Willpower is the ability to eat one salted peanut.
Forty-eight hours. What does that mean to you? Two days? The amount of time I’ve been without a shower? An ill-named sequel to Jack Bauer’s 24?
To save us some time, I’ll just tell you: It’s the number of hours that I, alongside my brother, intended to stay awake.
Now, this may seem like a silly and juvenile endeavor, but it was much more than that. We just got a new video game that was too devilishly fun to put down. And that’s how this whole task began.
My brother and I both woke up at 9:00am—I had to go to a Doctor’s appointment where they would remind me that the fuzzy part of the band-aid goes on the owie—however, we didn’t actually decide to pursue this task until 2:00am that night.
When, one cup of coffee, two friends over, and four laptops set up in the front room later, we thought it would be cool to try to stay up that long. Kind of like the “cool” it would be to get a seahorse tattooed on your shoulder when you’re drunk.
And so, at 9:00am the next day, we were mentally prepared, armed with energy drinks, and ready to complete the task. Unfortunately, at 9:04 when my head slammed into the glass desk and my brother started speaking in tongues, we decided we would have to mix things up a bit.
We found out, as long as we kept moving—playing basketball, attempting handstands, letting the other person take turns slapping his brother in the face—we could stay awake. But hearing my brother quote the Bible and say “Turn the other cheek” is only funny for so long.
As time wore on, I found myself growing increasingly apathetic and unmotivated. All I wanted was sleep. I didn’t care if the world exploded as long as the flaming remnants of my mattress were long enough to lay on.
In fact, I got to the point where I could stare out the window, at the tree across the street, and let my eyes unfocus to find a host of faces and animals in the leaves and shadows. I realized this was probably a bad sign.
However, with one more cup of hot of coffee guzzled down, I persevered through the agony. This was my goal. I had made it this far. The world be damned, I would make—
Snaaaaarrrrrrgggghhh. And that was the sound I started making forty-two hours in. Six hours short, and I let that nagging voice in my head convince me there was no point to this endeavor. My brother went on to make it five hours later, still an hour short.
So in the end we failed, yes, but at least we proved we had the willpower to try. And I imagine, come next summer, we’ll try again.
Or I’ll read this post and remember how miserable it was.