Queering the Triathlete (and Other Discomforts)

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

A Day in the Life

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A satirical (or not) description of a typical day.

This isn’t a particularly good or bad day but something I’d expect on an uneventful and average day for my spoonie/zebra/triathlete/*cough* butt.

Sample Day: 

8.30am: Hear alarm. Flail at it desperately to make it shut up because I’ve only been sleeping for 4 hours.

9am: Snooze button stops working; begrudgingly roll (literally) out of bed into the floor. Proceed to crack everything. Take NSAID.

9.20am: Remember that I ate all of my food last night and have to find breakfast elsewhere. Decide that I’m a failure of an adult. Dread the thought of going to the grocery store for the third time this week. Crack everything.

9.21am:  PANIC. Late for the bus! Run out the door.

9.22am: Realize I forgot my hat and that I need my hat. Go back for hat.

9.35am: Missed the bus. Viciously criticize self for not having the awareness to grab my hat before going out the door, thus leading to my missing the bus by a minute (again.) Think that I am clearly incompetent and useless. Grab some chocolate milk and a breakfast bar from the 7-11. Crack everything again.

11.00am: Finally arrive at my office and lo! The new episode of Wentworth is up! Decide that everything is brilliant with the world and proceed to become utterly engrossed in the show, particularly Pamela Rabe. Depending on the tenor of the episode, either shriek with delight and start shaking uncontrollably in my chair, pumping my fists as if trying to charge two Faraday flashlights, or start sobbing while contorting like a pretzel. Either way, emotion levels run high and happy.

11.47am: Attempt to stand up, but fail. Cuss loudly, crack knees, and then stand up.

11.48am: Grab swim bag and haul ass to the pool for training.

11.57am: Change into swimsuit and smear zinc on my face. Forget to smear zinc on my shoulders, neck and chest in excitement to jump into the water.


12.45pm: WHY AM I NOT MAKING THESE INTERVALS? (*hyperventilate up a lung*) Decide that everything is awful and that I’m not getting any better. (*wheeze*) Convince myself that I don’t deserve a coach or deserve to enjoy the water or deserve anything at all. Contemplate cutting before remembering how nasty the pool water might actually be and how gross the resulting infection could get. Consider alternatives to cutting.

12.46pm: Realize I read the interval wrong. Decide that I am fucking awesome! “I am one with the water. I AM the water.” Swim happily, loving the feeling of the water sliding past.

12.47pm: *uni swimmer breezes past me in the next lane* Change my mind again: I’m terrible at this. Wonder if anyone else noticed and is laughing at me. Try to reorient brain into “Just You And The Water” mode and start reciting Tennyson’s “Ulysses” in time with the strokes. Viciously cuss at myself every time I screw up a line.

1.10pm: Leave pool, shaking off the discouragement and satisfied from the exercise endorphins. Take a deep breath and notice the mountains in the distance. Relax as I feel how beautiful those mountains are, wishing I could go climb up to the top at that moment. Walk toward my office, inwardly serene and joyful. Crack everything.

1.15pm: Grab “lunch” from the vending machine

1.16pm: Anxiously await upcoming meeting while collapsed in the office doing thesis work, getting distracted by Spotify, and cracking everything.

3.30pm: Meeting. Relief.

4.31pm: Leave the meeting. Crack everything. Upon stepping outside, notice the fault lines developing along my sternum and the tightening, suffocating feeling in my chest. Practically tumble down the stairs in an effort to get outside and away from echoing locations.

4.32pm: Cry or brood, believing I’m an irredeemable mess that doesn’t deserve anything nice. Also realize that I can’t crack my middle-back as it starts to ache.

4.40pm: Probably still crying and/or brooding, but finally feeling up to checking the bus schedule, which informs me that I’ll miss the bus coming in 2 minutes and will need to wait another 20 for the next one.

