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At 48, Geneva Cruz feels younger and stronger than before

MANILA, Philippines, May 7 ------ Singer-actress Geneva Cruz may be 48 now, but she amazingly feels stronger than when she did in her 20s and 30s. “I believe that it’s never too late to improve one’s health and strength,” admitted Geneva. “When it comes to fitness, there are no shortcuts; you only get out what you put in.” 


For somebody who used to dislike running, it is surprising that Geneva is now setting her sights on joining the 2024 Clark Triathlon Classic this coming June, a first for her. Joining a triathlon was never in Geneva’s bucket list. “I had never experienced the ‘runner’s high’ many runners talk about,” Geneva said. “However, that pushed me to want to know what it feels like, so I started participating in more fun runs including 5k, 10k and 21k races, as well as a duathlon (run-bike-run) and cycling races. “I continued to join more races until I finally felt the runner’s high, which only happened recently. Last year alone, I completed 14 races and last April was my 17th race.” Geneva is excited to see how far she can push herself and what she can achieve through the experience. She likes to challenge herself because it helps her grow. She is preparing for the June triathlon and even learns how to swim. “For me, the race is not only about winning, but also about the journey of training and the challenges that come with it,” Geneva admitted. “I believe overcoming the challenges will make me physically and mentally stronger and help me become a better version of myself.” “But I never do those challenges without preparation, so I always incorporate cardio and endurance training, strength and conditioning under coach Kelvin Labrador of Fit Twenty-One Gym. I also do some mobility and flexibility (yoga and dance) on my own at home.”


Two years ago, it will be remembered that Geneva constantly wanted to challenge herself. During the pandemic, she signed up as a reservist of the Philippine Air Force (PAF), recruited by her Smokey Mountain friend, 2nd lieutenant Tony Lambino, in 2022. “We went to the mountains where we had our PAFR (Philippine Air Force Reserve Command) FTX (Field Training Exercises) for four days,” Geneva shared. “That’s what excites me because I’m learning a lot with my training in the Philippine Air Force (PAF). “I joined the reservist because I want to help without entering politics. We go on medical missions, join the manpower and assist in many places around the Philippines and encourage more Filipinos.” When she became an army reservist, Geneva struggled with her scoliosis because they all had to carry a heavy backpack and the M16 while doing their basic citizen military training, “I knew I had to learn how to manage my thoracic scoliosis better and that came with physical therapy treatment combined with chiropractic therapy, strength and conditioning, and now, swimming. “Being in the military reserve grew me a stronger backbone and I am willing to use it to assist others and my loved ones in times of need.”


As an Aries-Dragon, Geneva remains very agile and active more than three decades after she joined the entertainment industry as a female soloist of Smokey Mountain quartet, with Lambino, Jeffrey Hidalgo and James Coronel. “It’s not just dancing with me now,” Geneva said. “I ran. I do marathons. At 48, I have become this strong woman. Strong not just on the inside, but even on the outside.” Participating in a triathlon is a personal challenge for Geneva. It didn’t just start out with a dare. Nor did anyone challenge her in any way. She didn’t just wake up one day and say, “I want to join a triathlon!” “It just seems more fun than just running in itself because you get to do more than just running,” Geneva maintained. “I also want to prove to myself that with proper training, people in their 40s and 50s can achieve the same physical feat as younger individuals.”


Losing her mom to COVID-19 in 2021 prodded Geneva to step up her fitness game. “My sisters started training with me and our cousin Glenda (Cruz Bayona) at the gym, joining us at fun runs only this year, which has been very exciting,” Geneva shared. “I stay in training mode and have more fun with my friends and family.” Her male, pro-athlete friends inspired her and also her cousin Glenda. Inevitably they became Geneva’s inspirational pegs in fitness. Her cousin, Glenda, likewise enlisted for the triathlon. “Glenda encouraged me to get into weightlifting and running and she also became my gym buddy,” Geneva offered. “She introduced me to Fit Twenty-One Gym two years ago and they showed me that it could be done. Since then, I never looked back at my old self.” That made Geneva say to herself, “Yeah! I want to be like them! I want to be lean and mean! I want to be a winner!” Geneva acknowledges her weakness — swimming — and knows she needs to work harder at it. “I have mighty long fingers and feet (laughs). Kidding aside, all thanks to my fantastic coach, Al Gonzales, who was introduced to me by my triathlete BFF Jeffrey Hidalgo.” With just a month away, Geneva observes a proper diet (clean eating and no junk foods or sweets), swim classes, fun runs, cycling, weights, yoga, pilates, even dance, and of course, recovery in between. “After realizing that the fire inside me needed to be balanced by more graceful activities, I decided to stop taking taekwondo lessons and chose to learn how to swim, instead,” Geneva said. “Joining an event like this triathlon, I know I will gain strength both mentally and physically and even become a better swimmer. I will be able to use it to finally join the Philippine Air Force Search And Rescue Auxiliary Training (SARAT), so I can serve my country better,” Geneva asserted.




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