I used to get fired up beyond belief when I’d hear “Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting” by Elton John. I’ve always been a huge EJ fan, but at some point I discovered that Bernie Taupin was writing all the lyrics, and to this day, Bernie is the only person in music that I truly want to meet. And why not when a dude is dropping this kind of ink on his tablet:
Ma tell me when the boys get here
It’s seven o’clock and I want to rock
Want to get a belly full of beer
And my old lady she don’t care
My sister looks cute in her braces and boots
A handful of grease in her hair
Somehow Bernie always knew what was going on in my life.* Dad was drunk, mom didn’t care, and I did want a belly full of beer.
I grew up in Wisconsin, which is the Harvard of beer drinking states and my degree was far more potent. Every college town in Wisconsin claims to have the most bars per capita on a certain street or 3 block radius or along a river and after a lot of research, I can honestly say they are all right.
I’m not certain it’s something to brag about, but my drinking people can stand toe to toe with anyone. A negative split comes natural to a beer marathoner. We start slow for a couple, level out for the next 18 or so, then kick for the final 6.2, leaving .8 sitting as a rock in the middle of all the empties.
What does all of this have to do with the Ironman? I guess the fact that I am home on a Friday night, writing instead of testing more beer to make sure it still tastes like beer.
Nine consistent months of training has created better habits and over the last couple months my urge to drink has slowly faded. I’m not saying I won’t drink or don’t want to, but it is getting really easy to pass up. Even after a horrible week at work (when my car would typically steer itself to the local pub) I will come home with intention of doing something productive.
The workout is always waiting and when you’re talking about an Ironman, certain things have to take priority. Two months ago I would have felt a little naked if I didn’t have a 12 pack on reserve. Now there’s not even room for beer with all the rotting vegetables in my fridge.
That said, as a proud graduate of Beer Drinking U, I never say never. Tomorrow is Saturday and I could easily be drunker than a barrel full of monkeys. Maybe that’s why Ironman Wisconsin is the perfect choice.
* It should be noted that these are not necessarily my favorite Taupin lyrics. I mean, they are good, but Bernie can wrench your heart dry, then fill you with nectar of the Gods thirty seconds later.