Manny Pacquiao and Fitness
By: Laurence T. Gayao, MD
When we look into the life of the Filipino icon Manny Pacquiao we wonder how a poor scrawny kid from General Santos could rise up to become an international personality, as one of the elite boxers achieving the honor of having held world champion belts in eight different weight divisions. He was a high school drop out because of extreme poverty after finishing six grade and eventually worked to get high school GED in 2007 and now is a congressman, businessman, product endorser, singer, actor, radio-tv, personality, basketball player couch, military reservist and a lay protestant evangelical preacher.
How was he able to get to the level of being an elite international athlete from a poor undernourished straggling boxer living in the streets of Manila? Four things standout in the life of Manny that obvious contributed to his success. First he had a vision of what he wanted to be and focused on that goal. Secondly he surrounded himself with able people that he could trust to help him attain his vision. Thirdly he was willing to correct or change direction if he failed in order that he could be the best. Fourth his unwavering faith in God and is quick to express his dependence and to attribute his successes to the Almighty.
Taking about Manny’s workout before a fight his methods don’t vary much from other fighters but he is more rigid and intense. He has a strength trainer who directs the details of the training and dietary regimen when he is preparing for a fight. He eats six meals a day with a total of 7,000 calories a day. The guy is only 5’7, 140 lbs you may say that is crazy, but if you look at that battery of exercises he undergoes in training he burns almost all of them, and need a little bit more to maintain his weight. In training Manny eats what ordinary Filipinos eats: rice, soup, meat or fish, cooked tinula or sinigang (cooked in soup with plenty of vegetables) with protein shakes as supplements.
When Manny is not in training his favorite dishes are tinolang manok (chicken soup), nilagang baka (beef soup). Ingredients are mostly vegetables, fish and herbs such lemon grass, lemon grass, ginger, chayote and malunggay. He regularly plays basketball and runs to keep in shape. He has given up on drinking alcoholic beverage, womanizing, gambling, sleeps more regularly and devotes more time with his family.
If you look at the life of Manny you will note that he did not have the privilege up bringing as many of us have, he come from a broken home, raised in poverty and exposed to life of drugs, was a school drop out. He had all the excuses to be a failure yet through all this he has surmounted above others expectations. His life which he lives under the constant scrutiny of the public eyes, has shown the progressive harmonious development of his social, physical, mental and spiritual well being. He very well affirms the fact that it is not important where you’re coming from but were you’re going.
In our quest for physical fitness we could do the same as Manny did, have a clear vision or goal and focus on it, surround our selves with others to help us, be willing to changes course if we fail and dependence on the higher power. We may never be world champions or multimillionaires but we would be able to enjoy our life to the fullest as healthy individuals.
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