Congestion

Friday, February 6, 2009

The fitness boom is upon us. Now it is undeniable.

I first noticed the signs between mid-November and mid-December. Suddenly in the gym I found myself waiting for unused lockers. The treadmills have become full. In the village where I bike I would see shiny mountain bikes, brand new helmets, fresh bright jerseys and looks of glee and enthusiasm on people rediscovering the joy of biking (I am actually one of them). The same scene occurred in the Bay area and in Fort Bonifacio. I heard from friends that bike shops are abuzz with new bike purchases. Last month in the pools I would overhear people eagerly training - for an aquathlon or triathlon maybe. The last few days my running friends and I would notice more people running in Boni High Street - regulars and fresh faces. From word-of-mouth and blog accounts I would hear of heavier traffic in the Ultra oval. Suddenly your not-so-active officemate or friend, or friend of friend, are eager to try running.

And so on the PSE bullrun everyone came to celebrate their regular or new found passion. There was chaos in the registration and finish line as everyone seemed to be caught by surprise by the throngs of new runners. In the 2,500 slot running party that was Happy Run, not everyone was fortunate to be part of the party. The happy party was simply full. Honestly after that Happy Run experience, I entertained that self-centered thought that maybe the event promotion could have been hush-hush so that only a select few in the know could enjoy the party, or at least be guaranteed to have bibs before the rest of mankind get theirs. With delusion of self-importance and influence, I thought that if I keep quiet henceforth my select friends and I would be assured of slots, especially in future races with limited slots.

But the thing is l like races with big crowds. I get a huge high from the throngs of people out there to simply have fun or to run the race of their lives. I guess that is why from my little kingdom that is my blog, I try to encourage the newbies to try - sometimes even making a fool of myself to drive home the point that any average Juan can run, swim or bike. Okay this blog agenda still sounds selfish, but hey I am not harming anyone, am I?

If my agenda is self-centered, how about the motherhood statement that we can build a strong nation through sports? In the few times that I was in Singapore, I actually envied that nation of about 4 million in that the general populace seemed to be fit and sporty. You would see their trim bodies in gyms, roads or beaches. And hey, they do well in the SEA games and have a stronger Olympic presence than ours.

I suppose this lone-wolf-while-in-training-cum-crowd-loving-when-racing runner/triathlete wannabe will continue to wish for all of us to exercise our way out of this economic rut that we are in. In the meantime, I will find secret, private places where I can train in peace and enjoy in relative solitude the magic that is running, swimming and biking. I hope to see you all in the next big races. The roads may be a bit congested, but I am sure we shall all manage.


2 comments:

sfrunner February 9, 2009 at 10:18 AM  

Hi Rico. Hope you had a great weekend! As always, great post.

Last Saturday's run took me away from the usual crowded places to some back roads. Sometimes, runners need a little more peace and quiet. The park and the waterfront were fairly crowded.

With rain expected tomorrow and having a day off, it will be a little more peace and quiet with a park run.

Take care and have a good week ahead!

jazzrunner February 9, 2009 at 4:28 PM  

Hi Rico-- i share your enthusiasm in encouraging newbies into the sport of running. if we can do it, so could they, di ba?

let's keep on encouraging and they'll be thanking us... in time.

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