2012 IN RETROSPECT
As I sit here in my office, I look back at how significant this year was for Barefoot Running in the Philippines. I could remember when I first began this unfinished journey; I could only count the number of serious barefoot runners that I’ve met personally. Now, as this year comes to a close, I would probably need ten sets of arms. Well, probably more since I’m now seeing lots of guys coming out of the woodwork. But what makes this year different is that we’ve developed interpersonal ties that resemble a typical Filipino family. This is nothing short of amazing.
What happened this year?
My friend Preston Curtis believes that our numbers indicate a shift in the mainstream attitude. I concur. If you look at the bigger picture, we are the non-conformists in the running community. Obviously we do things differently but that only bellies the true nature of what barefoot running has to offer. Whenever people kid me about running without shoes, I tell them that I have something better. I tell them that I’m running with a philosophy. The road is nothing more than a metaphor of life itself. There’s a beginning, there’s a middle that’s filled with all kinds of challenges, and there’s an end. M Scott Peck, once said “Life is Difficult. The sooner one accepts this, the sooner it becomes easier.” Whenever we run barefoot, we experience the essence of this philosophy to the point where it carries over to other parts of our lives, our family, our job, and our faith. What we offer is this philosophy. Without it, barefoot running is just like any other fad, blown away at the slightest shift of the wind.
This year, I give credit to those who inspire, those who support and those who sustain.
Those who inspire – Anyone can bark orders but real leaders are those who inspire. Thank you Geffrey Floresca, Geny Basilio, Edsel Enriquez, Gerard Pizarras, Dean Macavinta, and Enrique Sundiang.
You guys inspire ME as you do others. I’m proud and humbled to have rubbed elbows with you.
Those who support – EatPrayRun, was the first to help us organize those weekly clinics at BHS. Greentenial, for being the first to thrust us into the mainstream, and kept us there. The three giants in the Philippine Running Community: Jovie Narcise, Jonel Mendoza, and Michelle Estuar, thank you for championing our advocacy. Most of all the two guys who started it all: Dave Drilon and Dindo Magallanes, the admins behind Barefoot Runnng Philippines.
Thanks guys, we are all indebted to you.
Those who sustain – These are the guys who have just ditched their shoes, those who are struggling it out, getting blisters, experimenting with their form, starting slow and patiently gaining momentum. These are the people who make us a community. Thank you KA-PAAs!
Whenever I run with you, I feel the love so thick I can swim in it. There are also the barefooters from Lipa, Cebu, Ilo-Ilo, Bohol, and Davao. Of course the barefoot runners in the Army, Air Force, Navy and Coast Guard. We are literally running against the grain of military tradition.
Friends, my running feet have led me back to Mindanao. My duties dictate that I devote my time with our brothers and sisters in the south. This duty comes with great sacrifice which my family and I must bear. Life is difficult. What else can I say?
I believe God has a purpose for all of us. Mine is to make a difference wherever my feet lead me. As I conclude this reflection I’ve come to the realization that there is really no finish line.