Oh, to be much, much younger!
My thought, exactly, as I huffed and puffed all the way down to the beach. Time was when I could easily climb mountains, play badminton and clamber in and out from the windows of those ingenious Puerto Princesa jeepneys. But the years seem to have caught up with my limbs, and I am not quite as limber.
Earlier, I had mixed feelings about going. On the one hand, I didn't quite like the feeling that I had no choice but to go. The activity, after all, was covered by a memo that had a "for compliance" ring to it. On the other hand, the idea of Monday on the beach seemed too inviting. "Beachy" as I am, the beach won over the bureaucratic jargon.
The view from the top was incredible, as I am sure the view from below would be. There's the seemingly endless sea set against blue mountains. But between up and down, there is a steep, rocky incline. With each downward step, I could hear groans around--and eventually from--me. "This was supposed to be the City Fun Day (Fan Day, a streamer proudly proclaimed)", somebody panted, "but I don't see any fun in sliding." "Me, too," another retorted. "But I am sure that those down below are already having a good laugh at us."
After what seemed like a lifetime of picking our way through boulders we finally reached the beach. The sand was powdery, much like that of Boracay except that it's black. The sun was just right. All thoughts of popping painkillers were immediately banished as the day wore on. There were "compliance" activities: building sandcastles, doing the Hawaiian and the requisite karaoke. But the compliance took on a fun turn when sandcastles didn't quite measure up, when the literal heavyweights did the Hawaiian, and when somebody proudly belted "Carless Whespers."
It was a fun day, alright. Ahh, but the climb back up is another straining story.