If you know me even vaguely, then it will come as no surprise to you that I love a good knees up. However, what may come as a surprise to you (it’s certainly one for my Dad) is that I’m not actually an alcoholic. Consequently, like any dedicated partier, in an aid to make myself feel better about my partying streak, I managed to come to the conclusion that the Olympics are very similar to a night out. The only real differences are that atheletes get up at 5:00 am as I’m just getting home, and they are making their country proud and I am most definitely not. However there are more similarities than differences:
1) Preparation is vital
A lot of time and effort has been involved in ensuring that London 2012 runs as smoothly as possible and is a complete and utter success; there is a similar level of effort involved when getting ready for a night out. Ok, so millions and millions of pounds isn’t invested in your average night out, and it’s not viewed by millions of people worldwide (unless you are a serious facebook whore), but a lot of preparation goes into it; such things involve making sure your stomach is sufficiently lined to avoid being forced to leave the night early because you’re more of a mess than the Olympic logo, for girls it’s the pre beauty prep and the standard ”OMG, I have NO CLOTHES TO WEAR”, whilst staring at a wardrobe that could clothe all of Africa, and of course pre drinks.
2) You must be prepared to train for your event
Olympians spend YEARS training for that one day where they have to give the best performance of their lives, and this is applicable to a night out. I remember my first night of going out drinking, and I decided to run before I could walk and was in bed before one. Nights out require sheer STRENGTH and this is something that is only built up over time; such activities involved in building strength are pre drinking games such as ring of fire and arrogance. The first few times you play these games you may not make it out, due to those dirty pints which usually contain everything from beer to vodka (and LAMBRINI! There’s always one lamrini girl in the crowd). However, once you’ve got through those tough first few sessions you will be able to flex your alcohol guns (and rub your beer belly) and hit the club and put on the best show of your life.
3) One wrong move can ruin everything
Like running the 100 metres, a night out requires you to not only know your limits, but learn how to defy them without dropping out of the race (getting kicked out of the club) or coming last (not making it out). I remember one night when I was at university and still relatively new to drinking, and I was sprinting towards the finish line, I was having a good time dancing etc and then I pushed myself too far. I bought tequila for the first time. I’m not talking about the clear tequila either, but the golden one with NO SALT OR LIME! The end result was me being a casualty of war, because after that I only have ten second flashbacks of talking to my friend, being on the dancefloor, looking down at my feet as I walked back to my hall and then waking up in bed the next morning feeling like someone had bodily flung me against a brick wall.
Of course, this was a learning curve for me. I still drank tequila after that, but I didn’t touch it after I’d played ring of fire and consumed some dirty, dirty pints. I’ve still had nights where I can’t remember much, but I still make it to the finishing line everytime: exhausted, confused and with the urgent need of asking my friends to help piece together my night, but I make it.
4) You witness history being made
Records are broken at the Olympics, races becoming nail biting in that final climax and it’s quite similar to a night out. For example, me and my friend have a night simply entitled ”The stupid tuesday” where I tried tequila for the first time, and there’s also the various episodes at a gay bar which has a cage and just brings out the best (or worst) in people. Nights out are times when people can go from zero to hero with the aid of alcohol and a complete lack of shame. There will various titles for nights, such as ”The night you went up and grinded the bouncer” to ”The night you got into the club without paying”; such nights involve a grading system: Gold for a night that is completely and utterly decadent and something occurred that makes your jaw go wider than a python’s disengaged jaw, Silver for something just hilarious that gives you a good belly laugh and bronze for a mildly cringey night.
5) It’s always a team effort
I know that it’s the athlete that gets the medal at the end of the day, but think of the people behind the scenes making that athletes dream come true! There is the trainers, the sponsers, the friends and family….and this is exactly the same on a night out. The people you pre drink with, the people you’re dancing with and even the bar tenders serving you your drinks help make that moment when you cross the finish line that little bit sweeter.