I and three of my friends decided to take on the Monster Burger Challenge at Green Iguana. Below is a chronological timeline of the events leading up to it, the actually challenge, and the aftermath.
++++++++++++++++++ Prelude +++++++++++++++
7:30 AM: Woke up. The first thing I thought about was the Monster Burger Challenge. According to my old soccer coach, Robert Rowley, this is a good. I am ready.
9:30 AM: Worked out with my Kettlebell Boot Campers at Xtreme Athletix. The workout:
* MP: 5 x 5
* Dragon Walks: 3 x 8
* Double Snatches on the minute for 20 minutes: 130 total.
Workout felt pretty strong.
11:30 AM to 3:00 PM: Cleaned my place. Still did not eat anything.
3:30 PM: Got to my girlfriend's place. Pretty worried that I am not hungry AT ALL. Oh shit.
3:45 PM: Weigh in - 162.4 lb. I am by at least 30lbs the smallest person doing this challenge.
4:20 PM: Arrive at the venue. Two other challengers are already there.
4:45 PM: We have our own separate area. The four people that are competing are facing the rest of the bar.
4:50 PM: Orders are in. I order mine "Well Done." My fellow competitors order theirs "Medium." This will become important later on.
4:58 PM: Burgers are out. This thing looks humongous. From the picture, you can see it is the size, vertically, of my forearm. The buns are ridiculous. I am not worried. This is a rock star moment. Everyone is taking pictures of the burgers, even people we don't know. When a Monster Burger comes out, everyone notices. You will notice there are two dowel sticks in it - that keeps them from tipping over. This is three 3/4 pound burgers with humongous buns. The three flavors are Mean Green Florentine, Smokiest (BBQ Sauce, Onions, and Blue Cheese), a the Cheesiest (4 cheeses). I never really liked cheese, now I hate it. As you can see, not exactly designed for quick eating. Oh, there there is this wee little thing about a whole pound of wedge cut fries.
Here is what the burger looks like.
When I saw this picture, I was thinking that I got really skinny. But in reality the burger is just that big.
+++++++++ Show Time ++++++++++++
5:02 PM: Eating commences. I make a tactical decision to eat the burgers as they are instead of separating them. I start with the Mean Green Florentine Burger.
5:08 PM: Mean Green Florentine is done. Start with the Cheesiest. I am thinking this is going to be a piece of cake.
5:14 PM: About half way through the second burger. My sensation of taste is non-existant. I start dousing the food in hot sauce. Any bread that I am eating is filling up my stomach....fast. I start just eating the meat and screw my initial plan to "preserve the integrity of the food."
5:16 PM: The cheese feels like I am chewing on Rosie O'Donnell's ass. There are 4 slices on it, which is more cheese than I eat in a year.
5:18 PM: Second burger is done. Holy shit there is a lot of bread left. I swear that it is expanding. I start trying to nibble on the fries. This is really the first time that I think to myself "This is going to suck!". I douse the fries in hot sause.
5:20 PM: I am eating, but nothing is happening. It looks like there is more food on my plate. I swear Peter is throwing fries on my plate.
5:24 PM: The bread is getting to the point of ridiculousness. It is so big, airy, dry, and tasteless. Not so much that it lacks taste, but I am lacking the ability to taste it. Green Iguana's burgers are awesome. I got back to the burger that is left.
5:32 PM: Jimmy Brown finishes. Holy shit. That is goddamn insane.
5:36 PM: I hear one of the competitors puke in their bowl. Peter says to me "Don't look over there." I almost lose it.
5:38 PM: This is really starting to not be fun. My right hand is starting to cramp up in between bites. My body is rejecting my attempt at gluttony.
EVERY....BITE.....HURTS. Each swallow is a max effort attempt with its own breathing pattern and thought process.
5:44 PM: Peter Baker finishes. Unreal. All eyes are on me.
5:47 PM: I am finished with the last burger, the smoky blue cheese. The raw onions were really strong and hard to chew. I have 19 minutes left. I have a 1 and 1/4 buns, about 3/4lb of fries, and some neutral cheese to finish. The cheese at this point is like chewing on plastic. It sounds easy, except:
* Breathing is very labored because my diaphragm has no room to move.
