Many thanks for accepting our invitation to interview you in the Ambassador Antics. We know this is not your thing to be in the spotlight but that’s part of the reason why we pick people like you! We are very happy to have you on board, champion. To start things off, could you please tell us a bit more about yourself.
I’ve only ever been exposed to triathlon as an “Ironman Widow”, supporting my partner Nathan through his Ironman journey over the years. Most recently we travelled to Cebu in the Philippines for the Half and I thought wow I could get used to this… Who knew I’d go from swimming up to the pool bar to braving the open water…
Late last year one of my besties, the legend that is Aaron Mitchelson, asked me to join TA’s Try-the Tri program. I won’t lie – it took some convincing. I thought I’d complete the 6 week program and tick that box. Then I met all the wonderful people at TA who won me over – the rest is history.
What do you do when you’re not swimming, riding or running? What do you do for work? Have you always lived in Melbourne?
I was born in Singapore, and was sent to boarding school in Melbourne at age 16. Singapore’s so multi-cultural and a really interesting place to grow up. As a mixed-race kid growing up with Chinese and Indian parents, I’ve been incredibly blessed to experience the best of two very different worlds.
Work is where I spend most of my time. I co-own and run a digital consultancy with crazy smart people, working with the likes of Qantas, Uber and Facebook. We’re currently taking our little Aussie business overseas, starting with San Francisco, so that’s keeping me busy.
Outside of work, you’ll find me occasionally riding a longboard down the streets of Albert Park, dabbling in a bit of gardening, teaching myself how to sew or digging around in vintage clothing stores.
When did you do your first triathlon? Was it just recently after the TTT program or had you done one previously? (Or have you not raced yet?) What distance was your first race? How did you feel the minutes before your race, during and at the finish line?
My first race was the Elwood Fun Tri. I was definitely nervous because I’m a bit of a klutz but I had a great time. For me it’s so much more than my own race. I love watching and cheering everyone else on.
What’s next for you? You are now part of the awesome short course crew, are you racing at Portarlington? St Kilda? Challenge Melbourne?
I’ll take up my position in the cheer squad for Portarlington, but hope to attempt the sprint at St Kilda.
Since you just joined the TA family recently, is there any advice you would like sharing to other new athletes joining the club now? Anything that you’ve made/tried that has given you a better experience while training at TA? Can you share an experience or aspect of the club or just of triathlon itself that’s been really significant or special for you?
What’s been really special for me over the last couple of months are the people who have showed me that triathlon is so much more than just a race. There’s discipline and getting out of your comfort zone, but it’s also about friendship, community and experiences.
I’m not sure I should be giving any advice, but I’d say make triathlon what you want it to be. Adding a training commitment to busy schedules isn’t easy, and balance can fly straight out the window. I don’t have the answers to achieving balance because it’s different for everyone, but make time for all the other things that are important in your life, and don’t forget to stop and smell the roses.
Is there any other secret you would like to share with us? Favourite wine? Favourite country to visit? Favourite beach in Australia?
I have a phobia of feathers. I’ll do myself a favour and leave it at that.
(optional) Is there anything else you would like to share with us? Or anything you would like to say to your training buddies, other newbies in the club or to the people who have been around for a while?
All the people I’ve met at Tri-Alliance have shown me what community and culture means. Ollie, Bondy and their team have set up something really wonderful for us to be part of, but we each also have a responsibility to contribute to that culture. We’ve all been the new person, we’ve all had an injury, and we each have stuff we’re scared of. So don’t forget to look up and around you – say hi to someone you don’t know, ask how they’re going, and most importantly share a little laugh with each other. Thank you to everyone who’s done that for me, you’ve made me feel very welcome.
Again, many thanks for your time, Shereen. It was super cool to get to know a bit more about you. Have a cracking year ahead and we see you soon on the next training session 😉
Eddy and Steph.