Life is Like Riding a Bicycle

Chiqui and I in front of so many bikes in Nagoya

I learned how to bike during the Holy Week of 2014. Kit Rodriguez, a former MarkProf scholar of ours, went to my house to teach me, a kind of reverse mentoring that I truly appreciate from kind-hearted Kit.

Benjie Yap, Unilever Chairman and CEO told me in 2017 that my life-long learning inspired him in wanting to learn how to bike as well (Benjie – have you done it?). Alvin Kingson Tan, president of Chinoy TV arranged for me to be interviewed in their ANC-channel show; this time, not about business but mostly about my personal life, including my learning how to bike late in my life at age 52. Apparently, that topic piques the interest of many. I seem to be a late bloomer; I learned how to swim when I was already 33 years old in 1995 and the moms of my elementary grade swim mates mistook me as the swimming coach until the real coach appeared and asked all students to fall in one line, from smallest to biggest. I almost collapsed with her instruction!

Learning how to bike gave me so many lessons that are applicable in life. Let me cite some that I learned.

1. Know your why – In business or in life, if you fall down, you won’t need to pause and deliberate if you will continue or not; knowing your why gives you the strength and stamina to pick yourself up, continue and double the time and effort you give until you reach your goals. Biking was on my bucket list and I wanted to increase my methods of staying healthy for my family, so I can play with my future grandkids (hint hint). Previously, the closest I got to biking was the stationary bike in my bathroom.

2. Preparation is important – I asked Toby Claudio to deliver two simple bikes for a beginner so I can finally learn. I trusted him and his discretion since he knows bikes more than me. I got Kit Rodriguez to mentor me. While waiting for Kit, I watched YouTube tutorials on biking. I also bought helmets to protect me. Kit went two steps further – – we walked two blocks away to start biking lesson 1 so my neighbors would not recognize me in case I made a fool of myself, and he prayed that I will learn how to bike as soon as our first session. So you see, I have the why, I have the materials, I have the mentors, and I have a model (YouTube) to prepare me. There was no way I will not learn.

Proud to have Kit Rodriguez as my mentor for biking
Proud to have Kit Rodriguez as my mentor for biking

3. Expect adversities – Kit’s prayer was so powerful I got to balance myself in one try on my first day, but his prayer wasn’t accurate as I learned how to bike but did not know how to stop the bike. I kept going around our subdivision enthusiastically but hit a Honda parked two houses away from my house. Fortunately, my neighbor and his family were all out of town for the holidays and I asked their driver to fix the dent immediately. The repair added 50% to the cost of my bike. I was not discouraged.

4. Mastery from repetition – I had bruises on my legs and arms from practicing. A few weeks after, I fell and was picked up by three wonderful ladies. It was embarrassing but I continued practicing, knowing what worked and what did not work. I now feel a special enjoyment crossing the humps in our subdivision.

5. Conquer your fear, enjoy the ride – My biking was limited to Acropolis subdivision, where I live. One day, I had the perfect opportunity to bike in a public place. While vacationing with my distributors of Waters Philippines in Bali, Indonesia in June 2015, the Nusa Dua area did not have much traffic, and like an over excited kid left without guardians, I biked several kilometers enjoying the view of different hotels in the area, my best biking experience ever; I did the same routine thrice.

6. Keep learning – While in Nusa Dua, the carefree me decided to try entering a sandy area only to fall. But I learned one should bike on a flat surface and cannot bike in a sandy area. I enjoyed the lesson and continued to enjoy the ride even more.

Chinoy TV will feature my interview in their ANC season opening on April 21, 2018 (Saturday), 8pm with a replay on April 22 (Sunday and my birthday), 11am. Follow Chinoy TV on social media through Facebook ( or YouTube (/chinoytvonline).

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