Queering the Triathlete (and Other Discomforts)

A Melancholy Zebra determined to strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

Exercise Isn’t a Cure-All… also The Queen Joan Ferguson

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I’ve talked a few times about how exercise saves my pants. (Actually, no. I’m sure my pants are not pleased with the constant sweat saturation and then soap-bath. They probably would rather simply be pants.)

Yet, every single session isn’t an auto-mood boost, alas. For the first time since January, I quit a training session early, intentionally, and not from Bad Pain. I just couldn’t stop panicking and crying. I’ve had moments in training before, and I’m sure I’ll have more in the future. But I will say that the universe has a twisted sense of humor about these situations.

But first, it seems like fun to have a few stats to document at the start of these posts. Let’s see. This week:

  • Training Hours: 15 (stretching, PT, rolling included)
  • Joints Repositioned: 5
  • Pain Level: 3

So, the training session failed– I got off the treadmill because I kept bursting into tears about who knows what. I have a list. It could have been any and all. Damn I was so frustrated that I couldn’t keep my shit together long enough to finish the treadmill efforts. At least 7 times in 20+ minutes, I had to hop off to hang off the handrails, hyperventilating. Or crying. Pick whichever one is more dignified!

Admittedly, it probably didn’t help that a particularly excellent episode of Babylon 5 was going on the video (because who the hell wants to stare at a white wall for 70 minutes??). “Severed Dreams,” it’s a tearjerker of an episode to be sure, but one of my close friends is a lead in that show. Or someone who was a close friend. Or was never really a close friend, though I thought so. I love her anyway, but damn, that woman has the dangerous pairing a dubious moral compass and a certainty that she surely carries the minimum amount of responsibility. There are stories. Point being, I’m sure that video was not helping the situation.

Nonetheless, that was not a treadmill session to be failed; a make-up was requested. Fuck. I didn’t want to pound on my shin again, and more than that I wanted to forget about that failure. Curling up in my sleeping bag and binge-watching Wentworth sounded perfect.

And it still sounded perfect the next morning when I had a 3-hr bike ride scheduled. But in the interest of not spending the day trying to avoid an old, tried-and-true coping mechanism, I got on the bike.

It sucked, and it wasn’t working. I still felt like shit, and when it started pouring down rain, it definitely felt like a triathlete’s version of the Pathetic Rom-Com Scene. (Pathetic in the sense of pathos.)

But the universe does have a funny sense of humor.

Someone somehow left a partly-shattered beer bottle on the bike shoulder. Jackass. Nonetheless, I avoided this hazard for the first two passes but, grumpy and distracted in that last hour, my tire smacked one of the larger fragments, and it further broke apart, and several pieces went shooting into my leg. (Correction: into the shin with the shin-split. Fantastic.)

After the ride, I picked out the pieces with tweezers and pressure-washed the punctures, doused them in rubbing alcohol, and then smacked some Mupirocin USP on them. Don’t try this at home:

2016-05-28 22.00.27

The smallest one, post-extraction. Approximately 5mm deep.

When I’m in a particularly terrible mood, I’ll earnestly-yet-self-mockingly ask my deceased childhood minister to send me a small miracle. (I don’t actually think he’s there and listening… at least 99% sure… but if I explicitly state that I’m waiting for something uplifting to happen, I’m more likely to notice and appreciate something good when it happens.)

This wasn’t what I was expecting, but somehow getting glass fragments shot into my leg was a strange blessing in its absurdity. So much for urges being problematic. Thanks universe! …. I think.

(Yes, I did complete the make-up treadmill session. Yes, it sapped large amounts of energy, most of it from the emotional reservoir. Fingers crossed I won’t need that lost energy in the next few days.)

Also, I would like to take a few paragraphs to suggest that Joan Ferguson from Wentworth is the Queen. The new season has been my current lifeline–i.e. something I can analyze half to death to keep my overactive brain occupied–and Joan has not been a disappointment this season.

Shamelessly ripped from Tumblr

Shamelessly ripped from Tumblr

We can all admit that she is a sadistic, batbunta-crazy psychopath, and I think I’m in love.

Hear me out.

In a way, Joan does what many of us who don’t express our anger wish we could do–exactly what she wants, and the world can go straight to hell in the process–if we didn’t feel. She’s one of those types that’s perfectly content to watch the world burn if it suits her needs. She gives us an absolute overdose of Fuck Everything so we don’t have to sate that imperative, however insignificant that imperative is next to Joan’s Fuck Everything levels. She can be the Valkyrie so we can simply soldier on with fingers crossed.

And it doesn’t hurt that Pamela Rabe is fantastically talented, executing that character almost flawlessly, and fantastically beautiful as well.

Because her "Joan" costume isn't meant to be pretty. Also ripped shamelessly from Tumblr.

Because her “Joan” costume isn’t meant to be pretty. Also shamelessly ripped from Tumblr.

New episodes of Wentworth are appearing every Tuesday, and I cannot wait to see what Joan does after the horrific events of last week.

I know. I should be more excited about my aerial performance tonight (an hour a week, and I’m super pleased that I’m actually better at these things. Must be all the triathlon. And probably vice-versa for an “integrated core” while running, frankly.)



And I have a 70.3 coming up in the next week or so. I should feel more excited. I don’t. Honestly, I think the lack of excitement is simply a mental smackdown on abject terror– this will be the first race I’ve done with this coach, and I’m afraid I won’t pull off as great of a performance as I can/should/must. I’m more invested in the splits than I ever have been. Finishing isn’t winning the battle anymore. So, Mental-Jeff is acting a dick telling me that I’m not going to be able to do it.

One thought on “Exercise Isn’t a Cure-All… also The Queen Joan Ferguson

  1. First of all….ouch! lol that cut there looks a tad painful but on that note, great job with training! No worries, sometimes panic just sort of happens lol that’s why I always have a paper bag on standby lol j/k (but seriously maybe I should have a paper bag on standby) I hope your mode has improved since this post…if not…I will back away slowly….now 😉 lol Take Care! 😀 xo

    Liked by 1 person

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