Ok, I've been saving this one. Don't read it at work, you'll get fired as there are 6 volumes!
Editor's Note: Maybe you can identify with this. Some ESPN.com editors were sitting around watching the two-man luge event during the 2006 Winter Olympics. "Hey, I could do that," one of us said. "Anybody halfway athletic could do that." At that moment, an idea was born: What would happen if a better-than-average-but-not-great athlete, who also happened to be able to write, tried to make the U.S. Olympic team in the Summer Games' equivalent of the two-man luge?
So, we posed the idea to Kathryn Bertine, a former ice skater, professional triathlete and accomplished author. Bertine, who was struggling along on a four-figure annual income from her triathlon competitions, happily agreed to donate the next two years of her life to pursuing a longtime dream, a dream shared by tens of thousands of Americans trapped in the everyday demands of their lives. You know, little obstacles like jobs, kids, lack of talent.
For the next two years, Bertine will chronicle her Olympic quest for E-ticket. While finding a spot on the 2008 U.S. team is the ultimate goal, Bertine will take every opportunity along the way to stop and smell the sweat socks ... and to share the smell, taste, sound and feel of the experience with you. You'll meet coaches, teammates, competitors, good guys, bad guys, people who will make you laugh, make you cry, make you cover your eyes in horror. You'll find out what the day-to-day life of an elite athlete is like, get a feel for the kind of sacrifices necessary, see for yourself what kind of politics is involved.
In the first installment of Bertine's adventures, she begins the search for her sport with a visit to the modern pentathlon training program at the U.S. Olympic Training Center.
So what sport does she finally decide that she can make the team? Cycling! Now before you jump up and down, this girl was an ELITE LEVEL tri girl. So she had a pretty good head start on going from nada to the Olympics. What I think was amazing was how quick she marched up the ranks.... and how well she did. This is some of the best writing out there, and I laughed my ass off.
Here is what she ate prior to Seven Springs... I really need her metabolism. It must be the mountain air!
Over the past 3½ days, I consumed the following foods:
2 large Domino's pizzas (Hawaiian)4 Belgian waffles with syrup3 bowls of oatmeal5 bananas3 oranges1 Sara Lee banana nut muffin4 Trader Joe's Thai peanut noodle bowls2 La Salsa burritos2 giant squares of lasagna1 bowl of the pasta that looks like little seashells and is quite difficult to stab with a fork½ jar of chunky peanut butter27 peanut butter-filled pretzel nubbins1 Caesar salad with Brutus-sized croutons1 giant slice of garlic bread slathered with butter1 buffalo burger1 plate of fries cooked in duck fat4 Clif bars (two maple nut, two blueberry crisp)15 Carb-BOOM energy gels (chocolate cherry, caffeinated)8 packets of Sport Beans (seven fruit punch, one orange)8 salt tablets1 Coca-Cola12 bottles of Cytomax sports drink (apple berry)4 gallons of water