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“…Because in the end each end is also a beginning.”
Death is an ending of one’s physical being and the beginning of eternal rest. It is the end of life on earth and the start of the life beyond. We say goodbye because it is the end of what we used to do together but ever hopeful that we meet each other again in the heavenly realm.
The recent death of our mother at age 75 was very sad to say the least. No words can explain the sadness we felt and we continue to feel as there are yet too many things we want to do with her and for her…too many words we wanted to say…so many stories we wanted to share. We continue to do so but it is never the same.
The painful ending though sparked a new beginning for us siblings she left behind. It is the beginning of a collaboration in a venture we know would have given her joy if she was still around as the idea came up over 20 years ago but never took off. On a road trip, together in one car, the name of the small resort we decided to build came up – VirCris Resort – in honor of Virginio (our father who passed away 36 years ago) and Cristita (our mother). It will be built on the farm lot they left behind passed on to our mother by our grandparents. Certainly, a sentimental piece of land for the family.
It is our very first business collaboration together…each one sharing resources and talent to make this dream a reality. We had business ventures in the past but it was with one sibling or the other but never the four of us together.
Wealth or fame is never our aim here. Rather, it is honouring our parents and to create a channel where their generosity and compassion continue to flow.
“Mothers are like glue. Even when you can’t see them, they’re still holding the family together.”
She was 75. She had me at 20. So, she was lent to us by our gracious God for 55 years and I said “thank you for the 55 years of loving me.” This was the gist of our last conversation on my birthday when she greeted me 10 days before her last breath. She was already sick at that time but we were hopeful that she would get well as we always looked at her as ageless.
She had me at 20. She became a widow at 39. We had her until 3 months after she turned 75.
No one is really too old to lose a mother. Losing a mother leaves a vacuum in the family no one can fill. For the 4 of us siblings, she was our home – literally and figuratively. Despite our invitations to stay with any one of us, she opted to stay in the home she and my father built together before he passed on 35 years ago. She was someone who never imposes her being mother on us. We could genuinely be ourselves with her and she would just smile listening intently to our stories of adventures and misadventures.
While we did our best to give her the comfort she deserves in her old age without her having to ask, as she squeezed every penny she earned to fend for us when we were growing up, there are still regrets – we wish she could see what we are doing with the farm properties she along with our father passed on to us; we wish we could have brought her to more places when she was still stronger; we wish we could have visited her more before this pandemic happened; we wish we could have given more…the list goes on.
A sweet memory with her 2 grandchildren on her 72nd birthday
I am sure many can relate with me so for those whose parents are still around and who are blessed with the opportunity to show gratitude, go thank them, hug them if you can, be generous with them…while you still have them around.
God loves our mother so much that He took her to her final resting place where there is no more pain. Only eternal peace. And where she is welcomed by our dear father – the only love of her life.
As we promised, we will take care of each other. So long!
All women love strong and shapely legs right? As we age, the forces of nature work their way towards our body and puts unsightly bulges here and there and we start looking at our old photos and wish…
…And wish we go back to our past shape. Hey, we actually can for as long as we are willing to do the sweat price (because the easier cosmetic route does not give you the benefits beyond what the eyes can see).
This teaches a simple truth: Effort produces results, no effort produces nothing. The effort is worth it.
Amby Burfoot, podiumrunner.com
I started running in July 2018 at age 52 so it’s not yet too long ago but this is the best I have felt so far as far as my body condition is concerned. I’ve never been really overweight though but at that time, I was heavy at 134 pounds and I didn’t like it when I noticed I had to buy clothes a size bigger than the previous year so I thought it was time to level up my work-out. (I am 113 pounds now and overachieved my 115 pounds goal). It was so timely because I had been wanting to join the Angkor Wat Half Marathon which our company was a sponsor of. I downloaded a 5K Runner App and the rest is history. Since then I had been running at least 3 times a week. Prior to this pandemic, I travelled a lot so my running shoes are always with me. That’s another benefit of running – you get to explore new places and see them from a different perspective when the place is still quiet and not busy at sunrise (I’m a morning runner).
Running adds years to your life and life to your years. Because of the overall effect of running in the body (cardiovascular, body composition, hormonal balance), studies show that runners actually gain 3 years into one’s life span.
Running helps you sleep better.There is a direct correlation between exercising and getting a good sleep and many studies validate this.
Running can improve your knees and back. I am sure you have heard the opposite of this and would not believe this is a fact. Burfoot shared a study of 675 marathoners by The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery which revealed that the “arthritis rate of active marathoners was below that of the general U.S. population (Arthritis prevalence was 8.8% for the subgroup of U.S. marathoners which is significantly lower than the prevalence in the matched U.S. population of 17.9%). I am sure, a big part of this is the fact that runners take extra care of their knees by doing strengthening exercises to make sure that they continue running.
Running helps you lose weight, and keep it off. We all know of those who lose weight by doing some diet of sorts and while there had been success stories, there are more cases of “losers” who gained it all back again. On the other hand, if you lose weight by running (as it is one exercise that really makes you burn more calories) and you keep on running at least three times a week, you will most likely keep the extra pounds away. The average person burns 280 to 520 calories with 30 minutes of running. Amount of calories burned depend on weight, time spent running and speed. ~https://caloriesburnedhq.com/calories-burned-running/
Running improves mental health, and reduces depression. For sure, running makes you feel good. It gives you a rush of endorphins that runners refer to as runners high. This chemical in the brain has been found to have many positive effects on the body including pain reduction, boost in happiness and pleasure and reduction in stress and anxiety.~https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/runners-high
Running lowers your blood pressure. Running and other moderate exercise is a proven, non-drug-related way to lower blood pressure and this is because running strengthens one’s heart muscles and make it more effective.
Pre-run and Post-run stretching
I have to stress how important pre- and post-run stretching is to avoid injuries and muscle aches. Pre-run stretches should be dynamic (active stretches where you engage your muscles and joints warming them up causing blood circulation) while post-run can be static (stretches where you hold a pose for 15-20 seconds) to cool down your muscles and slow down your breathing. Check this CNBC-TV18 you tube video for great pre- and post-runs stretching routine: https://youtu.be/qq1kGDd4Q60
Running and Yoga
Since running involves the use of the same muscles and joints, I can say that yoga is its perfect partner as the latter works out the other muscle groups and joints not used in running. Thus, it further enhances your run. Yoga exercise improves mobility and strengthens your core which improve one’s stability and performance. The other great thing with yoga practice is it teaches you the correct breathing which is so helpful in running. Read more on mobility : https://strengthrunning.com/2019/10/mobility-training-for-runners/
Another reward that makes me feel so good is when I know that someone has been encouraged to exercise because of me. I was able to organise an informal group of runners (mostly beginners) and we would participate in different runs. Some of us even joined runs abroad (Cambodia and Vietnam) and we had so much fun!
There you go – there are just so many benefits that running gives and it certainly goes beyond having great legs. Just a word of advice though, if and when you decide to start running, make sure you build your endurance and increase your mileage just about 10%-15% every week. This way, you avoid getting injured and be traumatised so early before reaping any of the benefits and if you have a medical condition, make sure you ask your doctor’s advice if running is good for you.
And make sure you invest in a good and appropriate pair of running shoes!