Thursday, December 1, 2011

The Champ

To say that my fitness activity is faltering is an understatement. The truth is, I have lost much ground that people are starting to notice my expanding girth. The three-times-a-week work-out became two. In the last two weeks, the frequency of my presence - at Eclipse - has decreased to one.

I could raise a howl as to why the whimsy behavior is getting more obvious. It's the season to be glutton and everyone's busy preparing their tummies for the holiday feasts. The constant thighs-and-back pain would drive me to the comforts of my own mattress. And the dreaded metabolism has slowed to a standstill, even when I starve myself the way skinny stiletto-wearing models do, I gain more pounds than shed weight.

It would have been much, much easier to give up the gym. After all, it's over - the body is bloating unopposed. Who am I to turn against my genes when I am bound to become obese one day. In his thirties, my dad had the tummy of a pregnant lady. His arms and thighs were as big as logs and his big-nippled man-boobs sagged like a hundred babies suckled milk from his soft bosom. 

But as far as my memory whispers, he didn't easily give up the fight. He might have been chubby to a fault, but he did his best to turn against the tide.

There were mornings when my dad would tell me to stay beside him so he could teach me how to use the dumb bells properly. He had just bought second-hand gym equipment and converted a room in our house into his personal gym.

Being a kid who loves to play with his sister's dolls my video games, the side trip proved to be a well-spring of annoyance than a source of learning. Soon, I caved in. I still keep that notebook where he had written a basic exercise program I once capriciously followed to make it appear that I am one with his pursuit.

For two summers, we would go to the Army and Navy club at Luneta. He would swim all morning, while my eyes moved around to spot other swimmers whose physique I would love to have as my own. I would learn to float in waters beyond the reach of my toes, eventually. But other than that, what I remember were the men (in their fifties) who walked around naked in the dressing room and the smooth, toned body of a tsinoy classmate in swimming class who I would fantasize think about all day.

In the home front, dad used to brag to his friends how firm his biceps and legs were, when all I could see are chicken legs and loose skin. The wall separating his room from the maid's quarters were plastered with torn-up posters of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Frank Zane. He too bought those huge plastic containers of weight-gain formulas. Had he known they would make him bigger, he would think twice of buying those supplements in the first place.

It was a life-long struggle that took the drive away from my dad. And it was the same uphill battle, I am facing now that lead me to remember his pursuits and learn, that all along, he was passing his greatest aspirations.

So that I won't end up becoming like him.

So goes another year of seeing my progress record

The old man didn't live to see my project. He would never know how I could easily lift a 120lbs Barbell for Benchpress or do 230lbs for Deadlift. He would never feel how relatively "flat" my tummy is - despite the wicked love handles I keep on my sides - when his was already rounded and protruding when he was at my age. I hardly swim anymore, and have never learned the Butterfly. But anytime someone would ask, I can go underwater without the fear of drowning.

Dad missed a lot. Had he known that not a single grain of effort was lost when he taught me to do free weights, maybe, just maybe, he would have pushed himself a little harder and accomplish the goal I decided to finish myself. And instead of having those posters as inspiration, those fitness magazine to guide him to do impossible tasks and supplements to aid his muscle building, he would have a son to remind him - in the future - that all it takes to be a champ is to keep going, no matter whether its a losing battle in the end.


daniel the jagged little egg said...

I love this post sis. the last time i saw you u have great triceps, biceps, whatever u call it hehe. Maybe someday ill have arms like urs. Godbless!

Martin said...

I felt there's a slight hatred of "what could have been" but then again as a champ, as you said, we have to keep going no matter whether its a losing battle in the end. At least we tried and was happy doing it- somehow.

Mr. Hush Hush said...

hmmmm… i never had this kind of pasttime with my dad. you are lucky, Mugen..

*hush, hush*

E said...

seems like you've plateaued...You need to shock your body, you need a new program. this happens to EVERYBODY!!! Its not a losing battle, remember if you gain weight again it will much more harder to lose it the second time around. Starving yourself won't help either, it will make your body store ALL calories and carbo you intake.

***HUGZ*** I'm sure your dad is proud of you :-)

ZaiZai said...

somehow, you carried on a legacy. indeed your dad is super proud of you. can you send me a pic of your arms as a Christmas gift?! kidding! :)

Anonymous said...

What matters, I think, is the time you and your father spent together. Not everyone is given a chance at that. ;p