PVL: It’s what’s keeping me sane – Bersola on volleyball

Mark Escarlote on Jun 07, 2019 05:06 PM
PVL: It’s what’s keeping me sane – Bersola on volleyball
Siyempre ‘yung med school di ko naman talaga pwedeng bitawan kasi ‘yun talaga ‘yung no. 1 ko ngayon. Itong volleyball, it’s what’s keeping me sane throughout it all -- Kathy Bersola

Kathy Bersola’s normal day is composed of nine hours of school work, three hours of training, hours of battling traffic to go from med school to BanKo’s practice session with the remaining hours – if any – reserved for some shut-eye.   

Throughout the loads of schoolwork, lectures, reviews, exams and interaction with patients confined at the Philippine General Hospital, Bersola is holding on to the only thing that’s keeping her sane: volleyball.

One could just imagine how hard it is to juggle med school with training and playing club volleyball. While others see it as a self-flagellation of some sort, Bersola finds it as a stress-reliever.        

[Related story: Doktora ng Masa: Bersola's dream]

“Siyempre ‘yung med school di ko naman talaga pwedeng bitawan kasi ‘yun talaga ‘yung no. 1 ko ngayon. Itong volleyball, it’s what’s keeping me sane throughout it all,” said the middle blocker.

“Even though minsan tingin natin na ito ang nagdadagdag ng stress sa akin, hindi, ito ‘yung nagri-relieve talaga ng stress sa akin tapos it gives me something to do,” added the University of the Philippines - Diliman product.

The UAAP Season 76 Best Blocker and BanKo’s reliable woman at the net is currently on her second year in the UP College of Medicine where she is trying to specialize ini sports medicine (orthopedic).

Bersola is no stranger to the hectic schedule of studying and playing varsity volleyball.

“Nasanay na talaga ako na since college na ganito ang schedule ko, ganito like after school may pupuntahan ako kasi magti-training ako. Pero may period naman na wala kaming training na nasa med school ako, as in, sobrang lost ko na parang ‘Anong gagawin ko after school ayaw ko pa namang mag-aral’ so hinahanap talaga,” she said.

Bersola reveals it was hard for her last year to just watch from the sidelines while her teammates played in the Premier Volleyball League.

“’Di ba di ako naglaro last year sa Reinforced Conference? Hinanap talaga [ng katawan ko], injured kasi ako nu’n, sobrang inggit na inggit ako sa teammates ko. Like every after class di ko alam gagawin ko. Sana nandoon ako pero unfair naman na I should really put more effort sa med school so dinodoble ko talaga pag nag-aaral. Trabaho lang talaga,” said Bersola.


Giving 200 percent

Given that Bersola’s doing a great job surviving her day-to-day work with both her studies and club volleyball career, what the Perlas Spiker is most proud of is that she’s not compromising any of the two.

She excels in both.  

“Wala ano sipag lang talaga tapos dedication lang both things. Neither kasi can’t suffer. Like you can’t give 50-50 lang, kailangan 100-100 talaga so 200 percent akong nagwo-work ngayon,” said Bersola, who is averaging almost 10 points per game in the PVL Season 3 Reinforced Conference.

It just takes balance of things and putting priorities first Bersola shares.

“Wala sacrifice lang talaga ng mga puwede mong isantabi na bagay. ‘Yung mga ‘di muna importante for now, next time na lang. Ngayon school and volleyball talaga purely, like nothing else,” she said.


Everyday grind

Bersola’s daily routine is no joke.

“I wake up at 6:30 or 7:00 [a.m.] depende kung nakaaral ako the night before after training. Kasi ang class ay 8-5, training is 5-8, so like madalas naman earlier than 5:00 [p.m.] konti nadi-dismiss so takbo agad, drive agad ako papuntang training,” said Bersola.

The medical student lives in a condo near UPCM so there’s no problem getting to school.

Going to team practice at Ronac Gym in San Juan City is another story.

Bersola will need to brave the heavy Manila rush hour traffic just to get to practice.

“Alam naman nila na mali-late ako kasi maabutan ko magi-start na sila ng drills usually,” she said. “So warm-up lang ako ng mabilis tapos join na ako sa kanila. Ang nami-miss ko lang talaga na madalas ay warm-up.”

After training, she’ll drive back to her crib, but not to immediately rest.  

“Tapos 8:00 p.m., dinner, tapos uwi sa condo tapos kung kaya ko pa depende kung may exam o graded thing tomorrow or mayroon akong tinulugan na lecture during that day, aaralin [ko pa] that night,” said Bersola.

“Kung di na kaya maga-alarm ako ng 5:00 a.m. para makaaral before the class starts,” she added. “Depende talaga pero kung kaya naman isinasagad ko na ang 1 or 12 depende kung ano talaga ang kailangan kong aralin that day.”

Then her morning grind begins.

“Second year ang hardest part, halos every week kaming may exams. Tuluy-tuloy talaga as in wala kang time na i-digest ang itinuturo sa’yo,” she said. “Kapag ni-lecture siya kailangan intindihin mo na. Marami talaga, ‘yung volume lang talaga ang kailangan mong matutunan.”

But despite this kind of schedule, Bersola never complained.

The med student goes to her class motivated to learn. The volleyball player marches into every match ready for battle.  

Bersola knows she’s doing the two things that she loves doing.

So what’s there to complain about?



Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles

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