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Digital Marketer & Rower Candy on the Race Between Corporate Life and Professional Sport

Candy Wong has the work-life balance down to a fine art. Set aside a top digital marketing career in the commercial hub of Quarry Bay, Candy has also taken her love of rowing to the top of its game, becoming an umpire for world competitions like the 2010 Asian Games, 2013 World Rowing Championships in Korea, and this year’s Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro. She’s also a budding aerial yogist, sharing her journey to becoming a practitioner on Facebook. Here, Candy talks about designing her day to fit it all in, stopping stress in its tracks, and her favourite dining spots in Hong Kong.

How do you balance your demanding corporate job with your love of rowing and yoga?
I have some key thoughts to keeping a balanced life. The first is time management: I set a target time to completing tasks every day with a checklist, only allowing myself 10 per cent variance for handling additional or burning issues. Also, I list things to do according to their priority. There are so many things I have to handle: work, family, working out, and meeting friends. Weighing and prioritising these in my mind helps me slot them into a schedule. And finally, I try to leave some free time with nothing to do! The mind needs a rest, and I don’t want to keep mine too busy.

Your passion for rowing has taken you all around the world. How did you discover the sport, and what have been your favourite experiences so far?
I started rowing when I joined the university team for the Intervarsity Championships, which is similar to the Oxford vs. Cambridge Rowing Championships in the UK. I really enjoyed training with my teammates for the same goal – to win the championship. The teamwork and spirit of rowing became my favourite experience, which built up my strength and my ‘never give up’ attitude at work and in life. Now being a rowing umpire allows me to participate in world-class sporting events, where I’m reminded that there’s no boundary of people, country or culture in the world of sport.

You have to work online and be constantly connected during your work week. How do you digitally detox, and how does aerial yoga relieve physical and mental stress?
I like reading online to absorb new ideas and inspiring stories. Health tips, recipes and touching videos are also my favourites. These keep me refreshed, which is similar to when I’m practicing yoga. When I’m practicing, I’ll be very focused on my body and breath, which relaxes my body and my mind.

What do you enjoy most about working in the area, and what are your favourite things to do nearby?
I enjoy the open spaces, like the green space outside of One Island East (Taikoo Park), which allows me to connect with people and take a breather in the middle of the day. I also like that there are many partners’ offices nearby that save travel time for meetings. There are also many dining options that allow me to grab a quick lunch or coffee, or enjoy happy hour with teammates and partners.

A healthy body and mind go hand in hand. What are some of your favourite health-conscious places to eat in Hong Kong, and what fitness stores do you love?
I love to go for lunch at Yo Bago in Quarry Bay, which makes fresh and delicious bagel sandwiches. The little French bistro Plat du Jour is the perfect place for a business lunch or dinner in the local area. I usually go there once or twice a month. I also like Café Greenprint, which is a Japanese/Western café that sells organic food and tea. For fitness and other things, I head to Muji, which I like for its simple concept of living, as well as Eslite Spectrum and GigaSports.
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