A few posts back, I mentioned about joining Fitfil, a fitness boot camp intended to promote wellness and a healthy lifestyle among Filipinos.
I was expecting to hate the experience, being the lazy ass that I am, but you know what? I fell in love with the program, in a sense that everything I have been doing in the last three weeks was all about getting fit and being healthy.
Even my team, with its predilection for endless camwhoring, has become a comforting presence. These people have been sharing the ups and downs of trying to get fit, while hurdling challenging work outs and going through a 5-kilometer run. The Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays training schedule with these people have become a routine that I always look forward to — sort of a comforting schedule where you forget about the stress and toxicity of work and life.
Now that it finally ended, I am looking back on the things I managed to achieve during the short three week training period:
1. Tried Dragon boat and loved the sport so much I ended up signing for the official FitFil team – I used to watch dragon boat teams playing along Roxas Boulevard, marveling at the prowess and precision of rowers (both men and women) as the dragon boat cuts through the sea in one swift move. After convincing myself that a quick swim on the polluted Manila Bay won’t (hopefully) kill me, I was already raring to board the boat — never mind the strong current and the stink of the Manila Bay.
After skipping practice for the regatta, I attended the competition earlier with nothing but guts and the comforting thought that should I fall down the bay while attempting to compete, there’ll be lifeguards to haul my ass back up the boat. The event, the Philippine Dragon Boat Federation Regatta 2012, saw teams from all over the Philippines compete under the men’s, women’s and mixed category. I was part of a strong team made of coaches (yes, the same people who instilled among us trainers to go harder! higher! faster!) Being a competitive bunch, the team placed third into the final heat. Unfortunately, our time was not enough to push us up the semis berth. But come on, no practice and still we paddled like mad? I tell you, please do not be surprised if I ended up sun burnt and with bulging biceps because I have been lured for good by dragonboat rowing!
NOTE: All Dragonboat competition photos courtesy of Coach Jim Saret’s Facebook page
2. I FREAKING ran the Milo Marathon and did not die trying – Yes, I do a leisurely run together with the office peeps before I joined FitFil. But it’s the type where I run for 30 seconds and walk most of the way. My knees hurt, my feet bother me. Signs of too much fat, I know. The discomfort I felt along with the heavy body (my own) that I have been lugging for the last six years have made me NOT a big fan of competitive, timed marathon. But since it is a FitFit Graduation requirement, I gritted my teeth and steeled myself for the excruciating experience.
Again, FitFil (and my amazing Team Six Pack) proved me wrong. I enjoyed the experience and yes, did not die trying. In fact, it was one of the most amazing fitness activities I did in a very long time. Yes, I still finished way behind my team mates who ran like mad towards the finish line, but the important thing is that I get to finish the race. I didn’t quit.
3. Push-ups. Get-ups. Burpees. Squats. These are foreign concepts and words before, words I’d rather not associate with but after one month of having to do these things over and over again — and accumulating bruises and scratches on my knees due to the ordeal of these work-outs–it now turned into a routine. I won’t sugarcoat it – I still suck. In fact, one of my most traumatic experience at FitFil is being the last remaining person doing the work-outs, with my team cheering and egging me on. I was hoping that a hole will open up and eat me on the spot.
4. Learned to watch what I eat – the camp provided us a nutritionist who monitored our daily intake as well as our calorie count. My team was blessed to be assigned to someone who patiently explained our health requirements and how we can maximize our FitFil journey. The nutritionists were provided by Nestle Philippines who was one of the co-presentors of the booth camp.
5. Meeting Team Six Pack and training with like-minded souls. Known these people for just a month, but it was indeed one pleasurable ride. It made a big difference knowing you’re training with people who share your goals. In spite our so-called reputation as the rowdiest and most camera conscious group, Team Six Pack served as the wind that lifted my sagging spirits. Their cheers served as additional fuel during times when all I wanted to do was throw away my sneakers at the bay and go home because I don’t think I can run a kilometer more.
We were also lucky to have a great Coach who supplied us with humor, encouragement and patience. We were not an easy group to handle but the guy has the patience reserved for a saint. He also taught us to believe in ourselves, especially during times when you feel like you can’t finish your work out.
Yeah, the camp has ended — but I seriously think that this just the beginning. The journey to health and fitness does not end just because FitFil MOA ended. However, the bar is set high since we will have to continue our respective journeys on our own. Things are always possible, after all. All we have to do is just believe.