Tuesday, October 3, 2017

When You Say Nothing At All

First Impressions Last.

Do they?

There are studies that support that saying and like it or not, there really is a huge truth to it. Humans operate around their senses the most dominant of which is the sense of sight. Our brain processes everything we see. Past experiences, our external environment and our learning add up to the conclusion we make about our visual experiences.

Before I entered the corporate world of Human resources, I did not care much about what people looked like. I was always more interested in the 'who' of a person. Although I am still more of that kind of person, I must admit that when my 'recruiter' hat was put to a good use, I was never able to ignore those first 30 seconds upon meeting a person for the first time.

When you embrace the life of a corporate recruiter, you slowly understand the weight on your shoulders. The initial screening and interview you conduct can very much shape the future of the applicant AND the company you are recruiting for. Each company has a formal job description per position which states the basic qualifications required for the job. There are however also certain unspoken and unwritten requirements only the recruiter knows and thus looks for when profiling the candidates for the job. Put together, these paint the whole picture and serves as a guide as to who 'should' be the perfect fit.

As soon as an applicant walks in that door, immediately I look at what the applicant is wearing, what the applicant is holding (sometimes it's an envelope or sometimes a cellphone and sometimes nothing at all), how the applicant walks, if the applicant is smiling or not, how the applicant carries his or herself, etc. And I always come to a premature conclusion about the applicant. As soon as I call in an applicant inside the interview room that is the only time I get to verify and conclude whether my initial assumptions were right or wrong, true or false.

However, much as I would want to say that first impressions do not last, they really do. After thorough questioning and 'getting to know' it always seems that whatever pre interview notions were made often times hold true. Non verbal communication can say so much more than what can be explicitly expressed.

Monday, September 25, 2017

On Running and Humility

Running, I've said humbles me to the bones.

When we conquer things, like goals or once never imagined feats, we find ourselves in a state of belief in oneself. It is during these moments when we realize that we could do so much more or could be so much more than what or who we ever imagined. I assume this to be normal among us. It is what makes us human after all - self centered.

Looking back, there were many instances when I thought I had it all. Worse, when I thought I had it all and actually believed too much in myself. I think there is a fine line that needs to be drawn between confidence and too much of it. Too much of it can be self destructing.

So a few weeks ago, I found myself at the starting line of a half marathon race. Prior to that, I had been doing pretty well in my training. Hammering on the bike and enjoying the lung busting run sessions. I was in the middle of so many other runners feeling as if I was going to conquer the run - like I usually do, or so I thought.

3 kilometers into the run, I knew it was going to be a bad run. Had I not thought of the awful words I would get from my husband if I decided to DNF, I would have just really quit. Half way through I was shaking my head in disbelief. I was sweating profusely, my legs did not want to cooperate and my mind was just telling me I was done. I could not lower my pace to my 'usual race pace' and I just felt so blehh.

Well I finished the race. At the finish line my husband was waiting for me, apparently he had to wait much longer than expected and when I crossed the line all he asked was, "what happened?" And I really did not have an answer at give at that point.

I would have spent the next week analyzing and re-analyzing what went wrong. I decided not to. I decided to say to myself that I had a bad run. That was it.

Weeks after, this insight hits home really hard. We have nothing to boast about moreso, we are nothing without God. Really. I am reminded never to think of myself too highly, for only God sits that high.

Testing the Keyboard

Ok I'm back. Like after what seemed like forever. Well, the keyboard of my laptop decided to conk out. And busy as I am, was not able to buy a USB keyboard right away.

Anyway. What's been going on? A lot.

Be back tomorrow.

Friday, September 8, 2017

This One In Particular



I have a little boy, my second one, who enjoys tinkering with things. He finds joy in assembling objects or putting things together -- with his hands.



He is a very purposeful little boy who wants to understand why he needs to do things first before actually doing it. He often asks, "what is it for?" or "why again will i do it?"
If you explain it well enough he will say "aaahhhhh" and will jump right into it with much gusto.


And voila!

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

On Adulting (Part 1 of a million parts)

I have come to a premature conclusion that a huge part of race preparation includes race plotting and planning. When I first embarked in racing triathlon, I jumped into every single opportunity to race signing up for every possible race even if it meant racing almost every week. That year my husband and I decided to do that, it worked for us. I think the excitement and eagerness trumped everything the physical body felt.

Three years into the sport, I am beginning to not just understand what my body is telling me but also actually listen to what it is telling me!

This year I have done 6 standard distance races in a span of 8 months. The last one was just last Sunday (haha). As I backtrack and rethink each post race week, I now know that my body:

1. Works best with adequate rest prior to race day. This means, proper and correct tapering works for me.
2. Is on a high the week right after race day. Call it DOMS but 3-4 days after race day, I am still up and about and able to do the given workouts.
3. Starts to feel the stress and fatigue on the 2nd week after race day. This is an observation I made this year. During this week, I have zero motivation to hammer the workouts and just know in my heart that I want to rest and recover.
4. Will follow what the mind says. And that being said, the mind is a super HUGE player during the race. 

