On Joggers’ Lane | Inquirer Opinion
Young Blood

On Joggers’ Lane

When I began my graduate studies, I weighed 54 kilos. Returning to school after two years was not a walk in the park. I had to adjust to the environment, people, school work, homesickness, and the urge to eat when I had nothing else to do.

Studying requires much energy and self-dedication, which in turn requires enough nutrition to sustain the needs of my system, especially my brain. The brain consumes most of the calories. Every time I immerse myself in statistics, I get hungry.

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In just two weeks of my routine—studying, sleeping, eating—I gained a kilo. I noticed that my tummy had gotten bigger, and I felt heavier. So I started jogging around the Sunken Garden at the University of the Philippines Diliman, hoping to lose weight. I now weigh 52 and a half kilos. I am motivated to jog each morning. I wake up as early as I can and consider jogging my first task of the day.

Aside from the physical benefits, I’ve learned much, such as what to wear and how to jog. There are various types on the Joggers’ Lane: those who seriously jog for wellness, those who stroll, like the elderly, and those who just want to ogle the beautiful guys or gals who come to UP to jog. At certain points I became all of these types. I initially spent 75 percent of my time walking and 20 percent boy- and fashion-watching. But I’ve since gotten serious in this routine, hoping to make my goal of 50 kilos.

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I’ve also learned that jogging is different from running or doing a marathon. To run is to cover a distance as fast as you can. To do a marathon is to race ahead of the others always. To jog is to move your legs according to the beat of your heart and to enjoy the scenery.

I’m content listening to my lively playlist while I sweat. I’ve learned to contemplate the people around me—lovers, a man taking his dog for a walk, students queuing at the jeepney stop, a mother pushing a pram in which her baby sleeps soundly, janitors sweeping the walkways, fat people wishing to get thin…

At first I got tired easily. Often I stopped jogging, caught my breath, and took a walk instead. I’ve realized that my energy flags if I focus on the long road ahead. But when I focus my moving feet, I enjoy my body’s movements and gradually I note that I’ve made much progress.

My imagination starts working and I associate my jogging with my life’s journey. If I think of the long way ahead of me, I tire faster. To see the long way cut by the horizon forces me to move faster so I can reach the finish line quickly. But to force myself to move faster even if I am tired, thinking that there is still a long way ahead, kills the fire of my desire. To focus on my moving feet or on myself doing the best I can, motivates me more to finish the jog and achieve my desire. Moving with the beat of my heart makes me want to do more. I enjoy how I strive to achieve the best. I begin to admire the sweat trickling from my forehead, and I enjoy muscle pain for it means that I am going beyond my limits.

I still jog daily. I watch my moving feet. I inhale as much oxygen as I can. And I don’t forget to do warm-ups before I start moving to the beat of my heart.

Ma. Salvacion B. Pantino, 23, of Surallah, South Cotabato, is pursuing her master’s degree in statistics at UP Diliman.

Stories from the young Filipino

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TAGS: education, exercise, health, jogging, life
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