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I am Hurdler (25 September 2010)
September 25, 2010Posted by on
I started this comeback with the goal of hurdling again. I dusted off two years’ worth of boozing and carousing last February. I was supposed to compete in the sprints during last May’s National Open, but a hamstring injury derailed my plans. The PATAFA Weekly Relays, the second meet in my 2010 season calendar, was scrapped due to a lack of funds.
Gradually, I lost the motivation to train. I opted for easier workouts in Moro, not wanting to train at the farther Philsports stadium. I did this for months. Hence, I grew stale from the monotony. I contemplated ending the uneventful 2010 season altogether since track & field training seemed to have lost its luster.
I wanted to stay home today and stay sedentary. But a poignant tweet from Ato Boldon about a fine article on Allen Johnson changed my mind. Johnson had just retired from the sport, after a remarkable career spanning almost two decades. Reading about how my hero defied Father Time himself for so long fired me up. At 24, I have absolutely no reason to stop doing what I love – no matter how absurd my circumstances are.
This afternoon, I decided to clear hurdles, instead of hiding behind the much easier sprinting workouts. I slapped some sense into my lazy butt and drove to Ultra. Aside from my former college coach and the Ateneo Women’s Track & Field team and a lone archer, the stadium was deserted.
The solitude was invigorating. With an empty track, I had the illusion that I had the place to myself. My focus was at an all-time high. Coach Mick’s presence also helped a lot. Perhaps, it brought back old ingrained habits of time long lost.
I started off clearing the ridiculously low PVC step hurdles. At first, I had difficultly transitioning from the starts phase to the first (step) hurdles. By the 2nd rep, I had enough! I decided to clear an honest-to-goodness, IAAF-approved hurdle.
I cleared three different heights, gradually increasing the height of the hurdle as I re-learned my old hurdling ways. The sensation of clearing those barriers whilst at full speed was truly refreshing! Thanks to the countless hours I spent drilling the past few years, I never lost the ability to three-step.
It turned out that I did not have re-learn much after all. I just needed to be dauntless in front of those barriers, and not act like a wuss. I had the speed, I had the technical proficiency – fearlessness was the last piece of the puzzle.
After each rep, I was grinning like a child on Christmas Eve. It has been almost two years and eight months since my last hurdle race. It feels great to HURDLE again!