Exhausted

That’s what I am.  Everything is heavy and slow, and yet I’m happy.  Because the stress is physical, not emotional.  My body is saying “rest” and I choose to obey.  I’m enfolded within a cozy reclining chair at Landmark Cinema, ready to see Black Panther.  My day so far has been a cauldron of fatigue.

I’m training to ride my bicycle across Canada this summer.  While the snow is on the ground and the temperatures are cool, I’m indoors at the gym, loving the elliptical.  I’ve figured out that an hour on the machine burns about the same number of calories as an hour on the bike (600).  And since I ride approximately 20 kilometres an hour, I’ve told myself that I’m doing 20 k every time I move all my body parts on the elliptical.

The challenge today was simple and daunting: ride the equivalent of 80 k.  Stay atop my steed for four hours, with breaks between.  After hour two, I was pleasantly tired.  Not so pleasant after three hours and downright painful after that.

My breath started coming in big pants and my calves ached.  With 15 minutes to go, I was desperate for the end and wondered whether I was about to fall off the machine.  I thought of the people who care about me, old and young, and silently asked for their help.  The kids at school knew what I was trying to do and I felt waves of energy coming at me across the miles.  Thank you!

And then it was over.  I did it!  So pleased with myself.  I sat comatose in the locker room and texted my triumph to Jayne and the kids.  The congrats soon appeared in blue on my screen.

I then proceeded to take 20 minutes to change out of my sodden t-shirt and shorts and into street clothes.  I was fascinated with my stupor and how hard it was to pull on my socks.  Other club members were changing near me.  Usually I’d engage them in conversation … but not today.  How strange to exclude them. It was not like me, except that today it was.

After a teriyaki pig out at Subway, I headed to the mall to find a battery.  I drove safely but I had to concentrate like anything.  Other cars seemed to be in slow motion.  At the mall, which I’m very familiar with, I had to pee.  For the life of me, though, I couldn’t remember where the washroom was.  A Tim Hortons employee pointed the way.  How humbling, but I didn’t beat myself up about it. “Bruce, you’re really tired.  Be gentle with yourself.”  Definitely good advice.

It’s now after the movie.  Too much “shoot ’em up” for me.  I’m mentally dull with heavy eyes.  Stiff.  And my body feels like it’s sliding to the floor.  But I produced the result!  I need to accept the consequences of giving everything.  I bet there’ll be plenty of evenings on the road this summer that will feel just like this.  Bring ’em on.

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