Student Spotlight

Getting fit triumphs over a stolen bicycle

April 20, 2015 by Brandman University

By Lourdes Barriga

Lourdes Barriga and Massiel Pérez at the Boob Ride, a fundraiser to fight breast cancer.

Lourdes Barriga and Massiel Pérez at the Boob Ride, a fundraiser to fight breast cancer.

When the Wellness Committee started the “Walking Challenge” I decided to purchase my Fitbit in early February. In doing so, I wanted to maximize my activity and earn my steps so I decided to switch my regular bike ride from the Irvine train station to campus to exiting at the Tustin station and adding miles.

I had the motivation, my Fitbit, the walking challenge and suddenly, it all comes to a halt when my bike was stolen from my car in front of my own house. I went a grueling month and a half without a bike. Anger struck and I started to spiral quickly downward into dealing with some health problems brought on by not riding my bike. Not only was I eager to purchase a new bike, but especially so when it became doctor’s orders. My doctor helped me understand that investing in me and my health is so important.

I work with Massiel Pérez in the Office of Admission and she recently purchased a road bike herself. I spoke with her and decided that enough is enough. I was not going to let someone steal my bike and my health, life and happiness.

With the recommendation and encouragement from my coach Massiel, I purchased my first official road bike. Thank you Brandman for offering the Walking Challenge! If it wasn’t for that, my stolen bike (believe it or not) and my doctor’s important message, I would not have been as motivated and encouraged to set goals and meet them.

Massiel and I trained for almost two months a couple of times a week. I went from riding my bike from the Irvine train station to campus, which is 6 miles, to our culminating ride on Saturday, April 18, of 30 straight miles. It felt great knowing we raised money for breast cancer in the sixth annual Boob Ride from Irvine train station to Solana Beach.

I have always wanted to participate in a cycling event and for the first time in my life, I did. My family was at the finish line and knowing I would see them there inspired me even more. I promise that this will not be my last bike-riding event. I hope to continue riding as long as possible.

I’ll be the one wearing my Fitbit, my new cycling kit and a big smile!

About the author
LourdesLourdes Barriga is the assistant director for training and documentation in  Brandman University’s Office of Admission of the Irvine campus. She finished her 30-mile ride in two hours, 15 minutes. Her coach and training partner Massiel Pérez finished the 60-mile route in five hours.

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