Working for the media industry in this day and age is not easy. But then again, nothing about this pandemic is easy. As the vice president and group advertising head of the Inquirer, there are a lot of hurdles to overcome and demands to be met. Add being a mother to the mix, especially with the recent reports of kids now being infected by the virus, and you’re bound for an inevitable cocktail of anxiety.
But if there is one thing that helps me keep it together, it’s the online catch-ups that my teammates and I engage in each week. Despite the growing stress caused by the pandemic, it’s a comfort to know that I’m not alone.
Making it through each day looks different for everyone. I personally abide by the principle that I need to be well so that I can properly take care of my family, my team and myself. For me, self-care means ordering in when I don’t have time to cook and giving in to my cravings every so often without shaming myself for it.
Prior to the pandemic, I was physically active. Having suffered from postpartum depression during my first pregnancy, I discovered the joys of working out and went on to try different activities, such as barre, dance, yoga and running.
But when the lockdown started, my activities ground to a halt.
In May 2020, I enrolled in Electric Studio’s online class. It became my safe space and I never looked back.
While there are days when I don’t feel like I am making any progress, I still make it a point to show up anyway.
These classes have become my “me time,” a relief from my daily routine of work, looking after the household, baking, and assisting my two children in online schooling. The goal for me isn’t weight loss but balance. What I’ve found is that endorphins truly do make me happy.
While I may have found joy in cycling online, doing it every day still isn’t enough. I need strength training and other exercises to mix it up with. That being said, I’m happy that Electric has managed to keep up with the needs of its community. They were the first to have online classes, both live and on demand. They rent out and sell bikes, gear and equipment. They’ve also pivoted, introducing various classes besides cycling, from strength, boxing, and flow, to core and high-intensity interval training.
I recently finished Electric’s 21-day challenge, which I did not do for any award or prize. I did it for myself because I believe I deserve the time to invest in myself every single day.
These 45 minutes reserved for exercise every day have been my lifeline. I’m extra lucky to get the support of my family—from my two little daughters who push me to work out every day, to my husband, who encourages me to buy workout clothes every once in a while so that I stay inspired. We survive each day by holding each other up.
Being a part of this community has inspired me. It’s inclusive, and there are people who are just like me—people who have stressful jobs, people who have kids to tend to, and people who are also probably stuck at home living through the monotony that each day presents.
The endorphins that I get from working out give me the hope and level of optimism that we’ll get through this pandemic together (as one community). I may not know everyone in the class, but it is a joy to see them push themselves one day at a time.
Working out gives me this infectious energy that I bring to the office and the home every day. It gives me the endurance I need to keep myself happy, and the stamina to go through the demands of everyday life. It’s one of the few Zoom meetings I always look forward to attending.
I may be a silent rider and I turn my camera off at times, but I hold myself accountable every single time. I am so grateful for the coaches, the owners and the community for giving us this opportunity to take a breather and take care of ourselves at a time like this.
I talked to some members of my newfound community to ask them about their own Electric experience. It’s nice to know what we all share in finding a safe space in hard times. Here’s what they had to say:
“The reality is that it’s never been this difficult to stay motivated. And that’s OK. What helps me is to focus on small wins, such as having adequate sleep, being able to eat meals on time and carving out some time to work out. Sometimes, these small steps are enough, and what we also need. More than the space, the reset that I get for myself each time I teach, it’s the fulfillment of seeing how my classes have impacted the lives of my riders not only physically, but also mentally. This experience inspires me to be better, whether as a coach, with my day job at Facebook, or as a person in general.”
—Marty Buragay, instructor at Electric Studio and emerging verticals solutions and video lead at Facebook
“Being an instructor in Electric is like varsity training. It’s something I look forward to at the end of the day. It helps me disconnect from everything that’s going on and does wonders for my mental health, apart from the physical. I get so motivated seeing riders show up, and it makes me feel like we’re a team and a family that can get through these tough times together.”
—Jam Munasque, instructor at Electric Studio and marketing manager at J&J
“I’ve been attending their off-bike classes since they offered it because it provides a variety of classes that complement each other. I am fortunate because other people respect that working out is important to me and are willing to adjust meeting schedules.”
—Keewee Adriano, lead corporate financial planning analyst at Crawford and Company
“Having the ability to move motivates me enough to put in the work every single day, even during days when I feel down. Every time I have the chance to move, I do it.”
—Raymund Orozco, occupational therapy consultant
“I keep coming back to Electric because of the community it has built. I’ve met a lot of people since I joined in April 2018. The fam vibes just make it addictive.”
—Pico Flandes, physician
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