I’m not planning to be a competitive runner, it’s just that I’ve made a promise to myself that my last year in my twenties would be the year I get fit. All the years before that were impossible because of my toxic post production career that would leave me with only a few hours or even just minutes of sleep in one day. Cardio would have “killed” me or given me a heart ailment together with my insane dose of sleep deprivation. When it comes to my fitness goals I don’t want to be ripped as in like muscle-popping hard, just undeniably fit. Martial arts is out of the question or any activity that could sustain trauma to the hands because as a makeup-artist I need to protect them. I’ve made a few small efforts to begin my fitness journey. Unlike others who have admittedly fallen behind on both the weight targets and eating healthy goals my health and fitness needs aren’t that many because I already live clean, eat healthy, and I’m not overweight. My only real problem is I don’t exercise regularly. That changed in May before I left for Singapore when I began the 30-Day Shred workout by Jillian Michaels. I only did it for 2.5 weeks till my mom protested that she was stressed out by the aggressive pace of the program even though it was doable and then said she preferred to walk or run. Then there was a gap in the fitness initiative until I began walking a lot in Singapore and felt my calves burning day in and day out. Then yesterday, unplanned, I did my first 4km run/jog (according to my cousin, Ella) in Laguna with my brother and my cousins. What surprised me was I didn’t walk-run-walk as I thought I would, I actually jogged/ran straight for ’bout 3.5-4km without any trouble, then after 2 uphill climbs I felt the slight labor in my breathing (as my body properly told me my limit) and I decided to walk instead of jog back and began cooling down. I actually realized I wasn’t as UNFIT as I thought, I was thrilled, I could actually do 4km and I wasn’t even that FIT yet. What could that mean?!!
My cousin Ella, the eldest among her siblings, showed us a simple warm-up before we set off then we talked while we ran which I believe made us forget about the distance at one point, it was a light but lively jog. She handed down minor tips after years of running with the best trainers in the country (Coach Rio dela Cruz, Coach Anna). There were small tips like inhaling then exhaling on the 4th count while running “(inhale) 1,2,3,4(exhale)(inhale) 1, 2, 3, 4 (exhale)…” and keeping elbows near your rib cage at a loose right angle and your hands comfortably suspended while swinging and positioned as if you were “holding a potato chip” in each hand. None of these tips on form were expressed to be mandatory, just recommended, but I did as I was advised. Their family is “insanely fit” and not in an overboard way, they love playing, eating, and enjoying their naps, too. I love how Ella and her “bunch” have really embraced the Spirituality and righteousness found in physical fitness and taking care of your body. Not every couple on earth can say they are both tri-athletes, have 5 children (including a 1 year old), and 4 out of those 5 children happen to be tri-athletes as well.
Post run, I walked proudly into my Tito Anthony’s house (popularly known as the head of his tri-athlete family, Team Pangilinan) and said we just did ’bout 4km. He said “Before you know it, Jules, you’ll be telling me ‘I just did my first 10k, Tito’ “, and Tita Maricel told me to ice my legs when I arrived home because of the hills in the terrain of their village, to boost recovery and lessen pain. Coach Dan Brown (not the author of the Da Vinci Code he says) said “As a beginner better to run every 2nd day (not daily) so that you can recover. And you don’t have to run all the way to complete it the first time. Alternate between walking and running first, if you must, then after a few weeks or months just run and time yourself…”. So what was I supposed to do on non-running days like today for example? On the hunt for a new “less aggressive” but still intense workout I could share with my mom I remembered Tita Maricel did pilates. So I researched online and came across this POP Pilates Begginers’ Workout with Cassey Ho.