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 at Pook Haraya View Deck 

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.

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. (READ: How I lost 50 pounds before I turned 40)

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.”

Rest if you must, but don’t you quit at Macaingalan

“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.

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.

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.

Closer to nature

“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.

Published by Mylene Orillo

Mylene Orillo is a contributing writer at My Pope Philippines. Prior to that, she contributed to the Health & Lifestyle magazine.  She's a former correspondent at The Manila Times; former editor-in-chief of TravelPlus magazine; and former assistant editor of Health & Lifestyle, Zen Health, and DiabetEASE magazines by FAME Publishing, Inc., a company owned by cardiologist Dr. Rafael Castillo who has given her the much-needed break and opportunity in the health industry and medical field.  Her previous job as a Media Consultant at the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office and Writer-Researcher at the Headquarters Philippine Army ignited her passions for charity, volunteering, selfless service, and love of country. As a young girl, she loved reading her mom's collection of Mills & Boons pocketbooks, which started her passion to write romance stories.  She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Sto. Tomas in España, Manila. She is now working towards earning her master's degree hopefully this year. She loves traveling, long-distance running, reading romance and non-fiction books, watching Korean Drama series, feel-good rom coms, military movies, and documentaries during her spare time. Someday, she wants to meet Prince William and Pope Francis, settle down with the love of her life and have a family and kids of her own; and become a bestselling romance author.

6 thoughts on “How biking helped Nerissa Manuel cope with loss

    1. I’m sorry to hear about your loss. I lost my father last year. I think it will take sometime for us to recover from this loss. But I’m glad to hear you’ve taken up biking as a hobby. I only used my father’s bike twice when he died. Still contemplating if I will pursue this hobby. I had appendectomy 4 months ago so I’m still recovering.

      Thanks for reading my blog.


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