As I approach the almost end of the year, I have decided to be wiser. Well, I always say that but this time I want to actually stick to it.

That being said, I have decided to pass on a 2 races in October and (wait for it) instead, do my first half ironman distance triathlon race in November 😂.

Everybody needs a good laugh sometimes, eh?

Monday, September 4, 2017

Why Sports?

I grew up an athlete. In 5th grade, I started Taekwondo and practiced it well into my high school years when I got competitive and joined division, regional and national meets. Years after I packed the Dobok and kept the belt, I still believed in the cause of sports and how important it is in one's development.

We read many articles on the importance of sports in youth development and how sports plays a vital part in one's childhood. From the point of view of a mother whose children are also into sports, I have listed down a few of the things I have witnessed my children learn through their chosen sports:

1. Sports Can be Hard. Life Too

The reality is, nothing is easy. The vastness that life offers can never be understood in one sitting or in one experience. When children experience sports, they are exposed to all realities of life. Specially for team sports, kids engage themselves with other children coming from different backgrounds, having different beliefs. The teams kids find themselves in teaches them to adapt and adjust to different personalities, different ways and different practices but with the need to embrace each members uniqueness in order to attain the goal of the team.

My eldest son who does competitive triathlon is involved in an individual sport where most assume that one's own strength gets the job done. However, as a parent who has observed the sport over the years, you will understand that this sport requires teamwork and team tactics too. Through the training camps he attends locally and abroad, he meets different other triathletes from other countires and each time he comes home from these camps, he has a dozen stories to tell of the different backgrounds each athlete possesses.

That said, they have a better and bigger understanding of the world around them. They also appreciate what they have but also are driven to be more mindful of Gods blessings and provisions.

2. Hard Work Beats Talent (When Talent Fails to Work Hard)

We've seen it way too many times, talents gone to waste. We've also heard this many times, the time, effort and dedication gets the job done. Add in persistence, consistency and discipline. All these do not come naturally. But yes we have seen natural talents.

I believe in this saying because I think my 3 kids are not naturals. I have hear many coaches say my eldest did not have a fighting chance as a swimmer (with so many reasons given) or that my second son (thin as he is) may have a hard time winning on the track. Bottom line is, my kids were never told "you are a natural at it." However, I was never also a believer of overnight success. Add in our own competitiveness, we are able to drive home the point of working hard to improve on one's skill.

Involvement in sports exposes a child to value hard work and effort. The results will vary. On some days you win, on most days you learn. But what matters is, you did what you had to do.

3. A Healthy Lifestyle Promotes a Healthy Mind

Years ago, when my husband and I enjoyed binge drinking and I loathed not puffing a cigarette our children also did not care about sleeping right and eating right. My eldest had weight concerns, my second son was always sick and my youngest was closely following on the path of his two older brothers.

On that day that we decided to change our ways, I knew there was no turning back. All of us had better sleeping patterns, we took the initiative of drinking more water and choosing the right food to eat. The effects did not happen over night but as time passed, we noticed the children's disposition became calmer and we all had more energy to do the things we needed to do. Over all, we had a clearer mind and we could sense that the children were also doing better in school (and us at work)!


Sports is a huge topic. Huger nowadays with the many breakthroughs in research and product development. However, if we go back to the basics and understand the deeper essence of sports as an excellent arena for character building, you will appreciate the beauty of transformation that happens when children embrace the love for this. A coach told me, winning (in sports) is always just a cherry on top of the cake. It is how it molds you for life that the trophy is won.



Monday, August 28, 2017

Mt. Mayon Triathlon Race Recap

Taken from the plane window. Beautiful Mt. Mayon

2 years ago, my husband raced the Mt. Mayon Triathlon. I was with him then as a supporter, spectator and cheerer. He had just come from the Cebu Ironman 70.3 race a week before but still managed to snag a podium finish despite the "uphell run rout" and "hilly bike ride." 
This year, the organizers made this race an ASTC race sanctioned by the Triathlon Association of the Philippines so my husband and I (despite the last minute decision), registered for this race. 
We arrived in Legazpi City in the early morning of Saturday. Went straight to the inn where we were booked. Since check in time was still at 2PM, we decided to unpack and set up our bikes in the lobby.
As soon as the bikes were set up, we decided to head on to the swim area, try out the water and try out our bikes as well. There were a lot of athletes when we got to the swim start area. All trying out the waters. After that, we had a quick breakfast before heading back to the inn. Thankfully, even if it was not yet 2PM, the frontdesk lady allowed us to check in. My husband and I were both hungry for sleep by this time. So we settled in and took a quick nap. We woke up just in time for a late lunch. We prepped out bikes and then went to eat.
In the afternoon, we checked in our bikes and then attended the race briefing.

