Dear batchmates, schoolmates, officemates, kabayan and friends :
WITHOUT realizing it, we have stumbled into a lifestyle almost unrecognizable from barely 10 years ago.
Empirically this owes to a number of factors, not the least of which was/is a spartan way of life demanded by guerilla migration as well as a greater reliance on muscles + ligaments that until recently were little more than vestigial organs of a sedentary paper-pusher grazing in concrete jungles and urban savannahs.
We are proudest of the bad habits we’ve discarded, not necessarily to give way to the good, but in partial recognition of creeping middle age and inevitable mortality that befall all who have unceremoniously fallen off the wagon of youth and excess.
Excess of everything, in case you asked.
Bad habits are not just decadence and vice, though it’s a good way to start the list. We’ll be off tobacco for almost three years now this November, and though we’ve never been one to kiss the bottle, having one too many brown bottles during the weekend was always a familiar theme, whether it was in front of the idiot box or lamenting a lost youth with fellow travellers in life.
Talking about the telly, spending too much time either watching reruns of reruns, stale DVDs or last year’s reality show caused us to turn our circadian rhythm upside down. Accompanied by the fickle habits of sleep, either too much or too little of it, and our manifesto to a ragged, abused and burnt-out lifestyle was complete.
The first aches and pains of not-yet-old-but-no-longer-young, that stage that we dare not give a name, started after our interminable pickup basketball games with Panganay and fun runs with Dad.
The former activity was played with a gaggle of teens, twentysomethings and weekend warriors like ourselves who had developed unsightly guts and unlovely love handles.
The latter activity was with a man at least three decades our senior but who had not only rehabbed from previous excesses himself but had also gone through a fitness makeover, having run numerous 10Ks and half-marathons, mostly after hitting 60.
When you dribble off your foot too often, fall more than half a step behind on the fastbreak, or your fingers bruise from one too many chest passes, you begin to wonder if You’ve (Still) Got Game.
Similarly, after our smile turned into a grimace while running abreast with Dad, and we no longer laughed off his challenges for another lap around the Luneta Oval, it was high time to rethink our fitness mindset.
For sure, we hadn’t gone to flab, and we had many good years before being led out to pasture. But what was wrong with our bodies, prematurely sagging and no longer able to run and play for long hours under the hot noonday sun?
Speaking of flab, we constantly need to remind ourselves that it’s not the buttons flying out that are badly sewn, or the “skinny” pants with substandard zippers but our stubborn rolls of Bill Blass ( bilbil ), not to mention our idiosyncratic man-boobs ( or the misleading moobs ) that cause unsightly wardrobe malfunctions that ultimately befall gladiators of generations gone.
Too much inactivity, too much of the soft life, and not enough healthy stress to get us lean and mean, and hopefully a fortysomething fighting machine ( how pathetic that sounds ).
To top off our disconnect with reality : the older we get, the younger or more unrealistic our self- image becomes. We concede that this discussion is better served by a full space for another day.
Till then, good luck on those fitness machines, calorie regimens, and other devices that will probably last another half – wink of an eye, or the next supersized takeout orgy in front of the Is That Talent? finals, or whatever passes for an excuse to pig out in our fat-schizophrenic household. Please rest assured, comrade : You are not alone. 😉
Thanks for reading !