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July 7, 2011Posted by on
It was a gloomy Wednesday night in Ultra. The floodlights were on as a light drizzle fell on the denizens of the Pasig track. The Ateneo college team had just wrapped up its late afternoon training session. Zek was left doing sprints, with Coach Mick giving instructions and pointers. I was in the midst of going about the basic running drills when my college coach asked “Anong pinaghahandaan mo? (What are you training for?)”
I walked towards my mentor of five years and replied “Para sa (for the) PATAFA [weekly relays].” After a quick chat, I went back to my training. In a few minutes or so, Zek and Coach Mick left. Save for a few running coaches, I was the only track athlete left at the venue. Training solo has been the underlying theme of my comeback. Although I would have wanted to train full-time (or land a job near my training venues), I’m quite happy with the set-up. It took months before I finally reached some sort of equilibrium.
I know for a fact that my competitive days won’t last forever. At twenty-five years old, I’m giving myself a good three to four years with the sport. Beyond that, the more pressing concerns in life would have to take precedence. Athletics would take the backseat when that time comes. I’ve always considered my post-collegiate track career as a blessing. Considering that most of my peers are doing other non-track things, I am the exception to the rule. In a sense, I’m on borrowed time.
So I ask myself this: “As an athlete, where do I see myself in four years?”
Fourteen seconds. Before I hang up my spikes, I’d like to clock a legitimate, automatically-timed Sub-15 foray. It doesn’t have to be in the SEA Games or some international meet. I would love to better my 2007 best. A national title and an international competition are also my top goals. As an athlete, there is no greater honor than competing for the country.
While watching clips of my PNG 2011 race and that Sub-15 race, the difference in performance level was obvious. I have slowed by a massive 1.6, thanks to my two-year lay-off. Wallowing in mediocrity is the farthest from my mind.