Hi. Remember me? Yeah, that guy with unbridled enthusiasm about the outdoors and everything about cycling and running. The one who would not let a weekend pass without running a race or climbing up a mountain. I am still the same person, you know. I swear, I really am. Just a bit, different now, I guess. Yes, I know I've been completely slack about updating this site lately. Well, I use that term loosely as "lately" has been the past six months (half a year?!). Perhaps the reason I'm writing now is to try and figure out what happened during that time.
It has almost been 10 months since I have moved from the Philippines to Australia. My original plan was to work in the outdoors in one of the countries in the forefront of adventure learning and outdoor education. However, sometimes one needs to revert to Plan B, especially when you didn't know that Plan A was going to cost you upwards of $10,000 for an internship! Not really an option after spending your savings on moving here.
The irony of it all is not lost on me, though. Here I am, living in Cairns, in close proximity to the Great Barrier Reef and World Heritage Rainforests, and yet suddenly I seemed to have lost the flair for the outdoors. It's not that I haven't had the chance to get out. I've been on numerous trips with Mrs. PWW since we moved here (she is fantastic, the way she gets me off my butt to go and do stuff) but I haven't been as excited as before to document our travels. Needless to say, the minor events pass by unnoticed.
Which isn't me, is it? So what happened?
About a month or so ago, I felt a serious pang of homesickness. You know the kind that slowly creeps up on you? Where one moment you're making breakfast then the next your bowl of muesli is filling up with tears (not a good taste)? Yeah, I had one of those. I knew that it was going to come during one of those moments when everything was already in order, when we've "properly" moved, meaning we've got a routine going on, jobs to go to and what not; when you seem to have seamlessly re-created every single aspect of your old life in a different world, then boom. You see a picture of your dog and you start babbling like a baby. You start to think about all the small things that make a huge difference. In my case, I missed getting up in the morning while living in Project 6, running from my apartment to UP Diliman, logging in a 10K before going to work. Or getting up for a morning ride up the trails in Maarat with the Cainta Mountain Bikers.
Then I found myself slipping into a state of apathy, where I pretended to have no time for things that used to matter. I got stressed. And even when I knew that running, my personal therapeutic choice, would guarantee that I would feel better about things, I didn't lace up. I stayed home and came up with every pathetic little excuse I could muster to avoid going out. It was such a massive departure from the same person who, from the tropics, dressed up in winter clothes to go running in Stanthorpe during mornings where the temperature was in single digits. The same one who went out for a 40K bike ride at -2°C. Suddenly the weather became too hot, or wet, or windy to go out for a run. It was a bad head space.
I felt as if I was setting myself up for failure each time I went out to run. Without the miles on my legs, I was pushing my body to perform in the same manner it did during my prior half-marathons. Instead of improving my emotional state I would walk back home feeling dejected.
Until one day, when things just seemed to be too difficult to bear, I took my watch off and went for a run like it was my first. No pace in mind, no specific goal, just the catharsis of movement. I ran for a total of 20 minutes without stopping, and within that period, it was as if a fog lifted in my head. Troubled melted away, and I was laughing at myself for forgetting how this felt.
It wasn't just a run. It was a run-fuelled paradigm shift.
Hopefully this is the start of something new for Pinoy Weekend Warrior in Australia.
P.S. I missed you guys.