I used to smoke. In fact, I started quite early – just a few months after I started college. It was, plain and simple, peer pressure at work. I didn’t want to be left out and so I did what I thought was the wisest thing to do at that time – I conformed. Though I wouldn’t really consider myself a heavy smoker back in those days, I took the nasty nicotine habit with me until the time I started building my career.
I remember making one or two attempts in the past to kick the habit and I may have succeeded for maybe a couple of months before I would get lured back in. Until the day I turned 28 and decided it was time for me to chuck the stick and embrace a healthier, fitter lifestyle – so I went cold turkey. Now it has been almost five years since and I am proud to say that I have never snuck a single puff. Neither do I intend to sneak one – EVER.
In fact, I did more than just kick the smoking habit; I also turned my back on alcohol – now only limiting myself to just a glass or two of wine with my fiance, and only when we are celebrating certain occasions.
Shorty after going cold turkey on both nicotine and alcohol, I took up running. When I did my first 5k race, incidentally my first race ever, I realized just how badly I had compromised my lung’s health condition with all those years of unhealthy lifestyle – compounded by poor diet, lack of sleep, and smoking/drinking. Though I finished the 5k course in 30 minutes and a few seconds, I was gasping for breath and in a very bad way by the time I crossed the finish line.
So now, I am an anti-smoking advocate. It is for this reason that I am giving my all-out support to the upcoming race event called KICK THE HABIT, which is now on its second year. Ask the people behind this advocacy and they will tell you this:
Stop smoking and start running.
Kick the Habit fun run was started in November 14, 2010 at the Newport City in Pasay where Department of Health’s Dr. Eric Tayag, celebrities Arnel Ignacio and Bearwin Meily led 1,200 anti- smoking advocates and running enthusiasts in the first-ever anti-smoking campaign thru running.
Because of the success of the first Kick The Habit fun run, bigger groups have pitched-in, realizing the potential of the project as a continuing program and advocacy for future generations.
This time, non- smoking advocates, lead by actor/director Cesar Montano, stage actress/ singer Jamie Rivera, PBA/NBA star player Billy Ray Bates, actor /host Alvin Anson, actress/singer/endorser Roxanne Barcelo, dancer/ singer Young JV, social enterpreneur, Jay Lizarondo, lay missionary, Clarke Nebrao, actor and TV personality Victor Aliwalas, businessman Alven Torres, multiple car racer winner Alvin Ng, model Ariane Esperas, celebrity endorser Lana Roi, songwriter Jojo Toledo and civic club officer Ely Fenger in cooperation with the Pasig and Mandaluyong City government, Philippine Sports Commission, MMDA, Healthway Medical, Chris Sports and GWorld Inc., have joined efforts in putting up the 2nd “Kick the Habit Campaign: Run & Love a Healthy Lifestyle” on February 26, 2012 5:00a.m. at the ULTRA, Pasig City.
Now bigger, the Fun Run with distances of 1K, 3K, 5K and 10K aims to gather 2,000 to 5,000 participants (mostly students who are next in line to carry the campaign) who shall continually embrace “the Healthy and Active Lifestyle.”
Proceeds of the project will go to the Helping Overcome Poverty Thru Education (HOP- E Foundation).
Other activities the Kick the Habit team has lined up are concerts, health seminars, running clinics and various events in Visayas, Mindanao and overseas.
Interested parties can register at any Healthway Medical and Chris Sports clinics within Metro Manila or they can contact GWorld Inc. at 719-0184, 215-0512 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org and Visions in Action Enterprises, Inc.at 740-7074 or email: email@example.com.