Monday, June 9, 2014

Dr. Pepper, Mountain Dew, and a Slew of Yahoo

Ever tried keeping a streak alive?

Hey now, I did not ask if you have ever streaked, a phenomenon us Generation X'ers remember as a person unabashedly sprinting through a public place in his birthday suit. I've never witnessed a streaker; however, I do remember a report of one near Taco John's in Huron, South Dakota.

But I digress. Have you ever kept a streak alive? A streak as in a commitment to a repeated task or a promise to refrain from a bad habit? During Lent leading up to Easter, I know many practice sacrificing to focus on Christ's sacrifice for our sins on the cross.

But I am talking about a streak in practicing a hobby, creating a good habit, or breaking a bad one.

My pastor, Ken Cooper from West E- Free in Wichita, has a streak. One hundred months of water skiing. I asked him about it the other day. His 2014 January experience is a fascinating do-it-on-the-last-day-of-the-month story.

I've had a streak before. A no-pop streak. Fourteen years without it.

All due to a bet with Debbie Goehring. She dared me. We were at a football game during my freshman year of high school. She said I could not stop drinking pop. I counted up to 20 weeks and then quit counting--until 14 years later when I took a sip.

I was addicted to pop. Mom even let me drink Pepsi in an orange juice glass for breakfast. Baby of the family privileges, I guess.

My pop drinking days no doubt led to my mouth full of cavities. Probably lead to a few capped teeth, a root canal, and two years ago, a tooth implant. There is no way my lying about brushing my teeth as a little girl could have caused those cavities.

Why do kids hate to brush their teeth anyway? My niece Angela's two step-kids love to brush their teeth. They enjoy fruit, too. I bet they won't be spending thousands on their teeth as adults.

But I am pretty proud of those 14 years without drinking pop. All through high school. All through college. All through my first few years of teaching without drinking a single drop of pop.

Remember the new Coke? I have no idea what that ever tasted like. I did drink ginger ale, a carbonated beverage that some may consider pop, and sweetened iced tea. But how did I manage to attend all those basketball games, travel to California twice, Chicago, New York City, North Dakota, Oklahoma, plus all the trips home from Kansas to South Dakota without drinking a single soda pop? I guess I didn't frequent the concession stands much, and my pit stops must have involved only fueling up and going to the restroom. Heck, I probably did not have to go if I wasn't drinking pop!

What broke my streak? It was planned. I bought my house in July of 1995 and that New Year's Eve, I drank a Pepsi with my friend Adelyn Steele. The event was anti-climatic, not because I sent her home at 11:45--I think I did that--I just couldn't stay awake, but anti-climatic because it was nothing. Nothing but yuck. That first sip--pasty, thick, syrupy. Yuck. I hadn't missed much. I do drink pop every once in awhile now, but I certainly do not crave it.

As for streaks, I currently have one going. Writing every day. I have done it now for 23 days in a row. No, not publicly on a blog, but in a word processing document on a character that has been living in my head for 20 years.

You see, I used to get going on my writing, and then something would come up. Too tired. Unmotivated. Writer's block. Papers to grade. A TV show to watch. A class to take. A phone call to make.

But for some reason, this time, as of May 18, it stuck. I'm on a streak. Maybe I'll go 20 weeks straight, like that pop thing, and it'll turn into 14 years. That'd be sweet.

Do you have any streaks? I'd enjoy hearing about them, or maybe you want to make it official and declare your start of one, publicly, right here.


  1. Loved reading this! No streaks for me unless you could the number of days I say I'm going to catch up on laundry and don't do it... :)

    1. I won't reveal the streak for number of days I said I would vacuum or dust and haven't! I was adamant about cleaning once a week when I was single, and I had a scheduled day for it too, but now I just do it whenever. You'd think it'd be the other way around.