cover art for Ep 10. Miranda Tomenson, 2021 World Ironman Age Group Ranking #1 on Getting The Most Out of Ourselves

Wiser Living with Sissi Wang

Ep 10. Miranda Tomenson, 2021 World Ironman Age Group Ranking #1 on Getting The Most Out of Ourselves

Season 1, Ep. 10

“My time as an athlete is limited. I just want to make sure that every time I show up at the start line or in training, I make the most of what my body can do”

Miranda Tomenson is a Canadian triathlete placed number one in the 2021 World Ironman Ranking female 35 to 39 age category after two Ironman age-group wins and a first overall finish at Ironman 70.3 Muskoka (a half Ironman). A former professional triathlete, after a devastating knee injury in 2015, Miranda now competes as an age group athlete while running her own performance and wellness company where she coaches other triathletes. Miranda started off as a swimmer and has been doing endurance sports since she was 11. Athletics gave her a focus when she was growing up and so she continued it into her adulthood. Her first Ironman was in 2013, and since then she’s completed six full Ironman, numerous half Ironman, and has been working towards her goal of getting her finish time under nine hours with rigorous training. Later this year, Miranda will be competing in the 2022 Ironman World Championships Kona, where the best triathletes from around the world get together to race.

In this episode, Miranda talks about race day at Ironman Cozumel (2021), where she achieved her best time (9:16:12) so far | Why the Ironman race is considered one of the toughest one-day sporting events in the world | How she deals with a leaky goggle, flat tire and extreme heat on race day | Her most challenging and most disappointing Ironman | What keeps her going when she wants to give up | Her Ironman training schedule | Ironman training for beginners | How she became a competitive triathlete | What she loves about triathlon racing | How she manages her time between training, her business and family

To learn more about Miranda Tomenson and to see pictures from the interview, visit

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  • 19. Ep 19. William Irvine, Philosopher and Best-selling Author on Desire and the Ancient Art of Stoic Joy

    “A life of satisfaction is within your grasp if only you would change the way you think” - William IrvineIf you’re addicted to chasing after the next best thing and want to learn how to get off the desire train and be satisfied with your life right now, then this episode is for you. William Irvine is an American philosopher and the author of a series of popular books written for a general audience on the Stoic philosophy of life and how it can help us find more joy in our day-to-day life. He stumbled upon Stoicism, an ancient philosophy that aims to minimize the negative emotions we experience while maximizing the positive emotions, during a mid-life crisis 20 years ago. "The insight of the Stoic and Buddhist is that there’s another solution. Instead of working hard for the thing you want to be satisfied, spend that time and energy working to appreciate the things you’ve already got,” says Irvine. Studying and practicing Stoicism have certainly helped him become a happier person and he encourages others to give it a try as well if you have a hard time being satisfied with what you have or would like to experience more joy in your daily life. We chatted about:·     Desires, where they come from and why they never end·     The gap theory of unhappiness: why we’re never satisfied·     How to get off the desire train·     Stoicism as a way of life·     Stoic strategies for staying calm and satisfied·     How to handle intrusive thoughts·     And simple exercises you can try at home to boost your joy  Additional Resources: William Irvine: Desire: Why We Want What We Want: Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy:  Support the Show and Stay in Touch:Follow Wiser Living on: Instagram | FacebookThank you for listening and I hope you found something useful!If so, please consider sharing it with others.
  • 18. Ep 18. Lindsay Wong, Author of "The Woo Woo" on How to Rise Above Childhood Trauma and Get Along with Your Parents

