I sit here today and reflect, it was exactly 365 days ago that our oldest son came to us and suggested a bet. He wanted to challenge himself to walk away from soda pop for one year. He was 14 at the time and our youngest was 9 and quickly decided that he wanted to be apart of this adventure also. So we shook on it knowing how hard this was going to be, thinking that this will not last and that they would be drinking a soda the first time they got around a friend or that they would just lose interest.
The bet: No Soda (of any kind) for 365 days
The Wager: $1 a day for everyday they go without a soda
The Option: They could have a soda at anytime however, the bet would then start on that day so if on day 350 they chose to drink a soda they would forfeit $350 but they could still earn $15 if they made it to the end of the one year mark.
Why the crazy date? Well Mom messed up and didn't know that Sonic's Cherry Limeade drinks have Sprite in them and on January 2, 2013 I stopped and picked them each up one and they drank it also not knowing it contained soda. So to make the 365 days...their date was set for January 3, 2014!
The determination of these two boys has amazed my husband and I. They both found themselves in many situations were soda pop was the only thing to drink. Our oldest encountered this type of thing first when his 8th grade class brought in soda and nothing else to drink. He had loaned out his last dollar a few days before that and the friend had not paid him back yet so he could not go get something to drink from a vending machine, and the party was during school hours so the teacher really didn't want him to keep going out into the hall for drinks because the water fountain was really far away from his class.
Our now 10 year old encountered the same situation at his Holiday party. Here is 23 5th graders sitting around eating pizza and drinking soda and then there was my child who had nothing to drink. They have a water fountain in their room so he just kept getting up and getting drinks. What kid wants water with their pizza?
Now as a kid there is no way I would have been able to do this. I wouldn't have wanted to look different, I wouldn't have wanted to walk away from the fun social conversations that might have been going on just to go drink water.
I have to wonder how these two young men found it in themselves to not quit. At such a young age were they really motivated by the money? I am thinking not since they really don't bring it up a lot. They have an inner-determination that not many young people have and I think that they wanted to see what success felt like. Their sense of accomplishment must be a motivation for them.
I am proud of both of the boys and also in awe of their determination and will!