Fitness Talk

Fitness Talk

Are you sick of seeing #fitspo posts on your social media feeds? Do you get annoyed at friends who are constantly talking about their active and healthy lifestyle? One, you can unfollow them or two, leave them alone! Most people hate to admit it but if things bother you that much, it is something you are missing and crave for in your own life.

Why you should NOT shut up about your active lifestyle:

  • Motivation (internal + external). Gym selfies, progress pictures, motivational quotes— if it is motivating you, chances are, you are motivating someone else as well.
  • Accountability. Honestly, no one cares if you are going to go for a run at 6am tomorrow morning but if you post it on social media, you are most likely to do it because it’s out there. It doesn’t matter whether you are doing it for yourself or “saving face” (which I promise you, no one will remember), but the simple fact that you are doing it is all that matters.
  • Sharing is caring. The only reason I was able to stick with my healthy habits was because of the countless blogs I read about fitness and motivation. Writing about fitness also keeps me motivated because there is a lot of research to do behind a single blog post which means I am constantly learning and being inspired.

Life is too short to be unhappy, bitter, negative and judgmental and that’s the camp we don’t belong in! Stop caring about what other people think and be proud of your lifestyle and what you are achieving for yourself. Do what works for you. Do what makes you happy.

It’s YOUR life so be proud of it.

    0 Comment

    Don’t Think. Just Ride. Just do.

    Don’t Think. Just Ride. Just do.

    When I think back, I am amazed at how far I’ve come since I started my journey into a healthy and fit well-being and lifestyle.

    And then there was cycling.

    I use to obsessively lay everything out the evening before so my mornings are as efficient as possible. I use to obsessively check the weather before a ride/ commute to work and would contemplate whether to ride if it was cold and wet. When I knew I would be working late, I would contemplate whether to ride my bike to work that day so I didn’t have to ride home in the dark… or omigosh, what if I was just too tired to get home?! Then I would think about how miserably cold those first few minutes of a ride are on those evening rides. And what about flying downhill on that super busy hill with cars turning in and out of intersections during rush hour so I can reach the safety of my bike path? What if! What if! What if!!

    OVER-THINKING is a serious problem running rampant in our society.

    Over-analyzing, worrying about a future event that may or may not happen… it’s an endless loop you need to pull yourself out of unless you want to run circles inside the chaos of your mind. How dreadfully boring is that.

    I always knew how wonderfully refreshing riding in the rain feels (and how I love wearing my obnoxiously bright pink Sugoi rain jacket). I know the piercing cold dissipates after a few minutes on the bike (mainly because I’m distracted by traffic or the lactic acid building up in my not-warmed-up legs from the false flat). I know riding at night is completely safe because I have good quality lights and my route home is mostly lit— plus the roads are much emptier and so peaceful. I know how to dress for any weather. I know I have lots of experience on the road. I knew all this subconsciously but the mindset never really stuck.

    Your perspective on life comes from the cage you were held capt

    I bumped into a colleague in the hall one day and I was complaining about the shitty weather we’ve been having and he said to me, “don’t think, just ride.” He advised to not even check the weather the night before, get on my bike in the morning, rain or shine, and get my ass to work, which is what he does every day. He’s a true all-season cyclist! I was always aware of my issue of over-thinking but nothing changed until that encounter, which for some reason totally clicked and turned my mindset around.

    These days when I wake up, I glance out the window to check the weather so I can dress appropriately, grab my bike and ride my ass to work without a second thought. Same for my weekends rides. I no longer do anything the night before to “prepare” and my pre-ride routine (and life in general) is much more relaxed and stress free.

    I learned to live in the present moment …not the past nor the future.

    Around the time this began happening, I found myself becoming free of other things such as past cycling fears and conventions/insights on society, relationships and life in general, that I use to have …that has completely evolved, turning me into a much more open-minded person (which is a topic for another blog entry). I already saw evidence in this when I began my journey into fitness because habits I’ve developed changed many aspects of my physical and mental life for the better.

    Isn’t it funny how one small change in mindset cascades into different parts of your life, making it so much more fulfilled?

    As corny as it sounds, I have these moments where I simply feel free, when I remember what a contrast my perspective use to be. I seriously do not over-think over certain aspects of my life anymore and it is incredibly phenomenal and uplifting to realize that I’m suddenly free from those futile thoughts! There are still other aspects of life where I tend to over-think but this taste of freedom gives me encouragement and as time goes by, I know I will continue to psychologically evolve.

    Of course, there are days when I still don’t ride because I want to wear a new outfit, break in a new pair of shoes, have my hair did or I’m just feeling lazy… but I never feel guilty because I always make it up somehow. Just like not carrying any guilt over eating a giant porterhouse steak and a poutine in one sitting like I did the other night. After all, isn’t that why we ride?

      0 Comment

      Cycling Fears and Anxieties

      Cycling Fears and Anxieties

      Fear is an immense barrier when it comes to cycling and is the reason a lot of people refuse to get on their bikes. It also doesn’t help that we live in a society ruled by fear, where the media bombards us with stories focused on wars, crimes and accidents. We fear health warnings, authority and people with different beliefs. We live in a world where politicians and marketers use fear for their own agenda. It keeps us from our deepest desires yet fears are nothing but perceived threats that continuously play upon our emotions while our personal experiences compounded with the influence of the media and people around us, causes us to over-think, get overwhelmed and let our fears and anxieties overcome us. Thus we end up sitting at home, paralyzed with fear.

      What a shame, when there are so many great things you can do such as go for a bike ride.

      If you suffer from cycling fears and anxieties, it is most likely a deeper issue unrelated to cycling. From my personal experience, I was never actually scared of riding my bike but after getting to the roots, I realized they were results of wanting to avoid certain emotions evoked from past memories and over-thinking (what is this were to happen? what if that were to happen?).

      Fears are educated into us, and can, if we wish, be educated out. @ Big Wave Beach in Hong Kong

      I still suffer from certain anxieties before a ride but I overcome them by reminding myself that once I’m out on the road, these anxieties usually disappear instantly. Other times I force myself to quit thinking and just do it. You can’t tackle all the issues at once but being aware, identifying trigger points and committing to a solution while staying persistent in your goals will get you miles ahead in your journey.

      Here are some cycling fears and anxieties that I have or had:

      Traffic.

      Sharing a road with thousand-pound cars can be nerve-wracking … especially when you are at home thinking about it. After years of riding, I realized that while I’m riding on the road, those fears don’t exist— it was the over-thinking leading up to it that was the barrier and after that insight, my fear of traffic has completely disappeared. I now have complete confidence on the road (but not in a dangerously arrogant manner).

      Not knowing where to ride.

      Most forward-thinking cities are constantly improving their cycling infrastructure which covers the physical aspect of the fear but some of us still need to overcome the emotional fear. I still don’t always venture out to new areas by myself because I am stereo-typically terrible with directions but luckily I have some awesome friends that I can discover new routes with. Once I ride a route once or twice, I’ll have it memorized and can comfortably ride it myself. Again, I use to over-think and fear getting lost but I just kept on doing solo rides and realized that I always recognize landmarks while I’m riding. All that over-thinking was just wasting my time and holding me back. I mean, we have Google Maps and GPS navigation these days. It’s impossible to get lost. But still… working on this one.

      Getting a flat tire.

      I always perfectly knew how to change a tube but I never really had to do it until my 4th year of riding (super lucky or there were just boys around) and now that I’ve changed a few tubes in my lifetime, I’m pretty confident. I no longer get anxious about getting flats but I know I will get annoyed so I take precautions such as always checking my tire pressure before a ride and looking out for sharp objects. It still takes me forever though only because I have weak arms. This issue has gone away but I better get to those bicep curls!!

      Unpredictable weather.

      Riding in fall/winter use to get me really anxious because memories of super freezing rides are forever ingrained into my mind, even when I know the suffering is only for the first 15 minutes. The way I overcame this was by experience. Keep riding in all elements so you know what to wear and how your body responds to different temperatures, take notes and overtime, you will naturally develop confidence, since being prepared makes cycling a lot less worrisome. I’ve always advocated cycling in the cold so you shouldn’t ever let anything hold you back. It would be such a shame!

      Clipless pedals.

      I love my pedals but I still get anxious when I know I’m going to be stopped at an incline because I still can’t gracefully clip-in on hills. I’ve done it many times successfully but the fear of falling from a childhood trauma still gets to me. At least, I’m aware and I’m working on it!

      Lycra

      …Or as people assume: spandex (but it’s really lycra!). I am only joking about this one (since I think I look pretty good in lycra — harharhar) and although there is no written rule that one must wear lycra while cycling, some won’t even hear of it because they think it will make them look ridiculous! Well, some may if aren’t at their fittest (although who am I to judge and why should you care)… but at the same time, you can use that as motivation to get into shape because fit people look pretty fucking good in lycra.

      On the contrary…

      While writing this entry, I came across many forums and articles providing evidence that one of the best ways to overcome anxiety is exercise. So do you want to overcome your cycling fears and anxieties? Stop over-thinking, dust off your bike and just do it!

      If only we all had a “just do it” mentality which for me personally, were results of living a health-conscious lifestyle— it changed my life and most importantly, my mindset. Whether you lift weights, run or cycle, fitness develops mental toughness, confidence, discipline and self-awareness and this changes your perspective on the world and how your mind process events.

      Don’t let your fears prevent you from doing something as joyful as riding a bike!

        0 Comment