How and Why Did I Start to Run
It was a sudden realization that I needed to reclaim what was left of my cardiovascular fitness after years of inactive and destructive lifestyle. I was climbing up the stairs of MRT North station as I usually do going to work when I was still living in Novaliches. I use to climb it with ease. One day though I was surprised why I was having a hard time reaching the top that I needed to rest in between plight of stairs just to catch my breath. My heart was pounding hard against my chest that it felt like bursting. I felt faint and almost at the berth of losing consciousness.
Around this time also that my bouts with panic attack started to escalate that it becomes a frequent demon for me. I had my first two intense episodes during college and I thought I had conquered it only to recur late in my thirties. It even became intense to a point that I cannot afford to watch action movies with loud gun battle and bomb explosion sound effects without triggering an episode.
Riding a tricycle, my daily mode of transportation, likewise became such a challenge that I needed to make sure heavy riders are seated in the front and not at the back or else panic will once again set in! I am thinking the tricycle will wheelie on its back wheels and we will crash one way or the other! I suppose you have experienced riding a trike that bounces up as if to topple over when heavy riders are in the back don’t you? Normally this causes just a minor discomfort and manageable fear; mine is a suffocating and choking one!
This is hard for me but I have to admit I had my share of pernicious lifestyle that may be the root cause of all these ill health manifestations. My mid and late twenties saw the darkest point of my life with the death of my uncle, the brother of my father who died when I was born and who stood as my father figure. I felt suddenly left out and unwanted. I felt betrayed. This brought me to the nadir of my depression.
I got entangled with all sorts of bad influence and vices. I sought the comfort and calming high of drugs. Staying up late until the wee hours of the morning roaming the streets of Bacolod City with “barkadas” and then eventually Metro Manila when I decided to eke out an anonymous existence somewhere in Paco near the area I call “the street that never sleeps”! Add to this cocktail of destructive repertoire my self medication on feminizing hormones in order to achieve feminine physical constitution. I was then taking all sorts of medicines containing estrogen and progesterone in wanton dosages. I wanted to escape reality; I wanted to metamorphose into a more feminine body.
Then I got tired of this downward spiral. It just got so dizzyingly tiring it was not fun anymore. I stopped all of these vices in a whim. The withdrawal though did not happen overnight. It was long-stretched process involving lots of willpower that at the end of it all I ended with the biggest of body and the weakest of heart.
It is this physical state that saw me climbing up the stairs of the MRT North station almost at the verge of passing out but with the determination growing to start physical fitness rehabilitation. This is when I got acquainted with the easiest and cheapest sport to get into and, though we had been through cycles of love hate relationship, together we kept each other company through years of trying times. Together we will prevail through many more!