Why the theme song for walking up Madison’s Bascom Hill in the winter should be Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger.”
 
Ah, Madison’s Bascom Hill. Just thinking about this hill makes my legs hurt. Everyone loves to Instagram it, but NO ONE and I mean no one (unless you enjoy public embarrassment) likes to walk up it, or even down it, in the winter.
 
Let me describe this to you. Bascom Hill is around a 45 degree angled hill (I think?), but it feels like 90. You are physically fighting for your life to make it up this hill alive. By the end of this walk, you feel so accomplished you want to celebrate, but then you remember that the whole reason you walked up this fucking brutal hill is the fact that you have to go to class. Major bummer.
 
As many of you know, Bascom’s snow is not plowed on this hill when the students walk up in in -15 degree weather and -29183219 wind chill. It is almost as if someone out there wants the students to eat shit and then die of embarrassment while on their way to class. And this is why the smart students should listen to “Eye of the Tiger” as you walk up this hell hill.
 
Rising up, back on the street. Did my time, took my chances. Went the distance now I'm back on my feet. Just a man and his will to survive
 
The first few steps on your walk is alright, telling yourself you can do it, and the opening beat of Survivor makes it into your head. Not so bad, you think to yourself. Now, you are a minute in! But since it’s winter and you are going slow as shit, that means you still have a ways to go. People are passing you and you evilly chuckle to yourself. Idiots, they are taking too much of a risk. Slow steps and concentration is key. It’s a slippery slope, but you are a winner. You can do this.
 
They stack the odds, still we take to the street. For the kill with the skill to survive.
 
And then…it happens. Someone coming down the hill takes a wrong step. You see it and you cannot help but stop and watch. She slides. Trying to stop herself only makes this hilariously awkward moment sadder. Once she gets up, she looks around to make sure no one saw her. YEAH RIGHT. Every single person now has a story to tell their friends after class. Sucks to be that girl.
 
Risin' up, straight to the top. Had the guts, got the glory. Went the distance now I'm not gonna stop.
 
But you, my friend, have not fallen yet. You have the eye of the tiger and you will make it up this hill. This is your workout for the day. You are excused from the gym every time you walk up Bascom. You’re welcome.
 
It's the eye of the tiger, it's the thrill of the fight.
 
A minute and a half in: your thighs burn and your eyes are watering from the awful weather, which can totally fuck you up. In about two minutes, you have arrived at Bascom Hall. Alive. Fall free. You know why? Because you made this hill your bitch as you listened to this song.
 
The eye of the tiger.
 
However, now you are out of breath, sweating in your long parka, bead droplets dripping down your forehead, walking in puddles of sweat that formulated in your heavy ass snow boots, and you now have to sit in class for an hour and fifteen. I could not think of anything more miserable. Except knowing that winter in Madison lasts until May 7th.
 
Sorry, I do not have a song for your misery here.
 
 

Jamie Rothberg | Writer | Chicago

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