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25 km bike ride…yikes!

Last year at the finish line.

Last year at the finish line.

I’m participating in the 25km Ride for Heart on June 2nd to raise money for the Heart & Stroke Foundation. We all know someone who has been affected by heart disease or stroke. Whether it’s an immediate family, someone we are close with, or a distant friend or relative, it’s never pleasant to hear the news of someone suffering or passing from this disease.

This year, I’m riding in honour of several people, one of them my dad. Why my dad? 20 years ago, my dad was on his death bed from a kidney failure. When I say death bed, it’s literal. He died for a split moment. Today, if you knew my dad, you would never think that there’s anything wrong with him. Well, except for the days when his blood vessels pop, which could be anywhere on his body from his leg to his eyes. When this happens, it ain’t a pleasant sight.

Even though my dad only has 1 functioning kidney that originally belonged to his older sister and has to take 11+ medications daily, he’s a very upbeat, positive guy. A true inspiration to me. Over the years, his health condition continuous to deteriorate. He now has insulin-dependent diabetes, osteoporosis, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and most dangerously in my opinion, angina. He has been in an out of the hospital countless times because of his angina.

My dad is actually 100% dependent on a pace maker. That’s right, not 80%, not 95%, but 100%. This means that should his pace maker ever stop working, so will his ability to live. Several years ago, his pace maker ran out of juice. He was rushed to the hospital and they had to do an emergency switch. After the new pace maker was put in, he got an infection, so they had to take it out and planned to put it in on the opposite side. After taking it out, they couldn’t do another operation right away as they needed at least 1 full day to let the wounds heal. He was put on an external pace maker. That night, his pace maker got unplugged and he flat-lined once again. They managed to revive him with a defibrillator.

I’m so thankful every day that he’s with us today. He gave up a lot, including status and financial wealth, both of which cannot replace his health and the fact that we still have a dad.

So this Ride event is a very important one for me, for my family. If you are reading this, I’m asking for your kind support to please support me by donating to this very worthy cause.

Here’s the link to donate: http://www.kintera.org/faf/donorReg/donorPledge.asp?ievent=1024199&supId=359039249

Thank you for your support!

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25km bike ride vs. bikram yoga

After missing two weeks of Bikram classes (well, really only 2 days since I only go once a week), I finally got a chance to go this past Saturday. The problem with missing classes is that every time I think I’ve taken a step forward, I end up taking 2 steps back. This 1 step forward 2 steps back is driving me absolutely crazy. Believe me, I try not to miss any classes but sometimes, life gets in the way.

I’m one of those odd balls who welcomes challenges. I think it has to do with having something to focus on, something other than watching the many TV shows I’m addicted to. So that’s why I’m killing myself with Bikram yoga, and that’s why two Sundays ago on June 3rd, I participated in Ride for Heart even though the last time I actually went bike riding was 6 years ago in 2006. Of course the main reason I chose to participate wasn’t necessarily for the challenge, but to show support for all the people in my life who have been affected by heart disease in one way or another.

When I first signed up for the 25km ride, hubby thought I was nuts. Others might think that 25kms is short and easy but considering I had not been on a bike for the past 6 years, I thought I’d better be safe than sorry. Plus, my 10 year-old nephew, 5 year-old niece and 2 year-old nephew came along for the ride and I’m not sure that anything more than 25kms was doable with them in tow.

Hubby and my mom kept telling me that I needed to practice. So I did. I went bike riding with my mom twice in preparation for the ride – the first time for 30 minutes and the second time for 10 minutes. That was practice enough for me. The bike ride, however, turned out to be easier than I had expected. At no point during the bike ride did I question what I was doing or if I was going to make it to the end or feel the need to collapse.

When I went to Bikram however, I was only in my fourth pose when I started wishing that I was near the end instead of the beginning. I felt like collapsing and I questioned why I keep coming back. Temptations of leaving the room filled my head throughout the entire practice. It was truly one tough battle just trying to convince myself to stay. But I did end up staying to the very end.

I know this might be hard to believe, but a 3-hour 25km bike ride is peanuts compared to 90 minutes in Bikram’s hot torture chamber. I’d rather do the ride again then have to go back to Bikram. But yet, I go back anyway, week after week. Really, I have no one to blame for the exhaustion and soreness I feel after every Bikram class but myself.

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