It’s good to be a woman in this day and age. We’ve got more choices, and the right to exercise our options. Yet, society as a whole can be slow to change. The journey towards equality continues, with #EachForEqual being the call to action for this International Women’s Day.
The idea is that we’re all responsible for our own thoughts and actions. When we’re each empowered, we enable equality.
These inspiring Malaysian women embody the ideals of #EachForEqual. They’ve dared to follow their hearts into traditionally male-dominated fields – working hard to achieve success on their own terms. At the same time, paving the way for other women to chase their dreams without restrictions and limitations.
Rainty Teoh, IRONMAN 70.3 athlete and breast cancer survivor
Did you chart out a clear path to where you are right now, or did you happen to stumble upon your passion for triathlons?
Before I set my heart on joining an IRONMAN event, I joined trail runs and marathons. Once I finished the 100km ultra trail run, I set off on a new journey to participate in IRONMAN. I wanted to set new records for myself during this year, 2020, and proudly finished the Desaru 70.3 IRONMAN and Langkawi IRONMAN competitions.
What was the drive behind your achievements? Did you have a mentor?
My achievements are due to the strong support provided by my loving husband. I’m lucky to receive endless love and unconditional support from him. It would be impossible for me to achieve what I have without his understanding of why I do what I do.
Was there a time where you were extremely challenged? What gave you the courage and motivation to keep moving forward?
The most challenging time for me was when I was injured due to a fall from a bicycle. The injuries resulted in me needing to use a wheelchair for a month, and taking a break from sports for half a year. This incident nearly prevented me from fulfilling my wish to join an IRONMAN competition. Ultimately, this strengthened my determination to train persistently. Although I was still traumatised by the memory of falling from my bicycle, it did not mean that I had to give up. The dream of completing IRONMAN gave me the motivation to keep trying.
How do you deal with people who don’t believe you should be competing in triathlons?
I do have some friends who advised against participating in extreme sports. Cancer patients need to look after their health and avoid activities that are too taxing. I take this advice with a pinch of salt and an open mind. To me, sports is really exciting and I’m thrilled to reach my own goals. Reaching the finish line for any event gives me eternal satisfaction. Even if I fail to complete an event, I’m not defeated by it. I will attempt it again until I am successful.
What do you feel is needed to ensure more women are embraced in such a challenging sport? What needs to happen?
Women are capable of competing in a variety of sports, on par with men. In my opinion, the media plays an important role in broadcasting the news of women athletes successfully completing IRONMAN events. More exposure about the achievements of women in this sports will inspire others to try it out.