Yes, that’s a beer. The mountain bike guys gave it to me after our last long run. It’s not that weird. Photo: Leslie
I don’t know. All the days are a bit of a blur. This week was training camp week, which means everything from Thursday afternoon to yesterday afternoon was just: run, eat, sleep, bike, bike, bike, eat, swim, sleep, swim, eat, eat, bike, change flat tire, sleep, bike hard, run hard, throw up a little, sleep, run more.
That’s actually a fairly accurate summary.
I don’t have any feelings right now about camp. I don’t know if I feel good about it or bad, if I think I should be faster or if I’m thinking too much. I had fun with my friends. I trained hard, I think. The overwhelming fatigue is the main sign of that. I’m too tired to have many other thoughts. Ask me in a few days.
The one thing that never really occurred to me beforehand was that my previous camp experience(s) and meltdowns are well-documented and much-shared, that there are people for whom the only thing they know about me is I cried in a bathroom at the top of Mt. Lemmon. Trust me, that’s not the most significant thing you need to know.
It never really occurred to me until I started to realize the stories we tell others are not the same as the stories we tell ourselves. Or maybe it’s that the stories others tell about us aren’t the same as the ones we’d tell. Or both. Just for the record: I’m probably not as much of a mess as you think I am, or as confident. I’m probably not as anything as you think I am. It’s weird living out private meltdowns publicly, but it’s not bad. It just imbues them with more meaning than they actually have. I feel too tired to explain this better and I feel like I’m supposed to explain it better.
In my head, my meltdown this year was every bit as loud as last year’s, but it mostly stayed inside my head. It screamed inside my mind the entire way descending back down Mt. Lemmon about how I’m not good enough and I’m not ready and I could be doing something much less painful with my life. It said, “I don’t care. I just want to be done.” It yelled inside my mind the whole time I tried both to rally for the four miles of hard running after the descent and to find a reason to not have to do it. And it told me to quit every goddamn step of the miserable, miserable run. That I didn’t quit isn’t because I didn’t want to. I just couldn’t come up with a good reason either to stop or to keep going, but stopping felt like it’d come with a lot more baggage than continuing. It’d mean I’d be a different person than the one I think I am, than the one other people think I am.
If this doesn’t make sense blame the fact that I might still be suffering from mild heatstroke.
And so ends week 4 of being a professional athlete.