In this Walk Your Confidence Series, we are very happy to have Serene Mok Maxson, Mrs Classic Singapore 2018 with us to share about her journey representing Singapore in the Mrs Classic Universe 2019 pageant held in Bulgaria where she won the 3rd Runner Up, and most of all what inspires her to lead a happy and fulfilling life through social causes and fitness.
Serene crowned as 3rd Runner up in Mrs Classic Universe 2019 in Bulgaria
Serene crowned as Classic Mrs Singapore Universe 2018
Her Family and Joy
Serene who is 51 this year, is a mother of a 19 year old son who is currently serving his national service. She has been a homemaker fully devoting her time to her family and of course with the help of her devoted husband whom she has married for 23 years.
Serene with her husband and her son
Serene was always an active parent volunteer and committee member of her son’s school during his first 10 schooling years. As her son progressed to Junior College, her time with his school lessened. Since then, she has been actively helping in the Mission group and in the pageant charity events.
Devoting her time to Social Causes and Sports
She now also supports Days for Girls Singapore (DFSsg) by helping them to raise funds. Days for Girls is an organisation that provides washable sanitary hygiene pads to young girls and women in poorer countries, and DFSsg creates Dignity, Health and Opportunity for them.
Through such channels she spreads love, humility and grace.
When asked about her hobbies, Serene would surprise anyone who has never seen her social media pages before. “I am an obstacle course racer and an advocate of being youthful from inside out through fitness and healthy living. Last year I took the courage to race in the competitive category and proud to share that I obtained a silver and a gold at the podium for my age group. I did well too in the overall age group ranking of age 18 to 50+! The toughest race I have ever participated in was the Elite Spartan Ultra, which lasted 50 km with 60 obstacles, in which I raced for 12 hours.” If this doesn’t justify the quote ‘age is just a number’, we don’t know what will!
Serene participating in a Spartan obstacle race
Image from: Spartan Race, provided by Mdm Serene
The Sky is the Limit
Looking beyond the healthy living and pushing limits, she loves obstacle races as they have taught her to think on my feet at any given situation as circumstances change all the time. Her training involves clearing obstacles, strength, trail and track running so that she can be at the fitness level proficient athlete.
With grit, determination, commitment and passion she becomes an improved Spartan at every race. The progression from open to competitive category also took her to the next level.
Serene at a Spartan obstacle race
Image from: Spartan Race, provided by Mdm Serene
Recovery is about Progression
“Fitness and this sport were a big part of me, until I sustained multiple serious fractures on my right leg in March this year during an outdoor training. This recovery journey will take a while and my patience will be tested.”
Serene is now over 3 months into her recovery progress after surgery, and is already actively posting updates on her Instagram, where she can already be seen doing several workout exercises. She currently needs to walk around in a cast, but she has managed to navigate through a simple obstacle course without it slowly! We wish her a speedy recovery so that she can go full steam ahead in breaking her limits!
As Serene constantly advocates on her social media: “Not being able to be active like before can be frustrating. However, I refuse to allow negative energy to affect my goal to a full recovery. Staying focused, positive and taking each improvement as a blessing helps me to stay ahead.”
Serene at the 2019 Mrs Singapore and Classic Mrs Singapore crowning in crutches, in high spirits
Image from: Mdm Serene’s Instagram (@fitmok)
It may seem hard to fight back so strongly against an obstacle. Surely, we have all been there feeling distraught by a setback that would change our entire way of life, but Serene shows us it is all about how we face it. She quotes: With love, passion and commitment, challenges become a form of motivation.
Age is Just a Number
Mrs Singapore and Classic Mrs Singapore are annually held pageantries which act as platforms for mothers to know that they can still flaunt their confidence, as well as to inspire and empower other women throughout the pageantry. The title winners will also get to represent Singapore in overseas pageantries for their respective categories.
“When I turned 50 last January and decided to take the whole year of 2018 to celebrate my journey on earth as meaningfully as possible,” said Serene. “Taking part in Classic Mrs Singapore was on my bucket list too. It did not surprise my Husband that I wanted to be part of it as he remembered that I have mentioned to him many years back that I would join Mrs Singapore when I turned 50.”
