The New Gimmick

Like many Sunday mornings, my friends and training partners, Ani, Joey and George wake up in the dark to get to a morning race. And each time we get there, we are always pleasantly surprised by the number of people who like us choose to spend their Sunday morning at a race.

During a conversation with my friend Gap Legaspi. a neuro surgeon, but in the good-ol-days, the captain of the UP track team, he said to me, wow, everyone seems to be running these days and getting a running coach.

Me: Yes, I have a few good friends who are running coaches.

Him: Really? What do they teach? How do you teach someone to run?

Me: Gap, not everyone is a gifted runner like you. A lot of people have never run. They don’t know how to swing their arms, how to land on their feet, how fast or how slow to go..

Gap: So, everyone is getting a running coach these days?

Me: A lot of people who want to get started do. I personally recommend it when people start asking me details on the right running form. It’s good to know that you’re training properly. And if you already know the basics of running and are comfortable running, a running coach can take you to the next level “ running and racing longer distance, racing faster, training wisely

Gap: so, its true, running coaches are the new DIs.

Me: haha, yes, I guess, you can say that.

We went on to discuss how thrilled we were that more people where discovering the joy of running, the joy of being healthy, of being outdoors and feeling strong. These days, there is a race almost every weekend. My triathlete friends and I meticulously plan our race calendar for the year. We combine run races and triathlons.

My running and racing has taken me so many places. I have seen different parts of the country and other countries on my feet. Every run is an experience. Just the other week in Batangas, at the Milo 21k run, Ani, Joey and I were running up endless hills. I was wondering when our misery would end. Suddenly, someone shouted, “Malapit na, dalawang barangay na lang!

My friends and I get high on being fit. We are conscious of the food we eat, the air we breathe. We are thankful for good health. For people like us, this is our gimmick every weekend. Instead of saan ang gimmick? We ask each other:

Saan ang karera (where is the race)?
What distance are you doing?
Who’s joining?
Where are we eating after?

On the eve of my birthday, I will not be going out. I will be sleeping in, because the next day I will do a birthday run “ a marathon! And after that I will celebrate the good life.

This is the life I choose. This is the life my friends and I live.