30 August 2006

How the Mighty Have Fallen

Wednesday night a week ago, I wrote this in my blog but never finished editing it for publication:

These next few months are going to be a pretty big experiment for me. In hopes of promoting greater discipline in my life while I write PhD applications and take a graduate level history class, I am also training for an Olympic-distance triathlon. This will definitely put a damper on the post-football game debauchery. The training is eleven weeks long and began earlier this week. On Sunday I participated in an organized bike ride in Napa. While my friends rode a century (100 miles), I did the 65-mile ride. For me, it was a personal best and an awesome experience – although I have a 72-mile ride around Lake Tahoe planned for September 10. When the first day of my triathlon training called for rest on Monday, I eagerly obliged. Tuesday I began my first official day of double exercise with a three-mile run and 400m swim. Wednesday, I was commanded by the regimen I am following to ride 6 miles on my bike, but I did about 16 because six seemed silly after the 65 I pulled off this weekend. However, getting back on the bike after the long ride was not so easy – and the residual soreness left something to be desired. I am about to go for today’s run and then a quick swim again. Trying to re-energize my academic alter-ego and complete daily workouts can be quite taxing, but it is all extremely invigorating…

You get the picture. However, in attempting to turn my body and mind into a machine, I forgot one very important piece of the equation – I am not in control of every variable affecting me.

On Saturday after going for another run and officially finishing my first week of triathlon training I was playing a friendly game of wiffle ball with some friends at the park near my new home (that I have not moved into yet). Upon rounding second base, I stubbed the three little toes of my left foot on my friend Rob’s leg. It hurt, but I felt pretty lame having to sit out with a stubbed toe so after a break I continued to play. After the little toe turned completely purple and doubled in size I realized it might be more serious than I realized and decided to listen to the pain I was feeling and end the game. On Sunday when it still hurt, I scrapped the bike ride I had planned and on Monday I decided to go see a doctor. The doctor hurried me off to radiology where I was x-rayed and after many hours I was given the verdict – I broke my little toe!

Both my Tahoe bike ride and triathlon plans have been derailed by the six-week hiatus I have been forced to take from any form of exercise. Just this past weekend I was feeling like I was in the best shape of my life – so this rapid reversal into what is now a sedentary lifestyle has proved quite difficult. My self-reliant nature is having a hard time asking for help – this doesn’t bode well for my future elderly self. The frustration I feel trying to do everyday tasks is both mentally and physically exhausting – yet at the same time, I am craving the release I normally get at the end of the day from a good run or bike ride. However, more than ever, I need to push through this frustration because I did officially start my first graduate history class yesterday – and it has never been more important that I perform well on that front. So this miniature existential crisis I am currently undergoing is serving many purposes. It reminds me how connected my body is to my mind. But it also reminds me that I can’t control everything (although by no means will I give up trying) and that I quickly need to disassociate my physical health from my mental health because I have a fat 600 page book to read by next Tuesday. This pity party needs to end – however, I think I will wait one more night and get in a good episode of Laguna Beach before I don’t have a good excuse anymore.


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