To the limit-A A +A
Saturday, June 23, 2012
WHEN she has her eyes set on the prize, looking back is not an option. For swimmer/triathlete Loren Dale B. Echavez, winning events and breaking records left and right at a fairly young age only confirm that she’s on the right track.
Gusty, as her friends often call her, started doing sports when she was just six years old. Besides the feeling of being healthy and all that comes with good workouts, this 18-year-old Cebuana also looks to sports as some sort of adventure.
“I enjoy it because it allows me to go places, whether in the country or abroad, and meet new friends. Also, doing sports gives me an amazing feeling when I push my body to the limit and see what I’m capable of,” she shared.
Just last year, she won gold in all her individual events during the Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation Inc. (Cesafi) and the Private Schools Athletic Association (Prisaa) National collegiate games. Also during last year’s Philippine University Games (Unigames), she took home one gold, one silver and two bronze medals.
Indeed, the fruits of her hard work and perseverance are evident in the things she has accomplished so far.
Back in 2009 she set a new record in the 800-meter freestyle event in the Palarong Pambansa. In 2010, she broke a record that stood for 12 years in the 100m freestyle event and set a new record in the 800m freestyle event during the Palarong Pambansa. “To post a new record in the Palarong Pambansa was my greatest achievement in high school,” she recalled.
Last year during the national Prisaa, Gusty set new records in the 50m, 100m, 200m, 400m and 800m freestyle events.
Record breaking seems to come as naturally as floating for this born swimmer.
“Swimming has been a part of my life, and without it my life wouldn’t be the same. It is my passion, and I always put my 100 percent effort in every training and competition because I believe if you love what you do or if you commit yourself to something, you can achieve your aspirations,” she said.
Now before people think she’s being raised in a home where an indoor swimming pool substitutes for the standard living room, and that she has her alarm clock set every day at 0500 hours to get her ready to do some laps—she’s a regular young girl and not some military-experiment-gone-wrong.
Among the things she would love to do during her spare time would be shopping, watching television and baking.
“I also like eating a lot, spoiling and playing with my nephews, doing some art especially with my scrapbook, checking out the Internet and reading magazines.”
But then these activities are only ideals for Gusty as training, more often than not, leaves her body spent and needing rest. Despite that desire to hit the sack as early as possible, Gusty, a responsible young student, also tries to set apart time for studying. Record breaking isn’t an excuse for slacking. Gusty doesn’t want to excel only in sports but also to bring the same success she’s had in the pool to her work in school.
“I also like to pray during my free time because I want to thank God for everything He has given me, especially for giving me this unique talent. On top of swimming, I also prioritize my family, boyfriend and friends because they are the source of my strength and inspiration.”
Even her “dream goal” far from recognizes any limit as she dreams of one day becoming an Olympic gold medalist. She admits some of her dreams may be a long shot, but that doesn’t keep her from trying.
“Anyway, if I fail, there is always room for improvement.”
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on June 24, 2012.