Triathlete Cherry: I won’t let fear defeat me
Cherry Ho, Head of Customer Services at Hactl’s Operations department, has participated in numerous triathlons. The first part of any triathlon is, of course, swimming, and Cherry remembers most vividly one competition in which she gave up halfway through. She was competing with other athletes at Hong Kong’s South Bay Beach. Shortly after setting off, she was overcome with a feeling of immense panic, and found herself grabbing onto a rescue boat; this meant she was disqualified.
“I had just started competing in triathlons. After coming ashore, I cried and scolded myself for giving up so easily. I told myself that I couldn’t let fear defeat me — and I haven’t given up in any competition since then,” Cherry declares.
Cherry has been working at the terminal for nearly a decade. She is known for her strong and resilient personality, and likes to try new things. Since she started running in 2006, she has constantly challenged herself with marathons and triathlons, which require both endurance and physical fitness. Cherry has already been women’s champion in one local triathlon competition.
Triathlons should have been an impossible task for Cherry — because, while she possessed a natural talent for running, and had practiced for some two years before successfully undertaking her first full marathon in 2007, she had a profound fear of swimming after nearly drowning as a child.
In an effort to participate in triathlons, she finally decided to learn swimming when she was in her 30s. Fortunately, she met an excellent coach who taught her basic swimming skills in a pool where her feet could touch the bottom, before moving onto a standard depth pool. Finally, Cherry took on the challenge of the sea, accompanied by her coach. “The first time I swam out to sea, I realised how beautiful the scenery was when I looked back at the beach from the floating platform,” Cherry recalls. In 2012, she participated in her first triathlon competition.
Cherry says that her husband and friends all praise her exceptional physique, but she believes the most important things are faith and perseverance. “You have to keep trying, and leave your comfort zone, while believing in yourself,” she concludes.
Cherry and her husband met through triathlon competitions. They are both sports enthusiasts, always training together for running, cycling and swimming. Even their wedding attire was triathlon sports wear! The couple completed the London Marathon earlier this year and will soon be participating in the Chicago Marathon. Cherry will then have completed five of the six World Marathon Majors: Tokyo, New York City, Chicago, Berlin and London — with only the Boston Marathon remaining.