Saturday, February 6, 2010

The Triumph of the Won't

When I started the idea for this little blog, I must confess that I thought it would be something like 65% physical and psychological triumphs and 30% setbacks, with 5% set aside for musings even more random than my norm. Lately, though, the percentages have been pretty much reversed. At best. And I didn’t really feel like writing about that. So I fell silent for a number of weeks. But is that what real bloggers do? Well, judging by the number of abandoned and half-assed blogs I’ve seen out there, yes, apparently it is. But I’m not going to fall into that pit. I promised you the Big Fat Fitness Comeback, warts and all.

I’m happy to report that most of my setbacks have had causes other than simple lack of motivation. I worked out at CalFit pretty regularly right up until nearly Christmas Eve, mixing swimming with a couple more X-bike classes and a couple resistance training sessions. I continued to walk to and from the train at the Berkeley station, though cold, rain, morning and evening darkness, and a flat tire pretty much convinced me to forgo my bike commute. (Forecast is dry for tomorrow though, and the days are getting longer: perhaps I can brave mere cold and evening dark.)

Christmas is really one of my favorite things about being alive. Even though it’s crazy, fraught with overspending, overeating, overdriving, overdrinking, and overviewing of “It’s a Wonderful Life,” I just love it. No Christmas light display is too cheesy, almost no Christmas music too repetitive. (Not super fond of “Up on the housetop reindeer pause.”) My family’s annual carol-singing fest is the highlight of it all, followed closely by the big day itself.

But the holidays and the concomitant overdoing of everything usually wreak havoc on my immune system. The night after Christmas I developed a slight wheeze in my chest. The next couple of days I felt ill, though not desperately so. Then the hammer dropped, the fever went up, couldn’t breathe, ached like mad. Kaiser said over the phone it was probably H1N1, and would I be so good as to not come in and infect them. Inhaler, cough medicine, Advil, repeat. A couple days of sheer misery, a few more of lethargy, pallor, and weakness. It was a good 10 days before I felt really right again.

And at that point, we were well into the madness of 27 grants all coming due on the same day. Five staff, three contractors, seven clients’ staff and a partridge in a pear tree, working massive overtime to get these things into shape.

Having felt really well for about 2 1/2 days, I was planning my return to the gym. Then my guts started to cramp, I got nauseated and achy, and completely lost my vim again. What the hell? This deteriorated over 36 hours into explosive, virulent diarrhea after the intake of any food whatsoever. So I quit eating food entirely and spent another four days working my way from clear liquids up to white rice, then adding bananas and saltines into the mix. Finally after a week of near starvation and more overtime at work, my system accepted a quesadilla. With salsa! And on the bright side, I could fit into my skinniest jeans…

By this time we were about five days from the big 27-grant deadline, so I proceeded to work through the weekend and the MLK Jr. holiday, along with the six staff, three contractors, four calling birds, etc. Exercise was out of the question, and I was driving into the office more because of my odd hours.

Once the 27 grants were done at 11 pm on Tuesday the 19th, it took me two full days to recover enough to even think about physical activity. On Friday I went back to the gym and managed all of 800 yards in the pool. Saturday I got on the bike for 45 minutes. Sunday I sat on my ass and watched football, and Monday I had a meeting after work. But today I walked, and tomorrow I may ride.

It’s not much of a triumph, but it’s what I got. Call it the triumph of the won’t-give-up, dammit. And February’s got to be better than this.


  1. Hiya Jayne, great to see you posting again! Unfortunately life takes over sometimes and you just gotta roll with it right.

    I look forward to hearing about your training. Do you have any races planned for this year?

  2. Hey Adena -

    YES! Yes I do. I'm at least doing the Luna Bar Women's Tri (late August) and the Golden State Tri this year (early October). Short and local. Also looking at some of the earlier season sprint races. Feel ok about swimming and biking, but scared of running. Or even of walking fast...