I’m Back!

When Andrew told me the exact date of the Philippine National Open a couple of days ago, my heart skipped a beat. I have not competed since May 2011. I even contemplated retirement at the latter parts of 2011, only to decide to continue, thanks to the prodding of my training partner. The Nationals is barely a month away. Although I’m relatively more well-prepared, there’s still a sense of apprehension in light of my lack of exposure.

The month of March has been a cathartic experience. Ever since the two sessions I had with Sam Goldberg, I’ve been in the hurdling zone. The veteran coach rekindled the fires of my self-confidence. And in this event, belief is key. Furthermore, having regular training partners (shout out to Zed and the Philippine Pole Vault Club!) has done wonders to my outlook. Having your friends around to give you feedback complements the self-awareness I’ve developed in the years spent training alone (It sure as hell beats talking to imaginary training partners!).

All of a sudden, I threw away all notions of fear. For the first time in years, I can honestly say that I’ve got my old engine finally running full-throttle. When you’ve experienced countless solitary training days, struggling against demons within and without, getting your hurdling rhythm going is god-sent. Sometimes, it’s surreal to think that only a year ago, I was struggling to even three-step over the senior barriers.

I’m not going to lay my predictions for the Nationals just yet. It’s way too early. Frankly, I do not care much about the time I’ll be running, considering the span of time I’ve been competitively inactive. What I’m after is that wonderful feeling of speed in between the hurdlers – the incomparable sensation of skimming over those 1.067m-high barriers gracefully and efficiently.

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