It was just suppose to be a birthday escape. Entering a new decade, I thought of celebrating it, differently, if words can faithfully describe it.
It was one of those aimless walks in the central walk of Robinsons when my gaze met this, Summer Beachcapade in Cauyan on May 10. Meant to be? Yes! But honestly, the main deal was not, running. I was excited for, Volleyball.
Running and I, matter-of-factly, has this: a love-hate relationship. Who wouldn't hate it? I was humiliated by it, in my own hometown. Read, "I don't Ride, I Run" for the complete story.
When we arrived in El Tzino, Cauyan, happiness is slowly coming from a far. The warm summer breeze. The sight of the waves frolicking with the sand. The stationary yellow boat under the moving blue sky. The unassuming stance of the mangrove trees. Nature had it beautifully painted before me, canvass not needed.
When we add years to our lives, we are hit by certain realities. But when we reach 30, the hitting becomes harder. The inescapable kind. Unignorable. The kind where it will wake you up in an afternoon nap. And one of which is my, running a half-marathon. That dream was temporarily left on the side, after many years ago, it taught me, that running requires practice and discipline. That it is not something you decide in an instant and you say, today I will wear my running gears, and run 21 kilometers.
I parked this dream years ago, and I picked it up, in the silent town of Cauyan. I said in my interview with Simply Emmy that it has to happen now. Youth is not forever. The energy and vitality we posses today is not eternal. So I decided to finally do it.
The Cauayan run was my Birthday Run. Although, that information was only shared between myself and my officemate, Johanna. But of course after that, facebook revealed what was once a secret. And now I pledged that next year, a chocolate cake will be shared under the Lomboy tree in El Tzino. A trail run is not your ordinary run. Perhaps, if I may estimate, it is a road run times 3. What made it more intimidating was the fact that, participants were what we call the "elite" runners. Having said that, they were the fast species. But I really don't mind. Haha.
Gun start at 3pm for the 10k and 21k categories. The sun was proudly up when we started. It was fun. Well to be more accurate, it was challenging. We went up and down of hills and valleys. We were treated with scenic mountaintop view of the Cauayan seas. And the abandoned sugarcane factory by the beach now rustic and lifeless was a view worth noticing. Mt. Delirium from the name itself need no further explanation. The food stations were generous - boiled bananas, chocolates, candies. In one of the stops, I feasted on boiled bananas. Perhaps 3 or 4. The lady at the station honestly blurted, "Panginaon na guid na imo ya". Hungry as I was at that time, I did not mind. At the onset of sunset, I made it to the finish line. My birthday gift to myself was a bucket of sweat, a medal designed with local shells, and the boiled bananas. Heaven.
From then on, I was joining runs, here and there. Weekend after weekend. Not skipping a run, I was practically having 100 percent attendance. It was madness. Thus, I already have all colors of a singlet you can imagine. Add also to that some medals which I faithfully earned. I crossed seas, in Iloilo and Guimaras, to keep those happy feet moving.
Until September this year, I was so excited to be reunited with an old enemy. Time for the annual Milo Marathon. With all the fun runs from 10k-21k and the road runs from Caltex East to Alangilan, I was ready for this enemy. I was equipped. True enough, that Sunday, I never felt braver and prouder in my life. It was joy. I, after 5 years of doubting, was able to ran my half-marathon. Dreams do come true.
It only takes, baby steps, to get closer to that dream. In fact, I have traveled 50kilometers already, chasing for that goal. People said it is very far. I said, oh yes, it was very far! In fact, that far, far distance sent me to sleep beside the road. Thank God, Charmie woke me up.
A small, baby step I took in Cauayan led me to bigger, bolder steps today. I would not have defeated my long-time enemy if not for those baby steps. No wonder, dreams are for free. I dreamt. In fact, I dreamed big dreams. Today I can say, the biggest dreams create the biggest joys in my life.