Last Sunday – Walk, Eat Thai, Swim…

Last Sunday, I was feeling a bit “under the weather” (even though the weather was really SUNNY!). Haha. Wrong use of idiom there. Actually, it was because I got super spent the day before, and because of my physical condition (I think), I needed a whole day to recover from fatigue. I thought I’d spent the entire day at home but I had to have lunch outside or else I’ll starve to death. I thought I’d go for a swim too at the sports center 10 minutes from my house, to get my blood flowing. I was tired of fastfood so I prayed where to eat. (Yeah, I was so clueless where to go that I had to pray about it. Hahaha. Guess what? I really felt I heard God say, “You’ll know when you get there.” So I went, “by faith.” Oh happy day. =)))

I rode the jeepney to “town” and found myself having to walk short distances and cross intersections under the heat (and I mean HEAT!) of the sun. I was a bit concerned I might catch a fever later (it used to be like that before when I exerted a bit too much for a given day)… but I didn’t. Thank God. Just before crossing the street, I remembered a Thai restaurant (Krung Thai) with affordable food within my budget. It’s close by and seems to be at a convenient location from the swimming pool too. (I knew it!) I walked quite a but I was willing to just to get my Thai food! I crossed the market leading to the restaurant.  It’s a “very” local place, not too stylish, a bit too pricey for its interiors, but serving good Thai meals. Excited.

So here’s the city market.

marikina city market at bayan

I didn’t realize I could buy fruits here instead of going to the bigger but farther Farmers’ Market.

fruits stall marikina market at bayan

I had been craving coffee that week so I was glad to see iced coffee in the menu. I ordered iced coffee with my meal. Then I was served Thai iced tea. So I had it replaced and then here is the coffee… 🙂

for an additional P50 ($1+) with my solo meal

Iced Coffee Krung Thai Restaurant C. Paz Marikina City

I also chose the stir fried chicken meal, pointed at the picture on the menu, but the lady thought I was ordering the picture below it. So I was served chicken curry instead. Waaah. Oh well, I guess you have to be careful to clarify your order when going to this place. (Not complaining!) :)))

The chicken curry, by the way, was love. My only comment is that the serving size felt more like kiddie sized. There were 4 or 5 bite sized chicken slices, some veggies, and that’s it. But I was happy about the veggies. And overall, I was happy to remember to drop by this resto. It was well worth it despite the mistakes they made. LOL.

Chicken Curry Krung Thai Restaurant Marikina City

Paying to swim in the afternoon. P50 ($1+) – P10 sports center entrance + P40 pool entrance – good until 4:30 pm. That’s 4.5 hours of swim time if you arrive at 1pm. But got there past 2pm so I had 3 hours. Fair enough!

How much is swimming at Marikina Sports swimming pool?

Semi-covered pool at the Marikina Sports Center. Not too crowded. To think it’s a Sunday. And I don’t hit pool bottom anymore when I tumble turn. 😀

Swimming Pool at Marikina Sports Center

At first I couldn’t cross the width of the pool doing freestyle but by the end of the session, after self-correcting myself, I was finally able to cross to the end. Perhaps next time I can work towards going back and forth. Yikes. Let’s do this. 🙂


Monday’s New

So I was excited for my swimming class on Monday. Finally.

But it was not just about swimming. It was also about getting out of the house. It was about getting into a sport. It was about meeting new people, being in a new place, learning something new, passing by the grocery (which was near the swimming area), feeling healthier, figuring out my way home from there, and getting to do an errand, all in one morning. In short, it was about being productive while doing something you like.

For example. #1 Here’s me with some big cartons I got from the supermarket. I’ve been needing to get some of these so I can start sorting my clothes for giving away. I did this after my swim class, which was held beside the mini mall that catered to the grocery.


#2 – I finally got to check if they (the grocery) have greek yogurt. Unfortunately they don’t so I ended up buying this, which was the wrong kind ‘coz it’s not much different from the regular yogurt. Oh well, it’s still yogurt.


