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A Year in Quarantine: How Staying Active Helped Me Cope

"Because of all the work I’ve been putting in, I’m physically stronger than I was pre-pandemic."

As I write this, I’m about half an hour away from logging in to my next online indoor cycling class—and the realization that I’ve been at this for a year now has slowly begun to sink in.


Long story short, my unexpected love affair with indoor cycling began in early 2018 when I signed up for a trial run at Ride Revolution’s (RR) Greenbelt 5 branch. This will certainly sound strange (and perhaps cult-like) to a lot of you, but one spin class really can change your life. I love it more for what it is to me rather than for what it is at face value. Aside from being a means of torching calories, it was my ultimate happy place—and just like that, it was gone.

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The early days of lockdown were some of the most difficult. I was so grateful to be in good health, to have a roof over my head, to have food on my table, and to be with loved ones, but moments of peace were hard to come by. I was worried about everyone and everything; some days, it took all the energy I had just to roll out of bed. Staying sedentary wasn’t an option, though. Pandemic or no pandemic, staying active has never failed to keep me sane. 
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Because of the stay-in order, fitness resources were limited. I made do with what I had: a yoga mat, a pair of weights (and a carry-on suitcase stuffed with magazines for when I wanted to lift heavier), and pre-recorded content I could access online. The workouts were enough to keep me in shape, but I sorely missed the vibe of a live class. Bright lights, sick beats, and good company aside, I thrive on being held accountable and constantly challenged by my instructors.
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When RR launched The Revolution at Home initiative in April, you can only imagine how ecstatic I was. Riders were given the opportunity to rent a studio bike and attend live online classes via Zoom. Wheeling my bike into my walk-in closet—which is now officially my home studio—made me feel, for the first time in a long time, unbelievably happy; seeing RR instructors JP Hipolito and EG Bautista onscreen and finally taking their classes again even more so. I will never forget those first few weeks back on the bike—I missed riding so much that I took two classes daily for seven days straight. Nothing will ever compare to the in-studio experience, but the thought that I am just one click away from the workout I love and the faces I love brings me peace.

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As restrictions have eased up a bit, there’s a little more wiggle room for working out outside of home. Because of RR’s outdoor classes—bikes two meters apart, masks on at all times, and stringent health and sanitation protocols in place—I have the opportunity to ride safely in the same space as others. In keeping with public safety guidelines, I stay home as much as possible, so Ride Outside has been a great way for me to get some sunlight and fresh air, and to see friends.
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Little has changed one year in. I still ride from home—I wound up buying my bike—and, occasionally, join the team outdoors. I still work with my weights and now battered yoga mat. Because of all the work I’ve been putting in, I’m physically stronger than I was pre-pandemic. Mentally and emotionally? There are good days and bad days, but I’ve come to terms with the fact that things may never go back to the way they once were. And so I keep moving while holding on to what gives me hope—because at the end of everything, you hold on to anything. 

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Editor's Note: Interested in cycling at home? Check out @riderevolution


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