The biography of Hoang Taing is compelling. After fleeing the killing fields of Cambodia, she emigrated to the United States, where a family in Texas welcomed her. Hoang made her mark almost immediately after her emigration from southeast Asia. At her first Halloween party, she won a prize for having the “Most Original” costume. What could be more American than dressing up as a box of Crayola crayons?
As a teenager, Hoang Taing discovered American sports. She tried baseball and cheerleading, and finally settled on cross-country running and general physical fitness as her favorite activities. Plus, she could easily share these fitness concepts to almost anyone, who could pursue them almost whenever and wherever, at a low cost.
Hoang Taing also developed her spiritual side during her childhood. At her first Thanksgiving dinner, she recognized the celebration’s commonality with her Buddhist beginnings: enjoy a big meal with your family, and share in the support and inner serenity that is provided by the ones who love you.
For more of her biography, see an excerpt of her soon-to-be-published book, entitled “Buffalo Girl: My Journey to Freedom.”