Monday, March 12, 2007

Circuit Breaker


Maybe not bawling…that really is loud and hysterical crying. Maybe more like quietly sobbing. Yes, sobbing.

That’s how I found myself on Friday night, in a darkened bedroom with poor Mighty M downstairs confused as to what in the world happened.

It wasn’t a meltdown of grand proportions. There was no screaming or crying or outlandish dribble about wants and needs coming out of my mouth. I just simply hit a point where my tolerance audibly clicked off. My emotional breaker switched over to off mode and I excused myself, turned on my heel and retreated to an empty and dark room. And sobbed.

Nothing memorable or important precipitated the switch, but that’s typically the case. You’re electric switch off? Usually it’s not because of the large taxes you’ve been placing on it – like the laundry machine and dishwasher – rather, it’s the smaller, unimportant pressure that juuuust pushes it past capacity. Nudges it a little too far.

This time it my Friday brick that pushed me over. A moderate hour on the bike with a quick switch to a moderate 20 minute run. Cake. No problem.

But it was disappointing. Again. I was feeling “off” – my legs were tired and it was all I could do to keep above 90. I’ve been messing around with switching my saddles, and everything feels wrong as a result. And I was tired. And a little irritable. And just plain disappointed and discouraged. Throw in a last minute change in the post-workout plans and a painting project and – snap! – emotional dissolution.

As breakdowns go, this was short and sweet, without drama or argument. I just had enough. Each day, the load has been increasing with training and managing a busy life in the fringes. Home improvements, financials, taxes, training, websites, correspondence, and scheduling – all rather boring until they all pile up day after day, without reprieve in sight. We all deal with demands, perhaps triathletes a little more than some. And, I would imagine, we all have our moments of weakness. This was mine.

So, chalk that one up, guys. Scratch a hash mark in the column for “breakdowns.” Ch-eeeeek!

Thankfully, Mighty M is the compassionate person he is. He swaddled me up in comfy clothing and soothing words. He explained that I didn't have to be everything to everyone and that sometimes it's okay to just do what is right, and let the rest shake itself out. He still loves me, no matter what. So, I soon pulled out of the funk and moved forward.

He's right, you know. It's not about how much and how far, it's about the how -- the crafting and balance and care you apply to the things you care about. No wonder love cannot be measured in miles or laps. We're forced to accept the love of a person or experience or thing as a process, rather than a unit. It is, of course, better that way.

I don't imagine that this will be the last time things start feeling overwhelming. And I may, just may, find myself taking an emotional reality check more and more frequently as Wisconsin approaches. But I'm prepared. It's okay to be perfectly human and it's certainly more fun once you come to that conclusion.


LBTEPA said...

I'm so glad you have Mighty M - and that you have the strength to just give way and sob when it's time, if you see what I mean (?)
Take care

Spokane Al said...

Know that you are not alone with those feelings.

When training is not going as planned and the legs feel toasted with little or no speed in them, I wonder what made me think I could complete an IM.

Then a few days later, when the power is once again on, I know the answer.

Triteacher said...

What a great way to put it - the emotional breaker just switches over. Been there too.

Doesn't it feel great when it switches back on though? Sometimes I don't mind the "off" just cuz it does make the "on" soooo good.

Eric said...

I remember my perfect storm that switched my breaker last year. It's good to let it out.

Sounds like you may need an extra rest day in there also.
Treat yourself to some mental and physical rest.

the Dread Pirate Rackham said...

didn't I just read something about how training at high intensity can really fray your nerves?

I did, I know I did. It's a real chemical thing. Take it easy, sistah!