Good lord, I have never in my entire life biked as far as almost 18 kilometers as an adult. I thought it was just 15 kms but turns out it's more than that. 💀
As a kid we used to bike around town in the province but now it's only last month and the other day that I finally started biking again. Man I am so unfit. 😆
Let me give you a background on my biking thoughts first.
👉 Before the Pandemic Quarantine
In 2018 until early last year I really felt the commuting hassle. There's traffic everyday to go to work. I used to work in the BPO industry so traffic wasn't a problem. When I got back to "normal" work hours as a real estate agent, man it sucked, and it's hot most of the time too. Also you have to leave earlier so you won't experience terrible traffic if by bus or the long MRT lines plus being pushed and squeezed in with people in the train just to avoid being late to work or meetings.
Last year I started thinking I should buy a bike so I can use it to commute to work. Ah such naivety. Haha. (I'll get to that later.) I was so fed up with the traffic and long queues that I imagined having a two-wheeler would make my commuting life such a breeze.
On another note, I was also told by a colleague that we should join running marathons and such. She said we need to do such things as we age. Hmmm. Well I just dismissed those thoughts as I never heard of it. I mean... yes I did hear my grandma say something like being active when you get older but I was content with walking a lot everywhere I go. Why should I do any other brisker activity?
And then COVID-19 arrived, suddenly quarantine came upon us.
👉 Hello Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ)!
Well, 2020 is turning out as such a hard year. Taal Volcano erupted and then boom, COVID-19 came to the Philippines. Oh boy. March 15, 2020 marked the first day of ECQ. We all said goodbye to daily walking/commuting. 💔
It's terrible to feel cooped up when you're used to going out and about regularly. By April I started to feel antsy and bored with my life. No I did not join any of the dance or exercise/gym challenges. Nor did I download and post TikTok exercise vids and all that shizz. I was just not doing any physical activity that much.
Maybe because I don't have an active lifestyle, I thus began to finally feel the "old age syndrome" creep in my body. 😅 The need to live an active lifestyle just never occurred to me at all. Of course I would prefer to swim everyday if I could but we are in quarantine so how the heck was I going to go out and swim somewhere?
Also, a pandemic makes you think more of your mortality. Sometimes it can make you depressed, anxious and pathetic too.
Anyway by mid-April I saw some Carabao milk for sale online and the rest is history! 😂 I then began selling milk and yogurts because heck, I was a No Work, No Pay individual. And I didn't feel like writing to earn money at all before that. Actually I stopped doing all the things I did to earn money when ECQ happened. I don't know why but perhaps that's the effect of quarantine on me. 🤔
Thanks to my selling activity I finally was busy and physically active again. Posting ads online, taking orders, documenting and processing milk/yogurt orders, bringing out the merchandise to be picked up by riders and such.
Boy those milks/yogurts were 1 liter/kg per bottle so imagine if it was several bottles you have to carry outside the house and walk a bit to where the riders were to pick the items up. Good exercise imho. 💪
Unfortunately by mid-May I felt too overworked for very little income and I didn't have a chiller to keep the products in longer cold storage so I stopped my new business. I then thought, "What now?"
👉 Finally Bought A Bike With My Own Money!
Back in April and May while I was still selling milk/yogurt, I would do my groceries by walking from home to a nearby supermarket. Man that was a long walk (1 km). Was ok with it but the added weight of groceries and the summer heat made it not so fun at all. Again I started wishing I had bought a bicycle or electric scooter even before the quarantine happened.
One day in April, I passed by the nearby bike shop on the way home from the grocery store. It was great to see them "open" even if quarantine was in effect. They had plenty of bikes for sale. I asked how much was the most affordable and when I heard the price oh I thought it was too expensive. Then they told me about a folding bike that cost around PHP 5k. Hmmm... That was the first time I thought a bicycle you can fold would be great for portability.
I used to ride just a simple/normal bike during grade school and into my teens. My brothers had their own bikes and so I was able to borrow one sometimes. Am not an expert at it but I did have fun back then while I and my cousin went around our provincial town. Of course now that I'm an adult I should finally buy my own two-wheeler! 🎉
Sadly I still didn't buy that folding bike immediately even after I earned enough from selling milk/yogurts. I went to the store days after I stopped selling the dairy products. By that time the foldies had already been sold out. Oh boy.
May 20, I was finally able to buy one online! It's a Japan surplus so I think it's fine. And I was happy to finally have my own bicycle without considering anything much. As long as I could use it to go to the nearby grocery and not walk too far I was happy.
👉 Back to Selling Health Products and Real Estate plus Writing Online Sometimes...
I had a couple of days rest and then started posting some real estate stuff. Also sent some quarantine related messages to previous real estate contacts/clients just to touch base. At least I was also back to writing here from time to time. Also had more time to play online and slack off. 😂
Eventually June 1st marked the easing of the quarantine. The National Capital Region or Metro Manila changed it's status to General Community Quarantine (GCQ). It's like a level 2 out of 4, 4 being the highest which was ECQ.
So of course some businesses were allowed to finally open, real estate developers were able to start selling properties again, even malls were partly authorized to operate, etc. With this came the problem of commuting to work. There were no jeepneys and the tricycles and buses cannot accommodate at full capacity yet due to social/physical distancing. Lots of people didn't know what to do to get to work as some companies did not even have any transportation service for their employees.
Many people were complaining on Facebook and Twitter about transportation issues. Of course the government was able to provide transport solutions later on but at the time, the best solution I could think of was for people to find and ride a bike. I even wrote a step-by-step solution article on Facebook which I shared to people and also posted in my blog.
Some people weren't aware of what to do so of course I did what I could to help. Little did I know, it takes more than just buying a bicycle to commute and get to our workplaces. I even had to buy a helmet for crying out loud. ⛑️
As soon as June came, my 1 km one-way grocery ride turned into 3 km one way rides and back again. Since I stopped selling the dairies, I then focused on selling the health products I've been using for more than a year now.
Why not when June 1st marked the start of GCQ. I don't think people are physically prepared to fight COVID-19 so it's good our superfoods drink is here to help. And because boredom was becoming the norm again, I had to exercise too. I happily used my bicycle several times to get stocks of health products from the nearest mobile stockist.
Of course the best thing to do is bike every now and then. It just progressed naturally. Lots of people are still afraid to go out and about so I started promoting One Opti Juice and One Opti Coffee more than ever.
I reached out to everyone I could online. Some people bought the superfoods juice and others bought boxes of healthy coffee. I even got some testimonials and an order from the USA! Wow!
Look at my customer's product testimony in Filipino:
Hopefully I reach more people who prefer to have a strong immune system, otherwise our products are here for anyone who need/want to be healthy all the time. There are those who can't afford to stay home any longer and have no choice but to find ways to commute to work. It would be real sad if they get sick just because they don't follow quarantine procedures and have a weak immune system.
But wait there's more! Mid-June I got referred to a manager of another real estate company. He invited me to join his team and since it's another top developer I thought it'd be good to be part of it. We had a short training and voila! I thought I had a new home-based job! Turns out our team eventually got transferred to a different division and another sales director. Before the month ended, a meeting was scheduled.
July 1st marked the day of general assembly. We would meet with the sales director and the rest of the teams at the sales office. Oh my, here we go.
Part 2 will be about my First Major Biking Experience! Stay tuned!
For the meantime, what do you think about biking during these times?
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Written by @artgirl for Steemit.
© Art x Stephanie Rue
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