Health & Well-Being

I Want to Elliptical!

I Want to Elliptical!

I have a confession: I love the elliptical.

My life is extremely hectic and I’m always on the go. These days at work, I’m constantly craving to just leave my desk, go downstairs to the gym, put on my headphones and zone out on the elliptical. But of course, I don’t often because I’m trying to maintain discipline. Cycling will always be my primary form of cardio and since I already do way too much of it, I know I need to work on balancing the rest of my body so most of my free time at the gym is spent lifting heavy-ish things and squeezing in a couple super high intensity interval workouts once or twice a week. I really can’t afford to do anymore cardio!

It seems like ages ago but I use to be a such a gym-rat. I use to be the queen of the elliptical, the queen of HIIT training, the queen of burpees, the queen of wall balls… okay, self-proclaimed queen. I definitely wasn’t the queen of lifting because I didn’t care too much about increasing strength, but I lifted almost twice as much as I can now. I use to do these workouts that would leave you face down on the dirty gym floor, curled up in a ball and gasping for breath… and I always looked forward to them.

These days, I have to admit I don’t love burpees or wall balls as much as I did a couple of years ago. I rarely do any intense circuit training. If my old gym-buddies saw me now, I would need to hang my head in shame. I did intense circuit today and was dreading it the entire morning so I had to make a constant effort to remind myself that I’ll deal with the pain when it’s happening, instead of agonizing over it beforehand. I want to throw up when I think back to how I use to do hundreds and hundreds of burpees for fun! Maybe one day I will get back into that…

Once I set my mind on something I always follow through, so after I finished my circuit and some heavy lifting, I rewarded myself with 20 minutes on the Elliptical.

I found my solution: the elliptical will now only be an award after a proper workout. I cherish it because it allows me to totally zone out with my music while not having to worry about my surroundings. It is therapeutic and I use it because I want to, not because I need to. On the bike, I am constantly on high alert and if were a runner, I would be paranoid about falling on the treadmill (thank god I don’t run). I still very rarely do steady-state on the elliptical… but I really really love you, elliptical! You were there since the beginning of my journey.

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    Tips for Cycling at Night

    Tips for Cycling at Night

    I love winter training and with that comes lots of night riding as the sun leaves us pretty early. I am confident with riding at night because I am always prepared with reflective gear, lights and tend to stick to less busy roads— my only fear is getting doored! The first thing I had to acknowledge is that when it’s dark out there…


    The number of cyclist in all black and no lights I see out there is ridiculous. Sometimes I wish I had spare lights to hand out to these people! At least the majority of night-time cyclists will be decked out with lights but pedestrians are worse because they don’t tend to think of these things… which is unfortunate but that is just a common human tendency. I would have never gotten this insight until I became started riding bikes and saw it from a cyclist’s perspective. Hence, another great reason to ride bikes!

    Pedestrians: When you are wearing all black at night, we can’t see you!!

    I had an incident last week on a wet ride home, when a guy in dark clothing, with headphones on, walked across a dark street without looking and the only reason I saw him was because he was looking down at his cellphone and I saw a tiny light emitting his phone when I got close enough. Otherwise I would have hit him. OH THE IRONY. On a separate incident, I was riding home along a bike route and I thought I was alone… until I heard a cough a few meters away. I didn’t even notice there was a person walking on the sidewalk under those trees.

    And to make it clear, I consistently make a strong effort to stay mindful and always look around when I cycle— safety is the utmost importance to me because I love life too much.

    hello sun? goodbye sun? Of course, your desire to be safe should never turn into paranoia, which may put some types of personalities off cycling. Believe it or not, the thought of riding at night use to give me anxiety but by forcing myself to do it anyway, I am now confident through experience and have no problems doing it. I never let fear hold me back from doing things I really want to do.

    Here are some tips for cycling at night:

    Stand out.

    I noticed that when I ride during the day, I sometimes don’t see other cyclists or pedestrians in front of me until I get close because they blend in with the surroundings. Especially if it’s another cyclist on the road in front of me when they are directly behind a bunch of cars. It maybe because I’m tired and disillusioned, the sun is too bright, my eyes are over-stimulated from all the movement around me (cars, people, lights), but whatever the point is, stand out as much as you can! Have your lights on during the day.  If it’s bad during the day… imagine the night.