    “People who’ve endured horrible things can laugh at anything” Our childhood shapes much of who we become as adults, so what happens if you had a really traumatic childhood?Lindsay Wong is the author of “The Woo Woo: How I Survived Ice Hockey, Drug Raids, Demons, and My Crazy Chinese Family”, a memoir about her unusual childhood growing up with a mercurial and unreliable mother who’s obsessed with ghosts and once lit her foot on fire in the name of exorcising demons. Her father was away working most of her childhood, and called her terrible names as a way to motivate her to achieve in life.Lindsay's parents immigrated to Canada from Hong Kong, and much of the dysfunctional family dynamic came from their Asian immigrant experience and her mother’s mental illness arising from generations of trauma. It was a super strange childhood growing up in the suburbs of Vancouver next to Chinese drug millionaires and her “crazy” family, where her aunt once held the City of Vancouver hostage on Canada Day for eight hours after threatening to jump off a bridge. Given her family’s history of mental illness, Lindsay began questioning her own sanity once she became an adult. Her childhood experience had also left her maladjusted to face the real world. She had anger issues, and wherever she went, trouble always seemed to follow. It took her many years to unlearn her early conditioning and find peace within herself.Working on the memoir had helped her heal and forgive her parents, Lindsay told me. When I interviewed her, she looked happy and content with her current life. She said it’s resilience that helped her through it all; her difficult experiences had also given her a wicked sense of humor, which grips you as soon as you open “The Woo Woo.” For our interview, I wanted to know how Lindsay managed to rise above her traumatic childhood and went on to thrive and create a life for herself that she loved. I was also curious what insights she had to offer on navigating the difficult patches of our relationship with our parents that we all experience from time to time.Along the way, we also chatted about how she accidentally became an author | How she’s a magnet for bad luck | The friction between immigrant parents and their children | How writing helped her heal | How she forgave her parents | What her current relationship is like with her parents | Whether we can truly escape intergenerational trauma | How to get along with difficult parentsLindsay Wong (Twitter): @lindsaymwongLindsay Wong (Instagram): @lindsaywong.m
  • 17. Ep 17. Patrick de Belen, Toronto Spoken Word Artist Speaks Up about Mental Health

    “If depression is more normalized then we wouldn’t have to wait to interfere… Mental wellness and mental health is just health. Just like your body and physical health, it requires a whole spectrum and a whole list of things to keep healthy." Patrick de Belen is a Filipino-Canadian spoken word artist based in Toronto, Canada, who’s well known in North America and the Philippines.As an artist, he’s praised for his wit, creativity, passion and sharp social commentary. He’s done commercial work for the Toronto Raptors, NFL Players Association, World Vision and Elections Canada, but it’s his personal digital poetry collection In Between Lines  (2020) that spoke to me the most and made me want to reach out and interview him.  The spoken word album has been called his most confessional work as an artist. In it, he bravely talks about his deepest fears and insecurities, and opens up about his longstanding mental health struggles. Patrick and his brother Jordan both struggled with mental health issues growing up. In the Filipino culture, mental health problems are often dismissed and never talked about in the open. In 2021, Patrick found Jordan dead in his apartment after committing suicide. Jordan’s passing affected Patrick deeply. Since then, Patrick has been working on a documentary about Jordan’s life to remember him, volunteering at Bereaved Families Ontario, and writing poetry to help him cope with the tragedy. Patrick says he’s doing everything he can to stay too.Patrick tells me he has always turned to writing and art to help him cope with his inner struggles, and today’s episode is a story of two brothers and their bond, mental health, art and healing.To see pictures from this episode and to read my thoughts on mental health, visit de Belen:
  • 16. Special Ep 16. How's your 30s?

    This special episode is a roundtable discussion about the reality of being in our 30s put together by my three close friends and me. The idea was born out of my curiosity about how today’s 30 year olds are really doing versus the expectations that come with turning 30. It’s an honest conversation where we share our aspirations and fears, triumphs and struggles, and the wisdom we’ve gained over the years about how to face life and ourselves.If you’re currently in your 20s, this episode will give you a peek at what’s in store in your 30s and help you prepare ahead of time. If you’re already in your 30s, I hope this conversation will make you realize that you’re not alone in your struggles and give you new ideas on how to face the remainder of your 30s.Now let me introduce you to my friends:Nina – my boss lady friend who’s killing it at work as a senior manager in tech. I like to tell people that she has a master’s degree in efficiency because she can’t stand not putting her time to good use. Nina is a huge planner and a strategic thinker. She has a toddler son and lives in Boston, Massachusetts.Sophia or Sophie – my artistic friend who values creativity and stability equally. Professionally, she’s a meticulous pharmacist, but her one big dream is writing. She’s currently working on her 11th middle grade novel and trying to get her books published. She also has a toddler son.Yusur – my fearless friend who for our master of journalism’s thesis fought to go to Syria at the height of the Arab Spring. Yusur used to have no qualms about packing her life and getting on a plane to pursue her passions. Now in her early 30s, she has come to value her newfound stability. Yusur lives in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories with her dog Mila.The four of us chatted about: turning 30: expectation vs. reality | The big surprises and struggles | The perks | Personal stories | Motherhood | Goals for this decade | Finding joy in our 30s | And what we’ve learned so farTo read my personal take on our thirties, visit:
  • 15. Ep 15. Marc Garneau, The First Canadian to Space on Embracing Life’s New Challenges

