Three days after competing in the Asian Weightlifting Championships in South Korea, Lovely Inan, together with the rest of the Philippine weightlifting team, went straight to Phnom Penh, Cambodia to compete in the 32nd Southeast Asian Games.

“Pagod po (I’m tired),” this was Inan’s reply to The Manila Times when asked how her body has been after back-to-back competitions.

“Nahihilo pa po ako nung naglaro kasi pagdating po namin dito ng 11, kinabukasan nagpahinga na po ako then after nun laro ko na po agad kaya parang pagod na pagod pa po yung katawan ko.”

“I’m feeling dizzy when I was competing because we arrived here on the 11th. I took a rest the next day and then after that, I competed right away, that’s why my body seemed so tired.”

A few days of break isn’t enough for weightlifters to recover from a competition.

Inan, though, managed to push through as she bagged a silver medal in the women’s 49 kg class with a total lift of 178 kilograms built on her 78kg lift in snatch and 100kg lift in clean and jerk on May 13 at the National Olympic Stadium’s Taekwondo Hall.

The last five days might have been tough on the body for Inan but it paled in comparison to what she had been doing growing up in Angono, Rizal: collect scraps of metals and/or plastics, sell it for a few coins, so she can help her family get by.

That’s why it means a lot for the 18-year-old Inan to finally collect a different type of metal, a silver one, on May 13 when she stepped on the podium of the Southeast Asians’ best lifters of her division.

“Masaya po kasi ‘di naman namin ini expect na silver. Ang ini-expect lang po talaga namin ay bronze lang talaga,” said Inan, an 11th Grader from Angono National High School.

(I’m happy because we weren’t expecting to win a silver. We were expecting a bronze instead.)

“Sobrang special po. Kasi dati po nangangalakal lang ako and ngayon silver medalist na po. Nakakatulong din po siya sa pamilya lalo na po yung mga allowance,” said Inan, who, under RA No. 10699, is entitled to receive P150,000 for her silver medal finish.

(This is special for me because I used to just scavenge but now I’m a silver medalist. Financially, it helps my family too with my allowance.)

Inan, who made her way to the sport of weightlifting out of curiosity, hearing the drop of barbells from her coaches’ house, said she’s inspired to work most especially because of her four-year-old nephew, whom she sort of treats as her son.

“Inspiration ko syempre yung mga naniniwala sakin. Yung mga taong sumusuporta sakin lalo na si coach at lalong-lalo na po yung pamangkin ko na ako po yung nagaalaga sa kanya. Parang ako po yung tumatayong mama niya,” said Inan.

(My inspiration is those who believe in me, the people who support me especially my coach and most especially to my nephew whom I’ve been taking care of. I am practically her mother.)

“Mag po-four years old na siya. Yung mama niya po namatay po four years ago. Tas six months old po siya napunta sakin hanggang ngayon po.”

(He’s turning four years old. Her mother died four years ago. I’ve been taking care of him since he was six months old.) — Niel Victor C. Masoy