Watching the Olympics has given us some moments of awe and inspiration. I myself was roused. And it’s not after watching the beach volleyball.
Seeing Oscar Pistorius from South Africa, also known as Blade Runner, compete in the 400 meters run and making it into the semi-finals with an impressive time of 46.54 seconds was really moving. It was not because his time was an olympic or world record, for it was not the fastest. In fact it was not even good enough to qualify him to the finals of that event. But it was the fact that he was even there to compete with the best of the best runners in the world. And he has no feet. So what’s your excuse?
Then there is Usain Bolt. Of course he is a freak of nature, and is now an Olympic legend. But his speed just astound us, making us believe that Flash really does exist.
I am also thrilled to watch the Olympics basketball, especially the USA team which is composed of very talented NBA superstars. I know even their opponents are starstruck. One Tunisian basketball player even asked Kobe to autograph his shoes after USA emphatically beat their team.
With all the buzz and excitement of the Olympics, this encouraged me more in pushing myself in my own sort of training. Just like an Olympian. I can dream, can’t I?
I am on my 5th week of training for my half-marathon this coming fall. I run 3 miles twice during weekdays, and do a “long” run on the weekend. The long run starts at 3 miles, and I increase it by 1 mile every week until I achieve 12 miles. The other days of the week, are rest days or cross training days. Cross training could be biking or weight training in the gym.
Last weekend, there was a youth rally in our church and I was asked to be the medical personnel of the event, just in case someone will need medical care. During the evening activities, the young people played pick-up basketball. Since I got bored with just watching, I joined the basketball game. I thought to myself that I can consider it cross training for my run.
So there I was, running, jumping, shoving, grabbing and shooting the ball with highschool and college kids that are less than half my age. But I tried my best to keep up with them. I was too vain to admit that I am old, and too proud to be regarded as the weak link in the team. So I really competed hard. I even hit the floor twice. But I got up quickly, for I know I was supposed to be the one attending for the injured not the one to be attended to.
After almost 30 minutes of fast and furious pace of basketball, I was glad that I helped my team win. Well, I am more relieved that it was over, for I don’t know if I can keep up any longer with those young legs.
Somehow though I gained the respect of my younger playmates, as one teammate told me that he was impressed that aside from able to shoot, I still can play decent defense on a much younger opponent and can jump high for the rebounds. Well, he does not know that I have Jaworski blood coursing through my veins. Robert Jaworski, my idol, who was a legend in the Philippines’ basketball played professionally until he was 50 years old.
The next morning, I was supposed to do my long run, and according to my training schedule, it was to be 7 miles. But when I got out of bed, my whole body ached that it was a struggle for me to walk, let alone run 7 miles. That was when reality hit: I felt old. I am old. I rested instead.
The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.