Bravery Rewarded

For today’s Memory Monday, I would like to share a story I was recently told by my grandfather…

In early October 1960, my grandfather was in New York for business. During his stay, a propeller driven airplane traveling from Boston to Philadelphia crashed and 62 people tragically lost their lives.

The plane flew into the path of a flock of birds and hundreds of birds were sucked into the engines. The accident became one of the worst in airline history and struck fear into the minds of many future airline travelers.

My grandfather was scheduled to fly home the next day and his flight was to take place using the exact same propeller driven Lockheed L-188 Electra style plane that was used in the Boston crash.

Understandably, he was nervous and wasn’t sure if he should board the plane to go home. After all, planes fly by birds all the time and there was mass media questions wondering if this same thing could happen again.

Even greater than his fear of taking the flight, was my grandfather’s desire to get home to be with his wife and kids. He had been away from them for a week and utterly wanted to be home so they would not worry about him.

After hearing reassurance from the airline that they were taking every precaution necessary, he decided that it was worth taking this risk, so he decided to take the flight home.

This prop jet style plane was built to hold 70 people. When my grandfather boarded the plane, he was one of only 7 people who decided to make the flight.

Seeing the empty plane he started to question his decision. But once again he decided that taking this flight home was worth the risk and he was not turning back.

At that time, it was common for the flight attendants to pass out a complimentary glass of champagne to the passengers. Because this particular flight was so unoccupied (and probably to ease everyone’s apprehension), each of the 7 passengers were given their own bottle of champagne to enjoy on the flight.

Just like all the other flights he had taken, he made it home safe. But that flight remains the only time that he was given an entire bottle of champagne during all his years of air travel.

My grandfather speaks fondly of this gesture and considered the champagne to be a fun reward for being among the brave few that decided to take the flight home.

I think this is a fun anecdote of how bravery can be rewarded.

Sometimes we are rewarded with champagne. Sometimes we are rewarded with getting to see our family. And when we are really lucky we get both.

No matter what reward we may receive, it is important to know that risks can pay off, and sometimes we should board that plane. Even if we are only 1 of 7 people.

Care Enough To Get Hit

One person gets hit more than anyone and makes $130 million. Another person quit because he didn’t like getting hit. Who made the right decision? What if I told you they both did…

Get Hit

If you have ever played baseball you know that getting hit by a pitch is not a fun thing. It can lead to bumps, bruises and broken bones.

My older brother Matt learned quickly into his Little League baseball career that he did not like getting hit by the ball.  And who can blame him.  After all, as a batter your job is to hit the baseball, not the other way around.

After taking a few pitches into the gut, Matt decided that he didn’t love baseball enough to get hit.

So he stopped playing.

Matt was a great athlete and had the skills to be a very good baseball player, but the fear of getting hit by the ball limited his potential.

Some may hear that story and think that quitting was a wrong decision. They may think that he should have stuck with baseball long enough to conquer his fears.

But quitting baseball just might have been the best decision Matt could have made for his athletic career.

Matt stopped playing baseball and devoted his time to track and football where he thrived and became an All-State performer.

The difference between Matt’s baseball career and his career in track and football is that he cared enough about track and football to fight through the hits.

Because of this, he excelled.

Had he stayed in baseball for the sole reason that you shouldn’t quit something, he would have toiled in a sport he didn’t care about and he never would have reached his potential in track and football.

Don’t misunderstand me to think that I am saying you should quit everything that gets tough. What I am saying is that Matt didn’t love baseball enough to get hit.

But Shin-Shoo Choo does.

In 2013, Cincinnati Reds outfielder Shin-Shoo Choo led Major League Baseball by being hit by a pitch 26 times.

Like Matt, I would bet that Choo was also hit by the ball numerous times as a child while playing little league.

He probably didn’t like getting hit anymore than Matt did. But he certainly liked baseball enough to stick with it and continue to get hit.

Choo also slammed over 20 home runs in 2013 and was rewarded with a seven year, $130 million contract with the Texas Rangers.

Choo obviously loves baseball enough to get hit more than anyone. And he has been rewarded for it.

In life we are all going to get hit. Whether it is a bad book review, a poor performance evaluation or fastball that gets a little too far inside, we all get bumps (in the road), bruises (egos) and broken bones (or spirits).

What is important, is finding out what you care about enough to get hit. Once you do this, you will have a road map guiding you to where you will excel.

