Some times you eat the bear, and …




12:31 pm

December 8, 2008
Meters rowed: 5,000
Time: 22:32
Pace per 500: Sub-1:50 at minutes 5, 10, 15 & 20
Stroke: varied;
Total Meters Rowed: 165,050

… sometimes the bear eats you.  Today the bear ate me.

I knew it as soon as I sat down, after having semi talked myself into a 25-minute sprint workout, with sub-1:50s at minutes 5, 10, 15 & 20. Semi talked, and l knew it was going to be semi tough. For one thing, I’d already taken Patrick to school and returned and it wasn’t 6:20 a.m. anymore, it was 9:30, daylight was burning ,and sitting my sorry keister down on the Concept2 was pretty near the very last thing I felt like doing.  So already it was all out of sync. And then at minute three, still just warming up, the urge was overwhelming to at least bag the sprints, if not the whole thing. Sometimes it’s just not there, and this was one of those times.

It’s an awful feeling, isn’t? It makes you wonder why why why and what can you do and there’s no answer, none that you can think of, and you could really use some advice, and maybe just maybe I might never get on this thing again. And then the first sprint did NOTHING by way of dispelling my doubts. Yes, I held the sub-1:50. So what? IT WAS AWFUL, I TELL YOU! AWFUL! No rhythm. Just a whole lot of nothing.

So with the first sprint done I needed to pick an answer, quickly, and I figured had three choices, like I was playing Jeopardy! of something:  1) Quit completely, just bag it. 2) Stick with it but blow off the sprints. Or, 3) Do the minute sprints but row it to 5,000 meters and not to 25 minutes.  Rowing excuses for $300, Alex. What was Steve’s best option for getting through a workout while still saving some face? No. 3. So now it’s done. And it’s two hours later and I still feel awful.

Oh. Did I mention the Christmas party we had over the weekend? Steve and Noreen’s annual bash? This was the 25th year, with one of the original gatherers besides Noreen and me still in attendance (the other two, my cousin Peter and his boyfriend, West, succumbed to AIDS in 1986 and 1992, respectively). A few of the other players are still at it from year two. The rest have been accumulated along the way.  It is a big deal. And this year, living in York, we needed to make it a movable feast, getting back up to Brooklyn for 48 hours at the house we left behind for the year. it was as if the party itself was conjured out of magical Christmas dust.

So maybe, at this party, I had some beer and some wine and some Bailey’s Irish Crème. I’m just saying maybe. And as the M.C. of the goofy gargantuan greedy gift exchange, wherein the presents  get traded back and forth and forth and back and with 33 people it takes HOURS, and it’s my job — and it’s such work! — keeping the party spriit going, I was on my feet all night.

But now for the truly weird part: As per usual on the night of this party, later while in bed sleeping my legs cramped and forced me up a couple of times to walk it off. At least this time it wasn’t with the drum-tight, locked-up intensity of some post-party nights past. It is usually my hamstrings; sometimes my groin; occasionally my quads; very occasionally and only when The Grinch is in a particularly foul mood, ALL THREE in a concert, leaving me standing in the middle of the room, teetering, unable to move  And it happens every December on the night of this party, as surely as the Ghost of Chrstmas Future wakes up Scrooge and scares him in “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens. I have as good a memory of these middle-of-the-a.m. cramps in the legs as I do of the party itself, and the party memories over all these years are GREAT.

Not that I’m offering this up as an excuse for why today was so G-#$%^&* D-#$%^&* F-#$%^&* awful, the effects of this weekend past. No, No. I’m fine, don’t worry about me.