5.30pm: Arrive home feeling marginally better after listening to music on the bus. Realize I still don’t have any food in the place except a mostly-full jar of Nutella. Eat several spoonfuls of that. Plop in front of the computer to rip the Wentworth episode off the Internet so I can keep the file and let the Nutella settle a little.

7.00pm: Decide it’s time to go run. Feel a bit grumpy that it’s on the treadmill but plan to take along Some Favorite Scifi TV Show for distraction.

7.45pm: Actually stand up to go run. Crack everything first.

7:50pm: Get unreasonably angry that Girl In The Turquoise Jacket And Pink Shoes is still on the treadmill, walking now. Try to use my Wise Mind/DBT/Blah to remember that she has just as much of a right to the treadmill as I do, and who am I to judge her for walking for fifteen minutes and playing on her phone after running a 5.5mph 5k? Wonder why she doesn’t sweat while I sweat bathtubs. Decide I’m disgusting.

8.05pm: Finally get on the treadmill and begin running.

8.06pm: Try not to cry from frustration as I realize I’m markedly favoring my left leg. Start to think I have a stress fracture in the right shin. Decide my body is stupid and broken and that I don’t really want it anymore.

8.07pm: Tell myself I’m being ridiculous and that it’s surely just a shin splint. Crack wrists.

8.08pm: Stride evens out, and I start to feel better about myself. Settle into the workout. Stare at weird dot on the otherwise blank wall in front of me. Start feeling happy as I cruise along, infinitely pleased that I’m cruising faster than I used to cruise.

8.40pm: Realize that running hurts and everything hurts and my body is stupid and my brain is stupid and begin contemplating killing myself later. Play with the treadmill speed according to instructions regardless.

8.45: Remember that people would notice if I were to kill myself and get unreasonably angry at everyone who would notice. Start figuring out how to eject people from my life so that no one would notice. Nobody wants my overly-labile-emotions in their lives anyway.

9.04: Start feeling excited that I’m so close to completing the session successfully. Start counting my strides.

9.05pm: Get off treadmill and nearly fall over as the shin pain comes rushing back and my hip pops out. Try to ignore shin while carefully popping hip back in and wiping copious amounts of sweat off the treadmill. Crack everything.

9.06pm: After-exercise relief returns, and I decide that suicide can wait for a different opportunity because I feel better now.

9.30pm: Showered (while finding that the lack of zinc on my chest/shoulders/neck did indeed lead to an ugly sunburn. Smear aloe on it.), changed into pajamas, swapped out depression medication patch, and feeling proud of accomplishing both training sessions despite the emotional roller-coaster. Still no proper food in the apartment, but I can’t be bothered to move, so finish off the Nutella and hit the half-gone bag frozen peaches. Calories are calories, right? Settle in contentedly.

9.30pm-12.00am: Cycle through watching TV, messaging distant friends, writing daily journal entry, and compulsively practicing calligraphy. Crack everything multiple times. Realize that my chest still feels like it’s cracking apart and start the emotional spiral. Do everything possible to avoid landing in the Slough of Despond.

12.00am: Decide my distractions aren’t working and that I ought to sleep anyway. Start contortion strengthening exercises, careful stretches, foam rolling, and qigong routine as a “moving meditation.” Crack everything. Also, take sleep meds, seizure meds, bio-astin, biotin, glucosamine, MSM, NSAID, and rub lotion into sore muscles. Also rub essential oil into my chest because maybe that does something useful and at least it smells nice. Feel content for a while.

1.40am: Wonder hopelessly how I managed to eat up an extra hour in the process. Get in bed.

1.41am: Terror descends as the silence hits. Quickly put a stupid TV show on the screen and turn it away from me to try and sleep with a comforting ambient noise. Start the sleep-dance of shifting positions 100 times either because a joint is aching or I’ve realized that some comfortable position is in reality a terrible position for alignment. Crack everything.

3.30am: Exhausted but frustrated that I’m still awake and log-rolling. Crack everything.

3.30am-4.30am: Eventually fall asleep.

8.30am: Hear alarm and start thrashing at it…

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