Christian Velarde used to believe that exercise and gyms are not important. When he was still active as a stage performer–doing at least four theater productions per year with many side gigs–he was satisfied with his body’s performance and weight. However, when his career shifted to voice acting, he was doing less movements and felt that he needed to use his energy more.
“Noong nag-focus ako sa dubbing, hindi na ako nakakapag-play. Parang workout na kasi sa akin ‘yung performing,” he said. “Dahil doon, I gained weight at hindi ako sanay. Hindi ako happy sa weight ko at nahirapan ako gumalaw.”
This is self love and he has a goal of maintaining his youthful vigor. If you have been performing all your life, it would be gratifying to keep the energy as you grow older.
So he eventually signed up for a gym membership and fell in love with fitness. He subscribed to many programs like boxing and Muay Thai but he enjoyed running the most. Last year, he was able to join in at least one running event every month. Incredible, right?
“Sayang ‘yung pinuhunan kong consistency noon eh. Ayaw ko mangyari na porket nagkaka-edad ako, mag-stop na ako,” he said. “Para naman ito sa sarili ko eh. Gusto ko na pagdating ko ng 50 years old, malakas na ako. Para nagagawa ko pa rin ito. Sayang ‘yung panahon na ginugol mo if back to zero ka at ‘yun din naman pala yung gusto mo marating sa dulo.”
The love for cycling started during this lockdown. He owns a foldie which he used during the start of the community quarantine for errands. He was stagnant because gyms were closed and he was craving physical activities.
And then Christian found the hybrid bike of his late father. He’s thankful for it because it paved the way for him to do longer rides and for him to get his own road bike.
“Ang gusto ko mangyari is maging part ang cycling sa routine ko since tumatakbo ako ng minimum of 10 kilometers, 3 to 4 times a week. Gusto ko singitan ng bike ‘yung takbo para hindi ako ma-bore,” Christian said. “Then eventually gusto ko mag-try ng duathlon.”
As much as possible, he bikes twice a week and do long rides every weekend.
Aside from the health benefits, one of Christian’s main reasons for shifting into the bike lifestyle is sustainability.
“Gusto ko maka-save ng gas and space para maka-less ng traffic. Kaya hindi ako nagko-kotse para ma-lessen ‘yung traffic. Ito yung nakikita ko na solusyon,” he said. “Minsan nga iniisip ko na takbuhin ko na lang kaya papunta sa trabaho pero mas posibleng gamitin ang bisikleta.”