The next 9 days will be a test of both physical strength and mental character. I'm not quite sure I'm up to the challenge. I should have spent more time preparing. I should have rested the entire month of May. I should have hopped on the wagon weeks ago. 5 days of sobriety, clean eating and 5 mile runs is simply insufficient preparation for what's to come. Should things go south, I'll have no one to blame but myself . . .
It begins tomorrow night, with an after work drive from D.C. to Philadelphia. I'll be arriving late, grabbing dinner and a frosty beverage or two at last call at the hotel bar, before getting up at 4:30 am the next morning for the flight to Vegas. Nothing like rolling into Paradise, Nevada, already sleep deprived. The count is 0-1 before the bat ever comes off my shoulder.
I'll be at the MGM for 5 days. 5 days of too much sun. 5 days of too much booze. 5 days of too little sleep. 5 days of steaks and burgers, interrupted intermittently by a supply of sashimi, oysters and other raw creatures from the sea. Gambling will prove the least of my concerns . . . the healthiest thing I do . . . My bank roll can be replenished; the damage to my liver, however, could prove permanent. Between us, lately, long weekends in AC -- even solitary nights out on the town -- have proven difficult events from which to recover. I'm not sure I'm ready for a run of this proportion.
And, Wednesday night, when the Vegas bender comes to an end at 10:50 pm, and assuming I can coax the boarding agent to permit my access to the redeye given what will assuredly be an overly-intoxicated state, the real test may only just begin. I'll fly 4 hours . . . have 3 hours of my life stolen from me . . . hopefully pass out for a spell . . . and land back in Philly at 6:30 am . . . presumably still drunk from the evening before. I'll stall at the airport . . . eat . . . caffeinate . . . get sober . . . and then drive up the AC Expressway, arriving at my favorite Jersey shore town mid-morning.
Three additional days of moral, physical and spiritual racketeering will ensue with a few partners in crime from up north. More libations . . . continued sleep depravation . . . more gambling . . . Mets baseball . . . impure thoughts of David Wright . . .
If all goes well, I'll return to the seat from which I currently write ten days from now. Hopefully, no permanent damage will be done. Optimally, a good time will be had. True, I've done this sort of thing before. But I was younger then . . . better physically prepared. At some point, this type of debauchery will have to end. But that time is not now.
See you on the other side . . .