Sunday, July 31, 2011

Pursue your passion

Over lunch a month ago, one of my officemates confessed to me that he had just tendered his resignation as section editor of our online publication. I was dumbfounded. I didn't see that coming, so I asked, “But why?????”

He said he wants to rest and pursue higher studies, and look for a job more allied to his college degree in the sciences. Four years in media was fun but stressful, and he wants to do something else now. I nodded in reply. I know the feeling.

Rewind to 22 years ago. I was a certified public accountant who finally realized writing was what I really wanted to do. Life is short, I thought, why be miserable?

Yesterday, my mom and I went to her friend’s house to check out a cute female shih tzu puppy for sale. On our way out, my mom’s friend told me that her son, who has been breeding shih tzus and chihuahuas, is really a nurse who even passed the Board exams. “But he likes taking care of dogs. That’s his business,” she said.
I believe we have all been gifted by God with passion for something for a purpose. When I hear Lea Salonga sing, for instance, I see the passion burning in her heart, and I feel moved by her singing. Similarly, when I see Lisa Macuja Elizalde dancing ballet with such emotion, I feel moved as well, and awed by such a gift which could have only come from God. When I heard former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair and former US Vice President Al Gore give talks in Manila, I immediately saw their passion for good governance and environment protection, respectively, and I was encouraged.
“The greatest things in life are not things. Meaning is far more important than money,” wrote Rick Warren in The Purpose Driven Life.
What’s your passion? Pursue it and have a meaningful life.

Click here to read this article on the Smart Super Women blog.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Gym day

So there I was at midday today, doing brisk walking on the treadmill. Before I knew it, the 15 minutes warm-up walk was done and it was time to lift some weights. No, not the heavy kind, but more like 5-pound dumbbells for arm curls and 15 pounds on the lat machine. After that, 2 sets at the total abdominal machine to hopefully tone those abs. Then some time on the leg press, and maybe 10 minutes at the stationary bike.

It's Monday, and it's gym day, and again I am paying for the privilege of sweating in an air-conditioned gym. I marvel at how time flies—it's been more than a year now? Wow!

I've been a gym dropout for a couple of times over the past 16 years (or since my son was born). I'd go for a few months, then drop out, thinking I can do it on my own and exercise at the UP Diliman Oval, but always, always, there's something more urgent to do. So I've had a pretty much sedentary life for most of the time.

More than a year ago, I went to Baguio with my good friend Jing Lejano, and walking uphill on the street got me panting in like, 5 minutes. She said, “Kung ‘di ako fit, mas hindi ka fit.” [“If I’m not fit, then you’re so not fit!”] Don’t I know it!
When my son got interested in enrolling in a gym last year, I enrolled myself too. On the first day of my training, my trainer put me on the treadmill. The 15-minute time limit seemed like forever that he brought it down to 10. He also moved back my speed from 5.0 km/hr to 3.0 km/hr. I was exhausted. He said, “Buti na lang naisipan niyong mag-gym. Ang hina niyo pala.” [“It’s a good thing you decided to go to the gym. You’re weak already.”] OK, I know, I know.
Fast-forward to a year after, and today, I do 5.3 km/hr on the treadmill for 15 minutes if I don’t feel like pushing myself. I can lift light weights and walk faster than I used to. I also feel stronger, and walk with a spring in my step, I believe. The muscles? Hmm, getting firmer, although the abs may take another year to be flat (haha!).
I read somewhere that just 30 minutes of exercise a day can do wonders to one’s health. Thirty minutes! Surely you can spare 30 minutes a day, right? Or, OK, 30 minutes every other day at the minimum. Go flex those muscles, girl, and do it for a healthier you.

Click here to read this article on the Smart Super Women blog.