The next day, we were up early. Drank a cup of coffee and then headed out to the starting line. We got there just in time to see the choppy waters. The elite men and women went first and we age groupers still had about an hour to wait before our gunstart. We got to watch the junior elite athletes race, a lot of whom were teammates and friends of our eldest son. We had a blast cheering them on.
15 minutes before our gun start, my husband said we had to head on over to the swim warm up area. It was an area not too clean but we made do with whatever space there was to warm up a bit. I don't think I am ever able to warm up properly before a race. 
The women were the 1st wave. After getting some pre race tips from my husband, it was time for us to start. As soon as I got into the water, I knew I was in for a horrible swim. Given the fact that I am not a good swimmer and the water was choppy with strong current, I tried my best to stay focused albeit the waves that kept smashing into my face every time I would try to do some sighting. I saw my husband pass me and I wanted so much to tell him to swim with me haha! I finally finished the swim leg in 44 minutes (horrible time).
As soon as I got to T1, I saw that none of the bikes of my ladies in my AG were there. They had all gone ahead and I had no idea how far ahead they had gone. As soon as I got on my bike I grabbed my gel, ate and hydrated. About a kilometer into the bike, I told myself I had to make it a point to pass at least 15 ladies to make sure I was not to far behind. I started counting on the 2nd kilometer. At about the 10th kilometer, I saw the hills we had to climb on the bike. Knowing I hardly had any saddle time I shook my head and laughed to myself. I was on verge of 'relaxing' up the hill before I remembered that I loved the hills! I took a big gulp of water and then started pedaling harder. Sometimes I forget how I love the climbs. I started to pass other ladies and continued counting. After the turn around point, it went really fast. The closed roads made the ride enjoyable and safe.
I entered T2 with the sun blaring on us. There were a number of bikes already racked but I had no more time to spare to count. I just knew that if I exerted effort on the bike, I would need to exert even more on the run.
The Mt. Mayon tri run route IS the most challenging route, this is the claim of the organizers. Initially, I was intimidated but then again, remember I love the hills. I exited T2 with cramps. I was laughing to myself and telling myself, "what did you expect?!" I ate 1 more gel and stopped at the 1st water station.
My initial thoughts were, there was no way I was going to catch up with anyone anymore. But because the mind is our greatest enemy, I had to remind myself to dismiss that thought. So I ran. 2kms into the run, I met the fastest female in our age group, I cheered her on and told myself that I had to push harder. I started to see other ladies along the route. On the first hill, I passed 2 ladies. I continued to dig deeper and reminded myself to stay focused. As I always do, I keep my eyes on the ground when I run to avoid any other possible distraction. I stopped at every water station to drink and to pour ice water over my head. Because this route was not a looping one, I never saw my husband on the run. By km 7, I knew I had just 1 more hard push to go before running to the finish line. It was mid morning by this time and the heat was a bit too much already. 
I passed the last water station and knew there was just 1 kilometer to go. I sucked it in and just maintained my run. When the finishline was in sight, I picked up the pace and tried my best to hold it. 200 meters to the tape, I saw my husband cheering for me. He was in high spirits so I assumed he did well on his race.
I crossed the finish line grateful as always. As usual, I had an awful swim but I was able to pick up quite a bit on the bike before managing a strong (not really fast) run.
I lift my eyes to the hills,
from where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord
who made heaven and earth
Psalm 121:1-2
















Thursday, August 24, 2017

Blogging

Many years ago, I found my ultimate therapy in blogging. I used to write here. I cannot believe I started my first blog over 10 years ago!! I met so many amazing friends on the blogsphere. Sadly, most of them have stopped blogging. Bu I am happy Susie still blogs (check out her blog)! But with the dawn of facebook, instagram and even twitter I sort of lost my love for writing lengthy discourses. I visited my old blog and read through a few of my entries. I am still surprised at how much time I put into writing down my thoughts and feelings! While reading, that is when I remembered how much writing was my outlet back then!

Many things change. Over the years, I have learned to be more silent. Even with myself. In my younger years, I always had the urge to say something, to voice out everything IN FULL DETAIL (hahaha). Now a days, I find myself praying a lot and talking to myself more and I actually find comfort in it. But yes when I decided to start this new blog a few months ago, I must say the love for writing just came back so naturally.

I would have wanted so much to continue with my old blog but guess what, I have aged! I no longer remember the email I used and the password!

