Perhaps the most awaited event by gym addicts such as me, "The Main Event II: The Grand Body Combat Marathon", organized by Fitness First was held last October 7, 2007 at the NBC Tent at the Fort Bonifacio Global City in Taguig. The event was attended by team and individual representatives from each Fitness First club, donned in their combat attires and poised in their best forms. The teams faced off against each other in displays of synchronization, technique, energy, and team unity and it wouldn't be a surprise how huge the amount of effort, time and dedication that each team poured into this. Our team gave more than 100%, and coupled with the ordinary stresses of our daily work, most of us were down sick the following week.
Eliminations for Fitness First Metro East were held on August 30, 2007 and luckily I was able to make it to the final 12 finalists who will represent the club, considering that I didn't have enough preparation for the event (busy with critical work at school, I had to give up my gym sessions), so I was not exactly that fit. But I thought, I'm glad that I made it to the top 12, this gave me an incentive to keep up with my fitness goals, which I have been failing to achieve, and of course, to get to hang out with my fellow Body Combat addicts, and get first hand training from the instructors! We had more or less a month to prepare…
Training was intensive. And when I say intensive, I really mean INTENSIVE! Imagine 2-3 hours of non-stop Body Combat drills. We were only allowed to drink water every hourly break. We had to practice during the late hours, with the security guard of the club already asking us to leave the studio. We had to practice outside the club (In Ateneo actually), to train ourselves sans the comfortable air conditioning and accommodations of the gym. All part of the training. It's funny how you get used to working out long hours, that a standard 1-hour Body Combat class wouldn't cut it. You find yourself wanting for more pain and sweat!
Everyone poured in their skills and talents, and in one way or another every team member helped out in building our image. Of course, I helped out in creating the brand image for our team. Since our chosen colors were black and yellow, and our costumes were military-inspired, I had to create something to evoke aggressiveness. It should be recognizable, familiar yet unique in its own way. It should also match up with our chosen name, "Zodiac Avatars". It should look good as a tattoo (since we decided that we will all get henna, to my misfortune) and represent the mixed martial art nature of Body Combat. Drawing inspiration from Manny Pacquiao's own Nike logo, and of course the iconic Transformers logo, and of course, my familiarity with Chinese glyphs I came up with this final design:
The team is actually considering merchandising the logo for Fitness First Metro East members. Imagine that in black caps and muscle shirts. We already came out with pins and ID cards, but this was limited only within the team. And here's my Spiky Baby to go with it!
Richard and Liz came up with our tarpaulin design, inspired from a Heroes poster. Looks cool no? But we were laughing our heads off looking at how hilarious our poses and facial expressions were (Look for Judy Anne "nawawalang anak" look, the strict principal, "nakatawa kung galit", mischievous grins, "UP Oblation", Cynthia Luster, "Geisha", etc…). How I would love to add talking balloons…
October 7, 2007… Day of the event. Most of us were already sick (flu) which we think we got from our last late practice, but we still managed to get enough strength for the event. Lunch at PASTO, then headed to Fitness First Fort to warm-up and prepare. The atmosphere there was quite tense. We were already tense and excited, and everyone in the gym being in a competitive mood. It was daunting seeing the other teams in their costumes and make-up, getting ready for the event.. I know ultimately, and I hope, every participant was in this for the fun and joy of doing Body Combat. In no time, the tent was raging hot as the instructors led the group in two and a half-hours of workout (I think that was around 26 tracks, lost count!). The space was cramped, we have to adjust our blocking to the ever shrinking space (The team in front was pushing us back, and the team behind us were complaining already), and accidentally, you're bound to kick someone in front or behind you. It was exhilarating! Seeing the whole crowd punch and kick in unison to the upbeat music (Body Combat 33 is cool!).
Everyone was tired after the event, but miraculously, we still had energy to cheer ourselves on. We bagged the 3rd place in the Team Category and four of our open category participants were finalists! Congratulations to the other teams!
Now that the event is finished, and we (participants and instructors alike) are still recuperating (I actually suffered from a combination of flu, allergy and bronchitis), I can't help but think how much we gained from the event. Not only were we moved closer to our fitness goals, but most importantly, we found friends among each other. I miss the training already. Even if the team is no longer aspiring for an event, we are hoping that we still find time to train (and go out) together.
Go Team Metro East!
For more pictures from the event, please proceed to my Flickr albums: The Main Event II: The Grand Body Combat Marathon.