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.

What Two Pairs of Running Shoes Taught Me

BY EUDEN VALDEZ

I hope this won’t bore you but I’m going to talk about shoes—and a lot about myself through shoes.

I come from a middle-class family who always have just about enough, if not less. Growing up as a student, I remember the only time I would be bought a new pair of shoes was before the school began. I had other pairs apart from the leather ones but these weren’t many.

Today, in a span of two weeks, I bought myself two pairs of running shoes, costing about P10,000, for my upcoming, first marathon in February. I don’t mean to brag because in reality—well my share of reality—that amount is already a luxury. It wasn’t intended rather the result of careless choices.

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Two Destinations, One Changed Person

BY EUDEN VALDEZ

“Sometimes you need to fill the heart only to be hollowed out.” 

– seen in a Korean TV show

EIGHT years ago, I penned a story about an innocent, young love that hurt. Today, I am writing yet another love story, not so innocent anymore, but still hurt. And as fate would have it, these two tales become one despite being worlds apart.

Was I being played by chances? Or was I being fooled by my stakes? I couldn’t find answers only confusion. Until I found myself battling my inner demons.

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Did I Grow Too Old for UP Fair?

TEXT AND PHOTOS BY EUDEN VALDEZ

​OR did it change tremendously?

I had been going to UP Fair since my college days with my best girl friends. After graduating from PUP, another state university, I adapted UP Fair as my annual Valentine’s Day celebration as a single woman. At some instances, I’d even go on February 14 itself, but always, with the company of women.

This year, I was more than excited for Roots, the closing music festival last February 17. I was determined not to miss it because the line-up was just awesome.

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2018, No More Planning

BY EUDEN VALDEZ

DID you know that when 2017 began, I had my life so planned out?

I told myself I would finish three short stories and start a business venture. I was well set on these goals that by the end of 2016, I had a meticulous list of task to accomplish, timelines to meet, and steps to follow.

But 2017 took a whole new turn and a life of its own. What was planned never actually happened. What happened was my passion for volunteerism got nurtured, and my love for traveling took greater heights —quite literally.

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