Meaghan See On Pursuing Passions, Living In The Moment & Embracing Imperfections
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As a disciplined go-getter, Meaghan See copes with juggling two vastly different careers as a lawyer & fitness instructor by developing a routine and sticking to it. This week, we speak with Meaghan on the importance of pursuing your passions, living in the moment and why it is alright not to be superwomen sometimes.
Q: When you were in private practice, how did you balance the different aspects of your life?
To be really honest, I had very little time to do much else other and I let slip aspects of my life that didn’t demand urgent attention. Of course it was and still is all about priorities and good planning. I don’t know what I’d do without my Google Calendar. As my classes are planned about 2 weeks in advance, I get a good picture of how busy or free I’d be in coming weeks and I’d plan my other activities around my classes. I always aim to have dinner at home at least most weeknights, and on Sunday nights, that’s my weekly family dinner ritual. Personal time for me equals my morning run sessions or evening yoga classes when I have the time, and of course before bedtime when I get some reading done. I’d say my friendships have taken the brunt of my full schedule but I’m really fortunate to have friends I know who will always be there when I need them. And with the ease of communication with WhatsApp and whatnot, I know they’re only a text or call away. Of course the best thing about teaching at WeBarre and Anthem, is that the people in these studios have also become friends, and so in a way, I’m always with friends!
Q: Was your decision to leave your career as a lawyer in private practice influenced by your passion for fitness?
Mostly yes I would say.. But also because the practice area I was in didn’t really appeal to me and I guess when my days are so juxtaposed by the two very different things I do, it is easy to see which one I take a lot more interest in and hence which I’m willing to make the sacrifice. I don’t intend to leave the legal industry wholly as that is still one aspect that has called to me for most of my life and one which I know I can’t easily let go off. But then again, so is my passion for fitness which I don’t see myself letting go off either. So we’ll see 😉
Q: What would you say are your three main priorities in life?
In no particular order, being fit physically and mentally to keep me going whatever the circumstance, inspiring women to pursue their passions (whatever it may be), and of course, my family and relationships.
Q: What motivated you to teach classes at Anthem & WeBarre?
It’s a pretty long story that started out from me taking to barre and indoor cycling in San Francisco where I lived for my post-graduate studies and eventually moving back to Singapore and discovering Singapore’s then first indoor cycling boutique (7Cycle), getting hired by them to work as their front-of-house and random operations person where I was supposed to train to be an instructor, which didn’t work out but which led to me finding a space in Anthem and eventually teaching there. I had met Linda, the co-owner of WeBarre at 7Cycle where she was an instructor, and she had approached me towards the third quarter of 2015 to train to be an instructor for WeBarre and since I had always wanted to be a trained barre instructor from the time I started going for barre classes in San Francisco, I agreed without a second thought.
What motivated me to go into teaching was the thought that I could make people feel the way I feel when I’m in classes and after classes. In classes, extreme exhaustion yet the incomprehensible urge to keep pushing and going on, knowing that each second I’m in there will make me stronger, and surprising myself each time seeing how far my body can go. After classes, that sense of deep satisfaction knowing that I gave it my all and that extreme exhilaration that will take me through the day (or also extreme exhaustion that will make my night’s sleep extra comfortable).
Q: Besides spin & barre, what other workouts do you enjoy doing?
Running, yoga and any high intensity workouts. Running is my ritual and I can’t imagine my life without it. It clears my mind and is my mental trainer; because I know I can’t stop won’t stop until I get to the very end. Yoga is my zen time where I get to peace out and stretch all the kinks and tension away in my body. High intensity.. when there’s pent-up energy or angst in me I need to release..
6) Let’s talk about your diet -how do you incorporate healthy meals into your daily routine and what are some of your vices (if any)?
I’ve been a vegetarian for close to 10 years now so I think I’m mostly pretty healthy, other than for the fact that I can’t live without bread and sweets. Because of the amount of physical activity I do, I don’t really restrict myself from eating what I want. A fruit juice or smoothie is a must for me almost every morning because I’d be too lazy to chew early in the mornings and it’s a good energy booster. But my vices are definitely my need for something sweet everyday, mostly chocolate.
Q: Do you travel? If so, which is your favourite destination and what do you think we can learn from other cultures?
I don’t travel as much as I would like to. But San Francisco for sure is my favourite place. I may be biased having lived there for a period of time but I’ve never felt so comfortable in a foreign country before as I was there. The sights, food, weather and the people. Nowhere I’ve been has topped any of those yet in my books. The people I met there are so sincere and genuinely passionate and take so much pride in what they do. From the coffee baristas to salespersons to lawyers to techpreneurs to professors – very few people I met there did not blow my mind. The biggest takeaway from my time there was to always have passion in what you do; it’s the only way you can make an impact and impression on those on the receiving end of your actions.
Q: Is mindfulness important to you? How do you incorporate it into your life?
Mindfulness is one thing I definitely need to work on. I find myself constantly thinking ahead of time which means I don’t fully immerse myself in a particular situation sometimes. I have to purposefully bring myself to the moment to be able to indulge fully in what’s going on around me. It is also during my yoga sessions that I get to hone this work-in-progress habit and hopefully get to a point where I’m able to cultivate a much better mindfulness practice!
Q: What other passions do you wish to pursue if you had, say 48 hours in a day?
I would love to have more time to read alot more than I do now. As a child I used to read so much. From non-fiction to fiction books, I went through books so quickly I remember visiting the library or bookstore weekly. Books give us much more than we know. Whether it’s to escape reality for just a little while, or to get into the minds of great personalities and minds, there’s so much to be learnt out there. I’d love to eventually also try my hand at writing. Writing what of course is still a big question mark!
Q: What do you hope to achieve as an ambassador for The Busy Woman Project?
I hope to be able to reach out to women like me who are juggling with differing obligations, voluntary or not, and to let them know that it’s perfectly fine to not be superwomen. Being a lawyer and part-time, sometimes I think even full-time, instructor, sounds like hard work and it is. Sacrifices have to be made, plans may sometimes have to be re-scheduled, early nights are more often than not a must. But I’ve never once regretted my decision to take on both careers at one go because hey, if not now then when? Although I try my best at what I do, I wish all the time that I had more energy and more time to do what I want to do. There’s always the pressure to look at your tip-top shape, eat perfectly healthy all the time, but sometimes, it’s important to know that it’s okay to relax a little, sleep in a little, eat fries and chocolate and loads of cheese and bread to let your body have what it deserves. 9
And that’s ultimately what I hope to achieve as an ambassador for The Busy Woman Project – to share with like-minded women my experiences, my journey, my worries, concerns and that ultimately, we are surrounded by women who share the same of all the above with me. It is only by sharing that we know we are not alone in our journeys and with that, be #strongertogether.
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