Saturday, April 7, 2007

The Spirit of Competition

As I was watching the Super Bowl last Sunday – the game, the half-time show, the celebrated high-dollar ads – one thought kept running through my mind:“ Wow, I sure am hungry!”

That’s because I’m a couple of weeks into somebody’s hare-brained idea for a weight-loss contest, and I really haven’t had anything good to eat in… well, a couple of weeks.

Actually, I think it was MY hare-brained idea. For some unknown reason, I thought it would be a good way to help me keep my New Year’s Resolution to lose a few pounds. What was I thinking?

Now that I’ve come to my senses, I realize fully that a weight-loss contest was a dumb, stupid, idiotic idea. No, worse… it was an INSANE idea, obviously dreamed up under the influence of something mind-altering.

Now, however, it’s too late to do anything about it, because now I’m LOCKED into this eight week ordeal… not by a written contract, nor by a verbal agreement… not even by the meager $100 wager than I and seven others have placed into a winner-take-all pot. Now I’m locked into this dumb, stupid, idiotic, insane weight-loss contest by one of nature’s most unyielding forces: Male Macho Stubbornness!

There are eight of us, locked in a fierce battle of wile and willpower, pride and perseverance, strategy and stick-to-itiveness. Sure, there’s a short stack of $100 bills involved, but that’s hardly the point. It’s all about the pride.

So, for eight weeks, ending on Friday, March 16th, we’ll all be suffering through pizza commercials to test our will power. The biggest loser, total pounds lost, gets the loot. Winner takes all.

In case you’d like to participate vicariously in this Preakness of the Plump, here are your choices of horses:

Weighing in at 233.4, Business Manager and partner in this very newspaper, the reigning champ, but Not Necessarily Expected to Win Again: Kirk Luther.

Weighing in at 239.0, an Insurance Executive Extraordinaire who should have been able to calculate his 0% odds of winning: Terry Campbell.

Tipping the scales at 272.8, the statistical favorite for this competition, the Tune-Up King from Bob Andrews Motors: Mike Andrews.

Starting the contest at 261.0, of Agnew Lake Service fame, a two-time top-ten finisher (in an eight man contest): Norman Agnew.

Barely moving the scales at all at 196.0 – and the only sub-200 contestant – the gutsy contender from Carolina Wings: Rob Schoolmeester.

Coming in late at 209.8 (and a one-week, 2-lb handicap), local ad executive with the Mustard 'n Relish Group: Bo McDonald.

Already down a few at 222.6, and trying to win with regular exercise instead of diet – very foolish – is my second generation writer and political consultant: Rod Shealy Jr.

And, of course, the eventual winner of the whole shebang, coming from a slim, trim, well-carried – possibly even svelte – 243.8, yours truly.

I publish the other seven names here in hopes readers will offer them encouragement, especially during the dark weeks ahead when they painfully observe their own daily weigh-ins seemingly stuck in neutral while The Eventual Winner is shedding pounds like an exotic dancer. It’s sure to be discouraging for them, and in the spirit of sportsmanship, I would ask you to offer them words of hope…. just to keep it interesting.

And I’ll be sure to keep you posted on our progress.

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