Hey man I’m alive I’m takin’ each day and night at a time
Yeah I’m down, but I know I’ll get by
Hey hey hey hey, man gotta live my life
Like I ain’t got nothin’ but this roll of the dice
I’m feelin’ like a Monday, but someday I’ll be Saturday night
Yeah I have been in a slump lately. If you follow this blog or my various social media outlets this will come as no shock. It has been mentioned to me a few times. Even though I try to reign it in, it cannot help but come out at times, either as a side comment, a telling meme (because, as we know, all truth on the interwebs come via memes), or even the occasional non-response (rare as that can be).
I find that interesting, by the way, that some will post a news story, meme, or opinion with the sole reason being getting a response from the Fat Slow Triathlete. I know this is done because when my inevitable response comes they will message me saying, in some form or another, “I was waiting for you to react to that one”.
It has been raining a lot here in Tampa the last three weeks. This is not a bad thing in of itself but what happens when the rains come like this is that it forces training to be either postponed or relegated indoors. In either case, this, for me, causes the monkey mind to engage. When I start thinking to me, afforded the time to do too much self-reflection, it can be the start of a downward spiral. This has been happening recently.
I find myself reflecting too much on the path I have walked in my life, and fretting way too much on the missteps and forks in the road not taken. So many things I have accomplished in my life have been good things. I served my country for ten years, I earned two Masters Degrees. I have completed a marathon, 3 Half Ironman’s, 2 more 70.3 events, a half-dozen or more half marathons, countless other short course triathlons and 5 k’s. I survived cancer.
All good things. Things worthy of pride and respect.
But then I focus on the bad sides of those same things. I served ten years but really, outside of travel and seeing the world, I got nothing tangible from it. It cost me two marriages. It cost me a relationship with my oldest son which may never be repaired. My education has put me over $100,000 in debt, and has not afforded me the job opportunities where this debt could ever be repaid. I will die with this debt. I survived cancer but it has caused so much harm to my body that I wonder if I will ever be at the physical level I see in my mind. The cancer was most likely caused by exposure to things in the service, so one more thing the Navy gave me.
Now I can’t say my name, and tell you where I am. I want to roll myself away, don’t know if I can
I wish that I could be in some other time and place, with someone else’s soul, someone else’s face
I know. I have accomplished much. And I know I tend to focus too much on “what if” instead of “what is” and “what could be”. As much as I should focus on the positive my mind naturally goes there, and when I have too much time on my hands to ponder, to think things through, it is hard to pull myself out. I wish I could be more oblivious to my own shortcomings, like so many people seem to be these days. I am too quick to identify and stew on them.
I am struggling even writing this post because there are things I want to write about but not sure if I should, because it would be very revealing (as if that has stopped me before). The thing about this blog is that it is my release. It allows me to get out of my head and putting something on “paper” in order to better deal with it. Almost like a confessional. But sometimes I forget that I know people who read this personally, and some of it I am not ready to “share” with people I actually have to see. If that makes sense.
I have this feeling of being trapped, I guess. That is the most apt description I can give. I do try to talk about this with people but most just give the response of “well, do something about it then”, or the ever popular “well, if you REALLY wanted to change it you would”, which is annoying, condescending, and just not understanding at all.
There are times, and situations, that cannot be fixed by just leaving it behind. I have never been one to run from my problems.
Check that … I have been one to do that in my past … which is probably why I am gunshy about doing it now.
Yes. I could “fix” things like that, but then I have to live with myself.
“If you are unhappy in your work, then quit. Things will work out. It is better to be happy than spending 10 hours a day doing something that you hate”
Good in theory. I tried that back in 2011. I figured hey, I have two Masters Degrees. I have 20+ years experience. I should be able to find something else. I should be working somewhere that pays me a lot of money.
Took a job I knew within 2 weeks was a mistake. Allowed myself to be placed in a situation that cost me that very job (a six figure position).
9 months unemployment followed. Bankruptcy. Lost my house (though still living in it waiting for that eventual eviction order to come).
The things that used to be my saving grace are no longer available to me, or just no longer work for me.
What was the catalyst for this blog post?
I started writing this on Saturday night (hence the title idea … thanks to Jon Bon Jovi) and it is now early Monday morning. I am tempted to not post this, but I am going to, even though I know it will be met with reactions from all sides.
I started pondering at 5 AM what prompted this feeling, this need, to write this … and it was simple … one word …
I was watching a dvr recording of the crossfit games Saturday and all of a sudden started thinking about how great it would be to be able to compete in something like that. Now understand I am not a huge crossfit advocate. I think it is filled with type A people who should really not be coaching, leads to injuries because of said coaching, and is not well-balanced. That being said, there is something … cool about watching these athletes compete in these events. I want to be able to do this.
Then it hit me.
I will probably never be able to do that type of thing.
This is not a defeatist attitude. It is a realistic attitude. With my health issues, age, weight, etc. it is not a realistic goal. And that part I am actually OK with.
But what I focus on is all those lost years when I could have been like these people, before the cancer, before the marriages, before the side roads I took to a safe life.
For awhile I was able to focus on what lay before me and not dwell on what mistakes I had made.
I am finding that hard recently, and I am not sure how to fix it.
Just feeling like a Monday, as Jon put it …
Thanks for listening.