    So LIGHT YOURSELF UP like a Christmas tree if you have to. No one cares how cool you look at night because no one can see you anyway!! I am actually considering these Monkey Lights for my Wilier for this winter… yes really!! I think pink ones would look so cute and no one will have a bike as sexy and as lame as mine. I mean, I already put fenders on this beautiful racing frame so I might as well go all out.

    Avoid black.

    Unless you are wearing something reflective… but I stick with my light-colored thermal jackets or my obnoxious bright pink jacket.

    Lights are a MUST.

    Front lights will let others  see you are coming and prevent accidents such as being doored by motorists getting out of their parked cars because they most likely cannot see you. Rear lights will let people behind you see you. If you regularly commute at night, carry spare batteries for your lights and keep an extra charger at work if they are USB-rechargeable. Check out this guide for choosing bike lights.

    I got caught out on a late summer night with no lights… and to make it worse, prescription sunnies that I couldn’t take off. I didn’t plan to be out that late but we stopped for one too many pig out sessions. We were riding on busy roads so it was quite scary! Now I always have lights on my bike, even in the summer.

    Consider the brightness of your lights (lumen).

    I’ve been blinded by other cyclists’ ridiculously bright lights and it’s annoying! Especially when it’s raining or foggy. You don’t need high lumen if you are riding on mainly lit and well-paved roads but you may consider them if you ride on rural roads and need to see where you are going because of potholes and other road hazards. Lights with adjustable settings are always the best choice. Don’t cheap out on your lights either!!

    Turn off your tunes.

    I ride with one ear bud during the day (and pause my music when I hit busy roads) but I would never wear them at night. When you ride at night, do you notice how you seem to be riding much faster than you are during the day? Well, you’re not. Your perception will already be wonky so throwing extra noise in there is total distraction.

    Leave later.

    I may stay at work later to avoid rush hour traffic, especially in rain or fog.

    Always assume they can’t see you.

    You can never be too careful. Always be stay aware of your surroundings and keep your ego at the door… don’t take risky chances especially when visibility is low. I was in the car making a right turn downtown in the rain and did not see a cyclist coming up the bike path until she was literally right beside my car. Luckily I was stopped but even with her bike lights, the rain can play tricks with your eyes.

    Consider ditching the bike in the rain or fog.

    Seriously… visibility can get really limited. No matter how experienced you are, there are a lot of careless drivers out there.

    Pedestrians and runners: follow the same rules.

    You are in the same boat!! We are invisible!

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      Never Stop Dreaming

      Never Stop Dreaming

      How would you feel if you:

      • Took risks without promises of success?
      • Pack up all your things and leave your life behind?
      • Did what you wanted to do instead of what your parents wanted to do?
      • Quit a good paying job without another one lined up?
      • Start a new career from the bottom up?
      • Decide to remain unmarried and childless?
      • Decide to do everything against all of society’s predetermined conventions?
      • Didn’t care what other people thought of you?

      It’s scary.

      But that’s why most people live conventional, boring and predictable lives.
      That’s why they do the same thing as everybody else.
      That’s why everybody is afraid to step outside of the box.
      That’s why everybody is so hesitant on accepting the different.
      That’s why everybody is afraid to be different.

      That’s why society is so bound by common conventions.

      Don’t be afraid to take risks and step outside of your comfort zone…
      …of the comfort zone of everyone in society.
      Do the unconventional.
      Be the unconventional.

      We are so often caught up in the fear of the unknown.
      But shouldn’t we focus on what we may gain?
      We may not necessarily gain a reward but we will always gain experience.

      Have courage.

      Live a life with no regrets.
      You don’t have to be in control all of the time.
      What’s the point in living if you have your entire life planned?
      Predictability is boring.
      Who wants to live by the same routine everyday?
      The most memorable moments and best opportunities usually spawn from spontaneity.

      Nobody has it all figured out.
      If they did, that means they stopped growing as a person.
      They’ve stopped dreaming.

      The more we abandon this freedom to do what we want to do, the more stagnant we become.
      Welcome the unknown, the uncertainty and the unpredictable.
      Free yourself from the perception of what you “need” to do…
      …and do what y0u want to do.

      Surrender yourself into the flow of life and let adventure take a hold of you.

      The quest to meaning is all about the journey.
      When you have stopped growing, you have already ended your journey.
      There shouldn’t ever be an end in sight.
      When you think you’ve reached the end, take a break but keep on going.

      Never stop growing, learning and dreaming.

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