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Heart Issues

After a while, you lose your interest. You lose your interest in just about anything. There is a certain lull and you cannot quite pin point where it came from. But the thing is, it is a calm lull.
--
After 13 years in the corporate world, I suddenly found myself losing the fervor for what I loved the most -- my work. At one point, I had it all planned out and written down. By this age I needed to be at the position, after this number of years I wanted this kind of work assigned to me, at this age I envisioned myself sitting in the board room part of the execom that would meet every Tuesday. At one point I had it all planned out. So yes, I wanted to know where all that had gone. It took me a while to figure it out and while I was figuring all that out, it was a very uncomfortable feeling. It was bothersome and downright worrisome. I felt I was not wearing my own clothes. And I wanted so bad to get rid of that feeling.
--
Waiting on God is not easy. It never was and it never will be. That is a fact of life. We are human and human as we are, we want instant gratification. That uncomfortable feeling I had lingered on until one day that lull came.
--
When nothing is happening, we can either panic or remain calm. There was a certain calmness in the lull. I had embraced the routine and accepted it as a fact that could not be changed. On days when there would be excitement, I would get excited. On uneventful days, I would just let the day pass. I realized, I was no longer looking for the thrill and the high of smashing my work day.
--
I asked myself, is this good or is this bad? I cannot quite remember when how or why I found myself asking that question. I would have let it pass but on that day, after a very long time, I wanted an answer. The days passed. Months. Years, a few.
--
The answer came around 8:30 in the evening while I was folding the laundry exhausted from the mornings workout, work demands and just washing the dishes after dinner. It was like a huge hammer hit my head and banged so hard on my skull that I found myself just bawling in pain. After years of denial, I finally came out and said I no longer loved my work.
--
A grumbling heart is an unhealthy heart. It is sinful and does not glorify God. I figured that's where all my pain came from. I was no longer comfortable with my sinful, grumbling heart. I needed to get rid of it.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Friday Night Thoughts


The thing is, I'm still trying to figure out this whole athlete thing. Three years into the sport of triathlon and I know I am still in store for so much more.
An athlete when I was younger, being exposed to martial arts-- Taekwondo pretty much opened up my eyes to this competitive sport. In college, when having a boyfriend seemed more exciting, I decided to give up the sport I loved so dearly. I grew up kicking and punching and doing core workouts everyday.
Years later, in pursuit of a healthier lifestyle, I found myself running. Then ventured into biking before finally mustering up enough courage to enroll in learn to swim class, at 34 years old. And because old habits die hard, I knew in my bones I wanted to sign up for races and get it done.
Today I have embraced swim bike run as my antidote to the daily stress I face. I enjoy it a lot. I don't have a big training group, I do not even have training buddies. I train alone most of the time and I enjoy that as my being alone time since I find it a good opportunity to really zone in in prayer. Yes. I run, I pray. I bike, I pray. I swim, I pray.
Sometimes I feel like I totally smashed the workout and get so giddy and excited. You know that feeling when you end your track workout as if you were going to stand on the podium at the Olympics? Or you end your bike workout and know you got the yellow jersey at tour de france. There are days however when you just end up wondering what the heck went wrong? There are days when you just cam't seem to find enough energy to put on your shoes, walk out the dorr and finish your run.
On race day, sometimes you feel unprepared but end up nailing it completely. On some days, you walk to the starting line with full confidence and end up crossing the finish line wondering why you cramped the whole run through.
Often times I am tempted to think. Overthink. Analyze and over analyze. I love to do that. I obsess about the details. I try to track back everything and try to put all the pieces together. Well I used to at least.
Until one day it dawned upon me. At 35 and with my current level of fitness, I am in no way on the path towards becoming a PRO athlete. People like me, athletes like me are called Age Groupers. In the world of age groupers, there are the fast ones, the faster ones and those close to the PRO level. I don't think I even fit into any of the above categories. I figured I am an athlete, yes I say that with confidence, who day in an day out decides to be a better version of who I was yesterday. In pursuit of excellence, I decide to wake up everyday thankful for the energy and fervor I have to learn more about myself when I swim, bike or run. I have embraced the fact that there will be days when I will be victorious in my quest to be stronger. But there will be humbling days too when I will know how little I am and I will have to completely embrace that too.
I once said, "Running humbles me. It reminds me of who I am and who God is."

Monday, August 14, 2017

Take Me Back-- When?


Dreams. They come true. Through constant prayer and seeking God.

The day after my last day at work, my family and I were on a flight en route to Portland. It was a family trip we never imagined possible. There we were on our 14 hour flight excited and eager not knowing what to expect. Unlike most US trips Pinoys take, we decided as a family that we would not be state hopping visiting relatives and friends across the US. This did disappoint most if not all of my Moms relatives but we just did not have the money to cover all of the inter state flights.

We set camp in Portland at my cousins house and we stayed there for a month. We lived there for a month. After kicking off the jetlag, we found ourselves building a routine which included cooking, house chores and swim squad for our 2 older boys. My husband and I ran and biked almost everyday and would be at the pool at least 3 times a week. We did the groceries, cleaned the house, did errands. On weekends, we did quick trips up the mountains, the lakes or the beach.

We also made a trip to 'the happiest place on earth' where the kids had the best time of their lives riding on each ride at least 2x!
I never imagined ever visiting the US with my whole family. There were several instances during our trip, while folding the laundry in the middle of the day when I would find myself in awe, tears rolling down my face just speechless and in disbelief of how awesome God truly was. We as a family were just so overwhelmed by His grace that brought us through.

