Huffington Post Canada editor, Kenny Yum, shares how his running influences his work

Photo courtesy of Kenny Yum.

Kenny Yum is an early riser. The alarm sounds early and it usually takes a little while, but he’s up soon after 5:00 a.m. ready to drink a coffee and then head out for a run on Toronto streets. Running early is his alone time and a time of day that’s most suitable for his busy lifestyle. With no emails or calls to distract him, he can just focus on running. “No one is awake that early so you have no pressures around you,” says Yum. “I think through problems and enjoy the sunrise.”

Yum is the managing editor of Huffington Post Canada. It’s a busy job managing a masthead of journalists and constantly having to pay attention to news as it breaks and then deciding how to cover it. On many days at the office, there’s no lull. Meals are often eaten at the desk and live coverage and a bustling newsroom take over. While many of the writers on his staff are runners themselves, this isn’t exactly the place where one can rely on going for a nice cruise at lunch.

That said, as busy as it is, he always fits in the run every day. For the past 647 days, he hasn’t missed one. The run streak started as a build up to race New York but after the race, he just kept going. “I see the run as if it’s something that’s important to you, you fit it in,” he says. “I have several friends who are busy people. We have to run early.”

When he rises at 5:15 a.m. (or so), he laces up and gets out. Once back home, he stretches and then it’s time to check emails, news, and tune into the world. Then he gets ready for work. He has to be at the office downtown Toronto for 9:00 a.m. and when he arrives, he’s already well into his day.”Sometimes I walk to work downtown and I look at my activity tracker. I’ve already moved 17 kilometres and it’s 8:45 a.m.” he says.

Much of Yum’s job as the managing editor is running the news room. Mornings are crazy and so starting off each day with a clear mind is important. “A lot of people rely on coffee but I need a run,” says Yum. “It’s the perfect way to hit reset. By the end of the run, you enjoy it. It’s an oasis.” Throughout the day, he’s managing the personalities of the paper and, as one could expect from someone whose job is to cover the news, he’s dealing with the unexpected. By 11:00 a.m., he already needs lunch.

The Huffington Post is a busy place to work without having to be the one who runs the show. Because of that, work-life balance is all the more important and Yum says that it’s the running that gives him that balance. For him, it’s important that his writers also see that he has interests and is committed to things outside of work. There even seems to be a running culture in this newsroom with many of the journalists and editors getting together to get active. Endurance sports have especially caught on in the office says Yum.

In his opinion, he thinks that affects the newsroom in a positive way. He’s already seen how running has influenced himself as the editor.

“The attributes I have as a runner give me insight as to how I’m going to do my job,” he says. “Work ethics can be born from running.”