Binge And Purge - 11.02.98

When I was in the 5th grade, I started playing little-league football. I had goofed-around and gotten in trouble at a younger age imitating the sport, but after I had moved-on one more grade, I was able to actually join the organized team.

Calling it an "organized team" was actually kind of a stretch, due to nature of everything. For most of us, it was one of the first times that we had played any sort of team sport, so the majority of our practices (which met only once a week) were spent goofing around. The coaches taught us fairly simple plays, but we were lucky to learn even bits of them, as we basically just ran everywhere during the actual games, and passing plays were non-existent. It was also a time where everyone on the team would get to play for at least a little while, regardless of their talent or knowledge of the game.

For the most part, it was all just a chance to teach us kids the basics of sports and give us something else to do on the weekends. Since I went to a small grade and high-school, it was also a chance for coaches to start building for the future by starting us playing team sports together at a fairly early age. While our games weren't exactly scouted by junior-high coaches, it was inevitible that some kids matured at the sport faster and were sometimes looked at by their parents as stars of the future.

While most of the kids did enjoy the actual playing of the game, the thing that everyone seemed to look forward to the most was the year-ending pizza party at a restaurant in a town nearby. Not only was the pizza good (I still consider it the best I've ever had), but our coaches and parents all chipped in enough money so we'd have unlimited pizza and soda for the evening. We'd all convene on the restaurant for dinner and take a quick look back at the season and goof around even more.

Because we were kids, and because we were just getting into the competitive spirit, one of the things that happened at the pizza party each year was an eating contest. On the day of the pizza party, practically everyone on the team would fast, so when the night rolled around we'd all have empty stomachs to pack full. Everyone would get involved, whether they were scrawny little kids like me or more overdeveloped guys. Even though most of us knew we wouldn't win, we'd all still scarf it down.

After my 6th grade season, I somehow got it into my head that I could possibly win the contest. I had gone through a growth streak during the year, and although I was still really wirey, I figured that I would be able to eat more. I didn't eat lunch on the day of the banquet and on arrival to the dinner, I launched into eating with everyone else.

After putting away a couple plates of pizza (about 10 slices) and a couple glasses of soda, I was feeling pretty full. I was quite a bit behind, but I still decided that I would try to eat some more. The dinner was nearing a close and most everyone was sitting around and rubbing their stomach.

I finished the meal having eaten 14 pieces of pizza, and 3 glasses of soda. I was feeling completely stuffed, although not like I had eaten too much to handle. On the ride home from the binge, I fell asleep in my parents car, and slept almost the majority of the way.

Upon pulling into our driveway, my parents shook me awake, and I could feel a rumbling in my stomach. The enormous weight seemed to be shifting back and forth like crazy, and I suddenly felt like eating all that I had wasn't such a good idea. I stood up outside the car and everything seemed to slide into the worst possible place inside me. I sprinted inside the house, rushing by my parents and into the bathroom where I promptly started a vomiting fit that didn't end until I was dry-heaving.

It was the first and last time in my life where I got sick simply because I had eaten too much, and I couldn't eat at that restaurant for well over a year. If you've ever had the pleasure of doing the same thing to yourself, I'm sure that you understand just how stupid I felt. I suddenly realized how right my parents were when they said, "you're going to make yourself sick" just earlier that evening.