Would you believe that Jaime Hizon used to think he couldn’t do a triathlon?

By Eric Nicole Salta | Photos by Johann Bona | Grooming by Carmel Villongco

 

When did you get into triathlon?

I’ve been doing triathlon for four years. But I’ve always been into fitness. I was a gym buff and I used to play basketball. There was a time I couldn’t play basketball anymore because my knees were hurting. I used to be really big and bulky so I stopped and I looked for something else. I started joining fun runs and then kept on running, usually in UP. And then I saw these triathletes [TriMac team]. I used to see them just training in UP. I got curious so I approached them and asked if I could join. That’s how it started.

Do you follow a strict diet or watch what you eat?

Not really. I eat whatever I want but sometimes I stay away from fatty food.

Triathlon caters to all kinds of bodies. Yyou don’t need to be incredibly lean or ripped to be able to compete and race. How does that influence young people who are intimidated to get into the sport?

Firstly, those who are intimidated think it’s hard at first. I used to think that I couldn’t do triathlon. I didn’t think I could run or swim that long. Everyone has to go and try it. There are shorter distances you can start with; you don’t have to do the longer distances right away. And especially for those who are kind of on the big side, when you start training, you’ll start losing weight. Eventually, you’ll trim down into more or less the body type of a triathlete.

Have you ever felt self-conscious about your physique? Or struggled with body image issues?

Not really, but I used to be bigger. Like those bouncer types. I used to be into bodybuilding so I lift heavy weights. When I started training, I trimmed down a little bit and then once my body adapted to the training, I gained a little bit of weight, lost the weight I wanted and maintained it from there.

Does taking care of yourself equate to vanity?

I don’t really think it’s vanity. When you reach a certain age, you want to be healthy. That’s my main purpose in taking care of myself. Everyone wants to live a long life and help you look younger.