  It felt incredible!

In August 2006, I swam 4k, cycled 180k, and ran 42k to complete Ironman Canada as a member of Team Diabetes for the Canadian Diabetes Association. I overcame major obstacles during my training.  First of all, I had to conquer my fear of water and then learn to swim.  Secondly,  I had to take two months off  to heal from severe injuries from a high-speed car collision into an 18-wheeler truck before slamming into the other side of the highway.

On August 31, 2008, I raced Ironman Louisville as the Captain of Operation Triumph in honour of my mother who is unfortunately dying from cancer.  The training and racing was gruelling but at no time did it compare to the battle that my mother wages against this dreaded disease.  She is my hero and my inspiration ...

Nothing is impossible.

I don't believe in sitting around and watching life go by. There is just so much to see and do and feel and experience. What makes a moment miraculous or even just simply wonderful? It's not about the joy it imparts, but about the awe in life it inspires. True, there are those moments of great bliss where happiness is evident, but from great sadness one can also draw deep meaning and strength, and from this strength comes a great awakening.

I count myself lucky. I believe in passion. I believe in dreams.

I close my eyes and take a deep slow breath. A certain calm washes over my body, and I am home again.