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My Story #4: Atty. Menchie C. Obmina-Muaña

training

Being Busy is not an Excuse!
by: Atty. Menchie C. Obmina-Muaña

I started running as a sport at the age of 45 and have been consistently running for two (2) years now. And what I learned is, it’s never too late to start. Others say that they are too busy to exercise. Well, it is not an excuse, I am a very busy person as well.

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I am a practicing lawyer for more than 20 years now. I have my own law office in San Pedro, Laguna. Aside from my law practice, I was appointed for a two (2)-year term by President Benigno Aquino III as Private Sector Representative for the Council for Welfare of Children (CWC), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) on May 25, 2011. I am a community leader and holding top positions in civic organizations. I am the President of the USPS Homeowners Association and the Chairperson in Region IV-A (Calabarzon) of the Social Welfare Development Learning Network (SWD-LNET). I go to bible school in our church at the Christ Commission Fellowship (CCF)-Alabang where I am also serving as a discipleship leader. My husband Raul Muana and I have our own faith-based organization Ahon sa Kalye Ministries.

How do I find time to exercise despite all I have been doing? All it takes is faith in God, family support, time management, self-discipline and constant learning.

Faith in God means that I have to put God as my priority above anything else. I have to do my daily devotion and Bible reading before I run. My training is also an extension of my prayer time. My husband supports me in my new passion, he is my training partner. I need time management because of all the activities I am doing. If I am not able to run in the morning because of Court hearings or CWC Board meetings, I make sure that I will do it in the afternoon. I eat fruits, vegetables, chicken and fish. I also sleep early and wake up early. I seldom watch TV. I read books and magazines on running. I get running tips from winners like Gerald Ambayec, Michael Villamor and Omar Seradilla and I do cross-training at Gold’s Gym in Alabang.

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I have been going on-and-off at the gym since I was 25 years old. I have a stressful job as a lawyer and I have to admit that I am not perfect. There are times I take my time-off from the gym. In February 2011, I organized a fun run for our homeowners association. I was not a runner then, when I took a look at our pictures, I noticed my bulging love handles and belly. Although I have been going to the gym, I still have “flabs”. I stand at 5’7” and I weighed 153 pounds then. During that time, my husband decided visit the doctor for a medical check-up. I thought of having a medical check-up as well. I was shocked to find out that my cholesterol and blood sugar were high. My doctor told me – “you have to exercise!” I responded – “but Doc, I am already exercising!”, He said— “dagdagan mo pa! (you have to add more!)”

One time after my husband and I went to the gym in a mall in Alabang, my husband noticed a registration for the 1st Muntinlupa Fun Run in March 2011. He encouraged me to join the fun run. We both registered for the 3KM. I started to train by just walking and jogging, and after the race, I was injured because I was not wearing the appropriate running shoes. Come April, 2011, we joined a fun run again sponsored by the Rotary International. I ran 5KM, however, I was uncomfortable because my jogging pants kept on sliding. I ended holding my pants the rest of my run. It was a lesson for me to wear proper running gear. The next run I joined was a 10KM race because the registration for 5KM was already closed. I was glad that my brother Paul Obmina who is a marathoner in the US was on vacation during that time. He ran with me. He told me that I can finish the race without walking. And truly enough, I finished the 10KM race without walking!

I became a serious athlete after I joined the 1st Run for Hope Fun Run (10KM) at the Filinvest Corporate City in Alabang sometime in September 2011. When I crossed the finished line, somebody gave me ribbon and told me that I have to wait for the awarding. I was surprised to find out that I will be awarded the 6th Place. As I stood beside the other winners who were younger than me, I told myself – age does not matter in running. After that, I trained harder.

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In 2012, I won six (6) times in fun runs held in our town – San Pedro, Laguna. For this year 2013, I already won five (5) times. I was 2nd Place (10KM) in Takbo Para kay Nino, Southwoods Egocentrum, Binan City; 4th Place, DOTS Fun Run (10KM), Binan, City; 1st Place (San Pedro Residents Division), Sto. Nino 10KM Run, San Pedro, Laguna; 1st Place (44-49 Age Category), 5KM, Sofitel-Runrio Battle of the Sexes, Mall of Asia, Pasay City; and 1st Place, Ladies Division (5.2k) 2nd Turtle Run, Peninsula de Punta Fuego, Nasugbu, Batangas. I joined the San Diego Resolution Run, 15k in San Diego, California in January, 2012. I recently joined the Hollywood Half Marathon in Los Angeles, USA last April 6, 2013. For two years, I have already ran four (4) half marathons, one (1) 25k, two (2) 16ks, one (1) 15k and several 10ks and 5ks.

