Sports Fitness and Health

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Today’s Interviewee:

👩🏽 Ms. Catherine Duque

🌏 Born in the Philippines

🏫 Graduated with Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing

👜 Registered Nurse in the Philippines & caregiver in Hong Kong

Ms. Catherine Duque is one of the most sporty, positive and happy Filipinos that I’ve ever met in my whole life. Seeing her posts about fitness, sports and women empowerment motivates me to workout more. I look up to Ms Catherine so much! I hope this article would be of use to you as well 🙂 Miss Catherine worked really hard for every competition and is now qualified to join the 2018 Spartan World Championship which will be held in September at North Lake Tahoe. She is the first ever Filipina that got a rank in the Spartan Race Spring Event in Hong Kong. However, to join the Spartan World Championship, she has to pay for the registration fee to claim the spot and has to deal with Visa, accommodation and plane ticket in order to get there. Miss Catherine will be competing for our Country in this World Championship. It’s a great way to tell the world that us Filipinos deserve a place in Sports too and that Filipinos are not only good at singing but so as in sports. We hope that she’ll get the sponsorship that she deserves!

——————– Interview Starts Here ——————–


Q. I believe that fitness and health are important to you, because from your Instagram, I see that you like running, hiking and doing yoga. What other sports do you enjoy doing on your free time? And how do you incorporate exercise into your life?

A. I enjoyed doing activities in different ways, running is part of my sports that I didn’t expect to be in favour of spending more of my time, hiking is where I started as my leisure activity since I came here in Hong Kong. I like yoga as well as it helps me in running and hiking. Badminton is my preferred sports since I was a kid, I tried baseball and volleyball when I was in high school. I also tried kayaking, rock climbing and bouldering to spend my free time. Sometimes I do hiking and end up to the beach. I’d grab my books and read there, write some poetry or play my guitar to soothe the emotions I felt.


Q. In all those sports, which one is your favourite? And what was your fondest memory of playing this sport?

A. I don’t have a favourite because I love all of them. I like to explore my limits while doing things that I don’t think I can do, like running. I started in hiking, then I tried running which then I became obsessed and still continue to be part of my routine. My routine also includes playing rugby. I was a member to Team Exile HK which is open to everyone.


Q. How did your healthy lifestyle get started? What was the trigger?

A. I think it started when I was in college but I didn’t spend all my time into sports. I was part of the mountaineering club way back in college. When I started to work in Hong Kong, I noticed and knew that trails in Hong Kong are free and much safer than in the Philippines. This provoked me to try to wander in nature trails, and I realized what I wanted to be which made who I am now.


Q. What was the greatest lesson you learned from sports that has helped you in the other areas of life?

A. Sports made a huge impact to me, when comparing from who I was before to who I am now. Mentally, I’ve become so positive. I have these positive mantras in my head, I can meditate when I feel stressed, I share to others what I had learned. physically, I am in good shape, I’m very disciplined when it comes to food— I cut off junk foods and unhealthy ones of course. Spiritually, I always put God and my family to the center of everything. So if you’re thinking of having a healthier lifestyle? Go grab your shoes, get your mat and carry your positive smile, be away from the city so you can see how beautiful life is and I consider sports to be my continued learning.


Q. What is your biggest accomplishment?

A. My biggest accomplishment would be when I was qualified to join the Spartan Race Championship in the U.S and enlisted as one of the Spartan Top Tier Spartan Athletes of the year, which I was entitled as the first Filipina who got into Podium finisher, second placer from Age Category in Spartan race SPRINT Hong Kong April 2018.


Q. What is your personal goal for this sport?

A. I enjoy running in the trail, I haven’t been a competitive racer. Seeing those stunning views is enough, no matter what the outcome is. The smile I carry throughout the race will still be the smile I have when I cross the line. That’s what matter most to me, to finish my own race as long as I catch up the given cut-off time. That is already a thing to be proud of.


Q. Who is your role model? Who do you look up to?

A. I have a lot of role models in the world, but in running, I was inspired by my teammate Adel Albarin, she is one among those elite Filipino runners based in Hong Kong. Sandhi Menchi who is an elite young runner from the Philippines that tried conquering different countries including Hong Kong is also my role model. Western runners like Marie Mcnaughton, Emily saint-pe, Elsa Jean DeDiue, Jeff Campbell, Kevin Scallan, Jeremy Ritcey and Spartan ambassador Maggie Magdalena are the elites that I look up to.


Q. I’m sure there are times during your training that you aren’t achieving the results that you want. What do you do to lift your spirits during such times?

A. You will never know the results if you wouldn’t try- people always had the feedback of no string attached to any of the fitness or sports they haven’t try. They think that they can’t do it. Mind over Body, it will tell. Setting a goal and achieving them is big thing for an athlete, that will lift them up in the first place. But it doesn’t matter if you win or lose, winning is the outcome of unexpected result. Positivity plays a huge role in maintaining your lifestyle in sports and adventure.


Q. What foods or drinks help you gear up and stay energized for the game/event?

A. Honestly, I had asked mentors, co-runner team and read articles about diet or things that supposedly help you out before, during or after your massive workout, training or at race. What I’ve learned is that I rehydrate myself (some runners do comfortable and more energetic using sports drinks). I try to get enough sleep. For food, I eat everything to be honest, I’m not a picky eater but I’ve cut out junk food from my diet since it’s unhealthy. I don’t have an enlisting diet but I do have a discipline to what is good and bad for me.


Q. What would be your advice to our fellow Pinoy and Pinay to begin exercising?

A. You may start in an easy pace, where your heart and breathing can manage what you’re doing, until then you can try to do something more advanced. To make it work, make a plan, think of what do you want to do for workout or what you want to become? Then start planning your goal, it should be smart, measurable (which means time management) attainable and accurate. Make time for exercise even just for 30 minutes, and spent more when you have more time to do it. There are ten hiking groups in Hong Kong that are open to public, you can join them if you’d like. By the way, I was once a leading hiker in a group. You just need to focus on your goal so you can achieve them. I also tried to do kayaking, climbing, bouldering and leisure to yoga, meditation and running. I am a member of an empowering women group called the Women’s Five Tribe which was established from Women’s Five event that comprises a 5-week fitness program plus 5 km running. Everybody is welcome to join, this is a kind of group where we motivate each other, setting some events and we meet up for hiking, yoga or a short road run when we have the time. If I can do it, then so can you! I know that most overseas workers have only one holiday/off day, spend your time wisely to make the most of it. Not only overseas workers but also everyone who haven’t even tried to be in sports. Tardiness doesn’t help you to be what you wanted. Small things you can do to yourself is worth being proud of. If you think you can’t, you are wrong, everyone has our own uniqueness, I always tell everyone that they are awesome. Stand up and have the confident to do things for yourself.


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