When I was little, and my mother’s Girl Scout troop was practicing for camporees, they would use me as a dummy for the chariot race. A chariot race involves lashing three pieces of wood together in a dubious fashion, shoving one screaming child precariously on top of the wood, and running to the finish line.
I was the perfect test dummy since I weighed the least out of anyone stupid enough to agree to actually ride on the sticks. I don’t think I was ever hurt beyond a few bumps and bruises, which I prefer to think of as my war wounds anyway, but I did learn an important life lesson while risking my little neck.
The chariot is only as strong as the weakest knot and can only travel as fast as the slowest runner. One poor asthmatic kid can ruin things for the entire team. Really, all of the kids in my mom’s troop had about equal probability of dropping me out of the chariot, but I’m speaking metaphorically here.
Sometimes, no matter how loud you cheer or how hard you pull, you just can’t win the damn chariot race. And you can’t give up, because then the poor kid you were carrying feels fat, so you have to keep going one painful step at a time and hope that maybe you didn’t have the worst recorded time of the year for the event. Or if that’s too ambitious, then maybe you didn’t have the worst time ever.
But I refuse to go down without a fight. I will drag those stupid three sticks through the mud along with the passenger and the dead weight of the other people who should be running with me if I have to! I will slog through metaphorical mud even after the camporee is over! And if the passenger is dumped over the side and starts crying for their mommy, I will tie them to the stupid sticks until we make it across the finish line! And when we arrive at the end muddy, bloody, and in dead last, at least no one will be able to say I didn’t try!
However, if someone tried to make me ride on actual sticks and not just haul metaphorical ones, the answer would be no.