Tuesday, March 06, 2007

6 weeks and crashing down

I am exactly 6 weekends from the MS150 and fully 6 good weeks to get miles in.

I am also 1 week into a broken rib injury.

I’m likely to be off the bike completely for 2 more weeks leaving me with 3 good weekends to get miles in and 3 and a half good weeks to work out.

I don’t see the MS150 realistically happening.  It’s just so… unlikely.

What’s worse is that the reality of it not happening is beginning to settle in and that cold, desperate feeling is settling over me.

I hate that feeling of despair on the road when you begin to come to the realization that you’re simply not going to cross the finish line.  That point of final brokenness when you realize that you cannot lift the leg one more time or push the gears around one more time and you know your trip is over.  That same point where you stop at the medic tent and have to call and tell the people who so desperately want you to finish that you had to quit. 

Quit. 

Give up. 

Fail.

Words that aren’t just words, but slaps to the face.

Brokenness.

Despair.

Finished.

It’s even worse when that feeling comes before you even pull on the shoes or slip on the jersey.

Empty.

Knocked out.

Without even throwing a punch.

 

It’s a very lonely feeling because nobody wants to stand near the slumping batter.  Failure clings to you like dank, fetid, mouldering swamp water.  Try as you may you simply can’t wash it off.  The only thing that gets it off you is a victory—no matter how small.  A grounder “with eyes” between first and second will do to break the slump.  A PR in a 5k or a fast 10 miles where you didn’t have get out of the saddle once.  The problem is that the clinging failure weighs you down and makes it that much harder to get up one more time.

The weight of defeat is crushing.

 

It takes all the energy you can muster to remind yourself that even in the pit of failure there is always a step even though the darkness conceals it.  Eventually you either start to believe it or you stumble across it.  Somewhere in the darkness is the step.  Then another.  Then another.  Then light. 

One day the pain in my ribs will end. 

Eventually my angel will come and invite me—command me—to “rest and eat cake”.  Then maybe I can get up and finish.

Eventually.

Soon.

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