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Learn about how to get stronger, upgrade your mindset and cultivate a healthier relationship with food. I’m a Nutrition and Fitness Coach who advocates for strength, empowerment and education. Think of me as your personal sidekick. We're just two people with the same vision: a healthier, stronger, happier…YOU!

Learn about how to get stronger, upgrade your mindset and cultivate a healthier relationship with food. Let's work together towards a healthier, stronger, happier YOU!

Unplanned Journeys: Lessons from Saigon on Surrender, Serenity, and Fitness

What has happened so far? 

After a chill time with beach vibes in Hội An and Da Nang, I thought, what is the exact opposite?

So I arrived in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) on a Wednesday afternoon. I was aware of the sea of humanity and very liberal traffic laws, but I was not ready. After the initial overwhelm, I accepted my choices, got my membership at Saigon Sports Club, and found a couple of suitable coffee shops near my place with decent wi-fi.

The reality of this experience has settled in more. I’ve been navigating with open arms and an open heart, and also noticed that the honeymoon period has worn off. I’m riding the waves of low-lows and high-highs and taking it day by day, inch by inch. I have 5 more weeks here (for now); I’m not done growing or implementing why I came here. 

The biggest lesson I’ve learned so far is what I wanted to share with you:

Motorbikes or motorcycles scare me, especially as a passenger. I require trust in my driver, and find the lack of control very challenging. At this point I’m very experienced with riding grabs now and have finally learned a theme I’ve been exploring for years. 

I was sitting on the back of a grab amongst an ocean of humans moving in every direction, honking in crescendo, and rising anxiety. After gripping my seat until my fingers turned white and almost tasting blood from biting down my jaw so tight, I had a moment: I realized no one else was anxious and I was the anomaly. 

It was fascinating to see so many people navigating complete chaos so nonchalantly. I realized that no gripping or stressing would change the outcome. However, it was impacting my experience. So I looked around the same scenes with a fresh perspective, gave my full trust to my grab drivers, whom I didn’t know and whose language I didn’t understand, and surrendered to the universe. 

I’ll shift my focus on what is within my control, which is how I’m breathing, carrying myself, and existing in the present moment. This has resulted in a series of fortunate events. The surrender has been creating a slingshot effect, and I’m here for the ride! Let’s go!

P2 flexing in Saigon Sport Club on the mat

How is this relevant to fitness?

I started this trip assuming I would control my kitchen, cooking, training schedule, transportation etc. I found myself thinking thoughts that I talk through with my clients.

“When I get to a big city, I will be able to get into the routine I’m used to.”

“If only I had access to a kitchen…”

“If only I had access to a gym…”

“If only (insert whatever)”

Fitness has gotten me through every chapter of my life so I knew it would be my base but my path would have to change. 

I can’t use the hot plate or really cook, so I use the kettle and the mini fridge to keep pre-workout snacks such as bananas, diced watermelon, nut butter, drinking water, soy milk, and Vietnamese coffee. I found a few restaurants and cafes I like with a mix of Vietnamese and Western cuisines, prioritizing protein, vegetables, and being more aware of my portions. 

Since I can’t walk to the gym, I use motorbike grabs. I make decisions around what’s most convenient, which is often not the most ideal taking into account transportation, time management, stress management and that I’m here without a support system. 

Regardless of where we are and what we have on our plate, we still have to manage life and fitness variables.

I don’t have a full kitchen, but I have snacks and have created a food routine that works for now.

I have access to the most prestigious gym I’ve ever set foot in, but I have to plan my day, transportation, budget, and training routine better.

The grounding, the observing, and applying the skills are strategies are my responsibility.

Questions for your consideration:

  • Can you control the variables impacting your fitness goals?
  • What are the barriers? Is it an actual barrier or a perceived one?
  • What can you adjust?
  • What can you outsource?
  • What can you do without?
  • How can you create a food and fitness routine to meet you where you are at this exact moment in time and space?

If you’re not sure, let’s work through it together.

If you’re not ready for that yet, here’s a blog from the vault for finding your way back into the gym.

Here’s to finding some routine and consistency within spontaneity and adventure; the human experience requires both.

Stay fierce,

Coach P2

Real Talk




Unplanned Journeys: Lessons from Saigon on Surrender, Serenity, and Fitness

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