    “We do only have one life and if I really do want to accomplish certain things that I think would be great and that really motivate me, I’m gonna give it a go. And so I gave it a go in many cases and ended up doing three different careers.”Marc Garneau is a Canadian politician and also the first Canadian astronaut to fly to space in 1984. Mr. Garneau has had not one but three stellar careers. He started out in the Canadian Navy, then got chosen out of 4,000 applicants to be part of Canada’s first astronaut program. In the next decade, he rose up the ranks and was appointed president of the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) in 2001, but left four years later to enter politics. “I can’t tell you how many times people have said I wish you’d stayed out of politics, we liked you when you were an astronaut,” Mr. Garneau tells me during the interview. His foray into politics certainly surprised many people, myself included. In many ways, Mr. Garneau appears to be the opposite of the typical politician, and his big gamble in leaving CSA initially didn’t work out. He lost his first federal election and spent the next two years volunteering in politics before finally winning a seat in the House of Commons.Mr. Garneau admits that it took him some time to get used to his new position, but he slowly learned and through his efforts was appointed the Minister of Transport in 2015 by Prime Minster Justin Trudeau, and more recently the Minister of Foreign Affairs in 2021 during the Meng Wanzhou – two Michaels crisis and the Afghanistan evacuation crisis. During our interview, he recounted each of his three distinguished careers and we talked about how one thing led to another.In this episode, Mr. Garneau talked about what it was like to be the first Canadian to space | How that experience gave him a new perspective of the world | Why he decided to enter politics | The initial shock and how he got over it | Being Canada’s foreign minister during the Meng Wenzhou – Two Michaels crisis and the Afghanistan evacuation crisis | How he’s adjusting to life after leaving the cabinetTo learn more about Mr. Marc Garneau and to see pictures from the interview, visit
  • 14. Ep 14. Masterchef Canada Winner Christopher Siu on Building a Successful Dessert Chain

    “Being resilient and stubborn is very important in business. It’s quite normal when you’re faced with a high stress situation to feel like you can’t do this, but I don’t think it should be a deterrent because we all adapt and learn how to deal with these situations and improve ourselves”Christopher Siu is the newest winner of Masterchef Canada (2021) and the owner of Daan Go Cake Lab, a popular Asian Fusion dessert chain in Canada, which will soon open in the U.S. as well. Chris’s childhood dream was to open up a bakery store, but he initially thought it was going to be much later, after he retires from working as a pharmacist. In 2015, when Masterchef Canada put out a call for amateur chefs to compete in Season 2 of the reality cooking show, Chris applied and got in. Although he didn’t win the competition then, that experience inducted him into the culinary world and turned him from someone who baked for fun to thinking seriously about the culinary arts – the preparation, innovation and presentation of food. Chris’s smiling demeanor and one-of-a-kind dessert creations on the show won him both the adoration of the judges and the show’s fans such that when the show ended, he was already fielding request from viewers who wanted him to bake cakes for them. Two years later, Chris was at a point where he was struggling to fulfill all the cake orders and decided to quit his job as a pharmacist to open up Daan Go Cake Lab. Today, Daan Go has grown to 7 stores across Canada with two new stores slated to open soon. Speaking to Chris, I learned that he’s not only a talented baker but also a gifted entrepreneur. His ability to navigate through chaos in a calm manner and his strong problem-solving skills combined with his passion for desserts are why Daan Go is so successful.If you’re looking to start a business someday or to make a name for yourself, then you’ll definitely benefit from listening to this episode. Chris talks about how he went from someone with zero business knowledge to building a thriving dessert chain | The initial days of Daan Go: what it’s like to build a business from scratch | Daan Go’s marketing secrets to gaining a large fanbase | How Daan Go went from one store to seven | The right mindset to succeed in business | How he handles pressure and manages his time | How to determine if you’re cut out to be an entrepreneur and the rewards of entrepreneurshipTo learn more about Chris Siu and to see pictures from the interview, visit Go Cake Lab:
  • 13. Ep 13. Ken Liu, Hugo Award-Winning Author on His Most Ambitious Work of Fiction

