The Running Struggle: Of Panting and Determination

Physical activity didn’t appeal to me almost all my life. I loathed getting sweaty, staying under the sun and getting dirty. I would whine on any walking activity that I needed to do. Years back, I would ride a cab from my place to my workplace that was two blocks away (approximately 5-minute brisk walk). The usual plug down rate was Php30.00 (old price) and I usually only paid for the price or just Php32.50. That’s how near it was.

Oh, not to mention, I hated Physical Education since grade school. I didn’t take the subject seriously and would delete it on my prospectus in a heartbeat if it wasn’t required. I couldn’t also forget my community exposure in nursing school during my sophomore years. I was sure that I did complain almost or if not, everyday.

However, when you age, you grow up. You start thinking of things you have not given any thought previously. You begin realizing of mistakes you did in the past. You stop just thinking of yourself only and getting what you want. You become sensitive of other’s feelings. You learn valuing what you were taking for granted. In short, you get out of puberty stage: of immature and rebellious acts, of wanting and wanting for more, of satisfying yourself only, of unpredictable mood swings, and of “No, I will to do it my way.”

Sumilon Road, Cebu Business Park: The witness of my struggle.
Sumilon Road, Cebu Business Park: The witness of my struggle.

Out of the blue, while we just finished a summer party at Mandarin Hotel and me still wearing this and cardigan on top, we accidentally passed by at an AFP(Armed Forces of the Philippines) exhibit in Ayala Center Cebu. I, then, became interested to be a soldier and got excited to wear their camouflage. This led to the moniker #machodream on most of my application processing pictures and FB posts.

Source: Phil. Army Recruitment Official Website
Source: Phil. Army Recruitment Official Website
 ‘Physical capability’ was my main concern. It was obvious that I wasn’t qualified. However, out of my sheer denial and adamance, I refused to give up. Rather, I planned for ways on how to be physically active. Physical Fitness Test includes push-ups, sit ups and 2-mile run. Yes, you’re right. I couldn’t do any of those.

So while waiting for the exam results, I bought my first rubber shoes, jogging outfits, and digital watch. I thanked God for giving me friends and running buddies who morally and literally supported me all throughout my struggle. Having them by my side made the ordeal much tolerable.

As what I have mentioned in my previous post, I used to work for a callcenter company just right across the main entrance of Ayala Cebu and had nocturnal shifts that usually ends at 4 AM. So I used to bring my jogging attire in a black tote bag because we used to jog after our shift.

My kind of race track.
My kind of race track.
 Then I started running...
Then I started running…
And the running struggle commenced. I could vividly remember on how I couldn’t continuously jog for more than 2 min. Figuratively, my pectoral muscles were cursing, my legs were crying, and my lungs were shouting; though, in reality, what I just , simply meant was “I am dying”. But then again, once you are passionate on something, everything can be done.
Taken after our morning runs.
Taken after our morning runs.
My goal was to reach less than 18 minutes for two-mile (3.2kms.) run. My friend advised me to start alternate walk and run/jog method. It was 5-min run and 1-min walk combination for seven rounds. At first, I used to cheat. I would only do 3-min and >1-min walk.
Important Lesson: Elevate your legs after running. This was an old instapost.
Important Lesson: Elevate your legs after running. This was an old instapost.
But since I would practice almost every single day, I managed to reach less than 30 minutes for my target and was still waiting for my initial interview result. This just proved that nothing is really impossible with a determined heart and focused mind. As long as you never stop dreaming, trying and praying, everything will be fine.

Some of the before and after run photos I have:

The usual venue of Cebu Fun Runs
The usual venue of Cebu Fun Runs
Receiving my FIRST Fun Run medal
Receiving my FIRST Fun Run medal
Posing for one of the sponsors
Posing for one of the sponsors
Supporting A Runner's Circle's  First Anniversary
Supporting A Runner’s Circle’s First Anniversary
Still alive after running 10kms.
Still alive after running 10kms.

Moreover, I realized that it all comes with the correct mindset. “It’s all in the mind”, a famous saying advised to me and to other co-runners when we felt like giving up because of fatigue and stress. The mind has an incredible way of hypnotizing all of our body parts to cooperate. Positive vibes mean positive results. Just remember this when you are feeling down, and demotivated.

Take note that if a seemingly hopeless case like me was able to pass the dreadful physical test for my machodream, then you could start thinking that whatever your heart’s desires would be realized.

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