Being FIT and STRONG..

What does this really mean?
For most of us, it means being physically fit.

*image from the web

Lifting the heaviest weight one can have, running the longest mile with the fastest P.R. or even carrying your groceries without the help of your yaya or hubby or whoever.

Today, is one of my little girl’s birthday.
This day had me contemplating on the other meaning of STRENGTH.

Yza Mae, is a sweet kid who is kind hearted, dreams big and loves life.

I remember when I was in the hospital eleven years ago, the doctor was wondering why it was taking long for her delivery — and eventually found out that she was in distress due to an abnormal dual cord coiling on her neck — after grueling hours of operation, she survived.

Her doctor had announced that she is a lucky kid, with a lucky birth date – 9.9.00.

As she grew and developed into a fine young girl, we felt proud having her around as she did very well in school without much of our assistance.
She also was active in outdoor sports and was quite popular, together with her big sister, in their street games.
Her big sister is the physically stronger one while she is more of the strategic thinker and doer.

As a mom, I made it a point to expose the kids in physical activities and outdoor sports like running, mountain climbing and even trail biking.

I was proud to have accompanied an 8yoYza to the Bonifacio Global Trails biking all the way from our house in Makati.– 5kms away, and back, in a single-speed BMX bike.

Another instance that had me amazed was when we joined the 5Km Men’s Health Urbanathlon – she was the youngest person to join the race at 10 years old, while her other sisters ran with her to support and take pictures.

During those times, she was battling with another kind of race. The race for her eyesight.

She was under medication for Optic Neuritis — and had countless tests (MRIs, vision exams, etc) and had all three specialist; Neuro Pedia, Optha Neuro and Optha Pedia monitoring her vision.
After much prayers, monitoring and willpower, she was miraculously healed.

After a year, another battle was in order.
She noticed that her heart rate wasn’t beating normal.
It was so fast that it made her feel weak even just climbing up the stairs.
It was alarming for her since she was so used to being active — and now, simple movements make her feel tired.
We had her checked for thyroidism and results showed that it was all normal.
Eventually, we had her visit at Pedia Cardiologist — and after having various of blood tests and 2D Echo, she was diagnosed to have Mitral Valve Prolapse.

We researched on the topic and had found out that she would expect her hormones to act up a bit.
If she was used to not craving for sweets, there would be cravings.
If she was used to being competitive in her outdoor activities with friends, there would be changes.
If she was used to being poised and cool, there would be mood swings.

Everytime the symptoms come up, I just remind this 10yo girl that it will pass.. and that she needs to be STRONG – and even if the battle is hard for her, with constant prayers, support from family and a positive mental attitude, she always wins.

She still joins their P.E. class, she still runs, she still swims — when she feels her heart beat’s racing like a sprinter, she stops for a while, recover, and does it all again.

She may recover from Mitral Valve Prolapse like how she did with the Optic Neuritis, or she might just have to live with it (I pray for another miracle of course) — but, as with all of my other kids, in her own special way, she inspires me.

Getting to know her and being tasked to help her grow as a person is such an honor — I cannot help but be excited of what the future brings for her.. through her, I realize that being fit and strong is not just about physical strength, but also mental, emotional and spiritual strength.

Thank you Yza for coming into our lives.