Lim Ai San
I’ve always been actively involved in fitness but this journey only started a good eight years ago when I realised I wanted to be fit. I was an asthmatic kid so I did not do much sport during my younger days. When I realised I could actually do 15km runs, I never turned back and have always been active since.
When I was pregnant with my third child, my sister Ai Chiin told me to try spinning. A friend told me that the owners of Rubberduck were starting Aloha, an indoor cycling studio and Katrina was going to give us a trial. After my first session, I was left with such a high and I knew I had to go back. It was fun and a great overall workout. Katrina was such an inspiration. Aloha was also different because each trainer challenges you differently.
As a mother of three, I realised that the only way to get back into shape quickly is keeping active even during your pregnancy. I did 5km to 7km runs when I was carrying my third child and even participated in the MVCC 5km run in my second trimester. I was also doing HIIT with a group of friends as well as yoga. After I gave birth, I stayed active and changed my diet. Diet was truly the key to seeing quick results plus a crazy amount of cardio at Aloha.
When i decided to change my diet, it was truly a challenge because eating out with family was tricky and even eating at home with them was hard. The diet required me to eat smart and cut out all forms of processed food including natural carbs which have sugar. After five days, the cravings stopped and I ate without having to feel guilty. I was not bloated. I had so much energy and I just felt better about myself.
Co-founder and Instructor at Aloha Cycle Club
When I was studying for my architecture degree at USC, I signed up for a membership at Gold Gym in Hollywood. During my first day at the gym, I immediately gravitated to an enclosed room that was pumping awesome music. I was floored when I realised that everyone was on a bike led by an animated and fit instructor, sweating up a storm but having so much fun. I returned the next day to try it out and I’ve been hooked ever since. That was in September 2000.
I love that indoor cycling is a group activity but it is a very personal one as well. It is up to you how hard or easy you want your ride to be with how little or how much resistance you want to push yourself against. In this group setting, it is inevitable that you feel other people’s energy and this motivates you to work harder if you are feeling a little down or lethargic. When you have a good instructor with a good music playlist leading the class, you really feel unstoppable.
Our goal at Aloha Cycle Club is to create a community that fosters a more active and mindful way of living. We want it to feel like everyone’s fitness sanctuary. We are all about empowering people and guiding them to their fitness goals. We have seen folks who can barely walk because of a knee injury or are just in overall bad shape. Initially they enter the studio looking a little fragile and vulnerable, but after a few classes, they turn into confident and strong riders. It is such a wonderful thing to be able to help people improve their mental and physical performance.
I have always made a conscious effort, at a very young age, to be active and eat relatively well. Being physically active and eating nutritious food helps with emotional strength to a certain degree. But being still, and living in the present is just as powerful as it is effective, which is why we have integrated a little mindfulness into our Aloha signature classes – it’s to remind us to pause, even for a little bit, in the midst of all the chaos and just have a little ‘me’ time.