Another dream? I thought. This is getting rather silly.
I found myself at the base of a hill in a place that I have never seen before. It seemed nice. It was warm and tropical outside.
“Ahoy, Jon!” A man walked up to me wearing an old and beat up uniform. “I’m Theodore Roosevelt!”
“Of course you are,” I said as I showed him my fists. “I you’re looking for a fight, then I’ve got a little Washington right here and a little Lincoln right here.”
“Oh ho ho, certainly I am not spoiling for such a thing,” the former cavalry officer laughed. “Though it would be grand, I am instead challenging you to a race.”
“Yes,” he smiled and gestured towards the hill. “Do you know what this is?”
“If I were to guess, I’d say it’s San Juan Hill,” I said while squinting up at the incline.
“Precisely, my boy!” Roosevelt roared. “And I challenge you to a race up it!”
“Certainly,” he laughed. “If you want to gain the Tenacity of Roosevelt, then you’ll accept this test.”
“OK, you’re on,” I answered.
“Ready! Go! Chaaaaaarrrrge!” Roosevelt thundered up the side of the mountain but I was fast on his heals.
Halfway up, I felt my lungs begin to burn and my legs felt like they were running in sand, but I kept up the pace. The ghostly Roosevelt continued his charge up the hill with his sword drawn.
Three quarters of the way, I could still feel the pain of the run, but I saw my opponent falter just a bit. Mustering up all of my will and strength, I made my way to the lead, first one step, then another. Soon, I was several yards ahead of Roosevelt and at the top of the hill.
“Yes!” I yelled as I threw my arms up in victory.
“Bully for you. You have beaten this old Knickerbocker to the top,” he huffed as he rumbled up next to me. “I have neglected to mention one thing, though.”
“And that is…?” I asked. Do I really want to know?
“You have to beat me to the bottom as well! Charrrrrrrrrge!” Roosevelt ran down the side of the hill, but I quickly overcame him. Faster than you could say “Jon the Intergalactic Gladiator is my candidate of choice for president of these United States” I had pushed myself to quite a bit of a lead.
All of a sudden, from behind me, where the first American to be awarded the Nobel Prize should be, a deeper, more ominous rumbling began to rumble. First it was low, but like a crescendoing drum roll on a tympani, it picked up until I had to look back at what the noise was.
To my horror, the noise was caused by Roosevelt, but he wasn’t in the form of a man that I am most familiar with. He was the size of a giant boulder and rolling towards me, gaining momentum until the rumbling sounded like a semi trailer filled with garbage cans filled with smaller steel cans and lead pipes rolling sideways down a hill.
Did I mention that he was gaining?
Laughing the whole time, the boulderized Theodore Roosevelt rolled right behind me, uprooting trees and crashing through cobwebs and anything else in its path.
Finally, I reached the bottom of the hill and dove out of the way of the giant boulder resembling the face of the man who so famously said “Speak softly and carry a big stick.” The enormous rock rolled past me as I tumbled to the side.
“Ha ha ha! That was a splendid race, Jon!” the now human looking Roosevelt said.
“Thanks,” I huffed, looking up at the man beside me. He reached his hand down and easily hauled me up to my feet.
“You now posses the Tenacity of Roosevelt,” he laughed. “Use it wisely!”