Athlete Ako!

monsoon_kats

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Before I go any further, I’d like to address the elephant in the room (or in this case, the article). I do NOT have any athletic background prior to joining CrossFit and it has only been four weeks since I started. This article is a recollection of my recent experience as an ‘athlete’ in CFMNL Monsoon Throwdown 2016.

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CFMNL Monsoon Throwdown 2016 was held Saturday, July 16, at the CFMNL Mall of Asia Box. It was an inter-box event among three branches, namely: Makati-CBD, MOA, and Quezon Avenue.

The ambiance was full of positivity. There was a sense of family. It was as if I attended a reunion – like you knew everyone there. It was indeed one healthy community. Everyone had a common goal: to be more fit while having fun.

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I was teamed up with Kretch, a member of CFMNL MOA box, and Mark Go, my boxmate in CFMNL Quezon Avenue (though I did not know him at the time because he attended morning sessions while I attended the 7:15PM bootcamp religiously). Kretch was to perform the Scaled, while Mark was to do the RX (this is the veteran level). I am a beginner so I got the Bootcamp workout.

“Look at me. You can do this. Just think of happy thoughts.”

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Those were words uttered by my teammate, Mark, as I closed my eyes, breathed heavily while I held a fifteen-pound plate overhead. My arms felt like they were about to give up. However, I lost myself in the moment by whispering the words “Athlete ako, athlete ako!” (I’m an athlete!) to each strained and screaming muscle group. The pain was all over my body… but the struggle was really inside my head. Yes, the struggle was definitely real.

Let’s just say that that was one among many moments in that throwdown where I could have quit. There was nothing easy in those workouts, especially the sync burpees. But I reminded myself that this is a fight. I’m fighting against the urge to quit building up inside me. More importantly, I’m fighting for a healthier version of myself. True enough, I proved myself to myself that I am a fighter and an athlete at heart.

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When the workouts were over, I got hugs and high fives! My box mates and coaches came up to me and expressed how proud they were that I gave it my best effort. The self-fulfillment I felt was surreal and more than what I bargained for. I did not win anything yet I had a champion’s welcome from my CrossFit family.

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I encourage you to participate in future throwdowns and other CrossFit community events. Experience the fight, the fun, and the family. You are never too weak nor too old to say “Athlete ako!”

 

-Kats Mendoza, CFMNL Quezon Ave.