Looking Through Old Lenses

Back in the heyday of my basketball addiction – in 2000 – my dad got me conspicuously awkward Rec Specs goggles. He refused my pleas to get contact lenses, arguing that the little things would make my eyes weak through prolonged use. Since I was fifteen years old and practically penniless, I had no choice but to follow suit. My love for the hoops game far outweighed aesthetic considerations.

Read: “The Woes of a Myopic Athlete”

Looking back, I must have been a peculiar sight, with my reed-thin physique and the nerdy sports goggles. I could feel the sticky looks whenever I wore the frame. When I went to the official’s table during one game, a man snidely asked, “Are you going swimming?” Before games and practices, I tried to delay wearing the goggles for as long as possible. In one particular game, I even feigned a bum stomach to avoid my crush seeing me wear those visually-disturbing glasses.

My Old Rec Specs: The Mantis

Since then, I’ve put much emphasis on my sporting image. As a track & field athlete, I spent time and cash to appear dashingly appropriate. Never again did I wear my Rec Specs, opting to don my wire-framed glasses in all of my track races – until I joined the ABL.

But still, I was adamant. I settled for a pair of hardy, all-plastic horn-rimmed glasses held firmly in place by an elastic strap. In the past two seasons, I bought two pairs of these improvised goggles, with the first one breaking after a hard scuffle in the painted area. Despite it being rugged to a certain degree, the design wasn’t entirely safe.


I did a cursory Goggle search for fancier, sporty-looking goggles. It turns out that Rec Specs has a new line of sleek, basketball-certified eye-wear. I tried looking for those models in the local shops, but came out empty-handed. A stroke of luck happened a week before the ABL opening game. I stumbled upon a dark-blue framed MX 21. Originally costing a hefty Php 6,000.00, the 50% discount on the lone remaining pair prompted me to buy the frame on the spot.

Rec Specs MX 21

Even if the fit is a bit tight (it was designed for kids and teens!), I grew accustomed to the snugness. To save cash, I had the old polycarbonate lenses of my nerdy looking Rec Specs fitted into my new acquisition.

I felt a bit nostalgic as I wore my new MX 21 and looked through my old Rec Specs lenses. It was akin to traveling to those awkward yet carefree days, where passion ran deep. I momentarily cringed at the thought of wearing Rec Spec goggles again. But then again, I’ve grown much more confident the past few years. I was a far cry from the jittery fifteen year old .

I can’t believe I’m saying this, but it feels great to wear goggles again!


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