I came prepared to run 21k last Sunday but took to the stage wearing my signature blue wig and fake eyelashes instead.
It was another great opportunity for the Fabulous Running Divas to be of “prestigious” service to the running community. Under our Beauty With A Purpose Program (walang kokontra sa title please), select members taken from FRD assigned as marshals at the finish line of Takbo.ph Runfest 2014 led in the warm-up stretching of 21k, 10k and 5k runners.
The fabulous “stretch contingent” consisted of:
1. Ivan Patrick Camposano (21k and 10k/5k)
2. Jennelyn Garcia Sinsay (21k and 10k/5k)
3. Evelyn Mondragon-Lopez (21k)
4. Juvy Ignacio-Solabo (21k)
5. Sheng Baldoz (21k)
The request to help out with getting the runners limber and pumped up for the race came at about 12 noon just the previous day while I was on my way to a debut engagement. I received a somewhat frenetic text message from Race Director and Leadpack leader Doc Lyndon that if by any stroke of luck the FRD can, in such a short notice, be able to perform a Zumba routine? Of course not! I responded. In the first place we do not have such routine in our repertoire! I for one do not know how to do this craze dancercise! But the always ready-to-help spirit of the team for the love of the running community propelled us to stand up and take the challenge once again. This time though a simple routine will have to suffice. Choosy pa ba sila eh wala na ngang time noh! Hahaha…
Immediately I contacted my ever reliable sidekick and co-leader Blue Zapanta Jr. for collaboration. At this time he was on his way home from a very challenging lsd that ran from UP Diliman to Shotgun! Tired and a little bit disoriented, he was not that positive at first. Who would be? At such state, I would rather hit the sack than talk about duties and responsibilities! I on the other end was in a hurriedly going for my hair and makeup engagement with a debutante. So the exchange was not planar and positive. Eventually though he left me to decide on this with finality and his 100% support guaranteed as always.
Then I have to rally the third member of this trio of performers – Alyna (in reality it should just be a duo with yours truly forced down their throats by the power of seniority). He is supposed to have an lsd to Kawasan Falls but I dissuaded him from it and instead help me out as one of my “backup dancers”. Being selfless that she naturally is, obliged without hesitation. Ginawa ko pa talaga silang back up kahit na sila yung mas magaling ano? Kapal lang. But they had been very supportive of me and the group (more of the latter actually) that they were ever willing to stand in the sidelines. Well maybe just for now since we have plans on making this jump into the Zumba bandwagon and I wanted my sistahs to shine like diamonds! With this nod, everything was smooth as Sunsilk hair. Not!
I arrived at the event site at 34th St. Cor 9th Ave. with Alyna not replying to my text messages and Blue nowhere in sight! (I came to know later that there was some problem coordinating with the team leaders regarding this last minute changes so the request was not accommodated.) And we are stage bound in 30 minutes! In fact I can hear Bearwin Meily, comedian host, announcing the name of our team on air just as I was sorting things out in my panicked brain pushing my quandaries to collapsing level! Well I was exaggerating a bit but the fact is, I DON’T HAVE MY STRETCH TEAM WITH ME!!!
Sitting in front of me waiting for their signal to proceed to their station just nearby were fellow FRD Mommy Evelyn and Juvy (who by Divine Providence just happened to receive their FRD shirts from Blue) together with Ivan. He likewise came prepared even wearing rainbow socks, a team’s signature. Add to this willing and “walang inuurungang” group were Jen and Sheng and I had my new stretch team right in front of me!
After a sip or precisely a gulp or lots of it of Pocari given to me by Juvy as panic attacks can be as thirst inducing as a 21k run which I originally intended and registered to do in preparation for my marathon late this month, off we went on stage. The usual sequence I do in this standard, all-be-it boring warm-up routine starts from neck static stretch, shoulders, lateral trunk muscles, hips, legs, knees all the way down to the ankles before some dynamic jumping jacks with torso twist and leg kicks. This system of stretches from the head down to the feet in sequence keeps me from forgetting some step. Mental gap lang ang peg ng lola n’yo.
I saw how congested the 21k chute was so I was not expecting everybody to join in. Knowing long distance runners non-penchance to spend excess energy in warming up! I too am guilty of this. I tried to keep the exercises not needing much space and lively to address this. But still not much reaction. Deadmatic lang. I would rather that the spotlight was not blinding me to be able to see faces of friends who were running. I love to call them out from the crowd while doing the exercise. This though may not bid well with them but I just can’t help it. Pasaway lang. I would rather that I held on to the mic and shouted out the counting and proper form while doing the stretch for more command. And maybe a lot would have been “forced” to follow. Anyways 21k stretch done in required 7 minutes and after less than an hour, it was the 10k and 5k runners turn which I look forward to. As experience tells me they are a more responsive and lively bunch. I was correct. And this time around held on to the mic the entire process. We were more interactive and lively as a result. That’s why I love the newbies. They follow instructions! Hahaha…
After I ran 10k (I exchanged my 21k for 10k), a new found friend and Ivan’s childhood chum Paolo pointed out that I must be a “rampadora”, a term for those who frequently join gay beauty pageants, in my glorious days. I said yes and upon asking him why he said so pointed out that I had stage presence despite my obvious stage fright backstage. If I had learned anything from those seeming pointless sojourns, it must be faking stage presence. But not only that, I believe the real reason for my confidence were the ones behind me, Fabulous Running Divas who are willing to cover my back, each others back no matter what. In this instance I fear no failure, I fear no stage. We are a team and that’s what it’s all about – TEAM SPIRIT. We did shine like diamonds on stage that moment because of this and not the spotlight which can die down anytime on us.
Next stop – ZUMBA dancercise! Watch out for it!