Pushing Myself to the Limits - My Axe Apollo Philippines National Challenge Experience!

If there's one thing that kept on popping out in my head this year, it's "Be careful what you wish for and say out loud. Think of many firsts and unimaginable things." Haha. At the start of this year, I told myself to take on more physical and healthier adventures, right? Because I want to find a way to keep myself fit while traveling at the same time (and because I hate jogging). Then major opportunities for Mt. Pulag, Sagada and Organic Agriculture trips came along. The latest - was a test to check out if I can make it, in my current fitness condition and lifestyle, to do space camp training with NASA in the US! hahaha. Out of more than 350 nationwide Pinoy participants, I was one of the few (around 20) females there and I did the same obstacles as men. I ended up surprising myself during this AXN Axe Apollo Philippines National Challenge hehehe. Here's my story.

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I was at the Fort by 4 a.m. and they finally let me in at around 6:30 a.m. Before that, I was already contemplating while in line to go home. Haha. There were also 2 medical requirements - go to the medic who will take your blood pressure then interview you and a Red Cross doctor who will evaluate your health and history. I told myself maybe they wouldn't let me in and I wouldn't have to go through it. The doc asked me, "Do you have a sport?" I said, "No." He said, "Do you do regular exercise?" I said, "Nope." I think he passed me a "Good luck" look wahahaha. Others were denied by the way due to high blood pressure, other health reasons or injuries.

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Thankfully, I met Lovern on the line. We both didn't know what's going to happen and what we're about to do. We were just two curious gals who passed Axe Apollo Philippines' 1st online search, the 2nd IQ challenge and were up to this 3rd national challenge - ehem, 2 of the top among the girls who finished the course wahaha. We were told to bring exercise shorts, rubber shoes, water and an extra shirt. The email only had a note as a warning: "There's going to be mud."

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Even as we entered, we couldn't see the course. Thank goodness it's not a fun run hahahaha. We had to wait a few more hours and scare ourselves more.

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The first batch was toured, warmed up and went in pairs while the second (my batch) and third batch just waited very very long (several hours) for our turn. 

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I must tell you it was a very great mind-conditioning experience. I had to focus on this challenge alone and forget about everything else. I was present to every little thing and actually cherished that moment of complete undivided attention. I had to make sure that I don't hurt myself and to get past all those hurdles. I turned into a very serious Number 172. Haha. Getting through the 9 obstacles alone and finishing the tasks is already something that I never imagined was possible. Let me show you why.

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My shameless stretching on the sidewalk while in line, the warm-up exercise by the 360 Fitness Team and the quick batch tour by the race director was really super helpful.

Photo from: Oliric Nabcih

First, I jumped and did a wet "slide".

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I didn't slide all the way so I had to figure out that part haha.

Image from the Axe Philippines page

Second, I was almost winded and dizzied when I got to that rectangle they dug and filled with water. I couldn't crawl with the sticky mud so I had to stand up and run with a net above my head.

Image from the Axe Philippines page

Third, I had to hang on tight and swing my way to the next area.

Image from the Axe Philippines page

Fourth, there were these 4 big barrel-shaped slippery hurdles that were taller than I am.

Image from the Axe Philippines page

I had a very effective strategy verified by the manongs who were helping me out with words of encouragement BTW. Hahaha.

Image from the Axe Philippines page (not me haha, sa side, Sis!)

Fifth, there were these disks (around 10) on top of tires that were spaced so apart (I swear this course was made for men and giants!). I managed do the obstacle (all disks) without falling so I didn't get any penalty.

Image from the Axe Philippines page

Sixth, they made us crawl through a dark tunnel (this was made for me hahaha). I had an AXN camera waiting for me at the end.

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Seventh, I had to lift my feet, hold a rope and swing to a far yellow line.

Image from the Axe Philippines page

I think I got a penalty with this because my feet touched the ground. My buwelo was not strong enough and I was already out of breath haha. I took my time and gave the obstacles all I can.

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For the eighth obstacle, we had to go up the bars and slide both our feet to move forward like frog pose. Surprisingly, this was really easy haha. Serious work on the arms too though like the previous obstacle.

Image from the Axe Philippines page

I was thinking the last obstacle was the real problem. It was way above my height and there were 2 of them! These were the only ones left between me and the finish line!

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We were watching participants, men and women, slamming their bodies into the boards to do it again and again. I think it was adrenalin - I was able to go past them in one easy swift time hahahaha. Then I realized that the big hurdle was me telling myself that I couldn't do it and it was all in my head.

Image from the Axe Philippines page

I think I finished all that in around 3 minutes! There are simply no words to describe how happy I was that I allowed myself to do this challenge. And I had only 3 hours of sleep hahaha.

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Lovern, Cesar and I all finished the course! They really made this adventure possible and fun. We were all covered in mud and soaked (but of course I don't have a dirty shot) hahaha.

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I couldn't even feel the scratches on my arm until after hahaha. Good thing I was wearing leggings so my knees were left unscathed. It's all better now ;)

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The only casualty were my 7-year old shoes hahaha. Both left and right finally gave in. 

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We were walking towards the shower area when I saw this. I laughed out aloud and said, "Di lang pala ako ang nasiraan ng sapatos haha." When I got home, our help told us that one of my shoes was missing a sole LOL. 

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I found out about Salomon there by the way and won a shoe bag! hahaha. So now, I'm on the hunt for the Perfect Adventure Shoes =D I think Salomon is being distributed here in the Philippines by The Primer Group of Companies like Flight001 and Victorinox

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I was really content with completing the Axe Apollo track and didn't really think about the next challenge. It was already past 12 p.m. when 50 of the participants with the fastest time were selected to proceed to the final test of strength. Yah, they were all men and they made it in like 1 to 2 minutes hahaha. I'm still awaiting my score, hope they release it soon or ever hehe. Update! Update! #202 out of 238 who finished, at 3:04 seconds! 

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See those red pedestals? They were made to stand there and do exercises with a 15-lb. iron plate each! Hahaha.

Image from the Axe Philippines page

OMG Winner na ako pwede na muna haha. Pwede na rin ata ako sa Survivor hahaha. 2 winners emerged, 31-year old Air Force Pilot Mario Mendoza Jr. and 24-year old Evan Datuin. They will go to Florida for the NASA space training camp. They will be joined by 1 more Pinoy who will win by buying an Axe Philippines participating product and out of the 3, one will be chosen to go to space as the first Filipino astronaut in 2014! 

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Think they will show this on AXN soon ;) Hope they caught me in my good moments hahahaha. I recovered after 2 days hehe. Definitely one of my favorite guiltless experiences this year! =D

2 comments:

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