Sports Enthusiast

I have always wanted to be sporty.  I have these disproportionately huge calves, care of my Mom, and they might as well had been my first conscious thought: wow, my calves are big!  And because of this, I pestered my mother to let me take gymnastics.  But she told me that my calves would get bigger and I will no longer grow taller.  Well, she was right – my calves did get bigger and I never reached 5ft.  But this is not due to gymnastics because they were so against it that I was never able to take any classes.  Then my second target had been Martial Arts.  Be it taekwondo or karate, it didn’t matter to me.  But again, my antagonistic mother said I’ll just break my bones, so the answer was still a resounding NO.

Come schooling age, I found out that I generally sucked at all those P.E. sports except sprinting and doing jump ropes (if you’d call that a sport).  I’m too uncoordinated for basketball, too weak for volleyball and too slow for table tennis.  I had asked my dad to teach me tennis when I was in high school, him being a tournament-winning tennis player himself.  But since we do not know where we could play, the idea didn’t even receive further thought.

During my last summer in high school, I was able to muster up sufficient courage and money to go against my mother’s wishes:  I studied aikido.  It was marvelous!  Being the uncoordinated person that I am, I had great trouble in making the moves flow.  You see, aikido is a lot like dancing and fancy footwork and a great deal of wrist maneuvers.  But I still loved it.  I was able to fulfill my lifelong dream of being able to do Martial Arts.  Yes, with my built, it is the most suitable form of martial art for me, but the thing is, aikido is all about defense.   Force against force, weaker one falls.  Aikido teaches you to use your opponent’s force and momentum against himself.  All you end up doing is trying to distract your attacker (even a lousy punch will do), grabbing his hand/s while he/she’s distracted, positioning yourself so you could immobilize them by twisting their hands/arms/wrists.  This might sound easy enough, but no.  It’s highly difficult for someone who takes 2 hours to learn the choreography of a 3 minute song.

Anyway, things went really well.  I was even supposed to get my purple belt.  But the fates had not been kind and my sensei left the gym where I was having lessons before I could get my purple belt.  And now, I could hardly remember all those self-defense techniques.

P.E. in the university had been an improvement to my cause.  I took self-defense for women and aikido during separate semesters.  My past experience greatly helped me in these classes.  The other classes I took were Philippine games and duck pin bowling.  Philippine games had been fun.  It was like reliving my childhood while duck pin bowling had been a big pain in the behind.  But at least I got to experience a different type of sport.

Sports took a backseat after graduating from the university, except for the really occasional trips to the ice skating rink whenever I could drag one of my friends.  Now that is another sport that I really wanted to learn.  My siblings and I were quite lucky as children because we had these roller  skates before.  And we were great with them, too.  But we were never able to upgrade to the roller blades and as a result, ice skating had been a real challenge.  I remember my first time to use the ice skating rink at SM South Mall.  I never left the sides to venture into the middle, better skating area.  I just skated-crimped along the sidelines, afraid of falling and hurting myself.  I had this morbid thought that if I fall, someone will skate over my fingers and cut them off (sorry for the graphic description).  I eventually improved and became really interested in taking classes.  However, being already older than 20 y.o., I was more than hesitant to enroll in a set of lessons.  The instructor could actually be way younger than me (though I would still look younger) and my bones would definitely take a longer route to recovery if I break them.  Besides, one of my friend’s comments “you live in a tropical country!” also added to my reluctance.

Then a couple of years back, running took the country by storm.  Suddenly there were these marathons all over the place!  And really, running is actually one of the very few physical things that I can do.  I was always able to run fast, even faster than a guy 5 years older than me when I was still in grade school.  Hence, it was only a matter of course that I would be attracted to joining these marathons.  It also didn’t hurt that my boyfriend was also eager to engage in this activity.  So, we ran a lot when we first started.  But my BF got this runner’s knee and we had to stop for several months so he could heal.

My lack of physical activity led me to badminton last year, something that is well-documented here.   I also made it a point to visit various places of interest that cater activities like surfing and wakeboarding.  Plus, I still ran.  And I ran my first 10km last year.  Though the results had been way below stellar, I was still proud of myself.

And now, I continue to train for that Condura Skyway Marathon on February 5.  I have already registered for the 10km event.  Hopefully I would get better stats with that marathon.  Gagalingan ko para sa mga mangroves.  I will run my best and ignore all the (imagined?) pain and aches that I will feel so that I could try to run all those 10 kilometers.  At least now, thanks to Moche’s gift, I have been able to prove to myself that I can run for at least 30 minutes continuously, with even the possibility of running 10km in less than an hour.

Yet, I am not contented.  I still plan on improving badminton and running.  And learning at least one more new sport:  swimming.  I don’t plan to actually compete or win any medals or trophies with this one.  It is more of a survival skill that I need to acquire.  I wanted to take lessons last year, but then again, my stars were not aligned.  Hopefully I could do it this year.  ^__^

Jayce Cairo

Jayce is a linguaphile who speaks four languages and currently works as a translator to finance her various interests. Scoring very high on “Openness to Experience” on the Big Five Personality Test, she is an avid globetrotter who aspires to retire at 35 and travel for the rest of her life.

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