17 Yet Again (29 June 2006)

While browsing through my old, sappy LJ, I stumbled upon the following entry. It was about our intensely competitive campus runs in the high school team. The title isn’t a reference to the Zach Effron movie!

Back in high school, I was especially fond of our afternoon campus runs early in the season. Minutes before the bell, I’ve already packed all my school stuff and readied my training gear. Since all of us were guys (some gay. hahaha), the bell ringing was a signal for me to take off my pants and sweaty polo to change into my athletic gear.

Those were innocent times. I always ran with the distance runners in the team, the fastest when it comes to these endurance runs, of course, to push myself to the limit. Our route for those campus runs was no joke. The first few weeks of training consisted of one lap campus runs that started from the high school admin building, around the Blue Eagle Gym and back to the admin. As the training progresses, we doubled the number of laps.

The guys in the lead pack would usually start the final sprint back to the admin (the homestretch) in front of the driveway leading to the Jesuit Residence. There was one instance when some of my teammates and I started the final dash a good 100m earlier than usual (in front of Cervini and Berchmans). My legs were like turbocharged pistons as I ran at full throttle. I can feel my well-worn Nike running shoes make contact with the harsh pavement with each full stride. Soon enough, the painful sensation of lactic acid buildup started to set in. The fact that I had to be wary of cars (it was dismissal time) and pedestrians didn’t help my running at all.

As we passed the Jesuit Residence driveway, I was on the verge of simply giving up. The tempation was a strong one, but I simply couldn’t relent. I was leading the entire team, our top distance runner included, stopping was out of the question. My speed increased even more as I ran downhill into the homestretch. I could’ve ran like hell to the so-called finish line but for some reason, I slowed down and allowed my former team captain to take the lead.

Yesterday afternoon, I found out that Coach had given Ian permission to run. I was aghast! We weren’t supposed to go back to training until the 11th! It was unfair so I borrowed a pair of shorts from one of my teammates. We were in for a surprise when Coach made us run with the distance runners.

As I toiled and willed myself to finish that 15 lap ordeal, the entire experience reminded me of my high school days and our campus runs. As usual, I ran alongside the fastest and ran magnificently.

Running without a care in the world, in those borrowed basketball shorts, made me feel like I was 17 again.

Read the original post here


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