Sports news

It's an eventful Pacific Life Open with personal bets Paradorn Srichaphan and Martina Hingis reaching the semis.

Meanwhile, Roger Clemens mulls retirement after Team USA was humiliated by Mexico in the World Baseball Classic.

In US NCAA men's basketball, Duke advances to the next round after a big game coming from dynamic duo Shelden Williams and JJ Redick.


Brees going elsewhere

Kwa Lacdao's fave quarterback Drew Brees signed with the New Orleans Saints.


And you thought Red Bull is just for the PBA

How about Red Bull New York?

I'm so disappointed (two months ago)

Not just with myself but with other people I asked favours from. Bad call. Never ever ask someone type your blog entries for you. It doesn’t help that my friggin’ disk drive in my PC is fuckin’ up. Then I’ve got a motorcycle-riding athletics star-obsessed sports editor who took my ‘notebook’ hostage for a week or so when I have article and blog drafts written there that needs to be encoded soon.

And it took me two months before I got to post.

Now, they are as spoilt fish left for three weeks out in the sun. Anyway, on to the topic at hand.

I should have taken it as an ominous sign when I didn’t manage to cross the length of the Olympic-sized swimming pool that late Saturday morning. Or that I was having the sniffles the morning of competition day.

I gave it another stab, this time at the track oval. I chanced two Patriot tracksters doing their warm-up laps. At least I have some companions.

Then the flaws came up. I couldn’t keep up with their pace that I was catching my breath on the 350m mark. I couldn’t even complete a friggin’ lap!

This sent my spirit crashing down faster than a Boeing 747 gone haywire mid-flight. I mean, I don’t smoke, I rarely drink alcohol, and yet I have the endurance of a sloth. I have difficulty running and swimming.

Seems that all this walking in the enormous DLSU-D campus gave me a false sense of assurance that I’m as fit as a bull. On the contrary, I feel more like a fattened cow.

At 23, I should be at the peak of my health, not on its downward curve. At 23, Michael Jordan has won an Olympic gold medal and was on his way in carving his illustrious basketball career as a rookie Chicago Bull. LeBron James has already scored 4,000 points in the NBA and he is barely 21.

Kurt Cobain, Jimi Hendrix, and Jim Morrison died, although self-induced, at 27 at the summit of fame and success. I am still four years from reaching the “suicide age” yet I have nothing much to show of. Hell, I am grossly underachieving in academics! I should be taking my Masters now.

Oh yeah, I have drifted enough. Back to swimming.

My consolation to myself is that if I didn’t end up a winner, I might as well look the part. I cut my hair that haven’t felt the cold steel of the scissors for seven months. Then there’s this stylish and colorful swimming trunks our college president lent me. And oh yeah, I was the first one in the venue, arriving at the university swimming pool before call time, sports bag and all.

Now that I’ve had that down pat, now to actually win.

Two things. My teammates and I didn’t get to meet and agree who’s going to swim what. There were only two of us when they started calling for the first event. The third one came midway while the fourth one didn’t bother to show up at all. There go the relay events.

Since there were only two of us, we divided the individual events to ourselves. He gave me the 200m freestyle, while Ed Antig took the 50m backstroke and 50m free. We left the 100m free free in case somebody arrives.

First up is the 200m free. As I approached the starting block, I saw a familiar figure trudging towards lane seven. Marion Bautista, a former Patriot tanker.

The thing is, the intrams is open season to anyone as long as they are not CAREFULLY in any lineup in any varsity team/sanctioned club. There goes first place, I might as well settle for second, I thought to myself.

Since I have no idea how the other swimmers would do, I thought they would let Marion zoom past by while we leisurely took our time and pace ourselves. How wrong I was.

A third of the way to the first 50 meter mark, I looked up and saw I was lengths behind. Not good, I told myself.

I picked up my pace and again looked up when I was about 35 meters. My eyes widened in amazement as I sighted them returning.

If this was a 50m sprint, I wouldn’t mind finishing last since I know that my speed isn’t exactly one of my strongest points.

By the time I hit the 50m mark, I turned back and saw them half a pool away. This doesn’t look good. And considering the fact that I couldn’t do 50 meters half a week before, no way I would be doing three more laps.

I tried to swim a few more meters, but I said, no way. This is futile.

By this time, I have resigned to my fate and swam towards the gutter, and there I sat disgusted at myself. College of Liberal Arts first swimming event: DNF, courtesy of me.

While Ed was placing decently in his events, going neck and neck with Marion, and the women’s team having medal finishes one after the other, I was praying that the fourth swimmer arrive so that we could participate in the relay events.

Just like in UAAP swimming, in point system every ENTRY counts. It doesn’t matter whether you’re the slowest or the last one in, as long as you finish your course, you get a point or more.

So, sucks to all DNF entries. And that includes me. The good thing is, I wasn’t the only one. The bad thing, I was the first one.

Now we’re down to the last event of the day: the men’s 4x50m freestyle relay. For the heck of it and for the points as well, we politely coerced Anthony Castelltort into stripping into his neon orange boxers and the fourth member of our relay team.

I was the first one in. By this time, I was more relaxed since we are already assured of at least a bronze medal since there only three entries. Well and good.

Tort was next up. The moment I touched the wall, I said, “Go!” and Tort zoomed by like a catamaran with a desk fan for a propeller. He was pushing himself, but he wasn’t making headway. I do remember though that I reminded him to pace himself so that he wouldn’t run out of air.

Midway, he was signaling the lifeguard to pull him up. There goes the bronze medal. Only later did I find out when he confided that he has a heart problem.

Why, Tort, why? Why didn’t you tell us in the first place so that we wouldn’t have forced you into the pool?

At the end of the day, people congratulated and consoled because I tried my best and for simply having the guts of actually diving into the murky chlorinated swimming pool of DLSU-D.

At a certain degree, yes, I did manage to battle off a demon: do 50 meters without stopping whereas I couldn’t pull it off four days back.

BUT to a true-green athlete, what matters to him is that he finished his race, regardless the place. To him, there’s a valley of difference between LAST PLACE and DID NOT FINISH written behind his name.

Other than that, I have no physical manifestation that I defeated a demon. Registering four points if I managed to finish the 200m free was good enough, a bronze medal in the relay sounded better.

Thus, I left the swimming that afternoon disappointed and disgusted.

Now to pick up the pieces. Where to next? Jovic Giray, one of the Patriot tricksters I jogged with that Monday afternoon, advised that I could return to my old healthy self if I continue training for a month. I told them that once back in high school, I didn’t complain going around the perimeter of a football pitch ten times over. Nine years later, I could barely go one lap in a 400-meter track oval.

In hindsight, I haven’t been able to maintain that regimen. Sucks to be me.

Joining the newly-formed football club sounds so enticing from this vantage point.


Patriots take game one!

The volleyball teams are one game away from defending their NCRAA crown.


BJ and Tyler rule!

First place at the end of the second leg. Down with jocks and cheerleaders!


retr-EAT! retr-EAT!


This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?