Two years ago, I moved to an island in the Aegean Sea with four friends. Once there, we recruited as many people from back home as possible to visit us periodically throughout the summer. During the four months we lived there, we had the absolute time of our lives (cue the Dirty Dancing movie theme song). We also invented an amazing party to coincide with the 4th of July – and confuse all the European tourists. The Americathon was born in order to celebrate all things American, namely: beer pong, loud music, BBQs, beach volleyball, trucker hats / bikinis, baseball, jello shooters, fist pumping, boom boxes and general loudness. It was a really good day that we try to recreate every year. Nothing will ever come close to the original, but each year’s incarnation of Americathon is special and fun nonetheless.
This year, Americathon took on a family feel, as I headed to Camano Island with my brother to hang out with my dad’s side of the family. My family has had a cabin on Camano for as long as I can remember and it’s tradition to head up there each 4th of July to blow up really big fireworks, eat lots of delicious food, wander up and down the beach, and drink more beer and scotch than is probably necessary. Unfortunately for me, Americathon 2012 fell exactly four days into a dietary overhaul. I have to admit that every time my brother cracked open a beer, my dad ate a slider and my sister poured a vodka lemonade, I felt a little bit blue about how incredibly lame I have become. Dad would offer up a cinnamon roll and then take it back, saying “oh yeah, you can’t have one of these.” Whomp whomp whomp. I remained strong until sunset, when dad pulled out two beautiful bottles of scotch – Glenfiddich 15 and 21 Nadurra. Scotch and cigars is a huge tradition at the cabin and a particular weak spot in my life. I almost buckled. 24 hours later, I’m proud to report that I stuck to my diet all day and night, even squeezing out a 10.5 mile run at a fairly decent clip.
And I had a really good time. It was great to wake up this morning and enjoy the sunshine while trying to keep Blaze tame rather than what would have accompanied me if I had imbibed or eaten poorly yesterday. Dad made sure to have plenty of clean food that I could enjoy (and oh buddy, did I enjoy it), while Perrier was widely available as well. On top of everything, I earned my first sunburn of the year, which would be fantastic if my tan lines weren’t so bad from my running tank top. All that being said, I will likely not restrict myself on a national holiday ever again. I love a good celebration and proved to myself yesterday that I can have a great time sans Bud Light – BUT, I also love a good karaoke session and spontaneously terrible dance moves… which I wasn’t quite comfortable busting out last night. Next year, Americathon will likely be a bit more wild. Hopefully, the weather will be just as nice.