So Tired, So Happy

I told the Grade 5/6 kids at school yesterday that I planned on riding the elliptical for three hours today – 11:00 – 12:00, 12:30 – 1:30 and 2:00 – 3:00. I said I’d text “Jayne”, their teacher, to report on my progress.  Nice to have an audience.

Fifteen minutes before showtime, I was at the gym’s water fountain, ready to mix up my electrolyte drink.  I bent down to get the bag of powder from my backpack.  When I started to stand up, I schmucked my head on the corner of the fountain.  Woo.  Dizzy.  I was staggering a bit and a woman asked me if I was all right.  “Sort of.”

A few minutes later, adequately recovered, I began to laugh.  My great athletic day … off to an inauspicious start.

Once I had gathered my essential life forces, I put on t-shirt and shorts and texted Jayne.  In response, she shared how the kids laughed at my predicament.  I’d told them that I was fine.

The first hour, I went slow, in the spirit of a marathon rather than a sprint.  I told the crew afterwards that I was “pleasantly” tired, not an adverb I usually associate with fatigue.  The response from Cyberland?  “Go, Mr. Kerr, go!  You can do it.”  That felt good.  And I was proud of myself, schussing along at a moderate pace, keeping my heart rate under control.

Hour number two was far more of a grunt, and the breathing was heavy. Plus pain behind my right knee.  I waited to see if it would mellow, and five minutes later it did.  When the second 60 minutes were up, I felt “unpleasantly” tired, but happily still vertical.  Once the bod had returned to some version of normal, I texted Jayne and the kids, in advance of my 2:00 pm relaunch.  “What will happen if I’m completely pooped at 2:30?  I’ll do what comes naturally – I’ll think of you!”

And the response: “You can do it!!  They’re all cheering!”  I wasn’t so sure I could do it but you gotta go with what those young people say.

The third hour was a slog, but strangely and wonderfully, I didn’t once think of quitting.  Twenty-five young humans, and one older one, were cheering me on.  Around 2:45, I really needed the support.  Everything was slowing, except my heartbeat.  The breath was a gasp.  But lo and behold, 59 minutes turned into 60, and I’d done it!  The equivalent of 60 kilometres, 15 more than I had done before.  Yay!

It’s three hours later now and I’m sitting in a London library.  I feel slow and weak.  “Well, Bruce, what exactly did you expect?  You’re not a machine, you know.”  True.  And whatever I am, having a lot of kids pulling for me got me over the top.  Thank you.

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