Why Runners Are Being Mocked?

28 09 2010

“Bless those who persecute you.” -The Gospel

Since joining the second edition of BDM 102 last March 2010, I’m no longer visible in any races since then. Although I registered in the Northface 100k in Baguio City, I opted to sell my race bib and singlet to a friend at  the last minute due to a personal problem. Again I tried to join the Milo 42k when another friend paid my registration fee but due to unavoidable circumstance, I was not able to participate in that race. I did my best again to be at the starting lines of PAU Rizal province and Pagudpud and lastly in Camsur, but trying times are still hindering me in doing that.

In the last 6 months, I relocated three times already and its difficult to adjust in those varying environments. But one thing is sure -I will remain as  a runner. And so literally speaking, although I’m no longer active in joining races for the last 6 months, I’m a regular runner in different places, particularly in those remotest area where there seems to be  no runners at all. Take for instance, in one place here in Cavite, I can hear those bystanders telling silly jokes about me while I’m approaching their post. The best reaction to their sarcastic feedback is just to ignore them, because they can’t really understand why we RUN in such a way. They don’t believe we can run a 10 kms, how much more if they will hear  us finishing a 102 kms or a 24 hours run?

Not unless your training ground is in The Fort or in MOA or in Roxas Blvd, you will be hearing many of those bawdy comments from those people who don’t know about running. I can still remember two instances in a race where a fistfight almost occurred between those watchers and my running pals because the former mocked vehemently the latter – in Milo half marathon in Batangas City and in QCIM 42k last year. If not for the intervention of some marshals, that  running race could have been altered into  a boxing match.

While I can’t blame my running pals during that time because maybe they were so tired and already  irked by those negative comments, they must be careful not to lose their temper. Remember, we are always on the street and we are visible and prone to any retaliation. The rule of the thumb is -make friends and no enemies while running. That is for our safety. In order for us to enlarge our territory, we must deal those sarcastic jokes thrown at us as a good sign  because in their point of view, we are different. Why different? Because they simply cannot RUN the way we are doing.

There  are so many reasons why we are being mocked but I can only say one thing -Deep inside them, they want to be like us, but they can’t.  All they can do is to watch us, walk a little bit  but they will collapse if they will run. And what will you expect them to say while they see you running?

Just give them a smile. Maybe someday, they will join you because of your warm feet and a cold temper.

To God be the glory!

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Richest Man

24 09 2010

“We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.” -Anais Nin

While running this morning, my pal  and I  talked about so many things including the latest news he read, that the richest man in America is once again -Microsoft’s founder, Bill Gates with an estimated asset of not less than $54 billion. I told him while smiling that I would like just for one week to feel and experience like  Bill Gates do, something that many of us wished, just for a change. I just can’t imagine what it would be like buying things you want without looking at the prize, travel all over the world and join races, become a philanthropist, manage your own time and have galore of aides and manpower to assist you. Also, with this huge amount of money, you can have fame, power and influence.

With due respect to Mr. Gates, I’ve read in some articles couple of years ago that his story is very inspiring, just like a Cinderella Story. From being nothing and unpopular then, he persevered until he reached the pinnacle of success. With right attitude, temperance and of course-superb knowledge, he is now an icon in a business world and we owe to him the luxury of using a computer with ease and comfort.

As my  friend and I stopped after running 2 hours and 5 minutes to buy fresh buco juice to hydrate ourselves, he asked a me a question which is also my question long time ago: “If you’re rich and successful, does it mean God is with you?” I paused for a moment and answered  him, “So you mean to say that if you’re poor and unsuccessful, does it mean God is not with you?” We both smiled as though we knew the answer very well.

In my own point of view, it is a big mistake  to assume that God’s goal for your life is financial prosperity or material  success, as the world  defines it. The abundant life has nothing to do with material abundance, and faithfulness to God does not guarantee success in a career or business. Way back in 2003, I put up a restaurant business, made God my business partner and offered Him 10% of my income to be used in the Ministry, but after only 6 months of operation, I closed that restaurant due to bankruptcy. During those times, I’m faithful to Him, with a good motive  and prayed a lot, but doing those things cannot guarantee success.

Similarly, Paul was faithful, yet he ended up in prison.  John the Baptist was faithful, but he was beheaded. Peter was faithful, but he was crucified upside down. Stephen was faithful, but he was stoned to death. Of all the 12 disciples, only one died a natural death -the rest, by martyrdom. Millions of faithful people around the globe  have been martyred and have lost everything. They lived in poverty or have come to the end of life with nothing to show for it.

I do not have all the answers for tough questions like that but I have one question to ponder as I end my post today: “Why did I place so much importance  on things that were so temporary?”

Keep running but remember to enjoy the scenery!

To God be the Glory.





How Can I Make A Difference Among So Many?

