Photo by Naveen Ganglani/Rappler
LEGAZPI CITY, Philippines – Aldwin Ysidoro, a 16-year-old track-and-field athlete from the Leyte Sports Academy in Leyte, dreams of becoming a track and field star for a university in Manila and eventually joining the Philippine team.
The Eastern Visayas region standout is currently in Legazpi City, Albay for the 2016 Palarong Pambansa – his first – where he's participating in the 100-meter secondary competition of the athletics category.
Ysidoro, the youngest of 4 children, said he started track and field at the age of 12 "kasi parang naengganyo ako sa mga kasali sa track and field."
(I was enticed by those in track and field.)
The lean and confident athlete has since dedicated his entire life to the sport, going to a school in his hometown which specializes in training athletes.
"Sa isang linggo, araw-araw po," Ysidoro said about the frequency of his practice sessions. "'Yung Sunday hapon, rest po namin. 6 to 7 nang umaga, 4 to 6 nang hapon."
(I practice daily. Sunday afternoons, we rest. We train 6 to 7 in the morning, 4 to 6 in the afternoon.)
That's a total of 19 hours a week, nearly an entire day for getting faster and faster.
Besides the usual 100-meter dash he trains for, there are other workouts.
"Kagaya nang 200 [meters], 150, tapos 120. Push-ups, sit-ups, 4 sets. 60 sit-ups [per set]. Side by side, 30. Tapos 20 ang push up. Umaga tsaka hapon," Ysidoro said.
(Like 200 meters, 150, then 120. Push-ups, sit-ups, 4 sets. 60 sit-ups per set. Side by side, 30. Then 20 push-ups. Morning and afternoon.)
Asked if he has second thoughts about how much he gives into improving his craft, Ysidoro is resilient in his belief.
"Part na rin sa buhay ko," he stated, adding that he loves the feeling of being on the track and running at full speed, leaving competition in the dust.
(It's part of my life.)
Ysidoro's choice to concentrate on athletics is a different path compared to the ones taken by his 3 older siblings, who are all nurses in Cebu. His father, a former barangay (village) captain, is now a kagawad (councilor). His mother, a housewife, is tasked with prepping him every day for the challenges of his lifestyle.
"Okay naman, sinusuportahan naman ako," Ysidoro said about his parents.
(It's okay. They support me.)
But his mom has a strict rule: the young student-athlete must maintain a grade average of above 85, which he said he accomplishes.
He hopes all of his sacrifices would pay off someday, and he would achieve his ultimate goal of making the Philippine national team for athletics.
"May pangarap ako. Gusto ko maging Philippine team," said Ysidoro, who seemed confident in his ability to reach his goal.
(I have a goal. I want to make the Philippine team.)
Before that, he also hopes to run track for UST in the UAAP.
"Sipag lang, tiyaga, at disciplina sa sarili," he said of the keys to success.
(It's just dedication, resiliency, and discipline.)
And if running doesn't work out? Well, he does have a back-up plan.
"Maging isang seaman. Kasi 'yung pamangkin ng papa ko ngayon, seaman na din po."
(I'd like to become a seaman. Because the nephew of my dad right now is also a seaman.)
Even if it means being away for a year or two?
"Okay naman, para sa kinabukasan."
(It's okay, as long as it's for my future.)
For now, though, his immediate objective is clear as day: leave Albay with a gold medal hanging around his neck.
After all, that's what his parents want him to concentrate on right now: "Go for gold lang." – Rappler.com
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