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Those who had known me since I was a kid cannot imagine why at my age of 47, I have the stamina to run fast and endure longer races. While I played basketball for the San Beda College of Law Women’s Basketball Team in law school, I consider it not that serious. We compete with other schools just for fun and without training.

I am stronger now compared when I was a teenager. I can now lift heavier weights. My cholesterol and sugar are already normal. I am now 125 lbs.

I suffered psoriasis since I was 20 years old. Psoriasis is “a chronic (long-lasting) disease of the immune system which speeds up the growth cycle of skin cells and cause red patches on the skin.” I often apply topical steroids whenever the red patches appear on my skin. When I started running, my psoriasis was controlled. The red patches seldom appear. I now rarely use topical steroids on my skin. I do not need any more expensive UVB phototherapy treatments.

I encourage those who are having second thoughts about exercising to get moving! It’s never too late to start an exercise program and being busy is not an excuse. Finally, I give back the glory to the Lord our God. He is the source of my strength. I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me (Philippians 4:13). To God be the glory! – END

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13 comments on “My Story #4: Atty. Menchie C. Obmina-Muaña

  1. It’s never too late to start an exercise program and being busy is not an excuse-motivating story mam…keep it up!

  2. AMEN. That’s also my favorite verse from the Bible. Very well said that it’s never too late to start where your passion is. For me, I got back to running right after I suffered & recuperating from stroke in 2007 here abroad (I am 40 y/o then). I started to re-join fun runs in the Philippines in 2011 (1-10k, 1-11k & 2-21k all month Aug) and in 2012 (1-21k month June & 1-10k, 1-16k, 2-21k and 1-42.195k all month July). BTW, I am a runner by heart. I did many fun runs between early 80’s & 2-Full Marathons in late 90’s. I’ve got 1 time – 1st place in my high school days & 2 times – 1st place during my college days. I’ve also won several fun runs in some brgy. festivities. From 1990 – 2007, I never run even a single one because for the love of work local & abroad (but it should not be an excuse) and that caused for sure why I suffered stroke. In this year 2013, I planned 1-FM & a dream for 1-Ultra Marathon whenever there’s a slot or a schedule during my vacation stay in P.I.

    I’m in-love indeed in running. It is also TRUE to me that I felt much more stronger (in terms of stamina & strength) and faster than my younger years because I put all my TRUST to GOD above all.

    Thank You God and for the verse Philippians 4:13

  3. Thank you for liking my story. Your kind words serve as encouragement for me to continue my quest for fitness.

    I ran during the 2010 Local Elections in San Pedro, Laguna. I lost. 10 months after I lost in politics, I decided to run … meaning running per se or in real sense and not in politics. I will never regret the day when I decided to run. I may have lost running in politics but I won a lot when I embraced running (I won medals, trophies, friends, good health and a lot more). To God be the glory!

  4. Hi Atty Menchie,
    You seem to have the resolve and the dedication for public service, I wish you luck on your political dreams in the future!

    And here’s to good health!

  5. Menchie…Iam touched by your dedication.I admire your principles in life, your love of God and others.I have similar interest as you are.I also a Marathon runner but I just started a year ago. I Start running because I have a dream that I would like to accomplish ,and this is for a good cause but stil premature to share you.iam continuing training and conditioning, in fact I will be running for Scotia Bank full/half Marathon this june 23, 2013//////
    I live in Vancouver Canada.I love to meet you and your family, and may be join you running sometimes in the near future.

    Have a Godly day,
    Phillipp Salvador

    • Hi Philipp! I would like to thank you for your comment. I will pray for your run for Scotia Bank full/half Marathon. I hope that you will be able to accomplish your dream. More power and God bless!

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