Sometimes you ride a wave.
There was a post-race euphoria, as I’d expected there would be. Then I signed up for another race to give myself a new goal and try to avoid the post-race blues. Everything’s going great! I’m meeting new people, some of whom are quite interesting and intriguing. A good friend is even trying to set me up with one of their other good friends. I went on a little vacation, and I’m getting back to what I love: riding my butt off. Sometimes you ride a wave for a while.
I really ought to have known it would only be a matter of time before reality came back with a vengeance. After you ride that wave awhile, eventually it comes crashing down. I’m not excited about training and I’m dreading the swim portion of my olympic triathlon because I likely will not be allowed a wetsuit. While I am riding a little more frequently, for whatever reason I don’t seem to be getting any faster. I don’t think I’m even as fast as I was at this time last year, in spite of a similar amount of training and higher intensity. I haven’t been able to lose any weight and I’m still drinking too much, and sometimes still for the wrong reasons. My shins still hurt like a bitch when I run, and I’m running SLOWER now.
Socially, I REALLY should have been smarter than to think that anything would be different. Anyone I have met has ultimately just put me on the old, familiar anticipation/disappointment/hope/excitement/confusion/frustration scrambler. My friend who was doing the match making is now on her way to Africa for 27 months and the potential match is tepid towards me at best. I wish I didn’t care, but it’s wearing me out. Why on earth am I so optimistic about things that are so obviously wrong? I mean, I spent $50 and two and a half hours a few weeks ago on a woman whom I was convinced had potential. Then, ultimately wasn’t even surprised when she spent more time talking to the bartender about their cats and was more excited about that conversation than she has ever been to talk to me. HOW DO I FUCK THESE THINGS UP? If you’re not surprised when something like that happens, you’re doing something wrong. I also compromised my anonymity with this project. It was a bad decision made with good intentions, but a bad decision for me none-the-less. Now I’ll have to deal with the consequences.
I joined running club back in January to meet people, and the fall session is starting up. I’m in a group with more potential friends and a few single women this time around. Realistically, though, if the result last time was that people thought I was gay because I never EVER hit on women there, the results this time are unlikely to be improved. I do have some pretty good friends there, but as far as anything beyond that, I think I’m slated to always be “the goofy bike dude with the ridiculous glasses and lycra”. In other words, I’m the Shakespearean fool, witty and perhaps wise, but never to be the hero, never the protagonist, never the victor.
Adjusting expectations is maybe the next step. And getting a new job, because expecting this one to ever improve is as dumb as expecting my love life to improve. I’m never going to be fast. I’m never going to be particularly lucky. I’m also always going to be funny. And I’m always going to be okay in the end. My confidence has been boosted, my coping skills honed, and I’m a better, happier, and more self-sufficient person than I was 6 months ago. I think I accomplished a lot of good work on myself, but that doesn’t mean it’s not still dark.
This is all normal shit, so why does it bother me so much? I’ve done a lot, and I like the person I have become. I like how I treat other people even though it blows up in my face a lot. I’m better than I was, but still not better. I avoid the darkest pits, but still can’t shake the shadows.
I think I need to ride more. I think I need a dog too. I need to catch another wave.