It's been a month since we got back home and we have pretty much settled back into our regular routine -- except that I no longer rush to work in the mornings HAH! But I can't help want to start dreaming again. Too soon?


Saturday, August 12, 2017

PRAYER

There is absolutely nothing to boast about. Just that I would want to put into writing that prayer has become a HUGE part of my life these past few months. Not that I have never prayed or that it was not a part of me. Just that in the past, I would pray when I needed it the most. Or put it in a better way, prayer used to be my 2nd resort or even sometimes, my last resort.
But of late, prayer has become this constant thing in my life. I am truly grateful for that. There would be times when I would look for someone I could rant to or I would send a message to a friend when I had awesome news I wanted to share but after these conversations, I would feel empty. One day it hit me. God was just waiting for me to talk to him, for Him to be my first 'go to' for good news OR bad news. Rather for good news AND bad news.

Jeremiah 29:12
Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you

Friday, August 11, 2017

An Athlete's Mom


I have a son, my eldest, who has embraced the sport of Triathlon with a big heart and bigger dreams tucked in it. Pre National Team membership, he started doing the sport 'because the rest of the family was doing it.' Really, we had no idea the consistent training and fun racing would eventually lead him to what he is doing now.

Just like any other thing, I suppose you are never really prepared for what is in store for you. Or you never really comprehend what is to be expected until you are right in the middle of it- living and breathing it.

Parenting an elite teenage athlete is heartbreaking to say the least.

The teenage years are a period in the life of a child where they tread through rough waters and go through experiences they would rather not have to deal with but have to. Cap that off with pressure, expectations and a high demand for focus on the sport. If not handled properly, this could be the perfect recipe for disaster.

This was a first for all of us so again, we had no idea what to expect. As the days went by I started to slowly get a grasp of what we were in for.

There'd be days I could see it in his eyes. He wanted out. He was ready to throw in the towel. And deep inside me I was torn between telling him to keep fighting or giving in to what he seemed to want at that very moment - to give up. What? What do I say to a 15 year old kid who just wanted to be a 'normal teenager' stuck busily snap chatting or playing on line games versus hard sessions in the pool inhaling the chlorine or burning his tires on the road and pedaling hard. There would be days, good days when he would cross the finish line strong and would tell me he loved his sport. What should I say? Congratulations you're the best or keep working hard for more of days like this one?

And then I was faced with the 'letting go' part. It is something I still have not fully embraced and I think I never will. There would be days or even weeks when he would have to be gone from home. Off to a training camp miles away or across the ocean to some other country. Every time I would see him off, all I could see was an image of him when he was 6months old. How could I let this baby go? Fly out alone and pretend I would not think of him for the next 2 weeks while he was away??

But everyday, I am grateful. No one thought this possible but God gave it to us.

Everyday we are learning trying to journey with our son. We struggle and we often fail but we always get up together. On painful days, I try to put up a brave front. When I am alone, just like now, I cry. I pray. I never cease to pray because Gods grace is all I can ever depend on to get us through each day.


Thursday, August 10, 2017

New Beginnings


4 years into the sport of triathlon and it has almost always been SBR everyday - Swim, Bike Run. My kids have also embraced the TRIlife. It has been a journey like no other I must say.

Last week though, after much prodding, my youngest son joined his first ever football practice. After seeing a poster in his school about a private football club practicing every Saturday at a local park, I finally said OK for him to join -- on the agreement that he will do football on weekends but swim during the weekdays (after class). He agreed.

Come Saturday, he was giddy with excitement. All prepped and ready to roar in his trying hard football get up haha. Because most of our sports outfits are for swim bike or run, we had to make do with whatever dri fit shirt we had, basketball looking shorts, long socks and running shoes.

This football thing was completely new to me. The smell of chlorine was not there, there was no tartan track to run on and there was no need for a helmet. I sat down and decided to enjoy the view. My new view.

--

Sitting there, I was given a lot of quiet time to reflect and think. I sat on the ground - grass, pine needles and all and took in a breath of fresh air.

It has been 2 months post corporate world and I must say I have been enjoying the less rigid schedule a lot. I would not say I have had so much free time (which I thought I would have once I because a SAHM) because SAHM'ing is a lot of work too!! A few days ago I found myself laughing and shaking my head and telling myself that really, we humans are just never content! There is never enough time and it is so easy to say that because it is so true. I no longer rush to work every morning to make sure I don't clock in late but then the chores and the errands and the other to do's just replace the 9-6 time I used to spend in the office.

Just like any new ride, I think I am far from concluding anything at this point. Although I have not felt any regrets yet about my decision to leave my profession of 13 years, I find myself wondering what is next for me a few months from now. I understand the growing needs of my family, those of my children most especially but I remind myself that more than the financial needs I know they need so much more than that. After years of working to provide financially for the family, I have come to understand I can provide so much more than that to them.

--

So I sat there, enjoying watching my youngest make new friends. Witnessed his effort to contribute to teamwork. I smiled seeing him laugh and enjoy while playing football. It was a refreshing sight.

