A lot can happen in two years. Actor Gerald Anderson adding “certified triathlete” to his resume is a shining example.
The proof lies on Instagram. Save for scenic landscape photos, work-related clips, and this appreciation post of bae Bea Alonzo his feed is all about training—whether above land or under water.
It all began on the set of his now-defunct series Nathaniel. “Parang na-bo-bore ako; gusto ko gawin iba sa buhay,” he admits. With the support of then co-stars Isabelle Daza and Ivan Carapiet, and "out of sheer curiosity” he decided to give triathlons a shot.
His first, the Asian Triathlon Cup in Subic Bay, made a lasting impression. “Sobrang hirap,” he says. “So, di ko naulit. Pero masarap yung feeling na tumawid ako ng finish line. Grabe yung fulfillment. It was something I wanted to share” And as fate would have it, by 2017 Gerald was cast in the daytime series Ikaw Lang Ang Iibigin, where he would play (out of all things!) an aspiring triathlete alongside Kim Chiu, Jake Cuenca, and Coleen Garcia.
Prior to joining triathlons, the actor’s activity of choice was hoops. The transition from one sport to three might seem daunting, even for seasoned athletes. This did not bother him the least. “I think that’s why I fell in love,” he reflects. “Lagi tsina-challenge ako sa sarili ko. In basketball you have opponents. You have opponents naman sa triathlon but it’s really you versus you.”
A typical training session for Gerald consists of a 20 to 40 minute bike, followed by a 30-minute to one hour run, and then a three kilometer swim. The payoff? Medals, trophies, and, of course, that bod.
But those are just sweet cherries on top of the cake. Gerald considers training and competing an integral part of his life. “Now I do one every other weekend. Or kapag meron, sumasali agad ako kahit medyo busy ako sa taping,” he reveals.
Joining triathlons also affected his acting—in a good way, of course! “Mas natulungan din yung career ko. I was more committed because nahawa din ako yung binibigay ko dito sa sport. It helped me build my mental strength and being committed to something,” he insists.
This isn’t to say there were no drawbacks to the #triathletelyf. “It takes a lot of your time," he says. "If you want to do good. you sacrifice going out with your friends. Kahit weekend warrior ka, nakakaadik siya.”
Gerald’s advice for budding triathletes is simple. The first is to have fun. “Mas na-e-enjoy ko yung training more than the race itself. Enjoy and commit because it takes a lot,” he imparts.
The second is to be mindful of your feet. ”Isipin mo sa triathlon, you’re coming up to swim and then you’re biking. Right after the bike you have to run—yung ang pinakamahirap sa tatlo. Pagod na pagod ka na and you have to run fast. You have to be comfortable and swak na swak yung Skechers dun. Tumakbo ako ng isang marathon sa LA. I’ve never run that far sa buong buhay ko. If it wasn’t for the shoe, baka 'di ako makarating. Sobrang sakit but ang laki ng tulong ng shoe.
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Banner Image from Instagram.com/andersongeraldjr