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How Biking Helped Nerissa Manuel Cope With Loss

"Life is like biking. At first, it’s hard, but if you’ll learn how to balance and pedal properly, it will be easy."

At first, 37-year-old bank teller Nerissa “Rhiz” Reynosa-Manuel only biked whenever she goes to a friend’s house or buys something from a nearby store. But when the pandemic hit, she tried getting serious with biking as a form of exercise.

“I feel good when I’m biking. It makes me perspire more. It helps me lose weight. It makes me calm. It helps me release stress and worries even for a while,” shared Rhiz.

Rhiz used to play badminton and volleyball during her younger years. She also tried playing softball in high school, but when she started working full-time and stopped playing sports, she quickly gained weight.

“I’m suffering from hormonal imbalance so losing weight was hard for me. I’ll lose weight, but I won’t feel healthy,” said Rhiz. (Read: How I Lost 50 Pounds Before I Turned 40)

To lose weight, Rhiz tried taking slimming coffees or pills, but it didn’t help her achieve her goal. She decided to take exercising seriously and change her way of life. She did cardio exercises, planking, push-ups, sit-ups, and walking, and eventually tried biking where she got hooked.

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(Left) “I’m on top of the world!” – Rhiz Manuel (Right) If Rhiz can do it, you can do it, too! (Photos courtesy of subject)

Her Quick Escape

Little did she know that biking will help her cope during the lowest time of her life. Her mother was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer. As her mom’s caregiver, she’d attend to her needs before she goes to work and when she arrives from work. It became a very stressful and depressing routine, except during Saturdays because it’s her “Bike Day.”

“That’s why I love Saturdays. Biking made me happy even for a while. I felt like biking helped me carry the weight of my life’s problems. When I’m biking, I felt closer to nature. I can cry my heart out and release all my pains, worries, and problems,” said Rhiz. (Read:
The Types of Bike That Fit Your Need, as Explained by a Cyclist)

Unfortunately, Rhiz’s mom eventually passed away. Losing someone we love is very difficult especially during this time of the pandemic, but that didn’t stop her from doing her favorite activity. In fact, biking gave her the motivation to go on with her life regardless of what she’d been through.

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Rhiz at Pook Haraya View Deck (Photo courtesy of subject)

Focus and Determination

“Life is like biking. At first, it would be hard and painful. You’ll crash, or worst, you’ll get hurt, but if you know how to balance [life] and pedal properly, you’ll eventually say, that was easy and you’ll eventually feel happy,” Rhiz quipped.

With focus and determination, Rhiz’s hard work paid off. From 86 kilos, she now weighs 66 kilos. That’s why she is encouraging everyone to try biking. (Read: Diet Plans for Weight Loss? A Nutritionist-Dietician Gave Us Tips!)

“I will guarantee you that you will enjoy it. But I’m warning you though, it is very addicting, but it will be good for your health. It’s an all-in-one thing. You can conquer your fears, exceed your limits, and explore new places. You’ll also get to meet new people and gain some friends. Explore new places,” she happily concluded.

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