I am still paying for the Spanish binge.

Yes. You’d imagine that by now, I would have been wiser. But your IQ plunges when you give in to your primal instincts. I got carried away. I have no excuse.

After the 118k hike, I saw it fit to reward myself with all of Spain’s gastronomic delights, confidently thinking that as soon as I returned home, I could slide back to my ascetic life of gastronomic poverty without any difficulty.

But I was dead wrong. My brother came home for Thanksgiving so the Spanish October binge effortlessly flowed into the November Thanksgiving binge and then disastrously continued on to the December holiday binge.

There was a time in my life when I could eat, completely unrestrained. But that ship sailed many, many moons ago. And I know better so I have no excuse for giving in to so many guilty pleasures. So much regret now.

It has not been the best time of my life to train for a race but here I am, once more, wondering what I have gotten myself into and thinking rather belatedly if I am way in over my head.

Story of my life. Abandons reason to take a leap of faith. Gives in to instincts. Gets carried away. Feels some or so much regret. Repents. Ponders over rash decision. Repeats the cycle.

But sometimes, the story changes. Sometimes, there is no regret. Just a feeling of profound satisfaction for having taken the risk and achieving the improbable. But the story always ends the same way.

I do it all over again. The entire cycle. Because to live is to risk pain, heartbreak, failure.

The butterflies moved in at the beginning of the week. And they’ve been flying in wild formation all week. I can hardly eat due to all the anxious energy flowing throughout my body. I need those glycogen reserves desperately. And my gut is behaving badly.

I am miserably running to the bathroom in frequencies less than ideal. But I will stay steadfast and strong. I will not give up. I will endure. I will endeavor to be calm.

I will hold to my heart what my biggest cheerleader always tells me each time I doubt myself, “When have you ever failed to overcome anything in your life?”

These words bring me comfort but don’t allay my fears. But then again, haven’t I always said that something that doesn’t instill any fear is not worth doing, anyway?

Well, this one truly instills a lot of fear in me. But I will hold on to the faith. For it is not what you see. It is what you believe in your heart, can be.

I will endeavor to remember all these words, take all my intentions along with me and together with your prayers, brace for the worst but hope for the best.

I promise that the Spanish binge that flowed into the Thanksgiving binge then to the holiday binge will, under no circumstances, overflow into the Sinulog binge.

The binge stops here. Now.