I have been pondering for months now if I will write about this or not, anyway it's already three months. I am not sure if the reader will like this story or will hate me, but I somehow hope that this will serve as an inspiration in any way it can be.
I have been into this thing for 13 long years. Yes, thirteen (13!) years and if I am not mistaken, it started when my youngest child was only eight months old. I have been accepting architectural projects such as house plans, etc. as sidelines after office hours. Those wee hours were the most difficult times because of my work during daytime but my creative juices flowed during wee hours of the night. I thought it helped me think. I thought it helped me release my tension. I thought it de-stressed me or so I thought. I thought I can never live without it and I just thought I can never quit. My life revolved in that way that I thought was just right.
My kids grew up. They never ceased to remind me almost everyday that what I was doing was wrong and will harm me. I was always willing to quit but I never had the will to do it. I started running in 2005 but never did I think of the harm it brought to me and my kids. I ran and I smoked. I knew it was unhealthy but I had all the alibis in the world just to justify my smoking! Until on July 06 of this year, an officemate was diagnosed of esophageal cancer of terminal stage when I promised myself that the last stick I was holding would be the last one I would smoke. I threw my lighter, broke the ashtray, I quit and I did it! It felt good especially when I run. I never just improved but the huffing I felt during the first kilometer when I run disappeared. The first week was not as difficult as I thought would be. Whenever I crave, I would pop out a candy. I consumed a pack of candy for only two days and it lessened until I never did crave anymore. It also came to a point that whenever I crave to hold a stick of cigarette, I got a straw from a soft drink and hold it like one until the craving was gone. It's been three months now and I never remember any cravings from me anymore. I know I will not go back from it and that is not just a promise to myself but to the love ones that I have.
Cigarette smoking is truly an addictive vise that ruins not just our lives but also harm the lives of your love ones. I never thought that it would make my officemate who was diagnosed of cancer the instrument for me to realize the risk of what I was doing. God really has his own way of making us realize our mistakes. He gave me the chance to live longer, to run longer.
I have collected 5 different singlets from Adidas King of the Road races the past years including the newest neon yellow which I will be using this Sunday.
This white singlet marked my very first 10K event held on September 17, 2006 at the SM Mall of Asia. I finished the last half of the race walking as I was not prepared for the 10K event. I have no choice but to sign up because Adidas has only one event then and it was only a 10K. The singlet looks cool and one of my favorites until now.
March 11, 2007, another white singlet from Adidas and this time, the race was held at the NBC Tent at The Fort. I didn't plan of signing up for that race when I was informed that another white singlet would be given but one of my officemates, knowing that I would do my weekend run at The Fort, asked me if I could register for him, so I said yes, and went there on a Saturday. Registration was held at the Adidas Warehouse and it only took a few minutes to sign up, so I ended up registering for myself and IceOne. The race was my first experience running at the famous Kalayaan flyover.
July 01, 2007 KOTR Singlet was red and looked fierce. I love red and it really looks good. This time the race route was held at the Quirino Grandstand and never did I have difficulty in signing up. Race packets were given after you sign up and the costs (for information for those new runners) were far more cheaper than today. Adidas tote bags were also given during the past races. I've collected 2 black from the past races I've joined and 1 royal blue from this race.
On October 11, 2008, a powder blue singlet was given at the KOTR. The route was the same as the 2006 race and this time no tote bag was given to us at the finish line. The singlet was not the same, it was ill-fitting. I only love the color but I can never wear it during practice runs because I am not comfortable wearing it. The race was a nightmare for me. I finished it limping because of my ACL. Adidas is not a PR race for me but I was quite disappointed because I can't concentrate running with an injured knee but the experience tested my endurance.
And for 2009...the most b#@*t!!! singlet I've had! This cool neon yellow limited edition singlet is not just expensive but the most difficult singlet I've had in years. The organizer changed their style in the registration process. You register in any Adidas satellite stores and you will be given two stubs, one for the entrance ticket at the SM Megatrade Hall and the other one for claiming of singlet. Singlets were claimed as scheduled but I never anticipated the long queue in claiming the singlet. The long line in the entrance area plus another line that took me two hours was long enough compared to the time of running for the 10K event I've registered. The carbo-loading stuff as promised were just a product of imagination, they never gave us the stub for food so what will I expect on the race day itself? We paid a huge amount for this because we love to run. Who says running is inexpensive? The singlet was nice and I love it, but runners should also be treated fairly and I hope on the race day we will not experience such chaos again.