Forward

Thankfully, I’ve gotten over the initial fear of hurdling. I’ve accepted the fact that I brought this unto myself. No one forced me to stage a comeback. After much introspection came forth positive feelings. Hurdling is fun. And I’m thankful to be given another chance to compete again.

Training has been quite fruitful the past few weeks. My confidence is at all-time highs. Despite a few bumps (my training was disrupted by the Holy Week break and a mild bout with flu) here and there, I can honestly say that the crisis of confidence is over. I’ve been hurdling since I was sixteen years young; the motions of the event have been solidly ingrained into my muscle memory.

But then again, one can never go through the motions of hurdling – especially sprint hurdling. It is a dangerous event, where (male) athletes sprint at full speed over 1.067m high barriers. Let up on the intensity and technical prowess and you’re flirting with disaster. In the past few months, I’ve rediscovered my hurdling rhythm. In the hurdles, after all, rhythm is of utmost importance. There are still major flaws in my technique which I intend to correct once I get through the National Games this May.

In those moments of fear and self-doubt, I tend to forget that I’m taking part in a season opener after a long hiatus from competitive athletics. Hence, I should temper my expectations.

I feel like a rookie yet again as I head out for my first race in years. Sometimes, it’s surreal to think that three long years had passed since my last UAAP hurdles race. Bringing myself back to the crushing circumstances of February 2008, I feel ever so psyched at being given a new lease on my competitive days.

I once made a (not-so) witty status update addressed to my 22-year old self, to get hold of a time machine and compete this 23 May 2011. It was an exercise in futility. I can never, ever turn back the hands of time. Those days are long gone.

It’s time to stare at those ten hurdles – and life’s hurdles – head on, to get out of the blocks like a man possessed and sprint over those barriers in full speed. There is no turning back; the only way to go is forward.

This one is for the late Jorge Ledesma, who succumbed to cancer after a good, long fight. This one is for my dad, who is in the midst of triumph over the Big C in a gallant fight of his own.

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