Rising Through Defeats: Gretchen Ho

Winning streaks, hosting stints, sports activities, entrepreneurship, self-care, and many more—Gretchen Ho juggles her hobbies…

Winning streaks, hosting stints, sports activities, entrepreneurship, self-care, and many more—Gretchen Ho juggles her hobbies and passions, all while staying true to her purpose as a woman.

Starting with a lowly volleyball career at the Ateneo Women’s Volleyball Team, to making it to the finals, Gretchen kept her head held high and feet ready to catch the balls hurled her way. At a young age, the Communication and Management Engineering graduate became a volleyball icon, but her strength in the court went beyond more than the game as she was known as the “Woman in Action” not only in the field of sports but in the media.

Insecurity held Gretchen down–so much that she couldn’t look at herself in the mirror. Likening the situation to sports, it was like a sprain that withheld her from the game that she had to win. She stated, “Feeling ko ang pangit ko. I had acne. I didn’t take care of myself very well. I had that notion na, ‘Okay lang. Mabait naman akong tao. Kahit na anong itsura ko diyan, okay na. But I realized that affected me so much as a person.” Being an athlete became her driving force to take care of herself in every aspect of her life. In an interview with Rapper, Gretchen shares, “Sometimes, taking care of your outer self affects you internally. It can affect your confidence (and) the way you deal with people.”

Gretchen started her training by telling herself about the things that she feels good about every morning and this is where she started building the Woman in Action that she is today. She experienced numerous setbacks because she was juggling her academics with sports. In an exclusive interview with iMoney, she recalls, “I’ve had sleepless nights juggling between training and preparing for exams and papers. It was tremendous pressure but . . . I found my motivation in the fact that I couldn’t see myself in any other course.” Gretchen also faced the heartbreak of having an injury, and almost facing the risk of leaving volleyball behind. But on top of all this, she regained momentum and went on with her game, taking up hosting stints, working with journalists, being in the media, owning a business—and all started with a heart that stood strong despite its defeats.

Gretchen can fully attest to the balance of victories and losses, including the ones she had deep within herself. From an interview with Philstar last October 2017, the Woman in Action left a valuable note for all of us to learn from: “Besides hard work and discipline, learning how to live through victories and failures is something I learned from the sport. One day you can win, one day you can lose — if you get too high or too low, you lose your sense of self. Each victory and each failure is a chance to learn.

Gretchen practices staying true to who she is a woman and as a person as she constantly preaches about self-love and maintaining her self-worth. Her inner struggle was her training ground for a much challenging game in life. It was also proof that starting small (even as small as telling yourself in the mirror that you are beautiful) could bring you the victory you’ve always deserved. Gretchen went from the hard work of reminding herself that she is worth it to inspiring millions of Filipinas that they are, too.

Witness how Gretchen outscored her personal insecurities and see how you can win your game and triumph in self-love at the Freedom to Dream Summit 2019. Join us on April 13 at the Red Carpet, Shangri-La Plaza.

Together, let’s pursue our dreams with passion and conviction. See you there!