It’s surreal to think that only a month ago, I actually thought about retiring from the hurdles once and for all. It was just too time-consuming, training for the 110 high. The fact that I work out alone multiplies the training difficulty a hundred fold. I could not bear the thought of another lonely hurdling session at the track, surrounded by hordes of faceless joggers. Besides, there aren’t that many local competitions catering to post-University athletes. At 26 years old and an athletics nobody, it’s not like I’m on the fast track to Olympic glory.
Simply put, there is no future for me in the hurdles.
After months of contemplation, I felt resigned to a life without the 1.067m high barriers. It was like a big rock was lifted from my back. Gone were the pressures of being a self-coached, solitary athlete. Although I planned to continue competing in the sprints (to stay fit and to maintain my competitive edge), such a move would have constituted a life-changing decision.
Thankfully, I did not yield.
It was due to the prodding of my former high school teammate, Zed Paz, and a bad ass dose of extrinsic motivation. He was at the nascent stages of a comeback himself. Zed needed a training buddy. Since I was, technically, still preparing for the sprints (and the ABL season), I tagged along. The turning point came while watching UAAP 74 Athletics. The fires of passion were re-ignited, in a strange twist of deja vu.
A few days after the conclusion of the meet, I went back to serious hurdles training. Even if I hadn’t trained over the hurdles in a month and a half, I was in tip-top shape, thanks to my no-nonsense conditioning regimen. Getting back in prime hurdling condition has been a breeze.
The familiar faces on the track did wonders to my motivation and focus. In the three weeks I’ve been training for the hurdles, not once did I feel the discouraging, stifling loneliness so prevalent last season. Once a week, I get to train within a stone’s thrown from my friends from the PPVC, Zed, the HyperSports crowd, and my high school coach. It was refreshing to have fellow athletes to talk to, aside from my imaginary friends. The difference in one’s temperament and outlook is astonishing.
In the past weeks, I’ve progressed dramatically. My confidence is at an all-time high. I’m dead set on competing at this year’s National Championships and doing well – with a little help from my friends.