Hurdler (7 May 2011)

Last Saturday’s Rizal training started decently enough. Perhaps it was the heat or the sheer emptiness of the stadium. The solitude can get into one’s nerves, even for the most resolute of athletes. I had difficulty transitioning from clearing the first hurdle up to the second. I felt that my strides were inadequate, instinctively prompting an abrupt brake.

For a hurdler, this is a big no-no. No matter what, a hurdler should strive to clear the barriers. This had happened to me in the past. A good talk with my coach (or my training buddies) gave enough adrenaline boost. Most of the times, however, I let my bad temper get the better of me.

This time around, I did not have the luxury of devoted coaches and teammates.

The main culprit was the lack of speed in my starts. So I took extra time to rest in between reps. I listened to music whilst visualizing the entire hurdling motion. And it worked! Although it wasn’t the best of workouts (technically), I was glad to find my mojo again. For the first time in years, I actually cleared 10 hurdles (junior) and ran over senior hurdles.

This is a major personal milestone.

At the end of the workout, I had a good light chat with some national athletes. In the hallowed stadium of Rizal, I felt so much at home – and at peace. More importantly, I’m becoming more and more of a hurdler with each passing day.

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