MANILA, Philippines — What is a champion? A champion is not only someone who wins in competitions, but someone who possesses the heart of a champion — resilient, persevering, determined to do his best, never gives up, always defying the odds and emerging victorious.
A champion is someone like boxing legend Manny Pacquiao and weightlifting queen Hidilyn Diaz, who both stand as the epitomes of true champions, showcasing the undaunting Filipino spirit despite many challenges in their lives and careers.
Along with popular pain medicine brand Ibuprofen Paracetamol (Alaxan FR), a brand both athletes endorse, Pacquiao and Diaz are encouraging everyone to continue being a champion without compromising overall well-being.
Through their life stories and actual experiences, both sports icons also share ways by which everyone can attain a winning mindset — and maintain it, too.
Focus on your goal
Attaining any goal requires relentless focus, entailing a mindset that stays committed even when faced with great challenges.
At the young age of 11, Diaz already displayed the potential to become a strong weightlifter, and so she trained hard to become one. Despite encountering setbacks and failures throughout her weightlifting journey, she remained undeterred.
Through long years of training and more than a decade of competing, Diaz is no longer just a dreamer. She is now one of the pillars of Philippine sports, bagging the Philippines' first-ever Olympic gold medal at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
"Okay mangarap, but you really have to work hard, at kailangan may disiplina. Minsan natatalo ka, minsan nananalo ka. As long as hindi ka nag-gi-give up, kayang-kaya mo ‘yan. Laban lang," she advised.[It’s okay to dream, but you really have to work hard and be disciplined. Sometimes you lose, sometimes you win. As long as you don’t give up, you can definitely do it. Just keep fighting.]
Diaz’s life story shows that being a champion takes time and does not come in an instant.
No pain, no gain
As cliché as it may sound, “No pain, no gain” is truly a part of every journey toward greatness. But the game changer is knowing how to bounce back from pain quickly.
In Pacquiao’s case as a boxer, physical pain is a constant from training to actual fights and even after every bout. The force and power of punches that hit different parts of the body can hurt, which is why Pacquiao emphasizes the importance of having a trusted companion to get through the pain.
"Minsan hindi ako makalakad, hindi ako makatayo. Pati daliri ko, masakit, pero ‘yun ‘yung sini-sigurado ko mula noon hanggang ngayon, kasama ko ang Alaxan sa tagumpay — during, after training and every fight. Pagkatapos ng fight, masakit ang katawan ko. Pag-inom ko ng Alaxan, pagtulog at pag-gising ko sa umaga, wala na,” Pacquiao said.[There are times when I can’t walk, I can’t stand. Even my fingers hurt, but one thing I’ve always made sure of from then until now is that Alaxan is with me—during, after training, and every fight. After the fight, my body aches, but when I take Alaxan, by the time I sleep and wake up in the morning, the pain is gone.]
Take care of your health
Apart from strengthening and conditioning, overall well-being is important for an athlete to function properly and become prepared for any competition. With this, Diaz and Pacquiao highlight the importance of being disciplined and cautious in terms of lifestyle habits, including diet regimens and taking medications as necessary.
“Pagdating sa diet, more on fish, chicken at gulay ako. Mula noong bata ako, maingat ako masyado sa mga pagkain,” Pacquiao shared. “'Pag lumalaban ako, lagi ako may dalang Alaxan. More than 20 years ko na itong ginagamit at wala namang adverse effects sa akin.”[When it comes to diet, I prefer fish, chicken, and vegetables. Ever since I was a child, I have been very careful with the food I eat. I always bring Alaxan with me whenever I fight. I’ve been using it for more than 20 years, and I haven’t experienced any adverse effects.]
Alaxan is a synergistic combination of Ibuprofen+Paracetamol that was found to have the highest success rate among OTC pain medicines tested, according to a 2015 scientific review by Cochrane, a world-renowned independent research institution. Scientific reviews also show that Ibuprofen+Paracetamol is not likely to cause serious harmful effects on the body when used at the recommended dose.
Form a support group
According to Diaz, it takes a team to win and succeed.
Athletes such as herself and Pacquiao benefit from the professional support provided by their group of coaches and nutritionists. Similarly for ordinary workers, a support system comprising a superior and colleagues is crucial, especially in the early stages of their career.
Surrounding oneself with people one can rely on is instrumental not only in acquiring essential skills but also in fostering the right mindset and attitude required to excel in life.
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