March 13, 2012

BIG RED AMBITION: #101. Eat a Pinesburger

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So, I have no idea what I was thinking at the time, but I decided I needed to make #101 (Eat a Pinesburger) a little bit more interesting. To do so, I attempted the Four Pinesburger Challenge (four burgers with buns and cheese in under an hour). Sound easy? Try it and weep.

I got a bunch of my friends to go to The Pines, and even convinced one to try The Challenge with me (she didn’t last long – two burgers and she bailed. Lame).  Anyway, the entire ride there, we were discussing how unlikely my success at this venture was. Sorry AS, at least I got farther than two! We got there, ordered the food, and then the moment of truth came. It was time to go big or go home. We started timing, and off we went.

The first two burgers weren’t that bad. I had forgotten to eat lunch, so I was starving. In hindsight, I realize that my lack of food intake probably contributed to my inability to complete the challenge. Live and learn, my friends. Live and learn.

Then came burger number three, and let me tell you: That baby was like Mount Everest.  I was in the middle of struggle city, but not quite ready to give up. All I could hear was AE’s advice ringing in my ears, “Never stop chewing. When you stop chewing, you lose.” Well AE, the chewing wasn’t the problem; the swallowing was my issue (that’s what she said). So I kept trying to persevere, and even started pacing up and down the length of the restaurant as I continued to eat…you know, burn some calories so I could ingest more food.

Meanwhile, my cheerleaders were losing steam. CR started falling asleep at the table, but would wake up with very Zen-like words of encouragement upon hearing me say, “I can’t do it, I can’t, I just can’t.” CB was entirely unsure how to behave. She wasn’t sure if she should just speed eat with me (but then she’d finish her food too quickly), if she should commend my efforts and progress (but then I’d realize how much I’d eaten and want to die), or if she should just chill and pretend I don’t exist (this one makes a girl sad when she’s in the midst of a ridiculous eating competition). MV, the one who totally failed at this challenge (sorry, M), was the one forcing me to keep eating. Well, I wanted to stop, so at 46 minutes it was time to call in the big guns. So, mid-bite, I called MN, whose enthusiasm almost succeeded in giving me that last push to succeed.

Long story short, I finished three and a half burgers – no T-shirt for me. I’m not certain I can stomach going to The Pines and/or eating another burger any time soon. Overall, though, I have to say I’m glad I tried. I may not have succeeded, but it gave me quite a story.

Jaime Freilich is a junior in the College of Human Ecology. She may be reached at jfreilich@cornellsun.com. Big Red Ambition appears on Wednesdays.

Original Author: Jaime Freilich