We all have our own different reasons on why we are on the path we are today. It could be incidental or by accident. It could be a result of the small incremental changes we have in life.
Are we taking that path step by step or are we sprinting our way to the finish line? Running shares many parallels with life in the sense that running give you control on your pace and where you want to go. Because here’s the truth that you will find out by yourself the moment you commit to running: It’s all about you.
This is what we found out from the members of the Nike+ Run Club in University of the Philippines Diliman: people who, despite their different backgrounds, are brought together by their love for running.
Last Oct. 23, the members of the UP Diliman Nike+ Run Club were unveiled at the CS Ampitheatre. Aside from the glow in the dark Gatorade pong and the Barrier Wall, attendees were also treated to trying out some Nike footwear while listening to music courtesy of NixDamnP. Of course, the chosen members of the UPD Nike+ Run Club were also revealed. Know more about the team:
University of the Philippines
The promise of a jacket enticed Jerry to try out for the track and field team, but what hooked him to the joys of running was the challenge of the workout and the simple joy of feeling tired. What continues him to run is simple: he doesn’t want any regrets.”As an athlete, I’ve experienced a lot of losses already, but despite that I push myself to train harder, and then push myself past my limits during competitions because I don’t want to regret that afterwards.”
At 18, Paolo is the youngest of the UP NRC Pacers. But don’t equate his relatively young age with complacency. He finds motivation when running with a group over running by himself, and isn’t satisfied when it comes to succeeding in a single run. He takes the phrase “There is no finish line,” to heart. “When you run, you don’t really intend to settle on one single goal. You focus on the next.”
Lawrence grew up with the idea that whoever run the fastest was the coolest. For him, everyone had the opportunity to be the best in running as compared to other sports, like basketball, which gives advantage to people who are taller. “I love how running is all about you, and you challenging you.” For Lawrence, the goals of running can be set as concretely as more distance and less time, and he constantly strives for self improvement.
Vince is a man of many sports: ultimate frisbee, basketball, volleyball, and running included. He turns to physical activities to relax when school gets a bit hectic, but finds himself going back to running since he considers it a basic skill. “My motto is ‘always improve, always get better.’ When I run, I push myself further and further every time.”
Many people in the group thank Jana for introducing them to the NRC, but Jana’s love for running began as both a matter of circumstance and passion. Finding her aptitude in running when she participated in aquathlons during her younger years, she joined the track team in college and continued on to be an NRC Pacer, where she finds joy in seeing people get better over time. “Since I’m already an NRC Pacer, it’s really the Runners who motivate me. It motivates you to do well, to exceed yourself.”
A 4th year Sports Science student, Paul’s interest in running is on the biomechanics of things. “Knowing how to run in the proper form, pacing, and breathing, makes me feel like a better athlete.” But aside from the science, Paul considers running an integral part of his life. “Running should be consistent. When I skip running, may nawawala.”
Kim Daniel Gamboa
After trying his luck at swimming, Kim decided to try out for his high school track team during his third year, which begun his career in running. Now a member of the UP track and field team as a distance runner, Kim finds joy in running with a group without any hint of competition. “It’s more fun when you’re in a group that isn’t competitive because you don’t have to think of ways to outrun anyone. You can just release your feelings.”
The one thing that Gabo points towards when it comes to everything he has accomplished in running so far is his childhood time running with his father in the subdivision near his home. For Gabo, the path to running is the same path to coming home, to feeling at home and being at peace. That is the same feeling he wants to share with others. “When school is heavy, I run, and when I run with others I feel like the feel the same way I do. So running in a group is a reminder that we’re not alone in what we’re experiencing in life.”
Growing up very active, Diego found running as a simple activity and not as a sport. His love for running only come when he realized that running can serve as both as an escape and as a way to keeping himself fit. But his biggest motivation is the challenge of going against himself. “When you lose, you can only blame yourself, you can’t blame anyone else. Then you move to the next one: How can you beat yourself again? I just like that challenge.”