    "Very few people can say that they wanted to play with a whole world and to invent it, and to make it real and to build it and to tell stories in it…I got to do all of that and to tell the story I wanted to tell. It makes me feel like I didn’t come into this universe and leave empty-handed. I left something behind that I thought is the best I could do, and that’s pretty darn awesome.”Ken Liu is a Hugo, Nebula, and World Fantasy Award-winning author of speculative fiction. His short story "The Paper Menagerie” is the first work of fiction to win all three of science fiction’s major awards: the Hugo, the Nebula and the World Fantasy Award. His latest book Speaking Bones, the final installment in his epic fantasy series The Dandelion Dynasty just came out on June 21. The 10-year saga is the culmination of all his effort as a writer where he has put all of himself – his knowledge, his understanding of the world and his life experiences – into the massive work of fiction. It’s likely his magnum opus and how Ken’s choosing to leave his mark on the world.  In this episode, Ken talks about his Hugo, Nebula and World Fantasy Award-winning short story “The Paper Menagerie” and how it relates to the current political climate in America | What makes a piece of fiction resonate with readers | His career choices and how he got to become a full-time writer | On being an autodidact: how he taught himself to write | The importance of experimentation as a writer | What makes a writer worth reading | An introduction to The Dandelion Dynasty series and Speaking Bones | How it feels to have completed possibly his most important work as a writerTo learn more about Ken Liu and to see pictures from the interview, visit Liu:
  • 12. Ep 12. Thomas Hurka, Canadian Moral Philosopher on The Good Life

    “Perfectionism is a view that says we ought to aim at the good life, but the good life isn’t the most pleasant life. It involves one or more of knowledge, achievement, virtue, aesthetic appreciation”Dr. Thomas Hurka is an award-winning Canadian moral philosopher and the Chancellor Henry N. R. Jackman Distinguished Professor of Philosophical Studies at the University of Toronto best known for his ideas about the good life captured in his 1993 book Perfectionism. Perfectionism, according to Dr. Hurka, is the philosophical view that humans ought to aim at the good life for themselves and for other people even if it’s not the most pleasant life. In his version of the theory, goods such as knowledge, achievement, virtue and aesthetic appreciation are essential components of the good life. In 2011, Dr. Hurka published The Best Things in Life: A Guide to What Really Matters, a book containing many of his ideas on perfectionism distilled for the general audience. His other notable work in philosophy includes the books Virtue, Vice and Value (2001) and British Ethical Theorists from Sidgwick to Ewing (2014).This interview with Dr. Hurka was conducted near the end of his teaching career at the University of Toronto. In it, he talks about making philosophy interesting to students and laypeople | Philosophical thinking | Perfectionism and the good life | Building a good life, the perfectionist way | Should you get a divorce and how best to raise a child | His book Virtue, Vice and Value: what makes us virtuous and what makes us evil | His stint as a philosophy columnist with The Globe and Mail | Life after retirement: “Maybe at this point in my life I get to have less knowledge and less achievement and just do the Brave New World thing”To learn more about Dr. Thomas Hurka and to see pictures from the interview, visit Thomas Hurka:
  • 11. Ep 11. Ray Zahab, Canadian Adventurer & Ultra Runner on Doing The Impossible

    “We may think we are average and we can never do this and never do that. The truth is if we are willing to take a chance and start taking risks in our lives, we can do anything.”Ray Zahab is a Canadian adventurer and ultra runner from Chelsea, Quebec, best known for running 7,500 km across the Sahara Desert in 2006. Since then, he has added Death Valley, Atacama Desert, Namib Desert and Gobi Desert to his list of expeditions; and going the other extreme, Siberia, the Arctic and Antarctica, in which in 2009 Ray and his team broke the world record for the fastest unsupported expedition to the South Pole. A former sedentary “pack-a-day smoker,” in 1999 Ray was in a state of deep unhappiness when he decided to start adventure running to turn his life around. That decision changed his life forever. Four years down the road, he was running his first ultra marathon at “The Yukon Arctic Ultra” – a 160km multiday race through sub-zero conditions in Yukon – and to his surprise won. That experience showed him that humans are capable of much more than we think, and spurred him on to do more races. In 2006, he floated the idea of running across the Sahara to his two friends and after a period of planning, the crew found themselves on the western coast of Africa ready to go. The journey was chronicled in a documentary produced and narrated by Matt Damon. Ray is all about turning the impossible into possible and telling the rest of us that we can achieve anything that we set our mind to too.In this episode, Ray talks about his transformation from a sedentary “pack-a-day smoker” to ultra runner | Running his first ultra marathon and how it changed his belief of what’s humanly possible | His Sahara expedition: “Sickness, injuries, we had it all” | His South Pole expedition: “We were dragging 200-pound sleds through headwind going uphill” | The planning and training that go into each expedition | The mindset of an adventurer | How to financially support yourself as a modern day adventurer | Where to start if you want to change the course of your lifeTo learn more about Ray Zahab and to see pictures from the interview, visit Zahab: