As a kid who got an early surgery for appendicitis, I had always been on the lookout for my health (like everyone in my family does). It may be because I was on a near death experience after finding out that my appendix has since erupted for 6 months already and were only found out after 5 doctors (blame old school technology in the 90’s – we didn’t have any CT scan back then and only ultrasound imaging) – but God declared a second time for me to live, so here I am in my late 20’s celebrating that restoration. Even so, I didn’t engage so much on any strenuous activities. My parents had me lived a privileged life of being at home. When I was in grade school I even had special reservations to doing just light HE (Home Economics) tasks.
When I stepped into High School, things started to change as I was already living away from my parents (at least 30 minutes from home). I started to see the real world, but because I had no interest in sports, I never engaged in anything until I saw the burning hunger for playing lawn tennis. My parents were very supportive – they bought me a racket, tennis balls, and allowed me to go out with friends. Unfortunately, I can’t hit the ball and I got discouraged because my friends would no longer want me to join them for my incompetence, and ever since I did not had any interest with any sport.
As I stepped into college, there were mandatory PE (Physical Education) classes I need to take to complete my degree and it required me even more difficult sports to take. I can’t imagine how I passed PE2 without knowing the basics of basketball. I was good at academics, but never in any extra sporty activity. I was an achiever, but I’ve never been an athlete.
After graduation, I applied for several jobs and moved further away from home in a hope to discover more than just the joy that a pen and paper can offer. But, I ended up in a call center, which even made it difficult for me to wander because the job had me sitting in my office cubicle 8 hours a day. Nearly 4 years after, I started to go out of town and had several vacations but it’s still isn’t enough (aside from the fact that it’s expensive and not sustainable)
Last month, I saw an old man (probably in his early 60s) riding a bike going uphill, and I said “What the heck is this man thinking? Does he even know that even 4×4 trucks are struggling to shift gears just to get up there?” I didn’t stop staring at him until I realized that he’s already on top of that hill, and I was screaming in silence — “WHY? Man!! That was awesome!!”
So I bought a bike last month and started to go out in the hope that I would be able to beat a 60 year old man. I started to get into flat roads first and then went into different trails every week to practice. Today, I came home from a sweet 50 kilometer ride to that uphill trail!
It took me a couple of weeks to master everything – from shifting gears to buying the right outfit and watching hundreds of youtube videos. In my first few tries, I always end up having tension headaches and joint pains after every ride – but that’s already a thing of the past. More than just the health benefits I can get, I think it made me realize 3 things about how to go moving forward:
- Keep myself open for challenges.
- Experience is my best teacher, and
- It’s not always going to be an overnight achievement.
It can get a little tough while you’re learning, but it’s soon going to pay off in the end!