Four shots of Cuervo , three Gold, one 1800 at the end. Which after slamming back the last one to “win” the race made the Freshman proclaim victory and defeat all in a span on 15 minutes after receiving high fives like he just hit a game-winner from the top of the key, the Freshman’s body was not attuned to just alcohol normally flipping through a weekend night in Karkov with cranberry juice or making a Keystone Light beeramid.
After a night of projectile puke in nearly orifice of the bathroom, the Freshman was slowly learning about peer pressure. The Senior now more mature (HA!), more experienced would turn down such challenges but still reserves the right to make a fool out of himself at any given time because frankly that is what he does. It took a head injury, near divorce, two children, and life rebirth to figure out that it’s ok to go balls to the wall, it cleanses the soul to let out the person behind the corporate job and loving father and loyal husband just don't try to down a bottle of tequila while doing so.
But, there’s a difference between the Freshman and the Senior. One gave in to peer pressure without an end-game, just throwing his body at whatever, whenever. The other thinks before giving into a rum filled dream-like state or taking on a challenge. Now, it’s the Freshman’s turn to laugh at the elder and shake his head at the quest before him. Old, creaky, numb, the Freshman could spirit past the elder statesman backwards and shout insults normally reserved for Sunday morning AWA Wrestling with Mean Gene Okerlund separating The Animal and Baron Von Raschke’s deadly CLAW.
About a month ago there were whispers of a possible Mastodon Weekend revival but with an event open for those who have flocked to the healthier side of degeneracy and started running. The Senior had been watching the Facebook updates of his friends for over a year shaking his no as the pursuit of a college degree has drained nearly all free-time and energy to workout. “Sally ran 3.9 miles in 28.43mins burning 279 calories! As told by Nike WingTracker!”. This time the peer pressure would come from not booze fueled prop bets but summoning my expanding ass to stand up and carve out enough time to attempt to laugh at The Freshman. Granted he weighed 120 in full hockey gear and could run a sub six-minute mile without breaking a sweat while the Senior takes nine minutes for the same distance and nearly collapses into a slushy salt lick.
So it’s on. Even if the gathering does not materialize, the peer pressure of running has tipped over my last empty shot of tequila, as for the past two weeks I have hit the icy roads six different times in my hometown to find what many of my friends have enjoyed. A quiet cadence of putting foot in front of New Balance-filled foot, watching bare snow-lined tree come and fade as another corner is turned until the legs cannot give anymore.
The Senior looks at the Freshman with a glare that says “challenge accepted”. The goal? To run a half-marathon by next year with no stopping after the Senior become the Graduate.
See you on the path.