You don't need new shoes to go somewhere new.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Reality

Sometimes if not always, you are never prepared for whatever it is you planned to prepare for. You know? You plan and plan. And plan some more. You plan so much more. And on that day you are to execute, you find yourself looking for THE plan. Where did the plan go? Or what happened to the plan?

Planning often takes time. You have your drawing board, brainstorm on the steps to take, try to eliminate all possible negative or adverse possibilities, set goals and in the spirit of optimism, write down your desired outcome. Planning. It is a painstakingly tedious process.

The problem with planning is you can become so obsessed about it to the point where you lose sight of your end goal. And by losing sight of this, we find ourselves face flat on the ground when we are faced with the inevitable -- missing out on the end goal itself.

So should we still plan? I believe so. Lest not forget of the end goal.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

The Goodbye On That Day

On that day when it was time to go, I did not feel much. Surprisingly. But maybe it was also because I was looking forward to our month long family trip to the US. I got up that day and went about my normal routine. On that day I felt flat. There were no extreme emotions -- which I initially thought would flood me on my last day at work.

13 straight years in the corporate world. May have been a short stint for those who have been in the system since like forever but I felt that 13 years gave me significant experience. All those life lessons disguised in management directives, company prerogatives -- you only get to understand once you are out of the system. Just like in any other circumstance I suppose, it is on those occasions of "on hindsight" that you realize the lessons picked up through those experiences. It's funny how, in the busyness of life you tend to forget the value of each experience you go through. On hindsight, it's not even funny, it's actually sad. And true enough, these end of the chapter moments allow us to pause and look back so that we appreciate what those years gone by were all about.

5 weeks post 'goodbye,' I am still trying to figure all this out. Now that I am back to reality, I need to figure out my new reality. Honestly, I am still at that point where I do not miss the 9-5 job. I am still enjoying the lax schedule. The past week I kept myself busy with errands and to do's that I never had the time to do in the past -- renewing my drivers license, applying for my social security ID. This week I plan to clean the house, declutter and be a bit more "quiet."

There's still no toasting to anything as I dislike uncertainty. To date I still have to answer to the question, "What's next?" However, because of faith I know Jeremiah 29:11.

Blessed Monday, everyone!

Thursday, June 15, 2017

What Is SUCCESS

So yes, SUCCESS for me was a good paycheck earned and had to come with other benefits. Lots of them please!

You know, so you're this woman who has 'everything,' you pay the bills, buy not just needs but also wants, you get to travel, you treat your kids to a lot of eating out and you feel you got it all under your hands. Oh yes and you have this pretty amazing husband who supports your dreams all the way. Yes, you have everything. That's exactly how I felt. The years went by. 10 actually.

I could have anything I wanted by slowly losing everything I was. The shaking took a while. A few years. I could not seem to pin point where the storms kept coming from. Why the boat always seemed to sail on rough waters. But I tried my best to hold it all together. keep the mast up. It did not take long before I knew I had completely lost myself.  I loved my job but I no longer loved what it was doing to me because it was not making me a better person anymore.


Monday, June 12, 2017

Home Stretch (Part 1)

In exactly 4 days, I walk out of corporate life. It's been 13 years since my foot first stepped on the shiny floors of a building whose signage I read as "SUCCESS." I was a fresh graduate, married with toddler and believed in my heart the future of my son was on my shoulders. I was fortunate to have been hired just 2 months after I got my diploma.

So there I was, marveling at my new world. I was very eager to learn and was determined to impress. Like an athlete on Red Bull, I grabbed every work assignment as if it were a half time crunch. I wanted to make all the shots, I wanted so much to be recognized and there was no stopping me. Work. It is addictive. Once you get the ball rolling and you see you can call the shots there's no stopping you. Twice a month I would take home my pay with pride. I would be so happy being able to buy the milk and diapers of my son. On occasion, I would treat him to a toy.

Because more is always better, I think I was never content. Once your work gets recognized, you develop this belief in yourself. You sort of come to 'know' your value and believe in everything you do. So I believed I deserved better. Yes. I deserved a higher pay for all my abilities and skills and talents. When a door of opportunity knocked on my door, I immediately opened it. It was a job offer for a higher position and paid even higher. So I said goodbye to my very 1st job of 3 1/2 years and said hello to this new oppotunity.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Doable Things Yet May Seem Impossible


On a climb up to The Highest Point along Halsema Highway. My legs did not want to budge anymore. But I still had 45kms to go

Even on the most difficult days when all you can think of are everything but anything positive, there are still reasons to think otherwise. Difficult to do yes. But doable. Again, it is possible. I think.

Nowadays the pressures of life can be too much. There are many troubles a day can offer. Where have those days of simplicity gone? Long forgotten perhaps with the change of tides. The reality of it is this world has turned into a ball of mess and war. Where is the love?