Explaining her rationale and motivation behind her decision with powerful words, she added: “Why did I wait till I was 50? The reason is simple. I want to inspire and empower all women out there, that 50 is not the age to slow down yet. I want to be the living example for women, especially for my age group that age should not be a barrier to what we want to achieve.”
Serene donning her tiara and her Classic Mrs Singapore Universe 2018 sash
The Pageantry Journey
One might think that going on such a pageantry would have changed the lives of those who participated, let alone won. The pageantry process includes participating in many events with sponsors, as well as charitable organisations. It is definitely a meaningful journey for all participants.
Serene however, does not think that the pageantry journey has changed her life. “Instead, I like to think of it as a journey that enriched me. It has given me a wider platform to leverage on more meaningful charitable causes and meet many selfless pageant Queens that walk the talk.”
Almost any journey would require a large amount of determination to see through. A three-word summary was what Serene felt was her fuel for the whole pageantry: “Aspire to Inspire.” Her motivation stemmed from her goal of inspiring other women to be like her.
Her other motivation for carrying on through the pageantry was also what she mentioned as one of the most rewarding feelings she got from this journey. When people went up to her and shared that she was their inspiration and source of motivation, it made her very happy, because: “That sense of purpose keeps me going when I am faced with my own challenges.”
Every journey comes with a lot of memories, good and bad. At the end of each meaningful journey, the reflection process might cause us to have thought of things we would have changed if we were brought back in time to the beginning.
However, even as Serene recalled vividly that the Mrs Singapore Pageant included a few months of preparation and hard work, she confidently told us: “I embraced every moment with excitement, with determination to progress in the pageantry, and would not have done it any differently!”
Serene (in white top) with other Classic Mrs Singapore participants at a Yoga session as part of the pageant journey
Image from Serene’s Instagram (@fitmok)
With the pageantry, Serene continues to inspire and empower other women and sharing with them her passion in social causes and fitness. She is passionate about sharing with everyone that they should only become stronger and more motivated with age.
Love, Humility and Grace
Serene does not live by a long-term vision but prefers to stick to her daily acts of Love, Humility and Grace to touch and inspire people around her. “It is my way of giving back and a form of charity too. Sometimes it may be a very simple act of love, but it can make an impact. It brings me fulfilment to see people happy and having a positive attitude.”
Serene believes in impacting women through doing and showing, as she mentioned: “Actions speak louder than words.” It can also be evident by her constant contributions and participations in organisations which benefit those in need. Instead of showing her care and concern through words, she decides to do so through her actions, making an actual positive impact in the lives of those in need.
She has also seen others motivated to work harder upon knowing about her. Being able to inspire people around her to begin their own fitness journey brings her a lot of joy and she would like to continue to do so for as long as her body allows. She is encouraged to keep going when she sees people’s lifestyles changing to become healthier and happier from exercise.
She adds: “With courage, perseverance, patience and a never-say-die attitude, you could surprise yourself sometimes!”
Serene climbing through a rope obstacle course
Image from: Altamis OCR, provided by Serene
Love Ourselves First Before You Can Love Others
Serene shared that we should love ourselves by being kind to ourselves and knowing that we do not have to be perfect. Instead we should embrace our uniqueness and strive to be a better version of ourselves.”
Serene feels that women are powerful, but often forget about themselves. She elaborates: “Women are versatile creatures. Whether we are a filial daughter to our parents, a faithful wife to a man we started a family with, a devoted mom to our children or a career woman, just to name a few, we perform the task well. Quite often we are so busy taking care of all the above, that we may sometimes forget or neglect ourselves.”
She has a motto which she lives by, which is also a great follow-up to her words of women neglecting herself, being: “We must love ourselves first before we can truly love others.”
In one line, Serene describes her character best: “I define my limits and only I can break them, so can you.” Leading by example, her message is clear for all of us to follow.
We at Superwoman are very amazed by Serene Mok’s recovery journey, and we look forward to her updates and how she slowly recuperates her body back to her pre-surgery levels. We once again wish her nothing but the best and a speedy recovery! You can join us in keeping up with her recovery progress by following her Instagram page @fitmok where she posts videos of her recuperation workouts, among other snippets of her life!