Monday, October 25, 2021

Solon: The Olympics a week after: Reflections for health

COACHES. From left: Luis de Mesa, Sot Sotelo and Paulo Agir.

Fitness Station

The Olympics concluded a week ago. For people into fitness and sports, it has been one of the most exciting events this year and has taken away some of our worries from Covid. We were excited and over the moon for our Filipino athletes, and hopeful that powerful lessons can be unpacked from their victories.

I asked three up-and-coming fitness and strength and conditioning professionals whom I’ve gotten to respect and admire on what their reflections and realizations were of the Olympics.

Luis de Mesa, the national representative of the International Strength and Conditioning Association, and strength and conditioning coach of the taekwondo and Men’s volleyball teams, thinks that the barrier has been broken courtesy of Hidilyn Diaz. Despite our best efforts, there might never be fair and consistent support for all sports and disciplines, but with the right amount of support, any sport can make it to the elite level. Luis also emphasized the need for better financial management of those involved in sports associations.

Sot Sotelo, an Australian Strength and Conditioning Association (ASCA) certified coach, believes that talent is not enough to win an Olympic medal. That medal is borne from years of meticulous planning and execution from the athlete’s training, nutrition and psychological needs.

Paulo Agir, an ASCA certified strength and conditioning coach and the founder of Dagohoy Academy, echoed the sentiments of Luis and Sot. He said athletes should also be supported at the beginning of their sports careers, not just when they win medals.

There are a lot of things we can learn from this and apply to our own fitness journeys. Perhaps, first and foremost, is working with specialists who can guide us in our journey. This could be a personal trainer, a nutritionist, a medical practitioner, or even a health counselor.

Whatever our goals are, we have now realized that it takes a village. We also must realize that it takes time and that there will be bumps in the road. We tell people, the journey is never in a straight line, detours occur, and the goal is to get back to the road as soon as possible. This is true when we also work toward our health goals. Life happens, but get back on track as soon as we can.

As sport is a metaphor for life, let’s draw on sports inspiration to help us improve on our own health and fitness journeys. Until then, stay healthy, get yourself Covid-vaccinated and be part of the solution for our community.


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