Hi, I’m John–and I’m an addict!

Each day, I sniff. I get a high. My nerves grow edgy, my body weakens and I feel low, low, low—if I don’t inhale this drug. It has permeated my system. I can’t get rid of it. My red blood cells have been infiltrated; my mind, brainwashed.

I am an addict. I choose to be. For years and hours and decades now, I’ve hidden it, exposed it, written about it, fantasized. Yes. This addiction I fantasize about. Each day. And, like any craving, it started small. When I was small. It grew. Like addictions do. It enveloped my anatomy. At first, I resisted, No!—but then, like all enslavements, it was too irresistible. The lure pulled me. And, the more I inhaled, the more sweat my body exhaled.

I am an addict. We are all addicts. Maniacs, we are, of something. Cigarettes. Coffee. Cars. Cocaine. Coke. Computers. Chocolates. Chatting. We are submissive to something. We crave. This is part of being human. This is normal. Addiction is normal. Yet, the sad reality is, most addictions are bad. They’re damaging and vicious. They suck us into a dark and deep hole that, unlike the Chilean heroes, we can’t climb out of. Most addictions are these. Drugs. Sex. Food. The habit of visiting Waterfront Hotel’s second floor to sit on a high stool and wave your P10,000 goodbye—that’s a habit. Bad.

I am an addict. But this habit I covet is the same one plenty lust after: like those who visit Waterfront Hotel’s basement floor to sit on a high stool called the stationary bike, pay P10,000 for four months—that’s a habit. Good. I am addicted to anything that moves me. Literally. Pedaling. Cutting through the invisible air to traverse from the banner called START to another signage called FINISH—that’s my addiction. And I’m not alone. Thousands, too, are addicts.

Take this latest fanaticism. Every Sunday at dawn, while thousands used to party on Saturday nights and snore hours later, now everybody’s up and running. This stimulant everybody’s perspiring. It’s an addiction.

This obsession is good. It’s an addiction that should be made an addition: Husband invites wife to dance who invites best friend Carol to badminton who invites daughter Steph to taekwondo who invites classmate Rhea to triathlon who invites dad Mike to swim who invites officemate Paolo to triathlon. That’s addition. That’s addiction.

I am a maniac. And I love it. I feel weak when I can’t perform this obsession. Daily, I do it. Writing this piece? Prior to almost every story I type, before my mind can execute, my body needs to excrete liquid. It’s called sweat. And it’s this exercise of the body that flexes my brain to release “creative juices.” Addiction is a juice. It powers the body. From a lethargic, shoulders-drooping, fatigued state, I’m erect and raring to march—thanks to this fascination to perspire.

I am an addict. If I awaken at 3:20 in the morning and can’t go back to sleep, that’s because I didn’t get enough addiction. From sweating. For here’s what I’ve concluded: A good night’s sleep is achieved when I’m most tired—from heavy dosage of exertion during daytime. Formula for sweet dreams: exercise = better sleep.

I am an addict. I hope you, too, become one. Like breathing unconsciously or bathing each morning or digesting rice every breakfast, noon, and night—habits we perform by instinct—do include another type of good-habit to your daily repertoire. Sweat. Yes. Be addicted. Tell yourself, like I’ve brainwashed myself for decades, this: I am weak when I don’t run. Or bike. Or lift weights. Or dribble the basketball and shoot. Or badminton smash. Or tennis volley. Or grass-walk and par-putt in CCC. Do anything to weaken your body for 40 minutes daily—then you’ll be strengthened. But do it daily. Like an addict. For you’re no addict if you skip sessions and inhale only every Sunday, right? Inhale sports. Let’s all be addicts.

Categorized as Exercise
John Pages

By John Pages

I've been a sports columnist since 1994. First, in The Freeman newspaper under "Tennis Is My Game." Then, starting in 2003, with Sun.Star Cebu under the name "Match Point." Happy reading!

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