UPON reaching “middle age,” Judge Ester Veloso started buying “fat clothes” while putting away her “thin clothes.” With middle age, she thought, comes slower metabolism and the eventual creeping weight gain.
Her doctor, however, told her, “that’s not true!”
“You’re not supposed to accept the fact nga mutambok ka (that you’ll get fat),” she told runners gathered in Sun.Star Cebu last Friday.
The Regional Trial Court judge, who had been working out for years in the Holiday Gym and Spa, said she resisted running at first because people told her your skin would sag with running, “muyaya imong nawong, mawa imong totoy.”
She was eventually convinced to run by Annie Neric and lawyer Ramsey Quijano, a marathoner and one of the original Ungo Runners. Quijano told her that if she could run 30 minutes straight, she could join 3K events.
Neric then taught her to run at the indoor tracks of Holiday Gym but she said that after the first session, she got embarrassed by how slow she ran. She bought books about running and found a 10-week program in Runner’s World website that promised to get her running straight for 30 minutes.
Since she had been working out for years, Veloso said she completed the program in just five weeks.
She had started to love running and would wake up at 4 a.m. to run on her own. She also started joining fun runs, starting with the SRP Sundown Run. She said that the mass of people in fun runs and her slowness discouraged her at first but Neric kept pushing her. “You can do it! You can do it!” Veloso mimicked the way Neric kept cheering her on.
Upon the prodding of serial marathoner Joel Garganera, Veloso signed up for the 21K in last Jan. 9′s Cebu City Marathon.
“But how can you practice in December?” she said to widespread laughter last Friday, “I never felt ready for the half-marathon.” December, she said, is a month for partying.