Mid-afternoon, a lad clad in blue cantered along Masterson Drive trailed by another in white. In front of the Church of Gesu, like clockwork, the lads made the sign of the cross without breaking stride. Their faces showed youthful exuberance, perhaps induced by endorphins from the run or buoyed by their natural propensity for fun.
This was the scene witnessed as I went looking for my son Marcel yesterday at Loyola Heights, and surely, it brought a smile to my face. High school kids are into running, too and my son is one of them. Early July, Marcel signed up for the Track and Field Club at the Ateneo de Manila High School. There were many clubs to choose from: Soccer, Basketball, Debate, Photography, Frisbee, even Outdoors, and more. But he picked the running entity.
Part of the activities of the Track and Field Club is the weekly run on Wednesday afternoons. The club members ran from the Tanghalang Onofre Pagsanghan at the high school to the Lee Irwin Theater at the grade school on the other side of the sprawling Ateneo campus, and then back. An Out & Back run thru a road lined with decades-old acacias. Sweet and delicious, just like the colorful and fruitful iced tea awaiting at the school cafeteria.
It is admirable that the school encourages its students to engage in extra-curricular activities. It is part of the Jesuit ideal of Development of Personal Potential. Not just excellence in academics but in the various aspects that are important to life. And certainly, having an exercise active lifestyle, even at a young age, is all for the best.