TRIBUNE -- Markham Nolan, the non-drinking voice of Irishblogs, continues extending his media reach by appearing in a full-page article runing in the Sunday Tribune magazine. His photo and blog profile complement an article that reveals 19% of people never drink alcohol, 48% of car drivers have had a drink before driving and 51% believe drink driving is just as bad as having unprotected sex. Here's the extract about Markham:
The non-drinker: Markham Nolan. If there's one time in life when you're likely to spend serious amounts of time down the boozer, it's as a student. But for DIT student Markham Nolan, aged 25 and studying for his master's degree, the appeal of binge drinking has seriously worn off: he's just embarked on an experimental year without alcohol, charted online.
The motivation for Nolan's big drought developed around St Patrick's Day last year. He had been training heavily for a marathon and was off the booze--until he injured his hip and was forced to abandon his plans. "I was very frustrated and spent four days on the absolute rip. I got run down, looked awful, had no energy and was missing deadlines in college. So I decided to go back over the four days and figure out how much I had drunk: roughly seven bottles of wine, five pints of Guinness, six pints of cider, three vodka and cokes, a vodka/soda/lime, a shot of vodka and one more of tequila--which is around three times the weekly recommended limit."
For the next year, before giving up, Nolan kept a diary of his intake of booze and noticed a distinct pattern emerging among himself and his drinking buddies: five days sober, two days bingeing, and then five more days trying to recover--or as he puts it, "lather, rinse, repeat."
So far, he says, giving up alcohol has made him much more clear-headed, with energy to pursue other interests from kayaking and frisbee to films and theatre. He still goes out with his old friends but says the emphasis is now less on the drink than on enjoying their conversation and company. The one drawback? Ireland's emphasis on alcohol to lubricate the tricky dating-and-mating game. "I don't know how that's going to work out....we'll see!"