Michele Gumabao’s 1-2-3 plan in chasing your dreams

Barry Viloria on Sep 15, 2015 10:26 AM
Michele Gumabao’s 1-2-3 plan in chasing your dreams
Words to the wise from Michele Gumabao: “You can make a new dream, you form a new dream, and work hard again.” (Photo by Lui Jimenez)

Nearly three years after her graduation from the UAAP, former DLSU Lady Spiker and back-to-back-to-back champ Michele Gumabao has gone places. Of more note is her taking the showbiz route, as one of the “housemates” on Pinoy Big Brother: All In in April last year. She is a sought-after host in many events, does celebrity guesting once in a while, and manages her own restaurants—all while still playing for the semipros.

Seems accomplished? Not really, she says. She told us this in her talk at Chalk Magazine’s Campus Tour leg in San Sebastian College held last week right on campus, where she was one of the guest speakers. There before the Baste crowd, the ever-eloquent Michele discussed “Chasing Your Dreams,” dropping stirring stories drawn from her life as a former student-athlete.

“What do I know? I haven’t even chased all my dreams in life,” she confessed.

Nevertheless, for her talk in the annual event of the campus magazine, Michele took what she learned from her experiences and came up with an inspiring three-step plan that students can follow through as they tread through college and beyond. Here’s what we picked up!

1. Wake up.

Start by taking action and taking the risk, Michele began. When she chose to play volleyball, it was at first to address her weight issues as “ang taba taba ko noon at gusto kong pumayat, so kinailangan ko ng sports. It worked.”

Then, the epiphany. Volleyball became more for Michele. She fulfilled her goal of making it to the first six and eventually getting her first championship as part of the squad. That was in Season 73.

2. Work hard.

Her then-growing love for the sport then lit the path for Michele to eventually become more serious about playing. She turned thirsty and became more competitive, until she quenched it all with a champion state of mind.

“Di ako nakuntento na maging part ng first six. I worked harder in terms of training and disciplining myself.”

Working hard also meant sacrifice for Michele. She had to give up quality time originally meant to spend with her friends and family.

“There were times na ang daming challenges, na-i-info overload ako. Nakakatamad at masakit ang katawan. You can’t give up on your dream!” she preached.

Although very concentrated on volleyball then, Michele didn’t falter in terms of school. The Marketing Management made it through with two more championships in a row while retaining her Dean’s List status.

3. Work on a new dream.

“What happens when you’ve reached your dream? Start a new one,” summed up Michele. She narrated how after finally getting a spot on the playing squad and accomplishing her first championship, the team RNR-ed for a good two or three weeks. Until Coach Ramil de Jesus got them back on their toes again as another season arrived.

“Sobrang saya, puro party lang. ‘Di kami nagtre-training. Pero sabi ng coach ko dati, ‘Di dapat hanggang dun na lang. Mas mahirap mag-maintain ng championship kaysa magka-championship.’ Those words were what kept me going,” she said.

“You can make a new dream, you form a new dream, and work hard again.”

But on her way to her second playing year on the team, Michele said she had a falling-out with her coach. This led her to momentarily exit the team.

“Napagod na kasi talaga ako. Pero after a while, nasa gym ulit nagmamakaawa ako sa coach na isali ulit ako sa team. Sabi ko, ‘Di ko kaya ang hindi maglaro,’” she narrated.

Michele had to suffer the consequences. For one month, she was left out of training. But she was there doing with the team doing some drills. Once she got accepted bck, she was already super conditioned.

“I had to work hard again, and then that was the year we had our back-to-back championship,” she said. “Your failures are your best teacher in life. When you’re down, there’s no way but up. Matututo ka, so you have to work hard.”

Bonus tip: Know the right dream for you!
You also have to be practical, Michele said, as sometimes there are dreams that are not really meant for you. She went on and narrated how a former teammate, two years her junior, struggled keeping her spot on the squad injury after injury after yet another injury that relegated her to the sidelines for the most part of her collegiate career.

At first, Michele encouraged her to stay. She remembered herself telling the other, “You know what, everybody goes through problems and injuries what matters most is get back up to the game. The hardest challenges are given to the toughest warriors.”

The unidentified teammate underwent an operation only to have another injury the year after. It came back the next year, entailing then another operation. Her teammate then left for the States and could only say ‘Thank you’ to Michele once she found her place there.

“So, sometimes you also have to ask yourself, ‘Is this really the dream for me?’ You have to have the courage to tell yourself, ‘This is not for me,’” she went on. “You have to know where you’re going, and admit to yourself that there maybe something bigger in life.”

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