Our country currently sits in a situation deemed rather hopeless leaving the people helpless and yes, hopeless. You wonder where the leader of the nation is. You think the leader of the nation knows nothing more than a pail full of gibberish words. And yes, I qualify that as a fact.

How can people want to bring more souls into this kind of world? Again, we have a choice to make the deemed impossible still possible.

It is doable.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

For the Love Of It




Over the weekend, we had the opportunity to share our passion and interest in triathlon to a group of home schoolers in Baguio. There were a total of 29 children who joined the activity. It was a 2 day intro to triathlon camp where almost all if not all children had no idea what triathlon was all about. My husband prepared a 2 day schedule full of activities for the kids and in between we included short talks and simple lectures about the sport, proper nutrition and support the parents were to give their children especially if they decided to seriously pursue the sport. It was an interesting mix of children and parents and I must say the interaction of all participants was just plain awesome. Some of the children were hesitant about the activity mainly because they saw themselves as 'not the sporty type' while the others were just down right excited to expend their physical energy.
We tried our best to keep things simple and keep the children busy with the activities and boy did I experience the unending energy of the kids! I found myself getting even more tired than when I would actually do my workouts! Haha! I think one of the more amazing things that happened during those 2 days was being able to help kids discover things they never thought they would even like or have any interest in. One little girl rode a two wheel bike for the first time. Initially she could not balance. But come lunch time when everyone was eating and taking a break, she chose to practice and practice and before anyone knew it, she was pedalling on 2 wheels! It was a really good experience for us to witness how children can be so determined and focused.
Overall, I'd say the weekend was a good one.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Relative to that saying, "Practice the Pause."

200m before ending his 18minute 5km run, my eldest son decides to quickly pause to check "what time it is."



Oh how times have changed. At the break of the millennium we were all scampering at how technology and its effect on our lives could affect us even more. Little did we know how much more it could affect us in the years after year 2000. The humans that we are, we are able to adapt to everything happening around us. The beauty of our being human lies in our resiliency. Our capacity to understand the importance of adapting to our environment has propelled us towards where we stand at present.
As I look back on the 17 years that have passed, I can't help but shake my head and truly wonder where those years have gone. From being a college student to becoming a wife and a mother to living in the corporate world to easing out of it. The years have gone by way too fast. Now I can say I forgot to slow down -- to smell the flowers, to stare at the beauty of the blue sky. I'd be a hypocrite to say I have no regrets at all. I can make a list of them. But today, I choose to accept all of them as part of my learning. There is no sense in as they say, crying over spilt milk.
So in the busyness of this fast paced life we live in, I don't see any harm in stopping a bit somewhere in between. And yes, taking a look at the time.
It can change one's perspective.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Heed to the Warning

On a bike ride, I wanted to have a picture capturing me riding towards the waterfalls (but I did not want to get wet) but I knew it was risky because the road was very slipper. But I wanted to have that picture. So I told my husband to take the picture when I was close enough to the falls and then I would take a turn just in time to avoid biking into it and getting wet. Nice picture? Seconds after that I took a turn albeit a bit sharp and then I crashed.



Sometimes, regardless of how cautious you are (whether it was by choice or due to certain circumstances) the inevitable happens. You crash.
More often than not there are a million warning signs going on around you. Sometimes you even hear it all to clearly. Yet you still decide to proceed even if you know fully that the end results or the outcome will not be what you want it to be. So we ask ourselves, why did I still do that? The plain and simple answer to that it because we chose to. Even if we know the consequences would not look too nice at all, we decide to do it. Mainly because of our selfish desires -- to satisfy our own cravings.

A tangible example of this is our spending habits. Consumerism says buy this, buy that. You NEED this, you NEED that. Life is EASIER with this, life is EASIER with that. And we look around and see that yes, the whole world have those things. You conclude that yes, I NEED those too. You end up buying things that you do not actually need or worse you end up spending on this that are far beyond your means of living. Bottom line is you find yourself unhappy with a huge amount of debt.

Ultimately, we have a choice to make. We must remember though that we can never choose the consequences of our choices. That's why before deciding on anything, I think we should never forget to pray and seek Gods will above all. Crashes can be painful, nasty and dirty. We would not want to always find ourselves in situations like those.

James 1:5
If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.



