Saturday, August 16, 2014

Fair Play: Being fit helps

(This is my Fair Play column for Sun.Star Cebu's Aug. 16 edition)
BACK in college, one of our boardmates got confined at the Cebu Doctors’ Hospital for a few days. I’ve forgotten what for, but what I can’t forget is that we visited him regularly for two reasons.

First, it was the NBA finals and for cable TV-deprived college students like us, his confinement was god-sent as it allowed us to catch the Michael Jordan-era Chicago Bulls beat the Utah Jazz. And the second reason, of course, as engineering students in male-dominated classrooms, his stint at the hospital was just what the doctor ordered for eyes deprived of lovely sights.

In the past couple of weeks, I’ve been a regular again at the Cebu Doctors’ Hospital and I noticed one thing that may have escaped my college-level eyes.

Everyone in the staff, like Francis the Kaholero and the friendly ER personnel, looks fit. Not FHMesque fit, but fit FIT!

When it comes to professions, we have our biases. Just check out the poorly written comedy films or gag shows. Cops—and my apologies to all hard-working policemen out there—are fat and slow, journalists smoke like a chimney in no-smoking sections and look a decade older than actual, and politicians are fat blokes who need an aide for every meal.

During one slow day in the hospital, I actually waited if I’d see a staff—nurse, doctor, or utility—who didn’t look fit and I found none. Though I saw a nurse who was a bit heavy, but for her height and built, she still looked fit.

Perhaps, it’s all about the walking these guys have to go through during a single shift. And I think, if someone does a study on how long they have to walk in a single day, you’d be amazed. Or perhaps, because they see their boss regularly, that svelte Doc Yong who seems to lack an ounce of fat in his marathon-machine body and are inspired to maintain a fit figure. Or perhaps, even, it’s because some spend the break playing basketball or preparing for sportsfests as the numerous notices for match schedule I saw suggest?

Whatever the reason is, it seems to be working.

But there was one thing that really stuck out. I didn’t really notice it at first because of its absence and I only noticed it when someone broke the norm. I took regular smoking breaks outside the hospital and it was always with other visitors or stambays. On the final day, when I saw a couple of staff in uniform also taking a smoking break, I realized that it was the first time in a couple of weeks that I saw someone in uniform light up.

If that doesn’t amaze you, just check out other offices and see the number that congregate in designated areas.

The IT Park, or even City Hall, where there are those assigned to specifically catch those who light up, are prime examples. You could say that what I observed doesn’t really reflect the real status of the hospital, but considering that I took my breaks in the usual time—after meals, late at night, early morning—perhaps I could be right.

Being fit helps a lot. It gets you through a whole working day where you have to do a lot of walking and standing.  Joining the fun runs, of your company or group of your choice, helps a lot, too. The discipline it takes to even join one 21K will pay off big time.

Be fit. That’s something that is always on our mind but we never really get to do.

I hope we all get to do it before we find ourselves in a hospital room, admiring how fit the nurses are.

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