Saturday, December 30, 2017

Dumping Pat for Tom: Quitting Smoking to Compete in IRONMAN

Picture yourself having TWO Best Friends; An Old Best Friend and A New Best Friend. The old best friend has been with you for over a decade. Let's call this friend, "Pat." The new best friend has only been around for a few months, and you are still getting to know each other. Let's call this friend, "Tom."

Pat has always, always been there for you. There have been times when you have parted ways, but there has never been any animosity. And as soon as you reconnected over the years, that best friend was right there with you. That best friend has been reliable, relaxing, a good listener, and remarkably consistent.

Tom was someone you always wanted to meet, but you were intimidated because Tom is kind of a big deal. Tom does not brag too much, but Tom is internationally famous. Pat is also internationally famous. The weird thing about these two best friends is that they have millions of other best friends, too. And yet, there is something about your relationship with both Pat and Tom that makes you feel special.

Now, final thing I'd like you to picture. What if TOMORROW you had to say goodbye, forever, to the old-over-a-decade-long Best Friend, Pat? And what if you have not even told Pat, yet? What if you were planning on "Dumping Pat" without warning? All of Pat's friends are gonna wonder what happened to you. Pat has tons of local friends who you have to see quite often, too. Pat has friends at the gas station. Pat is even best friends with several of your other friends.

Meanwhile, there's Tom. You do not know Tom very well at all. You don't even get to meet Tom in person for another four months! But, you think that Tom will be a better Best Friend than Pat. You have wanted to be Tom's best friend for about a decade, as well. Almost for as long as you have known Pat. But, here's the kicker.

You have to dump Pat in order to be Best Friends with Tom. Because 
"Pat" is Smoking. 
"Tom" is IRONMAN.

The reason I use the example of "best friends" to describe smoking cigarettes and competing in an IRONMAN race is because they are two activities which take a lot of my time, resources, and thought. 

Right now, Pat's a total Bitch. It is subzero temperatures in Minnesota, and yet, here I am, hanging out with Pat outside in the cold. Because I tell You everything, I am going to tell you something about Pat.

I am sick of Pat. Pat stinks. Pat harms my health. Pat is such a smelly, dangerous best friend that I have to hide Pat from everyone! (Except for other people who are friends with Pat, of course. Pat is really good at hanging out with all of us together. Especially at parties.) Seems like we all just kind of "put up with" Pat's antics but that's called enabling and I've heard that it's not a good thing. 

Even though Pat is like, seriously the Bestest BFF I have ever had, I just do not want to hang out with Pat anymore. 

And so, on to my New Best Friend, Tom, mysteriously famous and elusive, for sure. I am really depending on my getting to know Tom more (aka continuing to train my ass off), so that when we do finally meet next year in California, I'll be glad that I dumped Pat in order to be New Best Friends with Tom.

Here's to Dumping Pat, Befriending Tom, and a Happy New Year of Health.

Goodbye, Dear Pat.

Susan M. Andersen
aka Susan B. Agony
Saturday, December 30, 2017

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