I believe in the Great American feeling of the knot in one’s stomach. It is a feeling extraordinarily unique and unmistakable at the moment of impact. For me, it sends shockwaves throughout my entire body, like an internal earthquake. The one beauty of the knot in the stomach is that it can come about in a variety of situations, sometimes with no rhyme or reason. Allow me to share a personal example from my life that digs deeper into my abnormal love affair with this enigma.
In July of 1997, the summer preceding the 8th grade, I hit a landmark in my life that will never be forgotten: I got into my first real fight. I remember the night more vividly than nearly any other in my life. Let me set the scene: the location was Cape May, NJ, and I was down for a soccer tournament. We had spent the evening on the Boardwalk, walking around and enjoying our time – myself and 3 other of my teammates. Naturally, the cool thing to do was walk back to the hotel on the beach at night, and being the invincible 13 year olds that we were, and that is exactly what we did.
The four of us were soon confronted by four other invincible 13 year olds – thus ensuring a recipe for disaster. The specific details of what was said between us still doesn’t exactly register, but one thing was certain – I had a knot in my stomach that would make any Boy Scout in America jealous. Before I knew what was happening, I found myself in the midst of a blur of human bodies. It probably looked laughable to any bystander, but to me, it was World War III. One thing was certain; I hadn’t felt this alive at any point in my life. Wrestling out of a tackle and throwing sloppy haymakers solidified my spot in the Kingdom of Men. Now, I certainly do not condone violence at any level, it’ just that I love this particular anecdote. I do, however, feel that everyone should be in one minor physical altercation in their lifetime – and no more than three, because that’s simply pushing it. This story is merely one example of how powerful and vivacious that feeling can be.
There are many more ways to describe this feeling, and maybe it’s beyond my abilities of communication. It is exhilarating, liberating, healthy, and genuinely American. My challenge for everyone is to stop and take pleasure in this feeling the next time it should grip you. Soak it all in, and simply enjoy the ride!
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