Lionel Choong is all fired up when he tells us about Operation Broken Wing, a Crossfit aimed charity event. He’s animated and his body language speaks volumes about how he feels. It’s the same when he talks about the social enterprise Innervate CrossFit that he co-founded. The business helps disengaged communities such as at-risk youth and the disabled through exercise.
People tend to start with social enterprises when they’re a bit older.
Maybe it’s a calling. Even during my student days, I’ve always wanted to give back and create a positive effect on society. So right after I graduated from university, I started the gym with two other friends to help disengaged communities.
What have you learned from your social enterprise?
I learned about the extent to which there are underprivileged people in Singapore. Once I went to pick up a guy to take him to one of my CrossFit classes, and when I saw his place I was shocked. There were about 6 people living in a two-room HDB flat. I realized that he wasn't performing well in school because he had nowhere to study peacefully.
Take out your work and Crossfit then. Who’s Lionel?
I’d actually take religion out as well because it’s a big part of who I am. I think I’m someone who is very passionate about helping others. I recently just got married and if there’s one thing I’ve learnt, it’s that I don’t need many things. All I want is my friends and family around me and for me to be able to love them.
How would you define a life well lived?
I think living a good life is about utilising all the time you have. Money is never as valuable as time I feel, and to live a good life is to use the time that you have well. Make every moment count, and such that it makes you happy.