“I’ve decided to face this mountain, to stand up to this mountain tonight,” sings Jon Foreman in his song “The Mountain.” I often find the inspiration to change or gain new perspective in his songs. But change warrants difficulties; change feels like trekking up a mountain, or sometimes many mountains!
One mountain I recently decided to conquer is an addiction of mine known to anyone who sees me on a daily basis. It began back in sophomore year of high school. I drove to my friend’s house almost daily that year to study for our AP World History class. Although studying usually turned into playing games, long discussions, or watching our favorite TV shows, we still did enough to succeed in class. Since studying can be boring, we decided to make it more enjoyable by consuming our favorite drink, Mountain Dew. As far as I can remember we drank it almost daily, leaving empty 2-liter bottles or numerous cans in the recycling bin at the end of the night. Though our studying paid off as demonstrated by our outstanding test results that granted us college credit, I picked up a bad habit that year. From then on, my studying for any class felt more bearable if I was drinking Mountain Dew.
I thought about cutting back on the amount of soda I drink many times, but then another hard test would present itself or a stressful day at work drove me to crave it. My Health Beliefs & Behaviors class this summer requires students to choose a difficult behavior change to make, and my goal is to refrain from drinking soda while here in Spain. While it may be a change I attempt to continue after that, for now I am focusing on the present difficulties. A few days after I arrived in Barcelona (my first stop before heading to Valencia where I am currently studying) I found Mountain Dew in a nearby mercado. “Nice!” I though to myself, “I won’t have to go without Mountain Dew in Spain after all.” After purchasing a bottle, I proceeded to the beach to enjoy the beautiful day along with my favorite drink. What I anticipated to be a sip of relief and relaxation was actually a repulsive taste of a drink that does not deserve the name Mountain Dew. That drink tasted nothing like the real thing, take it from an addict. This resulted in a high amount of disappointment, as I knew I would be stuck drinking Coca-Cola since that is the most popular soda here. So when it came time to decide what our health behavior change would be, I knew taking this opportunity to reverse my bad habit was a good idea. Almost 2 weeks in to this change I am proud to say I have refrained from drinking any soda. One thing I have noticed is the seemingly endless amount of advertising for Coca-Cola here. It seems like every market place, restaurant, tourist stop, vending machine, etc. offers Coca-Cola. One morning I walked out my door to find a Coca-Cola truck parked on the street! Temptation presents itself everywhere, but so far I have been able to choose water over soda every time I am looking for something to drink. Unfortunately, I am only at the base of this mountain, the peak is not yet in sight. But mountains are only conquered one step (day) at a time, and I’m ready to continue my journey to the peak.