Friday, May 12, 2017

If The Shoe Fits

Today I look back and realize I have been running for the past 5 years. What started out as 'running to lose weight' has propelled into a love and passion not just for running but for multisport. Although I started running ahead of my husband, he was the first to buy a bike (so he could start doing duathlons) and then eventually enrolled in swim classes (to do triathlon). Eventually, I got myself a bike and yes, enrolled in swim class too. But running always had (and still has) that number 1 place in my heart.
When I started running, I had no legit running shoes. I would shuffle between my old Nike shox and my Nike Presto. Eventually, my Prestos gave way while my legs gave way to my shox. Since I was already practically running everyday, I knew I had to look for a good pair of running shoes. As a newbie, my first consideration was always still the aesthetic value of the shoe. I wanted one that looked very attractive. So yes, I ended up investing in the wrong shoes - pretty and cute but gave my calf muscles the worse sore feeling. Then someone told me the best would be to get a stability running shoe. So I did. It provided me with the right support but boy were they heavy!
So anyway, as the running years passed I came to realize that we all have our unique needs when it comes to choosing the right pair of running shoes. Setting aside the attractiveness of the shoe, I went for one that did not look that attractive but did seem to provide me with the perfect fit and comfort.
The Brooks st5 did not immediately appeal to me -- it looked like an old school running shoe to me! But once I started to use it, there was no more stopping me. It was light but provided me with the proper foot support and its mesh material provided my feet with enough air to keep them from getting too hot. After running numerous half marys and a marathon with my st5, I ended up buying 2 more pairs thereafter- of the same color. I used them on long runs, short runs, during training, when I did my 1st duathlon and even during my 1st triathlon.

It is important to choose the right running shoe for you. Sticking to something that looks great but provides so much discomfort and eventually lead to dangerous consequences or injuries that can affect you long term. Again, not one shoe fits all. Sometimes it really is a trial and error journey. Most sports or running stores provide gait analysis to their customers which could assist and help you choose the right shoe for you.

RUN HAPPY!




A While Ago

A few years ago, ok 11 years ago (wow) I was going through a lot. My Dad and Mom had just passed away, I was just getting the hang of being a full time working mom and I was looking for a way to release the pressure and cope with the circumstances.

And that's  where my love for blogging was born. I would have wanted to take off exactly from where I left but because it was only a few years ago (haha), I can no longer remember the email address linked to my former blog. I feel bleh about it, but I am looking at it as a way for me to start anew. I found myself laughing, smiling and shaking my head altogether while reading my old posts. Funny how people change. Just like wine we are aged over the years. Experiences refine us, mould us, break us sometimes. Some remain close to their former selves while some come out as completely different. Not quite sure which among the two I am.

After all, 11 years was @just a few years ago."

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Of Those Things You Realize

Times have indeed changed. As I previously mentioned a while back, I resorted to blogging a few years ago. It was at that time the best outlet I could find as I struggled to cope with my circumstances back then. At that time, smart phones were no where near in sight. The internet was starting to gain popularity in developing nations where it was becoming more and more accessible to everyone. And blogs were an in thing.
I blogged actively for 3 years. Along the way I met so many virtual friends. Some I must admit I felt I developed a very personal connection with. I would get so attached to their daily musings thinking I really knew them personally. I'd say it was a great experience. However, somewhere in between blogging and the ever changing times, my blogging activities slowly diminished. Time and effort were poured elsewhere. Together with that social media sites were born. Suddenly one liner's were enough to 'express' a persons feelings, opinions or sentiments. Add a picture and voila! No more need to sit down, search the heart and then put all that into writing.
So yes, I became that.
But it dawned upon me. A few days ago. I told myself, I gotta be true to myself. Writing is to me, life. And I gotta start living again.

Cry Out

There are days when we feel we are everything. Ever felt that? Like you had total control of everything, you felt indestructible. That feeling when you felt you had everything taken cared of. Nothing could stop you, your plans, your goals. On those occasions you have that feeling that nothing could ever go wrong. But everything goes wrong when you eat on those thoughts and allow yourself to believe in all that.

And then Baaaaam!!

PRIDE comes crashing down. And that once indestructible person that you were ends up shattered in a million pieces.  When that happens, there is an unexplainable pain that we feel. Emotions take over even if we think we are being objective in our approach.

But it is in these moments that truly define us. Do we accept what just happened to us? Do we allow it to consume us?

I've had countless times when I found myself in situations like that. Yes. Many times I actually believed I had it all just to find myself in the darkest of dark pits buried in my own web of sinful beliefs and eating the bitter truth of pride's consequences. Being the emotional person that I am, I see to it that I cry my heart out -- puffy eyes, sore throat and all, and it is on those occasions that I find myself down on my knees crying out to God. Humbling oneself before another is never easy more so if its before the Almighty one who you can never escape with your excuses. Remember, pride. But to cry out to Him must be the most relieving feeling ever.

Today I am looking for that relief.

PSALM 109:26
Help me, O LORD my God! Save me according to your steadfast love!

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

It is what it IS.

Life can be defined. But sometimes, life should not be defined.

We use the word 'life' casually. Sometimes we express it with a heavy sigh. Sometimes we have so many good things to say about it. Sometimes we do not want to talk about it.

We know it is a gift. New beginnings we refer to it as a miracle. When we talk about it as full of regrets we know it was wasted.

But really, what is life?

Sometimes I feel I have seen too much of it. But on occasion, I know I have not even seen half of it.

We do not define life.

Life defines us.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Todays starts a new.

Ah writing. Yes, therapy.

Are there still bloggers out there?

When You Say Nothing At All

First Impressions Last. Do they? There are studies that support that  saying  and like it or not, there really is a huge truth to it. Hu...