“Failure” the word spun violently off of so many hushed tongues. Whom among us would be the first to fall into the throws of self-degradation while simultanuously causing an audible sigh of relief for those that were not first to fail. It was me, I knew it would be, it’s as if I had know all my life that I would only be able to summon a sub-par effort from the very depths of my soul. I have failed, beaten down by both the tediousness of the challenge and a raging case of Acute viral nasopharyngitis. I stand before you now, not as an equal, but as a dog. Beaten, hungry, and eagerly seeking companionship, although knowing that I shall never rise to your level again, you can only fall to mine. February Twelfth, the bane of my existence, shall semi-permanently bear the mark of an X symbolizing my failure for all to see. Do not cast your gaze upon me, and I beg, you should not address me as an equal, as it would only provide false hope, delivering me, if only temporarily, from the secret shame that I hold ever closer to my heart.
I arose this morning, painfully aware of my prior evenings shame, and have come to terms with it. It is not a burden I must bear alone. Others have trod down this soggy and unforgiving path. While my riding was clearly sub-par when compaired to the likes of Neal, Matt, Elli, or Dan Action, there is one other among us that has similarly fallen from grace. She and I must both now offer up rounds of libations in an attmempt to appease the other challengers. Only through such a heartfelt and genuine offer can our wrongs be righted. Please forgive us.