I was talking to a good friend last night about our experience of being generally dissatisfied with our social, romantic, and personal lives. We have enough of a common history that we’re a pretty good mutual support team. There was a lot of discussion about how pathetic it is that we spend so much time doing meaningless work to pay our bills. We talked about the disappointment of getting older alone, without any real prospects for relationships on the horizon. We despaired that almost all we have to look forward to are long bike rides thrashing ourselves as hard as we can. We also talked about how we, and everyone we know who participates in endurance sports is dealing with or has dealt with some serious shit. Almost all of us are desperately working to get away from some part of ourselves.
How many endurance athletes do you know who DON’T have a story about bloody feet, road rash, sprains, throwing up from exertion, bruises, surgeries, saddle sores, blisters, writhing on the floor with brutal cramps or just flat out collapsing from exhaustion? Yeah, I thought so.
Why would we ever willingly do this? I mean, 99.9% of us aren’t getting paid, and are actually PAYING to do it. Sure, we might have some personal goals and derive a sense of accomplishment from it when we meet those goals but COME ON… seriously… no one lies on the floor in the fetal position crying, cramped, and bleeding because they want a tshirt, participation medal, and maybe a photo of them with a clock in the background.
We endure, work for, and come to crave that physical pain because it’s easier to deal with than the mental pain. We keep moving because were trying to escape the hurt that happens when we stop. Yes, some of us make it at a level where our sport or sports become our livelihood, and nowadays some start so early in life that we never know anything different. That isn’t most of us, though. A select few ARE lucky enough to escape our shadow of troubles and then keep endurance sport in our lives. For most of us, though, we’ll spend a good portion of our lives combating the enemy within and using our sport as one of hopefully many weapons in that battle.
So that’s the ‘dealing with depression’ part of this post.
Here’s the training update part:
I hate the stationary trainer. It’s not fun. It doesn’t feel liberating like riding outside. It’s pretty boring and I can’t even really hear the TV over the sound of either my rollers or my trainer (which is slightly quieter than the travel-trac).
I don’t really like running. Yet. Every once in while I get a flash of the feeling my runner friends talk about, where I’m just in the zone and I’m actually enjoying myself. After that 0.0031 seconds passes, it’s back to thinking about my painful calf muscles and trying not to cook them by running on the balls of my feet OR back to thinking about my painful patella tendon and trying not to shred it by heel-striking too much. I get the runner’s high, but I don’t know that it’s worth it. Plus, my heart rate for 10:00 miles on a 5k is like 174 bpm which is decidedly not sustainable.
I think I have athlete’s foot. It’s wack. I’m not even a real athlete so I SHOULDN’T have it (just like the jumper’s knee business… I’m a white guy! what gives!). It’s also ridiculously painful. John Madden never mentioned this on the BOOM Touch actin’ Tinactin commercials. Seriously, I couldn’t sleep last night because of it.
Run tonight. Swim in the morning provided my annoying little shit of an elbow doesn’t cause problems.