This Pandemic Year, I Lived Like a Wheel Turning until I Took Control of the Wheels – Literally!

BY EUDEN VALDEZ

The earlier part of the 2020 feels like a distant and disconnected memory. In February, I ran my first marathon, the grueling 42 kilometers. I was planning on running more long, even longer distances, on both road and trails.

But as we all know it, a new and unknown coronavirus spread like wildfire causing a pandemic and locking us down in isolation inside our homes.

This sudden, unprecedented change made us reeling, made us feel unstable, made us desperate, made us into everything we had never experienced before.

I, for one, lived for a time like a wheel constantly turning. One moment I’m up, and in the next unexpected turn, I’m down. It was a cycle that was becoming exhausting and helpless.

That was until I took control of the wheels—literally!

With long-distance running out of the question, I turned to biking and covered distances farther than what was expected. Even biking came earlier than expected, as I was planning on learning this in 2021.

I couldn’t be more thankful for pursuing biking because it restored my balance and peace within, which was becoming chaotic. It made me realize that I was still capable of something good, especially for myself.

And just like what hiking, biking also allowed me to stay fit with an outdoor and physical activity, opened up new opportunities in my life, as well as made me go to and see new places (for free!), and most importantly, rekindled a sense of kinship and community with others.

In a pandemic-ridden world and quarantined life, these achievements could mean everything. These could mean finding yourself again, and retaking the life you previously knew.

So 2020, I’m leaving you for good, and cruising through 2021 with my (two) wheels.

Riding places and going far. At the Our Lady of Assumption Church in Bulakan, Bulacan.
With my brother who taught me how to ride the mountain bike. At the Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage Church in Antipolo, Rizal, after having our bikes blessed.
A quick photo op with my fellow bikers at RAK during one of our activity. We biked around town and handed out food to street people .
This time, a more relaxed ride. With coffee break as water break.
And finally, my best ally, Vivian. Or VV for short.