This speech was delivered on March 31, 2014 at the flag ceremony of the Governance Commission on Government-Owned and Controlled Corporations (GCG) under the Office of the President.
Thank you so much for inviting me to speak in front of all of you this morning. I may not be a beauty queen like your last speaker [Miss International Bea Rose Santiago], but I did dress up extra nicely for today. I’m usually in running shoes, shorts, a dri-fit shirt, with my hair in a ponytail, so thanks for giving me an excuse to put on some make-up.
I should explain a bit about who I am and how I got here. I am known as Kikay Runner in the running community and on the internet, where my blog has been in existence for the last four years. I started running not as a track star in school, but as an overweight adult trying to lose the extra pounds on the treadmill. When I got a little fitter, I started working as an instructor for dance and yoga classes. That’s my day job. I love being able to make a tangible difference in people’s lives. There’s just something about seeing someone’s face light up when they’re able to master a move they never thought they could do, or achieve a pose they couldn’t do when they first started attending class months ago.
I joined my first 10-kilometer race in 2009 because I was bored with teaching inside the four walls of a gym and it felt like I wasn’t getting anywhere on a treadmill. I ran hard and fast and absolutely enjoyed the sensation of “flying” over the asphalt. I was so excited about it that I shared my thoughts and experiences on my blog. I never considered myself anything special; I was a recreational runner just like anyone else. It was a matter of being in the right place and time: running was starting to pick up steam in the country, new runners were hungry for information about the sport, and they gobbled up every bit of it they could find on my blog and the blogs of other local runners. I had a unique voice and personal perspective that people found inspiring and motivating; I was the unlikely athlete, someone just like them, who had discovered a talent and had begun to develop it by virtue of commitment, consistent training, and passion.
It’s now been five years since I started on that journey. I’m currently into doing triathlons, a sport that also still involves running, but only after tiring yourself out swimming and biking. I’m training for an ironman in July. It involves 4 kilometers of swimming, 180 kilometers of biking, and 42 kilometers of running and could take someone of my ability about 13 or 14 hours to finish. The best in the sport usually finish in 8 hours. Obviously this is not about getting skinny; I think Ms. International was very fit, and she probably doesn’t need more than an hour of exercise most days of the week.
Why do we do it even if we’re not on the pointy end, even if we’re not in the running to win the race? I do it because I love challenging myself; it makes me feel alive and like I’m doing something of significance. I do it because I’m passionate about being the best I can be. I believe God puts us in places and situations for a reason. There’s a reason I love running, there’s a reason I can absorb heavy mileage and not get bored with hours of doing the same thing over and over, there’s a reason I’m nuts about a sport that is brutal both on the body and the mind. I do it because if I can inspire just one person to get off the couch and take control of their wellbeing, if I can make a difference in that person’s life, then I would consider myself successful.
I’ve seen people come and go in this sport. Some people start running as a form of exercise. Others sign up for races for the freebies — which isn’t a bad way to start running. But once you start running we’d love if you found some personal motivation to do it. Running is an easy sport to pick up: just buy a pair of running shoes and head out the door for a jog. Those who stay in the sport, however, stay because they’ve found a place for the sport in their lives. Continue reading “Sports and Good Governance (speech — FULLTEXT)”