Jamaican pride is unique and deserved. We’re people from a small island nation, of modest means, but with crazy spirit and flair in everything we do. That’s why Usain Bolt is such a captivating athlete and a hero. He seems unbothered, carefree and focused on quality, even in high pressure moments. Before beating you, he smiles. After dominating, he beams. It’s gotta be so annoying. And I want to be just like that. A champion.
And yeah, every Jamaican is living through Bolt right now, without question. I’m catching little sprints to work when that cross-walk timer hits 10 seconds, like, "Boom! 'Bout to get this coffee in record time.’" Supremely confident, walking tall and welcoming all rivals.
So when I found out that Bolt had unlocked the cheat code to his greatness in his biography, I had to know... what’s the secret to Jamaican athletic supremacy? Here’s what he revealed, and how I knew this was my time:
“Chicken McNuggets. At first, I ate a box of 20 for lunch, then another for dinner. The next day I had two boxes for breakfast, one for lunch and then another couple in the evening. I even grabbed some fries and an apple pie to go with it.”
This isn’t an ad. He really ate 100 McDonald’s Chicken McNuggets and then dominated world speed races for a decade, before walking out on top.
Word? McNuggets, fam?
Once I realized the secret to being an Olympic Gawd was Chicken McNuggets (and three brutal cardio training hours), there was no stopping me from grabbing gold. Or at least diving for bronze.
It reminded me of the time I drained the winning 3 in 2012 against whoever showed up to Chelsea Piers park in headbands and/or knee equipment. Or later, in 2012 summer, when I hit four straight free-throw line shots to secure the game against two sad men with paper bags. I’d had my share of victories. But this was bigger.
McNuggets + Jamaican pride + a lack of clear boundaries = GOAT athlete.
Basically, only peasants and laymen count calories. Winners count double cheeseburgers, buns toasted in the glorious glow of MVP aura. Or yanked from under the glow of a 250 degree fluorescent heat lamp, meant to preserve both delicious real and delicious artificial flavors.
I won’t let a little thing like arteries get in the way of me being great. This 100 McNuggets is my Mount Kilimanjaro. And no one can take that from me.
You get to an age where you starting thinking about superb feats and you wonder, “Where am I gonna leave my stamp?” and “Who will remember me?”
And while the answer for most of us is “no one,” I sure asf ain’t going out like that. I will be standing at the finish line of my 100M McNugget contest, thunder-clapping my way to a rightful place in history.
1. Finish 100 McDonald’s Chicken McNuggets in a day.
3. Drink water ONLY.
8:30 a.m.: Did a 20-minute high intensity interval training on YouTube to finally get closer to God.
10:30 a.m: At this point, pre-McNugget, I’m feeling like a superhero off two straight days of gym flow to prep. I’m like Black Panther, the black Iron Man dude and Idris Elba’s "Bond" rolled into one. Completely fabricated bulletproof n*ggas who are surely unstoppable.
11:30 a.m.: McDonald’s should be serving fries and McNuggets and sh*t by now, right? This seems like the right kind of double-digit hour for unbridled gluttony. Inner greedy bastard on fleek.
11:45 a.m.: 20 Russian twists with dumbbells; 10 military press push-ups.
12:05 p.m.: Kinda starving for these McNuggets after making sure I was on "Empty" before the day kicked off.
Trying to decide what’s the hardest Olympic sport. It’s between water polo and synchronized swimming, because both require swimming while you do stuff. Like asking me to download the app AND read the terms and conditions. Not happening.
12:15 p.m.: My fuel for champions is tardy. No worries. Will only make them taste like super-edible hero food. Plus, the hormone boost in them will have me feeling like a new man in no time!
12:30 p.m.: It came! The food! Had five nuggets and I wanna lay down. Instead of staving off fidgety hunger, I plod through heavy satisfaction. I have to eat close to 100 more. And work out again. Twice.
1:30 p.m.: Dumbbell fly, curls and an irrepressible desire to lay with the Roku remote and snuggle.
2:00 p.m.: Cardio workout: shooting hoops in the local park. An elder called out, “young fella,” and know he is not shouting at me. Every shot so flat and tired looking. Water is essential and I keep gasping for more of it. Making my insides ashy consuming pure sodium. I’m at about 10 McNuggets.
3:00 p.m.: 20 more push-ups, sat in front of AC pondering life in the Michael Phelps pose. That’s how stupid those 20 push-ups felt in the wake of all this chicken oil.
3:15 p.m.: Run into high school classmate in the neighborhood. He’s walking with his 2-year-old son. People I went to high school with have someone calling them dad. Meanwhile, I’m out here with a 20-piece in my backpack. I consider explaining what I’m doing but don’t wanna be a bad role model for the child.
6:00 p.m.: Riding these waves of nausea all the way through #Summer16. Ran an errand to a friend’s place, begged for water like a desert refugee just rescued. No amount of sugary sauce can salvage a dried, cooled nugget. None. And I usually don’t #fuxwit the white meat no how.
6:45 p.m.: Did Day 7 of a 30-day-challenge I’d been doing until my life started spiraling with this nugget fiasco. Really don’t know how this started, and sincerely questioning why I don’t tend to my health better. This is a major blow to my self-care. Feels like I’m breaking resolutions all over again.
9:30 p.m.: Jamaica’s about to run! Usain is looking for his ninth medal. I’ve only downed 20 more nuggets since the first batch. I’m at 40 percent of the goal. But I don’t feel like 40 percent of Usain Bolt. I feel like a shell of myself, who has exactly zero medals and a shiny new stomach ache. It’s way past my bedtime.
2:30 a.m.: JAMAICA WON! DI MAN DEM WON! AND WE GOT SILVER IN THE WOMEN’S 100! MCNUGGETS ABOUT TO GET THIS RE-UP! WE HERE!
Stomach ache too real, though. This is not my life. The last set of pike push-ups I did was painful and forced. I’m in Mickey D’s at past 2 a.m., with the same park paper bag dudes from 2012.
They probably need these nuggets more than I do.
But there’s a challenge to complete, so next time fellas.
5:00 a.m.: Wake up in cold sweat. Dreams of new chest and back hair have rattled me out of serenity. Is that possible? Will I be #BeardGang finally? The finish line is close but I’m only 70 nuggets in, have no energy and even less desire to eat food.
(Is this what our heroes do to us? Lead us to believe we can thrive on McNuggets and conceit? Was McDonald’s less responsible for Usain’s victories than he led on? Feeling crushed, I can’t lie. I wouldn’t even walk 100 meters feeling like this. DUDE IS SMASHING RECORDS!)
7:00 a.m.: Let’s get on these nuggets. There are 15 left from my late-night purchase. Out of a sense of duty, I’m going to take an appetite enhancer (prepared to be lit since the night before) and plow through.
As my taste buds activate to open the gateway into this nuggety nutrition sacrilege, my body does a funny thing. My knees buckle, and suddenly I’m planted on the couch for the next two days, confused about where I am, and why I keep getting these chicken urges at four-hour intervals. I’ve finished 70 nuggets, and can only handle the weight of those regrets.
Ironically, it dawns on me that Golden Arches ain’t the secret to success. And it’s kind of odd that this myth is attached to Bolt’s Beijing performance when McDonald’s is probably the briefest part of his 30-year journey: a young man’s dietary mishap on the eve of his international stardom. And if how I feel after a couple days eating nuggets is any guide, regular consumption would have me dutty wining to the Ultimate Finish Line: death. Luckily, with a detox and a reality check from the scale, I was back on my routine in no time! And it’s the one race I’m happy I didn’t finish.
(Photo: Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
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