21 09 2010

“The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits.” -Albert Einstein

Sometime in 2008, I had the opportunity to visit Hong Kong, stayed there for almost a week. What I really enjoyed in that place was not only the good ‘RUN’ during early morning in Causeway Bay, but the ‘clean surrounding and orderliness’ of that City. While there, I observed that people  were so disciplined and they strictly followed rules and regulations. No spitting, smoking ,they threw their garbage in the proper place and at the stoplight, everyone was following those traffic signals.

As I returned home, I noticed the opposite. We are not that ‘serious’ when it comes to cleanliness and following rules. We don’t care about our waste and those signals. Yes, there are campaign drives but our countrymen are not listening, with the exception of course to a few.

Someone said we need ‘teeth’ to enforce our laws, others believe we can’t make any difference.

I remembered reading a young man strolling along a beach at dawn stopped to watch an older man  pick up starfish and toss them back at the sea. The older man said he was rescuing the starfish before the hot summer sun could bake them. Sarcastically, the young man said, “There must be hundreds of starfish here. How can you make any difference?” The old gentleman looked at the starfish in his hand before throwing it into the waves. “It makes a big difference to this one “he replied.

Whether in following rules or helping those creatures or our neighbors in need, it will make a big difference.

Yes, we cannot really change the world and its corrupt system, but at least we try and abide for what is good and decent.

I will continue that good practice I’ve observed in HK and vow to live by it. I challenge you to do the same thing and let’s make a difference. Together, we can make our country a little bit cleaner and orderly. We are not only athletes aspiring to endure and run faster but a caring citizen of this Mother Earth, a protector of the environment.

We are the salt and the light. Go and make a difference!

To God be the Glory.





humbled

20 09 2010

“God led you all the way, to humble you and test you, to know what was in your heart.” -Deuteronomy 8:2

As I rode the bus in Buendia Roxas Boulevard going to Naic Cavite this afternoon, I have only one thing in mind: to rest and sleep. Coming from an 11 hours work in a  graveyard ship  in Makati City, I’m too tired and sleepy and I wanted a much needed rest because I’m going to run  a 33.5 kilometers tomorrow there in Naic, a place as  my new training ground. As the aircon bus slowly filled its capacity and I’m seated comfortably, I closed my eyes and said a simple prayer for  this 2 hours trip going home.

Since the bus was already full of passengers, we started our journey. However, in the stoplight in Baclaran, a helpless woman who was carrying a child  suddenly boarded the bus. All seats were taken. The woman and her child stood there for a moment. The bus revved up its engine, ready to go. And I’m hooked on my seat too for all I wanted  was to have a nice sleep and rest. I do not want to stand there in a 2 hours trip, amidst heavy traffic. But how about this woman and her little angel? Can I just ignore them? There was this internal struggle within me, the battle between being kind to the needy and being practical. As I fought my inner self  -a man, in his 50’s suddenly stood up and offered his seat to that woman and her child. What caught my attention was this man’s figure. He was using a support (cane) just to walk. He is disabled.

That moment really humbled me.

And I, as I put my hands on  my face full of shame, offered my seat to that unselfish man.

“Lord, thank you for teaching me a very special lesson today. Whatever my situations are, be it good or bad, remind me always to extend my hands on  my neighbors in need. Bless that man, whoever he is. In the eyes of the world, he is disabled…but in reality, he is more powerful than anyone else.

In Jesus Name…Amen.”





Tougher Than Triathlon?

17 09 2010

“Blessed are the balanced; they shall outlast everyone.” -selected

In my own point of view, an athlete should not be afraid to try other kinds of Sports. This will make him more durable and tougher than the rest, with  exception of course to some. So, if you’re already a runner, then try biking and then later, swimming. This will allow your body parts to recover,  already torn and damaged during training and competition. The muscles being developed during running is different from biking, the same is true in swimming.

Just to share, when I finished my first ever Triathlon (swimming, biking and running), I’m so happy with what I achieved because  before joining that event, I’m not a good swimmer or a versatile biker. Yes, I can run 102 kms, but I don’t know how to swim or bike properly and so with proper training, I’m so elated when I reached the finishline.Those bystanders who watched us during that event admired us and it felt so good that time. Someone yelled, “Ang gagaling naman nila!” Yes, triathletes (specially those who finished Camsur’s  IronMan last month are worthy of our admiration.  In our finite minds, they will always be special kind of people -a symbol of greatness and toughness.

But did you know that there is this race which is tougher than Triathlon?

Have you heard the event “PENTATHLON? It is composed of 5 events: pistol shooting, fencing, horseback riding, running and swimming. And yes, it is one of the events in the Summer Olympics. The pentathlete’s goal is to succeed in all five areas, not just two or three. I say it is tougher than Triathlon because while we we can do running and swimming, it’s difficult to do shooting, fencing and horseback riding  -and I think, horseback riding is tougher than riding a bicycle. (not unless we’ll train for it).

