"You miss 100 percent of the shots you don't take" - Wayne Gretzky

Drawing inspiration from a hockey player for a food challenge probably wasn't a good idea but what the heck; I had already promised my fan base readers that I would do it. On Saturday, I was at the point of no return and ready to take on the challenge.

The day started out great - I had a couple sips of water and got an workout in beforehand. I figured preparation was key to winning as much as execution. I even YouTubed someone else that had done the challenge before; he had managed to do it in six minutes (!). Surely I could do it in 45 minutes right?

Padrino's Spaghetti Challenge
He looks so full of hope

The bowl pictured above contained 2lbs of spaghetti - 1lb of meatballs - 1lb of marinara - and 4 garlic rolls. When I received it, I honestly wasn't very intimidated. I was there with my girlfriend and another couple and they agreed that I wasn't out of my league. When other tables noticed I was doing the challenge I got some cheers/laughter. Unfortunately for them, I was about to ruin their dinner by gorging an obscene amount of pasta.

The waitress started the timer and it was off to the races. My friend Tiffany had mentioned that the faster I ate, the more likely I could consume more food before the pain set in. Like a knockoff Kobeyashi, I ditched any conventional eating methods/etiquette which in turn may have made people around me uncomfortable. While the family next to me was trying to have a nice pleasant pre-fathers day dinner; I was basically breathing and shoveling noodles into my mouth at a alarming rate. Every now and then they would peer over and watch me. I can only imagine what was going through their minds as they made eye contact with this weird Asian guy covered in the meat sweats breathing heavily like he had just sprinted a mile. I halfway expected them to cover their toddlers eyes at the gluttony.

A couple minutes in and I felt good - I was making good time and my stomach seem to be on board. However, doubt started to creep in as each big fork-full bite did not seem to yield any kind of visible progress. It felt like shoveling water out of the ocean, it just did not look any better than when I started.

Padrino's Spaghetti Challenge
Early stages of doubt

A couple more minutes in, I started to hit the wall. The pain was creeping in and I knew it would get worse as the spaghetti expanded in my food bank. What was worse, the food wasn't enjoyable anymore. It's a crazy experience to go from liking how something tastes to straight hating it in a matter of minutes.
Padrino's Spaghetti Challenge
Staring into eternity
Notice how my hair is a little damp on the corner my forehead. I was putting in work. At that point I knew I couldn't win. The pain was bad however what really kept me from trucking forward was the fact that each mouthful I put in - I was worried it may come back out. I looked over at the family next to me, I couldn't put them through that. I had already made their pre-father's day uncomfortable and by throwing up it would have straight ruined it. I couldn't risk their toddler growing up hating spaghetti and/or Asian people. I decided to put up the white flag.
Padrino's Spaghetti Challenge
Re-thinking life decisions

In the end, I felt like I was pretty close and with some training I could have done it. Yea my dad laughed at me for paying $30 for a dish that took about $3 to make; yea I probably gained 5lbs within 45 minutes but hey it was fun. Food won this time but like a Cavs team down 3-1 in the finals, I'm not gonna give up.

A big thanks to Kylie, Tiffany and Brandon for supporting me and pushing me to the limit!

Next up: shifting gears and going to eat and write about a weird food: balut. A user on Reddit suggested it and since I'm Filipino I thought it would be a great transition into my unusual food portion of my blog. I won't say much but I will leave you with a picture of it for a preview:

Padrino's Spaghetti Challenge