Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Slump Week

Dear Slump Week,

Oh, thank God you finally arrived! I've been wondering where you were, and eagerly anticipating your arrival. Without you here, the last ten weeks of training have been a terrifying flood of endorphins, self-confidence, energy, strength, and unmitigated joy. I’m sure that all that genuine enthusiasm and boundless optimism was starting to wear on my friends, and I’ll admit that I was getting a little worried myself. I’m really glad you’re here.

Because it’s unnatural to go more than two months without shouting FUCK YOU, ALARM CLOCK! at 3:45 in the morning. Only the truly morally corrupt would feel any sense of normalcy—much less pride—about riding a bicycle at dawn in 50-degree rain week after week after week. And what kind of particular mental instability do you think it takes to get in a swimming pool three times a week to resolutely track back and forth several hundred times, like a hamster on a wheel sent to its watery grave? Fortunately I've been complaining about the running all along, so I haven’t lost any ground there.

Relentless heartfelt cheer in the face of a training regimen that would be considered completely fucking evil by any objective measure is surely a sign of a broken moral compass. Thank goodness you’re here so I can hate every goddamn minute of it and restore my karma.

Lacking any real problems to speak of, my life was feeling horribly out of balance until you showed up. Now I’m free to hate anything and everything with abandon, at least while you’re here. I can take offense at a friend’s invitation to have dinner, in a restaurant, after 5 pm. I can feel horribly misunderstood when someone suggests we go dancing. I can watch an extra episode of Orange is the New Black. Since you're here for a special visit, I'll make sure to eat those oatmeal cookies close to bedtime so I wake up at midnight like cocaine on fire. I can hit the snooze alarm every nine minutes for an hour and a half, and then feel like crap all day, and still have to ride my bike and run at night after work when I'm truly tired. While you’re here, hygiene, housekeeping, and nutrition can go right out the window, along with my running shoes and my training plan. I feel so much lighter, so much freer already! I’m getting so much more sleep, and mmmmm….nachos!

Fortunately, now I don’t have to go through all the emotional turmoil I experience while envisioning my triumphant finish, when that guy on the loudspeaker announces my name and congratulates me for being an Ironman, in front of thousands of cheering spectators. Seriously, that shit makes me cry every time, and I don’t have the energy for it. Now I can focus all my thoughts on renal failure, intractable vomiting, spraining an ankle, crashing my bike, getting repeatedly kicked in the face by men aged 60-65 doing the breaststroke during the swim, and staggering in at 12:01 a.m., 17 hours after I started, for a “did not finish” result.  It’s just so much easier to concentrate on the things that can go wrong, you know?

I know you can stay only a little a while – in fact, it would probably be best for us both if you leave by Friday—but we’re going to have such a great time while you’re here.


No comments:

Post a Comment