“Running is like brushing your teeth. If you want to get fit, no one else can do it for you.” – Leo Valdez, as interviewed in the Philippine Daily Inquirer
This photo courtesy of Inquirer.net
Can you still remember the song, “Magsimula ka?” (Make A New Beginning) popularized in 1981? How about the singer behind it?
The picture above is Mr. Leo Valdez, that’s right, the Man behind that “Magsimula Ka” masterpiece, and he’s a RUNNER!
Leo Valdez started running in the 80’s and you can see him most of the times at the ULTRA oval tract or in the Roxas Blvd. due to magnificent view of sunrise. He already joined many competitions including half and full marathons.
Let me quote from http://sports.inquirer.net/sportsbuzz/, by Marge Enriquez, first posted 6/16/2009 the following data regarding Mr. Leo Valdez…
“Running is like brushing your teeth. If you want to get fit, no one else can do it for you,” says Valdez. “If you stop, the muscles will fall asleep. You have to wake them up again. The strength you’ve accumulated will always be there. It will just take double the effort to get back to your former peak levels.”
Last year, Valdez admitted he was looking puffy after stopping. Four months ago, he returned to his regular 10-km run at the Ultra oval track, and would hit 15 km on a Sunday.
For a man at a right and wonderful age, Valdez says running has stabilized his blood pressure, lowered his blood sugar, and more importantly, let him detox and burn fat. He also went on a low-fat, low-salt diet which speeded up his of 15 pounds and got rid of his muffin top.
To maintain his weight, he eats greens, fish, baked or stewed skinless chicken, tomato-based pasta for energy and drinks lots of fruit and vegetable juices. Occasionally he indulges in Häagen Dazs ice cream, decadent chocolate cake or Via Mare’s bibingka.
In the three decades of running, he has never had an injury common to runners—shin splints, runner’s knee, tendonitis or sprains. Valdez underscores the importance of cooling down and stretching. He doesn’t let go by putting on more weight that would burden his knees.
“I run alone. It’s a testament to my independent existence,” he adds.
His favorite time is running at 5:30 a.m. to watch the sunrise while the city is still asleep. “When I’m memorizing a song, I sing in cadence with my steps. Most of the time, I don’t think I’m running when I’m running. That’s why it’s a stress-buster.”
He describes the runner’s high as the state when the mind and body are so attuned with each other. “You don’t feel anything. You float and go with the flow.”
If his life were likened to a runner’s track, it would be an even-surfaced circuit. “Life has been good. I never had to struggle to get anything that I couldn’t reach. I’m still aiming high, but not having to exert too much effort.”
In the future, Valdez hopes to return to his roots, singing romantic Filipino songs which made him popular in the beginning.
(Thank you Philippine Daily Inquirer for the material- I’m your avid regular subscriber, and may you feature more stories about ‘ running’. -God bless!)
INSIGHT FOR LIVING: EGOTISM is one of the repulsive manifestations of pride. It is the practice of thinking and speaking much of oneself, the habit of magnifying one’s attainments or importance. It leads one to consider everything in its relation to himself rather than in relation to God and the welfare of His people. -J. Oswald Sanders, Spiritual Leadership
LIFE IN A NUTSHELL: Soon after Jack Benny died, George Burns was interviewed on TV. “Jack and I had a wonderful friendship for nearly 55 years,” Burns said. “Jack never walked out on me when I sang a song, and I never walked out on him when he played the violin. We laughed together, we worked together, we ate together. I suppose that for many of those years we talked every single day.” -Alan McGinnis, The friendship Factor
THE LIGHTER SIDE: In a magazine cartoon: A thief was wearing one of those “Lone Ranger” masks. His gun was pointed toward his frightened victim as he yelled: “Okay, gimme all your valuables!”
The victim began stuffing into the sack all his friends.
O Lord, make me a friend to many and give me true friends…
God be Praised!