My Own Terms

“If a man coaches himself,” said the great Roger Bannister. “Then he has only himself to blame when he is beaten.”

I’ve trained solo ever since February 2010, when I decided to dust off the cobwebs of my two-year retirement. The routine could get lonely, at times, but it sure does have its advantages. First things first, I am the “master of my fate.” I can practically do whatever I want; the possibilities are endless. No one forced me to make a comeback. It was a decision made solely on my own.

With this train of though in mind, the question of when to stop continues to sublimely float around my head. Despite having a strong passion for athletics, I know for a fact that I won’t be at the peak of physical fitness forever. Youth is finite. By the time I reach thirty, my physical prowess will gradually fall on a downward slope. Hence, I must prepare for life outside competition and nurture my non-track passions. In spite of my daydreams of racing against Liu Xiang, I know for a fact that becoming a world-class sprint hurdler is nothing but a pipe-dream. A national championship crown and an inclusion into a minor, regional competition are my achievable summits.

I’m at a stage in life where I’m actually beginning to make my mark (or dream of making one). I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, there’s more to life than clearing 1.067-meter high barriers. This quarter life crisis or vision quest is a good sign that there’s still a big chunk of myself left wanting more out of life. Mediocrity is a quicksand of complacency and indecision. If I’ve learned anything from that amazing fifteen-month journey to the 2011 Philippine National Games, it’s rediscovering the edge I thought I had lost.

I haven’t quite transferred that eye of the tiger into real life, though. But it’s good to know that I still have what it takes to be a go-getter.

There shall come a time when I have to hang up my spikes for good. Until I still find meaning and fulfillment in what I do, I have no intention of stopping. It could be a year or three, who knows? When the time is right to make another big shift, I’m leaving under my own terms.

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