Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Flashback: A King Archer's Final Bow

[I unearthed this 4-year old entry from my Multiply site. Written on September 29, 2008- after UAAP Season 71]

Chris Tiu got his wish; he made his exist with a trophy. On the flip side, JV Casio fell short, ending his UAAP career empty- handed.

Chirs Tiu and JV Casio definitely made opposite exists. But it doesn’t mean it made JV Casio any less than the player he is.

Good players win games; great players win championships. JV Casio sure did win big and bagged championships. He doesn’t need another trophy to prove how great he is. He already had two and made it twice in the Mythical 5. But truly remarkable players aren’t just shaped by victories. They are honed and made strong by heartbreaking defeats.

As JV Casio played his last game for DLSU, he showed the crowd- from Taft and Katipunan, alike- another side that made him a more remarkable athlete: He knows how to accept defeat.

It was his last game. He was giving his all to defend his school’s glory. Four straight 3-point shots- no miss. A stretch of 15 points down to three. And then, the foul. His fifth foul.

After leading a run that gave half of Araneta a spark of hope, and the other half a spoonful of doubt, he was called for an offensive foul and graduated from the game. He could have lost it there. He could have retaliated. He could have cursed the refs. He could have. But he didn’t. He walked off the court, with disappointment written all over his face, but still, with the grace of a true champion. The only time I saw him threw his fist was when he was standing, eyes filled with pride, singing the Alma Mater.

For all the “it’s not how you shoot, but when you shoot it” game reversing and even game winning shots, for giving your best every time you step on that court, for proving all those who had been judging the Archers wrong, you made me proud to belong in the school whose name you’ve been wearing across your chest for years.

JV Casio personifies how every Archer should be.
He makes every Lasallian proud to be a part of his team.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

20 seconds

This is another yoga story. So if you're sick of it, skip this one. I'm far from being over this path and, honestly, the excitement and enthusiasm continue to grow. :)

One of the most important lessons I learned in my yoga practice is to be kind to my body. Every class, I have to gauge whether it's discomfort or pain I'm feeling while doing the asanas or poses. If it's just discomfort, I'll breathe through it. On the other hand, if it's already pain, I have to stop and let go- regardless if everybody else in the class can do it, if it seems easy, if I've done it before. There is no room for ego in class. If you worry about hurting your ego, you'll end up hurting yourself.

All along I made myself believe I was using this 'be kind to your body' as a reminder for safety. However, in brief instances, I would have to admit I used it lamely as an excuse. Trying to kick my feet into headstand in class is definitely one of those instances.

I've heard all the instructions from different teachers: get into dolphin pose for preparation, keep your shoulders away from the ears, practice by the wall, engage your core, etc.etc. I could probably assist someone with enough guts to do it and help her get there. I was scared, obviously. I didn't want to hurt myself. And more than that, I didn't want to call the attention of the teacher to assist me, have all eyes on me and just fail. I wanted to be ready. But really, how does one know?

It took some hand-me-down courage from a friend who fearlessly tried it and a few seconds of sheer stupidity to finally face the wall, position my head and hands on the floor, and..... FALL! I was laughing so hard when I hit the floor, and that's when I realized it was the worst thing that could happen. I knew how to do it safely. I was ready to seriously give it a try.

After a few more unsuccessful kicks, landing at the soles of my feet and no longer falling, I FINALLY DID IT!

Look at my supportive dad acting as my spotter! 

Hello, from upside down!!!

The first time I stayed upside down, I felt a little woozy. It's normal, I think, since our body is not used to that position. But after a few more attempts, that feeling went away. Even the pressure on my head transferred to my arms and shoulders, and that's when I knew I was doing it right. Still exerting so much effort, but no more discomfort. Just to make sure, I asked my teacher in class the next day to assist me and fine-tune my headstand. Yep, MY HEADSTAND! I didn't care that the people in the class were watching, or that the girl beside me is already in her steady headstand without the need for assistance. Yoga isn't a performance, after all. I know that by heart now. :)

There's this famous quote from the movie 'We bought a zoo' that goes:

"Sometimes all you need is 20 seconds of insane courage, just 20 seconds of embarrassing bravery and I promise you something great will come out of it."

It's true. 
It took me a few seconds to not think and just do, to make that kick AND FALL, and realize that the worst thing that can happen is not even that bad, after all.

I remember promising myself a Manduka mat if I'm finally able to a headstand, so......... :)))

Yoga (with my) love(s): Enthusiasm

When people ask me what it is that turned our group (i.e., SGV batchmates) from mere officemates to friends, I always respond with, 'We just clicked. We are on the same wavelength and we like the same things.'

But as we travel to foreign places together, take life-threatening adventures and sign up for new things that are far from our comfort zone, I finally discovered what it is that truly sustained our friendship.

It's not just our common taste or our desire to travel; It's our nature of always giving out a YES.

Whether it's a remote place, 13 hours away from the city or a new restaurant or a corny movie or a vespa ride with strangers, we accept it. Wheter it is heartbreak or disappointment or criticism, we embrace it. We go through life with arms ready to accept whatever the heavens are willing to handover.

This week, we, again, tried something new together. Eloisah and I have been practicing yoga for a couple of months already but it's all our first time to do it together. We gladly took on the challenging poses, rested when necessary, accepted the modifications that fit our strength. We came out of our first session laughing about how much we sweat and how we much we trembled during the difficult parts. That's our best weapon through anything, really: laughter! Our yogini even mentioned that she's proud of the group for being game despite being newbies.

By the end of our second session, as if the yoga gods were giving us their blessing, our yogini shared these beautiful words:

Enthusiasm trumps mastery. Your attitude, your willingness... it's always more important.

Oh, we know that by heart.

Yoga with my loves at my home studio, Bliss Yoga! 
Friends on the mat, friends FOR life.

Namaste. :))

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

My heart is a spoiled brat

In Sarah Meier's words, 'My hear is a spoiled brat.' This precious thing beating inside my chest is flawless, perfectly in shape. No plastic strips holding the shattered pieces together because it was never smashed into pieces in the first place. I never had my heart broken. I had my fair share of unhappy times and desperate moments but I don't think I ever ached enough to earn the right to call myself heart-broken.

My heart is a spoiled brat and this made me the kind of person who wakes up happy, sings in the shower, gets giddy with the smallest suprises and laughs at the lamest jokes. Growing up means being the same person amidst the NOs that life will throw my way.

My heart is a spoiled brat and this helped me embrace positivity. But the truth is, it's easy believing that there's a light at the end of the tunnel when you've felt the warmth of that light every single time you had to go through one. Being an optimist is about faith, not expectation.

My heart is a spoiled brat, but I'm starting to learn that growing up comes with growing pains. That's just the way it is. My days of always getting what I want will soon be over and I have to be strong enough, not just to accept it, but to be happy despite it. Besides, what's the use of going through this long journey if you get to have everything you want all at once?

In exchange of a spoiled heart, I pray for a heart that is strong enough to endure pain and discomfort. I pray for a heart that bleeds but doesn't give up. Most of all, I pray that I may have a heart with enough strength for all the people I love.

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