Posts Tagged ‘swimming


Energy from a bracelet

phitenFor the past three weeks, I’ve been wearing this aqua titanium-lined silicone bracelet that is supposed to energize me and improve my well-being.  Two friends who lead an active lifestyle and wear the bracelet attest its effectiveness as an energy booster.

This is how the Phiten bracelet, a red MLB Phillies (in homage to Jayson Werth yet I doubt if he wears one), has worked for me:

Of late, my swimming has been confined either to treading the water or wading into it at shoulder depth and then spending the time in it chatting with friends similarly situated. I haven’t swum beyond 10 meters in four years or so until last month.

I’ve been wearing the Phiten bracelet for three days when I swam toward an islet in Guiuan, Samar from a friend’s yacht that was anchored a little more than 50 meters away from shore. I swam back to the yacht after a huge lunch in the islet. It wouldn’t have been a big deal had my body been primed for such a distance.

kayak guiuanTaking the kayaks, my friends reached the islet and then later the yacht, way ahead of me. I might as well have been racing against an old turtle trudging land. I took my time, noting the depth of the waters as long-spined sea urchins became more visible as I got nearer the shore.

Warmed up by the swim in the seawater, I did laps in the 35-meter pool when we got back to The Surf Camp. I wasn’t sprinting like I had to beat Dara Torres’ record or the old turtle’s terrain time. The point being, after four years of not having swum long distance, meaning beyond 10 meters, I managed to crawl non-stop from one end of a 35-meter pool to the other.

The ScreamFrom the way I was catching my breath after the first lap, I saw myself as a meatier version of the subject of Edvard Munch’s painting, The Scream. I didn’t find my wind until after the third lap. I swam seven more laps, alternately using freestyle and breast stroke.

I woke up the next morning with a stiff neck.

I have a farm in FarmTown. Since I wore the Phiten bracelet, I now plow and plant faster and my right arm, where I wear it, feels less heavy after hours of moving the mouse.

Since I wore it, I sleep earlier and longer so much so that I have difficulty getting up at 5:15 a.m. to go to the track oval. My running shoes, worn only twice since I bought them, cry for my attention. Soon, shoes, soon.

I will not blame the Phiten bracelet for my hearty appetite because no amount of titanium, whether it be wrapped around my neck or my wrist, can restrain it.

When I told my acupuncturist about the Phiten bracelet, he dismissed its effect as nothing but placebo. Er, Doc, this bracelet, which looks like rubber to you, cost me almost P2,000.  For this sum, it should have an intrinsic remedial value. Wearing it I feel invigorated.

My acupuncturist, who is also a medical doctor, looked at me and said, “It’s the acupuncture that makes you feel energized.” Oh.


Dara Torres wins silver by .01 second

Torres, Steffen, Campbell (Photo from

The numbers behind the medals tell much of the kind of swimmer Dara Torres is.

In the 50-meter freestyle finals last Aug. 17, Britta Steffen (Germany) won the gold, Dara Torres (USA) the silver, and Cate Campbell (Australia) the bronze. These three women had topped their heats in the elimination and semifinal rounds, splashing and dashing the length of the pool in less than 25 seconds.

Here are their numbers:

Britta Steffen is 24 years old, stands 5’11 and weighs 132 pounds. Her swimming time in the 50m freestyle is as follows: 24.90 (elimination), 24.43 (semifinals), 24.06 (finals).

Dara Torres is 41 years old, stands 6’0 and weighs 150 pounds. Her swimming time: 24.58 (elimination), 24.27 (semifinals), 24.07 (finals).

Cate Campbell is 16 years old, stands 6’0 and weighs 130 pounds. Her swimming time: 24.20 (elimination), 24.42 (semifinals), 24.17 (finals).

In the finals, Torres was behind Steffen by .01 seconds! She was just as fast as the swimmer 17 years younger than she was and still faster than Campbell who wasn’t born yet when Torres began her Olympic career in Los Angeles in 1984. Competing against them, Torres showed no sign of age strain.

At the medal awarding, Torres suppressed a tear. It was an emotional moment for her. It was her fifth Olympic, at age 41, and she won a silver. But then, she could have won the gold.

In her website, Dara Torres says: “If I can inspire both women and men in anything it would be that age is just a number, not a death sentence.”

She truly inspires.


Inspiration from Dara Torres from AFP

Dara Torres has given me hope.

At 41, the mother of a two-year-old daughter is competing in the 50-meter splash and dash in Beijing, against swimmers half her age. Emerging from her retirement after Sydney in 2000, she is on her fifth Olympic quest.

She set records, swimming faster by 2.47 seconds than she did 20 years ago. She is 5.4 kilos lighter than she was in Sydney, Time reports.

Diagnosed with asthma in the 1990s, Torres takes prescription inhalers but other than those, she isn’t pumped on steroids or any other enhancers. I would trade anything to have that body.

She spends more hours in the gym than in the pool and has a fitness team that costs her $100,000 a year. I haven’t been in a gym since Bodytone in, uhm, 1994? The last time I swam a 50-meter lap at the Abellana pool, I felt my eyes coming out of their sockets when I finally reached the other end after what seemed like an eternity of kicking and crawling. Every year, I find my Speedos shrinking.

But Torres inspires me. I look at her body and know I can have one like hers at 41. Sports psychologists say that an athlete has to focus on his goals.

I am an eathlete, sorry, athlete. My goal is to have Torres’ body by my 40s. I will swim again. I will work out again.

Failing those, I will superimpose my face on Torres’ and I will have her body, by Photoshop or by Photoshop.

April 2018
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