Pam’s love for volleyball introduced her to her love for running. Although she didn’t enjoy running at first, she continued to run after finding out that it improved her skills at volleyball and also made her feel better. She considers running a life skill that people, especially students who are stressed with academic, can find refuge in and make themselves be better at what they do.
Taking from her years as a football player in the UAAP, Mal is well-acquainted with the joys of running. “Running for me is one of the most basic skills in sports, so it’s quite useful for everyone.” She enjoys the convenience and relative affordability of running, but those aside, her prime motivation in running is to develop mental toughness. “You’re going to need mental toughness in all of your life, not just in sports.”
Lhyra May Mendoza
Lhyra has a natural affinity to running. “When I was in Grade 4 i joined the track and field team as a sprinter. My first year of high school was when I tried out long distance.” Running for 13 years now, she has joined multiple competitions but during her free time she prefers to run alone, far away from any semblance of competition. Nevertheless, she runs in groups where she enjoys bonding with friends over a lighter pace.
Mary Rose Obra
Mary Rose is a footballer by profession, having competed in the UAAP, as well as having played for the the National team on more than one occasion. During her football training she eventually took a step into running, although she didn’t enjoy it at first. “My coach told me that I have to learn how to run without a ball, because if I don’t know how to run without chasing a ball, I wouldn’t know how to run with a ball.” Now that she’s part of the NRC, she credits running as her go to physical activity.
Diane Klein Ong
A track and field medalist from previous seasons of the UAAP, it’s a surprise that Diane only started taking running seriously last 2014. In truth, Diane was a volleyball player for four years before switching to running after her coach found some potential in her. She didn’t like the transition at first but came to love running for its propensity to value the individual. “In volleyball, you’re a team. In running, it’s all just you. Whether your performance is good or bad, all of that is from you. No one else.”
Miguel Javier Palana
From the offset, you’ll know Javi is a very competitive person. While he spends most of his free time playing basketball, he turns to running to keep himself in shape. He’s also found competition in running through himself. “I’m not content with being the same every time. I want to keep getting better all the time. That’s what keeps me motivated to run a lot.” He doesn’t find competition in groups, however, and enjoys running with peers as a way to make the running experience more enjoyable.
Cel says she started running competitively by accident. After her friend asked her to join the Milo Little Olympics when she was young, she eventually started proper training during high school. By then, she was motivated by her parents wanting her to get a scholarship in college, but she also began a personal love for running as well. “You know when you have a goal and you try to make it happen? I try to make my parents proud.” Cel is now student-athlete taking her fifth year as a Sports Science student.
Like most of people getting acquainted with running, Grant’s first experience with it was as a warm-up for his dance training in high school. Basic cardio. But as he went on, he got “addicted” to running because he wanted to test his limits. “After a while you want to beat your personal best in terms of speed or how long you can run.” Up until today, Grant relies on running for his warm-up while continuously striving for more.
There are two things that Montse enjoys in running: the sense of accomplishment whenever she runs that makes her feel that she is in control, and the accountability that comes with running alone or in a group. These are also the two things that Montse wants to share with her peers in NRC. “When I joined NRC, it wasn’t just an activity for me, but the next purpose was to help push other people also. It’s nice to see how you help other people improve.”
Early on, Rham enjoyed playing team sports like football and futsal, but eventually had to stop to focus on academics. Rham returned to physical activity through running, pointing out its convenience and easy accessibility. “It’s more of an escape from the stress like org work and school, and running…it forces you to stop thinking about other things and just listen to your body and how it feels, how it runs.” Now a 5th year Sports Science student, Rham enjoys being in the NRC for the feeling of being part of a team again. “It’s a community, not just a club. It’s a community that motivates everyone in it.”
Interested in joining Nike+ Run Club? Sign up or check out nike.com/manila and also use the hashtag #NRCUP.
Photos by Geric Cruz