From Asian squat to skydiving!!
A not so typical adventure story (As published in Asian Newsweek)
Asian women have always been perceived as passive, submissive, and quiet. Even Hollywood has done their fair share of portraying women from the orient as geishas or a school nerd. I was finishing up a research last night and resorted to google, of course, if you want to prove a point just google it and voila! you now have your facts. I typed “Asian women are…”and the results are still mind boggling, from intelligent; good in math, assassins to kung fu master. Three things that really stood out, and from my own experience, is the emphasis on strong family connection, education and the ability to do the Asian squat effortlessly.
Oriental children have been raised to be dependent on their family and parents shape their kid’s lives for academic success. This is the reason why it’s so typical to see a home-school-home scenario. Sports and other adventure activities has not made it’s way to the list of “priorities” for most of my people yet.
Moving to a western country where independence and adventure is celebrated, like Canada, can be quite a shock. Leaving behind your friends, relatives and starting from scratch is challenging. But the one thing that I learned after years of living in a foreign land is to use time of difficulty as a teachable moment.
We are hungry, not the famishing type where you need to fill up your belly with a bagel from Tim Hortons but hungry to provide our loved ones a good life which means working 2 or 3 jobs. Sixty to Eighty hours of hardwork to send money back home or prepare a balikbayan box. There is no room for adventure- absolutely zero. And this is where I admire Canadian women the most- they work hard and play hard too!
Being immersed in this beautiful North American culture enabled me to blend open-mindedness with my Asian belief thus creating the best version of myself. My new work colleagues and friends taught me that there is more to life that working in my desk. That travelling is next to food, shelter and clothing.
I went out of my comfort zone at 22 years old when I first learned to ride a bicycle (yes, a bicycle!!), something most children do before they are 10 years old. FEAR- it has always taken over me and it took me 22 years to leave my fear at home and go outside! It was then when I realized: “if I can learn how to bike, I can do anything!”
Baby steps turned into a full-on-run, as before I knew it I was taking on more daring adventures. Hiking and camping in the wintertime while it’s -20C, driving from Saskatoon all the way to Guelph, skiing in BANFF, backpacking in the Maritimes, Axe throwing under the aurora borealis in Northern Saskatchewan, playing underwater hockey and underwater football, tackling my opponent in mixed martial arts and skydiving at 10,000 feet. I am by no means bragging about all of these but wanted to encourage my fellow Asian women to try something you think you can never do or achieve. Taking the first step is ALWAYS the most difficult, but once you do, you are half way there.
Let’s break down barriers and show the world that we are as strong as the character of Lucy Liu in Charlie’s Angel. We can jump off an airplane, shoot a gun and speak multiple languages too. Our oriental culture is beautiful, but there is always room for growth and it needs to start from within. A strong woman makes a strong family!
There is no race requirement to become an adventurer and explorer. It does not matter which country you are from or what is your favourite subject is school. As long as you have the drive to learn new things, you will be the BEST version of yourself. START now and you will realize, going on your next skydiving adventure is as easy as doing the Asian squat. It is so effortless! So laugh more, explore more, run more and ultimately, LIVE more.
See you out there,
This article has been published in the Saskatoon Asian Newsweek on for the February 2017 issue.