Friday, August 20, 2010

But Then Again, No...

I'm thinking that most of you don't like to read about dithering and whining, so this may be a post with small readership. Tough cheese, readers. I have a horrible, eye-watering, throat-clogging, snot-pouring, beat-me-with-a-baseball-bat cold. It's the kind of cold where you think, "Really? A cold? Cause I feel so freakin' awful it must be the flu." It started couple nights ago, and I tried to kid myself that it was just dust from my pathetic attempts at house cleaning. By the next morning, though, I knew. "Ha!" said the cold. "You are my bitch now." I feel like this awesome drawing by Allie Brosh from the even awesomer Hyperbole And A Half Blog, from the story of her pathetic physical meltdown in Texas.

One of the most pissy-offy things about it is that Tim and I were supposed to be camping up at Tuolumne Meadows tonight. I had the day off, and we were going to meet a gaggle of people up there, some of whom number among my favorite people on the entire planet, people who have adorable kids but live on other coasts and are rarely found in California, even seasonally. But Yosemite became a no-go pretty early on in this cold. Couldn't face 8000 feet of altitude, dry air, dust, sleeping on the ground and no nose-hose to fight the sleep apnea. Couldn't even face going into the garage to find the tent or sleeping bag.

But another pissy-offy thing about this cold is that it's a big garish neon sign, saying "See What Happens?" After the Summer Grants Death March, I was running around, going to meetings for Capital Stage driving down to see my folks, doing the San Ramon Aquathlon, and so forth. With madcap frivolity, I turned an afternoon meeting in Pleasant Hill into 30 miles of bike riding interlarded with public transportation.

And then I got sick, which might seem reasonable, given that I had gone through a stressful six weeks and then celebrated its end with a gumbo of socializing, travel, and exercise. But dammit, I want to be able to play hard! Not like thirteen-beers-and-a-curry-and0-chips-afterwards hard, but I want to be able to go see the people I want to see, spend a couple nights here and a night there, go out for walks and shopping and aquathlons, and even play a raucous game of Chickenfoot.

Meanwhile, I spent the middle part of this week dithering about Budapest and the Aquathlon Worlds. I had been planning three days in Bruges with my aunt, but, good sport that she is, she said she'd go to Budapest instead. The USAT promised me that I could buy my Team USA uniform online and that a lovely travel person was helping out with the travel, including a transfer package and custom city tour. So that seemed cool. But the travel lady didn't seem to want to help with my flight, and the Team USA hotel was sold out. There were a zillion hotels nearby, mostly pretty reasonable, but I started searching flights from London to Budapest. They seem to be either (a) expensive –at least $450 per person round trip – or b) leaving from Luton or Stansted, when I'm arriving in Heathrow (c) at the wrong time, e.g. arriving in Budapest at midnight or (d) some combination of the above.

Furthermore - and this should come as no surprise to anyone - Team USA triathlon uniforms do not come in extended sizes. Not even a men's XXL. I'm sure USAT imagined that the only people who would qualify for Worlds would be "normal sized" triathletes. I emailed USAT and they said, oh, no, we don't think we have any other sizes, call the "USAT Store" directly. I did. The woman there suggested I try a men's XL. I said, um, that really won't work. Normally I would take this as a call to arms and a challenge, but right now I feel too sick and tired to fight about that.

And if I could get a reasonable flight leaving Heathrow at a reasonable hour that didn't stop for 10 hours in Milan or Zurich or whatever, I would say, ok, cool. I'd wear my black Junonia swimsuit and tri shorts and if anyone asked, I'd just say loud and clear, "USAT did not have uniforms in my size." And I would have a good time.

But getting to Budapest will be way more expensive than Belgium and there will be a lot of running around (packet pickup Tuesday, aquathlon Wednesday, parade Thursday, in my ill--fitting parade shirt). It might not be as much fun for my aunt as I might hope. She is kind of shy and not someone who will strike off on her own in a big city. And she is my favorite aunt, so I want her to have an awesome time. Also, I now have a stinking rotten cold, which kind of acted as a reminder to me of what happens when I run all over the place like a crazy person. Or like a sane person who just wants to have a lot of fun in a short time frame. And I can’t even get a uniform.

I dunno. This cold is messing with my positive outlook, but maybe the sane thing to do is just to go to Bruges with my lovely aunt on the lovely Eurostar, have a nice little vacation with no schedule at all in a beautiful small city, and then go on over to Wales for some quality time with the extended family, some walks in the hills, and some curry and chips. Maybe then I could come back and go to work without being exhausted and getting sick as a dog after the travel. Maybe.

In my dithering, I asked the Magic 8-Ball online: "Should I go to Budapest?" "Not in a million years," it said. "Should I go to Bruges?" "Outlook is good."

So I think it's Bruges. I'll let you know.


  1. First, hope you get to feeling better quickly and it well, sucks, that you had to miss your trip!

    I'm not sure what's worse when it comes to active wear... the fact that they don't offer extended sizes, or that when they do their XL fits the 120 lb., 5'2" triathlete.

    The right choice will come you. :)

  2. :( yuck. hope you feel better, sorry about what a headache getting to and participating in budapest is turning out to be.

  3. On the bright side, curry will help with the cold ;) Either way, just relax and have fun! Hope you feel better soon!!

  4. Dude, I SO UNDERSTAND what you mean about wanting to play hard and having a body that just won't cooperate. I feel like I look lazy or weak sometimes, but my damn immune system, or Chi, or whatever you want to call it, needs plenty of down time. :(

  5. Bruges with a fav Aunt sounds like the right deal!! Relax, eat, drink and wear comfortable clothing - this is what life is all about!:-)

    Get better sounds ~ raw garlic & raw honey..loads of both,all day, but not together, or together if that works for you and your tongue is ok with it!lol:-)

  6. oops, sorry..."sounds" should be "soon"...was all caught up in trying to imagine what raw honey & raw garlic would tast like together! lol:-) Am weird, ignore me!

  7. I'm trying to figure out how I've never heard of you before! Brilliant writing, looking forward to catching up on all your posts - thank you from one slow fat triathlete to another!