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Attempt. 2/15/2007

Someone has been speaking to me, often, about my quitting my pack a day habit. There have been many previous times when this request has been made to me. Sometimes I’ve made the attempt, but in the end, I always caved in. There was even one instance, where the said request ended up with me trashing a hotel room.

And today, I’m trying.

I intend to quit a habit I’ve had since 1981. I am going to stop smoking.

I first tried a cigarette when I was 12. A senior in school gave me a stick, and I went out behind the sheds and lit it up. I didn’t cough, gasp, gag or turn green. I just inhaled the smoke, swirled it around my mouth a little, and let it out. I didn’t really see what the whole deal was about smoking. My dad smoked, as did my uncles and my grand-dad (although he quit a few years before I picked up my first coffin nail). I grew up inhaling second hand smoke.

A few years later, I started riding bicycles in competition. And I discovered that smoking had a very detrimental effect on my aerobic capacity and fitness. So I stayed away from the smokes. The guys in class would all hang out after school, under a tree somewhere, or in a coffee shop, smoking. I would sit at the table, but not indulge.

Then came college. And for some reason, the day I walked in and registered for classes, was when I started smoking with a vengeance. At the time of finals, I was on 3 to 4 packs a day. I smelled of stale cigarette smoke, perpetually. I coughed. I spat blood. And I still smoked. I was well and truly hooked on the nicotine.

Then came the green, and duty free booze, and sitting for hours waiting for helos, and other things. Except when on surveys, and during ops, I always had a cigarette hanging off my fingers, or out the corner of my mouth. Did it matter? Not at that time.

Then I entered the corporate jungle, and became a suit. And smoking as an acceptable habit in the office was on its way out. 15 years later, I was still smoking, although a whole lot less than I used to. There were times where I could make a pack last 2 days even. But who am I kidding? Smoking sucks. I know it. But I still do it.

Because I am addicted.

So I am going to stop. Not because she asked me to (which she did, several times). But because she isn’t the only one who needs me.

Wish me luck.

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