Around the University TownThe Starting BlokeA wellness challenge apil tanan

A wellness challenge apil tanan


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A wellness challenge for everyone. That’s what the FU Institute of Youth Sports for Peace, in cooperation with Robinsons Dumaguete, will organize on Oct 10, as a component of the Buglasan Festival celebration.

Everybody, children, young and old, love a challenge. “Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what make life interesting…The challenged life may be the best therapist,” authors Joshua Marine and Gail Sheehy tell us.

“The marathon–the ultimate challenge” was the belief in the 50s and 60s. No more. Because of the fitness and running boom starting in the 60s and resurfacing today in many parts of the country as part of the wellness lifestyle movement, there are now millions of ordinary men and women who have ran the marathon and in the process, the mystic of the marathon, as the ultimate challenge, is gone. The ultimate challenges nowadays are ultra marathons with distances 10í¥í§0 kilometers or more, and extreme sports such as the triathlon, duathlon and the Ironman.

The triathlon is an event consisting of long distance swimming, biking and running. A duathlon, staged for the first time in Dumaguegte last month, consists of a long distance run, a much longer bike ride, and finishing off with another long run.

Today, what is considered the ultimate challenge is the Ironman. It is a grueling version of the triathlon with longer distances in each of the three events of swimming, biking and running. This international event is promoted in the Philippines by a milk company whose owners have close links with Silliman University–the Uytengsus.

Fred Uytengsu, chairman of Sunrise Events, a sports management company formed to stage the Ironman, and project director Princess Galura, are on top of every detail involving the conduct of the Ironman 70.3, consisting of a 1.2 mile (1.9km) swim, 56-mile (90.1) km) bike, and 13.1 mile (21km) run, or a total distance of 70.3 miles (113.1km).

Ironman 70.3, with over 840 participants from 34 countries is held in Pili, Camarines Sur, today, Aug 22.

An interesting sidelight is the staging of the Ironkids, participated in by children ages 6 to 14 years old, with varying distances for the swim, bike and run legs.

Uytengsu acquired the rights to promote Ironkids from the World Triathlon Corp. (WTC), the same body that owns the globally-recognized Ironman brand.

Uytengsu said the Ironkids program will inspire and motivate the youth to lead an active, positive and healthy lifestyle. “First and foremost, it’s about participation, provides the participants and their families with a weekend-event experience that is educational, interactive and fun. It’s an enjoyable activity that makes kids feel positive about themselves. The platform of competition inspires and teaches children to improve in all endeavors of life by working hard and persevering.” Amen, we say to that and we hope that a local version of this challenging event for children can be replicated here in our University Town.

While the challenge of participating in the triathlon, duathlon and ironman attracts that sector of the general population which is willing to bear the great personal sacrifice and endure the extremely physical, mental and emotional hardships of training and preparing for successfully participation, many of us, or most of us ordinary mortals, will not take up the challenge. So, is there another challenge for us–the average fitness and wellness enthusiasts, that is worth considering?

Yes, there is, and it is within everybody’s capacity to accomplish: the quarter marathon (10.5km) walk.

As of this date, we at FU have about a thousand people who have successfully finished the quarter marathon, a requirement in our PE program. Some members of our faculty and staff, as part of our institutional wellness program, have likewise walked the distance. This encouraged us to provide opportunities for others in our community to take up the challenge and experience the joy of achievement.

The staff of the IYSPeace had presented the proposal to Mesdames Christine Tomas and Naddie Orillana, marketing officers of Robinsons, for the staging every three-months of the Robinsons Wellness Challenge: Quarterly Quarter-Marathon Walk.

As the project denotes, a 10.5-kilometer wellness walk will be held every three months at the Robinsons grounds. Participants will walk 15 laps around the mall. Finishers will be awarded a Certificate of Achievement. We are also currently seeking sponsors for post-walk free coffee and biscuits for the participants. We will also invite the walkers at the Rizal Boulevard and Perdices Stadium to take up the wellness challenge. The choice of the Robinsons Mall for the event is to ensure a safe, traffic hazard free environment for the walker, drinking water for everyone when needed, and immediate medical assistance when necessary. Post-walk repast will be available as we will request the food outlets to open earlier than the usual hours.

I have likewise proposed to Dr. Nick Elman, Chairman of the Negros Oriental Tourism Council committee in-charged of the celebratory activities for the Buglasan 2010, that we include a Buglasan wellness walk, followed by a wellness exposition promoting our local herbal medicine, spa industry and the local hilot which are all part of the tourism industry program.

We invite all wellness buffs and enthusiasts in University Town to take up the wellness challenge. To prepare for the event, I advise that one should walk at least one hour a day, three times per week. The walk should be leisurely and the duration should not be less than one hour. Towards the month of Oct, the frequency of walking can be increased to 4-5 days a week. Anybody who could walk for one hour, at least 3 to 5 times a week, should easily meet the challenge of the quarter marathon wellness challenge.

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