* I am scared shitless to burp because I might throw up. I am talking Carrie-style projectile vomiting with people a couple of feet from me. I tell Jennifer and Brian that they don't want to block my way to the bathroom. This is where the first seeds of doubt start to creep in.
5:49 PM: Now BOTH hands are cramping up. My stomach is so full that breathing is labored. My diaphram can't move and I am showing "elements of effort." My girlfriend is worried, but still cheering me on.
5:52 PM: I am trying to swallow bigger bites of food, and I am gagging them back up. Now I am really hurting and the possibility of not finishing, after hyping it up, is really starting to set in. There are only 10 minutes left.
5:56 PM: Jimmy taunts me by stealing a fry off my girlfriend's plate and asks if I want his help. I give him the finger. I am worried, but the game face is still on.
5:58 PM: The waitress tries to come and say that the hour is up. I say bullshit and point to the official time. My plate still has a single layer of bread and fries. I am starting to think, this is crunch time. Do or Die. Four minutes left
This is not a workout. If it was, I would have quit. If I finish 99%, it is like I didn't finish at all. No T-shirt. No name on the wall. But I am past the proverbial "Point of No Return". It is going to suck whether I finish or not. Everyone is cheering. Forget pain, taste, pleasure. I talked it up too much, and THERE IS NO FAILURE!
5:58.15 PM: I realize that small bites go down much easier. I have a two handed system going. Now when I takes bites, I am starting to see more of the plate. Encouraged. I am just sprinting to the end. In my mind I am sprinting, I am sure to everyone watching me eat that I am moving real slow.
5:59 PM: The plate is simply is wet pile of bread and fries. It has absolutely no taste what so ever. I just put my head down and sprint. At this point, I have to make it. There is no other option.
6:01:45 PM: I am finished. I point to it in celebration. Here is the final sprint on video (pending). It was a furious dash, and I had only 15 seconds to spare.
++++++++ Aftermath +++++++++++
6:02:22 PM: I rush to the bathroom, and I am about ready to hurl. I threw up in my mouth, but gravity keeps it in. I make it to the bathroom, but did not hurl, but almost did. I am bent over, it hurts to stand up.
6:08 PM: I got my shirt and put it on. I earned this shirt. Some jackass says "Give me a break, it is not like Tough Mudder." I say "You're right, a higher percentage of people complete the Tough Mudder."
6:10 PM: I am hating life. I have the biggest gluten headache that you could possibly have. Have you ever eaten cheap chinese food. It feels like that, but except that you also fell on your head. I haven't eaten bread since.
6:15 PM: I tell my Xtreme Athletix, Bayshore Kettlebell, and USF Kettlebell Club brethren that I have never grinded through anything like this in my life. I would like to thank them again for their support and getting me water. Not even the RKC snatch test (the original, the current one is not a grind) or Grad Workout can compare. Grinding through the pain of a workout is one thing. Bypassing the bodies self-preservation reflexes are another. If I had to choose, I would go with the snatch test in a heart beat.
6:30 PM: Jennifer has a half-eaten turkey burger in front of her. I am like "Put that fucking thing away." The sight of food is nauseating. The sight of burgers, cheese, bread, or fries is even worse. Even the sight of PBR and Bud Light cans are making me sick.
8:00 PM: While walking down the street, I have my girlfriend feel my stomach. It feels pretrified. It is gross and somewhat scary. We pass a convenience store, and I am beginning to consider Epicac.
9:00 PM: I am feeling miserable and force myself to throw up. My neck actually recoils from the force of the projectile vomit and I give myself a poor man's chiropractic adjustment.
10:22 PM: I am thinking that I want to go out, but it is miserable outside. I am miserable inside. All of a sudden, it hits me like a truck, and I am exhausted. It has been a long day.
12:00 AM: Lying down hurts. I sleep on my stomach.
2:00 AM: Finally fall asleep.
4:00 AM: Wake up again. Frack