#3 – I discovered that (praise God), there’s a tricycle terminal nearby and I can take a ride home on one of these. Unfortunately, the fare is a bit expensive so I might just walk home on some days.


#4 – I was surprised to learn that my swimming coach is my neighbour. He lives right across my house in the same small subdivision. He could have lived 2 houses away or down the street corner, which would still be pretty near, but he had to live right across! Super funny. And my mom for the longest time, had been so curious about his kids whom she could hear from across the street when they cry. I think she’ll finally get to meet them soon. Hope so.

#5 – I could breathe better. Literally. I told my coach that I think I have colds. (I’ve been having difficulty breathing ‘coz my nasal passages always feel congested.) He said, it will go away when I swim. He was right. It was instant relief. Then after two days of swimming, I’ve been breathing normally. I’m so happy.

So that was Monday morning. Not bad at all.

reflections on my first third swimming lesson

I used to ice skate 3 to 4 times per week. That was way back, 20 years ago. I stopped some 13 years ago. Never got into another sport since then. I also stopped taking jazz classes (which I used to take to complement figure skating). I tried to get back to skating a number of times but it was too difficult (and expensive and risky and impractical) I tried to get into swimming, but it was short lived. I thought about trying aerial silk. I never got past imagining my first class.

Then yesterday came. This must be a breakthrough. I had my first third swimming lesson.

First third. Yes. Yesterday was the first day of my third swimming class. The first class I took was when I was a kid. Six years old maybe. The second one was three years ago. This was the third one. The coach put me in advanced class. Seriously? Advanced? I had been a bit frustrated with my freestyle skills for the past 3 years. (Yeah it can go on for three years if you don’t do much about it.) But yesterday, I was so happy.

I enrolled in a 10 consecutive week days class. I never thought I’d commit to swimming this often but it just happened. It felt right. And so it was! I couldn’t be happier. And I realized I had been torturing myself for the past 13 years for not replacing the sport I lost.

I even wrote a poem about grieving its death. Yeah, I wrote a poem about losing my figure skating dream as if it were a person. Because it felt like something precious died when I stopped figure skating. I didn’t realize it immediately after I stopped, but it set in slowly. It was difficult to admit that I loved it that much. I mean, I can’t exactly make a career out of it because I was not that skilled in the sport yet, but it had also become too expensive and difficult for someone my age. (It’s a high impact sport. I had scoliosis. It’s an expensive sport. I was not filthy rich. Etc.)

Then life happened and it was kind of, sad.

I did a bit of yoga via YouTube. I downloaded some dance videos. I tried HIIT at home. But nothing beats a good ol’ sport. 🙂

Yesterday, my new coach corrected my freestyle technique. I finally felt like I was doing it correctly. For the first time in 13 years, I felt like I had a sport again. It’s like I could be alive again. I know it sounds silly, but that’s how I felt. At three decades old, I realized sometimes there are things we find hard to admit but admitting it could be the first step to breakthrough and healing. I think, today, I realized I needed to admit how I felt about figure skating. I also realized how I can’t run away from how I’m wired for sports. Just ‘coz I can’t make a career out of it does not mean I’m not allowed to make it a major part of my life. I guess I found it difficult to value something that doesn’t earn money. It felt irresponsible to do so. But I also realize now that acknowledging how I’m wired is a step towards worshipping God. It’s part of acknowledging how unique he’s made me to be and how I should love how he fashioned me. And I know ultimately, it will bring Him glory.

So YES YES, I can’t wait to swim again tomorrow. Ten consecutive weekdays remember? And to go on some more after that.

Christian blogBy the way, I’ll tell you about my 4-, 6-, and 9-year old swimming classmates next time. I didn’t enrol in a one-on-one class! And my oldest classmate is 9 years old. I know right? What do you think eh? 🙂