So what is the point of it all? We must live a balanced life. Your life is a pentathlon of purposes which you must keep in balance. We should not only improve our physical strength (by exercising) but our mental, financial and spiritual life as well. I have known a runner who is good in running but neglects his duty to his family by providing them what they need. That is not right. The Bible says, ” Live life with a due sense of responsibility.”

When not running, biking or swimming -I also compete in Chess tournament, read good books, attend Church, and most of the times, I work in the office.

And to summarize my sharing for today… there will always be an event which is tougher than all of those I’ve mentioned, yes tougher than PENTATHLON, and that is -Living a peaceful, honest and righteous life.

“Don’t let the errors of evil people  lead you down  the wrong path and make you lose your balance.” -2 Peter 3:17

To God be the Glory!





Real Place In The Universe!

14 09 2010

“There is more to life than increasing its SPEED!” -Mohandas K. Gandhi

Last month, I have an opportunity to run in Tagaytay City, one of the coolest places  in Cavite and probably in the whole country as well. Aside from its  majestic view -the  Taal Volcano, Tagaytay City also has one of its tourist attractions -the Tagaytay Mini Zoo!

Located just  few kilometers from Mendez Crossing, Tagaytay Mini Zoo boasts that it’s the only zoo where you can touch their animals. I’m fascinated with those creatures, big and small. I noticed  upon entering where the lines were longest  and where people took the most time in front of the cage. I tend to walk briskly past the peacock and sheep, with a normal look at their  charisma. I noticed too that those with children, they paused to enjoy the antics of the monkeys and snakes, sometimes afraid of their craftiness. But I’ve found myself and other adults irresistibly drawn to the gorillas,  the tigers,  the crocodiles, the lions.

Why? It is because people are fascinated and amazed at staring in creatures bigger and stronger than ourselves. It gives us a timely message,  abasing and comforting, that we are not the ultimate power.

Our spirits are so hungry for that sense of amazement, our encounter with those creatures so huge and mighty which helps to remind us  of our real place in the universe. Our strength, speed and agility are no match against those creatures. It only shows that we cannot really boast of our  achievements. There is always someone better.

Our real place in this universe can be summarized by this:

1. You are here with a purpose. You are not created by an accident. You have a special task to do, a mission to fulfill.

2. You are here to serve others. Treat everyone with respect.

3. You are here to give HIM glory.

I was reminded by a great verse found in the Scripture, my favorite book of all times: “If anyone is going to boast, let him boast of what the Lord has done,and not about himself.”

See you at the road and keep the flame burning!

To God be the Glory!





Better…Stronger!

11 09 2010

“Fall seven times, stand up eight.” -Japanese Proverb

With John and Dan as we biked an almost 223 kms last April 2010 from San Pedro Laguna to Lucban Quezon back and forth.

Next month, I’ll be celebrating my 2nd year in the blogging world (I started blogging last October 2008), and today’s topic is my 654th post. Whew! Too many and let me be very honest in saying that I almost come to the point that I don’t have any more ideas  to share. Running, biking, triathlon, ultra-running and sometimes, practical living and christian virtues – those were the topics that normally occurred on this blog.

While it is obvious that I’m a devoted believer who loves running very much, it is also clear that I struggled a lot specially this year, 2010. After finishing my second ‘2nd BDM 102K’ last March 2010, I don’t have any races since then. More personal problems came and I’m not prepared for it. April 2010 when I experienced the lowest point of my life and last June 2010 was the saddest which almost  devastated my entire career.

I have to admit that majority of my problems were the result of my own foolishness which I committed long ago. Sometimes, we became wiser by learning the hard way. That’s why I’m very careful now not to commit the same mistakes again.

Most  Men of God  failed too several times before becoming more useful to Him. David who killed a giant became a dwarf when he was overcame by his desire to sleep with a married woman; King Solomon, the wisest king of all times became so fool when he was subdued by his intense lust, gaining 700 wives and 300 concubines; Peter the brave became so coward when he denied his allegiance with Jesus  three times…and many more! My point here is this: No one is righteous, no, not even one.

All of us have ‘Waterloos’ in life or skeletons in our closet. This is a part of being human, but we must not linger or live with it. Our God who sees us even in our deepest hiding place wants us to overcome those weaknesses or sins. He loves the sinner but hates the sin.

Yes, I committed sins and failed many, many times but I will continue to rebound and keep moving. There is more to life than increasing its speed, and that is  by honest living, purity of heart  and being worthy to Him. As the saying goes, “Christians are not perfect, only forgiven.”

In summary, Life is still beautiful. Without those turmoils, life can be boring and monotonous. Those failures will make us stronger and better, not weaker and bitter…HOPEFULLY!

Above all, burn those bridges! Forget those past failures and move on. Today is the new beginning of your life, seize it, conquer it!

See you at the road my friend, in good times and in bad times.

God be Praised!