It may read as arrogant superiority and like I possess delusions of grandeur, to quote Han Solo, but I was recently challenged on two separate occasions in fields that I dominate; movie quotes and holding my breath. Not to oversell myself, but challenging me in these events is like challenging God to build a house of cards. “Pff,” He would reply as the cards rose into a 52 piece Taj Mahal.
Of course, all of my overconfidence is perfect for setting me up for truly legendary embarrassment for many of my skills are based on accomplishments from many years past, not recent ones. The first was a challenge to hold my breath for longer than 40 seconds. Having spent two years swimming alone every night in a Kankakee public pool, I often practiced my own static apnea runs (breath holding while still), similar to what I’ve seen freedivers doing in The Big Blue and elsewhere. I often looked deeply within myself during these anaerobic moments through the lengthened sounds and smokey three dimensional world underwater often finding peace in the subdued chaos of convulsions and heavy heartbeats. But I hadn’t held my breath like that in a few years, so I broke my personal rule by hyperventilating beforehand and squeezed off two minutes with relative ease. I was thankful I could still pass that small test and not look like too much of a fool. By the way, hyperventilating beforehand is a good way to drown because you don’t have as many cues when you are running out of air. But since I was above the water, I figured I would be OK if I fainted on a couch.
The second test was a movie quote. See, growing up, my sisters and mom would always repeat movie quotes, but they would always get them wrong. Over time, I developed a family reputation for correcting everyone because for some reason, I was always able to remember movie lines exactly. But over the years, my belief in the accuracy of memory has decreased greatly and I no longer believe memory should even be used in a court of law as it seems so completely fallible. So when a coworker challenged me on the ending line of Top Gun, I wondered for a moment if it was his turn or mine to be completely and utterly wrong as we were both 100% confident. I was right.
ICEMAN: “You can be my wingman anytime.”
MAV: “B.S. You can be mine.”
I’m not saying I’m good at anything else, but it’s nice to have a small set of victories once in a while. OK, I’m bragging, but I haven’t blogged in a while and I really felt like blogging tonight.