In this video by Bustle, Liya Wang, a Taiwanese supermodel, gears up and talks about how she is training for the challenging Ironman Triathlon. The triathlon takes place in a variation of continents around the world, including Africa, Asia, Europe, North America, Oceana, and South America.
Wang endured a 15-year long modelling experience, up until 2005 when she won the ELLE Model Look competition, and decided to stop there and leave her life of glamour to live a quiet life in Shanghai with her husband. She is now at the forefront of fitness today, embodying a strong empowered woman.
“When I’m running or swimming, there is a lot of inner dialogue because it is a very private time and it involves a great deal of self-examination.” When she modelled, Wang felt pressure to be a certain way all of the time, always having to give off an image of perfection, and having her whole life under scrutiny when she was in the lime light. “It was a struggle, and it took me many tries before finding that balance between being happy in my own skin and becoming what other people liked.”
Her marriage ended after two years which left her in a dark place, but through working out she found a new feeling of joy and inspiration. Exercise has helped her become the person she always wanted to be, with a new found confidence. She explains how she challenges herself to do keep going for a little longer, which has changed her aspects in other parts of her life, not just fitness. It has helped her move away from the insecurities and self-doubt she had in the past.
The Ironman Triathlon is a new goal for her to complete, with running, cycling and swimming, each of these sports remind her of certain aspects of her life. Running, for her, is stepping out of her comfort zone – people might be watching, judging, similarly to when she modelled. She reflects on swimming as being like a relationship, learning to breathe is what’s important, “If you’re in a bad or unhappy relationship, it’s just like drowning in water, you’ll suffocate.” Cycling is parallel to her work and personal life, focusing on keeping the right pace and balance as you carry on.