You still may never like taking the hits, but when you love what you are doing, the hits don’t feel nearly as painful. This is what Shin-Shoo Choo has realized ($130 million probably also helps).

On the flip side, if you do not care enough to get hit, it is better to take Matt’s approach and do something else with your talents. Doing this will bring out the best in your talents and abilities.

Whether it is life or baseball, you are going to get hit. A lot. In order to be successful you must determine what you care enough about to take those hits and keep going (and going and going).

Rhyme Week

I am going to start off this post by letting you all know that this week I will be using performance enhancements. Not only did I figure it would be my only chance at being compared to some of the best baseball sluggers of all time, but I thought it was better to be honest and admit it upfront since you will be skeptical when you see how great my posts are this week.

Confused? Let me explain…

Recently my mom gave me a book titled, The Complete Rhyming Dictionary. She either gave it to me as a nice gift or as a subtle hint that my rhymes need a little work. Whatever the reason, I thought I would get some use out of this book and see if I can do an entire week’s worth of posts in rhyme. Sound impossible? We will find out in no time. (rhyme 1, check!)

The rest of this week on Blog by Bake will be known as Rhyme Week. And like I said, I will be using The Complete Rhyming Dictionary to enhance my performance. So if you don’t like the rhymes, don’t blame me, blame the book’s editor Clement Wood.

Just kidding, don’t blame Clement, I’m sure he’s a swell guy.

And away we go…

One segment on this blog is the Memory Monday post.

It is when I write about myself, but I do it not to boast.

It is a time to look at my history and try to learn something from my past.

But my life is sometimes boring, so who knows how long this feature will last.

The posts aren’t always exciting or drama filled like on Glee.

They are simply just something that comes from my memory.

I’ve discussed competitive eating and a game of Wiffle Ball.

I’ll talk about all the smart and dumb things I’ve done, anything I can recall.

Who knows what you will get out of my tales or what lessons you will learn.

But instead of me sharing all the stories, I think you should have a turn.

Recall your most memorable story, like when you got the high score on Frogger.

And let me know in the comments below if you’d like to share it and be a guest blogger.

Well that’s enough for now, I hope this posts is a good sneak peek.

Of what you will encounter for the rest of Rhyme Week!

Wiffle Ball World Series Part II

Yesterday’s Memory Monday post left off when Baker Boys Plus had just defeated Plastic Devils in an epic slug fest.

But the game took its toll on the team and it’s star player was left with a stomach ache greater than one you would find after Thanksgiving dinner.

Will Baker Boys Plus be able to recover? Will it be another family disaster? Will we ever get to the end of this dumb story??

Here’s the exciting conclusion of the 2005 Wiffle Ball World Series.

“Sorry, but I feel terrible,” Matt says as he starts to pack up his stuff and leave.  “You can’t leave now,” I say trying to get him to reconsider.  “If I stay I will just keep throwing up,” Matt says.  “Maybe you can use that as intimidation,” Eric jokes.  “Kids won’t want to play us if you are puking all over the place.”  “Funny but I’ve got to go take a nap,” Matt says as he leaves the field.

So now we are without probably our best player.  Once again, I am starting to feel that nervousness again as we walk over to the next field where our second game will be played.

“Is that the other team?” Chris asks as we approach and see three little kids on the field where our next game is supposed to be played.  “They are like six years old,” laughs Eric.

Turns out they weren’t six.  They were 13, 10, and 8 and were playing with their dad.  Thinking a win was a sure thing, we made plans to try and keep it close.  We didn’t want to rub it in.  We planned on being nicer than all those other teams had been to us when we were younger.

As the game starts, I laugh and joke with Eric that this game with be no problem.  My laughter turns to shock as the first two kids hit homeruns.  ‘What just happened’ I thought to myself.  It was almost as if when the game started the six year olds took off their kid costumes to reveal three major league baseball players.

“Did we really just lose?” Chris asks as we sit down in the grass after losing the game 13-2.  “Is there steroid testing in wiffle ball?” asks Eric.  “Cuz those kids had to be on something.”

Still in complete shock from what just happened, I call Matt to repeat the score.  “We just got crushed by an old man and three six year olds,” I tell Matt as he answers the phone.  “Are you serious?” Matt says thinking that I am joking.  “No, actually they were 13, 10, and 8,” I say as if their real ages made any difference.

