Back in 2013, after recovering from a bad break-up, I got bored with having too much time on my hands. Did something like that ever happen to you guys? I mean, I got used to having to manage my time between work, sleeping, and going out with my S.O. that having more time on my hands became a new thing again for me. And then, I saw a high school friend of mine started running and joining marathons so I decided to give it a try!
I’m sure no one will ever tell you that running is fun, I felt like dying during the first few weeks that I tried it! And it still feels like dying every time I become busy (and lazy) and stop running for about a week or two.
Laugh all you want, but when I originally started, I was running inside our condo building’s parking lot. Yep, a very small area of running round and round the same area for at least half an hour almost everyday after shift (I was doing graveyard shift then).
Originally in 2013, my main motivation was really to see how far I can run. So I kept running and beating my own record. By September, Nike had a Manila leg for the We Run series so I decided to register for the 10K marathon with my brother (partner registration) and started preparing for the marathon.
After getting my groove on, I started looking for another place to run, the parking lot being too small for my taste already. So every now and then, I would go to CCP in Manila and run. Up to now, it’s my favorite place to run simply because it is huge! There are so many people who run there as well so it’s relatively safe, plus, you get to do your own route which I love the most. Sometimes during Sundays, I would run with a colleague and then we’d have breakfast afterwards at Harbor Square. 🙂 Although my friend Japhet would most of the times be more busy looking for cute boys instead of actually running, hahaha.
By November 2013, I got the news that I will be going to India for 2 months starting December 1 for work. The marathon was scheduled December 2 meaning it was not meant for me, haha. So my brother had to run on his own. Before leaving for India, I brought with me running clothes thinking I’d get to run there during my free time, the problem was I didn’t realize Bangalore, which is in the southern part of India, does not get snow, but the weather gets to be really, really, cold. So after preparing for months to run, I got fat in India and literally had not even 1 run for 2 months (I’m sure you know what that means haha).
Fast forward to March of 2014, which was my first run of the year after getting back from India. I still go to CCP, because I really love the idea that I get to run under the trees, it’s open air and I get to really do my own route. I actually miss it, because I think it was May of that year when I started going to the gym and doing workouts there instead of just running.
Relatively speaking, I can say that I have been getting regular exercise since 2013. So lo and behold when I got hospitalized last February and was diagnosed with mild stroke!!! Yes, mild stroke! So I was in the graveyard shift doing some training and then at around 10 in the evening, I just felt like the left part of my body was acting differently. You know that feeling when you just woke up and you haven’t moved for a good few hours and so there’s that part of your body that feels weird from not moving for a while? Yep, that.
At first, I thought maybe I just didn’t get enough sleep or I was just hungry so I ate then headed to the company clinic. The doctor said all my vital signs were normal but he suggested I go to the ER already. I called my brother and we went straight to Makati Med where my sister followed. They did tests here and there and at around 3AM (I think), the doctor said I have a mild stroke and showed me my brain scan. Un-freakin-believable. I mean, I can even say that between my siblings and I, I was the healthiest! The doctor said they’ll do more tests the next day to figure out what caused the stroke, but first, I had to go on fasting for 12 hours so they can get my blood tested, and then more tests.
The funny thing was, it was okay for me to eat anything! Like there were no limitations on what I can eat, weird right? Anyway, they did ECGs and bubble tests, had me take brain vitamins and other medicines until the 3rd day when they let me go home already without still finding the cause of the stroke. Up until now, my doctor said I probably was one of the unlucky few who got a stroke at a very young age, with unknown causes because she said even my cholesterol level was at a very good percentage.
So now, I’m taking medication for the blood clot in my brain and I try my best to be a little healthy than the rest of the population. I don’t smoke, I rarely drink, and when I do, I choose wine over any alcohol. I try to run at least twice in a week. But the one thing I realized that probably has a major impact on me is sleeping. Yes. It took me a mild stroke to realize the importance of getting enough sleep everyday. I have always taken sleep for granted. Like I literally get sleep for maybe a good four hours on a daily basis before and just make up for it during the weekends. I don’t know, but I think that had the biggest impact. I now realize how important it is to have a routine, which is going to bed and getting up at the same time everyday. I don’t know what happened to me and I’m sure we will never find out what caused the stroke. All I know that I have a few months left before I turn 30 and I seriously want to be at a healthy stage before my birthday. So good food, sleep and exercise are probably what needs to be part of my daily routine for that to happen. 🙂