Life before wellness

Part 1.  1985 – 2007  Period of self-destruct

When you know how it is to die, then may be that’s all you need to view things in a different light. 

Each time I would suddenly feel cold and numb, with white lights flashing everywhere, my sense of hearing shut – I know it is time to lose consciousness.  In split second, I would fall unconscious, but somehow I could manage to make a split decision before ‘the episode’ – I knew I would fall and stop breathing for a few seconds…but I would tell myself that I would still wake up and continue living – magigising ako ulit.  In less than a minute, I would regain consciousness, and that is the time I would realize that I almost died.

 It started when I was 7.  I would suddenly fall unconscious.  It was a mysterious disease which had no regard for place and time.  I carried the symptoms until 4 years ago.  I suffered for over 22 years. I was plagued by anemia since childhood; chronic gastritis which started in college; severe arrhythmia due to symptomatic mitral valve prolapse (MVP) – a congenital condition; obesity and polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) – I was into hormone therapy from 2006 – 2008; and chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) – all the stress + all the maintenance drugs I was taking.

From 2004, I was always in the hospital.  Every other month – and I always had oxygen in a can.  I wore a 24-hour Holter monitor to the office – they were checking the severity of the irregular heartbeat.  At one point, I was found lying in our living room, unconscious. In 2007 I was a consistent CFS patient.  I was too tired. What made it more severe were a cancelled altar date and a big slump in my career.  I was fat, ill, heart badly broken; and call it bad timing – I was in a chaotic workplace.  I thank my genes because there is no history of melancholia or depression in the family – that could have been the missing ingredient for a full blown case of clinical depression.

I was living in the fast lane, or may be in the faster lane.  I had a lot to prove.  I tried to become everything to everyone. I lose sight of the more important things in life.  I allowed myself to suffer.  Alone. 

I managed to look tough, pretending I was okay…but I cannot fool myself anymore.  From March – October 2007, I had episodes of uncontrollable sobbing, usually around 5AM.  Until one day I decided to just pop all the pills from the blister packs (I was into 3 or 4 medications at that time).  I did not take the pills; instead, I flushed it all in the toilet.  I was tired of living with a poor soul and a body which could only function properly because of prescription drugs.  I was fed up with loneliness.  I wanted to live so badly. 

After so many prayers, I snapped back to reality that at some point, life is generous to offer a “reset” button.  It was October 2007, I wanted to gain control of my life again…and I was thinking deeply. 

Where and how do I start again? 

from self-defeating to self-actualization

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Another first in my list: the trail at Saratoga

Mizuno Highlands Fun Run Challenge
May 15, 2011
Bistro Saratoga, Tagaytay Midlands/Highlands

6AM - Chillax at the Start Line

Personal rating: worth all the risks = milestone run
First, I was loving the trail. It was 17min for me after KM3. Gruelling uphill road leading to the Pueblo and it was liberating downhill from KM7. It took 54min for me to reach the trail leading to KM10. I thought I would fall unconscious because of the grade of the trail + scorching heat of the sun. I saw a number of runners resting along the tree lane, and everyone else was walking.

It was a roller coaster run: fun – gruelling – liberating – gruelling – fun – fun – fun…tapos swimming at Cottage Grove, also in Tagaytay Highlands

The challenge: Punishing slopes, very intimidating ascends and descends between KM10 and 13, konti lang ang semento lahat halos lupa! How and why did I ever signup for a 15KM trail run, considering that it was my first trail run? Crazy! =)

Runners vs. Soil + Sun + Elevation

it's like a never-ending trail

Slow down...because it's too steep

soil, sun, and more soil, more sun

Plus factor: Out-of-town bonding with the SM Runners – convoy, roadtrip, overnight stay at the Cottage Grove in
Tagaytay Highlands, picture galore, swimming after the run, rewarding bulalo and tinapang bangus!

Extra thankful for: An injury-free run for everyone in the team.

Meowth space: Liberating solo drive with my (manual transmission car) Sofia, marveling at the breathtaking mountainous terrain while negotiating the steep, slippery slopes leading to Tagaytay Highlands. Love it! =)

Race result:  please checkout http://www.takbo.ph  or follow this link –  http://takbo.ph/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1948:highlands-mizuno-fun-run-2011-results&catid=23&Itemid=100029

almost done! =)

fun at the finish line

Wacky SM Runners

Natapos namin =)

Training tale and tail

I have been training for my first full marathon…and it’s no secret. It’s a way of putting a little pressure on my feet; conscious of the number of reasons for me to finally breakaway to my full 42.

I was a bit off-track in the last week of April due to a symptomatic right knee. Good thing it did not progress to bursitis, and in less two weeks I was back in the road again. The first week of May was all about celebration with family and friends. Yup, I just turned a year older…and hopefully, wiser. =)

birthday = slack time from training

There are two major trainings I’m into right now. I’m trying to balance it as not to comprise one over the other…and it’s a tough balancing act, if we are to factor in my career as a tax-paying citizen, social/sports life, family relations, and all other activities. First major training is for the full marathon. Second, training on becoming a Mommy to Brian, my three-month old Shih Tzu. With the help of my family and Arnie (my teeny-bopper niece), I’m training Brian to become a smart pet – socialization, dog training including toilet training and developing the right eating habits. I’m feeling a bit tired, but happier and more inspired. I have another reason to wake up early on weekdays, when I was so used to waking up (uber) early on Sundays only for the LSD (long slow distance) run.

Meet Brian - my black and white prince


I was also not used to bringing pets to bed. The last time I did it was in college when I still had a pet cat. Now, Brian sleeps in my room…so he gets a nice spray of ‘dry-dog-shampoo’ in between days when he is not supposed to take a bath. He chews Dentastix so he does not get bad breath. I use baby wipes on him to freshen him up right before he sleeps. He pees really early so I have to be up by 6AM…he wakes me up even before the alarm clock does. I have to consciously plan for my run-badminton activities for the week so I get to spend some quality time with him. The puppy loves to play, and he does not walk much, he runs most of the time. He is a hyper active puppy and I’m no longer surprised when sometimes he would snore. I can’t wait to train Brian for his first 3KM fun run. That’s gonna be more fun. =)

Brian: sleeping and snoring after a day of playing and running