So now we have to win our next game.  If we lose our next game we don’t make it to the playoffs and our championship hopes are gone and this year will be like every other disappointing year.    Luckily for us the next team never shows up and we win by forfeit.  Now we are in the playoffs.

Our first opponent in the playoffs is the type of team that is the most fun to play against.  This type of team is made up of guys who don’t really care about wiffle ball and just use the tournament as an excuse to get away from their wives and get drunk at the park.  They crack a bunch of terrible jokes and are easy to beat.  We were playing them at the perfect time because it was now early afternoon and they had been drinking since 8:00 a.m.  We beat them easily because whatever little wiffle ball skill they once had was, just like most of their beer, long gone.

After beating Team Beer we were in the semifinals.  The team we would be playing consisted of three athletic looking high schoolers and two older guys who looked like they belonged on Team Beer.  The game was going back and forth when finally it happened.  My dad got hurt.  He was running (if you can really call it running) to first base and he pulled his hamstring.  “It wouldn’t be a wiffle ball tournament without dad getting hurt,” I say to Chris as we go to help him off the field.

Now we are without Matt and my dad.  I didn’t like our chances.  The game continued to go back and forth.  They would score four runs, we would score five.  They would take the lead and we would have to come back again.  The game went into extra innings.  Each team scored two runs so we went into another extra inning.  This time each team scored one run.  Was this game ever going to end?  Finally after one more inning we held them scoreless and won 26-25.

We had made it to the championship.  And who were we facing?  None other than the six year olds. And this time it was only the kids because, like our dad, their dad got hurt attempting to run (I guess pulled hamstrings were contagious for old men that day).  So now it was on.  Us vs. the six year olds for the Wiffle Ball World Series Championship.

“This time I don’t care about being nice,” Eric says as we take the field.  “If we lose to these kids again, I am quitting wiffle ball forever,” I reply.

During the first inning we hold them to three runs.  Something didn’t seem the same about them.  Maybe they couldn’t handle the pressure.  Or maybe the major leaguers from earlier went home early and all that was left was three little kids.

We didn’t take it easy and we ended up winning 23-7.  And it wasn’t even that close. We destroyed them. We hit homerun after homerun and they didn’t stand a chance.

As I went to shake their hand and say the obligatory good game I thought about what had just happened.  I had just done to them what so many guys did to me when I was little.  I beat up on a bunch of little kids and got enjoyment out of it.  I had become everything I hated when I was their age.  But it was worth it and I’ll do it again if I get the chance.

Wiffle Ball World Series

When I started this blog, I introduced a segment called Memory Monday. The segment was influenced by author Jon Acuff who says that looking into our past is a good way to reveal what we find important in the present.

I really liked this idea of looking at my past and I thought that the Memory Monday posts would be a great way to learn from the many exciting and heroic things I have done throughout my life.

Turns out that one thing I learned was that my past is often too boring, even for this silly blog (more on that to come).

Due to that realization, I have gotten away from the Memory Monday posts the past few weeks. Memory Monday probably won’t be a weekly segment, but I will be sharing memories from time to time.

In order to share a blast from my past this week, I dug up a story I wrote in 2006 about an event my family participated in called the Wiffle Ball World Series. Since it is a little long, I have decided to break it up into two parts. The second part will come tomorrow, which means we will have our first ever cliffhanger on Blog by Bake. How exciting.

Without further delay, here is my story about the 2005 Wiffle Ball World Series…

Every fall my dad, my two brothers and I play in a wiffle ball tournament.  It’s called the Wiffle Ball World Series.  It isn’t really the World Series, it isn’t even that big of a tournament, but for my family and I, its one of the best weekends of the year.  We have been playing in this same tournament every year since I was nine years old.  And every year was the same thing; a lot of fun, but also a lot of losing.  We were always the youngest team in the tournament and being the youngest meant also being the easiest to beat.  We would play teams with guys two or three times older than us and except for my dad, they were also two or three times better than us.  Most of the teams wouldn’t even take it easy on us.  They seemed to like destroying our confidence by building up their own.  They would hit home run after home run and each time celebrate as if to say “look how great we are, these dorky kids don’t even stand a chance.”

