Posts Tagged ‘wellness


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.


Heart of the matter

heart1My heart bled as I interspersed going over 10 essays with listening to high school students talk about the Filipina and cardiovascular disease. I looked at the kids, so earnest in their oration that they could persuade the adults in the room to exercise and eat healthy. I looked at the adults and realized that I was probably among the few in need of exercise and proper diet.

So here I was, sitting as a judge of the essay writing category in the regional elimination of the literary, oratorical and on-the-spot painting competition that focused on the theme “Mabuhay Ka! Pusong Pinay!” and getting bombarded by calls for a healthy lifestyle.

After the fifth essay, I got the sinking feeling that all this was for my benefit. I tucked in my stomach. I refused to take the snacks offered. I considered walking back to the office, which would be about a kilometer away. Nah, too dusty. I called back the waiter and asked for some siomai because I was now really hungry.

My co-judges were a doctor and an executive of the pharmaceutical company that sponsored the contest. My choices differed from theirs. I gave weight to thought construction, substance and grammar. I was disheartened to see the final results not going for the two essays that were really good pieces of writing. My co-judges preferred the ones about CVD prevention, which undoubtedly covers exercise and healthy diet, which I’ve never taken to heart.

I take care of my heart by not watching horror movies, not reading the book “Jude, The Obscure” because the story is horribly depressing, not sweating the small stuff, and not wearing tight bras. I do mind what I eat. I check my food for chili pepper, but other than this, I eat to my heart’s content.

So, to those kids, may they practice what they orate and write about when they reach adulthood.


The snooze power of yoga

In a moment of hope of doing yoga again, I bought a pair of yoga pants at Bossini. Two months have passed since the purchase and the price tag is still on the pants, the pants waiting for the actual moment of yoga.

I miss group yoga.

Doing yoga by myself, I spent too long on the relax pose, looking up the ceiling on my back and thinking of expensive chiropractors and eventually going back to sleep.

In class, I occassionally snored during relaxation when Dada droned about a ball of emerald green light passing through my toes, legs, knees, fingertips, stomach, chest, head, and the ball bursting into two, and zzzzzzzzzz. One time, I woke up to find the others already leaving the room.

That’s me but not me. (Photo from Yoga for Regular Guys)

During a bending pose, I heard the soft fart of the old lady who carried on with the asana like she hadn’t just passed gas. She had mastered the art of not looking fart-guilty. That’s what yoga does; it makes one more attuned to his surroundings and stay deadma to publicly emitted human gases.

Back when Mohan was the teacher, understanding his instructions posed as much challenge as doing the three-legged dog or sun salutation. A Vietnamese who learned to speak English in the Philippines, Mohan spoke like he was pinching his nose to avoid breathing in the wisp of gas emitted from the old lady’s digestive tract.

“Breet in, right lek up. Breet ow, lep lek up.” He had to demonstrate as he instructed to be understood. Oh, breathe in, right leg up, breathe out, left leg up. That’s what yoga does; it equips one with discernment in times of confusion.

Before I hit 63, I will take up yoga again and hope not to pass gas in those expensive pants.


Running with the strollers

(The Sun.Star sports editor had refused to publish this photo in his section for reasons he politely pointed out to me. The only real runner in this group is the guy in the green and white singlet, Gabby Ingles.)

We set out into the early morning sun with athletic and holy intentions.

We were going to run the 5K to help raise funds for the re-roofing of the Seminario Mayor de San Carlos. We were going to have a reflective morning. Today was going to be life-changing for us, because for once, we were not gathering to drink but to run for a cause.

There was only one real runner among us and he had competed in marathons. The rest of us were runners-in-the making. Entering the race posed a problem: Where do we pin the bib numbers? Front of our shirts? Back? it took us longer to work on our bib numbers than our run, er, walk, er, stroll. Goodness, OK, run.

Finally pinned where we wanted them, the bib numbers made us look like real runners, competitive runners.

But runners don’t wear slippers and wedge sandals and bring umbrellas to a race, which some of us did. Well, if Oscar Pistorius can run in steel legs, why can’t we run in high heels?

Of the eight of us, one ran, three brisk-walked, one walked then ran then walked, and four strolled for 15 meters then waited for our return. We had a strong support group in this four; they cheered us on as we passed by them on our way to the finish line. They made us feel worthy of our bib numbers.

By 8 a.m., we were hungry regardless of how far we had gone, whether beyond 15 meters or less. All of us ate like athletes. We felt near to God because we had breakfast in the seminary.

The cook blessed us for such hearty appetites.

(Event happened on Dec. 2, 2007 in Cebu City)

April 2018
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