HOPping into the Holidays

Nate Pierce - @noapproachnate - Oct 31 2021

Nate Pierce Holding Mango flavored sparkling hop water out at Joshua tree national park

Recently HOP WTR made a post in support of Sober October that came with a simple reminder — you don’t have to brand yourself an alcoholic to examine your relationship with alcohol. This made me pause for a long moment, my scrolling thumb frozen in midair with my eyes fixed on the ceiling as if someone had paused my avatar. As a Navy veteran aka someone who’s been known to drink to the foam on a fair occasion, I like to think that I keep a watchful eye on my drinking. However, rarely have I ever felt INVITED to this examination. Typically, when I see/hear a message pertaining to alcohol it instantly hits me with a wave of negative connotation for anyone who drinks, as if I’m/we’re a problem. It all starts giving me Sunday school vibes, and then I become disinterested. Through the lens of this Instagram post I was reminded that just because something is working, doesn’t mean it can’t work more efficiently.

As an athlete, having spent the majority of my year plagued by injury, I’ve had an extensive amount of time to consider the factors at hand that prevent me from performing my best. Too often, many of them turn out to be self-inflicted. At times when my mental health is suffering, I noticed I tend to turn to my less constructive coping mechanisms.

Nate Pierce holding Mango flavored sparkling hop water in front of white van

This drinking to cope also sees its way into my performance if I’m not careful. For example, sometimes if I have an early objective, it’s hard to accept that I can’t try 10% harder or move 10% faster. That frustration is compounded however, if I know that I’m perhaps 25% slower than usual, because I was drinking the night before, or haven’t properly fueled my body. Especially with the holidays fast approaching (which means lots of peer-pressured quality time for some, and lots of emotional stress for others who will be alone), it’s never an easy thing to maintain your healthy habits and goals.

 So anyway, I’m frozen there with my phone in my hand, having decided to examine my relationship with alcohol, and I’m considering what creative options are at my disposal. I’d taken quite a stroll down memory lane but hadn’t actually thought of anything useful. To my surprise however, that day I received a new care package from HOP WTR that contained some new swag, but also the recipes for a few mocktails… almost as if I’d manifested it myself. After testing them out, I found myself tucked beneath my covers, a Halloween thriller playing, ‘Go-Go Mango Slush’ in hand (in a margarita glass), chuckling at my setup. I felt sort of like a kid again, who felt special because of the “pretend” alcohol I was drinking (and also thankful for the “pretend” hangover I’d have if I got carried away and drank five of them). Though the more I thought about it, that’s part of the magic of the holidays – childlike wonder. The more I thought about it, wasn’t that why I loved adventuring in the outdoors to begin with…?

Thanks for the reminder HOP WTR.

Mango go-go slush mocktail

Go-Go Mango Slush

Mocktail Recipe

Nate's Favorite Flavor

HOP WTR Mango Sparkling Hop Water
HOP WTR Mango Sparkling Hop Water
HOP WTR Mango Sparkling Hop Water
HOP WTR Mango Sparkling Hop Water
HOP WTR Mango Sparkling Hop Water
HOP WTR Mango Sparkling Hop Water


View Details