Even though we always lost, the tournament was still fun.  As we got older, we also got better and a little more competitive.  We might actually win a game every now and then.  It was fun to come back every year a little better and to see some of the same teams who once destroyed us now a little fatter and with a little less hair.  So when this year’s World Series rolled around I felt confident.  We were no longer young and easy to beat.  This year was going to be different…hopefully.

This year’s team consisted of my dad, my older brother Matt, my younger brother Chris, my friend Eric and me.  The perfect team.  Each person brought a little to the table.  My dad, although past his prime, can still hang with anyone (as long as it doesn’t require too much running).  He has always been the best player on the team; that is until about game four when he hurts his back or strains a calf muscle.  Matt is a great athlete who is good at hitting homeruns.  He may even have passed up my dad for best player on the team (even though dad will never admit it).  Chris is the youngest on the team, but he is a very strong kid who has been playing since he was five, so he’s no beginner.  Eric had been playing with us for the past two years.  He played well last year, so we decided to keep him on the team.  And then there’s me.  I’m not the greatest, but I would like to think I am on the team because I am good enough and not just because I’m part of the family.  So there it is, the 2005 version of Baker Boys Plus (Eric being the plus).

When we arrived at the park the day of the tournament, the weather was great.  It was a warm sunny day with no sign of rain.  Rain is kryptonite to wiffle ball, so with none in sight I felt like it was going to be a good day.

Our first game was against a team called the Plastic Devils.  They were a team of five seniors in high school who looked like they would be no pushovers.  “Can’t give him anything to hit,” Matt says to me as we watch one of them hit home run after home run as they warmed up.  “This next guy doesn’t look as good,” I reply as a new batter takes his turn.  “Wrong,” Eric says as the new batter hits one over the fence, past the bushes and into the parking lot.

The game begins and the Plastic Devils jump out to a 12-0 lead after their half of the first inning.  I don’t know about the rest of the team, but I am starting to get a little nervous.  We answer right back with 10 runs of our own.  The nervousness goes away as I realize that we can keep up with these guys.  The game goes back and forth and we end up winning 32-31 in what is by far the highest scoring wiffle ball game I have ever played in.

We may have won the game, but it didn’t come without a price.  Matt had woken up that morning not feeling very well and now he was feeling worse.  After the game, he threw up and was now lying in the fetal position.


Fear Week – No Fear

As I started to put together upcoming blog posts, I began to notice that many had a common theme…fear.

Unfortunately, fear is a big part of our lives. There is much to write about it because it is something we are faced with on a daily basis.

So what do you do with a topic that people can relate to and that you have a lot of content on.

You copy the Discovery Channel and devote an entire week to it.

When the Discovery Channel realized that they had a lot of content on sharks they created Shark Week.

When I realized that I had a lot to say about fear, I decided to create Fear Week.

I am not doing this to scare people. Rather, I am doing this to shine the light on fear and help myself and other people overcome it.

To start off the week, I am using a Memory Monday post and taking you back to the 1990s. A time when Michael Jordan was the king of basketball, Michael Jackson was the king of pop and a little t-shirt company was the king of fear…

If you grew up in the 90s you are likely to remember the No Fear brand of clothing.

For those that don’t, No Fear was a clothing line created by Mark and Brian Simo in 1989 that gained popularity thanks to its somewhat inspirational sports related sayings.

Here are a few sayings that could be found on No Fear shirts…

  • “Bottom of the 9th. Bases loaded. Full count. Two outs. No Fear.”
  • “Bones heal, to play lasts forever. No Fear.”
  • “Been there wrecked that. I love this pain. No Fear.”
  • “Luck is for the rabbits. No Fear.”
  • “Fear tastes like chicken. No Fear.”

These shirts always contained a saying that sounded like they came from Ricky Bobby, followed by the words “No Fear.”

I remember even as a kid thinking the bases loaded saying was confusing. What team am I on? What is the score? If I am the pitcher and I am up 10, then of course I am not afraid.

Despite the confusing sayings, No Fear shirts were cool and made you feel tough.

But did they make you really have no fear?

Probably not. But what if we lived life like it was a No Fear shirt?

Yes, the sayings are silly and yes, I would feel a little strange as a grown up wearing a shirt that says fear tastes like chicken. But wouldn’t it be great to actually believe in no fear.

Unfortunately it is difficult to find one of these funny No Fear shirts for adults. No Fear filed for bankruptcy in 2011 as has since been purchased by new owners who have turned their focus to energy drinks.

So although we can’t look in the mirror and see “No Fear” on our shirt, next time fear is starting to creep into your life, image that you are wearing a shirt that says “been there wrecked that.”

Convince yourself that you have been in this situation before and you were successful. You’ve wrecked fear before and you’ll wreck it again.

Welcome to Fear Week…

That Explains Why I Thought Math Was Fun

When I was in high school I never would have imagined that I would start a blog.  Mainly because back in the early 2000’s I didn’t know what a blog was.  But also because I didn’t really like to read or write in high school.  I was always more interested in Math class than English class.

I liked the challenge of solving complex problems, knowing that there was a specific method or formula that could be used to find each answer.  My grades were always better in Math than any other subject (expect for maybe Study Hall – I was a whiz at pretending to study).

Even now that I have found a love for reading and writing, I still think fondly of math.  But now I think of math much like a childhood friend who moved away to a different state.  I remember the times we had, but we haven’t kept in touch.  I can’t remember the last time I used the quadratic formula or even had to do long division.

For today’s memory Monday, I thought back to my high school math classes and I found exactly why I used to like math so much…TI calculators.

Remember those giant TI calculators? They were about the size of your arm and had what seemed like 100’s of buttons.  They were so much more advanced than the regular old calculators you had in grade school.  TI calculators were big time.

Instead of just writing 8008 in your little gray calculator, TI calculators allowed you to write full curse words and then giggle as you showed your friends.

These genius calculators basically solved the problems for you.  All you had to do was type in the lines of numbers, letters and symbols and the TI would spit out the answer like some type of magic genie.  And best of all, these battery powered magicians had games!

They were essentially iPhones that didn’t make phone calls.  In the evolutionary history of handheld games, I think it went Gameboy, TI calculator then iPhone.

An hour long math class would fly by because you could play Asteroid and Tetris the entire time.  Not only could you play games, but while playing games, it appeared to the teacher as if you were trying to do math.

Well, maybe the teacher didn’t always think you were actually trying to solve the problems.  After 10 straight minutes of smashing away at buttons and then dropping your head in defeat, I am sure your teacher began to suspect that you were up to something.  Either that or you were a little too passionate about Algebra.

Whatever happened to your TI calculator?  If you are like me, you passed it down to your younger brother and showed him how to access the games.

With smart phones, do kids even use TI calculators to play games anymore?  Or are the calculators used strictly for math?

So looking back, what I thought was a love of math was actually a fondness for Falldown & Frogger.


Remember how we were all supposed to die in 2012?  The Mayan calendar said the world was supposed to end last year, didn’t it?

I was talking about that with a friend of mine and I made a joke about how all that was like Y2K.  This friend of mine is only 17 years old and his response to my joke was “What? Y2K?”

“Yeah, you know, Y2K, when computers were supposed to take over the world or something like that,” I replied.

“I don’t remember that,” he said.

Quickly doing the math, I determined that he was born in 1996, making him less than 4 years old at the turn of the century.  I guess he was too young to remember Y2K.  Apparently in 2000, 4 year olds had more important things to worry about than millions of computers crashing.

“What was Y2K?” he asked.

“It was this big scare that everyone’s computer was going to stop working on January 1, 2000.  It had something to do with computers switching over from 1999 to 2000 and people were afraid that somehow the year ending in 00 would cause us to go back in time 100 years or something.”

“Really? People actually thought that?” said my friend.

“Yeah it was a big deal,” I said. “I guess you don’t hear much about it these days.”

Now, I may not have all my facts straight, but when describing Y2K I almost felt silly.  Why did we all think the turn of the century was going to be such a disaster?

Don’t get me wrong, I am sure there really was a problem with computers at the time.  I don’t doubt that it took hundreds of hours and millions of dollars to fix, but I remember people panicking and saying to take all your money out of the bank or it would be lost forever.

As the nation watched a pre-Ryan Seacrest Dick Clark’s New Years Rockin’ Eve, we all held our breath and waited to see what would happen when the ball dropped in Time Square.

Did anything actually happen?

The way I remember it, my world was unaffected.  I probably slept until noon the next day and then spent the next 12 hours playing video games.  Life seemed pretty normal to me.

For such a worldwide news story, you don’t hear much about Y2K these days.  In fact, I think people stopped talking about Y2K on January 2, 2000.  People were so overworked and a little embarrassed about the whole thing that they just stopped talking about it altogether.

So it makes sense that someone born in 1996 wouldn’t know about Y2K.  This week’s Memory Monday is apparently one memory that everyone has tried to forget.

Hunger Games

In his book Quitter, author Jon Acuff writes that whenever we start trying to really figure out what we want to do with our life, we image that we are going to have a miraculous revelation.  We expect to stumble upon some activity we’ve never done before and immediately fall in love.

Acuff argues that this is just not likely.  Instead of an act of discovery, finding our passion is more likely an act of recovery.  According to Acuff, “more often than not, finding out what you love doing most is about recovering an old love…When you come to your dream job, your thing, it is rarely a first encounter.  It’s usually a reunion.”

I had never thought about it that way.  Like many people, I’ve expects a bolt of lightning or some dramatic experience to reveal my calling.  Deep down I knew that it probably wouldn’t happen that way, but I didn’t know where else to look.

I like Acuff’s philosophy that looking into our past is a good way to reveal what we really want to do in the present.  So with that in mind, I would like to introduce you to a new weekly post I am starting called, Memory Mondays.  For this segment I will be revising things that happened in my past.  It will be a good way to revisit some good times and reflect on some more difficult ones.  I thought about calling it Throwback Thursday, but we already have Thankful Thursdays and plus Throwback Thursday is too mainstream for this blog.  So Memory Monday it is.  Isn’t alliteration great??

I know by now you are probably saying, “Adam! Act accordingly and avoid alliteration.”

Today’s Memory Monday comes to us from 2005.  It was a simpler time when the San Antonio Spurs were in the NBA Finals and the nation was awaiting a new superhero movie with Christopher Nolan . As I mentioned before, I briefly had a blog back in 2005. Very few posts were memorable, but here’s one that was…for all the wrong reasons.

August 1, 2005

I have always thought of myself as a competitive person. I enjoy a good contest just as much as the next guy. I have participated in many competitions throughout my life, but none as intense as the one I endured yesterday. Let’s just say it was a mouthful (haha, you will get it in a minute).

The competition I was a part of yesterday was a competitive eating contest. The day before, I had watched the US Open of competitive eating and became intrigued. Before I get to my contest I will first give a quick summary of the Open. There were a couple of different races (I guess that’s what you call it) with a skinny Asian guy and a skinny Asian lady competing for the title (I guess that’s what you call it) in every category.

The Open was great, not only could I watch people eat unhealthy amounts of food, I could also hear a wonderful breakdown of what was going on. They had grade A commentators. They not only pointed out what the people were eating, they helped explained the true strategy behind it all. One memorable quote used to describe the eating was something like “look at the power.” Power indeed. Not just anyone can shovel salad into their mouth, it takes a very powerful individual.

After watching the Open, I knew that I had been raised playing the wrong sports. If I had only known about competitive eating at an earlier age, I could have focused on that instead of wasting my time on other sports that would get me nowhere in life.

Although I had yet to eat anything competitively, I had been eating for over 19 years and I figured that was better than nothing. Was it too late to start training to become the best?? There was only one was to find out.

So I decided to have a contest against another promising amateur to see if I had a future in the sport. My opponent…none other than Christopher Baker. He’s quite the little eater, but I had the experience edge. He has only been eating for a little over 15 years. I thought it would be tough, but I had no idea what I was getting myself into.

So the table was set (haha). The plates consisted of 2 hamburgers, 10 chicken nuggets, and 2 soft pretzels. The first to finish wins. So we were off…my strategy was to go from pretzels to nuggets to hamburgers. I don’t know what Christopher’s plan was because I was too focused on winning.

About halfway through the plate, I began to feel it. Was it the feeling of victory??? No, not at all. It was the feeling of stomach ache. I wanted to stop. The pain was just too much, but I fought it. I had always been taught to “Go Hard or Go Home” and since I was already at home I knew that I only had one other option.

After about 10 minutes, the dust had settled and I had won. By a whole hamburger. Was I that good, or was Chris just way smarter than me and had given up? We may never know. But what I do know, is that my competitive eating days are over. I will retire on top. Undefeated. I want to retire 1 and 0. Mostly because I am afraid I might die if I try it again. From now on, I will stick to eating for survival only. But the contest taught me many things that I would forget. Most importantly…I’m an Idiot.