A Man's Health

Monday, March 30, 2009


Anima Sana In Corpore Sano

(Sound Mind, Sound Body)

While I wish I have the abs of Sparta's 300 valiant men, I honestly think the Athenians had it better over the Spartans. The Athenians knew the recipe for greatness - a sound mind and a sound body.

Following Athenian wisdom, I elected to not to do physical exertion last Friday and Saturday prior to Sunday's Miracle Run. I needed to rest my body. More importantly, I needed to rest my mind - from its current addiction to running. It helped that Friday night a good friend is celebrating his birthday and his girlfriend was throwing a surprise party for him. Delicious free food, easy conversation about things other than running, and company of non-running friends - great combination. Just what I needed.

Early this week I was initially distracted when the founder of the Philippine Pomeranian Club reminded me to call a club meeting, but I realized this other passion called dogs would balance out my running addiction. In the spacious hall of the club founder, a motley crew of Pomeranian enthusiasts planned shows and seminars the way runners would organize races and clinics, and these dog lovers later watched in awe as Pomeranian champions in various colors and patterns paraded in front of us. The spectacle and feeling were akin to watching a lead group of elite runners come back from a turnaround, or a peloton of cyclists in colorful battle gear.

Passions. We live and breathe for our life's passions. It is ironic that the things that drive us to great heights of achievement or depths of meaning are the same things that can lead us to burn out or calling it quits. How we all wish that our passions can be never-ending, ever-rising orgasmic experiences. But realistically, passions tend to heave and haw, and come in cycles. Sadly, my passion for dogs and sports went through the same cycles. The pattern was evident: a big dam of emotion and excitement at the start, made possible by all-consuming focus and time devotion, and eventually losing steam, and possibly resulting in temporary revulsion.

I have been through two cycles of doggie love and about four for running. I am getting weary of spinning like a laundromat. If there will be cycles let them go like long slow runs. Let them be like full marathons, and not 100-meter dashes or 5k sprints.

The key is balance. Balance is the goal I had when I signed up for the Miracle Run. Balance the joy of joining races with the desire to help out. Balance the solitary runs with group LSDs, mass starts and endless photo-ops at finish line. Balance the desire to run longer and faster with one's capacity to recover. Balance one's multi-facet passions and responsibilities. Even out the thrill spurts so one can revel in the ecstasy longer.

The miracle in my Sunday run was that I seemed to be fully healed. I did the 10K Miracle Run at 1:09:16 at average pace of 7:02min/km. It was not a personal best, but that was my average pace when I ran the New Balance 25K last November 2008 in a pair of week-old high stability shoes. Mid-November was the time when I began noticing problems with my left foot. My Condura Run 21K pace a week ago was about 7:30min/km, while my Run for Their Lives 10K pace (pre-Condura) was 8min/km.

I ran the Run for Their Lives, Condura Run and the Miracle Run with my new ASICS. For now I suppose the ASICS Gel 1130 is the miracle shoes for me. ASICS: anima sana in corpore sano. It is amazing how a pair of shoes seemed to make all the difference - between limping and running, between running and running well. But the real miracle actually resides in me - in my body and its resilient set of legs and feet, and in my mind that seeks balance and opens itself to great possibilities.

Sound mind, sound body. This is the new balance.


Rod.Runner March 31, 2009 at 2:37 PM  

mr rico! idol na kita ngayon. you write good, brother!

Rico Villanueva March 31, 2009 at 11:41 PM  

Thanks Rod. Runner's high lang 'yan. Pag mahilig kang tumira ng LSD ganyan kang magsulat. Haha.

eo April 1, 2009 at 9:26 AM  

tama ka, rico. you should have passion and balance so that you won't get burnt out. kasama na din dyan ang goal. i read in one of your blogs that you are from up. tama ba? which campus? i graduated at uplb.


Bong April 1, 2009 at 9:26 AM  

You write so well that sometimes I forget that
I'm reading a running blog instead of English literature. Galing.

Rico Villanueva April 1, 2009 at 11:38 PM  

Hi eo. I hail from UPLB and got my college degree there. Got my masters in UP Diliman. Thanks for dropping by fellow Iskolar ng Bayan.

Hi Bong. Thanks. Para na bang English Lit? Running does crazy things to you. I do not normally write like this. Haha.

jazzrunner April 2, 2009 at 3:29 PM  

Another classic post Rico! May available pa bang 1130 locally?

Rico Villanueva April 2, 2009 at 7:52 PM  

Thanks Rene. Got the 1130 at big discount in Athlete's Foot Glorietta. The latest in the series is supposed to be 1140 (great feedback from RW), but I did not see a pair.

myironshoes April 7, 2009 at 3:24 PM  

Well, the Athenians certainly knew how to party so I guess I prefer them over the Spartans too. :-) People who know how to fill their tummies well win over people who know how to form good looking ones in my book.. any given day!! Haha! I hope your miracle shoes keep giving you enough of a runner's high so you keep writing darn good (as in thoughtful and profound) english lit stuff. I like your blog. This is definitely a nice place to tambay in!

Rico Villanueva April 7, 2009 at 10:35 PM  

Hey Mesh, what can I say but "Gee, thanks!" Fortunately my miracle shoes continue to weave their magic, but they are not as interesting as your ironshoes. Have a relaxing and contemplative week ahead. :-)

About This Blog

Lorem Ipsum

  © Free Blogger Templates Columnus by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP