When life gives me lemons

Mikki Phan
3 min readMar 30, 2020


Life has no limitations, except the ones you make. — Les Brown

Of all the fruits I ever tasted, lemon is not on my top 10 list of favorite fruits. Heck, it’s not even on the top 100; and probably belong somewhere in the bottom.

Despite my lack of taste for lemons, over the years I have came to appreciate this beneficial fruit and the values it adds to one’s dish and life (see 20 Brilliant And Unexpected Things You Can Do With A Lemon).

When it comes to life, lemons denote the unpleasantness aspects of life and the difficulties/challenges that we faced. While we may not like them, they’re a part of life and the process of living. And as long as we’re living, there’s no escape from these adversities.

Yet, some people go through life making it a mission to avoid the sour taste of lemons. Then there are those who came to expect life’s unexpected lemon deliveries, but braced themselves to continuously suffer through the experience.

I used to be one of these folks.

It was not until I accept the lemons as a necessary parts of life journey and personal growth I began to see them as life’s gifts rather than punishments. Through this change in mindset, I learned to embrace these gifts as opportunities — opportunities for me to learn, grow, and stretch myself.

I don’t always handle these gifts with great care and ease. Sometimes I stumbled and fumbled my way through them. However, with each lemon-receiving occurrence I became better at handling the gifts and be more creative with how I made use of them. And it quickly transformed to a reoccurring game which I no longer suffered through, but took joy to play.

Now, when life handed me lemons not only do I used them to make lemonade, but also bake triple chocolate layer cake.

So, what kind of deliciousness will you learn to make with the lemons you have?

In accordance with the theme of this article, below is my total body strength exercise during COVID-19 using the “lemons” I have laying around at home (e.g., water jugs, umbrella). And don’t be surprised if you wake up feeling all kind of sores tomorrow. I know I did. :)

Also, for those who need some workout music or the way I see it — soul-uplifting, dance-anywhere music checkout the We Will Survive playlist I compiled.

We Will Survive Playlist

Warm-Up (4 minutes)

Total Body Strength Exercise (45-60 minutes)

Suggested Equipment: Mini Bands or towel; Resistance Bands; couch or chair; dumbbells or 1-gallon water jugs; umbrella or broom

**Do these in pairs alternating back and forth between the pairs for a total of 3–5 rounds

Mini Band Front Raise / Towel Front Raise (10x)
Mini Band Lateral Squat Walk (10 total) to Standing Side Leg Raise w/ Mini Band (15 each side)

Bulgarian Split Squat w/ racked pairs of 1-gallon water jugs (10 each leg before switching)
Single Leg 1-sec Pause Hip Thrust
with Mini Band (10 each leg before switching)

Overhead Squat w/ umbrella and mini band around thighs (15x)
Deadlift w/ resistance bands / Deadlift w/ dumbbells or water jugs (15x)

Feet-Elevated Push-Ups (10x)
Feet-Elevated Side Plank Reach (10x)

Dumbbell Front-Raise to Overhead Press (10x)
Mini-Band Kickbacks (15 each leg before switching)

Bonus Round (3 minutes)

Cool Down (5 minutes)



Mikki Phan

She lives her life aiming to keep her eyes on the stars, and her feet on the ground. 🌌🐺🌠