Curbing obesity, diabetes through triathlon

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Tuesday, May 20, 2014


TRIATHLON is a fast-growing sport in the Philippines and Johan Sisno, Alfred Angcay and Paul Gotiong are just a few of those people who are getting hooked on this sport.

They are also the type of people whom you’d less likely expect to be engaged in this sport.

Sisno used to be part of the population who suffered from obesity until he found his way into running with his friend, Gotiong. Now, after a year and a half of marathon runs, he has already lost almost half of his weight.

On the other hand, Gotiong, who was diagnosed with having Type 1 Diabetes, said that he found his way into running because of his ailment.

“When we started running, we couldn’t even do 1.5K,” said Gotiong.

At first it was quite a challenge for the two of them but with the support of their friends and family, they were able to overcome each challenge, brave enough to finish every race.

Sisno found a group called Katambokan, his group of friends who are into running.

“It’s about inspiring others, encouraging people who are obese, setting as an example to friends,” he said.

Gotiong is also a member of Team Triabetics, a group of diabetic people who educated and inspired people with diabetes to overcome this ailment through multisport.

Now they are proud runners who are transitioning into triathlon.

“Most of our friends, idols and mentor are triathletes and this inspired us to try triathlon as well,” Gotiong said.

But before setting their foot to this event, they had to train first if they want to finish the race.

“When I first joined triathlon, I only had a month to train para sa tanan (swimming, biking, running),” said Angcay, who was actually the first person to encouraged Sisno and Gotiong into triathlon.

Angcay said he had to manage his time well during his training because he was working at the same time. It was already his second time when he joined the triathlon in Bantayan last May 3 with his friends.

On the other hand, the newbies Sisno and Gotiong already knew biking but were not much of swimmers and so they had focus their training on that.

Gotiong trained for less than a month while it was two months for Sisno.

“We did it from scratch. We had zero swimming experience. In January, kung mag-island hopping, I won’t swim. I will just stay on the boat,” said Sisno.

Ancay said it is important to train with friends.

“Kung ikaw ra usa magtrain, dali ra ka kapuyon,” Angcay said.

“Surround yourself with people who push you to do better,” Sisno added.

Their experience with triathlon made them realize how great triathletes were, not to mention the hard-core training one has to go through before the race.

“Triathlon makes you have better respect for people who are doing it, especially for those working people,” Sisno said.

“I also realized that I was mentally stronger than I thought I was,” he added as he recalled his hardships during his training, which made him want to give up.

Nevertheless, he made it to the finish line because his mind was determined to do so.

“Triathlon is more of competing with yourself,” Gotiong added.

The three also agreed that it was such a fulfillment to finish the race.

Sisno added that finishing the race made him realize that he could accomplish anything.

Now that they are officially considered triathletes, it seems that joining the triathlon in Argao would be the next step. And finishing no less than the Ironman would be on top of their goals.

Together, they continue to set an example to their friends and for people who know them. It’s never too late for anybody.

“We are not really athletes but we have the passion to do it through healthy lifestyle. What’s your excuse?” (Alvie Marie Yabo, CNU Comm. Intern)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on May 21, 2014.

Sports

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